Yaesu FTDX-101D Review

The Yaesu FTDX-101D is a high-end radio, and it has a high-end price tag. But for your money, you get a truly incredible set of features, 100W of transmission power (200W for the FTDX-101MP model), and a rock-solid HF + 50Mhz base station that’s sure to last for the years and decades to come. Is it right for you? Read on and find out in this overview of the FTDX-101D/MP.

Good

  • Extraordinary transmit and receive performance – With the right antenna and ham shack setup, you’ll be making worldwide contacts. Transmissions are shockingly clear, and many users have compared the sound quality to FM radio, which is high praise. The FTDX-101D puts out 100W, while its “big brother” the 101MP, puts out 200W.
  • Huge, colorful touchscreen – The 7-inch color TFT touchscreen is amazing to look at, particularly when using the waterfall display mode of the FTDX-101D. You also have the option of connecting this unit to an external monitor, which you can use to view the display.
  • Intuitive front panel controls – Some of the buttons are quite small, but the front panel controls are intuitive and easy-to-use for the most part. One great touch is the main tuning knob. The main knob controls receiver A, while a secondary ring allows you to tune receiver B quickly and easily.
  • Supports remote operation via LAN and internet – The FTDX-101D can be set up to run remotely via LAN within your home network, and even supports internet-based use when you’re not at home.
  • Superb noise reduction – If you live in a noisy area, the Yaesu FTDX-101D is a great choice. With the flip of a switch, you can dramatically reduce noise, leading to better clarity and overall performance.
  • Good choice for contesting – Thanks to its advanced design, the FTDX-101D is amazing at handling crowded bands, making this a great choice for hams who are interested in contesting, or currently take part in contests.

Bad

  • Complex menu system with small fonts – As you may expect from a radio so jam-packed with features, the menu system can be tough to understand, and small fonts may make things tough for older hams who may not be able to see the text as easily.
  • Front-facing USB ports – Wire management isn’t so great with the FTDX-101D if you plug in a keyboard and mouse, since it has front-facing USB ports. Most competing base stations have rear ports, so this is a bit of a strange choice on Yaesu’s part.

Bottom line

If you want the best HF + 50Mhz performance and you’re willing to pay for it, the FTDX-101D or FTDX-101MP are both great choices. They aren’t budget options, and they probably aren’t necessary for ham radio newcomers. But for experienced hams or contesting enthusiasts, we’d highly recommend either of these radios from Yaesu.

