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: Prev 1 [2]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: FT-897D as a starter rig?  (Read 6893 times)
W8JX
Member

Posts: 5904




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2012, 08:01:27 AM »

I bought my 480 SAT used nearly 3 years ago. I have never regretted it. I seriously looked at 897 but found its receiver lacking compared to 480. 480 nhas much better noise reduction too. While 480 is now about 6+ years old in design, the 897 is even more dated. Yes you can add a tuner to 897 (it bolts to side of it and increases size and mass) but it costs more money, the 480SAT has one built in. The 480 has a bigger display and is more user friendly with more features and settings available directly via buttons on front panel rather than menu. Also the 480 is VERY remote friendly if you want to go that route one day. It you take time to learn how to fully utilize a 480's features you will find it a very capable radio that is very resistant to AGC swamping too.

Also while 480 has a separate control head that cannot be directly attached to radio (because aux jacks/ports and cooled ducts/vents on front and back of main body) there is a optional mobile carry bracket called a MB-480 than bolts to 480 and provides a mounting for head in front of body and a side handle to carry rig. 
Logged

--------------------------------------
All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
KJ4FUU
Member

Posts: 162




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2012, 10:36:26 AM »

The 897 is a good starter rig. The 857 is cheaper, but it lacks the TCXO, something I think that is mainly
of use to someone using the rig outdoors. However, don't forget to budget in your antenna system.

My HF rig is the 897's baby brother, the 817. I like charging into contests with one hand tied behind by back. Smiley

73,

-- Tom
Logged
W8JX
Member

Posts: 5904




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 08:54:41 AM »

The 897 is a good starter rig. The 857 is cheaper, but it lacks the TCXO, something I think that is mainly of use to someone using the rig outdoors.

Well as far as needing a TCXO in any rig this is kinda overrated. Mobile environment is tougher than portable and can see wide temperature ranges too and I never needed a TCXO for HF there.
Logged

--------------------------------------
All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
WA7KPK
Member

Posts: 129




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2012, 10:09:23 AM »

Personally, I would recommend the FT-857D over the FT-897D because, as others have said, it's an FT-897D on the inside and a fair amount cheaper. IMO the extra space for the in-case batteries/power supply doesn't justify the extra $100-200 the '897 would cost.

When I was recently in the market for an HF rig after being off of HF for over 20 years I had a couple of criteria I wanted my rig to meet. One was price; another was portability. I wanted to get something small that I could shove in a go-kit on a moment's notice if necessary. A third was versatility without complexity. I wanted to be able, if I so choose, to use the same rig to switch from operating 2-meter FM to 80-meter SSB to 30-meter PSK. I didn't want a Rigzilla that would spot my DX, point the beam, address the QSL card, toast my morning bagel and cost about as much as a small car. The FT-857D fit these criteria nicely. If I could have gotten an '897 for a similar price I'd have done it and worried about the portability aspect later.

Other posts in this thread have mentioned that small rigs tend to run hotter than larger ones. If you find that to be the case, you can pull one or two fans out of an old computer and use them to cool the '857. I'm running mine off of a converted computer power supply that has a +5V line that I can hook the fans up to.
Logged
MDNITERDER
Member

Posts: 146




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2012, 10:26:54 AM »

I will keep the 857 in mind as well.
Logged
MDNITERDER
Member

Posts: 146




Ignore
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2012, 02:30:35 PM »

What about a FT-847 for HF/2/70cm base unit? It has the larger display as everyone is raving about.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 02:49:14 PM by MDNITERDER » Logged
KB1TXK
Member

Posts: 441


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2012, 02:58:35 PM »

897D is my 'starter' radio. I haven't needed to shop for a different radio at all.  Everything I want to do, I can do on my 897D.  I expect to own and use this radio until it, or I, burst into flames Smiley
Logged

KI4SDY
Member

Posts: 1452




Ignore
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2012, 05:32:05 PM »

As far as first rigs, I have to agree with W8JX, separate radios for HF and VHF/UHF perform their jobs better and the ability to monitor both at the same time is a great benefit. Also, if one breaks down, you are still not completely off the air. Wink  

The only all in one radio I would consider would be the 817ND, because it is truly portable and can be power upgraded with a sea of available inexpensive HF amplifiers, if needed. A good antenna is better and cheaper, though!  Grin
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 01:15:49 AM by KI4SDY » Logged
K7RBW
Member

Posts: 392




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2012, 06:39:26 AM »

I also went with the 857. It's as portable as the 817 and cheaper and smaller than the 897.  I like the HF/VHF/UHF coverage and figure that if I ever get an HF base station, I can just put the 857 in the car.
Logged
W8JX
Member

Posts: 5904




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2012, 07:19:39 AM »

What is appealing to me about something like TS-480 is that though it is bigger than a 857 for portable work (and smaller than a 897) it has a built in antenna tuner which is very nice for portable work. Portable antennas can have less than perfect SWR at times and that SS rigs clamp RF out quickly with SWR which can require you to carry a antenna tuner too adding bulk, weight and extra stuff to hookup.
Logged

--------------------------------------
All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
K7SON
Member

Posts: 16




Ignore
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2012, 09:16:18 AM »

I have has a used FT-897D as a main rig since I got my general ticket in 2009, it works pretty well (based on my limited experienc) and even at 54 my eyes can still deal with the small display and menus. I also have the FP-30 and the filter for CW/Dig all purchased used. I would eventually like something with a little quieter reciever (TS-590?) for the base, but presently I still use the 897 everyday (and frequently take it when I go camping, with a wire antenna). Personally, for 2m ops I don't tie up my HF listening I just use a FT-1900 or similar rig to stay hooked into the local repeater groups, they are cheap, especially used, and you can scan seperate from your HF ops.  73 and happy hunting.
Logged
KC2RGW
Member

Posts: 287


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2012, 05:07:03 PM »

I also went with the 857. It's as portable as the 817 and cheaper and smaller than the 897.  I like the HF/VHF/UHF coverage and figure that if I ever get an HF base station, I can just put the 857 in the car.

Love the rig, recommend them to new hams all the time.  It will allow you to investigate almost any mode in ham radio, voice, cw, digital modes, AM/FM/SSB on 2m and 440 and the other bands.

The quote above is why I prefer the 857.  Once you figure out what you want in more specific terms, they work really great as a mobile. 

Unless you are already an avid backpacker, the allure of the 897 battery pack for portable use will be a bit of a false adventure promise.  You will spend quite a bit more to get the option, more than it would cost to get a portable marine battery case and a car sized battery to use with an 857 (which will give you FAR more operating time than the 897 internal batteries).  Of course you won't want to backpack around with a car battery ;-).
Logged
N0AH
Member

Posts: 12




Ignore
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2012, 12:47:36 AM »

Entry level gets used a lot.  If you are new and want the best VHF/UHF performance and HF peformance and great performance, then get a true HF rig and a VHF/UHF HT radio and forget the combo's....I have the FT-897, the FT-857 and they are good radios.  But they are cheesy sounding next to a Kenwood TS590 for HF, and like others have said, add up in costs to bring them to solid radios with filtering and an antenna tuner.  Any newcomer should always consider a radio with a built in tuner and capability to get on digital modes with out external devices.  If you are needing a radio for emergency communications for ARES, etc...then the FT-897 has it's place here as it leads the pack in this catagory with the battery-  The FT-857 is a great mobile rig..........but due to the complexity of menus and the other issues I have already pointed out, if you are going to buy new, get rigs you'll be happy with as your first radio(s)-
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 [2]   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!