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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Yaesu FT-897 & 897D Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-897 & 897D
Yaesu FT-897 & 897D Reviews: 362 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $1049.95
Description: It is the world's first multi-mode high-power base/mobile transceiver designed to fitted with internal batteries (optional) for portable use. The coverage is HF 160 to 10 meters plus 50/144/430 MHz VHF/UHF. Receive is 0.1-56, 76-108, 118-164 and 420-470 MHz. 7.9x3.2x10.3 inches (200x80x263 mm).
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.yaesu.com/amateur/ft897.html
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You can write your own review of the Yaesu FT-897 & 897D.

Page 1 of 37 —>

K4YZ Rating: 5/5 May 23, 2014 19:54 Send this review to a friend
Great Multi-Purpose Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my -897D aboout a year ago to replace my -757GX Mk2 which had died on me after 20 years of solid service. I bought the rig from Gigaparts in Huntsville, AL, who put the MARS/CAP mod in it for me for an additional fee. I would have done it myself but failing eyesight and tremors in my right hand left me doubtful if I could work on a modern circuit board without mucking it up.

I "tricked it out" for portable operation with the dual internal batteries, but as of yet haven't been able to take it on ther road. I also installed the RT Systems 2.3 and 500Hz filters.

I have to admit that I have played with the DSP in the rig, but with the two filters in it and my general dislike for menu-driven features leaves me using the filters alone. Unless you go to the Mega-Buck Big Rigs, you're going to have to deal with menus, so I just "deal" with it...I can't "diss" a feature I knew was in the rig when I bought it.

Also, I skipped the outboard automatic antenna tuner. It's only good for a 3:1 mismatch, and if I were operating in an emergency situation and only had 20' of wire for an antenna, I want a manual roller tuner. A manual tuner won't match an infinite number of mis-matches, however it's preferable to a tuner that won't match at all!

One other thing I would have done differently if I were engineering this rig would have been to use a 1/4" three-contact stereo plug for the keyer paddles rather than the 1/8" one. It's just more solid and less like to break in portable situations. My $0.02 worth adjusted for inflation.

Otherwise, I like the rig. I still give it a 5/5, although I would still buy a -757Mk1 if they were being made today!

73

Steve Robeson, K4YZ
Winchester, TN
 
WB3BD Rating: 3/5 Apr 26, 2014 16:45 Send this review to a friend
Defective tuning encoder after one year  Time owned: more than 12 months
The radio functioned reasonably well for me for just over a year, until the main tuning dial encoder began to malfunction to the point where it was unusable. I should point out that I used the rig very lightly over the time I’ve owned it, and that this is a problem that has been reported by other FT-897 owners over the internet . I replaced the encoder myself, and although not too difficult to do, it shouldn’t have happened. I even purchased a spare encoder for my -817ND (uses the same part), after reading about multiple incidents. I wrote to Yaesu about the problem, but they offered no explanation as to why this part would deteriorate over such a short period of time. Perhaps a defective lot of optical encoders? Another reported issue w this rig is a defective internal speaker, which my unit also suffered from (out of the box). Again, I replaced the speaker w an OEM part right before I got rid of the radio. Too bad – it’s otherwise well-built and an overall good value in a “DC-to-daylight” portable rig.
 
M0SAZ Rating: 5/5 Apr 2, 2014 15:37 Send this review to a friend
A real solid performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was licenced in 2008 and started with this radio. After literally dozens of radios (some bought more than twice!) and many thousands of pounds to my endeavours I have sold everything and now have just 2 of these to my inventory - one set up as a base radio, the other for portable ops and as a standby. Alas becoming a home owner and having to be more careful has persuaded me to stick to my current setup for the foreseeable duration.

After having radios like the FTDX-5000MP, TenTec Eagle, Elecraft KX3 and so on why did I go back to my original rig? Well, it is simple, familiar, does a lot of stuff and doesn't do it badly.

It's not the quietest receiver, it would probably be in the bottom 10 on the Sherwood table, its DSP is so-so, VHF/UHF FM isn't as good as a dedicated dual bander and yet none of that matters. Its small and versatile and is very reliable. The price of it means you are not worrying about it falling apart or being stolen - its there and its there to be used.

With some tweaking of some settings, fitting of the optional filters, using a filtered speaker such as the SP-2000 and a decent mic like the MD-100 then it actually can yield some surprisingly good results on TX and RX.

