Looking for an HF r...
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Looking for an HF rig

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Daniel Reinschmidt
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

Hi everyone, looking to get into HF bands as a beginner. Found Yaesu FT-450 and Yaesu Ft-890 for sale, both are priced at $550 each. Any advice on these sales. Should I be looking for something else?

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Mike - ADØWB
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 16

Hi Daniel,


I'm not familiar with either of these rigs - so no real help there...

But I believe there are multiple sub-models of each radio there. Look into specifics of each.

You'll also want to pay attention to the age - older capacitors can be a concern.


Early on, its hard to know what you want out of a radio. But I'll give you my 2¢.

These were my priorities when shopping for my first HF rig.

1. A good receiver

2. A good internal antenna tuner 

3. Internal sound card interface 

As for the tuner, many rigs have no internal tuner at all, and some are better than others - meaning they can tune a wider range. Nice to have if you'll be using non-resonant antennas.

With the proliferation of digital communication modes (FT8, JS8Call, Q65, etc.) you'll need a way to connect a computer to the rig. This can be done with an external interface box, but it is ~MUCH~ easier if the radio has the interface built in.


Then there are the operating bands... Do you want a rig that can operate on all bands (including 2m/70cm)? Personally, I chose to go the separate route, as I often times monitor HF and local simultaneously. 


I'm sure there are many other things that you can get bogged down with when picking a new radio. But these are the things I dealt with when I started out.


What was my first rig? A Kenwood TS-590S. FWIW. Hit all the boxes that I was concerned about at the time.


I added an Icom IC-7300 a few years later. Also a great starter rig. The tuner isn't quite as good as the Kenwood, and the antenna input options are limited, but it's still a great radio.


I'd probably lean towards one of the "Big Three" manufacturers. Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu. 


One other thing - I'd suggest ~not~ looking at a QRP (low power) rig to start off with. While fun, QRP generally takes more skill. So go with a 100w radio initially. QRP can come later.


Again, these are my thoughts. YMMV, take it with a grain of salt, I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn lately. 🙂 Hope that helps a little.


Best of luck with your quest.


Mike - AD0WB



Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 72



I will echo everything Mike has said. 
while I do not have experience with either radio I know the 450 has been a good radio. 

If you decide to go with a radio that does not have an internal soundcard, then plan on adding one to the purchase budget. You can get a simple USB one for $10-15 then another $10 for a cable the goes to your radio. 

Brian K0FBS 

Brian WA0R