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Author Topic: New transceiver  (Read 2889 times)

Posts: 5

« on: August 22, 2010, 02:42:05 PM »

I am very new to ham radio and have been researching a suitable radio for a base station and possibly to use with ARES. Looking at the Yaesu FT-897D but notice it has been on the market for 8 years. Is Yaesu likely to offer a newer model in the near future?
Terry Hall

Posts: 1042

« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 04:13:46 PM »

[shaking magic 8-ball]

[reads] Uncertain at this time

Let's face it, anyone in a position to know won't talk, anyone else is putting smoke up your kilt.

I would suspect that IF they wanted to update the radio, it would probably get a new design as well - although the current model IS an update of the original model number, hence the D designation.

While it's true that they could add all sorts of new bells and whistles on this radio, it would probably not be an improvement unless it lowered it's receive power consumption, and MOST of the add on's used today on radios add hardware, and therefore draw more power on receive.

Also consider that for it's intended purpose, it's already a good radio, it's hard to say.


Posts: 14491

« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 05:37:22 PM »

Personally, I've learned over the years not to buy the latest greatest model that just hit the market. Stick with the tried and true model until all the bugs have been worked out of the new model. Let someone else spend their money to test it  Grin

Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA

Posts: 2527

« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2010, 06:47:11 PM »

This is what I did:

bought a new rig I could afford
bought a trap for 40 meters and made an inverted Vee for 40 and 80 meters that also loaded on 15 meters
used a CB antenna for 10 meters

made various wire antennas, including ground planes for 40, 20 and 15, mounted in trees

bought a 4 element beam and rotator for 10 meters (it was near a sunspot zenith)

bought a used amp

many years later, in my own house, a tower, rotator, and triband beam

a few years later a new rig

a few years later, a legal limit amp

For me, it was important to buy a reliable, affordable rig I could get on the air with, and get some antennas up that I could have with.


Posts: 21764

« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2010, 07:12:20 PM »

I'd say if you intend to use it home/mobile/portable, the FT-897D is actually a pretty good choice.

If  you intend to use it only at home and not mobile or portable, there are way better choices because this rig is not terribly user-friendly.

What's the actual application?

Posts: 2415

« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2010, 10:18:41 PM »

Best choice for a "Do it all" Radio, Including cross band repeat, The Kenwood TS 2000.
Now selling good used in the 900-1100 dollar range, Brand new for less than 1500 bucks.

As pointed out by WIK, Those little mobil radios like the 897 are not very user friendly........


Posts: 5

« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2010, 12:14:56 PM »

Thank you all for your sage advice and other comments I found them to extremely helpful.
73 to all
Terry KJ6GRN

Posts: 307

« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2010, 11:24:12 PM »

  Actually, the 857 and 897 are very user friendly. Once you firgure out the basic ways to shift the needed keys, its a snap to load memories, change settings and menu features. Buy a later used one and save some dough, you won't regret it. regards, Richy N2ZD

Posts: 164

« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2010, 06:05:51 AM »

They did just upgrade their whole line of VHF/UHF handhelds, and they have come out with some high-end HF/6m tranceivers. I have no idea whether they have any other new models, though. The only change I can think of that might be required coming up, at least for the little FT817ND I have, is to redo the firmware to account for the changes in the 60 meter band channel assignments, when and if that occurs. I don't think they would have to redesign the FT857 or FT897 to make that happen, and I don't know if it would make economic sense for Yaesu to do so.

I don't like to be the first one to try a new model, and I don't think the price of the existing 857s or 897s will magically drop hundreds of $$$ when and if a new one does come out. In fact, if a new one was in the works, I would expect to see modest discounts and shrinking supplies of the current models, as dealers would know at least a little bit ahead of time (or they would be extremely mad at Yaesu!).

The menus on the 8x7 series aren't too bad, and there are aftermarket user's manuals that make them easier to understand. If you were to buy an FT897, I don't think you would be kicking yourself later. All my friends that have them are very happy with them.

-- Tom

Posts: 115

« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2010, 02:55:59 PM »

    Sometime over the past 18-24 months the 857/897D units did undergo a firmware  update, and I believe a different HF PA design caused by the unavailability of power transistors.   The newer units have good SSB transmit audio and no longer sound like people are talking through a paper towel tube.   The receiver's auto-notch filter does a much better job on nulling unwanted carriers out.
    To be certain, the radios are menu centric , but I've been happy with my 2004 vintage FT-857D ever since I bypassed the atrocious TX DSP circuits so that others could hear me clearly.   If you buy a new one, you won't have to move, remove, or replace a single SMD device.  They work really well out of the box.
      Do consider the MH-59 mic, and the appropriate filters for the modes you are interested in.   Consider that the units actually have a fully user configurable 'Digital' mode selection unlike many radios that either don't have this feature, or require a sub-menu to be set for Digi then re-set for SSB.
      73,   Tom Howey  WB1FPA

Posts: 875

« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 04:40:49 AM »

Hi Terry,

As some posters have indicated, no one really knows if Yaesu is going to put out an FT897D replacement.
I think it is well situated in its market niche and has most everything a radio in this market niche requires.
The FT450 is probably the newest radio to compete with the FT897D and has some good features, although its
not as tough or versatile.
I have two FT897D rigs and find them easy to use and the menuing system is not as onerous as some who are
only used to having hundreds of knobs on a rig would have you believe.
Some folks will probably never be happy without a knob driven transceiver on an acre of front panel real estate,
but the future belongs to menuing systems, and with CAT control it is simplicity itself.

In the end, its like buying a computer, you know as soon as you buy one, a new one will come out cheaper, so the
same decision making procedure applies.
I agree with the post which cautioned about being a "first adopter" , let others iron out the bugs.
Both of my FT897D's are over 3 years old and still going strong, the Abrams tank of rigs.

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