Now back to the FT-757GX. As everyone can see, it also has its weak points which can partly be equalized with the G303e. One could think about replacing both the FT-757GX and the G-303e. But with what?
A new FT-857D or an FT-897D would greatly do the job but that's 950.00 S$ + 100.00 S$ GST. Plus the 300 S$ for the 400Hz Inrad IF-filter. The Yaesu radios also have the problem that they are not really compatible with a monitor program such as TRX-Manager. I have the microHam switch for the FT-857 somewhere but I remember that it did not work properly with the computer and TRX-Manager. The same would apply to programs such as OmniRig. But I remember that the MicroHam people changed their device so that it is better now. Buying a new MicroHam device?
Here is a review of the FT-857 vs. the FT-897:
And finally. After spending much money in the beginning of my radio activities, I decided not spend any more money on radios but rather to invest time and money into the technology for building my own ones. If I do not have all the options, who cares? I don't.
Anyway, I saw the Yaesu FT-450 with a built in antenna tuner at Victor's shop. It comes with a DSP that can be used for all stages in the radio. Very nice! Covers the whole HF band + 50MHz. For only 1050.00 S$ + GST. But. Has no "AGC off". And the power adjustment is hidden in a sub-sub-menu of the radio software. The trade would be a bad one. Money spent and no improvement at the existing weak points.
Ok, back home, I asked Laurent F6... what he thinks. He said that the FT-450 actually has an "AGC off". One week later back again to Victor's shop. He again not there. But double-check manual. Laurent is right, there is an AGC. But not easy way to reduce the RF power. Best ist the easy 20W option as in the FT-857. Simply connect an auxiliary ground cable to ground and the radio knows that it must run on only 20W. One further way to tune would be to run into a dummy load while tuning. I must check whether the power is then still high enough for tuning (schematics to follow).
The FT-450 has definitely an advantage with the TRS-Manager. No interface module needed.
here are some Youtube reviews of the FT-450:
Some information about the contour filter for CW:
John 9V1VV recommends the IC-718. Surely a good and cheap radio but he says that the DSP is not useful under CW. This excludes it from the further candidates.
Another candidate would be the Kenwood TS-480 which is recommended by Laurent F6DEX for his TRX-Manager. He says that its DSP is good for CW. One can deactivate the AGC at the TS-480. There is also a way to reduce the output power for tuning my ATU but it is not as straight-forward as with my FT-757. One must press the PWR button, then turn the "multi" knob. Then do the tuning. And then the same procedure for setting the power back to max. But the TS-480 works nicely with the TRX-manager and OmniRig software which I would like to use. Laurent says that reception-wise the FT-450 is the better radio while the CAT control of the TS-480 is much better.
I found now a good solution for reducing power with the FT-450. I was in the HamRadio store in San Francisco and bought a Nifty! Mini-Manual for the FT-450. Theselittle manuals are better than the original manual, they are worth every penny of the purchase price. The author shows a wayfor assigning any function to one of the microphones [up], [down], and [fast] keys of the microphone. I am using CW only (and possibly WSPR in the future), so I do not need the microphone keys. perfect!
If used together with the TRX-Manager software, one could write a short macro for reducing the power and for tuning. Everything possible, but complicated. I would like to have an easy solution.
I am still not convinced and I will stay happy for the time being. Looking at the modifications of the FT-757GX. And waiting for an opportunity for a used FT-857D or FT-897D. Or buy an FT-450. It is surely a good radio. Or buy an TS-480. It is surely a good radio, too.
Or the new ICOM IC-7200, it comes with a USB connector and with a super stable transmitter. This is a prerequisite for WSPR, as my friend Jan has been telling me.
BTW, this is a good example why old people have less needs than younger ones. In my younger years I would just have bought the TS-480 and the FT-450 right away.
We aremoving very soon. And I am planning to set up the magnetic loop for transmitting and receiving. I am aiming for a low rise antenna because there is a non-neglectable lightning hazard at our new location. This means that i will have to run a transmitter on it and not only a receiver. But which one? Probably a nw one.
I also wanted to try the HB9ABX new transmitting antenna. Maybe I connect it to the FT-757GX and with an antenna switch to the ATU + long wire? And also a homebrew magnetic loop for the WinRadio? So many things to do. I need one or two sabbathicals.