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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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<— Page 30 of 37 —>

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.

Pros:
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

Cons:
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...

Misc:
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.

73

John Cooper
KC8ZKI
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!

Pat

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
and the evening 40 meter air force net. WELL DONE YAESU. ANOTHER GREAT PRODUCT. I DID MAKE THE CORRECT CHOICE GIVING UP MY IC 706 MK 2 FOR THIS
RADIO... 73'S AND ALOHA NH7AF
 
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!
 
M5TAW Rating: 5/5 Feb 29, 2004 09:50 Send this review to a friend
Very pleased  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have sold my Yaesu FT 817 (another 5/5 radio), Tokyo hl50b amplifier and gel cell batteries. This raised enough cash for me to buy an 897 with batteries and charger. The radio is not as portable as the 897 due to its size and weight. However it gives me all I need in a single package. Good receiver, good TX reports, solid build quality and an afternoon's operating on the internal batteries. There are some nice features such as being able to use the radio as a beacon, cw tutor and multiple display colours to name a few.
This is a radio that does it all, if I had to sell all my other equipment, this would be the only radio I would keep.
 
KC0MOG Rating: 4/5 Feb 14, 2004 08:04 Send this review to a friend
good rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Mine was dead on vhf/uhf out of the box. Yaesu had it back to me within 8 days. the sig meter never goes above S3 on hf or general coverage receiver but fine on 2M and 70CM. good reports on modulation and CW and decent on psk with rig hardwired to soundcard. receive too strong on hardwired psk though. my rig is just as it came out of the box as far as accessories. most of the software related problems that are listed on the 897 group are apparent but will send it back before March warranty expires. My first Yaesu but might consider another. boy I miss HeathKit! Like my Icoms now. If Icom had a rig comparable with this I probably would have bought it. I really do like the size as I use the rig mobile in a semi truck and the buttons are much easier to control(than the micro rigs) with the bouncing around I encounter. The rig does seem to be very rugged as far as the abuse it gets in the truck. overall a good rig,especially for the limited space available in the big truck. I do get a bunch of intermod on vhf with the modest gain MFJ antennas i use on the truck. 73s Jack
 
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