Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Amateur Radio Gear Reviews

Hands on Yaesu FT 450D

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  The little form factor radio with a classic display and GREAT performance. This radio was purchased used some years ago and has been at the BOL as a spare radio. It is 100 watts with 160 thru 6 meters ( with60 meters and Alaska Emergency channels in MEMORY)with DSP,auto antenna tuner and ATAS 120 screwdriver tuner controls also. I tried this on a whim on the 51 foot ZIPP-ZEPP antenna and the 3 to 1 internal tuner TUNED ALL BANDS to below 1.5 to 1 SWR and I found the DIGITAL VOX allowed a simple audio cable interface to operate with FLDigi and do many sound card digital modes. Multiple programmable buttons allow user to bring most used menu items to the surface and the METER allows SWR,POWER,and ALC to be easily swapped on the large,easy to read 'reversed' LCD display.

  This is a little radio that can as it handled everything I tried well and even PSK ran fine at 35 watts ,which is above the AM and FM rated 25 watts of the little radio without the cooling fan running above the low speed...high temps activate the hi speed as needed and the 450D did not break a sweat. This radio can be had at well below it's retail price as it is an older model that deserves a look. Priced at $779 and FREE shipping at R and L electronics.

Smurf Hunter:
AFTER returning home from field day I setup this rig outside along with a vertical whip attached to a Wolf River Coil.

I was scanning around on 40m and came across the Old Man Single Side Band NET (
I threw out my call when they asked for checkins.  I got a 5-4. So I was weak, but readable.  After the check-in a station in upstate New York made contact with me. 
He gave me a 5-7. That may have been my furthest 40m SSB QSO. He sounded great to my ears, and I only had to repeat a few things.

I'm still coming to learn the DSP options, but already have successfully used the notch, DNR and width filters.

When working digital like PSK31, narrowing the width REALLY cleans things up on the waterfall.  For modes that have fixed frequency locations like 14.070 this works fine.
Just make sure if you are "chasing" around the band, to widen the filter, else you can easily tune past without hearing.

Also, for QRM rich environments, the notch and contour can surgically avoid annoying hum and whistling noises once you identify where in the frequency they are relative to your dial frequency.

Smurf is a lucky guy because the radio he has was the radio I had and it is available at a bargain price from many sellers even now . The ft450 is a notch above the average 'starter rig' and is a very capable and easy to use ...small footprint radio.

Alan Georges:

--- Quote from: Carl on June 26, 2017, 01:18:49 PM ---The ft450 is a notch above the average 'starter rig' and is a very capable and easy to use ...small footprint radio.

--- End quote ---
More review and commentary of the FT-450D here:

In four years' use it has performed well, and lived up to all the reasons I bought it for in the first place.  The IF DSP is vastly superior to any of the AF stage DSPs I've had a chance to play with.  The main broadband noise reduction is good, without the "burble" sound frequently heard in AF stage DSPs, and the manual notch filter is great at slicing out an overbearing signal when working PSK.

Two handy things I've discovered recently are that the "DSP/SEL" knob can be re-programmed to adjust the RF output power (shoulda been there all along, not buried in a menu!), and that the "C.S." button can be re-programmed to send a 10w carrier to aid in tuning.  Took me a while to learn these, because the 450D's so jam-packed with features.

Congratulations Smurf, on the new radio.  I'm sure it'll be as at home with you as it was with Carl.

Smurf Hunter:

--- Quote from: Alan Georges on June 26, 2017, 07:37:19 PM ---More review and commentary of the FT-450D here:

Two handy things I've discovered recently are that the "DSP/SEL" knob can be re-programmed to adjust the RF output power

--- End quote ---

Maybe Carl customized it already, but on my unit if I tap the DSP button until NO DSP option is selected, that's what the DSP/SEL knob does.

The SWR meter is still weird to me.  I figured out the CS trick with the CW tone.  In that circumstance I do see the SWR, but I would expect any time I'm transmitting (with CW carrier, FM, or yelling loud on SSB) that the SWR meter would wiggle a bit.  I should re-read that manual section.

Overall this rig gave me a lot of capability I did not have before.


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