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Author Topic: Recommendations: FT-857D, FT-897D, TS-480SAT or other for $900 or so?  (Read 12268 times)
KK4RXN
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« on: October 03, 2013, 06:36:45 AM »

I have a Kenwood TS-820 that is working well at home, but I've been wanting a brand new rig for a good while and one that would be really versatile, including mobile use. I've looked at all kinds of units and really like the Kenwood line, so a TS-480SAT is pretty inviting. I've had a Yaesu FT-757GX before and liked it, too, so an FT-857D or FT-897D would be nice additions.

Is there enough difference in an 857 and an 897 to justify the cost in the 897? Do you have any other personal recommendations? It's fun dreaming, but eventually I want to get something and don't want to sink more than $1000 into anything. I don't want to buy used, really - I'd rather have a warranty, plus buying with my credit card will double the 1 year to a 2 year warranty.

Thanks for any of your input!
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Barry
KK4RXN
Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
N4CQR
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 07:53:17 AM »

For me, the beauty of the 897 was the ability to add the internal power supply and have everything in one package. Additionally, had I have wanted to do some remote, camping etc., I could run off of internal battery power. As far as I am concerned the 897D is one of the more well designed radios...
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KK4RXN
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 08:33:55 AM »

For me, the beauty of the 897 was the ability to add the internal power supply and have everything in one package. Additionally, had I have wanted to do some remote, camping etc., I could run off of internal battery power. As far as I am concerned the 897D is one of the more well designed radios...

I saw a few complaints about the receive quality vs. the 480. What did you think?
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Barry
KK4RXN
Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
AC4RD
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Posts: 1236




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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2013, 09:36:07 AM »

I've got an 897D and a 480SAT.  The 480 has been in my car for a few months now, replacing an old 706.

Personally, I *love* the 897, it's just a great little radio.  Does a million things and it's tough as nails.  I find it very easy to use, and I like the interface.  (Not everybody agrees on that, of course.)

And I've never been nuts about the 480, personally.  But it's a very competent radio, and it's a much newer design than the 897.  The 480's performance is substantially better than the 897, in my opinion.   I like the 897 a lot more than the 480, but if the choice is one or the other, I'd think you would be better off with a 480, for most uses, especially if you're going to buy one new.  (Though if you can find a good 897 used at a bargain price, that might be another matter.)

You do NOT want to try to use the 480 portable--it's too big and heavy.  But it makes a good mobile radio.

And I haven't heard it said before, but I do find the audio on the 480 a bit harsh.  That isn't a big deal in my book, though.

GL!   --ken
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N6AJR
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 10:27:26 AM »

I really like my 857 d hooked to an atas 120a.  In fact I have 2, one in the car, one in the pickup. good stuff.  check out my page on qrz.com
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KK4RXN
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 10:46:14 AM »

I've got an 897D and a 480SAT.  The 480 has been in my car for a few months now, replacing an old 706.

Personally, I *love* the 897, it's just a great little radio.  Does a million things and it's tough as nails.  I find it very easy to use, and I like the interface.  (Not everybody agrees on that, of course.)

And I've never been nuts about the 480, personally.  But it's a very competent radio, and it's a much newer design than the 897.  The 480's performance is substantially better than the 897, in my opinion.   I like the 897 a lot more than the 480, but if the choice is one or the other, I'd think you would be better off with a 480, for most uses, especially if you're going to buy one new.  (Though if you can find a good 897 used at a bargain price, that might be another matter.)

You do NOT want to try to use the 480 portable--it's too big and heavy.  But it makes a good mobile radio.

And I haven't heard it said before, but I do find the audio on the 480 a bit harsh.  That isn't a big deal in my book, though.

GL!   --ken

I have gotten very fond of my good ol' Kenwood TS-820, and I enjoyed using a TS-2000 on Field Day this year. I'm leaning pretty heavily toward the 480, but I would really like the 70cm and 2m addition on the 897. Honestly I'm on HF a lot more anyway - I like chasing DX.

