Friday, July 14, 2017

Rotators and The FTDX 9000MP

The new mini Yagi has been working well and I'm very pleased with it. So much so that I have gone and bought the Mini WARC kit which arrived at the beginning of the week. Mosley have been very helpful with a quick turn round and delivery of the kit. The cobweb has now been brought down and I just have the hustler as a spare  antenna
Now that I have my rotator all set up I don't really need the spare Ham IV which was sitting in my shed doing nothing. So I decided to sell it and let some other Ham have the pleasure of servicing and cleaning it up. It had the manual with it and two control boxes, so I reckoned it should be pretty easy to clean up and would be a nice project for somebody. As soon as I advertised the rotator an amateur got in touch, would you believe it was Len Paggett GM0ONX whom I originally got the design of the W3DZZ trap 80/40m dipole which I still use to this day!

He is using it for spares for his own Ham IV rotator, so it's with a certain satisfaction that it's going to Len.

Having now owned the FTDX 9000MP for a number of months I can realistically give a review on the radio. I have owned a number of good rigs, from Kenwood 950 DX to an FT1000 MP Mk V and an FT2000d, but the 90000MP is without doubt an amazing radio in capability and size, it dwarfs most other rigs, 400 watts at your fingertips. The receive on both the A and B receivers is outstanding and mirrored, you can use the filters on both receivers this alone make it one exceptional radio.

Using the either receiver you are able to pick a faint station and narrow the signal right down. All the filters work exceptionally well. The SSB capability is truly amazing and I still have lots to learn as I'm more a CW man, but in SSB I still get genuinely surprised when I hear a station in a big pile up and by using the filters and narrowing the width I can get the station quite clear and then when turning the narrow and filters off I hear the wall of sound from the other stations. With CW it the same, I can literally call test or CQ, CQ QRP at a press of a button, what you hear you can work, all switches and buttons are easily and thoughtfully laid out so there is no reaching or stretching. I still have much to learn about this fine radio, but the manual alone is more like a book and takes a while to master. So it's best to read bits and understand that section before moving on!


However, retailing new in the shops at £8K is it worth it , no not £8k! That's the price of a small car for gods' sake. The only reason I managed to fulfil my dream of owning this radio was by chance and more importantly at the right price for a used radio. Although these are hand built  and I accept all that craftsmanship and skill has gone in to them, it's an awful lot of money and I couldn't justify buying new. Buying an FT5000 new would be my limit, but a used FTDX90000, that's different!

I was lucky and very much at the limit of what I would be willing to pay for such a high class radio. That said I have no regrets and all I would say if you ever get the chance, grab it with both hands.