[UK-CONTEST] FT1000MP MK5 Field, Latest Serial Number & Firmware Version ?

Bob Henderson bob at cytanet.com.cy
Sat Jun 21 03:20:27 EDT 2003

Hello Richard

Congratulations on your retirement.  I got there too, when I retired a
little over three years ago. That was a few days before my 47th birthday.  I
can certainly recommend it and I'm sure that like me, you will very rapidly
wonder how you ever found time for work.

Now to your questions.  I have an FT1000MP here, which is about 6 years old
and also an FT1000MP MkV Field which is one year old.  The Field I bought
new at Dayton and carried back with me.  I give both of these radios a lot
of use as they comprise my SO2R contest set-up.  I have fitted six optional
filters to both rigs.  The MP has 2 x 2.0kHz, 2 x 500 Hz and 2 x 250 Hz, all
Yaesu.  The Field has 2 x 2.0 kHz, 2 x 1 kHz and 2 x 400 Hz, all Inrad.  The
Inrad filters are widely acknowledged as having significantly better shape
factor than the Yaesu filters and from my own experience I have to agree.

Having the two rigs side by side for SO2R has ensured that I have spent a
lot of time considering their comparative performance.  What I can tell you
is that I find very little to choose between them.  I have found both to be
very good for the kind of  weak signal work you describe and also good at
large signal handling.  In my opinion these radios rank along with the
Elecraft K2 as being among the best currently available for digging weak
signals out of the noise on 160 metres, where as you know close in dynamic
range requirements are probably the most stringent.

With the key click discussion raging I decided to do some bench tests on a
few of the radios I have here.  I will send you the results of that which
you will likely find interesting.  As a result of those tests, I did the
W8JI mod to the MP but have so far not done anything to the Field.  For
contesting there is a negative aspect to such a mod.  I now find that I
frequently get clobbered by folks with clicking rigs who sidle up close when
I am using the modded MP which is now substantially click free.  Maybe I'll
fit a switch so that I can give them full benefit of the untamed beast to
get them to give me a bit of space!

You may be aware that there were some changes to front panel layout on the
Field and Mk V compared to the original MP.  The MkV  and Field have much
larger shift width and notch control knobs which are less fiddly.  However,
the MkV and Field have a new filter selection scheme which is much less
flexible than the old MP scheme.  This change in my view, is a seriously
retrograde step.  With the MP you can independently select 8MHz and 455kHz
filters from the front panel so your cascading options are all there right
in front of you.  Sometimes its good to cascade two filters of the same
width to get very tight skirts but some times its good to mix bandwidths to
ease the roll off.  This flexibility has been sucked out of the MkV and the
Field as the flexible front panel selection scheme has been replaced by a
'Normal, Nar 1, Nar 2' type of selection scheme.

There are a few other small differences between the MP and the MkVs but
nothing I have found to be significant to me.  I do have the Inrad 70 MHz
mod fitted in the MP and I found that worthwhile but I have so far not
bothered to do so in the Field, though Inrad say it is still recommended.

The bottom line on my two FT1000s is that I intend to keep them both.
However, if for some reason I could only keep one of them, then I have to
say I would let the Field go and keep the older standard MP.  The sole
reason for that decision would be its vastly better filter selection scheme.

Oh BTW the Field and the MkV are substantially the same radio except the MkV
has a 200W p.a. which looks like someone retrofitted it in the back of their
garage.  Unless you really need 200W from your exciter I would give this one
a wide berth.

I also have a TS870 here and I much prefer to use that when I rag chew.  It
has a whole lot nicer feel than the Yaesus.  The QSK and the sidetone
quality are much better.  However, for DXing and contesting the Yaesus win
every time for two reasons.  Much better strong signal handling and for
DXing the major benefit of a second receiver.

I have not used an Icom 756 Pro II in earnest and so can't really comment
fairly.  I have never really been a fan of Icom stuff.  The reviews I have
read have been very mixed.

I can't answer the other questions you asked but I hope I may have been able
to help you a little in your deliberations.

Good luck.


Bob, 5B4AGN, P3F, ZC4ZM, G3ZEM

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard G3XVF" <g3xvf at btinternet.com>
To: <uk-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2003 6:04 PM
Subject: [UK-CONTEST] FT1000MP MK5 Field, Latest Serial Number & Firmware
Version ?

> Hello All,
> I have just retired at 53 years old, and thought it was about time I
> myself one of the latest transceivers,  tidy the shack at the same time
> clear out all the old equipment.
> I have never used the following transceivers
> IC756proII, TS870S, FT1000MP MK5 but have read all the reviews and
> specifications, as I have a Linear Amplifier have decided to go for the
> MK5 Field and  6 optional filters,   which I will buy next week.
> I would like one of the latest batch being sold in the uk, if anyone has
> bought one over the last 4 months and could advise me
> on the following please.
> 1,  What are the latest serial numbers ?
> 2,  What are the latest CPU Firmware/Software version numbers ?
>            (perhaps you can have a look in  Menu  9-5  &  9-8)
> 3,  Is a FT1000MP MK5 Field,  Service/Workshop Manual available ?
> 4,  As the Field model has been out in the UK for about 12 months,
>      has there been any modifications or firmware upgrades ?
> 5, Have any modification been done to stop the Key Clicks which were
>     a problem with the MP and early MK 5 models, or is it necessary to
>     carry out the W8JI or Inrad key click modification to the Field ?
> 6, Does the mk5 field,  need the inrad 70mhz i.f. modification ?
> 6, I have 99% decided on the MK 5 Field, but I would like opinions
>     on which of the following has the best receiver section
>     MP, MK5, Field, IC756proII, TS870S.
> Which has the best receiver section,
> being able to hear weak signals just above the receivers noise floor,
> when 20/15/10m  are just opening to ZL/VK in the mornings, or closing in
> evenings and still being able to copy weak signals in the noise before the
> drops out.    40m being able to hear DX or QRP signals between 40db over
> nine BC stations in the evenings.
> I you can answer  just one of my questions,  please do,
> also due to the number of questions I have asked perhaps it would be
> to email me off list
> Any  advice very much appreciated,
> Thank You,
> 73 de Richard.  G3XVF
> Email: g3xvf at btinternet.com
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