I probably wouldn't do a lot of portable work realistically, but the 897's versatility is attractive in case I wanted to do a little hiking with it.
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Barry
KK4RXN
Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
KK4RXN
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2013, 10:49:42 AM »

I really like my 857 d hooked to an atas 120a.  In fact I have 2, one in the car, one in the pickup. good stuff.  check out my page on qrz.com


WOW - you do have a lot of toys! And wires! ;-) Those all look like a lot of fun. I've heard a lot of other great things about an 857 or 897 hooked to one of the Atas antennas.
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Barry
KK4RXN
Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
KK4RXN
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2013, 11:41:34 AM »

Is there enough difference to warrant paying a good bit more for an 897D over an 857D?
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Barry
KK4RXN
Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
VE7REN
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2013, 02:12:13 PM »

ive owned all three radios,and the 480 is the better in my opinion. the rx is better,newer design,nicer features,better build i think.. the list goes on..

one note.....of all the dozens of radios i have owned,the 897/857 has to be the bottom of the list.. i have reviews here on eham

ve7ren
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AC4RD
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2013, 04:24:57 AM »

Is there enough difference to warrant paying a good bit more for an 897D over an 857D?

Barry, that's another of those "your mileage may vary" issues.  I've always heard that the 857 and the 897 are basically the same radio, except that the 857 is small and has a remote-mount head, making it better for mobile use, and the 897 is bigger and has more buttons and knobs, thus fewer things that have to be adjusted in a menu.   If you don't mind using the menu system instead of some knobs, the 857 might be a great choice.

As I hinted earlier, though, if I were buying any one of the three you mentioned, brand new from a dealer, I'd lean toward the 480. I love the 897, but the 480 is (as VE7REN said) a newer design and more features.

OTOH, I've seen 857s with a few bad pixels in the display, for sale in my area at bargain prices. 

Lots of choices, Barry!   The good news is that you won't go far wrong with any of the radios you mentioned--they all have plenty of good points and lots of fans.  GL 73!
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KK4RXN
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2013, 05:37:19 AM »

Is there enough difference to warrant paying a good bit more for an 897D over an 857D?

Barry, that's another of those "your mileage may vary" issues.  I've always heard that the 857 and the 897 are basically the same radio, except that the 857 is small and has a remote-mount head, making it better for mobile use, and the 897 is bigger and has more buttons and knobs, thus fewer things that have to be adjusted in a menu.   If you don't mind using the menu system instead of some knobs, the 857 might be a great choice.

As I hinted earlier, though, if I were buying any one of the three you mentioned, brand new from a dealer, I'd lean toward the 480. I love the 897, but the 480 is (as VE7REN said) a newer design and more features.

OTOH, I've seen 857s with a few bad pixels in the display, for sale in my area at bargain prices. 

Lots of choices, Barry!   The good news is that you won't go far wrong with any of the radios you mentioned--they all have plenty of good points and lots of fans.  GL 73!


I see that HamCity.com has the 480 for $899 - I'm going to see if Gigaparts or Ham Radio Outlet will match that price.
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Barry
KK4RXN
Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
N7TEE
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2013, 07:28:32 AM »

Ken,

I would recommend the TS-480S.  The reason is that the two Yaesu's cannot be read from any distance from the screen.  That is from experience had the FT-897D in the truck and could not read the frequency that I was on unless I stopped and got closer to the readout.

Dave
N7TEE
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KK4RXN
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2013, 10:01:22 AM »

Can anybody find a better price than HamCity.com at $899.95 plus shipping for a 480? Gigaparts will match the after shipping price plus $49 for the MARS mod, but if I can get it cheaper it sure would be nice.
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Barry
KK4RXN
Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
AC4RD
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Posts: 1236




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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2013, 11:22:16 AM »

Barry, I don't want to be one of those boring Old Pharts giving unnecessary advice ...  Wink  Just wanted to mention two things:  I got my own 480SAT from HamCity as a "refurb."  I've bought a lot of stuff--radios, computers, cameras and lenses, electronics--as "refurbished" over the years, and I've never had a serious problem.  I got a great price from HamCity for the refurb 480; you might ask them if they've got a refurb on hand or expect to get one any time soon.

The other piece of "worth what you paid for it" advice is this, and you are free to disregard or ignore it as you see fit.  Wink  Over many years I've bought a lot of electronics, camera gear, radio stuff, etc., and after a couple of bad experiences with "lowest price!" type retailers, I've stuck mostly with big dealers with good reputations.  It seems to me (again, JMHO) that saving a few dollars is worth taking risks.  I'd suggest you stick with a dealer with a good reputation, one who has been around for a while.  It greatly reduces the chance that you'll have a bad experience.  73 GL!  --ken
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KK4RXN
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2013, 05:43:00 PM »

Great advice, and I will definitely take it, Ken. If I can find a refurb with any warranty I will snap it up. I buy Apple computer refurbished all the time as long as I can get Apple Care warranties, so if they can get me a thrifty 480 refurb I will get serious.
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Barry
KK4RXN
Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
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