Yaesu FTdx10 Review

Yaesu FTdx10 Review

Yaesu FTdx10 Review

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A Receive Operator's Perspective

/ Categories: My Blog

Full Review is pending firmware update from Yaesu on the band timer annoyance. If you have big fingers, you may wish to consider a different radio or be happy using the touchscreen.
I have been involved in "radio" for most of my life, there is a magic about receiving transmissions from all around our world. As a young person, I discovered a receiver I could listen to AM broadcast without batteries. Over the years I have for the most part tried to stay involved in the hobby. During these many years, I have owned radios from Icom, Kenwood, Alinco, Elecraft, and Yaesu. Each radio brings positives and a few negatives. I never regretted buying a transceiver radio and I do not regret buying the Yaesu FTdx10.

First Up My Wishes That Yaesu would change.

  1. Band Selection: the front band button is timed, but many times the menu disappears before I have an opportunity to touch and select a different band.
  2. Mouse: Yaesu should list a few mice that work. I tried three and failed - horrible missing support for the mouse. Use YouTube if you are going to use a mouse.
  3. Resolution: The resolution of the display output on a second monitor is too low and thus the waterfall and external monitor lacks detail.
  4. Too Sensitive Second Dial: The main VFO dial offers the ability to be adjusted but the second larger dial closer to your fingers does not and is too sensitive making tuning to a frequency more difficult. In fact, the drag on the main dial is too light for my taste, and the second dial has no adjustments.
  5. Front buttons: Too closely clustered around the tuning dials for larger fingers. I constantly change the frequency when touching the front buttons. One inch wider in the transceiver width would have allowed better spacing on the buttons and still keep the compact size. On the plus side, the radio is a touch screen and you can set the band with touch and turning the VFO.
  6. Transmit Inhibit/0 watts: No Transmit Inhibit option. As a receiving operator for this radio, I do not want to involuntarily transmit and destroy my receive-only antenna.  ICOM and Kenwood implement xmit inhibit in their radios why not Yaesu?
  7. No, receive antenna input or outputs

SDRUno Software for SDRPlay

SDRUno Software for SDRPlay

What I like about the Yaesu FTDX10 Transceiver.

  1. Ease of use. The radio is laid out in a way that offers the most commonly used features as dials and buttons.
  2. Multiple spectrum display options, such as traditional and 3d - with color options.
  3. Compact size with lots of features
  4. Full Touch Screen
  5. Very Good Digital Noise Reduction filter that rivals radios costing thousands more.
  6. Works well with SDRPlay as a pan-adapter with the right 3rd party software (Omni Rig)

Built-In Tuner: The built-in tuner can tune a "reasonable" suitable band antenna. If you use an antenna that exceeds SWR as read by a handheld antenna analyzer - no luck. You need to get your antenna into a reasonable SWR reading.  The tuner is good but not as good as a dedicated antenna tuner it gets the job done on most antennas.

Who would like this radio?  People who don't mind a compact radio with close button placement and enjoy touch screens and using menus to make adjustments for radio features. People who prefer a nice transceiver costing below $1800.00 - budget-minded looking big bang for the buck.

Frustration Points: The two frustration points are (1) the buttons are very close, and at times you will push the wrong one. (2) The tuning/band button brings up a menu and you have only a few seconds to select a band -most times for me I am too late and basically set a different frequency - frustrating. The band selection should stay active until I select a band.

Compared to my Kenwood TS890s:  The receive characteristics are very close in receive and the FDX10 pulls in distant DX close to the same level as my 890s.  The audio quality is nowhere near the quality of the Kenwood 890s from the built-in speaker, but using headphones comes close. 

Antennas used for receive Comparisons: I use two DX Engineering RF-Pro-1B coupled with two MFJ 1026 split with two DX Engineering splitters one for each antenna. I feed one antenna to null any noise between the two radios.

Use with SDR: I use an RSPDuo to receive both antennas and radios for comparison with point and click switching. Both the Kenwood TS890S and Yaesu FTdx10 work well with the RSPduo. In the shack, the RSPduo provides an advantage in hearing on "receive only" antennas. I have my setup with dual radio and receive/transmit antenna switches. One radio is using the receive only while my second radio is on my transmit antenna.

Summary:  The Yaesu is a very nice compact desktop transceiver with excellent receive sensitivity with reasonably good audio using the built-in speaker, not the best but ok. Transmit reports indicate the transmit audio is very nice as well. Not too much to complain about, a few annoyances which could be addressed in firmware if Yaesu listens to their customer base.  Overall a solid compact desktop radio.

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