Taking a tip from top chaser Karl I have followed his lead and upgraded my TS120v to an FT-450D. So far it have proved to be a very sound investment. It’s surprisingly good for its modest price. My FT-897 has now been recategorised as test equipment at the factory.
I know some DXpedition types who have the choice of all and any radios. They have junked all sorts of kit now and concentrate on using FT450 only. It’s cheap enough to be expendable and more than good enough for their needs. Predominantly CW operators but with some SSB.
But well happy with mine and acquired at reasonable price too, even new at £500 around there about’s and worth investing in. And take getting a little used to compared to the very basic Trio 120V. And you can do so much more.
But the FT is a very very good radio small compact in a sense and lighter than the trio 120V as mine gave up the ghost and one day find the money to get ti repaired as a stand by.
Yep FT450 is a great smallish radio, does the job nicely and yet still after 1 and half months having it still sussing out many areas not discovered yet. Been told puts out nice audio even at 10w.
Yep a very happy FT450 user.
Bet your finding one major difference between the two radios are you not
I’ve been looking at radios to upgrade my TS130SE (not stable enough long term for wspr etc.) and had considered the FT450D and the FT991 but both looked a bit tacky “in the flesh”. And the FT857 is so ugly…
But in the light of the positive comment here may well give the '450 a punt. Could get myself another '817 with the money I save not buying a '991
I don’t think you will be disappointed. I expected it to be just a rather more user-friendly version of my FT-897D but it’s a far superior radio all round - and only a little more expensive than an '817. I think you would have to pay a great deal more to get anything significantly better (x2, x3). I spent most of the day “on the radio” today - first time in years. Caught a few activators but conditions are poor.
My eyes are not that great these days and the illuminated buttons and excellent display are a bonus too.
The ARRL review is here:
PS - one nifty feature is that one front panel button and all three buttons on the microphone can be assigned user-defined features. I have set the front button to give a 10W carrier for tuning, one mic button for a CW CQ message (built in memory keyer) and another mic button for “monitor”.
(I have the FT-450) When he came to the shops, (long time ago) it looks ugly because the smal dial i thought… (I was accustomed to a big tuning dials…)
Then… one day i bought one, and what a good surprise, has lots of standard features then in others like FT-950 are options…
My only complain, is the áudio from the speaker… but i have an external speaker and its an amazing rig! (Always have good reports from my modulation, with the original mike, or the MD100.)
Mine, dont have the AT, because i dont need him, (i hate ATs!), and he have more space to do a better ventilation. (i have good external ATs to use once in a awhile…)
The “D” version is almost the same, but has some more standard features, and cosmetic improvements.
Great choice, congratulations!
Yes, I can vouch for that. I fitted the “model railway” speaker to my FT817ND a few months ago and it has made a worthwhile improvement to the bass response on received signals. Mind you, if you mostly use headphones it won’t make much difference!
By way of comparison, the FT857 is 9" x 6" x 2" and weighs only 2.1 kg, so it is indeed significantly smaller and lighter than the FT450D. It has the added advantage that it includes 144 MHz and 432 MHz capability, which the 450D does not.
Your LiPo4 8400 is rated at 8.4 Ah, so not much different from my 9 Ah SLAB but quite a bit lighter. My FT857 will run happily for 2 - 3 hours at 20 watts using the 9 AH SLAB.
I agree with you … the FT450D is best described as a base station rig, with semi-portable use as very much a secondary option.
As a base station, its spec is very similar to my Kenwood TS590S which costs more than twice as much!
Do you use full power in your FT-857 with 9AH SLAB?
Maybe a little more heavy and a little bigger, but has buit in AT, is a plus… if you use 857 with AT the weight combined will be aproximaly the same…
Personally to work HF, FT-450 is better than FT-857… (I have the 897 is about the same thing!)
But i think the 450 will consume more AH than 857 doing the same…
(If you dont have a dog to go hunt… hunt with a cat!)
No, I never use more than 30 watts with the 9AH SLAB … usually about 20 watts or less.
I don’t need an ATU because I always use a resonant dipole (linked dipoles) for HF bands.
I am sure the performance of the FT450D is much better than the FT857. My only objection for portable operation is the size and weight.