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Old 04-10-2012, 14:21   #1
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Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

Most people I know of, use an ICOM radio in their boats, most common is the 718.
I have the possibility to buy a brand new (though been on the shelf for a while) Yaesu System 600 transciever for a very decent price.
A ICOM seller I spoke to told me that the Yaesus were not suited for marine purposes. Looking at the internet description for that Yaesu though, it amongst other says it's suitable for oil rigs etc.
Best thing I then figured was to ask someone with real experience...so...
I wonder if any of you have experience of the Yaesu System 600, or any general experience of a Yaesu onboard?
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:43   #2
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

Hi Tolly, I only have experience with the Yaesu Ham transceivers. When I google "Yaesu Susyem 600" I find the Yaesu FT-600, which is a Ham radio, although built to some Mil specs, and apparently the "brother" of a type 600 commercial rig.
The advice will depend on the use you intend. If you want to use it on the marine ssb frequencies you will need a marine ssb type-approved rig, and your local marine ssb operator certification.
If however you intend to use it on HAM frequencies, just with the option of having marine ssb frequencies available in an emergency, you can certainly use a Yaesu Ham mobile rig!

If you are really cramped in space, look at the Yaesu FT-857. It has all the functionalities and power of the Yaesu FT-897 but more compact and hence more menu-driven.

I am using myself the Yaesu FT-897D, it is very compact and ruggedly built. It can easily be 'opened up' to allow transceiving on marine frequencies (oops I did not tell you that...).
Other than cleaning the optocoupler of the main dial knob, it has never given me any problem.
It is quite "menu driven" but will offer you a lot more of tuneable features than the FT-600 or the Icom 718 if you wish to fine-tune its use. You can easily find it used at good prices.

To be ahead of other reactions: yes its receiver is rather noisy, and its DSP is only AF-based. But once on the water away from extermely electrically noisy marinas it has been working well for me with QSO's with Japan, South America, Australia from the boat in Noth Sea waters, and using a sloping wire antenna with automatic tuner.

On tuners: do NOT buy the Yaesu FC-40 atu that goes with the FT-897 and Yaesu 857. Its tuning range is too limited. I replaced it with a SGC-230 and that is a WORLD of difference.

When clicking on the "files" in following link, I see on the FT-600 pdf brochure that a Yaesu FC-800 atu exists, it looks more like the ICOM atu's like AH-4. Maybes this one is more suitable than the FC-40. I have no experience with the FC-800.

Jan
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:53   #3
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

The Yaesu System 600 is type-accepted (certificated) for marine use, as well as ham and land mobile. I have one on my boat, alongside my Yaesu FT-900CAT, and have sold several of them to clients. Here's a pic of my nav station, showing the two radios: NavStn_0140

It is a very capable, simple to use transceiver. User and service manuals may be found online.

We have successfully used the radio with Pactor modems for email as well as voice SSB.

There are little plugs in the front, under a small tab. These are used to configure the radio for ham, marine, or land mobile use. Ask the dealer which plug the radio has now.

Bill
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:29   #4
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

Bill,

interesting.

But is it still built/available.
Under Vertex-Standard I saw it as "not available anymore".

Which of course doesn't mean it is a good radio.

Do you think it is as good as the Icom 700 and 800 series? (appart from the power).

Jan
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:00   #5
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goudurix View Post
Bill,

interesting.

But is it still built/available.
Under Vertex-Standard I saw it as "not available anymore".

Which of course doesn't mean it is a good radio.

Do you think it is as good as the Icom 700 and 800 series? (appart from the power).

Jan
Jan,

I believe it has been discontinued.

Is it as good as....? Depends on what you want. Yes, it's an excellent little radio. It's physically much smaller than the Icom 700 series, and is self-contained -- no separate control head like the Icom 801/802.

It does not have HF/DSC...only the Icom 801/802 have this. Some people (not me) consider this to be a useful feature.

It is just as easy to use on the ham bands as on the marine bands.

Good audio quality...every bit as good as the Icoms. It has no "clipping" problem like the earlier 802's.

Unfortunately, both Yaesu and Kenwood have chosen to exit the marine market (Yaesu with their System 600 and Kenwood with their excellent TKM-707), leaving Icom as the only major player in the field these days.

I believe that Icom could use some competition :-)

Bill
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:08   #6
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
The Yaesu System 600 is type-accepted (certificated) for marine use,
Is it approved for marine use in the U.S.? i.e. does it have an FCC ID label indicating part 80 approval?

Eric
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:10   #7
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
The Yaesu System 600 is type-accepted (certificated) for marine use, as well as ham and land mobile. I have one on my boat, alongside my Yaesu FT-900CAT, and have sold several of them to clients. Here's a pic of my nav station, showing the two radios: NavStn_0140

It is a very capable, simple to use transceiver. User and service manuals may be found online.

