The Yaesu FT-70G: Where the FT line met Milcom

Note: this is a cross-post from the SWLing Post.

Earlier today, I stumbled upon a very unique transceiver in Universal Radio archives: the Yaesu FT-70G.

Here’s the description from Universal:

The Yaesu FT-70G is a portable HF transceiver covering 2 to 30 MHz transmit. Receive is from 500 kHz to 30 MHz. Frequency selection is via BCD switches to 100 Hz. There is a clarifier for fine tuning. Optional FNB-70 NiCad Battery. Please note that the optional 10F-2.4DL filter is required for LSB opeation. The Yaesu FT-70F is similar, but is a channelized fixed version offering up to 11 frequencies.

Two hours ago, I was not aware that the FT-70G existed.  Now? I want one!

I’m a real sucker for vintage rugged field radio gear, so I never discovered the FT-70G until today. Turns out, they’re relatively rare. A little light research reveals that it’s a highly-desired transceiver in the world of HF Packers–those radio enthusiast who like “manpack” commercial and military gear.

The FT-70G has a distinct military look and feel with the BCD switches to change frequency, rugged toggle switches, chassis extensions to protect the front panel, and attached screw-on connector caps.

What’s really surprising is that the FT-70G has a general coverage receiver (500 kHz to 30 MHz). Admittedly, it would not be fun band-scanning with those BCD switches…but still!

This website has a number of photos. They also have a product description likely from the original Yaesu/Vertex Standard FT-70G description:

“The FT-70 series HF field portable manpack transceivers are designed to provide reliable communications under rugged conditions in the military and commercial environment. The frequency synthesized, all solid-state circuitry and die-cast anodized aluminum enclosure and battery pack make a highly portable, weatherproof station. Flexible operation for optimum communications under a wide range of propagation conditions are assured by SSB (USB, LSB), semi break-in CW, AM, or audio interfaced Data modes. All controls, antenna, and interface ports are available and selectable via the front panel for maximum effectiveness and ergonomics in field, base, and manpack applications. The companion antenna tuner FC-70 is compatible with walking manpack, field portable, or base configurations. The highly effective vertical tripod mount antenna system YA-70 is deployed and stowed easily and quickly, pulling double duty by converting to manpack whip while on manuevers. High quality handset YH-70 provides communications privacy and clarity.”

Again, check out the excellent photos of the full manpack kit.

As I researched pricing, I discovered this FT-70 with accompanying FC-70M antenna tuner on eBay right now with only 6 hours left of bidding:

At time of posting, the bids are at $520. I fear this will soar well above my comfort level before bidding ends. (Like I need another field radio anyway, right?)

Post readers: Please comment if you’re familiar with the FT-70G and especially if you’ve ever owned one.  I’d love to hear about your experience with this unique rig.

3 thoughts on “The Yaesu FT-70G: Where the FT line met Milcom”

  1. I owned an FG-70 with the companion tuner and the canvas carry pack. This was back in the early 1980’s. I picked up used, probably from Universal Radio although I don’t recall clearly.

    I mostly used it in my car, from various parks. I also used it from my home QTH. As you can imagine, bandscanning was not easy with the FG-70. While it wasn’t a stellar performer, it was fun and extremely cool-looking.

  2. Hej,

    I had a newspaper in 1982 and the FT-70 was showned there.
    I was dreaming lot of years of it and 2009 I had one. Broken and dead. With the mike, FNB and 2 batteries.
    I contacted Garant-Funk, XYL Elisabeth Taylor and after 9 months I had the original and unique SM (!) in world in my hands from Japan, only for rental…
    I repaired it and changed the LSB-Filter (from UK, 2,1kHz, 20pounds; no 2.3 to find…) and repaired also the 25W PA!
    Yes it was with a 25W PA, an FT-70GH, I was so happy. Then I found a FC-70 and was very happy too.
    I had a nice time with it and used it a lot. My dream was real.

    After I had a SE6861, very better and sold the FT-70GH.

    In 2012 I was in Munich for a HamFast and saw the original antenna for it. This OM had all, all of the FT-70G (not H).

    Yes it was a nice time.
    Today I have the SE6861.

    73 de SA4HMR Harry.

    1. Hi Harry,
      I see that you found a LSB Filter for FT70 in UK.
      Is it possible to know where you found it?
      Thanks in advance.
      Michael IW2AAW

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