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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: 364 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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K7JA Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2004 15:36 Send this review to a friend
60M Correct Info  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
We regret that W4CNG (and others) posted inaccurate information on many Internet boards.

Your attention is directed to ARRL's FAQ regarding 60-meter operation:

NTIA specifies channels in terms of "channel center" frequencies, while amateur transceivers, in tuning a commercial channel, typically must be tuned 1.5 kHz lower than the specified "channel center" frequency. For example, for a "channel center" frequency of 5332 kHz, you tune a "traditional" transceiver to 5330.5 kHz.

So go ahead and try it. Set up an FT-817ND/857D/897D to the "5332" channel, and tune your FT-1000MP to 5330.5 kHz. Now transmit from the 817ND/857D/897D; you will find that you are precisely on frequency as you monitor on the other transceiver.

Note: If you program 5330.5 kHz into a "regular" memory from the VFO, it will be on the same frequency as the "5332 kHz" channel in the special 5 MHz memory bank, as the 60-meter bank (only) displays according to the "channel center" format.

Sincerely yours,

Chip Margelli, K7JA
Vertex Standard USA, Inc.
NE0P Rating: 2/5 May 26, 2004 02:32 Send this review to a friend
I prefer the FT100D  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I thought the concept of this radio was great. A HF/VHF/UHF rig that would do 20 watts off of batteries, or 100 with an internal supply. I finally got a chance to play with one, and after a few days decided I liked the FT100D better, so traded for one. Here are the PROS and CONS of the FT897 as I see it:

1. 3 keyer memories. The 100 only has 1

2. Headphones jack on front of radio

3. DSP probably a little better than on FT100

4. You can change the display color. A novelty, but still kind of neat.

5. SSB filter option. However, the optional SSB filter is 2.3KHZ. In the FT100, the standard SSB filter is 2.4khz. Not sure that 100 HZ will make much of a difference on SSB.

1. The receiver is not as good as on the FT100D. Had to turn the preamp off if the band got crowded at all, or it overloaded. Also, the receiver just seemed noisier in general. The QST numbers support that this is a pretty poor receiver.

2. The NB is not as good as on the FT100D.

3. The SWR/Power meter is hard to understand, and you can see either SWR or power, but not both at the same time. On the FT100D the meter was much easier to understand, and you could see both SWR and power at the same time.

4. The menu changing scheme is really stupid. This was the biggest drawback. To change the A B C key menus, you have to push the F button, and then turn the MULTI knob. However, if you dont turn the MULTI knob within a couple of seconds, the F disappears, and the MULTI knob reverts to changing frequency. So if you push the F button and get distracted for a second, you then turn the MULTI knob and you have just changed frequency. On the FT100D, the A B C D menus were changed by repeatedly pushing the menu button. This is much better.

This rig had potential, but the ergonomics are terrible, and the receiver performance is nothing to write home about. If you must have a new rig, or one that runs on batteries, get it. Otherwise, get a used FT100D instead. You won't regret it.
WI0T Rating: 4/5 May 25, 2004 08:36 Send this review to a friend
Good Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've had the FT-897 (not the D model) since December 2003.

1) The DSP works very well (I've not had any sort of noise the NB would work on, so I can't tell if it works good or not.)

2) It plays well with the digital modes.

3) Tunable memories.

4) Better receiver than my old FT-757 GxII

1) Tuning up requires changing the keyer to manual (unless someone else has a better idea).

2) It really needs a filter for CW (500 hz W4RT works very well), otherwise nearby signals will thump the passband.

3) Full break-in causes the relays to chatter quite a bit.

4) Rf-Gain/Squelch combination control requiring a menu change is not very user-friendly.

Things to watch out for:
1) Must use AGC or turn the RF Gain back. Otherwise there will crackles in the audio output.

2) Get used to playing with the DSP/NB/AGC/filters to get the best receive.

3) CW Keyer is much more touchy than my old 757.

4) For the non-D models, using softjump or widebander to open up the transmit causes loss of ARS on all bands. Yes you can set it, but as soon as you move the VFO, it goes away. so tuning from 146.67 to 146.73 will necessitate you resetting the ARS to - offset. This was such a pain I undid the mod...

5) I'm not sure I'm thrilled with their band stacking concept. Especially when 1 of the bands is 60 mhz (but can't transmit there, so why ?). Could be just me, but it seems to be more of a pain than I find it worth. I've adapted though...

1) The 2.0 Khz Inrad filter helps quite a bit on SSB, but (as one can guess), but the effect is not as dramatic as the 500 hz cw filter has (2.3 khz to 500 hz vs 2.3 Khz to 2.0 Khz...)

2) I noticed the radio was somwhate quieter with the TXCO-9. Jury is still out on that option.

Overall I'd buy this radio again. It just takes some getting used to.

I would also recommend FT-Basic to load the radio's memories and Donner's digital Interfaces to control the radio for the digital modes.

73, Rod WI0T

KG6KGP Rating: 2/5 May 25, 2004 05:21 Send this review to a friend
feature rich radio with problems  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the ft-897 a few days ago and I am somewhat dissapointed with the radio. Overall, it is feature rich and you can tune many of the operating parameters either with the menu system or the easy to access service menu. I didn't like the SSB sound of both transmit and receive and with some tweaking of the carrier points, it is now very pleasant to listen to.

