FT-1000(D) - looking for opinions.

Hi Folks, I’ve got lucky having an older Yaesu FT-1000 (not quite ‘D’ although having few extras) on loan for couple of weeks. I’ve immediatelly liked its receiver, which appeared to be quite better than in my TS-870s (especially in CW), also 200W of output power makes noticeable difference too. The TRX used to serve as a contest rig for several years and now I have an opportunity to buy it.

The problem I have is, although I generally favor older rigs over modern TRXes and fairly confident with a soldering iron and repair basics, this particular TRX has few issues which puts my decision making on hold.

The first issue I’ve encountered was a not working attenuator. The issue was in three burnt resistors in the RF Unit. That I’ve successfully resolved.

Another issue is with a memory encoder knob, memory channels are not switching over. After some investigation it appeared that the actual encoder is faulty and needs to be replaced. The only place to get those now-a-days is a second hand market, no new parts available anymore.

And finaly a third issue is quite a dim display. While in a darker room it looks okay, during a day it is quite diffucult to take readings. Dim button makes readings virtually unreadable during a day.

Also, the rig was modded significantly. That, perhaps, is ok or even great, however most of us aware that an imrovement in one place could cause a degradation elsewhere. So certain uncertainity exists once it was done not by myself :).

So, what would yous think? Older, top of the range back then and probably still adequate FT-1000 with some issues or stick with also fairly old, but reliable with no issues mid-ranger TS-870s ? :slight_smile:

My style of operation is mostly CW, chasing DX and CQ. No stranger to Digi modes, but very rarely working SSB. I have couple of days left to make a decision so greatly appreciate any input :slight_smile:

73 de EI4JY, Alex

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I’d say it depends entirely on the price.


Definitely favoured by the Contesters back its day, plenty of buttons and switches.

Have you got the opportunity to keep both for a while and compare them in similar conditions and bands??



Yeah, the asking price is similar or maybe slightly higher than I may get for my Kenwood if I ever decide to sell it. So virtually that would be a like for like swap pricewise.

I’ve indeed compared them both for few days side by side and Yaesu is a clear winner to me, especially in CW. Filtering is much better too. Working CW is a real peasure, Kenwood is great too, but a bit behind with its DSP only processing. By saying that, TS-870s has better audio (wider filters) in broadcast AM and LW/MW bands. Also better sensitivity and cleaner spectrum in 100-531kHz range. Yaesu is struggling there with internal intermod products.


I bought one of the very first FT-1000Ds in the USA and shipped it back to the UK in 1989, about a year before they became available here. The last of the heavy iron quad conversion rigs, with, at the time, excellent phase noise and IMD performance. I am a 100% CW operator and it is a great rig for the A1 mode.

The dim display was a bit of a problem from the outset and they seem to deteriorate with use. You might be lucky and find a replacement display board on e-bay, otherwise not a lot to be done. Another problem is replacement PA and driver transistors, which haven’t been manufactured for many years now. There’s probably NOS still around, again via e-bay. These problems are not unique to the FT1000 - any radio of similar vintage will be similar. You’ve already tripped over the encoder problem and again these haven’t been made for many years so the e-bay market with all its foibles is the only option.

All that said, the FT1000 was an extremely fine radio and was the rig of choice for top DXers for well over a decade. Although there were later models, notably the FT-1000MP, the original FT-1000D was really only supplanted as the top flight DXer’s radio from the Yaesu stable by the arrival of the FTDX-5000, some 20 years later.

It is said that everyone that owned an FT-1000D wishes they had never sold it. Not sure I would go that far but it was and remains a very fine radio. I was extremely happy with mine. There are very few other radios of that vintage that have stood the test of time so well. I think it will do you proud.


Nice write up John, thanks. Spare parts is my main concern here. If the display would be okay I perhaps wouldn’t be even starting this thread :slight_smile: It is likely okay for its age though, but having segments of clearly uneven brightness and dim, forces me to scratch my head. I’ve seen some spares on ebay, mostly from the States, naturally the cost is high.
Ironically, not too far ago I’ve bought an antique Telefunken broadcast radio of 1954 and the only more less rare parts were valves, although still plenty of NOS available on the net.
I guess, in case I pull the trigger, I should keep my Kenwood as a backup.

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The FT-1000 occupies an interesting space in the development of radios for us radio amateurs. Go back ten years before the FT-1000 and radios were pure analogue, still used valves, at least in the PA, and had L/C-based VFOs, mechanical dials, a single VFO… and so on.

From the early 80s various major changes started to happen.

  • Synthesisers became a thing but to begin with they were very poor and noisy, resulting in dreadful phase noise on Tx and all manner of weird sprogs on Rx, which were unheard of in the earlier radios. The result was a profound deterioration in transceiver performance.

  • Valves were finally ousted, even in the Tx PA. Whilst that was by and large a good thing, RF semiconductor technology was still in its infancy and the devices were prone to sudden and unexpected destruction. Linearity was poor and the result, combined with the phase noise problem was some pretty awful signals on the band.

  • Narrow bandpass filters were becoming available and the early mechanical filters made famous by Collins and, in the UK, KW Electronics were reaching the end of their useful lives as stacked crystal filters became more common. These filters were, to begin with, outrageously expensive, so take up was slow/limited to upmarket rigs.

Radios towards the end of the analogue era include the FT-301, which was a very fine totally analogue sold state 100W rig, introduced in the late 1970s. I had one. Then came a slew of early synthesiser rigs that, to be frank, had awful performance. Unwisely I bought an FT-980, which for all its bells and whistles was not a patch on the FT-301.

And so we arrive at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the FT-1000D era. Synthesiser phase noise was now recognised as a problem and development of low noise local oscillator synthesisers started with the more expensive radios. It gradually became the norm to fit (or at least have the option to fit) multiple IF filters of various bandwidths. PA devices were becoming more reliable and linearity was getting better, in part due to the use of higher PA supply voltages. Back-end DSP started to become a thing. Digital displays were by now well established.

Out of all this, one of the very first radios to really capture these advances was the FT-1000. Although other manufacturers made use of some of the new technology, Yaesu was, arguably, the first major manufacturer to take it all on board. The FT-1000 was a revelation after a decade of rather awful radios and it rightly became extremely popular.

For Yaesu this was a bold move. The FT-1000 cost around £2000 way back in 1989, when a pint of beer was under a quid, a litre of petrol cost 35p and £12k was a decent annual salary. The FT-1000 was a lot of money but it would become one of the most popular radios for the DXers of the era.


Just thinking, I was 16 in 1989 :), factory made amateur rigs were virtually out of scope. Most of us out there were converting surplus military TRXes or building their own rigs from magazines’/books’ diagramms :slight_smile: My first radio was 160m direct conversion SSB transceiver with 5W valve PA, I’ve made its case from a 5mm aluminium shovel originally designed to clean snow from pathways and spent countless hours on alignment. Interestingly, it worked fairly well at the end and I still have that book with me, although TRX was long sold :slight_smile: Back then an FT-1000 would be indeed an ultimate jewel from another planet!