I don’t really do contests anymore. But, if I did, I think my contest station would feature my classic Yaesu FT1000D.
Fall is a big contest season for ham radio operators. Two of the big ones are CQWW and ARRL Sweepstakes. I spent some time listening during the October CQ World Wide SSB contest in October, and November CW Sweepstakes, as well. These contests have been around since 1948 and 1932, respectively.
I started off using my modern SDR radios, the Flex 6300 and ANAN 7000. Both are great. Boy, lots of signals show up on the band scope during contests.
But before long, I turned to my Yaesu FT1000D, shown above lower left. You see, there’s something about glowing dials and a big, fat tuning knob that just says “contest”.
My FT1000D was built more than 30 years ago. A the time, my old Yaesu radio was the flagship for serious DX and contest operations. Great filters, superb sensitivity and reasonable dynamic range. Plus, 200 watts solid state with a built-in power supply,
But oh, the smooth tuning with solid knobs and great front panel. Dual receivers with bandpass filters. No DSP bells and whistles, though. To be honest, though, you really did not need them. And yes, mine had a somewhat clunky but useable CAT interface, as well, great for logging software.
My Contest Station – Missing my 756 Pro II
Of course, my ICOM 756 Pro II would provide the best of both worlds, if it still worked. While I love the Yaesu front panel, I really miss the spectrum display integrated into my old ICOM. If I could find a used ICOM 7300, I would probably buy it just to bring back the memories.
Anyway, if you want to spend some time with the FT1000D, check this video. While I love the modern SDR radios, classic gear still has a place in my shack.