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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-891 Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-891
Yaesu FT-891 Reviews: 32 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $889.95
Description: The FT-891 HF All Mode Mobile Transceiver once again continues Yaesu's legacy for legendary receiver design in a compact package, providing uncompromised performance for both the mobile and stationary Amateur operator. High end 32-Bit floating point DSP enhances the operating experience providing a cleaner, clearer signal and reducing overall operator fatigue creating a more enjoyable environment for any Amateur operator.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.hamradio.com/documents/FT-891%20Brochure.pdf
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KK1VT Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2017 07:58 Send this review to a friend
Very Pleased with the Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the 891 to replace my 817 for mobile/portable operating. While the VHF/UHF frequencies were a big plus for the 817, the 5 watt output was very limiting for HF. The small physical size is impressive considering the features that are built into this radio. I also operate an FT-1200 so some comments will be based using this radio as well.

Due to its small size the 891 is very “menu driven”. If you have operated a Yaesu radio built in the last ten years or so the menu structure will be intuitive. The radio includes an Operating Manual that describes the basic usage of the radio. Unfortunately, the Advanced Manual (absolutely required for initial familiarization and set up) is only available as a PDF download from the Yaesu website. I am having it printed and bound at my local Staples office supply store.

The operating features built into this radio are absolutely amazing given the size. I won’t list them here but if you are considering purchasing the radio I suggest you download the manuals from the website for detailed info. While the audio from the built in speaker is acceptable, using an external speaker provides excellent audio quality. I use small unamplified patio speakers in the shack and the audio quality is great. While the microphone connection is behind the removable front panel, it is possible to swap Yaesu mics at the microphone connector making it easy to change between the MH-31 hand mic and the MD-100 desk mic. Power output can be adjusted down to 5 watts with the power consumption at 5 amps. The LCD color is light blue only. Contrast is adjustable and the display is easy to read. The various filtering options work very well and are easy to access via the function screens. I have spent time casual SWLing and the receiver and filters make it pleasure.

As others have said, there is some room for improvement in the menu and operating structure but I think they are minor issues. As there is a USB port on the back panel I assume it will be relatively easy to perform firmware upgrades as they become available. I believe Yaesu has designed a very nice, compact, feature rich transceiver that will be at home mobile, at camp, as well as in the shack. At a current price of $700.00 from HRO (March 2017) the bang for the buck is amazing.
 
IT9AHH Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2017 10:25 Send this review to a friend
i did not believe!!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm only cw operator.I was in the market for a only hf rig....Icom...Kenwood...Yaesu??..which one to choose?? My eyes fell on this rig and....bingo!! A real cw machine! No ringing no dsp artifacts no fatigue listening on low bands.
Vy good display clear and immediate. Vy good receiver quiet sensitive and vy good selectivity. Zero beat led in front panel, real time wswr and power output readings as well as a moltitude of usefull running indications. So..well done yaesu vy fb only hf rig.
We'll see if it will survive the next serious CW contest...although I think so!!!
 
G3RCE Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2017 01:50 Send this review to a friend
Very versatile  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I like this compact 160m - 6m HF radio.
I use the Yaesu SCU-17 interface unit which has the codec sound card, for the digital modes.
Works great with wsjt-x jt9, j65 and wspr etc.
CW and SSB work great.
73
Rob

 
K0MTN Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2017 14:32 Send this review to a friend
Great 100W HF/6M Portable Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had the FT-891 for about 2 months, and here are my impressions.

The FT-891 is a great little HF/6M, 100W, portable radio. Its small size is easy to transport. The LCD display is easy to read in bright light environments. I like that the A/B/C buttons on the front can be assigned different functions for quick access. I find the memory group function to be a useful feature for organizing settings/frequencies for nets, digital, SSB, ... Due to the small size, this radio is heavily menu dependent, but I find the menus easy to navigate. The DSP, noise reduction, and variable bandpass features provide many ways to help deal with urban QRM and weak signal.

I bought the FT-891 to have a portable 100W radio to use for hiking and camping. I haven't yet been camping, but I have taken it hiking. With a 9Ah LiFePO battery, folding multiband vertical antenna, and small antenna tuner, I've made SSB and PSK31 contacts, with good reports.

The receiver and noise reduction is so good, it has replaced my FT-450D at my QTH. The FT-891 is currently selling for about $700 which is less than I paid for a used FT-450D 6 years ago.