Product Specs

Tx Frequency Ranges1.8 MHz – 54 MHz (Amateur bands only)
70 MHz – 70.5 MHz (UK Amateur bands only)
Rx Frequency Range30 kHz – 75 MHz (operating)
1.8 MHz – 29.699999 MHz (Specified performance, Amateur bands only) 50 MHz – 53.999999 MHz (Specified performance, Amateur bands only) 70 MHz – 70.499999 MHz (Specified performance, UK Amateur bands only)
Emission ModesA1A (CW), A3E (AM), J3E (LSB, USB), F3E (FM),
F1B (RTTY), G1B (PSK31)
Frequency Steps1/5/10 Hz (SSB, CW), 10/100 Hz (AM, FM)
Antenna Impedance50 ohms, unbalanced (Antenna Tuner OFF)
16.7 – 150 ohms, unbalanced
(Tuner ON, 1.8 MHz – 29.7 MHz Amateur bands)
25 – 100 ohms, unbalanced (Tuner ON, 50 MHz Amateur band)
Operating Temperature Range+32 °F to +122 °F (0 °C to +50 °C)
Frequency Stability±0.1 ppm (after 1 minute @+14 °F to +140 °F [–10 °C to +60 °C])
Supply VoltageAC 100 V/200 V (FTDX101MP)
DC 13.8 V ± 10% (Negative Ground)(FTDX101D)
Power Consumption (Approx.)Rx (no signal)                                                         100VA (FTDX101MP)
3.5 A (FTDX101D)
Rx (signal present) 120VA (FTDX101MP)
4 A (FTDX101D) Tx 720VA (FTDX101MP: 200 W)
23 A (FTDX101D: 100 W)
Dimensions (WxHxD)16.6” x 5.1” x 12.7” (420 x 130 x 322 mm)
Weight (Approx.)31.5 lbs (14.3 kg): FTDX101MP
26.5 lbs (12 kg): FTDX101D
Power OutputFTDX101MP: 5 – 200 W (5 – 50 W AM carrier)
FTDX101D: 5 – 100 W (5 – 25 W AM carrier)
Modulation TypesJ3E (SSB): Balanced
A3E (AM): Low-Level (Early Stage) F3E (FM): Variable Reactance
Maximum FM Deviation±5.0kHz/±2.5kHz (Narrow)
Harmonic RadiationBetter than –50 dB (1.8 MHz – 29.7 MHz Amateur bands)
Better than –66 dB (50 MHz Amateur band: 200 W) Better than –63 dB (50 MHz Amateur band: 100 W)
SSB Carrier SuppressionAt least 60 dB below peak output
Undesired Sideband SuppressionAt least 60 dB below peak output
Bandwidth3 kHz (LSB/USB), 500 Hz (CW), 6 kHz (AM), 16 kHz (FM)
Audio Response (SSB)Not more than –6 dB from 300 to 2700 Hz
Microphone Impedance600 ohms (200 to 10 k-ohms)
Circuit TypeDouble Superheterodyne
Intermediate Frequencies1 st: 9.005 MHz (MAIN), 8.9000 MHz (SUB)
2 nd: 24 kHz (MAIN/SUB)
Sensitivity (TYP)SSB/CW (BW: 2.4 kHz/10 dB S+N/N)
1.8 MHz – 30 MHz           0.16 µV (AMP2 “ON”) 50 MHz – 54 MHz                        0.125 µV (AMP2 “ON”) 70MHz – 70.5MHz                      0.16µV (AMP2 “ON”)
AM (BW: 6 kHz/10dB S+N/N, 30% modulation @400 Hz)
0.5 MHz – 1.8 MHz          6.3 µV
1.8 MHz – 30 MHz           2 µV (AMP2 “ON”) 50 MHz – 54 MHz                        1 µV (AMP2 “ON”) 70MHz – 70.5MHz                        2µV (AMP2 “ON”)
FM (BW: 12 kHz, 12 dB SINAD)
28 MHz – 30 MHz            0.25 µV (AMP2 “ON”)
50 MHz – 54 MHz            0.2 µV (AMP2 “ON”)
70MHz – 70.5MHz           0.25 µV (AMP2 “ON”)
Squelch Sensitivity (TYP)SSB/CW/AM
2µV (1.8MHz – 30MHz, 50MHz – 54MHz) (AMP2 “ON”) FM          0.25µV (28MHz – 30MHz) (AMP2 “ON”)
0.2µV (50MHz – 54MHz) (AMP2 “ON”)
Selectivity (WIDTH: Center)Mode   –6 dB   –60 dB
CW  (BW: 0.5 kHz)  0.5 kHz or better   750 Hz or less SSB  (BW: 2.4 kHz)  2.4 kHz or better   3.6 kHz or less AM  (BW: 6 kHz)      6 kHz or better  15 kHz or less FM (BW: 12 kHz) 12 kHz or better 25 kHz or less
IF Rejection60 dB or better (1.8 MHz – 28 MHz Amateur bands, VC-tune “ON”)
60 dB or better (50 MHz Amateur bands)
Image Rejection70 dB or better (1.8 MHz – 28 MHz Amateur bands)
60dB or better (50 MHz – 54 MHz Amateur bands)
Maximum Audio Output2.5 W into 4 ohms with 10 % THD
Audio Output Impedance4 to 16 ohms (4 ohms: nominal)
Conducted RadiationLess than 4 nW

Expert reviews

  • In a review and demo, HamRadioConcepts called the FTDX-101D an “amazing radio” and a “beast of a radio,” and also mentioned its “advanced contest features.” He praised the clear and crisp display, as well as the combination of physical knobs/buttons and touchscreen buttons. He also liked the sound quality and ergonomics of the included stock microphone.
  • In their review, ICQ Amateur / Ham Radio Podcast had good things to say about this base station from Yaesu, calling the receiver “very good and very sensitive,” and excellent for strong, medium, and weak signals alike. They also liked the waterfall display and its customizability, as well as the menu interface and usability of the radio.

User reviews

  • Users on eHam.net have given this radio a rating of 4.2 stars out of 5, across a total of 43 reviews. Users are mostly happy with this radio, calling it “great at pulling signals out of the noise level,” “the best radio I have ever used,” and saying it has “all you need for any operation taste.” Some reviewers were a bit more critical, though, saying the menu system is “painful to use,” mentioning some “internal software bugs,” and describing it as “very inconvenient to use” with “ergonomics less than zero.”
  • On Gigaparts, reviewers have given this Yaesu base station a rating of 4.75 stars out of 5, across a total of 4 reviews. These reviewers called the FTDX-101D “one of the best [transceivers] I’ve ever owned,” and said it has “lots of nice features.” Another reviewer said that this Yaesu radio had the best noise reduction of any radio they had used, outpacing even the Icom IC-7300.
  • DXEngineering customers have given the FTDX-101D a rating of 4.9 stars across 31 total reviews. They were uniformly pleased with the overall performance of this radio, saying “the 101D is outstanding,” “the receiver has the best specs of any out there,” and that it “provides the best-sounding audio out there.” Some users had minor complaints about the UI and manual, however.

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