Now the bad news, when tuning across a CW station or carrier, the audio crackles. The crackles start at about 450hz and continue to about 650hz of received audio. This makes tuning a CW station very hard. Switching to the appropriate sideband makes the problem go away. Switching to CW or CW reverse depending on the band cures the problem. It happens in CW reverse below 10mhz and CW normal above. I contacted Yaesu and they told me to work with the radio a little and see if it gets better.

Frustrated, I called AES and they had another. While describing the problem to the manager, he was able to make another FT-897D fail the same way. I then drove over to HRO and found the same problem on a FT-857.

The problem seems to be related to another poster that mentioned audio distortion while running full open RF gain. You can set the RF gain by band in the service menu but this didn't solve my problem. In my case, it sounds like the injection into the audio stage is too high depending on the side of the filter you are on.

Anyway, Yaesu was supposed to call me back today and didn't.

If they can fix the problem without returning the radio I will keep it. Otherwise, it is out the door.
WPZU357 Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2004 11:55 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I read the review of the 897D claiming incorrect 60M operation and thought I would share what I have learned. I joined the yahoo group for the 897 and downloaded a small application called WidebanderV3. This application re-writes two EEPROM locations through the CAT interface and allows TX anywhere the radio can RX. I performed the operation and the radio works perfect as before and retained all my memories (have not actually tried 60m as I am tech class only). This method is far preferable to soldering the jumpers as it is easily reversed by performing the factory reset (wipes everything back to default including memories) or rewriting the two locations to factory settings (keeps your memories). Hope this helps.


John Cooper
Barberton, Ohio
W0IPL Rating: 0/5 Apr 19, 2004 12:56 Send this review to a friend
Junk on 60M!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am updating my previous post on the "D" model.

The FT-897D and FT-857D ARE NOT USABLE ON 60M!!

You do not get the 60M band. You get five frequencies. Must would say "So?", just like I did, until you look at what frequencies Yaesu put in the stupid radios!

The five memory locations (pre-programmed so you cannot change them) are set to the CENTER OF PASSBAND frequency rather than the frequency you MUST set your transceiver to (per the ARRL and everyone I have talked with on 60M). That says that unless Yaesu has the radio automagicly shift the transmit frequency by 1.5 Kc (mine does NOT do that when I transmitted into a dummy load) then you WILL transmit OUT OF CHANNEL!

HRO gets mine back today!


P.S. Yaesu still has not replied to two E-mails in over three days on this subject.
K6DWW Rating: 4/5 Apr 15, 2004 17:39 Send this review to a friend
Nice Little Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Have a hard time comparing with my 706 MKIIG, because I've had that one so long -- but getting used to the rugged little 897 -- altho I find the menu system more confusing than the Icom (to each his own!). Nice features are the mode and frequency change buttons -- makes for fast changes; and I like the display, despite it's size, it's very readable & I like being able to adjust the color/contrast. Seems comparable with the 706 insofar as signal reports/clarity are concerned...and it's REAL portable if it needs to be! I'm not sorry I bought it!
NH7AF Rating: 5/5 Apr 2, 2004 09:07 Send this review to a friend
great radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
bought the yaesu ft 897 second hand with the ser# 2n........ had no problems since getting this nice 2 weeks ago. i just have (1) small gripe about the stock factory mic. it has a very bad
bassy tone on ssb. tried the mic mod to no avail.
ordered a mh 36 mic from hro. that cleared up the problem . i have had good reports on my audio. the receiver does what it suposed to do very well.
love the built in dsp filters. i use it daily to run the hawaii air force mars net in the mornings
OE3HPU Rating: 3/5 Mar 20, 2004 05:45 Send this review to a friend
O.K .on VHF/UHF but Rx not sufficient on HF  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I sold the radio after a few months due to the overload problems I had on 40 and 30 m here in Europe. The receiver is sensitive but produces a lot of garbage especially on 40 (There are IM3 AND IM 2 products to be heard ,front end filtering is not adequate). Sometimes even with the ATT. switched in the intermodulation does not vanish. Close in blocking is also worse than it is on elder equipment (such as FT 900,FT 890,840 or the old Icoms). I also detected distortion with the Rf gain adjusted to maximum. You have to turn it back by about 30 % to have clear audio on SSB. Modulation is only about OK ,not good or outstanding. With the processor on it is slightly distorted. The rig operates well in CW with the additional filters and the DSP. DSP in general is fine. The idea with the batteries is nice but the operating time you can achieve is too short. Switching PSU is great and not noisy ,but expensive.
Sorry , I can not follow the "fives" I saw here.
W0ZPE Rating: 5/5 Feb 29, 2004 11:17 Send this review to a friend
FT-897/ATAS 120 revisited  Time owned: more than 12 months
My FT-897 was installed (mobile) in my Frod F-150 pickup a year ago. Operating mobile has never been more enjoyable. The ATAS 120 antenna system is vastly improved over the older ATAS 100 and has worked flawlessly even in -20 degree Minnesota winters. This radio is well adapted to my mobile operation, it's easy to operate, it's dependable and it WORKS! I installed an outboard SWR/WATT meter for ease of operations while driving...There is one minor operational glitch with the ATAS 120 that requires manuel tuning to the 17-meter band when it's coupled to the FT-897 and this is no 'big deal' as I tune up prior to getting on the road. This rig and antenna have made my mobile operations more enjoyable than ever and...the rig is bullet proof!
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