As others have noted, this radio does not have VHF/UHF. Nor does it has a built in audio interface (sound card). Also, as mentioned previously, the small size it is heavily menu dependent. It just doesn't have the room for a lot of buttons and dials. If those features are what somebody needs/wants in a radio, this isn't the one for you. So, don't buy this radio and then complain it doesn't have a feature that you want. Do your homework first...

I feel the FT-891 is a great value at the current retail price for a 100W, HF/6M, radio!

Sam
 
W8BYH Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2017 19:25 Send this review to a friend
A Great Radio For Its Intended Purpose  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is not a comprehensive review, but after a month of use I felt it would be useful to let the community know just how this radio is working.

Lets get the obvious out of the way right up front - it has no UHF/VHF side. It's HF only. I know there's been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth on the internet over this 'shortcoming', but also keep in mind that this radio is retailing about $150 less than the beloved FT-857.

I don't own an 857 so I can't make a comparison between the two on HF performance. What I can say is the 891's digital signal processing and filtering is excellent.

Contrary to some reports the menu system is actually very easy to figure out and navigate. I passed on buying RT Systems programming software because the rig is easy to figure out and configure right from the front panel.

The band scope feature works very well, and I find myself doing regular band sweeps to find active frequencies. The display resolution is somewhat crude (it's a dot martix interface) and Yaesu could have gone with a better resolution display, but even with the low resolution display the band sweep function works great.

I paired my radio with the Yaesu FC-50 tuner and its a great combination. I've set one of the three programmable display buttons to trigger the tuner. The tuner does not require a separate power source - it's powered by the radio via the CAT cable, making for a neat setup. So far the tuner has handled everything I've hooked it up to - mostly verticals and end fed long wires - and it's tuned it all without a problem.

Are there gripes? Sure. The display resolution I've already discussed is one. Next, Yeasu seems to have envisioned this radio to be used either vehicle mobile or in a permanent shack setup. What they seemed to have ignored is people like me who like to use it 'park bench mobile' or dismounted mobile with the head separated from the radio body. What Yaesu or a third party needs to come up with is a decent tabletop stand for the remote head. Yaesu sells what looks like a flimsy metal stand along with their outrageously priced separation kit, but the remote head really cries out for something more robust. And last, Yaesu placed the microphone connection on the radio body, not on the remote head. This means the users may have some complicated decisions to make when remote installing the radio body in a vehicle.

So is the 891 a very good radio that's worth your consideration? Yes. Does it match the reputation of the much loved 857? I can't say - I'll leave that to you to decide.
 
DL4ZAB Rating: 4/5 Feb 21, 2017 23:25 Send this review to a friend
Fair  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hi folks,
judt got my 891 2 weeks ago with the aim to receive a small TRX for travelling or /p-operations.
So far, so good.

Compared with my FT-991 it lacks th built in soundcard, then it would be a great rig!
Why the heck wasn't it possible to integrate the aufio codec chip?
There is need for a separate interface like Signallink with additional wiring and 2 USB-Ports: One for CAT and one for the interface.

Setting up with HRD was quite easy but with JTDX it was a challenge.
If one chooses FT-891 out of the rigs, he or she can do whatever he or she likes: There will be no CAT communication
between the radio and software.
Now the funny fact:
If You use Your settings for FT-991 - with changing the COM-Port to the one occupied by the 891 - it works...!
Another annoying quirk:
During data transfer between TRX and PC the radio produces sounds like sn angry rattle snake in Arizona, hi!
I would have given it a five star rating, if these things were not included.
Have fun and DX, 73!
Ben, DL4ZAB
 
