Icom IC-718 or Yaesu FT-450

Status
Not open for further replies.

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
I am a relatively new ham (General Class) and am looking to buy my very first HF radio. I am looking at the Icom IC-718 and the Yaesu FT-450. Money is tight, but I notice that there is only about $100 separating the two radios in price and the FT-450 has 6 meters and an antenna tuner. However, I do like the looks of the 718 better (which is a stupid reason, I know). I would like opinions on these two radios.

A few things I am not interested in are used radios and contesting radios. Perhaps in the future I will upgrade, but for now, I've narrowed it down to these two radios. Even the lowest price Kenwood is priced more than I am willing to spend.

Thanks in advance.
 

AK9R

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
7,328
Location
Central Indiana
Every HF radio I've owned has had tunable IF filters. I wouldn't buy a radio that didn't have this feature as it's very handy when working in crowded conditions. Even if you aren't a contester or DXer, you could be having a nice rag-chew with someone only to find a loud signal crowding in on you. Having tunable IF filters makes that situation more tolerable.

I believe the FT-450D has tunable IF filters, but it may be an option on the IC-718.
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
Thanks for your response. That's something I hadn't thought about. Actually, I am interested in some light DXing. Probably, I can say that my main purpose in becoming a ham was to be able to DX though not contest DXing.
 

N0IU

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Messages
802
Location
Wentzville, Missouri
I am on my fourth Icom HF rig and have enjoyed (and currently enjoy) every one of them so my gut reaction is to go with the IC-718. I will admit however that the F-450d looks pretty good... on paper. I big plus is the automatic antenna tuner, but for a little more than the price difference, you can get a pretty decent manual antenna tuner.

Say what you want about MFJ, but I have had the same tuner for over 20 years and it still works great.

While an automatic tuner is a great convenience, generally speaking a manual tuner can adjust for a wider mis-match than an automatic tuner.

That being the case, my vote is still for the IC-718 with a manual tuner!

An don't discount contesting! Even though I have upgraded through the Icom line, I still only have 100 watts into a vertical and a dipole and it is mostly through contesting that I have earned DXCC (with band and mode endorsements). While I have no delusions about actually winning a contest, they do serve a purpose for me.
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
Thanks, Scott. I do like that Icom. To me the big plus of the Yaesu is the addition of 6 m. As far as I know, only Ranger makes an all mode 6 m radio, and it is $300. So if I want to do 6 m, and I do, then I have to add $300 to the price of the Icom. Still something is holding me back from deciding on the Yaesu.
 

N0IU

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Messages
802
Location
Wentzville, Missouri
If you want to add $300 to the price of the Icom, then get an IC-7200 which is selling for just under $900 and it does do 6 meters. The bad news is that it also does not come with an automatic tuner.

But honestly, I don't think you'll be disappointed with either radio.
 

AK9R

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
7,328
Location
Central Indiana
Another advantage to the IC-7200 is the USB port. The USB port does CI-V control of the radio and acts as a sound card for handling both receive and transmit audio. No need to buy an external sound card adapter (RigBlaster, SignaLink, etc.).

If you ever plan to use the sound card digital modes, it's very easy with the IC-7200. I bought an IC-7200 over the holidays specifically for the digital modes.
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
Thanks guys ... hmm I have to think about it. The 7200 is already more than I want to spend and (to me) it looks like it has a small display. The 718 lacks 6 meters, but I figure I could buy the Ranger sometime in the future and not necessarily right away.

Do you have any suggestions for an inexpensive manual antenna tuner?
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
Other than about the digital modes, can anybody say anything else about the IC-7200?
 

