Another addition to my shack – Yaesu FT 857D! This is a replacement for my FT 817 that has served me well for the last few years. The main purpose of my new rig is for 144Mhz and 432Mhz with 50 watts and 20watts accordingly. Also planning to use it as the driver for my 70Mhz and 1296Mhz transverters. Other additions include coax switches to be able to easily switch antennas between the FT 857D and FT 450D. My new shack is looking good! Just waiting for some nice weather so that I can start on the antennas outside. Today a new earth rod arrived, I plan to bury this in the front garden so that I can have a reasonable earth connection. At the moment the earth is connected to the mains, which is not good!
To compliment the new equipment, I would like a good quality desk mic. At first I looked at the MFJ-297, but there seems to be issues with the compatable lead to Yaesu radios, costing an extra £24. I decided on the recommended Yaesu MD-100AX8, which matches the equipment perfectly and has great reviews on the audio quality.
To celebrate my semi-retirement I decided to treat myself to some new equipment. I have had my eye on either a Yaesu Ft 897D or Ft450D. At first I favoured the 897 because it gives 100w on HF and 50Mhz, 50w on 144Mhz and 20w on 432Mhz. I have stopped myself from buying one of these because I find the displays too small and is very ‘menu driven’ with just a few rubber non descript buttons. The performance is first class, but I simply can’t justify buying a main rig that looks like my Yaesu FT817’s big brother.
I like the Yaesu FT450D, it looks like a ‘real’ rig with a big colourful display and well layed out with it’s stylish knobs and buttons. Just the job to replace my aging Yaesu FT101E that I bought in 1980 second hand. Reading the reviews and watching some of the videos on You Tube I decided that I would really like one of these, but coming in at £795 is still a bit hard to swallow, maybe second hand I thought… but then came the Winter sales!
With over £100 knocked off the price of FT450D and also the news that the FT897 has now become obsolete I took the plunge and ordered one along with a Power Supply and new Daiwa SWR and Power Meter. The first new equipment for many years!
I am really pleased with the Yaesu FT450D, a smart looking, compact piece of gear. Easy to use and easy to find your way around the menus. It also has an auto-tune facility, which i’m sure is very useful when using an antenna that does not require an ATU. I have found it useful to ‘fine tune’ the SWR along with the ATU. I like the DSP functions on receive, again, easy to use and very versatile when listening on a noisy crowded band. I am playing around with my antennas at the moment. My G5RV seems to work well on 40m and I now want to work some stations to see how the Yaesu FT450D performs.