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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-991/991A

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-991/991A
Reviews: 169MSRP: 1699.95
Description:
The FT-991 is the next generation in all mode, all band MF/HF/VHF/UHF
transceiver with C4FM (System Fusion) Digital capability. The FT-991
includes multi-mode operation on CW, AM, FM, SSB, and Digital Modes
(Packet, PSK31, RTTY and C4FM), with 100 Watts of HF/50mhz Capability
(50 Watts VHF/UHF). High-resolution full color 3.5" TFT Touch panel for
superior operability and visibility, High Speed Spectrum scope with ASC
(Automatic Spectrum-scope control) built right in. Internal High Speed
Automatic Antenna Tuner included in the package.
Product is in production
More Info: http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=102&encProdID=D24F60F33816ED8BE5568D7E2B5E2131&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
54.41694
YO2NAA Rating: 2018-04-06
Great radio, but it can be improved Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have an FT-991A since Sep 2017. Overall, it is a great radio, good RX and nice features. Used only on HF so far.

For CW contesters and DX hunters, FT-991A is missing an important feature, the PTT for CW.
I'm using the internal USB serial port to key the radio in CW (contest software N1MM). Keying is done OK using the DTR line of the serial port. The RTS line of the same serial port is used as PTT by the N1MM software but FT-991A is ignoring the RTS when in CW mode (when DTR is set for CW keying).
In DATA modes PTT using the RTS of the same serial port is working OK.
I am forced to use the BK-IN delay and often on fast replies I miss the first part of the transmission.

Even when sending the internal CW memories using the FH2 remote, the PTT is depending on BK-IN delay, it should be asserted for entire message and then switch to RX with no delay, like it was on older FT-450.

I asked Yaesu Japan for an improvement on this matter in Jan 2018, no answer yet. Only Yaesu USA and UK answered very friendly, they also passed my request to Yaesu Japan but no feedback.

Beside CW PTT, I asked Yaesu for some additional improvements:

- The DNR is too aggresive with the last DSP firmware(01-11). On CW is actually OK but on SSB even DNR level 1 is affecting the intelligibility of the voice too much.
Some users have rolled back to DSP ver 01-09.

- SCP SPAN FREQ - please add 10KHz and 20 KHz SPAN, if technically possible. It would be useful for detailed CW pile up view

- Please add a gain parameter for spectrum and waterfall if possible. On quiet bands and very weak signals no waterfall can be seen.
Sometimes AMP2 needs to be activated to see the waterfall but for a good audio or from IMD point of view AMP1 or IPO should be activated instead.
Actually they solved somehow this issue in the last update (Main 02-01) by increasing the gain of the SCP.

- Please display CW-U instead of C-U

If other FT-991A owners are considering these improvements useful too, please send a request to Yaesu, maybe they will listen to us.

Sorry for the long writing, TNX for reading.

73 Ady YO2NAA
WW4DX Rating: 2018-03-22
Nice... Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
FT-991(A). Very good shack in a box solution. Menu system is well thought out. Touch screen works well, and is crisp visually. Very configurable. DSP filtering works better than I expected. Live band scope is nice. Internal tuner works like most others. Does have it’s limits. Addition of an external speaker is a plus.
W8NWN Rating: 2018-03-21
TOO LITTLE Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Yaesu has finally mass produced a microscopic version of a real radio. Tiny tiny screen, small little buttons. I will say the back lighting on the buttons are a great addition. Radio is too small for big fingers. I guess we can use a "stylus" on the screen instead of a finger. I would not recommend this Radio. Sorry.
N7JS Rating: 2018-03-05
FT-991 Beware Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This review is for the 991. These radios blow finals just looking at them. If you are buying one (which means it would be used) be sure they have had it in to Yaesu for adjustment/mod or most likely final replacement/adjustment. If not, you will probably be sending it in at some point. Yaesu really should have compensated (or offered a free upgrade to) the original purchasers of this radio. There is a big reason why they rushed out the 991A and it wasn't just for the real time display.
G8UBJ Rating: 2018-03-03
Solid - a winner Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have had this a short while and really am enjoying it. Yes the menus are a little buried but they are easy to understand and the range of features is excellent for such a small transceiver.