K5SOP Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2017 07:24 Send this review to a friend
Best mobile rig ever  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My first mobile rig was a Collins KWM-1 installed under the dash in my 56 Ford. Since then I have used IC-706's, TS-50, FT-707, FT-900, FT-857D, FT-817ND, small older Kenwood's and small Icom's, all with antennas ranging from the Webster Band Spanner, Hustler, Hi Serria, and Bug Catchers of all sizes. Of all of those the FT-900 and the Bug Catcher performed the best. Until the new FT-891 entered the market. I needed a rugged compact radio with a detachable display that I could easily see the controls and buttons and operate in the dark. The rig was to be install in a Jeep Wrangler. The FT-891 appeared the be the rig. For an antenna I chose the ATAS-120A. I mounted a steel light bracket from a Jeep parts house to the windshield hinge bolts. I carefully removed paint from the underside of the screw heads and paint from the mounting bracket to provide a solid ground connection for the antenna. Inadequate grounds seem to be an issue with the ATAS-120A. The FT-891 main unit was mounted in the storage tray in the rear of the Jeep. I used a heavy gauge 19 strand, silver plated Teflon coated ground strap from the rigs ground lug to the Jeep body. The positive power cable was connected directly to the battery and the negative power cable was shortened and connected to Jeep body near the main rig. These connections provided a solid ground for the antenna, power and radio cabinet ground. The control head was mounted to the console and mic cable routed through the console box. All of this was done before I ever applied power to the rig for the first time. I removed the ATAS-120A from the mount, terminated the connection, started the Jeep and powered the rig. It was amazing that I heard no auto noise, no alternator whine, no ignition noise, just quite white noise from the external speaker. The antenna was connected, programmed for the rig and then tuned on all bands without a problem. The next day I took a 250 mile trip and enjoyed the best mobile operating experience ever.

The display is large with variable brightness and contrast. A plus. The backlighted buttons are easily visible under all lighting conditions, day or night. Another plus. Audio output is great with plenty of power to drive a 4" speaker. Jeeps Wranglers are not known for a quite ride. Another plus. The menu is large and easily seen on the screen. A plus, but it is a lengthy menu. Band changing requires attention away from the roadway, a negative, but programming favorite frequencies into memories simplifies this and tuning from the mic up/down buttons makes it easier. A plus. The band scope is a great feature making it easy to find QSO's and net operations. A plus, but I would like for the band scope display to automatically change back to the normal display after a few seconds or a even a bump of the PTT button would be nice. But, if it did someone would complain. Trying to use all of the rigs features while mobile would be difficult but so it would be with all rigs.

Does this radio have flaws, yes, but for me it is a mobile rig, not a fixed station. Is it a perfect mobile rig, no, but it's the best I have ever used. It is far easier to use than the FT-857D and the Icom series and totally exceeds them in performance. Much lower noise and very sensitive. Yaesu did a good job.

I rated the rig a 5 because it is a solid mobile radio, easy to use and operate. If you want a fixed station rig, buy a fixed station rig. If you want to compare it to an FTdx-5000 - try to install an FTdx-5000 in a Jeep or any other automobile.
 
IW2CXJ Rating: 1/5 Feb 17, 2017 00:27 Send this review to a friend
Not a great radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I used FT 891 for a few weeks, I wonder if Yaesu engineers when they designed were drunk, use complicated menu, USB and LSB setting only menu, needless to USB-B port without audio codec, bad dynamic, the low bands It reminds me of my old IC 706 first version. I would say, yaesu bad work, in fact they are used less than 500 € Save your money!
 
NO9E Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2017 12:35 Send this review to a friend
May be best mobile radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I played with this radio for a few days. Amazing features although mastering them could take an hr or two. Equalizer with effective speech processor makes the signal sounding nice and really strong, perhaps the strongest of any mobile rig. Bandwidth and shift let vary the passband easily. BW down to 50 Hz in CW without ringing. Tunable APF (audio peak) is usually available only in expensive radios and is really effective in CW. A bit different changing of bands and modes by pressing a band button (longer for mode) and choosing with the main knob. Few buttons but it is easy to customize the three custom buttons. For instance, CW Speed, Bandwidth and APF for CW. Or Bandwidth, PROC and Notch for SSB. It would be nice for settings to be retained by band and mode, but the current features seem pretty good.

The rig does not have digital modes but I am not sure how many people use them mobile.

I was looking for replacement of IC-7000, which looks great but has trouble getting heard in SSB and hear CW under static. FT-891 may be it.
 
W4GRJ Rating: 2/5 Feb 9, 2017 05:13 Send this review to a friend
Disappointed - Don't give up your FT857D  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What a disappointment in operating convenience when compared to FT857D.
Does not retain settings like DSP, Width, etc when changing bands or of power off to on.
Cannot change modes without digging into the menu.
So far, cannot figure out how to do frequency control with Winlink Express. Hopefully Yaesu can make improvements with firmware updates. In the meantime, my FT857D is back off the self.
 
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