We have successfully used the radio with Pactor modems for email as well as voice SSB.

There are little plugs in the front, under a small tab. These are used to configure the radio for ham, marine, or land mobile use. Ask the dealer which plug the radio has now.

Bill
WA6CCA
I wasn't totally clear in my initial question. The rig is brand new in original package but is sold privately, since the guy never got to it and started using it. Therefore I do not know what plug there is in it, but I suppose it's adjustable.
Also I wonder what atu you use on your boat? I was told the FC800 was designed for the system 600 unit, but it is not available in Sweden. Do you know any place to find it?
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:12   #8
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

Eric,

Yes, I believe it WAS type approved/certified by the FCC.

The radio was conceived as a multi-use transceiver for operations worldwide: marine, land-mobile, fixed, and ham. It is Mil-Spec and very rugged.

Dealers were provided with "keys" which are little plug-in modules in the front panel, and which set up the radio for its intended use. Many were used in fleet organizations (oil, trucking, forestry, etc.) and they are easy to clone.

Yaesu was careful to warn their dealers to be very careful with the keys, i.e., never to release them to "unauthorized" users.

The radio contains the full ITU marine channel set in ROM (which may be disabled by a simple jumper if desired).

Full details are available in the Dealer's Manual and the Service Manual, both of which are available online. Also, there's a review done by QST some years back.

Great little radio but, sadly, now discontinued.

Bill
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:18   #9
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by tolly View Post
I wasn't totally clear in my initial question. The rig is brand new in original package but is sold privately, since the guy never got to it and started using it. Therefore I do not know what plug there is in it, but I suppose it's adjustable.
Also I wonder what atu you use on your boat? I was told the FC800 was designed for the system 600 unit, but it is not available in Sweden. Do you know any place to find it?
The keys are very difficult to get hold of. However, there's a workaround, depending on what use you intend it for.

The System 600 AKA FT-600 was designed for use with the FC-800 Yaesu tuner. However, you can use any general purpose automatic tuner. The best, of course, is the SG-230 which has been the gold standard for at least two decades. That's what I have on my boat.

There are others, too. I happen to have two SEA tuners at the moment which work very much like the SG-230, i.e., they use RF sensing to determine frequency and tune. No control cable is necessary....only 12VDC. These tuners were designed for the weather decks on ships, and are extremely rugged.

I would say that for marine use either the SG-230 or one of the SEA tuners would be preferable, since they are weatherproofed and can easily be used with any HF transceiver -- plug and play.

Bill
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:03   #10
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Yes, I believe it WAS type approved/certified by the FCC.

The radio was conceived as a multi-use transceiver for operations worldwide: marine, land-mobile, fixed, and ham.
Worldwide, is the key word here. I believe this radio was only marketed in the U.S. as a ham radio, FT-600. If it doesn't have an FCC ID label indicating "part 80", it can't legally be used as a marine radio in the U.S.

It can be used in other countries in the marine version. I could be wrong as I'm not that familiar with this radio but I'd have to see that FCC label to be sure.

I know it's off topic. Just curious, looking for confirmation, haven't seen any.

Eric
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:19   #11
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

Eric,

You sayin' that "worldwide" includes every country EXCEPT the United States? That, indeed, would be a bizarre interpretation.

The 600 was marketed as a multipurpose radio....in the U.S. as well as abroad. The brochures list the distributers in California (for U.S. destinations) and Florida (international orders).

Frankly, I really don't care if there's a sticker on the radio or not. And I doubt seriously if anyone else will.

Bill
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:52   #12
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

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Frankly, I really don't care if there's a sticker on the radio or not. And I doubt seriously if anyone else will.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know most here like to pick and choose the rules they wish to follow as they suit them. Just trying to find out if it is in fact approved for use in the U.S. in the marine version. Just went through the entire Yaesu listing in the FCC database and it's not there. If I had the FCC ID number off the radio, I could find out for sure but apparently, there isn't one...i.e. not approved for marine use in the U.S.

Eric
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Old 05-10-2012, 13:52   #13
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know most here like to pick and choose the rules they wish to follow as they suit them. ....
Eric
Whoa.....this from the guy who likes to turn on compression in the 802 (thereby voiding it's certification) and setting it up for ham use as well?

Come on, Eric....lighten up!

:-)
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Old 05-10-2012, 13:54   #14
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know most here like to pick and choose the rules they wish to follow as they suit them.


According to the FCC database Yaesu has not registered a single MF/HF radio for Type 80 acceptance. They have 45-50 models in the VHF range that are type accepted. Legally the FT-600 cannot be used as a marine SSB in the US.
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Old 05-10-2012, 15:13   #15
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Re: Yaesu System 600 SSB Transciever Experience

...and then back again to my last question...anyone knows where I can buy a FC-800...or if not, any other suitable atu? Noone around here knows anything about the System 600, so I need help from abroad.
Rolf
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