The DNR works well and 70CM sensitivity is really good (Re-discovering that band). I noticed my other C4FM transceivers all suffered serious intermod from a local pager on 2M but this one is clean as a whistle.

It would be nice to have 4M but I have an Icom box for that.

Considering the price, range of features, and bands covered this is an excellent transceiver and definitely the radio for field day use.
ON4VP Rating: 2018-02-26
Nice shack in the box, very versatile Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've had several radios that do all band, all mode and most came from Yaesu.
The're the only company that does the effort to offer a shack in one box except the Icom 706/7000 model.
It will probabely be not the best radio around but for sure the most versatile.

Things I use this transceiver for are:

- portable HF and 6 meters (having 100 watts to my disposal and not just qrp)
- VHF/UFH ssb or cw with directional antennas, beacons, both at home or portable
- C4FM (Fusion) digital modes.
- Winlink packet radio both in 1K2 or 9K6. (with soundmodem no hardware needed, but I do have dedicated tnc's)
- Digital modes while portable.

The menu structure imho is something to get used to. According band and mode you get a lot of things to change or set.
Per mode one can assing 4 quick buttons on the bottom of the screen. That is good, 6 would have been better to cover most.
I do like the real time bandscope although it's no match for my IC-7610 screen. Not even close. But real time means you can see what is going on on neighbour channels.
The FT-991A already does a lot of stuff but full duplex dualband would have been the max. Even with some additional price raise.
I use this radio a lot for satellite work and it does a great job at it but nut full duplex. But dual vfo's tend to follow the software and are corrected for doppler.
The lcd touch display has a decent clarity when using outdoors when set to highest value. It will cost you a bit of battery power.
I have a 10000 mAh 4-cell LiFe pack that works great and gives me several hours of outdoor fun, even with 50 watts or more.

Audio is good, filtering does good job, quiet receiver but close in though signals can be hard to filter out.
The A-model comes with a 3KHz roofing filter and this does help.

Using the two virtual com ports does give you total control and even access to real FSK and CW keying without any cables or hardware.
Memory menu's for contesting are present, both in ssb, cw, rtty.

Personally I choose this radio for it acceptable size and weight for portable use and it's still a nice desktop rig in the shack for all band use with all modes at your hand.
Price is good and thanks to some new features and better receiver + digital Fusion it is a way better radio than the older 897 and 857 radios.

I can recommend this transeiver for people that like one solution for all their needs and don't want to overpay.
And like in real life, some compromises have to be taken in account.

If it had full duplex satellite mode, I rate it 5 since it has so much to offer in one box.
Looking at it's performance it's a solid 4/5.

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Earlier 5-star review posted by ON4VP on 2016-05-31

After using the FT-991 for several weeks I came to this conclusions:

Good:

1/ The radio has all bands from 1.8 up to 440 in all modes and packs 50 watts on 144 and 440 besides 100 watts for HF+6

2/ Overall a nice display that is bright and adjustable and touch panel feels good and is accurate.

3/ Good finish, rather compact size, decent knobs that feel solid, overall good build quality.

4/ Handle bar to carry, optional mobile bracket.

5/ Dual com ports when connecting usb cable to computer. This is a big plus for me over other brands. One serial port for cat control, the other for dtr/rts signals to have an internal cw keyer, ptt control and fsk keying in rtty. All that with one cable.

6/ Decent rx audio, clear, good speaker. Filters are good but my TS590SG is better, does a bit better job in worse conditions than FT-991. (tested in few contests both ssb and cw)

7/ Good receiver, very good on 144/440 and 6 meters. Happy with it. On HF good to me, also for cw but imho the 590SG beats this radio on HF. The 590 for me is a keeper next to this radio.

8/ Most settings can be done by using the touch screen but you have to grow in to the radio. I wanted that some functions would have been easier to access.

9/ Running at rated power for longer periods the FT-991 remains cool and fan comes on only when needed and is quiet.

