Bargains – really?

Many of the larger dealers are offering special deals in the lead up to Christmas. But, are you really getting a bargain? For example, MLS have the FT1200 at less than £1000 after cash back. Maybe this radio is over-stocked as people prefer the IC7300 or the FT991?

Call me a cynic, but I think we are being offered discounts on radios that have not sold. As they say, “beware of Greeks bearing gifts”. If something looks too good there is probably a catch. Of course, if you really want one of the discounted rigs then now is as good a time to buy as any.

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Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cambridge, England.

3 Responses to “Bargains – really?”

  • Matt (KC4YLV):

    I dont see why a radio not selling means that it suddenly got worse. For one, the 1200dx is being _very_ highly reviewed by almost everybody who’s laid hands on it and I have the fortune of having a friend who picked one up and fully decked it out. It’s a beautiful radio. Meanwhile, there’s a multi page gripe thread on QRZ as we speak, complaining of the high failure rate of FT991’s.

    The ft-991 sells because its a shack in a box and is a great first rig. A lot of them will be the only radio sold to hams that get out of the hobby later. Meanwhile the 1200 is a bit more refined, you don’t buy one as a first radio, but if you look at gear like that, you’re going to be coming back in 3 years for the 1300dx, and in 6 for the 1995dx, or whatever they have out then.

    Big radios are bought by lifetime customers.

  • Roger G3XBM:

    Please don’t misunderstand me. I am sure the dealers are selling good radios a better prices. Just ask WHY?

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    I have a FT-991. I traded a IC-7100 for it. Straight trade. It is a nice looking radio. Good size. I had a FT-897/D for a long time, so size wise this is actually nicer. Lots of features. Mine went back into the shop before the trade. The first owner was not capable of doing the firmware up dates and had concerns about blowing finals since the ATU didn’t work correctly. And found the menu system overwhelming and not well thought out.

    I have had the radio about 3 weeks now. And like it and areas just are not well thought out. This is a do all radio for home and mostly field. Unlike the 897/D this one has a built in ATU. However like the Yaesu ATU it sucks. The LDG bold on for the 897/D did 10:1 SWR where as the Yaesu did 3:1. The ine barely does 3:1. How the hell is that any good for the field when most antennas are not almost dead on. What idiot at Yaesu figured this was good. I once had the FT-450/AT. The same crap antenna tuner in that too.

    Major issues on the FT-991 is blown finals, sometime shortly after out of the box and recent radios. Setting up something simple like Fd Digi is a royal pain in the butt. Thank fully we have some smart people who finally figured it out and documented, what Yaesu did not. Loading firmware appears to no be user friendly. I have not tired, but some have turned their radios into bricks. This is not covered under warranty. The latest is discovering that the FT-991 has not VFO-B…Well kind of sort of… You have to kick VFO-B in for splits only. You can not jump between A and B like normal radios…. So it is sort of there, but not really. The guys in the EU section are pissed because the purchased a radio the is advertised for 144-148 mhz. I guess the non USA ones only do 145-147 ?. Yaesu basically said what and will not change that.

    There are a number of other issues. A number of hams have sent the radio in for blown finals and requested their money back. This is not good. This will drive the value of this radio down on the used market and maybe even the new one.

    What will the IC-7300 be like? I don’t know for sure, but I do know from my experiences with the IC-7100 it will be far better then the FT-991.

    I feel the FT-991 is a good radio with some stupid things done by Yaesu IMHO, but still worth considering…But join the Yahoo FT-991 group first and see how it is progressing first before laying out hard earned money. Ask a lot of questions. The group will understand. Unlike Elecraft who has Wayne, Eric and the engineering staff reading and responding to customer issues, Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood and many others don’t care once the sale is made. This is from observation for many years. How many? I been a ham since 1963..Lots and lots of years.

    My 2 cents for whatever it was worth. My current radios are K3, p3, KPA500, KAT500, KX3, PX3 (just sold my KXPA/KXAT100), IC-756proII, ALDA-103, Heath HW16 with HG-10, IC-706MKIIG mobile and now the FT-991. I do not have, nor have ever had, a lot of $$$ for equipment, but really, really lucking in doing trades and selling for more then I paid for and reinvesting in this wonderful hobby and sharing what I know and the dumb thing I have done and try make sure others don’t do…

    Have a very Merry Christmas one and all
    73 Harry K7ZOV

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