I operated as V31UA during the CQ WW cw contest. The following is a summary
of my impressions of the MP.
First, let me state that I am NOT an electronics engineer nor do I have any
high tech background. I do NOT have a financial interest in Yaesu, either.
Over the years I have found that I like my radios just like my
coffee...Black! For some background, I have been using a four year old
FT1000D which I like very much. I read John's (ON4UN) impressions of the MP
on the internet and was intrigued by his comments. I have, over the years,
dx-ed and contested from Wake Island, the Caymans, and the Brit Virgin
Islands. Because of size and weight considerations, my contest rig for the
past 7 years has been an IC-735 with a IRC 400 cycle cw filter. I have been
frustrated by how much "blow by" gets into the passband during heavy duty
contest operations and have wished for a higher performance rig to take
along. However, the FT1000D is truly a monster. It weighs in at 53 pounds
and is bigger than any possible "carry on" for airline considerations. So,
the stage was set to try out the MP. Here is a 33 pound radio with much
smaller dimensions, i.e., 17 x 5.5 x 15", has a built in power supply that
covers 90-129, 180-258 VAC, 50/60 Hz, and 13.5 VDC. It sports an internal
antenna tuner, dual VFOs and provides 100 watts. It has a built in RS-232C
computer interface and a slide switch on the back panel that allows keying
non-Yaesu linear amps. This was important as previously I have had to haul
an outboard keying relay to use between the 735 and any amp, such as my
30L-1. It also has a built in keyer and DSP, which Yaesu calls Enhanced DSP.
In addition, it has a front panel selection of 3 antenna connectors A/B plus
a RX ant jack for receive only. The last feature/benefit to cover is the
headphone jack. The MP has two jacks on the front panel, the 1/4" that we
are accustomed to PLUS a 3.5mm jack. At home I use the full earmuff type
headset such as the Heil Pro with boom mike and for cw, just swing the boom
mike up out of the way. In the tropics, the higher ambient tempartures
coupled with the ears being completely covered tend to become aggravating
after a short time. So, for cw contests, I like the Sony "Walkman" type
headset which provide a little speaker in each ear. I used the model
Now, on to contest.
The setup at V3 consisted on the FT1000MP, Kenwood TL-922 on 120V, running
about 600 watts to TH-7 at 80 ft and a 402CD at 72 ft. On 160-80m was a
HF-2, with top hat, stuck in the bottom of the bay about 20 ft from shore.
These antennas worked VERY well. Before leaving home, I had installed 500
Hz cw filters in both the 8.125 and 455 main receiver and sub-vfo. There was
a 250 cycle filter in the 455 IF. I had purchased a 250 for the 8.125 IF but
that was defective and not enuf time remained b4 departure to get a new one.
90% of the time I used the 500 cycle filters except when hunting
multipliers; frequently I found good dx nestled between dualing big gun CQing
stations. The only way I could hear and work these stations was with the 250
cycle filter. In addition, when my own pileups got so big, I would use the
250 and RIT to sort out the calls. After the first nite of the contest, or
after the first time on any band, the majority of Qs come from the second
tier of stations, mainly the 100watters, tribanders, dipoles and vertical
crowd. This is the "meat and potatoes" of any contest. The big guns worked
me the first nite or the next day as soon as I showed up on 20 or 15m. The
majority of European signals on 20 and 15 were about S5 to S7 and very
difficult to break out, using the RIT helped tremendously (there's a message
there guys, move around in a pileup if the dx doesnt come right back to
someone after the 1st call).
Another feature that pays big dividends is the menu programming that allows
one to change the tuning ratio of the main vfo and sub vfo. I chose the .625
Hz ratio for the main vfo and 1.25 for the sub-vfo. Just imagine having a
tuning step size that one revolution of the knob doesnt even move 1 Khz!
Talk about fine tuning. The menu programming, by the way, has 81 different
functions so you can fully customize this radio to your operating style and
preferences. It's easy to do, using front panel controls and the
multi-readout windows of the MP.
In any contest, Qrm, massive signals and crowding are just a way of life.
What I found with the MP was the combination of bandwidth filter selection
coupled with the Shift and Width controls work the best I have ever seen.
For instance, using the 500 cycle filters together, a big signal station
starts calling cq slightly above my run freq, by just tweaking the
shift/width knob, they disappear. If this station is slightly below my freq,
you normally hear the heavy "thumping"; well, using the shift/width controls
totally skirted these guys right out of the passband! What a pleasure! The
operating manual has an excellent section covering QRM reduction, the use of
the shift and width control and IF filter selections.
On 160/80m the IPO (Intercept Point Optimization) which bypasses front end RF
amp to feed signals directly to the first mixer was frequently turned ON plus
using the ATT (RF attenuator) at 6 or 12 db of attenuation made the
difference in quickly picking call signs out of the noise and static crashes
experienced in the tropics. I have nothing to de-brief on the EDSP as I
never found a reason to use it. I have found that positioning the Contour
knob to the 9 o'clock position and the NR knob to the 3 o'clock positions
cause the rig to work very much like a high performance APF (audio peak
filter)-for those of you familiar with the FT1000D.
In closing, the FT1000MP is an impressive rig, very versatile; those of you
who want a first class station at home plus another rig for hopping around
for dxing and contesting will find this to be a great "one stop" choice for
high value. Anybody want to buy my 735? Since coming home, I have
interfaced the rig with CT 9.27 and LogicW 4. They both work well with the
Thanks for reading, I hope you find this informative. 73 Tom KT6V.