Needs work:

1/ No cat reference for the memory tag. When using software to read and write memories from an to radio all tags (names) that were programmed are lost. Needs to be addressed in firmware update (wrote Yaesu about it).

2/ Awkward use of multi-function dial button. If you pressed a button on the touch panel, you have to go trough all the menus to find the MCH button to reselect the memory dial knob. I find this annoying. Should be addressed in firmware update.

3/ Tx audio is good but needs to bee tweaked with equalizer for hf. When monitoring on other radio I tend to hear a tiny bit of distorting on my audio although I have alc not overdone and watch proc and mic gain closely. In fm very clear audio.

4/ when programming odd split memory (f.e. satellite using two bands) when I need to programm sub tone on tx frequency the tone is not saved to memory. (Addressed as a bug to Yaesu).

Overall the radio is a nice and complete package in a good size box with a nice display and many useful functions. It is not a high end receiver radio but packs a decent and good receiver that shines on higher bands. It has good filtering for this price range radio. Thanks to a "all functions you can think of" in one single usb cable the radio is a pleasure to work many digital modes and has decent filtering for that. The band scope is okay but since the audio is cut off while doing a sweep this is a function I rarely use although it does has it use.

I can access a few C4FM repeaters in my area but haven't found a station yet to do some testing. I regret that the nearest by repeater is not connected to any of the rooms or reflectors. So I'm a but hungry to see what C4FM is all about since I came back disappointed from DMR.

I use my FT-991 mainly for 144 and 440 and will like to give it a try in some satellite work and vhf dx-ing. I will keep on using the TS-590SG most of the time for hf but this radio is a decent backup and when taking it outdoors I have all bands and all modes in one solid and not to big box.

I recommend this radio to anyone who knows why he wants to buy it for. If you are mainly a contester and dx-er, I would recommend to keep further but If you need a solution for other bands and like to have shortwave along with it, go 4 it.

I gave it a 5 for it's overall use. But it deserves more of a 4,5 since Yaesu should address one or two things, mainly firmware bugs that can be solved. Hope they listen to their customers.
G4VWT Rating: 2018-01-31
FT991a Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Had one about a month,very impressed with it very quiet receiver, NB works great DNF kills any tone dead ,latest DSP firmware is rubbish ,I don't use it anyway ,not needed on the FT991a if a signal is there you will hear it on the FT991a ,some of the early versions of the 991 had problems ,fixed on 991a, overall a really great radio

Barry G4VWT
AI6BF Rating: 2018-01-23
Phone Operations Contesting Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have a 991-(NO A) and all the latest updates. I HAD set CH1 for Phone/voice so I could call for techs in 28.300 -->500 and give them some one to log calls. Worked great. Break-In=ON, 015=Beacon 15 seconds, CH1=Message "CQ CQ Techs Only Please AI6BF CQ CQ", a little longer, maybe you heard me. I did all 4 updates and now it will not Beacon Phone, only CW. Drove it to Yaesu and was told that maybe it did before the updates but it does not now. I am not a contest person, but also I don't want to sit for hours pushing a button to repeat a message that can play quietly while I work and when I hear a call back I can chat for a moment to give a new HAM a contact. Any one else duplicate this or have this issue? I can imagine a contester not being able to beacon phone and this radio, not a good match I would think. Is there a work around? If I were a contester I would rate it low simply because I see no assistance in phone contesting from the radio. Any comments and or feed back is appreciated. I do agree with others, the menu system needs a menu system to get through it. I have a 7100 also, the menu is so much nicer there is no compare. The 991 seems to receive very well and does put out a full 100 watts where the 7100 has the 45 - 55 watt failure until the mod is done. I was told at Yaesu the other ones (what that means not sure) are not as hard to operate as the 991. I will admit, the menu takes a lot of the pleasure out of the radio.
Thanks all, 73
GI0ZGB Rating: 2018-01-20
MH-36E8J TX HUM Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Steve N2QNY stumbled upon the cause of the TX hum using the MH-36E8J DTMF mic.
Menu item 008 Dimmer TFT default is 8, however when this was cranked up to 15 the TX hum is gone and the audio is as clean as a whistle.
Steve asked me to confirm his findings on my
FT-991A and I found what he discovered was correct. He informed Yaesu USA and they have asked him to send his rig in for repair.
Happy days in the USA!

