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Author Topic: IC-703Plus vs. Yaesu FT-817ND Opinions Needed  (Read 40937 times)

Posts: 23

« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2009, 07:40:58 AM »

I have a FT817ND with the DSP, filter, and battery mods done by W4RT.  While this made the radio more expensive, it's now a pretty darn good performer.  I like to hike and set up mobile, so I can't fault it at all.  It's perfect for me.  

I have also had the chance to compare this rig to others.  I have run my rig mobile from the Red Cross cabin here in Trondheim with a resonant wire dipole on 40m, as well as a end fed sloper (tuned with an Elecraft T1 for 80m, 40m, and 20m), and it's receiver is at least as selective as several of the other radios present when using the same antennas (TS480SAT, IC706, IC703).  8 levels of DSP and a 300hz CW filter make a huge difference.  This DSP on SSB is spectacular IMHO, as it's specifically designed for voice signal processing.  

I think the only area where it might have fallen short was during SSB TX, as I still only have the stock mic.  Since I only work CW, it wasn't really tested well by me.  Others were needing to adjust their mouth to mic distance a bit during QSOs, but it worked more than a few for sure. (I do have the W4RT SB filter installed as well, which may improve it a bit from stock.)  

Hope this helps a bit.  I can't stress enough how great it is to have a fully functional radio that is a compact as the FT817.  The local 'old club guys' are really loving it, as prior to my rig, they have only ever seen a stock version (which they weren't that impressed with).  

Still, as I a new ham, I suggest that you take others advice more seriously.  But still, I am at least one satisfied ham with a modded FT817ND.


Posts: 28

« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2010, 08:23:36 AM »

Yes, for the price of a 703 you can a starter base station or a mobile with antenna. I would have to agree that I would go with the 817.

Posts: 52

« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2010, 07:53:10 AM »

I could really write on this topic.

For the last two weeks I was in the same boat as you.  I spent many hours talking to hams and googling doing research. 
What I found was this.

1.  The 703+ is *much* better for QRP SSB than 817.
2.  The 703+ has one of the best receivers
3.  The 703+ has a keyer.
4.  The 703+ has 5w more power in case it is needed.
5.  The 703+ has a greate internal tuner.
6.  The 703+ has a better speech processor and more "punch"

At HRO the 817ND is $570 (Special ends today!!,. 31st).
The 703 is $710.

Looking at that the difference is $140.  IMO, both amounts are a lot to me so
I want to buy the best rig possible.  I also read that unless hiking is your #1 thing, the 703+ is a better value.
My goal is all-mode operation and I like SSB so the extra power and better audio processing helps.

I bought the 703.


Posts: 875

« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2010, 03:04:40 AM »

I agree, if you want a qrp base station type of radio, the 703 is the better choice.
The main reason, in my opinion, is the extra 5 watts of power.
This will come in handy if your antenna is not perfect and that half an S unit may make the difference.

That being said, the 703 is not the sort of all-band all-mode, put it in your coat pocket, type of radio that the 817ND certainly is.

They are really quite different radios from that point of view. The 817ND is unique in the world of ham radio.
With the integrated battery (I have two) and some wire, you can quickly set up a 160-70cm all-mode impromptu station anywhere.
Of course you may never do that, so why buy one for that possibility.

An analogous situation is the FT897 and the IC7000.
The IC7000 has a better display, and some say it has a better receiver etc, but you can put batteries in the FT897D and have a 20W station on the go anywhere.

All these radios work well, and the decision is normally one of personal taste, or lifestyle choice.
I have always had good luck with Yaesu gear, so I bought two FT897Ds and an FT817ND.
Reliability is very important to me, so I stick with them for this reason.
Of course their are always people who say " I would rather push my Ford than drive your Chevy", so beware of that bias.

I have found price and quality do not always coincide in the world of ham radio gear, so don't think more expensive is better. Often this is not true in the low to medium price range.

Posts: 212

« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2011, 08:41:36 AM »

My Icom 703 was a much better radio than the Yaesu. My K2 is much better than the 703.

Posts: 402

« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2011, 08:07:34 AM »

I find the danger of losing finals (and/or predriver or other pa circuits) for no apparent reason in both to be a deal breaker. Read the reviews on each. I did like the rx performance on the 703 very much, however.

If you have a clumsy child, you make them wear a helmet. If you have death prone children, you keep a few clones of them in your lab.

Posts: 121

« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2011, 06:11:18 AM »

I've had my 817-ND version for 7 years.  No it's not perfect, but it has been a reliable performer and never has given me even one problem.  Still has full output on all bands.  Personally I find the RX fine and actually fairly quiet even on full size di-poles and such.  Either way you go I think you will be fine with either radio.  I just happen to like the complete capability of the 817, including 60 meters.  Not sure if the 703 covers that band or not.  cheers.

Posts: 718


« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2011, 06:08:53 AM »

> I own both and the Icom kick the crap out of the
> Yaesu's receiver in EVERY respect!

Really?  How does the Icom outperform the Yaesu on 2m SSB?  2m CW?  2m FM?  What about 70cm?  For someone seriously interested in VHF/UHF work, particularly roving or mountaintopping, the Icom makes no sense at all and the Yaesu makes all the sense in the world.  It really is a matter of your interests and what you want to do with the radio, isn't it?

The Yaesu sure is more portable, too.

If I could only have one radio I'd sooner take the FT-817ND than the IC-703Plus for the two extra bands.  The IC-703Plus has an excellent receiver, and yes, on the same bands the Icom covers the Yaesu with *both* filters (W4RT mod) is just pretty good.  


An Icom will blow it away anytime!

I know this is about QRP but to be politically correct if you do rover ,or mountain an ICOM 7000 will blow away any portable YAESU if your serious about VHF/UHF rovering and mountain top. Of course the IC-7000 Is not battery efficient but if your a rover your on car battery.

In this case if your serious about VHF/UHF an ICOM 7000 is your choice ,but back packing unless solor panels and right battery is not a option than 703+ or Yaesu 817 is the way to go always.

« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 06:11:53 AM by N2RRA » Logged
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