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Author Topic: FT-897 or ICOM - 7000  (Read 4798 times)
KF7ELU
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« on: October 07, 2011, 05:15:03 PM »

I am considering a new HF rig... Will be used portable and I am trying to decide on which one to get... I am down to these two IC-7000 or FT-897.

Anyone have both these radios??

I like the option of internal batteries in the  Yaseu... But I hear a great lot of good about the ICOM...


Open for discussion! Give me some pointers please.
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KF9ZA
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 05:59:43 AM »

I currently have an Icom 7000 and in the past had the Yaesu FT-897.  Operate the Icom mobile, did not operate the Yaesu either mobile or portable.

Icom.  Love it.  It's one of those good news bad news things.  Good news is, it does all kinds of things and has all kinds of operating menus.  The bad news is that doing all those things means the learning curve is high.  Lots of menus to step thru.  In time, I will be able to learn them all.  But in time.  I got the IC-7000 and also bought the LDG IT-100 tuner that's built for the 7000.  It works great, and cost $179, about half the cost of the Icom tuner.  This was my first Icom. I had a Kenwood TS-50 back in the mid 90's, but all of my mobiles and HT's are Yaseu.

Yaseu. Long story short. I worked for a company that bought me a FT-897, then the company went out of business six months later.  I lost my job and the radio stayed with the company.  From my six month use here's what I remember.  It was easier to use.  Since I had other Yaseus the logic of the menu system was more familiar.  I got the Yaseu tuner and attached it to the side.  It worked well on all bands. 

I would say the case of the Yaseu seems more rugged for portable use than the Icom.  I would say if you are looking to buy the tuner, look a the LDG page ( http://www.ldgelectronics.com/c/252/products/1/7/1 ), they have a tuner built for the Yaseu that's probably less expensive.  One of the things I like to do on HF is tune thru the band.  If I remember correctly the Yaseu had only a A/B VFO. So on HF I could bounce back and forth on the A/B between two DX stations I wanted to work.  The Icom has a "scratch" pad where you can choose 5 or 10 temporary memories.  You can be tuning thru a band, pop a DX station into the scratch pad, continue tuning and put more in.  Then choose thru all the DX stations, 5 or 10 of them and work 'em. 

I didn't get the built in battery.  One thing you may want to consider.  The built in battery is 13v and $140.  For around $16 you can get a 12v sealed battery ( Amazon: http://sk4.us/oAU01W ).  Stick some powerpole connectors on them and you could have eight 12v batteries for the price on the one Yaseu with a quick change powerpole option.  Though, the are 12v instead of the 13v.

Either way, I think you'll be happy.  Both good radios.

73,
Steve
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GOLDTR8
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 06:06:37 AM »

I use the 7000 for mobile rig.  This radio works fantastic and the key is the DSP filters are already included.  In my opinion it is a better value for your money if you fully equip the 857 or 897 with the necessary filters.

Now I also run mobile so I have no problem with battery power.   The 7000 does roll back power on TX quickly as supply voltage drops.

So based on your requirements if the 897 battery will allow you to operate your portable station then this may be the biggest factor in your decision.

I only suggest that you fully check into what the filter and dsp options are now for the 897 so that you get the operating features that you need.  

From everything I read they are both good.  I just happened to determine that the 7000 was a better bang for the buck for my choice of operation.  But you have to think thru the power part of the equation.  

KD8NNU
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 06:10:23 AM by GOLDTR8 » Logged
K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 06:55:09 AM »

The Icom 7000 is not perfect by any means, but it is ahead of the FT-857 in a lot of respects, malicious palaver to the contrary. They both have initial keydown overshoot, as do most solid state transceivers. Both suffer because their RF gain, preamps, and attenuators are IF based, not in the first stage based as the label would otherwise indicate. And both had AGC problems, albeit the 7000's is a bit more noticeable.

The 7000's display is much easier to read, and the fact the 7000 has video out is a real plus especially if your vehicle has a navi screen. The 857 has a bit more audio output power, but if you use a decent mobile speaker you probably wouldn't notice.

The DSP in the 7000 is IF based, and the one in the 857 is AF based. A side-by-side comparison to which one is best, is glaringly evident.

Both radios suffer from owners who crank up the microphone gain and/or modify the microphones. If you properly adjust the transmit DSP, close talk the microphone, and keep the gain down, no one will know you're mobile.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 07:26:38 AM »

I've never used the 7000; as others have said, it is a much newer radio and presumably has better DSP and such.  That said, I bought a used FT-897D about 4-5 months ago to use portable (my "lawnmower rig"), and I *love* it.  Only took a few minutes to learn the menu system, and after that, it has been a pure delight.   It's as well-made as a Victorinox Swiss Army knife, tough (I'm always banging mine around carrying it outside and back inside), and it seems laudably simple to use.  There's a fast-tuning knob that I find extremely useful, I can pop to split mode and pop back to change the DSP settings in an eyeblink.  The 7000 is a whole different (and newer) breed, I suppose, but the FT-897 just suits me right down to the ground.  And a used 897 is a LOT less than a new 7000.