CW is a dream to use especially with a narrow filter installed. I use an LDG YT-100 in the shack to add more effective bandwidth to my Cushcraft MA-6VA and the Alpha Delta DX-LB Plus. Its a CAT controlled ATU so it doesn't suffer from RF trigger from close by stations during field days and portable contests.

If you have never bought one or used one before but keep seeing them about, try or buy one to see why they are still selling after all these years.

Mike
M0SAZ
 
KA0SCM Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2014 21:07 Send this review to a friend
A nice little rig...in a small box...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned an 897d for several years now...and have had ZERO problems with it. I equipped it with the internal PS...the matching bolt on Yaesu tuner...a Yaesu MD-200A8X desk mike...and the INRAD 2.9 KC filter. I get outstanding audio reports with this combo...to be sure there are better radios out there...but for what this radio sells for its VERY hard to beat. I have also had a Kenwood TS-2000...and it was a nice radio as well, but I prefer the 897d over the TS-2000...the Yaesu has a hotter receiver for HF as well as VHF/UHF. It's certainly heavily menu driven...but once you have everything setup properly its smooth sailing.
 
G4XSH Rating: 0/5 Feb 9, 2014 03:28 Send this review to a friend
CPU packed up!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wish I could give a good report having used Yaesu equipment for over 30 years.
My FT897D has had very little use since purchase.
I switched it on the other day only to find it would not boot up. Tried reset, contacted Yaesu who were very helpful but couldn't get it to reboot. It was sent back to Yaesu who having tested it reported a faulty CPU the repair price is at £150 at the moment providing nothing else has gone wrong.
The 897 has hardly ever been used on transmit and very little on receive, the men at Yaesu say it can happen. Little consolation.
 
K4YZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2014 08:51 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Equipment-A Yaesu Hit!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months

I had coveted the -897d for some time, so when the money became available, I bought one, fully "tricked out" for portable work and with the 500 and 2.3KHz filters. I've not had a chance to take it portable, but so far it's been an outstanding rig.

My only issue is having to frequently hit the "F" button and turn the multi-function knob to change a menu feature, but then that's a small price to pay.

I'm mostly a CW op, and the CW is smooth and clickless. SSB audio is soft on the ears, and reports from other ops reports seamless audio.

I'm looking forward to getting it on a hilltop for 6 & 2M ops!

(PS, Guys-it's "YEAH-soo", not "YAZZ-zoo".

73

Steve, K4YZ
Winchester, TN
 
KG7GNI Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2014 18:34 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Like most people, I always lust after the latest and great "new" stuff. So, I had saved some money up to buy one of those new radios I have been reading rave reviews about. In particular, I looked to replace my 897D with a 590S or a K3X, but I had a chance to try some of the the newest radios in the $5 to $10K range.

So, I used this opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison. The newer radios were a bit quieter, not much, but a bit. There wasn't as much background noise or static. However, and this is lost in a lot of these comparisons, the SSB phone on the 897, was MORE intelligible. On CW there was no difference (I have the optional 300 Hz filter in my 897). Likewise, I couldn't one "weak signal" that was picked up by the newer radios, even the multi-thousand dollar newest rigs, that I couldn't get on the 897. What a surprise! And, that trip killed my lust for a new radio. So, I bought a bunch of really nice test equipment (the RigExpert AA-54, which is amazing), a Signalink, and upgraded my coax for my antenna's. Lesson learned -- try before you buy. The 897 is a *great* radio and, although I will continue to search, I haven't found anything better.
 
VK5HYZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 20, 2013 13:36 Send this review to a friend
Best for outback travel  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ive had my FT-897 for about 3 years and in that time it has never faulted, just keeps on going,great for portable when traveling,and never lets me down.
You also have the versatility of VHF/UHF in the one radio,which means you don't have to have 2 radios in your 4wd, I have 2 antennas connected up the back of the radio, one a multi band VHF/UHF antenna and the other is a HF multi band antenna for all of the HF bands, if your looking for a great multi band radio, buy yourself a Yaesu FT-897D
 
K9ZTV Rating: 5/5 Dec 9, 2013 13:56 Send this review to a friend
Undocumented Dual-Watch Capability  Time owned: more than 12 months
While the FT-897D manual (page 50 in the 2012 Yaesu website edition) accurately describes how to set-up DUAL WATCH between VFO-A and VFO-B, it does not discuss an undocumented feature whereby DUAL WATCH can be used between a Memory Channel and either of the two VFOs. The set-up, however, requires a step that is opposite from the way instinct would lead.

