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eHam Forums => Station Building => Topic started by: KD0PBO on February 08, 2012, 07:27:56 PM



Title: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: KD0PBO on February 08, 2012, 07:27:56 PM
So I'm looking around trying to decide which of these radio's will fit my needs best and was wondering if anybody has some advice for me. So first lets start with what I like about these rigs.

Ft-817 - All modes, All bands. BATTERY POWER!! I go camping, hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, and just plain traveling alot so the convience of having the battery power is a near luxury for me. I like that it has two RF outputs so I can run a Dual band Jpole for 2m/440 from the BNC and then a Dipole for whatever band out the standard SO-239. Very easy to set up in the field. The only thing that I don't like is the limitation of 5w output. I understand that it is limited due to the battery option but with 5w and decent band conditions one could make decent contacts right?? And what about running on QTH power?

Ft-857 - All modes, All bands. Bigger size overall! 100w output with a large tuning knob and bigger display. I like being able to run this guy on a 12v battery or the one in my truck for whatever or whenever I need to. However, camping or hunting back in the boonies presents a problem if I can't get my truck back to where I'm staying and I do not want to have to lug a large power supply, in some cases a few miles to a camp site. Would the exta 95w be worth the larger power supply??

Any and all advice is accepted and appreciated!
For those of you that own one or both of these rigs, what do you like about it/them? Sell me folks! Make me a believer!!  ;D

KD0PBO
Miles


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: W8JX on February 08, 2012, 09:52:01 PM
I can tell you this, while it is possible to work world on 5 watts when conditions are right, when they are not it is very hard to get a few hundred miles especially on lower bands when noise levels are up. It is better to have a 100 watt rig that you can run at say 20 watts to extend battery life yet give you more punch and even more if needed rather than having pedal to floor at 5 watts and hope for best. From 5 watts to 100 is two plus S-units which can make a big difference at times. While I have worked a few QRP stations on 40 the copy has been tuff at times and rarely Q 5. Even with a 817 you still need a external battery if you plan to use it much because internal batteries have limited capacity. It would help if it had modern laptop style high capacity lithium batteries with serious capacity but it does not because 817 is a old design.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: KH6AQ on February 10, 2012, 09:04:18 AM
I own both radios and like them just fine. The FT-857 is in the car while the FT-857 is used for camping and field day. I work the world on 40-10 meters while mobile CW running the ATAS-120 antenna.

I work only CW and 2.5/5 watts is alot of fun (each radio has the optional CW filter). On SSB 2.5/5 watts isn't much fun.

There is a companion 45 watt amplifier made by Tokyo Hypower for the FT-817. Ham Radio Outlet sells the HL-45B for $450. 



Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: K5MF on February 11, 2012, 04:01:16 PM
I have both and I agree that both are fine radios.  They are both packed with stuff so they are a bit heavy, especially the 857.  But considering what is packed inside, the weight is a relative thing. 

They are really two different radios designed for two different tasks.  I think if you try to pick one you are sure to be disappointed at least in some situations.  The 857 draws considerable current even on receive so it is designed to be a vehicle radio with a continuous conversion of hydrocarbons to electricity.  Compared to it's Icom brother, the 857 draws about twice as much current on receive.  While it will work just fine as a portable radio with a good sized battery (I use a car battery) it won't run long on a small 7 or 8 amp hour gel cell which is about all you will want to haul up a mountain - unless you are a much better man than I am which is probably true.  The extra power of the 857 is great, but for me it just isn't worth carrying the extra weight and extra battery power a great distance. 

The 817 on the other hand is not really made for mobile or shack use.  It is made for hauling up mountains. The thing will run all day on a 7 AH battery - stretching it a bit.  It represents a reasonable weight to haul up a mountain and still be able to get on the air.  Yes it is very low power but you will also be operating in a very noise free environment.  Besides, noise is more of a receive thing and the 817 has a fairly good receiver.  On our SOTA trip we had s0 noise and and had 50 reception.  We could hear perfectly clearly and the S meter wasn't even budging.  It is quite fun to operate in a noise free environment.

