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Author Topic: Any reason for me not to buy an FT817ND?  (Read 1888 times)
M0MJH
Member

Posts: 9




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« on: October 25, 2007, 03:30:32 AM »

I am umming and arrring on buying myself an FT817. Don't worry, this is not my first HF radio, nor is it going to be used for my VHF/UHF station. I am going to be using it for taking out into (nearly) the middle of nowhere to play radio (QRP HF) without having to lug batteries to run my 857/847. I've recently purchase a old fibreglass military mast set (slot together sections - goes up to about 20ft tall) and am experimenting with various aerial designs. I would also be purchasing (probably at a later date) the W4RT 2400mAh battery pack for it.

Can anyone come up with any reasons I shouldn't purchase it (FT817ND)? Cheesy

73

Mark
M0MJH
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KD6CPA
Member

Posts: 84




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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2007, 07:24:35 AM »

Join the Yahoo group for FT-817 users to learn more about the rig.  I did after I bought mine.  Lots of posts and resources there.  The only thing that concerns me from reading all the posts by 817 users is that there seem to be A LOT that suffer blown finals.  It apparently can very easily happen from polarity, high SWR, and just from running to much on 13.8v power rather than the internal batteries, and many other reasons.  Several 817 owners on Yahoo have said it's not "if" but "when" you become a member of the "Blown Finals Club".  

Haven't had any problem personally with mine...
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WB5LXZ
Member

Posts: 11




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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2007, 02:00:48 PM »

I've had three of them.....great little radio.  My friends keep talking me out of them, and every time I trade or sell one I quickly miss it and find another.  I purchased one of the first, and latest is the ND version.  I've traveled extensively with them and never a problem whatsoever. Worked south Africa on ssb while operating from a mountaintop in west Texas.  Is a great portable and emergency communications rig.  Go ahead and take the plunge...you won't regret the purchase.
WB5LXZ  Bucky Geer
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W3JJH
Member

Posts: 1421


WWW

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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2007, 05:28:05 PM »

The old Packard ads used to say, "Ask the man who owns one."  I own two 817s.  

I have been pleased with them.  I like having the VHF rig in the same box as the HF; it saves having to lug an HT along during simple portable operation.  The Data connector allows simple interfacing with a laptop for PSK31.  However, they do have their limitations.  I find the T/R relay annoying when operating CW.  It reminds me the telegraph sounder that was in my grandfather's railroad office.  The 817 is a bit of a power hog compared to most QRP rigs.

I use my 817s for portable operation where I have access to lots of battery power--Field Day or Scout base camps.  But since the 817s are power hogs, I prefer to use my Elecraft K2 when battery power is limited.
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KI0P
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2007, 07:18:58 AM »

I have had 2 of them A standard 817 and a ND version. It is a great do all QRP rig. Having all mode on the VHF bands is great for mountain topping. I have used the rig for portable HF CW and SSB, VHF SSB and in the car as a Dual Band VHF FM rig. The down side is the current draw and the noise that the relay makes in CW. Never had a problem with the finals yet.

73,
Mike
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M0MJH
Member

Posts: 9




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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2007, 07:57:51 AM »

You guys aren't helping me at all! I was looking for reasons not to buy it! Cheesy

I'm not too bothered about clattering relays as I only do SSB and digimodes at the moment, that's not to say I won't do CW at some point but I'm still learning at the mo. The current drain isn't going to be too much of a problem as I will be able to run it off of the SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) batteries I have (I have 2 or 3x 7Ah ones and 1x 12Ah) and I'm thinking of possibly getting the W4RT 2400mAh battery pack as well at some point.

I've got to wait for a mate of mine to get back to me regarding the sale of another item yet but it looks as if I may have the 817ND next Sunday. There's a rally on down in the capital (a little place called London- You may have heard of it) that I'm going to that I can pick it up from.
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W3JJH
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Posts: 1421


WWW

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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2007, 02:06:20 PM »

OK, I'll be a bit more specific.  

If your principle mode of operation will be CW, the 817 is not nearly as nice to use as some other radios.

If your battery power is limited to the internal battery or a small external pack, you won't get many hours of operation because the 817 is a relative current hog.

Either or these could be a show stopper--or they could be don't cares, depending on how you want to use the rig.
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K8AG
Member

Posts: 352




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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2007, 02:29:41 PM »

Battery in my opinion is the only real limitation.  The finals problem does require care with antennas, but it is an awesome QRP rig.

I went to an SW20+ because I do mainly CW and with the upgraded audio amp in only draws about 20mA in receive.

But my FT817 was awesome.

73, JP, K8AG
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G4GXL
Member

Posts: 56


WWW

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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2007, 05:03:55 PM »

I keep my FT817 in my car. It's handy to have around in my lunch hour at work.

I have an Elecraft K2 at home and bought a K1 for portable work. The FT-817 is just more convenient and does more stuff.

Reasons not to have -
1. Battery life
2. Performance
3. Fiddly little buttons

On the other hand, it performs well enough (when out portable the aerial is the limiting factor) and the batteries are OK for an afternoon out.

