My review of the Yaesu FTDX101MP

I’ve owned the FTDX101MP for about 7 months now. As the owner of a FTDX5000MP I feel I can make a reasonable review of the FTDX101MP, especially as compared to my FTDX5000MP.

Receiver. As compared to my FTDX5000MP receiver, I’d say my FTDX101MP receiver is slightly better. However not big a leap above my FTDX5000MP, which has a fine receiver its self. I’m very aware of lab test results of the FTDX101MP receiver, however I operate both rigs in a real world setting. Not in a lab.

Transmitter. Again compared to my FTDX5000MP, no major difference, EXCEPT the FTDX5000MP does have a Class A transmitter option. Not so on the FTDX101MP. When operating with a external amplifier, I do use the Class A option on the FTDX5000MP.

Ergonomics/Front Panel Controls. The winner is the FTDX5000MP. A much easier rig to quickly change settings on the fly. However, once you get your settings dialed in, the FTDX101MP is just fine. I just became spoiled with the ease of transceiver adjustments from the front panel of the FTDX5000MP. If you’re into contest, the FTDX5000MP is a better option for you.

Physical size. The FTDX101MP is slightly smaller than the FTDX5000MP. However keep in mind the power supply is included in the external speaker for the FTDX101MP. Once you add that into the mix, the FTDX101MP is a little larger than the FTDX5000MP, without an external speaker. If you add the Yaesu SP-2000 external speaker to either side of the FTDX5000MP, it then becomes the larger of the 2.

Appearance, hands down the winner is the FTDX101MP. The large touch screen LCD is a thing of beauty. Very sharp, very responsive to the touch. The band scope is fantastic.

Firmware updates. Again the winner is the FTDX101MP. So simple as compared the FTDX5000MP, which is a pain in the ass.

Overall I feel Yaesu has a winner with the FTDX101MP. I’m so fortunate to have both the FTDX101MP and the FTDX5000MP, and enjoy both. I found that if I’m taking part in a contest, I prefer the FTDX5000MP. If taking part in rag chews, I prefer the FTDX101MP.

Bottom line is, I have no regret with the purchase of the FTDX101MP. If you’re in a position to pick one up, I highly suggest to give it a close look.

Roan Mountain State Park Ride

Dale, Tim and I met up in Morganton, took Hwy 181 then 19E over to the Roan Mountain community and had lunch at Highlander BBQ. Food was very good, fantastic service, very staff friendly. Highly suggest that you give them a try when you’re in the area. We’ll sure be going back!

After lunch we headed south on Hwy 143 to the parking area on top of the mountain to enjoy the area. The road was in good shape with only a few sections that did have some minor issues. I did find a grove while in a right-hand curve that slightly wash my front-end out a little. Other than that, the pavement is good.

Once in the parking lot, I made the goofy video in this post. Always having a great time riding with both Dale and Tim. We hung out here for a while, and I told them the time that Sue and I were there, and my truck failed to start. Cell service is very sketchy, however I did have one of my amateur radio (HAM) transceivers with me, and contacted a friend in Lenoir, NC, and had him to dispatch a towing service to my location. Typically a cell phone will always fail you when needed the most. Amateur radio (HAM) always gets through!

Tim lives in Marion, so we continued into North Carolina where Hwy 143 becomes Hwy 261. Made our way down the mountain through the curves into Bakersville, then onto Hwy 226 towards Marion where Tim peeled off. Dale and I continued on back to Hickory to complete the ride. 8 hours out on the bike.

Living the dream…

Footnote. Carrying a handgun in a Tennessee state park for us is 100% legal.

Huntsville Hamfest

The hamfest wraps up today. Many of the major vendors attend this show. New, used, and abused equipment on display. Like any other hamfest some deals, and some overpriced, over worked gear available for purchase. According to many this hamfest has rapidly become one of the must attend hamfest in the southeastern United States.

What to expect at the Shelby Ham Fest

From a purist perspective.

Lots of CB Radios and CB Radio Amplifiers, some heavily used (probably abused amateur radio gear), stacks of used Motorola commercial gear, dated computers, and many unwashed stinky folks (as with many ham fest).

For those who seem to be blatantly naive too reality, the 2 photos (a very small sample) below was taken inside the main building. Yes the main building. Great first impression of a ‘ham fest’. Like going to a ‘gun show’ and the first thing you see are rows of jewelry. Oh wait. That’s reality also!

But wait, there’s more!!!! It was everywhere!

I assure you, there were two, maybe even 3 times as many illegal CB amplifiers for sale at the Shelby Ham Fest, than there were legit Amateur Radio linear amps offered for sale. Not that I’d buy a Amateur Radio amp at a ham fest. That’s another future posting.

And how about this winner with his pornographic table covering.

When I approached one of the ‘yellow shirts’, asking why this person was being allowed to display this pornographic material, when it plainly states on the entrance ticket that material such as this is not allowed. “We don’t tell them what they can sell”, was the response. Oh really I said. Have you even read the print on the ticket stub? Received no answer, just a blank stare. I left, and gave my ticket stub away.

What won’t you see at the Shelby Ham Fest are factory reps from the major amateur radio manufactures, or any major vendors. Most, if not all factory reps, and major vendors pulled out of this event years ago. which is tragic, because this used to be a pretty good ham fest. Some will say eBay, QTH.COM, or the Internet in general, etc., has caused this to be the case. There may be some truth in that, however a large part of the blame as I see it, falls in the lap of the event organizers for allowing the illegal CB amplifiers, and pornographic material through the gate. What seems to be an increasing amount CB radios, and illegal CB amplifier equipment to be sold at what was billed as a ‘ham fest’, has put the Granddady Of Them All on life support. Bill it for what it has become. A watered down Ham Fest & CB Jamboree.

This hobby is long in the tooth, and rapidly losing communication credibility it once had. Caveat emptor. Just my opinion, yours may vary.