Our club did a SOTA expedition up Guadalupe Peak TX last August.  There is no water in the back country so we had to haul everything in and out.  It was an 8.4 mile round trip with a 3000 foot vertical climb over rocky trails.  We took an Icom 7000, an 817ND, a couple of vertical antennas, and a couple of 7 AH batteries.  We took 1 gallon+ liquids for each hiker.  We cached some water about half-way up the mountain so we didn't have to carry it up and back down.  The result was we ran out of water and were dog tired when we came down.  The 7000 ran just fine on the 7AH battery at 100 watts and we made about 21 contacts in an hour.  I suspect we could have run the 857d for a full hour also but maybe not.  As it turned out we didn't use the 817 that day but I am confident it would have run for a couple of hours on the internal battery alone with average transmitting duty cycle.  So what does this prove?  Nothing, just some anecdotal evidence.  If you are young and can carry twice the battery weight plus twice the radio weight (4.6 lbs vs 2.5 lbs), you can probably do fine with the 857 on a 1 or 2 hour operating trek.  I think I would have been in trouble if I had tried to carry my 857 plus 2 batteries, plus water, plus antenna, plus food, and errr toilet paper, GPS, knife, first aid kit, guy lines, antenna tripod, pistol, pen, paper, cell phone....  You get the idea. If you check out some of the hiking sites such as the thru-hikers who do the Appalacian Trail or Continental Divide Trail, you will find that they measure their weight in ounces.  And they try to eliminate every oz.  So while the difference in weight between the 817 and 857 might not seem like much that extra 2 pounds plus battery adds up to a lot of oz.  Especially when going up a steep grade.

So that is my opinion.  Take it for what you paid for it.   There was an article a while back in QST on how to calculate battery life based on a reasonable duty cycle and what not.  It may be worth taking a look at if you want to figure out how much battery you would have to carry for your planned operating style.

My advice is get one of each!  I know easy to say.  But the point is that radios are designed for certain roles and there is no one size fits all.  In the end you will need to decide what is right and best for you.

Good luck and have fun with it.

Tom
AE5QB


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: K6LCS on February 14, 2012, 11:01:51 AM
Anyone can work the work with 50-100W. It takes more finesse and talent to work the world with 5W.

Go with the FT-817ND.

Clint K6LCS
http://www.clintbradford.com


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: W8JX on February 14, 2012, 11:09:16 AM
Anyone can work the work with 50-100W. It takes more finesse and talent to work the world with 5W.

Go with the FT-817ND.

Clint K6LCS

It is not so much your talent as also finding first a fairly clear frequency and then also finding someone that has the patience to try to copy a QRP signal too when conditions are not perfect as while 5 watts will work fine when conditions are perfect, they rarely are good often in practice.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: W7ETA on February 14, 2012, 03:49:39 PM
My assumption has been that being able to copy weak signals and signals that are in the noise level, like 40 and 80, has a lot to do with my rig, antennas, and my hearing.

I believe that after a while QRP ops look for occasions when they have the best conditions for low power. 

When I used to play around DXing on 75 meters, I learned that as sunrise progressed, band conditions favored ops west of me.  When the noise level dropped. allowing me to hear weak signals, I could not work stations in Asia that 6 land was working.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: W8JX on February 14, 2012, 04:14:08 PM
My assumption has been that being able to copy weak signals and signals that are in the noise level, like 40 and 80, has a lot to do with my rig, antennas, and my hearing.

I believe that after a while QRP ops look for occasions when they have the best conditions for low power. 

When I used to play around DXing on 75 meters, I learned that as sunrise progressed, band conditions favored ops west of me.  When the noise level dropped. allowing me to hear weak signals, I could not work stations in Asia that 6 land was working.

You still have got to give a LOT of credit to guy copying you verse a 100 watt or KW signal unless he is QRP too and your are struggling a bit too at times and returning favor.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: K1WJ on February 15, 2012, 06:48:15 AM
If this is your only radio, go with the FT-857.

If you want to run QRP turn it down to 5 watts.

100 watts will come in handy most of the time.

Most Hams have more than 1 radio ( I have 3 HF rigs / 3 vhf/uhf rigs & 2 HT's) - get the QRP rig later.

But I must admit, I have been thinking about getting a FT-817ND for a few years now........

Catch you on the AIR WAVES..........73 K1WJ - ARIZONA 8)


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on February 15, 2012, 09:17:04 PM
I do a lot of hiking in heavily forested regions where trees abound.
I would not take a 100W rig, no matter its brand, because a big battery rides shotgun with it.
What I do is take my FT817ND and a spool of wire, and tiny homebrew antenna tuner.
Then, I set up my camp, and put up a vee beam, rhombic, dipole, or whatever I feel like using that day.
The gain I get from these beams and the low noise make me seem like a big gun to the receiving stations ( of course on the beam heading), and I can operate all day, while solar charging an extra set for the next day.

