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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-902DM

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

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-902DM
Reviews: 25MSRP: Yaesu FT-902DM
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WA5US Rating: 2023-04-01
It's still working after 40+ years! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I originally bought this transceiver sometime in the early 80s I think. It's been so long I really can't remember. Used it until about 1996 or so and then it just sat in the closet, superceded by newer, and as it turned out, less capable rigs. Sometime in 2012 I think, I pulled it out and turned it on to discover what appeared to be a dead receiver. I bought a cap replacement kit on eBay but never found the time to replace any of them. So the 902DM just got relegated to the closet again and got moved to several another closets in another state after I retired. It's been in the back of my mind to work on this for years now so just yesterday I found the capacitor kit I bought and fired up the 902 just to refresh my memory about past symptoms. I had just watched several YouTube videos that indicated a common, dirty contact problem in the relay on the carrier board. Well you can guess the rest. After not being powered on for close to 30 years, it came to life! I let it sit for several hours and it's still running.

What more could anyone possibly say about this great piece of Amateur radio gear!
DL9BDM Rating: 2022-06-10
a real classic Transceiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought mine used in 2010 in mint condition, with all options and filters. Its a great hybrid radio, a true classic with excellent features, especially the receiver. This transceiver can easily compete with the current products even today.

It's the last representative of the classic FT-101-line! The FT-902DM is a very good inverstment, you simply have to have it!
ZL3AX Rating: 2016-07-24
The Best! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The old story. Had one in the 1980's and always regretted selling it to guy in Holland.
* Got one last year, and gave it a complete service, including changing about 100 capacitors (Ebay kit is good, just did the lot in one go), changed the speaker that was warped.
**Very happy with it, goes just as I remember. Easy to use, great performer, real radio, not darn computer noise!
*** The receiver is VERY quiet, due to a fantastic double balanced mixer and a stable oscillator. For me the test is this. Go on SSB, dummy load, and turn up the volume a long way on your transceiver. Gentle hiss, or does it sound like un-squelched FM? A quiet receiver is everything... if you want to operate with phones, pick up quiet signals (no I am not a 59 only person) and find signals close to other powerful stations you never know were there!
Yes, I love this set. Have an old FL2001, FC902 and it is still the line-up I am happy with.
Michael. ZL3AZ / G0GPX / J87AB
G0UOO Rating: 2015-08-12
A Lovely Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My first proper HF rig, bought used back in 1994. It came fully-loaded, and with the outrigger boards too. Just a lovely radio to use. No menus, everything you need right there on the front panel. I wish I still had it, but, like a fool, I sold it and have regretted doing so ever since. I would buy another, but I'm mindful that these rigs are pushing nearly 35 years old now.
IT9AHH Rating: 2014-04-28
what a gem radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
i bought five months ago the 902 dm from italian yaesu radios dealer. it's in mint conditions.has all the optionals and a 600 hz cw filter.i have a wonderful receiver by 160 to 10 mt.the apf and cw filter put it on par to the ts870;i did not want to believe it but in the end this is my conclusion.vy hot clean and selective receiver.the evening, on 7 mhz, you get just the signals that you want to receive, and the silence, especially with long wire short buy it and use it every day, it will return for hours of enjoyable radio.
73's, franco.
KG6YV Rating: 2013-04-10
Beats the Kenwood 830S "Hands-down" Time Owned: more than 12 months.
OK, the Kenwood 830S gets all the press but an FT 901DM will put the Kenwood to shame. I have owned three 830S transceivers and now have my second 902DM.

1 The 380S receiver is noisy, much lower noise floor on the 902DM. Better receive audio too!
2. The 830S has long term stability issues with the need to seat/clean/reseat boards, moungint screws,etc. The 902DM is a dreadnaught battleship in its construction.
3. More than half of the 830's out there drift frequency like a small boat on the ocean due to the cost-reduced VFO capacitor with plastic insulators between the plates instead of phenolic... The 902DM needs no "huff-n-puff".
4. 902DM has a keyer came with a CW filter and other accessories thatKenwood ignored.

