Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Yaesu FT-480R

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held)

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-480R
Reviews: 9MSRP: only 529 @ 1981
2 mtr FM/CW/SSB 10w mobile
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
GI0ZGB Rating: 2012-09-02
Golden Oldie Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My Yaesu FT-480R came from a good home, it was well maintained and serviced spot on frequency.
I have found it to have an excellent receive performance, holding its own with modern rigs.
The received audio is very clear even under weak signal conditions hooked up to my X700H.
The S-meter is a bit of a joke merely a string of LED's like a politician has a problem telling the truth.
It was a bit of a pain having to enter frequencies into memory every time you wanted to use the rig
as they were lost when the psu was switched off, so I built a memory backup circuit to keep them alive.
I have a fixed ctcss unit fitted but I'm considering getting a Piexx encoder/decoder unit as I can access
a few repeaters with different tones so that might be a good investment.
On SSB it performs well, good tx reports with the standard mic, rx audio is as good as any rig I've used.
This little rig is obviously limited in comparison to modern radios lacking many bells ans whistles,
but it has the build in the right place and I prefer to use it for SSB or local ragchew on FM.
I like this rig very much, it works well and if nothing else is a dependable backup radio.
CT2FPE Rating: 2008-04-24
Vintage Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Nothing more to say, this was a very good radio while it was on the 80´s.
Needed a good yagi beam :)
KA7OEI Rating: 2006-05-19
Old - but works well Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I picked up one of these at a swapmeet about 15 years ago and after chasing down a cold solder joint in the PLL, I had it back in working condition. The front panel says "FT-280" (with an "R" written in pen, as are the "+" and "-" repeater offsets) and after doing a bit of looking on the internet, it would appear that there *was* an FT-280 made that did not do repeater offset: Clearly, a previous owner bought an FT-280 had it modified to be an FT-480R.

It is a fairly simple rig and is easy to operate. It has no subaudible tone encoder and just four "volatile" memories (they go away instantly upon removal of power - but I never use them, anyway.)

Although it isn't ultra-sensitive, I have no trouble hearing all of the local check-ins on the SSB net and it's 10 watt output is more than enough to be heard.

To access some of the local repeaters, I've added a homebrew subaudible tone encode with the 3 most common tones, selected via the memory switch.

To this day, I still use it at home and it works just fine. Not having a need to scan or use the memories, I don't find the "volatility" of the small number of memories to be any sort of problem.
DK9BDN Rating: 2004-04-12
Cheap compact allrounder Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
If you look for a cheap and compact allmode transceiver, this is what you need! OK, there is no real CW-Filter and sensivity is not suitable for EME but for a used price around 200 Euros in Europe you can´t go wrong. A rig from the pre-micoprocessor era, means you need continous power supply to keep the memories stored. But on the other hand the radio will not lock up. Great for mobile and portable use although the hard core DX guys will chose something else ;-)
VE6JNT Rating: 2004-01-30
Echolink Node Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this radio 3 years ago from a fellow ham here in Edmonton, Alberta for Can $150. I used it as my Echolink node radio. It's been on for 24 hrs / 7 days a week. I haven't got any problem with it ever. A perfect radio for the Echolink gateway. VE6JNT-L Echolink node 39362.
For that I am giving this radio a perfect 5 for its performance.
PA3FVE Rating: 2003-04-30
Great receiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I owned one receiver in the 80's.
Worked many DX in SSB and CW.
It worked fine also with high speed CW.
Did work many hours meteorscattering.
Got once some problems with loose contacts.
Once repaired it worked agn perfect.
JAMES_BENEDICT_EX_N8FVJ Rating: 2002-12-22
Good FM radio. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this radio used 12 years ago from a ham in Tennessee. Unfoutunately the SSB mode did not function & the sellers telephone number was disconnected the next day. Hope he reads this. Anyways, the receiver was ok for FM simplex & repeaters. Most likely not a hot performer on 2 meter SSB, but I will never know for sure.
HB3YEV Rating: 2002-10-13
Good old Allmode-rig Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought the SOMMERKAMP Version with some defects like destroyed sat-switch, defective tone call button on the mic at the hamradio in Friedrichshafen summer 2002 for 200€. I made about 100 QSOs with this rig so far. It's my first All-Mode rig, so i wasn't looking for much features or memories; I just wanted a mobile SSB-TRX. I am quite satisfied with simple handling. I could work several DX stations without preamp on a 9 element Yagi. I always get excellent audio reports on both FM and SSB, alltough some user of the YAESU edition told about poor modulation in some series. The CW filter isn't very impressive in my opinion. Of course newer rigs I worked with (FT-100D, IC-910) are better in many ways, but for the money it is a great 2m-QRP device. You get about 12W PEP output even the voltage drops below 12V. The display was off about 300Hz but this could be fixed easily by adjusting TC03 in the PLL unit.

All over I'm still great fan of this old little rig !
KU4QD Rating: 2000-04-18
Good, inexpensive 2m all mode for the ham on a bud Time Owned: unknown months.
I picked up a Yaesu FT-480R for well under $200, and considering what I paid for it, it's quite a pleasant surprise. The rig does CW, USB, LSB, and FM with 10 watts output. It's from the early '80s, so compared to today's rigs it doesn't have a lot of features. It does have dual VFOs, five memories, band and memory scanning, a clarifier (RIT), and the ability to work odd splits. An external connector allows for an optional, external PL (CTCSS) encoder, and I am using an old CommSpec TE-12 with it. Today's TE-32, TE-64, or TE-64D would be even better choices. The rig has a blue flourescent display, which is small but clear. Considering the rig's age, and the fact that it was a mobile (though it's quite big by today's standards), I have been pleasantly surprised by the receiver. I could hear a station several hundred miles away as well as the local SSB net control, even with my tiny 3-element beam. I've gotten good audio reports on both FM and SSB. The receive audio is good too, and the internal speaker is large for a mobile. It's on the bottom of the rig, but with the wire stand, it kind of points forward from a protrusion, so you get plenty of volume. The negatives: the display is off by about 200hz, just like my former FT-290RII. Also, the squelch only works on FM, and I really like an all mode squelch. It would be nice to have the latest modern features, but for the price I couldn't beat this old rig. Of course, today's better rigs will outperform it, but what do you expect?