Trish & Tammy's


Welcome to our Yaesu FT-991A Page

Yaesu FT-991A

Selecting the FT-991A and First Impressions


Since we started RV'ing more often we'd noticed a change in our operating habits where we found ourselves attaching our KXPA100 amplifier to the FT-817ND or KX3 on a pretty regular basis mostly either due to bad band conditions or less than optimal locations such as in a valley in the mountains.  The amplifier coupled with the laptop  and the SignaLink USB for digital operation also found the kitchen table in the RV or the picnic table outside covered with equipment rather than the usual things found there like food…


The situation wasn't the end of the world and really didn't bother us but it was part of the consideration that contributed to us looking at portable rigs for use when we're RV'ing.  Another part of the consideration had to do with our KX3 not having a 2m option installed with no 70cm option available and the FT-817ND not being able to receive the NOAA weather band. 


Yet another consideration was  the desire for a real time band scope and water fall display.  We looked at adding the 2m module and the PAN adapter to our KX3 but discovered to do so would run in excess of $750 which as it turns out is half the cost of a new portable rig.


We briefly looked at Icom since we're quite fond of the IC-7600 we're currently running as home base station.  The IC-7300 was tempting but it doesn't cover 2m/70cm.


We then looked to Yaesu who has finally been stepping up in recent years with some of the newer features like band scopes, water falls, touch screens, etc…  We pretty quickly found ourselves drawn to the FT-991A all mode HF/6m 2m/70cm portable transceiver.  The rig was pretty new at the time of this writing, having just been released in September of 2016 as a replacement for the FT-991 which lacked the real time band scope that many people wanted.  The more we read about it the more appealing it became despite the bad reviews of it predecessor.


Getting closer to making the decision to buy we read the operating manual and found the radio to be very thoughtfully laid out and simple to use, more so than any other of the newer breed of radio we'd encountered in recent memory.  Even the manual itself is well written.  We found ourselves impressed and for me at least I found I had my heart set on it.


When the radio arrived we found it to be a little larger than expected, we were thinking it was going to be a little closer in size to the IC-7000.  This wasn't a problem for us at all though.  The size in fact is very similar to my first HF radio back in the day, the Yaesu FT-747GX.   It makes perfect sense since the FT-991A is newest member of that lineage and indeed operating the FT-991A has brought back many a found memory operating  my old FT-747GX.


As we'd learned reading the manual both the physical and the soft (on screen) controls are indeed very thoughtfully laid out and very easy navigate which became even more evident as we started using it.  An example of this came just the other night when we went to check into one of our favorite evening nets.  The band conditions were terrible on 75 meters, stations that are normally 5-9 +30 were impossible to read.  In such situations one reaches for the radios various filtering functions.  Myself personally, I'm not very good when it comes to adjusting filters, notches, etc… and don't usually get very good results, at least that can be said our past rigs.  To start, most of the filters are located on a single screen of soft keys.  You tap the filter you want to enable then use the "Multi" knob to adjust it. 


The first thing I reached for was the DSP (DNR).  On many rigs I find the DSP setting is way too aggressive and nearly unusable for my tastes.  The FT-991A is still pretty aggressive but not so much that I couldn't use it at its lower values.  I was pleased.  Next I enabled the notch filter and adjusted it, then adjusted the SSB Width, and the RF Gain.  I was already amazed that we were now pulling in most of the stations enough to make solid copies.  To put the icing on the cake I tried the Contour control, something new to me, and once again the signals were another step cleaner and somehow easier on the ears.  I was honestly thrilled, we went from pulling a single person with a +20 signal to pulling nearly everyone else out of "the weeds".  As Tammy will tell you I'm not easily impressed but the FT-991A not only impressed me but impressed me very much.  The one aspect we didn't touch at this time was the audio out settings such as bass and treble which are buried in the radio's setup menu.