Yaesu FT-2000 with DMU 2000

Yaesu FT-2000 Review

The basic receiver performance compares very well with other radios in this price range, with three selectable roofing filters as standard, VRF and the IPO/preamp selection. In the IPO setting, the receiver is very quiet. (40 meter – a band that has a lot of strong BC stations right above 7.1 MHz – has become like an entirely new band to me with this rig.) In addition, it has a wide range of features and gives the operator large flexibility to make own adjustments and preference selections. (Adjusting filter characteristics, transmitter equalizer, wideband SSB on transmit, CW rise time, fully adjustable AGC hold and delay, personalizing of the keyer, voice and CW memory, voice recording and play back, and advanced interference defence such as width, shift, notch, choice of usb/lsb injection on CW, combining of the VFOs and more.) Another important aspect of this radio is the usability/ergonomics. It’s obvious that Yaesu has put a lot of thinking into the user interface and functional layout. And what I really appreciate is that it has buttons and knobs on features other radios have put in the menus. The way the memory system works is impressive – especially the band stack and the quick memory feature. The display is informative and intuitive. The DMU-2000 is a optional unit that gives you a range of scope features, memory management and much more on your computer monitor.

Some of the versatile features The function I use the most is of course the fully adjustable band pass filter (WIDTH). A long with the SHIFT function, you got all you need to get rid of QRM most of the time. But some of the other DSP features are very versatile, and have impressed me:

Contour filter This place a peak or a null, adjustable both in gain and width, where you like it in the pass band. I have used this mostly as a peaking filter. You can virtually suck the signal out of the noise. It’s amazing what this feature can do with weak signals!

DNF and DNR The DNF feature automatically detects the frequency of a carrier in the pass band, and places a deep null on it. It removes completely a S9-carrier just by pushing the knob! DNR works very well – it reduces background noise on SSB, but it takes some fiddling. On my scope the back ground noise drops by 20 dB or so. Both the DNF and DNR are adaptive filters and use a couple of seconds to settle. I believe some operators are confused by this.

Manual notch The notch has both a coarse and fine tune knob, and along with the graphical display of where the notch is in the band, it’s very easy to use. The notch is deeper and wider (selectable) than my previous rig (TS-930S).

Other helpful features

  • VRF – variable RF filter/front end filter (preselector)
  • Customizing of DSP filter characteristics
  • Selectable transmitter band pass filter (from 400-2600 to 4 000 Hz)
  • Two separate 3 band parametric equalizer for use with and without speech processor
  • Graphical Spot feature that automatically detects the signals frequency offset
  • Large analog S-meter
  • Automatic antenna tuner with 100 memories

Summary

I’m mostly into CW and DX-ing, so what I like most is all the interference-fighting features and the possibilities that lie in combining the main and sub receiver – both in pile-up-splits and the pseudo-stereo effect (for example during broadcast reception or rag chew SSB contacts). But I also believe that SSB users will appreciate the parametric equalizer and the wide band settings – both on receive and transmit. I have got really good modulation reports from the local audio gurus on 80 m. After the PEP 2000 upgrade was installed, the speech processor is working quite well, but if you crave for clean audio, compression is not the way to go. I think you get a lot of radio for the money, and it’s really fun to use.
If you want to read some hints on how to make the Yaesu FT-2000 sound good – please read this article.

Technical receiver data In the October 2007 issue “QST” had the FT-2000D on the bench for a product review, and below I bring some of the receiver test data from that article. Please note that the receiver of the FT-2000 and FT-2000D are identical. I’m mostly working CW, DX-ing, contests and long rag shews on 80 meter. So far I have never experienced any receiver performance related issues.

At last I would like to add some words from Rob Sherwoods article A Discussion of Measurement Accuracy and Sample Variation: “You also have to like operational aspects of a radio, not just its numbers. As a ham, you will be sitting in front of a radio for hours each week over a period of years, thus ergonomics, ease of use, and listening fatigue should be taken into consideration. Personally I like big radios with big knobs, except mobile when small is good!” (Rob Sherwood).

Noise floor (MDS)
Preamp Off 1 2
14 MHz -122 dBm -131 dBm -135 dBm
Blocking Dynamic Range (BDR)

14 MHz, Preamp off

Offset BDR (dB)
20 kHz 136
5 kHz 106
2 kHz 87
Two tone IMD testing

14 MHz, Preamp off

Spacing IMD IP3
20 kHz 98 dB +25 dBm
5 kHz 93 dB +18 dBm
2 kHz 69 dB -19 dBm

Yaesu (Vertex) releases the PEP2000 upgrade for the FT-2000 (one CPU software and two EDSP upgrades)
[16/Jan/2009]

Yaesu (Vertex) released January 1 2009 the long announced firmware and EDSP upgrade for the FT-2000 transceiver. This is the 15th firmware upgrade (firmware ver. 0142) and 2. EDSP upgrade (ver. 11.29) since the rig entered the market in 2006 and both adds new functionality and fixes some known issues. The upgrade can be done (without violating the warranty) by the user. The PEP 2000 (EDSP 11.29 and firmware version 0142) contains all the previous upgrades, which means that you doesn’t have to upgrade more than once if you haven’t made the previous upgrades. Please note that when the firmware is upgraded the memories and menu setting are reset to factory defaults. The menu settings and memory channels can easily be saved with the DMU-2000.