It's a fun radio !
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W8ZNX
Member

Posts: 1




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2007, 02:04:48 AM »

 its an amazing radio, BUT,

hear goes,
i like Yaesu rigs have owned more yaesu's
than any other rice box,

 the FT-817 tries to do to much in to small a box

the receiver is 3rd rate at best,
on cw even with the filter

the receive section is a DOG

just try to hang out around 7030 with it on a week end night
or work around a strong rtty station 2 kc up band

there have been and are mono band cw only qrp kits
that have a receiver that
leave the 817 receiver section in the dust

its a phone rig,

most in the field qrp ops use cw
the menu is a pain in the ass to use
one more time
the menu is a pain in the ass to use

yes i do not care for menu driven radios
but
compared to rigs like the IC-706, IC 703, IC-7000
its a cluster blank  ( and i don't like Icom radios )

its dark you are sitting outside a tent
all the little push switches and small knobs
and a hard to use menu
makes it a pain to use
mid qso
want to change something
good luck

for field work give me something simple
that i do not need to see to run
( like a small wonder dsw or red hot radio nor cal 20 )

too much in too small a box
if they had just decided to go with hf/6 meters
like the IC-703
they could have put a better receiver in it
and
heck
the menu anybody could have told them
to make it more straight forward
and easy to use

dit dit mac
Logged
W8ZNX
Member

Posts: 1




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2007, 02:04:57 AM »

 its an amazing radio, BUT,

hear goes,
i like Yaesu rigs have owned more yaesu's
than any other rice box,

 the FT-817 tries to do to much in to small a box

the receiver is 3rd rate at best,
on cw even with the filter

the receive section is a DOG

just try to hang out around 7030 with it on a week end night
or work around a strong rtty station 2 kc up band

there have been and are mono band cw only qrp kits
that have a receiver that
leave the 817 receiver section in the dust

its a phone rig,

most in the field qrp ops use cw
the menu is a pain in the ass to use
one more time
the menu is a pain in the ass to use

yes i do not care for menu driven radios
but
compared to rigs like the IC-706, IC 703, IC-7000
its a cluster blank  ( and i don't like Icom radios )

its dark you are sitting outside a tent
all the little push switches and small knobs
and a hard to use menu
makes it a pain to use
mid qso
want to change something
good luck

for field work give me something simple
that i do not need to see to run
( like a small wonder dsw or red hot radio nor cal 20 )

too much in too small a box
if they had just decided to go with hf/6 meters
like the IC-703
they could have put a better receiver in it
and
heck
the menu anybody could have told them
to make it more straight forward
and easy to use

dit dit mac
Logged
W8ZNX
Member

Posts: 1




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2007, 02:04:58 AM »

 its an amazing radio, BUT,

hear goes,
i like Yaesu rigs have owned more yaesu's
than any other rice box,

 the FT-817 tries to do to much in to small a box

the receiver is 3rd rate at best,
on cw even with the filter

the receive section is a DOG

just try to hang out around 7030 with it on a week end night
or work around a strong rtty station 2 kc up band

there have been and are mono band cw only qrp kits
that have a receiver that
leave the 817 receiver section in the dust

its a phone rig,

most in the field qrp ops use cw
the menu is a pain in the ass to use
one more time
the menu is a pain in the ass to use

yes i do not care for menu driven radios
but
compared to rigs like the IC-706, IC 703, IC-7000
its a cluster blank  ( and i don't like Icom radios )

its dark you are sitting outside a tent
all the little push switches and small knobs
and a hard to use menu
makes it a pain to use
mid qso
want to change something
good luck

for field work give me something simple
that i do not need to see to run
( like a small wonder dsw or red hot radio nor cal 20 )

too much in too small a box
if they had just decided to go with hf/6 meters
like the IC-703
they could have put a better receiver in it
and
heck
the menu anybody could have told them
to make it more straight forward
and easy to use

dit dit mac
Logged
W8ZNX
Member

Posts: 1




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2007, 02:04:59 AM »

 its an amazing radio, BUT,

hear goes,
i like Yaesu rigs have owned more yaesu's
than any other rice box,

 the FT-817 tries to do to much in to small a box

the receiver is 3rd rate at best,
on cw even with the filter

the receive section is a DOG

just try to hang out around 7030 with it on a week end night
or work around a strong rtty station 2 kc up band

there have been and are mono band cw only qrp kits
that have a receiver that
leave the 817 receiver section in the dust

its a phone rig,

most in the field qrp ops use cw
the menu is a pain in the ass to use
one more time
the menu is a pain in the ass to use

yes i do not care for menu driven radios
but
compared to rigs like the IC-706, IC 703, IC-7000
its a cluster blank  ( and i don't like Icom radios )

its dark you are sitting outside a tent
all the little push switches and small knobs
and a hard to use menu
makes it a pain to use
mid qso
want to change something
good luck

for field work give me something simple
that i do not need to see to run
( like a small wonder dsw or red hot radio nor cal 20 )

too much in too small a box
if they had just decided to go with hf/6 meters
like the IC-703
they could have put a better receiver in it
and
heck
the menu anybody could have told them
to make it more straight forward
and easy to use

dit dit mac
Logged
M0MJH
Member

Posts: 9




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2007, 09:50:00 AM »

Thanks for the replies everybody. I have decided to go with it, my order is in with the local emporium and I shall be picking it up from the radio rally on Sunday.
Logged
KA8YLY
Member

Posts: 18


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2007, 07:25:25 PM »

I debated for a long time about buying my 817 and I don't regret it at all. I love that little radio. it has been on so many camping trips with me over the years. I even used it mobile for a while too. my only complaint is that you have to buy a filter, which I have not done yet.
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