[Yaesu] Yaesu FT-990

Thomas Giella KN4LF kn4lf at tampabay.rr.com
Mon Jun 30 11:34:17 EDT 2003

  I owned an FT-990 DC for approximately one year. I bought it used and it came with the last firmware update of v1.3. As I found out after the fact the FT-990DC came without the 500 hz CW filter. The FT-990 is a nice looking rig with excellent internal design and good outside operating ergonomics. It comes with lot's of useful bells and whistles for DXing, except of course IF DSP. I used a Timewave SP-9+ and it worked well, in conjunction with the built in excellent performing audio filter.
  My particular FT-990DC was prone to microprocessor lockup, which required a hard reset to correct and you lost stored memories and other preset operating parameters. The FT-990 DC I owned suffered a catastrophic RF board failure. The replacement board cost $300+ straight from Yaesu in CA. I sold mine to another individual that was willing to spend $300+ to get it working again.
  As a 160 meter DXer I found that the dynamic range was limited and the receiver suffered IMD from nearby powerful AM broadcast band stations on 160. An outboard MFJ preselector took care of the problem though. The receiver also suffered from unacceptable hiss in the audio which was fatiguing and the built in audio filter had to be on at all times to knock it down. I have personally found that my much less expensive FT-840 has a better receiver then the FT-990, as far as IMD problems on 160.
  Using the MD-100a8x mic I always got good audio reports and ran mine with transmit audio tailoring at +200 hz but the internal active audio filtering of the mic does not work with the FT-990. I devised a mod to make mine work however. The built in auto tuner worked very well and the transmitter ran very cool even at 150 watts out.
  Overall I found the FT-990 to be a good rig but not second to the FT-1000D.

Thomas F. Giella, KN4LF
Plant City, FL, USA

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