Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Icon 706 MKIIG or Yaesu FT-857D/FT897D  (Read 6808 times)
KD6BOH
Member

Posts: 4




Ignore
« on: September 21, 2005, 01:17:44 PM »


I've been away from HAM Radio for almost 10 years and have only recently gotten the time and some resources available to devote to the hobby. I am a codeless Tech but plan on upgrading my Licence to General and possibly even Expert (free time permitting) with in the next 6/8 months.

I am litterally starting from scratch and would like some advice on what to get to build a decent setup. I want to be able to do moble operations to participate in field day and possibly help out with emergencies. I am also on Active duty with the Air Force and am looking into maybe adding MARS after I pass my General tests. For this reason I am also trying to limit the space impact of my setup becasue of PCS-ing and appartment dwelling.

I have looked at rigs listed in the subject and all three seem to fit the bill for a decent all-in-one station that will give me the most flexibility. My Question is which one would be better. I am on a buget and would prefer to purchase new if possible.  Besides price what are the real differences between the Yaesu FT 897D and the Icon 706 MKIIG? The FT 857D looks like a smaller version of the FT 897D with out battery/power supply storage in the case. Is this assumtion correct or are there other differences that I am not seeing?

Thanks in advance
Jason KD6BOH  
Logged
K7VO
Member

Posts: 1010




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2005, 03:17:18 PM »

You are correct that the FT-857D is a scaled back, smaller FT-897D.  They do share a lot of circuitry in common.  The FT-897D does offer the TCXO standard while it's an option on the FT-857D and this may be an issue for you if you plan on doing digital work.  In addition to the battery issue the FT-897D supports an attachable autotuner by either Yaesu or LDG.

Icom or Yaesu is like asking:  Which is better, Ford or Chevy?  It really is a matter of personal preference. Both platforms have proven to be extremely reliable and popular.  

I prefer Yaesu because 1) it's newer technology.  The IC-706MkIIG is an update of a much older design.  2) To me the Yaesu menus make more sense logically.  I know others will say exactly the opposite but I, personally, don't like the menu system on the Icom.  3) I really like the Collins mechanics filters offered for the Yaesu FT-817/857/897 series.

Having said that I don't think you'd go far wrong if you chose the Icom.

The big issue is always the antennas.  That's where you can make a huge difference.  At VHF and UHF good low loss feedline is also essential.  You also need to remember that VHF/UHF weak signal work (SSB/CW/digital) is all horizontally polarized while FM and repeaters is all vertically polarized.  There is 20-30dB of polarization loss if you go with the wrong polarization.  For a lot of people that means two antennas (or sets of antennas) at those frequencies.

My main point is that all these radios are brilliant if you use a good antenna system and they are all worthless without.

73,
Caity
K7VO
Logged
KG6WLS
Member

Posts: 507




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2005, 05:03:46 PM »

I would have to agree with Caity on the 706's menu. I've had 706MKII, and now the MKIIG. But, once you've programed it and used it enough, the lil' bugger grows on you, and makes a great back-up or mobile rig.

Positive side:


I like the 706's (this is just me) because all the buttons/features are right there in front of you, plus a bigger display. 706, 706MKII, & 706MKIIG have been around for awhile and are quite rugged.

Negative side:

The 706' cost more that the 857's new or used. Current drain on the 706 is 1.3 to 2.0 amps RX / 20 max amps TX (runs a little warmer than the 857), as for the 857D is 0.6 to 1.0 amp RX / 22 max amps TX.

I don't think you'll go wrong with either one you choose. Best way to go about it is visit the candy store and try them out, or maybe a fellow ham has one or the other you could try.

Good luck on your choice and I'm sure Alan will be in here shortly to set us straight about the Icom 706 series. --------Take it away Alan!-------

73
Mike
Logged
YI9VCQ
Member

Posts: 24




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2005, 11:13:58 PM »

I've used a 706MkIIG for the past 11 months in Iraq. It's reliable and small. Yes, there are a lot of menus, but as another ham noted, there's not much touching them once all is set up. I added a 500-Hz CW and 1.9KHz filter to the rig, and it performs well in pileups and contests.

On the other hand, my buddy Joe, YI9TAS, has the 857 and we used to talk every week on HF SSB. He loves his rig and it works well for him.

Good luck with whatever you may purchase. You can't go wrong with any of your choices.

