Yaesu FTDX10 in CW contest

Earlier this month I decided to put my IC-7610 aside and give the FTDX10 a good go in a contest. It was Oceania DX Contest and I opted to run SO 20m HP category. 24 hours of CW madness.

Conditions were excellent, but not as good as in SSB leg a week earlier.

One thing I love about this radio is how good its receiver is. The roofing filters did a great job, 300 Hz is amazing, albeit a bit too narrow for contest when running CQ. Too many stations tend to be off beat a bit and 500-600 Hz works best for me.

I was able to hear weak stations quite easily right next to a big signal and only once I had to ask someone to QSO as they close within 100 Hz of my frequency.

Talking about the off beat stations, I had to use the Clarifier (RIT) quite a bit to pick them. I never liked the way the RIT is implemented on this radio. The CLAR RX and TX buttons are in the right place, but using the MPVD ring (multi purpose VFO outer dial) is not a good idea. A few times in contest the CLAR RX was off and moving the MPVD moved me way off my frequency. Very frustrating.

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N1MM settings for FTDX10

To operate CW with FTDX10 via USB using N1MM logger you need to install the virtual COM drivers, change radio settings and configure N1MM.

Virtual COM port drivers

To install virtual COM port drivers follow instructions here .  You can download drivers here.

Change radio settings

On your FTDX10 press the FUNC knob, select CW settings, select MODE CW and under PC Keying select RTS.

Press Back to exit this menu, then select Operation Settings, select General then select the CAT rate (mine is 4800). This value must be selected in the N1MM settings (below).

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Yaesu FTDX10 deep-dive review

I purchased Yaesu FTDX10 in early 2021 after having read many reviews and watched every video on Youtube that I could find.

The radio was beautiful, the right size, right weight, exactly what I was after. It had a big, crisp and bright touch screen and looked amazing on my desk.

I put my IC-7610 aside and set the FTDX10 as my primary radio, just for enough time to learn to really appreciate the latest Yaesu technology and to learn to love this radio.

Over the following 10 months I kept swapping it with my IC-7610, using both of them for about the same amount of time. I had an IC-7300 previously, but sold it in order to upgrade to IC-7610. However, I had access to a friend’s IC-7300 so I put it alongside the FTDX10 to be able to compare them.

I am a strong believer of product usability and I am expecting a product to perform to its specifications, to have high reliability and that the usability of the product is not flawed. By this I mean the product should do things in a simple, unobtrusive and logical way, not requiring the user to go out of his way to achieve something.

This review is written from that point of view – the radio usability and reliability.

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