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Earlier 4-star review posted by GI0ZGB on 2017-09-06

Buy a new Yaesu transceiver and become an involuntary beta tester, that’s how it seems to me, and I’m sure a lot of disgruntled 991 owners. I’m thinking that Yaesu got rid of the forklift driver who designed the first horror story, and replaced him with a Ham/Engineer. Out of the box an RTFM session is required to familiarise yourself with the multi-layer menu system and discover where the hidden menu items are located. Once the suffering is done you can set about changing the default settings to enhance the overall performance. The lamentable MH-36 mic simultaneously degrades the rig and audio quality, so I binned mine and replaced it with Radiosport headphones with the dynamic element, adjusting the VOX output with the parametric eq until I got it to sound acceptable to my ears, I don’t care what other ears hear!
The DSP functions are excellent, on par with other more expensive rigs, and dare I say even better, it does the job very well. It was the inclusion of C4FM Fusion that made me decide to buy, it having superior performance to Death Star and DMR, IMHO. The AM performance is just about acceptable when setup correctly, but is outperformed by common CB radios going back years. This half-hearted approach to AM is lamentable with Ham Radio manufacturers in general. SSB performance is excellent, of the highest standard as is FM. I use Fldigi for digi modes, preferring it to HRD or MiXW, it takes a little setting up though.
Overall I rate the rig 4/5 there being a few things that could be more user friendly, I live in hope.
Update: As said above I binned my MH-36E8J mic. The problem was hum on tx, despite the fact that the display ground mod was done. To eliminate the possibility of picking up interference, we headed into the sticks and tested two MH-36E8J mics. The tx hum was audible on headphones with both mics and on our friends station some miles away. IMHO the source of the hum is the display unit, and Yaesu, true to form, ran away from the problem and are still in hiding. Whilst the 991A is a fine transceiver in many respects, this issue makes sending DTMF tones unreliable and degrades the tx audio.
Not that any rig's perfect, but given the lack of customer support I can't see me buying another Yaesu product ever again.
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Earlier 4-star review posted by GI0ZGB on 2017-07-15

Buy a new Yaesu transceiver and become an involuntary beta tester, that’s how it seems to me, and I’m sure a lot of disgruntled 991 owners.
I’m thinking that Yaesu got rid of the forklift driver who designed the first horror story, and replaced him with a Ham/Engineer. Out of the box an RTFM session is required to familiarise yourself with the multi-layer menu system and discover where the hidden menu items are located. Once the suffering is done you can set about changing the default settings to enhance the overall performance. The lamentable MH-36 mic simultaneously degrades the rig and audio quality, so I binned mine and replaced it with Radiosport headphones with the dynamic element, adjusting the VOX output with the parametric eq until I got it to sound acceptable to my ears, I don’t care what other ears hear!
The DSP functions are excellent, on par with other more expensive rigs, and dare I say even better, it does the job very well. It was the inclusion of C4FM Fusion that made me decide to buy, it having superior performance to Death Star and DMR, IMHO. The AM performance is just about acceptable when setup correctly, but is outperformed by common CB radios going back years. This half-hearted approach to AM is lamentable with Ham Radio manufacturers in general. SSB performance is excellent, of the highest standard as is FM. I use Fldigi for digi modes, preferring it to HRD or MiXW, it takes a little setting up though.
Overall I rare the rig 4/5 there being a few things that could be more user friendly, I live in hope.
N4YX Rating: 2018-01-17
Two Thumbs Up Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I, too, purchased one of the Yaesu FT-991 refurbed units from MTC & so far it's passed every one of my on-the-air tests and I've exercised every aspect of the radio. Took me a while to grasp the Yaesu menu system & each time I thought there was something wrong it was operator (me) error - Hi. In my opinion the menu system is overly complex. Took me a while to realize, unlike some modern menu driven radios, many menu settings are per band, per mode & per VFO or Memory! So double-check those settings.