Getting into ham radio gives you a fun and fulfilling experience, especially if you have the right transceiver. If you’re a total beginner and you want to ease into amateur radio instead of buying overwhelmingly advanced transceivers, then the Yaesu Original FT-450D HF/MHz Amateur Base Transceiver is a solid choice.
The Yaesu FT-450D is user-friendly and made with the novice in mind, yet it’s still packed with the standard features with a bit more functions added. While the Yaesu FT-450D is an entry-level transceiver, it’s one of the best you can get at its price range. It offers a variety of DSP functions, classic design, a built-in antenna tuner, CW filters, and a lot more.
In this Yaesu FT-450D review, we’ll be discussing the attributes of this transceiver as well as how the different features will make your ham journey easy.
What’s in the Box
- Yaesu FT-450D Transceiver
- MH 31A8J Hand Microphone
- DC Power Cord with Fuse
- Operation Manual
- Warranty Card
Housed in a compact case, the Yaesu FT-450D is lightweight and feels durable. It has a pretty basic design with knobs and tactile buttons, but it’s one of the things to love about this rig. It’s easy to operate, everything is clearly labeled, and the illuminated keys make it easy to read in both light and dark conditions. All the basic functions have dedicated keys on the front panel so operation is smooth. Furthermore, the tuning knob has a nicer rubber grip compared to its predecessor, the FT-450.
The LCD multi-function display is big enough to show you most of the functions without being overcrowded. While it’s not colored like the G90 from Xiegu, the Yaesu FT-450D has a well-organized screen layout compared to the G90.
Another ergonomic improvement from the FT-450 is that the FT-450D now has a foot stand to prop up the front panel. Foot stands are rarely included in entry-level transceivers within this price range, so kudos to the Yaesu team for including this in the design.
Note that this is not a handheld device though, so if you’re interested in handhelds, the BaoFeng UV-5RA would be a better fit.
400 MHz IF DSP Technology
With DSP technology built into its system, you have fast and robust processing during ham radio operations. Some of the functions include modulation and demodulation, Contour filtering, Digital Noise Reduction (DNR), manual notch filter, microphone equalizer, a speech processor, frequency read-out function, and more. You can use some of these DSP functions together for that optimum listening and transmitting experience with significantly less noise and interference. It’s fast, reliable, and highly configurable according to your needs and preferences. Note that not all transceivers have DSP technology, so the Yaesu FT-450D really gives you a bang for your buck. If you’re not very familiar with DSP, some of the features will be discussed further along in this Yaesu FT-450D review.
RF Output and Coverage
The Yaesu FT-450D has a 100-watt output on 160-6 meters amateur bands. This transceiver covers30Khz to 56MHz with different operating modes including AM, FM, SSB, CW, and Data. As such, you have an extensive array of listening options in flexible modes that you will certainly enjoy. With a powerful RF output and expanded coverage, it’s highly probable that you’ll use this for hours. But don’t worry, there’s a quiet cooling fan on the transceiver’s rear that will cool down and maintain a good temperature in your device.
Digital Noise Reduction (DNR)
Improve your listening experience on the Yaesu FT-450D with the DNR function. As you may already know, there are different kinds of noise profiles you can encounter on the HF and 50 MHz bands. Thus, the FT-450D’s DNR function has 11 noise-reduction algorithms you can choose from, each effectively dealing with a different profile. While any of these algorithms will work fine for any random noise, you can experiment with the system so you can find out which setting is best for a specific noise you’re hearing.
Built-in Antenna Tuning System
You don’t have to spend extra on a separate antenna tuner for your transceiver, because the Yaesu FT-450D already has it built-in. Basically, an antenna tuning system transforms the impedance at your antenna’s feedline to a value that can be handled by the transceiver. With matched impedance values, you will be able to transmit on maximum power without damaging your transceiver. If you’re going to use the device on the road, it will also help expand the bandwidth of your antenna.
IF Roofing Filter
Another feature rarely found in entry-level transceivers is the IF Roofing Filter, which is fortunately included in the system. An IF Roofing Filter protects IF and DSP stages by providing narrowband selectivity. Simply put, strong signals that can cause overloading and distortion are blocked.
Clean audio is an important aspect of any transceiver. For a rig in this price range, the audio is surprisingly good. It’s rich and clean, making communications effortless and messages easily grasped. However, some customers experience muffled receive audio. The noise blanker which reduces certain noises can be a weak point of this transceiver, but you can connect external speakers or headphones for better listening. Meanwhile, handheld transreceiver Kenwood TH-D74A has a crisp sound that is worth trying out.
The model has a voice announcement feature for functions including mode, meter reading, and frequency selection. Voice announcement is particularly useful for sight-impaired operators. Combined with the tactile buttons on the transceiver, operation will always be easy-peasy.
- 400 MHz IF DSP Technology
- Built-in Antenna Tuning System
- Equipped with a bunch of filters to improve and customize the listening experience
- Voice recorder
- Classic and easy-to-operate design
- No pan adapter
- Noise blanker could be better
Yaesu FT-450D Review Conclusion
For beginners looking for a worthy investment, the Yaesu FT-450D is a great choice. It provides an extremely functional DSP technology, noise and interference filters, antenna tuning system, and a 100-watt output on 160-6 meters amateur bands. Compared to many entry-level transceivers, it gives you value for your money.
Next up: check our article on the best power supplies for ham radios.
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