The purpose of DUAL WATCH is to allow operation on one band while monitoring a squelched frequency on another band every five seconds. At work I use an FT-897D to occasionally listen to classical music from a local FM station (programmed into a Memory Channel), while also monitoring our local repeater frequency (programmed into a VFO register).

One would assume that activating DW (menu row G) would permit listening on the Memory Channel (e.g. classical music) while monitoring the VFO register into which the repeater frequency had been entered and in which register the radio would presumably be resting. But not so.

The radio has to be resting in the OPPOSITE VFO register.

Therefore, while I may have put our repeater data in VFO-A, the radio has to be resting in the VFO-B register (regardless of what frequency and mode is displayed there) in order for DUAL WATCH to function between a Memory Channel and VFO-A.



 
ON4VP Rating: 5/5 Nov 13, 2013 21:08 Send this review to a friend
After 10 years still my "do it all" rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
First I like to make a quick comment on a few late reviews:

1/ Power output.

As many other radios around, also my FT-897 lacks a few watts on the calibrated Power Master II. I check ed all bands from 160 to 6 and I got between 87 and 92 watts out on a dummy load with swr being 1.02/1.

Seems pretty fair to me. Even my expensive TS-990 gives me 192 watts instead of the full 200 according the manual. Who cares? People that believe the last few watts make a difference should invest time in their antennas and not in looking for mods on youtube on how to increase the power. I'm sorry but frankly that's citizen band talk.

2/ CW memory keyer.

The manual states, and I set it up just like that, when you set the beacon time to 0 (zero) the 3 memories act as normal playback memories each capable to hold 256 characters. I set up mine to send my callsign and another for the report. This came very handy in participating contests while operation portable.

3/ Receiver.

I still praise the FT-897 for its performance on VHF and 6 meters. It does a very good job. On HF I fully understand there are better receivers out there. But with some clever approach I'm rather happy with its performance. For example I always use the 300Hz Inrad filter for CW and digital modes. On top of that I set the DSP CW bandwidth to 120 or even 60Hz when its a little croudy. Does the job for me. In SSB I don't think the standard Yaesu filter add a lot to the performance so I left it out. Better is to use antennas that are not broad banded resulting in overloading the front end's first stage of the receiver.

Another point is to carefully read the manual. when IPO is off, that means you are using the preamp. So do set it to ON as a standard. For 12, 10 and 6 meters it's okay to put it off when bands are quiet to improve signals. And I do use the ATT mostly on 80 and 160. It all adds to the receiver performance.

4/ Antennas.

Important is what kind of antennas you are using on this radio. Broad band aerials bring in more unwanted signals. But properly tuned antennas to a particular band help a lot in receiver performance. They suppress a lot of other band noise thanks to the high impedance on unwanted bands.

I had some other smaller radios. For some reason I always came back the my FT-897. I've owned the non-D version to. Lately I've been having a lot of fun working portable with only 25 watts and a end fed 1/2 wave vertical. Participated some EU CW contests and worked many stations on 40/20/15/10 meters. Knowing that you can take this relative small radio with you almost everywhere and have a built in power supply or batteries, does add to the portability and versatility of this fine all band performer.

Another big plus to me after so many years is the fact the FT-897 is very fine to work digital modes . It can also be a good radio to use a transverter and can be set up properly with correct frequency display.

I did some minor modifications. Temperature controlled fan, rear connection for 12VDC optional kits or stuff.

I also introduced the UP4DAR to the FT-897 using its 9K6 packet connection. That way I have a very good performing Dstar radio, even on HF.

This radio is on the marked for over 10 years. It offers a lot for the price you pay. And a lot of FT-897's can be found for a good deal second hand.

While I'm still very happy with mine, I hope Yaesu is working on a replacement. It's about time to introduce new stuff to the FT-897. A small wish list (Yaesu, are you reading this?):

- IF DSP
- Selection of roofing filters
- Voice keyer (recording/playback)
- USB connection to computer (soundcard + CAT)
- 4 meter band

73 ON4PV/Phil
 
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