31 May 2013

FT-450D: TX hum and optical encoder problems really fixed?

FT-450D from Yaesu
One of the best value 5-100W HF/6m radios with a decent spec is the Yaesu FT-450D. In many ways it would be an ideal main station radio for me in the new QTH: QRP levels most of the time, but the ability to turn up the power occasionally when conditions are poor or I need to work a sked. The receiver performance is reported to be excellent.

What bothers me are continuing reports of TX hum on some examples and optical encoder failures. I thought that Yaesu fixed these design weaknesses 18 months ago, but I have some doubts about how good and how long-lived the solutions are. Can anyone who has bought a new FT-450D in the last year or so please let me know what you think?


Anonymous said...

I own an FT450 (without antenna tuner) for 2 years now and I am perfectly happy with it. All hf bands & 6m till 100 Watt out and excellent rx performance. No hum nor encoder problems encountered.
73 Ron

Roger G3XBM said...

Thanks Ron. 73s Roger

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I saw a new bad encoder post in the FT yahoo group the other day. Most of these bad encoder reports seem to be from radios that are a couple of years old. I find it hard to believe that Yaesu is still supplying troublesome encoder parts these days. You could always contact Yaesu and ask them specifically what they have done to resolve these issues in production models. If they don't provide you with an official and satisfying answer, that's telling. I think your FT-450D warranty is 2 years BTW.

Graham said...


I have a FT-450D that I bought two years ago this fall. My radio has seen service in the shack and out and about for portable operating.

I tend to look after things and so this radio has not been treated roughly.

So far, no comments regarding any hum nor have there been any other issues with the radio.

In fact, I have added the optional carry handle and added larger front rubber feet to elevate the front the a bit and it is usually the radio I grab rather than the FT-817 to take out whenever I head for some portable operating.

I love the FT-817 but the 450 is more of a real radio with knobs and it's only shortcoming for portable operating is that it makes the 817 look like it sips power on receiver.

My biggest worry of the 450 where the reports I had read about problems with CW key jack failing and whether or not the 450D would have similar issues.

cheers, Graham ve3gtc

Dr. Coyote said...

Bought a new 450D from Ham Radio Online in late June, and it ran well until it developed encoder problems today. Four months to failure.

BTW, I'm a pretty light user, maybe 3 hours on air each week.

Anonymous said...

The 450D is probably the best radio I have had, and I have had a lot of them. No problems at all. Bought it new this October. Easy to see. Lighted buttons and large display. No encoder problems or hum. 73