73,

Korey
YI9VCQ/KA5VCQ
Baghdad, Iraq
Logged
KD6NEM
Member

Posts: 14




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2005, 08:25:46 PM »

Until today this has been my question also- 706MkIIG or FT897D? Now that I received my new AES catalog, I see that the IC7000 isn't vapor ware after all. In fact, looks like all these other two are and a lot more. (I don't mean to hijack this thread- but might this not now be the pertinent question?) While no full duplex still (so I understand), it does have a vastly superior DSP setup. It is being compared to the IC 746pro performance wise, if I have it right. Detachable faceplate, full color LCD (with color VHF TV tuner & external video out no less!), built in RTTY decoding, even smaller & lighter than the 706, etc. The few JA's that have them absolutely love them. Supposedly a few europeans might have them, but I haven't heard of any say so yet. I'm trying to figure out one thing- Icom says it will NOT be discontinuing the 706 after all. What does this mean? What sort of marketing strategy are they thinking of? Once full production is underway, the 7000 should actually be less expensive to build since it has quite a bit fewer components than the 706. So what will our price be? THAT is the question. JA's are evindently paying a bit more than the equivalent of $1500 US. I have heard that they pay more than we do over here (Go figure!). I hope so- If this rig came in not too much over a grand I'd seriously reconsider my plans for an 897D. Am I right, is this not about to be a viable third (even better?)option?

Stu KD6NEM
Logged
KG6WLS
Member

Posts: 507




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2005, 09:55:15 PM »

Stu,

You have a valid point, and most hams are probally waiting for the day that they can bring that lil' baby (IC-7000) home and say "lookie what I just got". However, KD6BOH had mentioned that he was on a budget (though he didn't give a $$ figure). $1500 for the IC-7000 might be a little steep for jumping in, or back in, when you consider that they'll will have to put up some kind of antenna, a power supply, a tuner for HF, an honest to G-d power/swr meter, etc...

As far as the IC-7000 goes, it's got a few little extra goodies than the 706's, but I see that it has the same current draw. Will it have issues of running too warm, or a trip back to Icom for display problems?? Only time will tell.

I think I'll hold onto my IC-746PRO and my two MKIIG's (mobile and back-up) for now and wait it out. If they bring the IC-7000 down just under a U.S. $grand$ before taxes, I MIGHT consider after they've proven themselves. Until then we'll just have to wait and see.

73 de Mike/KG6WLS
Logged
K7VO
Member

Posts: 1010




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2005, 06:24:29 PM »

I bought an Icom IC-706 right when they first came out.  It was the biggest mistake I ever made.  The radio was an absolute disaster in more ways than I care to think about.  Remember the early production runs of the IC-703?  How many driver failures were there?  Early IC-746Pros?

I don't recommend anyone buy first production runs of any rig, including the IC-7000.  Wait until they are proven to work well.  It may be a viable option eventually, but not yet.

73,
Caity
K7VO
Logged
KD6NEM
Member

Posts: 14




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2005, 09:43:19 PM »

I agree it is prudent to not be the first in line for a brand new rig. I will wait awhile myself (as I attempt to accumulate the cash), although I have hopes that Icom has learned from past mistakes (at least they'll catch most of the bigger ones before full production, I'd hope) as well as ironing out the inevitable smaller bugs based on the "beta-testers" experience (JA's, & wherever else approves this rig in a hurry). Sure, there remain some "what if's"; there will always be some of that with new rigs. Reliability & price are always the question. But the upside is this rig will require few accessories because so much is already built in. I don't imagine it will even readily accept mechanical filters, will it? With that lever of IF DSP just tune in your filters as desired. If you add up the cost of a new 706 MkIIG with two mechanical filters and TXCO you are looking at $1250 plus tax, probably as much or more than what I'm guessing the 7000 will go for. But that remains the big question, right? Just what WILL it go for?

For me whatever I buy next will likely be my one HF rig (aside from home built QRP stuff), and I'll keep it till it rots. Too soon to tell, but the 7000 might just be my next. Or will it be the FT-897 after all? Ask me in six months! Glad I don't have to decide today...
Logged
G4JJP
Member

Posts: 25


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2005, 03:40:39 PM »

Having owned an Icom 706 Mk 1, I wanted to upgrade.  I had decided, without trying either Mk 2 G or 857, that the Icom would win.  Boy, was I surprised when I tried them both.  The Yaesu won hands down.  Better receiver, nicer feel, more features - it seems to have everything that might be needed.

I have bought the Yaesu 857D - there was a second-hand one with full year's warranty in stock - and am awaiting it.  i will comment on whether my decision holds up once I have tried it out.

