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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-301S

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-301S
Reviews: 4MSRP:
Late 70s 10W version of the FT-301 series 160-10m transceivers
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W6SSP Rating: 2021-04-23
Nice starter rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is the only ham radio I've ever bought new.
It was a 'close out' sale for $400 in 1979. I've got
the FT-301SD version and the digital display is very
nice. I've used it to work the world, mostly CW
but some SSB as well. My only complaints are the receiver
generates more internal noise than other rigs I've used.
The biggest problem is with the LED displays as they
seem to be the most common thing to fail. Putting
a diode (1N4004 or similar) in series with the line
that supplies the displays helps.
KU4RN Rating: 2012-06-26
Great Older Rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought the Ft-301s about 10 years ago, and played with on and off. The one thing that impressed me the most about it was the audio and the reception. It was better than my FT-840 and still better than my FT-857 today, by using the reject knob you can cancle out a lot of the noise but not the other signals. I have now found myself going to the FT-301s when I enter my radio room. My other rigs are now collecting dust. I get great reports and compliments on the radio signals. I wish I had an amp for the days I want more than 15 watts, I quess I'll just have to get the FT-301 with 100 watts out. I have not used SSB on the radio so I can not report on it. There are not a lot of bells and whistles on this rig and it is easy to use. It would be a great starter radio for someone who is new to ham radio. I give this rig a 5 for the time period it came out not against the newer radios of today. If you can get one at a good price I recommend buying it and enjoy this great older radio.
W3OSS Rating: 2008-07-15
Excellent & Overlooked Radio of the 1970s/80s Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Over the years I have owned three (3) of these sets: my first one was purchased from Larry Bailey, G5BRB, in England in 1981. My wife provided me with the matching FV-301 remote VFO and the power supply/speaker as an anniversary gift. This "station" also boasted a matching spectral display unit and, although I have never seen one, an outboard HF linear amp (theoritically NOT a bolt-on-the-back unit used to make the 301S into a 100 W FT-301).

The receiver is adequate for it's day. Of course there are slots for installing additional IF filters inside the radio. My current FT-301SD came with the AM and 500Hz CW filter already installed. The Fox-Tango group had several very handy modsfor this rig that included replacing the RF front end device with a 3N211 MOSFET which really hotted up the receiver. I performed this mod on the original 301 that I had with excellent results. As I remember it did not destroy the dynamic range, either.

Most of these radios need a complete tune-up after aging on the shack shelf for 20 years! That is where the manual REALLY shines! The manual that acomes with the radio is an operations manual PLUS a mini-service manual! Clear, concise explanations of the various circit boards and their function/operational characteristics are included so the would-be technician can align and troubleshoot the radio if desired.

Also included within the manual is a complete parts list for the FT-301(S/SD) which is nice if you need to replace a descrete component.

Operationally the FT-301SD is a great little rig, considering that the design is around 30 years old. Adding the optional IF filters transforms this old warhorse into a respectable DX machine. True, it does not have DSP (that can be added at any time thanks to the many "kits" currently on the market).

If you want a good little bare-bones contest/DXing radio, the FT-301, set up with the proper filters and a retro-fit DSP unit would be a great choice AND not break the bank at the same time.

Do I like the FT-301? Yes, can't you tell?? This radio set is an outstanding example of the kind of engineering and design that has made Yaesu a household name within the Hallowed Pillars of the Halls of DX.
VK3YE Rating: 2002-04-15
Overlooked classic! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
(The following comments relate to the FT-301S, the ten watt version of the model)

This is an early all-solid state HF transceiver, perhaps overshadowed by the very popular 101 series of the time. Appearance bears a family
resemblance to the 101, though the cabinet is a
little smaller. Nevertheless the controls are
large and easy to use. This is not really a rig
for the portable QRPer seeking lightweight equipment.

The set boasts many features not found on later
budget models such as the FT-77. These include 160 metres, RF speech processor, notch filter, selectable AGC (slow, medium, fast, unfortunately not OFF) and VOX. However later rigs do have no-tune operation (the FT-301S requires peaking on each band), 10/18/24 MHz and an FM option.

Overall performance is very good. The transmit audio with the standard hand mic has always received complimentary reports. The included
RF speech processor is excellent, and introduces no audible distortion. Indeed I leave it on at all times. The audio quality on AM has also received good reports.

VFO stability is adequate, and quite in keeping with rigs of the time. If left for an hour or so on an SSB signal, it does require a small amount of retuning. This may put it at a disadvantage for digital modes or unattended voice operation via VHF/UHF remote-control links. The reviewer's unit has an analogue dial, which is large and easy to read.

I would rank receive performance as good to excellent. I prefer it to the FT-77S, though I haven't done head-to-head comparisons. The CW filter is worthwhile and works well. Front-end performance appears good, with no overloading oberved (maybe due to the front-end tuning).

The Reject control is the Rx notch filter. This reduces carriers by approximately 15 - 20dB. This is nowhere near as good as the automatic DSP notch filters on rigs like the FT-920 or the FT-847, but is still a worthwhile feature.

The noise blanker is effective on some types of impulse noise, but not others. It is certainly inferior to that of modern rigs (worth over ten times as much) such as the FT-920 and the FT-1000 MP.

What don't I like about the 301S? Not much. However, I would have preferred the headphone socket to be on the right of the front panel and be 6.5mm instead of 3.5mm. Also the Clarifier range is a bit much, and it's a bit finnicky. So is the Drive control, when trying to wind the power back.

For its time, I'd give it a 4.5 out of 5. When compared to modern sets, it's about a 3.5. If you see one for a fair price, buy it!