Ham radios can often get pricey, and finding affordable ones often feels like you’re navigating a minefield of poor quality products that will be likely to fail on you at any moment. If you don’t want to be worrying about your ham radio all the time, then you’ll need to find one with a reasonable amount of reliability.
Yaesu is known for making products like what we just described, but some of their high-end models can be even more impressive. We’ll review one of those today, as we look at the FT-991A.
Yaesu Original FT-991A Features
The FT-991A is equipped with a few different features that let it keep up with some of the best ham radios on the market. As we mentioned earlier, Yaesu is best known for their budget products, but this one features a relatively high price point, and it understandably features some enhanced functions.
Multi-mode operation means that this ham radio is a lot more versatile than a lot of its competitors, and it’s capable of sending and receiving over AM, FM, SSB, CW, and various digital modes. Those include PSK31, C4FM, RTTY, and packet, making this an immensely capable radio.
To make it easier for the operator to find the signal that they desire, this model is equipped with an advanced real-time spectrum band scope. The automatic scope control feature allows the user to get additional data out of it, and the strength of the received signals is displayed on the full-color waterfall display.
This model also features a digital signal processing system which is designed to reduce interference as much as possible. It helps keep the transmissions that you receive clear enough to hear them without headphones and without cranking up the volume to unreasonable levels.
To further reduce interference, this ham radio comes with a 3 kHz roofing filter that helps enhance its performance immensely. Ensuring that the FT-991A is as user-friendly as possible, it comes with a 3.5” full-color touch screen that leaves every command that you need at your fingertips.
Unlike other ham radios, this model is also designed to be as portable as possible. It features compact dimensions and light weight so that you can bring it along with you wherever you go. Since this product is USB capable, you can connect it to your computer so that you can update the firmware.
As you would expect, one of our favorite things about this ham radio is its excellent build quality. Due to the high price of this model, the makers ensured that quality control was rigid, and the model that we received was assembled perfectly, without any loose components or performance issues.
Another thing that we loved was the inclusion of a touch display, which makes this ham radio a lot easier to use than competing models that have buttons instead. Using the touch display, you can directly access any functions that you need without having to fumble around with buttons that may or may not have multiple uses.
Finally, the multi-color waterfall display is incredibly helpful when you’re searching around for broadcasts.
As you would expect, one of the worst things about this model is that it’s one of the most expensive ham radios in its category. When buying products in this price range, you can afford to opt for models from established manufacturers, though we’re not saying that Yaesu makes poor products.
Another problem is that the front panel of this ham radio can get a little confusing because of all of the controls which have been packed into such a small area. For all the helpfulness of the touchscreen, this model takes a huge step back due to the disorganized button layout.
As you can see, the Yaesu is one of the best high-end ham radios on the market, even though it may have a few minor flaws. Despite these issues, nothing can overshadow the excellent performance and construction of this product, and it’s still one of our favorite ham radios out there.
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