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Author Topic: Can't decide between FT-857D and FT-897D  (Read 1538 times)
ALLENCB
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Posts: 117




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« on: January 21, 2007, 04:05:37 PM »

I've read reviews, specs, and eham posts till I'm crosseyed, but I still can't decide.

I'm studying for my General and want to buy a radio that will let me operate in a variety of modes and bands.  I've narrowed it down to these two.  My space is limited, so multiple radios or a traditional "base" station isn't going to happen.  At the moment, I know I'm going to operate from home and "in the field" (camping, etc).  I might operate mobile since I'll be taking a few long (15hr) road trips this year.  

I like how the 897 can pack it's own batteries, but the price premium will cover external AGM batteries for the 857 (the batteries, charger, and AC converter for the 897 is muy pricey).  

Is there any reason from an operational perspective that would make one better than the other?  What does it mean when someone makes the claim that these radios have a "high noise floor"?  

Chris
KI4POT
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1735




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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2007, 01:20:16 AM »

The 897 is bigger, and the controls are easier to operate with ones fingers.
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ALLENCB
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2007, 03:19:10 AM »

Yeah, I kinda figured that one out on my own.  HiHi

I'm concerned with things like the TCXO9 that the 897 has.  Does that make a difference in "the real world".  Based on my reading, it's helps maintain frequency stability in wide temperature shifts.  Since I plan on operating outdoors, would that be useful or is it just another marketing point for Yaesu?

Chris
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N5EAT
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Posts: 177




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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2007, 05:15:52 AM »

The TXCO will probably make a difference. However, I have both radios and they are both very stable.  I never have to tune my 857 because it has drifted off some signal i'm listening to.

Regarding the noise floor, It's kind of a non-issue with a radio in this class.  People say the same thing about the kenwood TS-2000.  
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2007, 05:38:30 AM »

Unless you absolutely need the 'grab the handle and run out the door with it' portability of the 897, the 857 is a better choice.
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ALLENCB
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2007, 05:49:12 AM »

Thanks for the input folks.  I'm leaning towards the 857 due to price and size.  I just want to make sure I'm not missing some bit of data that's obvious to an experienced operator but not to me. Smiley

Chris
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2007, 02:31:44 PM »

Problem is, "data" tells absolutely nothing about how a rig sounds or feels.

In those regards, I don't like either of these two rigs!

I have never heard a "good sounding" FT-857D (or FT-897D, for that matter) yet.  By "good sounding," I mean one having excellent modulation on SSB.  If you operate only CW and digital modes, it doesn't matter.

The FT-817ND (little portable QRP rig) sounds absolutely lousy on "phone" modes.  I own one, anyway, simply because there's really nothing else like it on the market with regard to size, weight and overall capability.  But I'm sure glad I don't have to use it daily, it would drive me nuts.  (It's a "backpack/portable" rig for me, for emergencies or camping trips.)

For "better audio," the IC-7000 is pretty good; the IC-706MK2G isn't bad, but not quite as good as the 7000; the Ten Tec Argonaut V, although the subject of some controversy surrounding its "audio," usually sounds very good to me.  For a "small rig," the TS-480S is best of breed and sounds wonderful.

WB2WIK/6
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ALLENCB
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2007, 02:42:42 PM »

I agree with the data comment.  My next step is to try one out in person, but I want to thin the herd a bit first.  I've heard the Ten Tec Argonaut V in person and liked how it sounds, but it doesn't have 2m.

The IC-7000 is too expensive, the 706 borderline pricewise.  I'll have to give the TS-480S a close look though.  It hasn't been on my "list" due to lack of knowledge.

Chris
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ALLENCB
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2007, 02:42:59 PM »

I agree with the data comment.  My next step is to try one out in person, but I want to thin the herd a bit first.  I've heard the Ten Tec Argonaut V in person and liked how it sounds, but it doesn't have 2m.

The IC-7000 is too expensive, the 706 borderline pricewise.  I'll have to give the TS-480S a close look though.  It hasn't been on my "list" due to lack of knowledge.

Chris
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KB2NAT
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2007, 07:39:16 AM »

I went through the same process that you are doing and I put in a lot research.  I like the fact that both have audio that draws a lot of positive comments.  I finally decided on the 897D because it contains its own power supply (optional) and for a battery I just carry a $29 Wal-Mart Gel cell used for jump starting cars.  Its good for about 4-6 hrs of normal use.  I don't operate mobile, but I like the portability and I actually think that the 897 is better because the larger size is more than compensated for by an internal power supply or batteries (costly at $100 plus for each.  The 897 felt a bit more solid and protected by its hefty-feeling case.  Ultimately, it's what YOU like, though, and neither one is likely to disappoint you.
Rick, KB2NAT
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ALLENCB
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2007, 07:17:03 AM »

I've heard a lot of good things about the FT100D.  However, I'm concerned about buying a used rig.  Even used, they're selling for a significant amount of money.  How's Yaesu's support for out of production equipment?

Chris
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N1XBP
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Posts: 80




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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2007, 01:46:16 PM »

"Since I plan on operating outdoors"


Hands down get the 897 then. One of the reasons for this is since you are buying your rig, I assume you'll buy your accessories, too, and most of the ones for the 897 are designed to go portable (tuners that bolt to the bottom, etc.)

The knobs are easier to use (which matters if this is your only rig!), the display is much easier to see, and the receiver is just nicer to my ears.

Yes, TXCO does make a difference in the real world.. mostly for narrow modes and digital modes like PSK-31. If you plan on running that, it will mean something in terms of drift. When your signal is 31 Hz wide or so, a few Hz of drift is noticable.

There is a nice large analog meter that can be hooked to an 897 to make the SWR and power easier to see. That would sell me right there.

73
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N5EAT
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Posts: 177




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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2007, 11:33:15 PM »

I had previously stated that the txco would not make a huge difference.   However, I must agree with the previous poster.  If you run full keydown digital modes your rig will heat way up then cool way down.
In this case, you may have a drift problem with the 857 w/out the txco.  I still don't think it would be much of an issue, but the constant heating and cooling of digital modes is a consideration.
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DG3YCC
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2007, 01:10:05 PM »

Have them both. Main differences:

extra clarifier knob on the 897 (the 857 has  one knob for clarifier/channel/multiple use, function must be selected)

857 has a thin wire coming out of the back. Connecting this to ground reduces RF power - good for antenna tuning etc. I soldered a switch between this and the ground wire (BTW: do the yaesu people think a wire coming out of the enclosure is 21st century technology?). With the 897 you have to dig into the menu to alter RF power.

What I dislike with both radios: flimsy knobs (always afraid to break them when I'm portable) and jacks (for key, speaker etc.) that are soldered to the main board and not screwed to the back of the radio (like in the 70th). On day the soldering points will come apart.
   
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KE5LDO
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Posts: 89




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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2007, 04:53:38 PM »

I just went through this in october and went with the 897D because of the versatility and the larger screen.  It is easier on the eyes as well as the knobs are much bigger. It sounds good, but add an external speaker for better sound.  I also purchased the LDG AT897 tuner which is great.  I feel you might be happier with the 897D, if the budget can absorb it..  As far as batteries, I added the Gamma Research power supply instead of batteries.  See thier website for details. Greg
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