[TenTec] should I buy a FT-1000D

Dick Green WC1M wc1m at msn.com
Thu Jun 23 23:43:35 EDT 2005

Very amusing. I own an Orion and a 1000D, which I use for SO2R contesting.
They make a great pair. I tend to use the Orion as my main rig for running
and the 1000D for S&P, but have just added INRAD's roofing filter to the
1000D and expect to use it for running more often. While the Orion will
still be superior, the 1000D is a pretty close second. Much of what you say
about the 1000D is correct, and I realize there's tongue-in-cheek here, but
a few bits of misinformation/exaggeration should be corrected:

1. You don't have to find a control voltage in the radio to run a pin diode
QSK amp. The TX OUT pin on the Band Data socket works nicely with my Alpha

2. My 87A is quite sensitive to overshoot but has never had a problem with
my 1000D. When I had a TS-950SDX it was a different story.

3. The aftermarket tuning enhancement was inexpensive and simple to install.
You didn't have to completely dismantle the radio.

4. The receiver is not noisy compared with the Orion. In fact, I usually
have to bump the AGC threshold or reduce the RF gain in the Orion to make it
as quiet as the 1000D.

5. You don't have to spend $100 for computer control. Several aftermarket
alternatives are available in the $25 range, or you can make your own for
about five bucks.

6. Although the Yaesu computer control protocol leaves a lot to be desired,
the Orion protocol is very limited in the number of functions it can control
and statuses it can provide.

7. In operation, the lack of a screen isn't necessarily a drawback. I can't
think of any information I get from the Orion screen that I can't get from
the Yaesu display or panel lights. The screen is very nice for
configuration, but that's a seldom-used task in my station.

8. Quite an exaggeration for an Orion owner to call a 1000D experimental.
The pot calls the kettle black?

Don't get me wrong -- I love my Orion, but I'm very fond of my 1000D too!

73, Dick WC1M

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lee Crocker [mailto:w9oy at yahoo.com] 
> Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 10:31 AM
> To: tentec at contesting.com
> Subject: [TenTec] should I buy a FT-1000D
> I have been thinking about buying a FT-1000D.  It is a
> firmware defined radio.  To update the firmware you
> have to send it back to Yaesu.  It is no longer in
> production, so I guess there won't be any updates
> coming out soon.  The transmitter is pretty good, but
> it has a key click problem that Yaesu hasn't been able
> to figure out for 15 years.  There is an aftermarket
> fix, but if you implement it, it destroys the QSK of
> the radio.  It has a noise blanker that is basically
> on all the time.  It was poorly designed and degrades
> the IMD performance of the radio, and to fix that you
> have to go in and rewire the noise blanker control
> circuit.   You have to add several components for each
> of these fixes.  In order to run a pin diode QSK amp
> with this rig you have to go in and find the correct
> control voltage in the radio.  You have to isolate
> this with a breakout box.  If you use the stock
> control line you will hot switch the diodes.
> The radio puts out 200W but I always worry that it
> might blow out the grid in my 8877 due to overshoot. 
> A lot of contesters and DXers use this rig.  There is
> no real control over the AGC just a couple of
> positions and off.  In fact there isn't a lot of
> control over a lot of things.  You have to go into a
> little hatch in the top of the rig to set up things
> like vox and keyer and such as that.  Makes it hard to
> put stuff on top of the radio.  It would be nice of
> you could change this stuff in a menu.  
> The receiver is pretty good, though it has no DSP and
> the notch is manual.  If you want auto notch you have
> to spend a couple hundred extra for something after
> market, and then the notch is no longer in the AGC
> line.  There is no DSP.  It needs a boatload of
> filters to make the receiver better, and they tend to
> ring.  The tuning rate is lousy it makes the radio
> hard to tune.  Maybe they will fix this in a firmware
> release, but then to upgrade the firmware you have to
> send the radio back to Yaesu and pay for that.  There
> was an after market fix for this but you had to
> completely dismantle the radio to install it.  The
> receiver is decidedly noisy compared to let's say a
> ten tec Paragon or a Pegasus or an Orion.  It has
> receiver characteristics in the upper third of the
> pack but it is not top dog by any stretch of the
> imagination.  There was a pin diode upgrade you could
> get by sending the radio back to Yaesu.  It really
> didn't do anything for performance but it did lighten
> your wallet.  Did I mention this is a $4000 radio?   
> Computer control is optional for another $100 but the
> control is minimal, certainly nothing like the Orion. 
> It doesn't have a screen either, B&W or Color, but it
> does have a nice florescent display, even though
> that's 30 year old technology.
> I just want a radio I can plug a mic into and an
> antenna and a ground and talk for my $4000 dollars. 
> Even though this radio has been out for 15 years it
> still seems kind of experimental since you have to
> make all these modifications to make it work
> correctly.  There have been some upgrades to the
> series and every couple of years you can spend a few
> more thousand for a different box, but they have many
> of the same problems.  It's all so friggin'
> experimental, but then there are a lot of them sold
> and a lot of contests have been won with this radio. 
> I understand there is an 11,000 dollar version of this
> radio around the corner, it apparently has a lot of
> problems, maybe I'll wait for that, or maybe I'll wait
> for the new firmware upgrade for that.  Do I have to
> send it back to Yaesu for the update?    
> I never had these problems with my old Icom 735 but
> the receiver in that radio was a disaster, and my old
> friend the Puke of Paducah W4MPE when I talked to him
> down on 3895 in the old days, used to tell me that
> Icom radio was a "Tank Radio" which made me feel bad. 
> He always used that Ten Tec stuff.
> So what do I do?  Do I wait for a new ROM to be
> released.... or do I wait for them to fix all the
> bugs... or do I plunk down my $4000 for this out of
> date radio?  Do I wait for the $11,000 disaster?  I
> dunno it sure has a lot of buttons... and the screen
> is in Technicolor... and it puts out 400W...  wonder
> if that would bother my 8877....   Maybe I'll ask a
> few guys on the reflector who don't own one of these
> radios what they think...  
> 73  W9OY
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