Too many hams think the same way in camp as they do at the home QTH, when they should be using the freedom and real estate at their campsite to break the mold.
There is an Italian station who uses 5w qrp with a big HF log periodic - and he booms in, good times or bad.

If you are on a treeless campsite, take a 27 foot collapsible squid pole and some wire, lay out some elevated radials and have fun.
You are not trying to replicate your home qth outdoors.

However, having said all that, if you want the rig as your home/camp rig, I would get the FT857, since many home QTH's have space limitations that limit antennna effectiveness, and could lead to frustration in poor propagation conditions.
This could be remedied by using a linear amp with the FT817 (which I do).
However, if a linear costs as much as a 100W rig, it may be false economy.

I can tell you if a zombie apocalypse occurs, the rig I will be grabbing will be the FT817!

Good trekking, 73s


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: W8JX on February 16, 2012, 07:02:41 AM
If you "graduate" from using heavy gel cell batteries and move to lightweight lithium you will find that you can bring more radio for same total weight and have more run time and option of more power too. If Yaesu would update 817 and use lithium batteries with it they could greatly increase run time on internal batteries and even boost power some too. BTW you can still run 5 watts for a 857 or the like but you could run more when needed too.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: K5MF on February 17, 2012, 04:22:25 PM
If you "graduate" from using heavy gel cell batteries and move to lightweight lithium you will find that you can bring more radio for same total weight and have more run time and option of more power too. If Yaesu would update 817 and use lithium batteries with it they could greatly increase run time on internal batteries and even boost power some too. BTW you can still run 5 watts for a 857 or the like but you could run more when needed too.

What are the ins and outs and gotchas associated with making this switch?  Is there an a short version of how to go about doing this and what the pitfalls are?

Tom
AE5QB


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: N4MJR on February 19, 2012, 05:28:17 PM
I agree with the idea that these are 2 entirely different rigs.  I have operated QRP probably 99% of the times since I got my general ticket about 12 years ago, mainly SSB and PSK 31.  I finally bought a used Kenwood TS-680s a few months ago and have used it twice.  Why?  Because with the recent solar conditions I simply haven't needed more that 5 watts. 

I hear the arguments that a QRP operator is somehow better that a QRO operator, that they must use pristine operating technique and finesse.  In my opinion this is hogwash.  What you need are a lot of sunspots, a high solar flux, and the best antenna you can fit into you lot and wallet.  Cute little radios should not use cute little antennas, period. 

I also hear that the true hero is the ham at the other end of the QSO.  I must admit there is a good bit of truth here, as I do owe my gratitude to other hams on some occasions, like when the sunspots and solar flux are low.  I thank them during the QSO, and now here publicly.  Still, when propagation is good I get a lot of legitimate 599 reports without any requests for repeated information.  My record is about 9,000 miles on a watt SSB with 59 for me and 59+ for him and his 400 watts.  The propagation gods were smiling on me that day!

There are other times when I'm lucky to make 1 contact in a month and the other ham struggles to get me.  Under these conditions I usually concentrate on contest stations that are having few replies, they appreciate the contact as much as I do, so no hard feelings. 

All this being said, I use the FT-817 because I like QRP and portable operation, not because I'm better or worse.  Then I bought a cheap 100 watt rig for when conditions are bad.  My suggestion is that you clarify your operating priorities for yourself and get the radio that fits that profile.  Keep in mind we should have good propagation for a few more years.  I hope this helps.

Michael N4MJR


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: KD0PBO on February 21, 2012, 07:21:23 PM
Thanks to all for the GREAT replies! Alot of information to think over...


In the past few weeks, I have been swinging back and forth from both radios and trying to weigh the pro and cons of both. My ideal answser that pops in my head is "GET BOTH!!" But unfortunately my wallet says "You shouldn't be buying either one stupid!"

We shall see what happens..

