What you think of Yaesu FT-991A, rig?

N5XZS

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Jan 23, 2005
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Thinking of replacing my old Kenwood TS-2000X to a more computer friendly ham radio rig with no middle man needed.

So what you think of Yaesu FT-991A supposedly be a computer friendly with just straight USB cable for PSK-31, RTTY and SSTV modes.

And I like the looks of real time spectrum scope built in.

Only thing is missing 1.2 M and 23 Cm bands on FT-991A.

How good is the FT-991A rig? :)

Thanks! :hatsoff
 

arlo

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All day long and no replies?
Nice radio. "Shack in a box". Using it as an SDR radio should be a joy. There are some pretty good YouTube reviews of it and especially the ones in comparison to the Icom IC-7300 (which are selling like hotcakes).
VHF/UHF capability would have me grabbing one over a 7300.
I think Yaesu could have upsized the display and gave it a little better waterfall functionality.
Menu's are definitely a bit more difficult to access some of the commonly used options versus the Icom.
I've been looking at failures of them. One thing is the VFO encoder 'jumping' past or over frequencies when fine tuned.
2 antenna connectors is nice. I never cared for modular mic plugs. But it's a nice rig.
If you work HF up to 50 MHz I'd have to say the 7300 may get my vote.
The 991A would steer me away from being an Icom guy though.
 

N5XZS

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Thanks for the input on the FT-991A! :)

Strange why the VFO encoder jumps over the actual frequency perhaps a little bugs there?

Anymore inputs will be wecome as well too. :hatsoff
 

KE4EST

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I seen this earlier, and meant to reply but got busy. Not having owned the radio, I was going to try and give some insight as to what others I remember saying about it.
But, it may be best for N5XZS to go to the link below and read! ;)
 
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N5XZS

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Thanks KE4EST, for providing the link.

Eham.net was very informative and helpful and I noted the first generation on FT-991 has some problems in the first place, and now 2nd generation of FT-991A was much better on certain functions area of the rig itself.

Lots of OPS, seem to be a happy camper with FT-991A from their point of view.

Now the question is this rig is able to update new software in the future for any new features?

So that's the good news and now I got to save some money for future purchase of FT-991A. :)
 

Titanium

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If you want an all band/multi-mode radio for portable operation, the 991a will likely work well for you. The compact form factor and the deep touch screen is not convenient for a daily use radio, where you might have desk space for a slightly larger radio with more user friendly and often used controls and ability to monitor multiple bands.

I owned the 991 model and while it had nice performance, it didn't fit my operating style. I didn't experience any hardware / software problems with the unit, but would have preferred the 991a upgraded live scope and waterfall.

The idea of a HF/VHF/UHF all in one transceiver appealed to me on paper, but not in day to day operation.The all/band mode function would seem to address desk space and be a Swiss Knife for portable operation, but was of limited use as only one band can be used at a time. I prefer to be monitoring VHF and UHF or the local repeater while working HF. An example of frustrating operation is that a simple switch between FM and SSB modes during the VHF contest required a mic level adjustment in touch screen menus without the benefit of instant switching between tracking saved settings.

The Wires-X operation is clumsy and not well set-up as is the FTM-400/300 or FT3DR radios. Not a daily use Wires-X or IMRS radio. That is a shame as the unit's cost basis should provide higher end digital functions. Not too useful for weak signal/satellite and more suited for regional simplex or repeater operation. I guarantee that you will overwrite more memory channels by accident than you will ever successfully save...

My biggest frustration was that the menus are stacked too deep and not organized in a logical flow. The combination of long or short presses is awkward and common settings are not located on the top level. For portable operation the power source voltage was very critical. If the supply voltage drops below 12.8Vdc, the SSB output would drop to 40 watts.

Nice to have all modes on 2m/70cm, but in hind sight, wasn't worth the sub par HF operational experience. For portable operation, I now run a 7300 for HF and just ordered a 9700 for VHF/UHF. If your primary interest is HF, my suggestion is to compare the 991a to a 7300. In my opinion, the 7300 offers significantly more and better features, a larger screen and better GUI. More 3rd party integration. For portable ops, no SSB output power drop until source is below 11.2Vdc. Then it is a 20-30w reduction until the battery drops below 10.2Vdc.

Doubt that you will see additional software function / features released for the 991a as the design is now 4+ years old and the competition is growing for SDR rigs. 991 software updates have primarily been fixes.

Hope this helps. I am not a fan boy of any brand, but know what works for my needs and preferences.

IMG_5467.JPG
Yaesu 991 Portable

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Icom 7300 RV Portable

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Flex 6300 / SBE Expert 1.3 FA / PalStar HF-Auto

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Flex 6400M During FD 2020
 
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KE4EST

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Tim, what bands are you using for transmitting RTTY and SSTV?
 

N5XZS

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6 and 10 Meters band for DXing for PSK 31, various texts mode on 10m, SSTV "SSTV on 6 M" within tech's band plan.

Plan on upgrading to General class to get more freqs on HF. :hungry :hatsoff
 

KE4EST

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I was also going to suggest a 9700 if you do all your stuff on VHF/UHF. If not I would save up for a 7300 or Yaesu FTDX3000. I think you would be happier.
 
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Inclined Orbit

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Looking at some of the critical specs on the Yaesu FT-991, predecessor to the 991A, the 2KHz close spaced dynamic range spec is around 72dB and not that impressive. This spec is what can separate contest grade receivers from kids toys. A 2KHz close spaced dynamic range spec of 72dB puts it below the Kenwood TS-480 series and well below the old Icom IC-706MKIIG, not great for a current radio.

Now looking at the Icom IC-7100 shack in a box, it doesn't have a color waterfall screen but its got HF, 2M and 70cm plus a handy remote head that works well on a crowded desk or mobile. The Icom 7100 2KHz close spaced dynamic range spec is in the 86dB range or about 14dB better than the Yaesu 991 series. That can be very noticeable on a crowded band. Not long ago the Icom IC-7100s were on sale in the below $700 range, a really good deal and almost half the price of a new 991A. Plus its got D-star digital for those that must have a digital mode and D-star works on HF, very interesting.

I purchased an Icom 7100 specifically for use with the RemoteRig boxes for remote operation across the country, not having a clue about the radio or its specs. After using it for awhile I have become very impressed with its performance and features, its a really good radio and especially for the price. I liked it so much I bought two more.

So before you rush out to buy a Yaesu FT-991A check out some other offerings to see if they have features and specs that might work better for you. I'll also endorse the Icom 7300 for HF only, you get about $2k worth of performance for around $1k new. I had two of those and one lives in the travel trailer now. The Icom IC-9700 is a bit overkill for most in the VHF/UHF range but its currently top dog in that category, nothing else comes close to it. Got one of those here too.
 
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