PEP 2000 / 0142 firmware upgrade improvements are:

  • Added MENU #031 CAT IND. CAT data activity Indicator ENABLE/DISABLE (C/S button LED)
  • Add MENU #015 LVL IND. Values are now indicated on the VFD display for PITCH, SPEED, CONTOUR, NOTCH, DNR, CW DELAY and VOX DELAY (Press the [ENT] key to set the command to “ON” or “OFF”)
  • The AGC HOLD TIME default values are changed.
  • Corrected a bug during TX; now the MIC-EQ is updated by PCC-2000 commands.
  • Changed MENU PRMTRC EQ LEVEL range of values to -20 ~ 0 ~ +10.
  • Changed the default values of MENU PRMTRC (LVL)
  • Added the CAT Command (CO) for APF, ON
  • Improve the ACS operation.
  • Changed the VOX DELAY time settings to approximate the “CW Semi-break-in” DELAY setting on the front panel knob.
  • Also includes all previous updates.
  • After installation of Ver. 0142, you may find that computer operation with PCC-2000 may not be possible for setting proper MENU items. We will release the updated PCC-2000 software when it becomes available.
  • The updated Menu Mode List is available on Yaesu web site.
  • The updated FT-2000/D Operating Manual will be posted on the Yaesu website around mid January 2009.

The PEP 2000 EDSP (ver. 11.29) upgrade improvements are:

  • Implements the FTdx9000 (PEP9000) DSP technology
  • DNR: superior SSB mode noise reduction
  • DNF: greater reduction of beat tones
  • AGC: attack time fine-tuned
  • SSB speech processor audio augmented
  • Activate RTTY monitor while transmitting
  • DELAY characteristic of AGC close to analog AGC
  • Also includes all previous updates.
  • The CT-119 (AAE99X001) programming cable should be available from Vertex Standard parts department the end of July 2007. You may order by e-mail to yaesuparts@vxstdusa.com. When using the CT-119 cable it is not required to operate the internal switch S3004 or to remove the cover.
  • If you use a pre-wired mini-DIN in the PGM connector on rear panel it is not required to operate the internal switch S3004 or to remove the cover. N6WK provide such connectors by mail world wide, try e-mail n6wk@n6wk.com

Just after 15 days Yaesu released another EDSP upgraded version, the EDSP V 11.39. This is the 3rd EDSP release. Yaesu recommend that FT-2000 owners that already have installed the PEP 2000 upgrades, EDSP V11.29, should also install the V 11.39. Yaesu states that version 11.39 contains the following improvements:

  • Improved (reduced, I guess) TX/RX transfer noise (switching between RX and TX)
  • An important engineering change (no further information about what this really is).

I have done the PEP 2000 upgrades and the latest EDSP V11.39 upgrade. I have tested the new fixes quite thoroughly. The conclusion is that the FT-2000 has become a better transceiver after the changes. Some points:

  • The AGC action is much better, especially in random impulse noises.
  • The speech processor finally works! And it works quite well – better than other I have heard and tried. Yaesu have done a quite drastic change to the design. The function of both the PROC gain and MIC gain when the PROC is engaged is changed. Tips: When the PROC is switched on, put the PROC gain 12 o’clock and adjust the MIC gain – use it as a proc level adjustment. Also the COMP meter/scale finally works! I got reports on the air that the audio got more punch and power with the PROC on. And it sounds OK too, the previous heavy distortion is gone.
  • The DNR algorithm is changed. I now use it routinely on SSB. I prefer setting 6-8 for SSB.
  • Yaesu have implemented a nice usability improvement: The values of Notch, Contour, DNR, CW and VOX delay are now indicated in the sub-receiver part of the display. This is very helpful. First step on this improvement was done in a previous update when the keyer speed and pitch tone was displayed. Indication of all these values can be switched off in the menu. (A new menu item is added).
  • One fine feature is added: The CW peak filter. If you push and hold the CONT button for a second, the contour filter is engaged with a dedicated set of values – high gain at the pitch frequency that the operator has chosen with the pitch knob.I use this feature a lot.
  • The contour filter has been changed. The audio level is better adjusted so that you don’t have to re-adjust the AF gain when you engage the CONT filter.
  • The DNF (digital notch filter) is improved. It worked quite well before, but now with less distortion.
  • In general terms, the receiver sounds better – less noise, with a cleaner audio.
  • On the 16/Jan/2009 Yaesu published a new FT-2000 Operation Manual with the PEP 2000 changes. The manual can be downloaded from www.yaesu.com