eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: N9GXA on July 25, 2008, 10:23:46 AM

Title: Yaesu Portable Rig
Post by: N9GXA on July 25, 2008, 10:23:46 AM

  I couldn't find a better place to post this and realizing many variables would need to be filled in, I'm looking for guidance on a portable do-it-all rig. Or as close as I can get. I'm trying to prepare myself for self-contained successful communications in the smallest package.

  While trying to do my homework, I think I have it narrowed down to two rigs. Both are Yaesu and at opposite ends of the scale. Sort of. The FT-817 and the FT-897.

  I guess I need to identify my goals, but I tend to go for maximum flexibility with a minimum amount of pieces. The 817 looks like the winner if 5 watts would be enough. If not, I need to carry an amp of some size and then I may as well get the 897 for a one piece 20 watt rig (or add a battery for 100w max.). I can see phone/SSB being attempted at first, but am becoming proficient in CW in case it's needed.

  Since I have never HAD to be portable, I have a hard time IDing my goals. I may need just local VHF coverage, but never know if some event would dictate the need for HF coverage. I would hate to buy one rig and end up really needing the other rig had I known some information which comes from experience. So any help from you would be greatly appreciated.

  In the end, the rig will probably spend most of it's time in the shack as a backup rig and serve as a portable during practice and possible emergency deployment. While in the shack, I can imagine the rig and necessary accessories in a case (Faraday cage?) ready for action.

  Thanks in advance for any constructive information...


Title: Yaesu Portable Rig
Post by: N4CQR on July 26, 2008, 04:24:36 AM
Join the Yahoo groups for each radio:



I own the 897 with internal power supply. I had no intention of portable operation so batteries were not
a consideration. Batteries are expensive! but seem to last about 4 years. And gives about 4.5 hours of run time. All based on what I read in the 897 group.

If I were you, I'd join both groups and search through the messages. This may help you focus on what your goals are/should be etc..

Title: Yaesu Portable Rig
Post by: W7IBI on July 27, 2008, 09:53:04 AM
I like the FT-817 for bicycle mobile and hiking.
Never thought of having a "backup" radio in the shack since I have never had trouble with a rig crapping out.  If it does, I can easily live without radio until it is repaired. It's just a hobby, not my life.
For your intended use, either one will do. There is more of a challenge to operating 5W and below, and I find more satisfaction.
Good luck with whatever your choice is.

Title: Yaesu Portable Rig
Post by: AB8ZX on July 28, 2008, 05:42:44 AM
I have an 817 and it changed my radio life. it really did. opened up a lot of possibilites for me. it's been all over the country with me, I've used it mobile as well. perfect for camping and portable (on the back porch) operation.

granted, I'm a long time QRP operator, so the 4 watt power output didn't bother me.

I can't say enough great things about this little wonder radio.

also, Batteries Plus is a great source for batteries. don't know if there's one in your area or not. we have several here.

Title: Yaesu Portable Rig
Post by: N9GXA on July 28, 2008, 06:59:04 AM
  Thanks for your replies. I appreciate your input and look forward to any others wanting to contribute. I have become a member of the respective Yahoo groups and, today, I lean toward the 817. Tomorrow...?

  I used to think of ham radio as only a hobby. I've been away from amateur radio for a few years and since returning, I still look at it as a hobby, but also as a potential benefit to helping others (and me) in case current popular communication venues become unavailable, etc. Now, if it's simply the rig crapping out, I believe I could live without ham radio. I did it for a few years already.

  I wouldn't want to try and lug around my current shack rig (FT-920) if I needed to "bug out". And I'm not interested in replacing the 920 right now, either. hihi

  Again, thanks for your time...


Title: Yaesu Portable Rig
Post by: G8UBJ on July 30, 2008, 07:22:56 AM
Depending on how portable you need and the power output the IC-703 at 10 watts seems to sit between these and includes an antenna tuner?

Title: Yaesu Portable Rig
Post by: WA9UAA on July 30, 2008, 10:54:37 AM
The new Icom 7200 was just approved by the FCC. I don't know when it will go on sale though. Universal Radio has some info in it.