Richard
G4JJP
Logged
KB2CPW
Member

Posts: 304




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2005, 09:53:38 AM »


 Amen Brudda,

  The FT100D with all of the mods and add ons, blows them both away.. I do have two 857's (one original and one D model) they are great rigs, intuitive and run circles around the 706 of all flavors.

  The 706 is like the Ipod, its more popular and there are tons of add ons than other MP3's but its certainly not the best in terms of features and useability.. Sometimes the Underdogs are the clear winners.. Richy N2ZD
Logged
KE7FHL
Member

Posts: 11




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2005, 08:18:10 AM »

I too, just got my ticket a few weeks ago, and have the same questions, but with a few twists.
  Between the FT-897D & FT-847, which would be the better rig for me.  I plan on using the rig solely for a base station only.
  Also, would the Cushcraft R8, HF Multiband Vertical Antenna be a good choice?  And run a dipole in the attic for the 2m & 70cm stuff?
  Thank you all for your time!    
Logged
KD6NEM
Member

Posts: 14




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2005, 07:16:41 AM »

I see you mention FT-847 & FT-857. Big difference, I suspect a typo- (I have NEVER done anything like that ;-)

If you meant 857 (which is my guess) I'd say it depends on how much effort you end up putting into digital modes- the TXCO in the 897D being useful here. I am in the same boat as you more or less- have been licensed a good while as a tech though expect to begin HF ops by spring or summer. (Still working on my CW) While the IC-7000 holds a great deal of interest to me, I want to make sure the worst of the bugs are worked out and the price comes down to reality. Sorry, it looks like an outstanding little radio, but $1500???!! Drop it by $400 and I'll give serious consideration so long as my bank account allows. Otherwise, the radio of my dreams for over a year has been the FT-897D. I want to try PSK-31, and its bandwidth is so narrow that a little drift could be a big deal. I hear that there are a few little refinements in the 897 over the 857 which have accumulated over the past couple of years. Nothing earth shattering, but together they make a difference according to some. Wish I could quote what they are- though if you look around in the 897 forums @ yahoo you'll eventually come across what they are.

Antennas- I am "highly qualified" as a book learned student only at this point, my personal experience in HF antennas is running longwires and loops for receiving. (Love to build VHF & UHF antennas, though!) I suggest you visit the W4RNL website: http://www.cebik.com/radio.html If you are interested in the technical aspects of antennas this is the place! I keep going back and learning more. Verticals are wonderful if you have very limited area for antennas, though they are something of a compromise from what I gather. Actually, all antennas can be something of a compromise unless you only operate on one fixed frequency. I plan on putting up as much wire as I can fit in my yard. I'll be feeding with ladder line or twin lead and building a Z-match tuner. Not for everyone, but I really look forward to the process. There are MANY options with wire antennas- IF you have room. Ladder line has WAY less loss than even expensive coax. Planning on moving out of state in 18 months- hoping for three or four acres at the new QTH! For VHF/UHF repeater work you want a vertical or J-pole. Building your own is inexpensive & fun. I built a cubical quad for 70 cm which I have a number of times made QSO's over 120 miles on two watts FM. Imagine what it would do if tuned for SSB! Now a 6M dipole in the attic might be decent. The verticals could be concealed in the attic if desired, though outside could be even better.

Just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary.

73,

Stu KD6NEM
Logged
WM9V
Member

Posts: 106




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2010, 06:20:37 PM »

I'm posting just to keep the thread running,
 not as a reply to any comments specifically.
I own a 706 mark I and an ft857d along with many other icom radios; and I prefer Icom.
I would not recommend buying a Yaesu radio and you can read my review on this site in several places
The display is too small and the menus and front panel are extremely confusing .
The radio is nice quality but it has issues with audio and cat control and 60 meter presets.
anyone following the motorola story knows that they are splitting up and moving out of schaumburg and this may have an impact on vertex standard.
Yaesu gets an f for support and that's coming from a tech who has worked for the big three consumer electronics retailers for years.
With Icom I call and can talk to a tech , and get a service manual and parts.... everytime.
I'm able to do all the repairs their factory can but I refuse to reengineer their products for them.
I've got other things to do.
Someone locally here brought home a new 7000 and it had a problem with low ,bad mod on ssb on two meters and lo and behold ICOM knew that fix too
if you are not prepared to deal with technical issues
with your radio,  don't count on yaesu to help you
Sometimes price should not be your only criteria.
Go to youtube and look at the videos there for yourselves. I question the glowing unobjective comments here; required before dropping 7 or 800 dollars on this stuff.
Logged
STAYVERTICAL
Member

Posts: 854




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2010, 01:26:02 PM »

I was in your situation two years ago.
I needed to re-tool my ham shack from the days when I used an FT101D!

