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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-897 & 897D Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-897 & 897D
Yaesu FT-897 & 897D Reviews: 378 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.
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PA9H Rating: 4/5 Aug 17, 2015 10:49 Send this review to a friend
Versatile!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own my FT-897 for 7 years now. It's versatile, rugged and very handy going mobile with built in batteries. Ofcourse the TX power is reduced working the batteries. So far it's a good rig but it's definately not living without problems. The well known problem with DC on the filters hit my rig as well, ending it up producing unreadable audio on VHF and UHF. Having it repaired, another time the S-meter went "bad hearing". It appeared that the front end went unsensitive for some reason. And however it's fixed, the accuracy of the S-meter is very poor. Only above S4, the reading is correct. Below S4 ithe bargraph quickly drops to zero. Further more sudden tribo electricity on the GP antenna blew out the front end of the VHF/UHF stage.
There it went again to the repair shop. As the FT-897 really does everything you can dream of, it is a nice transceiver. Because of its small dimensions it is the perfect take away for holidays. Like other reviews mention, this rig is lacking TRX power. It simply does not meets it's specifications. On the other hand, who cares? As other HAM's mention, the FT-897 is in fact the same as the FT-857. Same Rig in a different box. The benefit of this is that button's are easier to operate. The 6,3 mm audio jack is really a benefit in comparison to the small audio jack on the 857! As the FT-897 does so many things and it really can't have a separate knob for each adjustment, you have to put up with the menu's. Like it or not, it's the only way to achieve such a versatile transceiver in such a small box. Yeasu did a good job. A good rig for a fair price. You better consider to have one.
VE3CNX Rating: 3/5 Aug 7, 2015 09:38 Send this review to a friend
Not bad but useless NB  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my FT897D new in 2004. It had many good points and some not so good, but only one (1) ugly point, which totally soured me on it:
The Good:
1) Rugged construction Case was military tough
2) Good control knobs
3) Menu was typical of shack in the box mobiles
4) RX and TX was excellent - Good RX, no intermod and full output
5) Ease of use -
The Bad:
1) Accessories were expensive - Auto Tune, batteries, power supply
The Ugly!
1) The NB was totally useless. For a rig that is intended to be used portable, and presumably mobile as well, the NB simply did nothing. When exposed to any pulse noise, the NB would not no much as touch it.
I am a dedicated "Yaesu" man, but this one went on a trade for a FT1000MP Mark V - which of course cannot be compared with the FT897D - but is simply the best HF rig I have owned. (I have three of them, as well as FT1000D, FT1000MP, Kenwood 950SDX, Icom 756 Pro III and others).
For portable use I went with an ICOM 746Pro - which proved to be an excelent choice. I am now awaiting delivery of an ICOM 706MkIIG for mobile use. Will write a review to compare with FT897D after I test sufficiently.

K6AJY Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2015 16:48 Send this review to a friend
kegajy great rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I like this rig the 2meters &440 is good & HF it is good rig
KI5SO Rating: 5/5 Mar 6, 2015 14:06 Send this review to a friend
Must read manual  Time owned: more than 12 months
These two radios pack more features for the money than just about any other radio at any price! I recently acquired another 897D and am enjoying it greatly. I owned one before and a 857d, and forgot why I bought them in the first place. I wonder why I sold them now...Anyway, once you read the manual you'll find this radio to be a true shack in the box. It will do the Satelite thing too! It does priority and dual watch! I can monitor a two meter frequency while using, actually listening and talking on HF in priority mode! How many less than $1000 radios can do that? It will seek out repeaters in a search mode. It measures swr on every band, yes, 2 and 440. You can line out to a special LDG analog meter. You can put special batteries in it and buy a special tuner that attaches to the side. It is the most powerful, truly portable radio on the market--well, it has been replaced with one that won't do all of this, recently. You can buy an internal tuner that fits it perfectly and powers it for the full 100 watts on hf, 6 meters, 50 on 2 meters and 20 watts on 440. And, yes, there is a way to get the tuner to tune on 60 meters. You have to push the button and make enough noise for the tuner to hunt the match on USB. Once these side attached tuners find the tune, it is memorized and the next time it doesn't take long to get tuned there. On other bands, it reverts to A.M. and tunes with the push of a button. It memorized it, and the next time it just does s "tick" and you are tuned. The accessories really help this radio shine. Here's a bit of extra information: if you lose your 12 volt power cord, you can use an Icom power cord like off of an Icom IC-746pro, it fits perfectly. This radio gets good audio reports and I am enjoying the receive. These can be had now for around $700 stock or $850 to $950 with accessories like tuners, power supply and external meter. Look around and grab one. I have owned lots of radios and I don't blow smoke. This radio is for real!
N5DQT Rating: 4/5 Nov 16, 2014 06:15 Send this review to a friend
How to scan only 5 repeaters  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm trying to program my 897 to scan only 5 repeaters I've setup in its memory. The manual shows the process; setup your upper & lower frequencies, hit Scan & it's on its way, but it scans every single frequency instead of just the 5 frequencies of the local repeaters I access. The mobile unit Yaesu has will easily do this. Other than this process, the FT-897 to me is a great product.
W9WHF Rating: 2/5 Sep 19, 2014 06:51 Send this review to a friend
I.F. Filter Failures  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the FT-897D and a FT-857D (mobile). Same radio, different box.Both have had multiple failures of the I.F. filters. Serviced by Burghardt we have learned that Yaesu apparently applied D.C. directly to to the Murata filters, causing them to fail after about 4=5 years in both radios. Apparently the only fix is to use aftermarket replacements and change all three filters. My experience is not unique. The hand mic is also very sensitive to R.F. from nearby antennas. The good--- I have worked tons of DX mobile with my FT-857D/Outbacker antenna. Stations can't believe how strong the Q5 signal is. My FT-857D is on its way for filter changes, again, the FT-897D was done last Christmas.
As mentioned, the receivers have poor strong signal rejection, but its' liveable.
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!


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.

KA0SCM Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2014 21:07 Send this review to a friend
A nice little 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 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.
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