|I Love this rig.. had it for several years, it a whole lot of radio for your money. many operating features and this should have been the standard HF set for many Hams.|
I say 'should have' because many of these sets do get problems, read the comments above and previously on Eham here to see what type.
The Guy i bought mine off (in Stoke) never told me about the problem my 920 had. At switch-on the VFOs and a couple of (very minor) user settings are set at 7.000.00mhz LSB every time ..
the memories etc, everything else - all work perfectly, its obviously stored in non-volatile memory .. so why the VFO data couldn't be, ask Yaesu.
The CR2025 (or whatever number) backup battery circuit is not working, at least, not properly, there's a problem which drains the tiny button cell after just 2 days, it was a huge pain at first. I contacted Yaesu UK who couldn't care less, so i tried them a couple more times, and they still gave me the cold shoulder again after asking for help, so i gave up.
I gave up on Yaesu equipment TOTALLY after 'Yaesu UK' gave me this dreadful attitude for customer support. Never again. never.
So why do i love the set ? Its switched on almost permanently, for the last 5 or 6 years, as we had a 10m SSB net locally, with nets every evening, and being on all day al night, with only a tiny few days off in the entire time, and it still works the same as it did when i bought it.
Other reasons, - well its actually a nice looking set too, with very good ergonomics, controls hidden on the back on most other sets are all on the front of the FT920, where they should be. its a base station set, a huge array of connections live on the back, for everything you'll ever need, curiously, the labeling and legend for these connectors is actually on the top of the set, at the back..
The user experience is mostly very pleasing indeed, the main controls are 'weighted' and feel slow and solid, (unlike the light and flimsy feeling ones on my Kenwood TS 870s-AT) - all apart from the extreme-right dual-concentric HI/Low cut rotaries for the AF DSP bandwidth, which feel light and flimsy like they're made of ping-pong ball guage cheap plastic.
The front panel is pretty, logical and complete, but is plastic sounding if tapped on (so don't!) though its of much better quality than the DSP Hi/Lo cut controls, the front panel is slightly textured too, which i like, so it doesn't show fingerprints or look cheap, shiny or tatty. I do wish the numeric keys (actually all the labeling) was back-lit.
The voice recorder works well, as does the recording off-air, but is of little use in rea;ity, if i need that functionality i would just wire up a computer. the particular blunder in this department is why cant i replay what audio the 920 has just recorded off-air, back over the air (on TX) to my contact who could then hear what he sounds like at my station ?
The huge display, although i dont care for huge backlit LCDs, too much light coming at you, the low-freq of amber light does make it easier to see than if it was a shorter wavelength like blue or something, but maybe some coloured plastic over the display would sufice, but its purely subjective, I'd preferably have it inverted like on the FT1000MP, thats the aesthetics covered.
Mine has the Inrad cascade filter board in, so the receiver is the nicest HF receiver i've ever heard. Ever. its just a joy to listen to, on a decent speaker, or even take baseband out to a seperate HIFI and hear how nice some tansmissions actually sound.
I have the AM pass-through board so i can BCL too, set on 'wide' its far too wide for comms, but for AM broadcast its outstanding. the 'Narrow' switch switches in some narrow filter then making it perfect for narrowband AM listening. best of both worlds.
Mine even transmits AM - and what quality TX audio too, but - without the proper filter board its a *little wide* but does put most AM on other HF sets to shame, though the 920 AM TX audio is likely the same as many others with the proper narrow AM filter fitted.. but i have no plans to do so. there's plenty of empty space on 10m, or 6m for wide AM use, although it would be very antisocial to use it on the narrower Amateur bands.
The 920 looks like it may be a nice CW rig, with many CW features not seen on many sets in this price range. The SSB TX bandwidth cant be changed, like you can on the IF DSP sets, bit there are 4 mic EQ settings along with carrier point adjustments so experimenting with other mic's are fun. compressor works well, stay less than 10db.
Amateur branded mics are such a rip-off, usually costing much more than (industry standard) Shure SM 57 or whatever, so get a stand and a non Amateur branded mic, an external PTT and maybe even a mixer/EQ.
FM is just a typical HF rig FM .. but on the FT-920 i like that it has CTCSS on RX too. The auto notch is only at AF sadly, but it does work on AM and FM too, (as do the DSP hi-lo cut rotaries) which i found odd when i first got the set, and listening to the USA repeaters on 10m ...
Summing up, it seems like the FT-920 should have been a FT1000MP with 6m, but some people the same problems with the sets, but to be fair, most y2k vintage rigs probably have these kind of issues too, but if you get a good one, hang on to it, and it will perform exceptionally well, and be good to listen to for very long hours without being tiring or fatiguing. People sell them, then miss them, then buy another.
If, like me, you get a 'slightly flaky' one and Yaesu UK basically dont want to know, you may be able to forgive any of the set's faults that it may have, i have, and it has been used hugely, and so i dont think i'll go back to any of my other HF sets, my Auto ATU stuck on once or twice, i sometimes have to switch the set on and off once or twice from cold, as the DSP light blinks, the VFO backup battery failed so its always on 40m at switch-on, even if i last used 6m, i still dont want to get rid of it, its too good a set for these niggles to make me get rid, although i often wonder what it would be like if it really was .. perfect..
Your milage may vary...