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Author Topic: Yaesu FT-897D vs Yaesu FT-857D - will appreciate some light on the issue  (Read 10781 times)
KD6YDZ
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« on: February 04, 2013, 12:53:55 PM »

Hi everyone

I am trying to see a simple comparison between Yaesu FT-897D vs Yaesu FT-857D?

The 897 is only about $100 more and 4 additional lbs but that can't be the only significant difference?

I am literally trying to compare those feature-by-feature and I can's see any substantial difference. Anyone willing to shed some light on the topic of those 2 mobiles?

Thanks
~B
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M6GOM
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 01:04:51 PM »

The FT897 is a FT857 in a larger case with different laid out buttons.

The internals are identical which is why you won't find any substantial differences.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 03:29:48 AM »

Yeah, M6GOM said what I've always heard; they're pretty much the same, internally.  The 857 is good for mobile use; the faceplate can be mounted remotely.  The 897 has provision for internal batteries for portable use (expensive, though--I use a gel-cell with mine) and replaces some of the scroll-through menus with buttons, for easier operation.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 10:37:39 AM »

The 897D is bigger because it has the provision for internal batteries or an internal AC power supply for fixed-station operation from the mains.

It also has provision for a side-mounted/attached automatic antenna tuner, which the 857D does not offer.

Radio circuits are the same.  The 897D operating panel is a bit nicer to use; the 857D has a lot of buttons around its perimeter which might be pretty easily pressed accidentally (I know I've certainly done that!) and the 897D doesn't have that issue.
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NO2A
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 05:47:29 PM »

The last I heard the `897 offered a TCXO as standard,not optional as on the `857.  Unless you operate mostly digital modes,you may never need the high stability it offers.
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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 07:12:17 PM »

One very important thing has not been mentioned. A 100 watt rig has to dissipate about 150 watts of heat energy and a bigger rig can deal with it a lot better in high duty cycles.
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WI4P
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 07:22:12 AM »

In a nutshell, the 897 is designed for base or portable operation and the 857 for base or mobile.
897 does not have detachable face plate.  857 does not have provision for internal battery or power supply and does not mate to an attached ATU but it does auto tune the ATAS mobile antenna and other yaesu ATU's.

Either one is a good if slightly dated radio at a good price point.
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W8JX
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 08:00:11 AM »

In a nutshell, the 897 is designed for base or portable operation and the 857 for base or mobile.

While true about 897 it is not true about 857. It was designed as a mobile/portable that is sometimes used as a base. The 857 is a bad choice for a serious base station as it has a small display, very menu dependent and lacks the thermal mass and cooling for serious duty cycles especially digital.
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K7RBW
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 07:06:12 AM »

The 857 is small and lightweight and probably not up to running 100W @ 100% duty cycle, but I've had all-afternoon PSK-31 QSOs at 50-100W without any problem. I just keep it out in the open so it can keep cool. In a car, it's easier to pack it in a tight spot to where it can't keep cool, but that's the installer's fault, not the radio's.

I like the 857 for a cheap (relatively speaking) all-band radio. I don't expect $5000-radio performance from it, but it gets the job done. The trick, I've found, is to set up your operating procedures such that you don't need to fiddle with the menu controls as much. For example, with PSK, you can adjust the power out, simply by controlling the volume of the modulation. That saves going into the RF Power menu all the time.

But, as a Base-station radio, I agree that there are better (and more expensive) options out there.
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KD6YDZ
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 02:43:06 PM »

Very informative feedback. Thank you. I do like the internal battery possibility and IMHO is worth the extra 100 bucks but that's not really the truth - it's more like extra 300 bucks because one must include the cost of the actual batteries Smiley

Fiddling with bunch of NiCads rats nest while out and about is a hassle instead of holding this puppy by its side handle just like a little suitcase.

~B
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K0JEG
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 06:15:51 PM »

Very informative feedback. Thank you. I do like the internal battery possibility and IMHO is worth the extra 100 bucks but that's not really the truth - it's more like extra 300 bucks because one must include the cost of the actual batteries Smiley

Fiddling with bunch of NiCads rats nest while out and about is a hassle instead of holding this puppy by its side handle just like a little suitcase.

~B

I thought the same thing about having internal batteries. The problem with them is they really don't do a great job. 1st of all, they add a fair amount of weight for how much power they provide (4.5A each). They also self-discharge very quickly, even if not connected to the radio. 3rd, you will also need to buy the charger because the radio itself won't charge the batteries (the charger does use the same DC power cable that comes with the radio though). Some people don't like that the RF output is limited to 20W when using the internal battery packs, but that's not a negative for me, I don't have to remember to turn the RF power down when out in the field.

The other thing to think about is you'll likely have an accessory bag or even a case for the radio and all the associated parts that go with it, so carrying along a gell cell or other small battery shouldn't be a big problem. The handle is mostly for show, in my opinion. And not only that, but the MEM/VFO CH knob sticks out and is easily broken (it's a push button and encoder and feels flimsy, and it's right on the edge of the panel), and just throwing it in the back seat of the car or whatever might cause it to break.

That said, there's a nice space for an internal battery, just looking for a homebrew solution. If I had the time and desire, I would look at what would be involved in building a LiPO battery pack, which should theoretically give you much greater power per oz than the FNB-78 battery pack. And since you will need a charger anyway, a dedicated LiPO charger shouldn't add much cost to the project.

Otherwise, just use a jump charger and the DC connector. You can use it to power other devices (or start your car) as well as the radio.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 06:19:22 PM by K0JEG » Logged
K7RBW
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 06:42:16 AM »

I have the 857 and solved the battery/carrying problem two ways.

1. I got a Pelican case (http://www.pelican.com/cases_detail.php?Case=1500) that holds the radio, battery, antenna tuner, power supply, etc. Everything I need. It's kinda heavy, but it's self-contained.

2. I also got a backpack (http://www.powerportstore.com/worldpack-706.htm) made for mobile HF radios (ICOM, Yaesu) that also holds a battery in the bottom.

So, between the two, I have more operating options than with the 897. To varying degrees, each provides some protection to the radio while in transport. Obviously, the Pelican case more than the back pack, but even the backpack protects the radio from being scuffed up while being carted about. With the 897 in a case, you'd not have much room for anything else, or you'd need a bigger case.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 09:48:14 AM »

Yup, the 857 has no built in battery, and the 897 does.  I use an ft 857 in the  car and an 857 in the e truck. I use them with an ATAS 120 antenna and get autotune fro 2m/440 to 40 meters on a "push one  button" tune for the antenna, males tuning while driving, no need to look at the radio. I am very happy with the setup.
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