KD0PBO
Miles D.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: KD8MJR on February 21, 2012, 11:01:35 PM
I agree you got some great answers ;D
If hard core long haul camping is the only reason for the radio I would get the 817 if you think it might be mostly short trek camping with the Radio being used for other purposes in between trips I would get the 857d and a healthy set of batteries.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: W8JX on February 22, 2012, 06:00:26 AM
If you can only get one, get a 100 watt rig. QRP can get old at times and while you can do well at times with 5 watts under good conditions you will be using it in a world where some hams run 1.5kw and more at time's. If it is your only rig, do not hamstring yourself with only 5 watts. 


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on February 25, 2012, 11:01:34 PM
If you "graduate" from using heavy gel cell batteries and move to lightweight lithium you will find that you can bring more radio for same total weight and have more run time and option of more power too. If Yaesu would update 817 and use lithium batteries with it they could greatly increase run time on internal batteries and even boost power some too. BTW you can still run 5 watts for a 857 or the like but you could run more when needed too.

What are the ins and outs and gotchas associated with making this switch?  Is there an a short version of how to go about doing this and what the pitfalls are?

Tom
AE5QB
Hi Tom,
I use lithium ion batteries (7AH), with my FT817ND when in the bush, and they work really well and are very light.
I  use some " travel batteries" which are supposed to be used with mobile phones etc etc and provide 5 volts from USB connectors.
I put these guys in series ( two at a time ) and carry six with me with very little weight for the whole bunch.
The 10 volts supplied is quite enough for the FT817ND.

They work great with the FT817ND, but the problem with Lithion ion batteries is that (even for polymer types) it is necessary to operate them very much within their specs or they could deposit metallic lithium and if moisture gets in, fire results.
This is why they have onboard controllers which dont allow them to be discharged too far or charged when the conditions are dangerous.
These controllers also limit the discharge current, and unless you are using very expensive purpose built Lion batteries/controllers then they will simply not support the current drawn by a 100 watt rig, but will fold the voltage down for safety.

This is not a problem with the FT817ND but although I have tried various other off the shelf Lion solutions, they simply will not support the current of 100 watt rigs.
Note that the batteries themselves can supply the current for a while, but generally the onboard controllers will invoke cell protection measures.

Lion technology is definitely the future direction of battery development, and they are quite capable of high power work, as seen in the tesla and other electric vehicles, but the cost is so high that it does not make sense for hobby use when gel cells will supply the same current without having to pamper the cells except for limiting the discharge voltage so as not to dimish the batterys' service life.

Until the prices come down, it is still best (if you are trying to drive 100w rigs) to stick with the old lead acid technology, but for qrp work, the Lion battery route is easy and relatively inexpensive.

Hope this helps,

73s





Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: W8JX on February 26, 2012, 05:23:46 AM

This is not a problem with the FT817ND but although I have tried various other off the shelf Lion solutions, they simply will not support the current of 100 watt rigs.


The cup here is either empty or full it seems because this suggests that a 100 watt is is only a 100 watt rig. But, while a 817 is ONLY a 5 watt max rig, a 100 watt rig like a 857 can be a 5 watt rig too on demand or a 10 or 20 watt rig as well as a 100 watt rig when needed.   


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on February 26, 2012, 02:04:45 PM

This is not a problem with the FT817ND but although I have tried various other off the shelf Lion solutions, they simply will not support the current of 100 watt rigs.


The cup here is either empty or full it seems because this suggests that a 100 watt is is only a 100 watt rig. But, while a 817 is ONLY a 5 watt max rig, a 100 watt rig like a 857 can be a 5 watt rig too on demand or a 10 or 20 watt rig as well as a 100 watt rig when needed.  

I am not sure what information you are trying to impart which is not obvious to most hams, but I am assuming that you are attempting to indicate that if you use an FT857 on low power it will act as qrp with the option of incrementally increasing power.
You have not really added any useful information other than to state the obvious, but to give you some information which may help you and the original poster, the problem when you are camping is down to one factor - energy.

Whether you are talking about having enough food and water to keep your body going, or enough battery power to keep your radio going, the problem is the same.
So, if you are going to seriously use the radio for long term camping, rather than mobile operation one needs to look seriously at energy efficiency.
The FT857 takes about 1000 mA on receive (not sqelched) while the FT817 takes about 300mA.
Apart from the fact that you will have three times the listening time, many battery technologies actually have a discharge curve which will give you more energy if the discharge rate is lower, thus extending the listening time more than the obvious.