Overall all, I would not sell my 902DM, I sold all three 830S's I had within a year of buying them...

No contest, the 902DM was the best hybrid of all time. it holds it's own against many later vintage transceivers too!
YO9HSW Rating: 2013-04-10
Best hybrid transceiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought mine from $250 in mint condition but with the common problem, a defective MSM9520 IC. Thanks to JA2SVZ the counter module is now up and running. Easy to operate, built like a battleship. Nothing more to say.
KR4XF Rating: 2012-09-26
Kr4xf Rock Solid Rig! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Bought this gem about 6 months ago
had a few issues s meter lights analog light
12 pin multi purpose relay new rectifire Eco's
hv caps and bleeder resistors, Kens electronics
in Michigan has exact replacement relay 18.00 dollars, hv caps i put 500 volt 150uf instead of 100uf cleaned all switches and every module board socket etc.
This radio is awesome nice quiet recieve I have great audio reports. The work I put into it was well worth it.Thanks to Keith N9UTJ helped me solve this problem on carrier unit board. Make sure carrier unit board the solder connections on the 16v 30uf that connects to relay is connected good or you have a intermitted loss of audio when 1st keying to talk, I touched up all 21 connections with solder and made sure it was gettin a good snug fit in slot.My rig does not drift after warm up of about 30 mintes. pictures of recaping is on a link on my qrz page
Parts Caps were ordered from digikey. I will be hanging on to this rig hence no stories from me about how I should of never got rid of my 902dm gem.
K5KEN Rating: 2010-03-08
What can I say....! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
We'll for my first review on my first HF radio all I can say is wow! My 902DM is in near perfect condition for being built in 1981. The gentlemen I bought off was the first owner and for the past 15 years has only used it on AM.
I have no drift on either the main VFO or the FV-101Z VFO. I also got the SP-901P with my deal. I had to replace the 30 y/o speaker which had dried out, which was no big deal to do.
I did have the the 3 final tubes replaced which where the original one and my tech did a quick alignment which to my surprise was still set to factory spec's and still pretty close!

As my first HF rig I am very happy with it.

I really enjoy the 902DM and for the price it was a great deal.
N8YX Rating: 2009-09-23
A solid performer - IF... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Anyone reading this might first want to check out the FT-901DM review section, particularly where the comments relating to frequency stability are concerned.

I recently got hold of a "drifty" '902. It is the second of these radios I've owned; performance of the first rig mirrored other reviewers' experiences.

This one, however, would drift a total of 5 KILOhertz in 24H from a cold start!

A search around the 'Net directed me to a site which detailed another amateur's VFO repair tale. In his case, bad N750 temp-compensating caps in the '902's internal VFO led to a severe drift condition. My rig suffered from exactly the opposite problem: Some of the NP0 caps were way off spec. In addition, a bad 20pF NP0 in parallel with the reference oscillator crystal's trimmer cap on the digital readout board made netting the display to WWV impossible. Replacing the part fixed the problem, but a sporadic drift problem was still observed. This was ultimately isolated to the ATT/RIT/XIT switches...dirty contacts...and floating voltage reference levels. A shot of Faderlube F5 and a drop of DeOxIt in each switch fixed the problem.

Drift is now ~400hz in 3 hours (from a cold start) and ~40hz per hour thereafter...which is well within Yaesu's specs. (The author of the repair article got his rig's total drift to within 300hz, so better VFO performance is possible!)

If the lack of computer control, general-coverage receiver and the presence of a tube PA doesn't bother you, these rigs will do anything "on the air" that you wish.

If you get a problematic example, they're not that difficult to fix. Aside from the digital display IC, the various capacitors used in these rigs quite possibly are the only components which will give an owner any sort of grief...and they can be replaced if necessary. Clean those switches and potentiometers as well.