KA2ZEY

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
511
Location
Brooklyn, NY
I'd get the Yaesu FT-450D hands down. The 718 is a nice starter radio but the Yaesu has built in DSP filtering which is a must for sane operating.
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
Well, the IC-7200 is out for me. It doesn't do FM on 6 meters, and that's a deal breaker for me, especially since it is more expensive than the FT-450D.
 

pr4367

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
9
Location
Locke, NY
IC-718 FT-450

I purchased both radios about the same time four years ago. I like them both. The IC-718 might be easier to operate in a mobile and certain portable situations. Without adding filters it is really useless for cw work.
The FT-450 is in my opinion not as ergonomic as the IC-718 but that is just my opinion. It is a better radio as far as having the features already mentioned in other posts which the IC-718 does not have. I have had problems with the 3.5 mm cw key jack going bad on the FT-450 and if left monitoring a frequency for a while it sometimes locks up and I have to disconnect the supply (Astron 35) to get it to turn off. Doesn't always do it and I would say both are good radios.
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
I purchased both radios about the same time four years ago. I like them both. The IC-718 might be easier to operate in a mobile and certain portable situations. Without adding filters it is really useless for cw work.
The FT-450 is in my opinion not as ergonomic as the IC-718 but that is just my opinion. It is a better radio as far as having the features already mentioned in other posts which the IC-718 does not have. I have had problems with the 3.5 mm cw key jack going bad on the FT-450 and if left monitoring a frequency for a while it sometimes locks up and I have to disconnect the supply (Astron 35) to get it to turn off. Doesn't always do it and I would say both are good radios.
Thanks. I absolutely love the ergonomics of the IC-718 and that's the main reason I'm considering it. I don't need anything fancy at this point. Perhaps in the future, but not at this point. So a lot of the features of the FT-450D are not that important to me ... except 6 meters. It might all come down to the 6 meters.
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
No, I haven't operated on 6 meters. But 6 meters is important to me because I may be moving into an apartment and will have limited space for an antenna. Also, we have 6 meter repeaters in the area.
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
After much reading and thought, I think the logical choice is the FT-450D. In my opinion, it is in a different league than the IC-718. The 450d includes IF DSP and a lot of filters that are only optional on the 718 and those options are quite expensive. It also includes 6 meters, FM capability and a rudimentary antenna tuner.

The only problem I have with the 450d, and it's important to me, is that it is so darn ugly. It looks black and white. I actually only knew that a picture of it was in color and not black and white because of the small yellow name on the upper right side. The IC-718 has it beat hands down if one were to go on looks.
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
Rethinking the IC-7200

If you want to add $300 to the price of the Icom, then get an IC-7200 which is selling for just under $900 and it does do 6 meters. The bad news is that it also does not come with an automatic tuner.

But honestly, I don't think you'll be disappointed with either radio.
I'm rethinking the IC-7200 even though it doesn't do FM on 10 and 6 meters. The reason I'm rethinking the IC-7200 is because I did the math and with the cost of the optional filters, the IC-718 would actually cost more and have a lot less. I also much prefer the looks of the IC-7200 over the FT-450D. Also, it is easier to use digital modes on the IC-7200. So it might be a win-win solution for me.

But I'd like to hear other people's opinions.
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
I had a Yaesu 450 .. and loved it. I sold it to a friend as working HF due to the required antennas became an issue. But .. the radio, loved it and it performed well and made may DX contacts with that little radio.
 

KD8NIV

Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
134
Location
West Virginia
I've been looking at buying a FT 450d myself, been doing the research on it now about 2 weeks, and from what I've read about it most people likes it....have a friend who is running his going on 5 years and says he loves it....I'm just getting started out myself, I hold a Tech ticket here and studing for my General ticket...this is interesting to see what he goes with too..
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
I've been looking at buying a FT 450d myself, been doing the research on it now about 2 weeks, and from what I've read about it most people likes it....have a friend who is running his going on 5 years and says he loves it....I'm just getting started out myself, I hold a Tech ticket here and studing for my General ticket...this is interesting to see what he goes with too..
If you look at the specs and compare with other sub $800 radios, you will see that feature for feature the FT-450D is superior. However, I just like the appearance of the Icom radios better. However, I am positive that if you bought the FT-450D you would be very pleased.

Congratulations on going for the General. It's not that difficult so I'm sure you will pass it hands down.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top