Now first the disclaimer.
I have only ever used Yaesu.
No radio has ever failed on me, and they just keep going.
I know not everybody has this experience, but I certainly have.
Before I made the decision to buy, I looked up the reviews on Eham and decided on Yaesu due to the various problems with Icom gear, displays, finals etc.
I know Yaesu is not immune, but I chose function over form.

I bought an FT897D, then the FP30 internal PSU, 500hz and 2300hz collins filters. This gives me a small 100 watt 160m to 70cm (2m 50w, 70cm 20w) base station which, although not up to contest radio standards, is more than adequate for my use.

As I operate mainly digital modes, I echo the comments of others regarding frequency stability. It is very obvious on waterfalls when a station drifts, and this makes the FT897Ds' standard TCXO invaluable.

Since my original purchase, I have purchased another FT897D for mobile use, and an FT817ND for backpacking.
So far, they have performed flawlessly.

Since I have all similar radios, I can use the same digimodes data interface for all three radios (6 pin data port socket) and Ham Radio Deluxe or FLdigi will take of care of radio control. The size of the display or menu navigation, becomes a non-issue if you use radio control software.

The Yaesu cable I use for radio control is the CT62 and can be used on FT897D or the FT817ND.

When not in use, I keep the radios in their own laptop computer bag, 160m-70cm 100w station in a small bag.

I use an FC40 remote ATU, but I would advise against using this if you like radio control as they both use the same CAT port. So you have to choose. There are many other tuner options anyway, so I would go for the radio control.

For the price, and I have put my money where my mouth is, the FT897D is a great choice. I would go for it rather than the FT857 unless you want to use it for mainly mobile use.

ICOM and YAESU as well as the other vendors make good radios, just read the reviews, including the zealots, and make up your own mind.
Logged
AF6IT
Member

Posts: 26




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2010, 02:19:35 PM »

Wow, this thread is an old one!

There are many choices, and most are viable. That is- even older gear can get the job done and if you are happy with it why not?

I posted a couple years ago or more (as KD6NEM) that I was looking carefully at this same choice. I wound up with a Ten-Tec Argonaut 516. Splendid rig, though not for everyone. It is now "obsolete" in that it is out of production since some components are no longer available, although many of its features have only recently been copied by Yaesu. This "old" rig has IF DSP which means its filters work better than most and require no optional add-ons. Ever. Well, now Yaesu now has what I regard to be the best bang for the buck by far- the FT-450. I do not own one, have played with one, and just admire them. It simply puts the 857 & 897 to shame except for its lack of 2m & 70cm. Honestly, if you are into HF you ought not let that affect your decision any more than superiority of the 450's performance while remaining bargain basement priced. As cheap or cheaper than the 857/897. Yet it'll run circles around them in several ways.

So I remain puzzled at why the FT-857/897 (or for that matter the IC-706)remain so popular still. Now my out of production Argonaut has some of the best of both worlds with real knobs and basically no endless menus so it has a traditional radio feel in some ways, while its filters are excellent. Only 20W which does NOT leave me feeling handicapped, but as I said earlier it is not a rig for everyone. But some of these more popular radios today have comparably poor filters AND have way too many nuisance menus to hassle through. And these cost more than better newer designs! Just does not compute to me. YMMV.

ALL rigs offer certain strengths and certain compromises, so pick what seems best within your budget. One last tidbit- used radios can offer a lot if priced reasonably enough. (A buddy just picked up an old Kenwood TS-450 cheap- NICE radio!) Know that some parts may not be readily replaceable. But above all- understand that most rigs build after roughly 2004 (give or take) are assembled with lead free solder. Google NASA & RoHS & have a peek at NASA's website devoted to this issue. You'll see that the expected life span of any electronic device assembled with this stuff which also utilizes fine pitch surface mount technology has a resulting finite life span. It becomes absolute GARBAGE once the tin whiskers start growing long enough to start multiple short circuits. That means somewhere between 5 to 10 years after MANUFACTURE it WILL drop dead- unrepairably so. So beware a "great" deal on any very recent used rig which is 5 years old or greater. Unless you plan on using it for a rather expensive paperweight or door stop!

Stu AF6IT
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!