Picking a ham radio or amateur radio can take a lot of time. You need to sift through all the features to find the right one for you. If you have your heart set on a high-end option, then you are in the right place.
We have pitted the Yaesu FT-991a against the Icom IC-7300, two of the top and more affordable amateur radios that also provide all the basic functions.
Features of Both Ham Radios
Now we are going to take a deeper look and compare these two ham radios and see which one comes out on top.
Both of the ham radios offer the user an easy to control interface with a touch screen display. The Icom IC-7300 possesses a larger screen than the FT-991A. You are looking at a much larger screen of 4.3” compared to the 3.5” on the Yaesu model.
The display is important when it comes to the operation of a ham radio. The touchscreen also makes it easier to use.
It’s quite impressive for the IC-7300 to have a larger screen since the size of the device is actually smaller than the FT-991A.
As said, the IC-7300 is smaller than the FT-991A, therefore increasing the portability factor. Depending on how and where you intend to use your new amateur radio, the size could be a deciding factor.
If you are purchasing it for home use, then the size wouldn’t matter as much. If however, you are going to carry it with you or often change the location of it within your house, we would suggest the smaller model.
Either way, both of the ham radios are made to be small and compact without too big of an ergonomic difference between the two models.
Real-Time Spectrum Scope
Both the products have a real-time spectrum scope . What this feature allows you to do as a user is view the location signals on the band. This will also let you move to the right signal quickly.
You can also clearly see the band on the multicolor displays on both models. The Yaesu FT-991A organizes the signals in chronological color order in terms of weakness and strength. That is a handy feature to have to identify weaker signals with a single glance.
The IC-7300 also has an impressive feature for the real-time spectrum scope that magnifies the signal to help you tune the frequency precisely.
Noise and Signal Interference
To help reduce noise and signal interference, the two ham radios actually utilize two different features.
The Yaesu FT-991A has a 3kHz roofing filter. This feature weakens interfering signals and delivers high quality audio.
The Icom IC-7300, on the other hand, has an RF direct sampling system. The RF signals will be converted into digital data then filtered through the FPGA (field programmable gate array).
This will reduce noise and mask weaker signals while also reducing or completely eliminating signal distortion.
Both of the ham radios regardless of their difference in size operates at 100W of output power.
Small devices with a high power output can easily overheat. This is especially true in hotter environments. You don’t want to have to retire your ham radio during summer months, so having one with a built-in cooling fan is important.
You’re in luck because no matter which ham radio is higher ranking on your list right now, they both come with a cooling fan.
This will not only prevent the device from overheating, it will also prolong the operating time.
Both models offer multi-mode operation. The Icom IC-7300 operates on FM, AM, SSB, CW and RTTY modes while the FT-991A runs on a bit more. For the FT-991A, it offers the variety of AM, FM, SSB, CW and the digital modes (RTTY, C4FM, PSK21 and Packet).
As you can see in terms of multi-mode operation, the FT-991A takes the lead. So if you are a person that needs more digital modes, then the Yaesu ham radio is the better choice.
On the IC-7300, the signal needs to go through 15 bandpass filters before it gets to the RF direct sampling.
This ensures better quality in the signals as the ones that don’t make the cut are filtered out. This seems to be a feature missing from the FT-991A.
Automatic Antenna Tuner
Both ham radios have an included automatic antenna tuner, which has the capacity of 100-101 channels (the FT-991A and IC-7300 respectively). The tuner also automatically memorizes all the data to make tuning easier.
Conclusion: Yaesu FT-991a OR Icom IC-7300?
The FT-991A offers more operating modes. If size doesn’t matter but you need more operating modes, the FT-991A is a great choice.
They both have cooling fans to prolong operation time and each comes with their own unique noise and signal interference capabilities.
All things considered, the IC-7300 is the winner in terms of a more compact size, has band filters and a larger display. If you are looking for a smaller and more compact size but one that still has a large screen, the IC-7300 is for you.
Both machines regardless of size have an output power of 100 watts, to provide enough strength to over unsurpassed reception.
They also each have an internal automatic antenna tuner with the IC-7300 offering one more channel memory space than its competition.