You'd probably be better off with the 7000 ... but I *really* like the 897.  :-)

Added later: the remote-mounting head of the 7000 is a BIG help for mobile operation; I've got a 706 in my tiny car with the body under a seat and the head on the dashboard.  Mounting a non-remotable-head rig like the 897 would be much harder.  I still really like my 897 .. but if you're thinking about going mobile, the 7000 has a big advantage with a remote-mounted head.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 01:18:52 PM by AC4RD » Logged
M6GOM
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2011, 01:31:15 PM »

I have an Icom 7000 and I've used a FT857 which is basically a 897 in a different case. I've seen and had hands on with a 897 a few times.

The Icom 7000 has a far easier to use screen and the menus make more sense because they can put more info on screen. I got my Icom 7000 without a manual and had a quick look over a downloaded one and worked it out from there. It is quite intuitive. OTOH I couldn't make sense of the 857 one although I understand it can be customised.

For /P though, the 7000 uses more power than the 897 on RX so if you are running on batteries then this is a consideration. The 897 has a front end as wide open as a barn door so aftermarket filters are a must if you want to be able to cope with nearby strong signals.

If you don't want or are willing to sacrifice VHF and UHF, I would suggest a TS480 with filters. On HF its better than the other two but for /P it is a bit of a weighty and sizeable beast.
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ZENKI
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2011, 03:37:16 PM »

The IC7000 has a distinctive robotic sound that easily identifies it on the air. It also sounds like a bit of reverb on the transmission. Anyone work out how you can get rid of this distinct IC7000 artifact? The IC706 sounds Hifi by comparison using any mic.
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KF9ZA
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2011, 04:18:17 PM »

This ham does modifications on the IC-7000 mic.  The mic may be the problem.

http://www.7000mic.com
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2011, 05:09:20 PM »

The IC7000 has a distinctive robotic sound that easily identifies it on the air. It also sounds like a bit of reverb on the transmission. Anyone work out how you can get rid of this distinct IC7000 artifact? The IC706 sounds Hifi by comparison using any mic.
  That sounds more like the operator did not have the radio adjusted right. I have talked to several people that were using a 7000 and did not notice anything like that. Just good clean audio. That, along with the digital filtering is what prompted me to buy one.  And I have yet to have anyone say the audio from my 7000 exhibited the issues you are talking about. I also own and use, an ICOM 706 MKIIG and I seriously doubt that anyone can tell the difference between the two. And the microphone on my 7000 has never been modified.  No doubt that you have heard what you say you did, but, I think it was more operator error than a problem with the 7000 design itself.
james
WD5GWY
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ZENKI
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 02:49:25 AM »

Thanks for the update, however this is not operator error I can assure you. I can hear it in my monitoring receiver and I can hear it on just about every IC7000 that i hear on the air. Its not that its bad  its just a sound that i dont like. However if the receiving stations rarely comment on the issue its not the end of the world. The digital modulation scheme might have something to do with it?

The IC7000 has a distinctive robotic sound that easily identifies it on the air. It also sounds like a bit of reverb on the transmission. Anyone work out how you can get rid of this distinct IC7000 artifact? The IC706 sounds Hifi by comparison using any mic.
  That sounds more like the operator did not have the radio adjusted right. I have talked to several people that were using a 7000 and did not notice anything like that. Just good clean audio. That, along with the digital filtering is what prompted me to buy one.  And I have yet to have anyone say the audio from my 7000 exhibited the issues you are talking about. I also own and use, an ICOM 706 MKIIG and I seriously doubt that anyone can tell the difference between the two. And the microphone on my 7000 has never been modified.  No doubt that you have heard what you say you did, but, I think it was more operator error than a problem with the 7000 design itself.
james
WD5GWY

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K0BG
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2011, 06:18:45 AM »

All of those microphone mods, remove the noise canceling feature of the microphone. That is not something you want to do in a mobile scenario!

The problem is over driving the audio path. Just about every 7000 installation I have looked at, had the microphone gain set to to over 30%. That's way too high! This is the exact reason why so many mobile stations sound so trashy.

The HM151 microphone is an electrec condenser type (like most others these days), and requires that the users close talk the element. If the microphone is held more than 3 inches from the mouth, the audio level drops precipitously. So, owners have the tendency to crank up the gain, and what you get is what has been described here—the audio sounds raspy, and almost motorboatish.

My microphone gain is set at 6%! I get a full 100 watts PEP out of the radio, or exactly what it is rated at. I have the DSP set for mid range, but I moved the lower limit down to 200 Hz. That might not be correct for all voices, however.

Lastly, remember this. Solid state transceivers just barely meet the FCC mandated IMD level to start with. Drive one hard, and the IMD goes through the roof. You can't hear it on frequency, or by using the monitor function. You can't see it on a standard oscilloscope either. But, most of the time, you can hear it off frequency a few hundred Hz. If you want good audio, sans the mods, and adjust the controls correctly.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 05:00:18 AM »

+1 for the above post. What really makes me wonder what operators are thinking are the countless Youtube videos of Icom IC7000's when you see them transmitting. Virtually all have the ALC and compression meters pegged over to the right. I keep mine within the ALC zone. My mic gain is a bit higher than Alans but only a few percent. I enabled the compression once and even on setting 1, the ALC went past the "safe" level. I hate to think what one with the meter pegged over sounds like on the other end.

Sadly the one I bought has had the AB5N modification to it by the previous owner and I'm sure that when on the move, it is what makes it hard to make a contact. Static seems to be fine but on the move I think its picking up the background noise.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 05:02:07 AM by M6GOM » Logged
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