As regards transmit time, if you are in the bush, generally real estate and antennas are not a problem, so it is a simple task to put up high gain wire antennas quickly. The six to 9 dB gained will give an ERP of 20 to 40 watts for no  extra power consumption, although only in the direction of your beam heading.
Also, it is much easier to carry a small solar charger/solar cell array which only needs to charge a small battery than a large battery, thus reducing weight and keeping you going almost indefinitely.

I suspect you are looking at the situation from the point of view of operating out of a public park or campsite, rather than being in a wilderness environment, otherwise you would realise the futility of lugging an FT857 and its power pack through the wilderness.
Armchair generals are always the wisest.

Get out in the bush, you will love it.

73s


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: W8JX on February 26, 2012, 03:35:14 PM
This started as with rig as a only rig and a 817 is a poor choice as a only rig. When conditions are good, especially on upper bands; you can get out okay on 5 watts but when they are not it is quite different. Also while you say it is a challenge to work QRP like this it is a challenge for someone to pick you out of noise at times. You might be QRP's but they are doing the struggling to hear you not you them. The little extra current draw of a 857 on receive is a small price to pay for more capability when not in field and the ability to add more than 2 S-units to signal. Also you can likely trim it a bit further if you blank back light when you do not need it.

BTW the 857 draws 1 amp at max audio, which has a lot more output power than 817, but not at normal receive levels and a little over 500ma squelched.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: K5TED on February 27, 2012, 11:08:15 AM
I too, own both the FT-817ND and the FT-857D.

The FT-817ND is well suited for backpacking or camping with the caveat that the internal batteries under no circumstances will last "a couple of hours" if any sort of SSB transmitting is done above LO power setting. It will run for a couple of hours on receive just fine.  It's really much more suited for CW ops on battery power. Simple math will show you that at 450mA on recieve, using a 1400mAH pack (factory supplied FNB-85 NiMH), gives you a little over three hours on paper, but the reality is that when the pack voltage drops below 9v, fuggedaboutit. Key up and it'll reboot. So, on HF, unsquelched, you get about two hours if you don't talk much. On VHF/UHF FM, squelched, low power, you might get three hours of QSO's if you keep it short.

You can, of course, opt to load up three 10-cell 12V 3600mAh R/C battery packs in parallel into a fanny pack or carry case along with the radio, and go to town. That's what I use. It's lightweight and lasts hours. If the 817ND were to be my ONLY rig, then I would shell out the extra bucks for the Tokyo Hy-Power amp or the Chinese one that has recently surfaced. The 817ND receive is fine for casual use, not so great when in a crowded band. Don't waste the money on the narrow SSB filter. A quick youtube search will point you to some FT-817ND filter demonstrations that will leave you anything but impressed. The CW filter is OK.  Buy the amp instead.

A nice addition is the Elecraft T-1, LDG-817 or even the Miracle Whip if you can get it cheap, used. Either will make your antenna tuning life easer. I suggest the T-1 for the price, but have had surprising results with the Miracle Whip on PSK and SSB, despite the negative reviews. If the LDG-817 is anything like the Z100, then I'd suggest it as well. I've used the 817ND quite extensively in the field and can say that it is a great little rig but can't take the place of a higher power set for general use. It makes an excellent portable 2m SSB rig for hilltopping.



The FT-857D, on the other hand, is not well suited for backpacking, unless you want to carry some serious battery power along. Again, the high capacity R/C packs are wonderful. Keep the display dimmed, the power down and you'll have a formidable field radio, assuming you can find some sort of decent carry case for it and some way to mount antenna. If you are planning to use it for camping and fishing where you could indeed have access to a couple of SLA 9AH batteries, it is much more well suited than the 817. The DSP, in my opinion, is not "all that". It's pretty useless actually except for the bandpass filter.
I've seen several Go Kits based on the 857D and they work quite well. Just not something you want to pack uphill.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: K5MF on February 28, 2012, 05:29:17 PM
Ted, could you share your battery experience with the 857D in the field please?  I have never operated this way with the 857D and would like to get a better understanding of what I might expect in the way of operating times at the top of a mountain.  I have some 8AH gel cells and to be honest I don't think I would like to lug even one of them plus the radio on moderate to long hike.  I am really interested in what you are seeing with the RC battery packs on both the 817 and 857.

Thanks

Tom
AE5QB


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: KH6DC on March 01, 2012, 12:36:18 AM
I do the same activities like you and went bicycle mobile several weeks ago, one with my FT817ND on the internal battery pack and once with my 706 MKIIG with a 7 ah gel cell, buddipole antenna with mast and tripod.  On a mountain bike with rear trunk for the equipment and supplies and the radios in my Camelbak.  When I had the 817, I wished I had the 706 with 100w as I made only 1 contact on 10m the whole 2 hours and he was on Maui and I was on Oahu.  When I had the 706, I made a bunch of contacts at 50w and it got heavy, bulky, clumdy in my Camelbak all I wanted was to drop kick the radio as I was getting extremely irritated and PI$$ED and wished I had the 817.  Hope this helps your decision, give and take, one or the other - more power output and more weight OR light weight low power (in some cases almost no power).  I choose light weight that's what MICROLITE means plus it's satisfying making a QSO on 5w.

GL and 73, de kH6DC


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: KH6DC on March 01, 2012, 12:38:07 AM
I do the same activities like you and went bicycle mobile several weeks ago, one with my FT817ND on the internal battery pack and once with my 706 MKIIG with a 7 ah gel cell, buddipole antenna with mast and tripod.  On a mountain bike with rear trunk for the equipment and supplies and the radios in my Camelbak.  When I had the 817, I wished I had the 706 with 100w as I made only 1 contact on 10m the whole 2 hours and he was on Maui and I was on Oahu.  When I had the 706, I made a bunch of contacts at 50w and it got heavy, bulky, clumdy in my Camelbak all I wanted was to drop kick the radio as I was getting extremely irritated and PI$$ED and wished I had the 817.  Hope this helps your decision, give and take, one or the other - more power output and more weight OR light weight low power (in some cases almost no power).  I choose light weight that's what MICROLITE means plus it's satisfying making a QSO on 5w.

GL and 73, de kH6DC

Sorry I meant radio in the Camelbak on 2 different occasions.  Both times I had the Buddipole.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: KH6AQ on March 01, 2012, 07:30:08 AM
For QRP I thing CW or PSK-31 are the modes to use.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: K8GU on March 01, 2012, 07:44:20 AM
I find myself in the somewhat unusual position of agreeing with W8JX on this.  I owned the FT-817 right after they came out and it was a fun radio.  But, I had a 100-watt radio at the same time.  Although I occasionally kick myself for selling the 817 (mostly because I enjoyed the VHF coverage), I've never regretted carrying a heavier radio with 100 watts output for portable operation.  I also have a Small Wonder SW-40 that I can use if I really want to take a radio that's small and light.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: W8JX on March 01, 2012, 09:25:30 AM
It's a shame nobody ever made like a 20 watt portable rig as a compromise between size and weight and yet having more punch when needed. While they kinda do with FT897 it is a 100 watt rig by design in size and mass that is 20 watts on internal battery.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: K0JEG on March 02, 2012, 01:52:15 PM
It's a shame nobody ever made like a 20 watt portable rig as a compromise between size and weight and yet having more punch when needed. While they kinda do with FT897 it is a 100 watt rig by design in size and mass that is 20 watts on internal battery.


I wonder if there's a trace for battery power on the FT857 circuit board, since it's the same design.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: W8JX on March 02, 2012, 02:19:14 PM
It's a shame nobody ever made like a 20 watt portable rig as a compromise between size and weight and yet having more punch when needed. While they kinda do with FT897 it is a 100 watt rig by design in size and mass that is 20 watts on internal battery.


I wonder if there's a trace for battery power on the FT857 circuit board, since it's the same design.

Good question but you can set it to 20 watts too.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: K0JEG on March 03, 2012, 09:32:35 AM
Yes, but it's my understanding that when on internal battery power the final power amp is bypassed/powered down, saving battery life. If you just dial down the final output it still uses the PA.

There was an article in QST a few years ago that showed how to add another set of power terminals to the power jack that would act like the internal battery connection.


Title: RE: Ft-817nd or the Ft-857??
Post by: W8JX on March 03, 2012, 09:35:43 AM
Yes, but it's my understanding that when on internal battery power the final power amp is bypassed/powered down, saving battery life. If you just dial down the final output it still uses the PA.

I serious doubt it bypasses final output because final stage would not have a gain of only 7db or so. It likely limits output by changing bias voltage in final section or driver to limit output and current draw.