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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FT-8900R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-8900R
Yaesu FT-8900R Reviews: 180 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $469.95
Description: 10M, 6M, 2M & 440Mhz Quad Band Radio with Dual Band Receive.
Product is in production.
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W4VD Rating: 5/5 Jan 2, 2007 15:16 Send this review to a friend
Makes mobile more fun  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well I thought I would add an update to my previous post as I am now well into 5 years of operating this fine radio, strictly mobile. I was surprised to see out of 113 reviews only a 4.3 average! I cannot see why anyone could give this radio a low rating unless they simply got a lemon. And that happens with all brands. One thing I have noticed about the 8900R is that you don't see many of them on the used market, I check all the major the ads daily and it's one of the rigs you don't see very often, usually that's a good sign. I started to sell mine to help with the finances for a new HF rig last year and I was swamped with people wanting it. I backed out at the last moment, I couldn't bear to part with it. I knew I would end up buying another one.

I simply love this radio, I don't know where to begin, the cross band repeat was the main reason I got it, I was looking for a dual bander to CBR to friends on 2 meters and found with this one it was cheaper to go with 4 bands than some of the others brands 2 banders. I guess the fact I paid about 75 bucks less than they are now going for makes me more than a little happy. That's a first for me. But it's well worth the current asking price of $439. And I would most certainly buy another, in fact it's way down on my wish list as I need a lot of other things (like an Alpha and a SteppIR), but one of these days I WILL get one for the shack, Super receiver, as good on 2m and 70cm as any single or dual-bander I have owned. The true dual receive works fantastic, basically it's 2 radios in one, the 10 and 6 meter bands work great! Instead of being stuck with CBR on 2 and 440, I can cross band on 6 and 10, I have worked DX on more than one occasion on 10 meters with my little handheld even at the bottom of the cycle. This rig will REALLY be a blast when the cycle comes around. The low orbit FM birds are a great fun, my record is 6 QSOs in one pass on UO-14 mobile. There is so much you can do with this radio, it would take all day to go over it here.

The extended range receiver is great along with 800 memories, it's a lot fun to listen to public service on one side and have a QSO on one of 4 bands on the other. 2 complete sets of controls make operation a breeze. Like one poster said, it does make mobling more fun, there is ALWAYS something to do, whether listening to the cops running down a bad guy while talking about the latests DX-pedition to a buddy on 2, or working E-Skip on 10. There always something to do, and most times 2 things to do being able to listen to 2 bands at once. Scanning on both if you wish, your chances are doubled at finding something. If you can't find something on this radio, you're in trouble :-) There are 4 programmable function keys on the mic that allow you to pretty much run the rig from the mic, all you need on the radio is the vol and the sqlch.

Unless you are getting the separation kit as a free bonus, save your money. A standard 6 cond tel cable is all you need, I built mine and it's never failed me, I put heavy duty velcro on the top and botton of the head and it's neatly and firmly mounted in the coin tray in my dash, looks factory installed with the body neatly tucked away out of sight. I have used this installation for years with no trouble. Speaking of the body, it is TINY, I showed it to a fellow in the commercial radio business and he was amazed that they were able to put a duplexer in that small of a package, In my researching for a rig to cross band repeat, I had heard many folks talk about how hot their rigs got when in the CBR mode. This one is the exeption, I have checked the case after long periods of CBR operation (over 45 min) and it isn't even warm to the touch. Yaesu does a wonderful job of cooling. This has been without a doubt one of the most reliable pieces of gear I have ever owned. I can always depend on it. I don't have the PC cable, I have never had to reset the CPU. It just pumps out the power, I run hi power mostly on 10 and 6 and it just keeps on going. The power is nicely divided into 4 levels from 5w to 50 on all bands except 35w max on 70 cm.

If I had to complain about anything I would have preferred the mic connector be on the left side of the radio, until I tucked the cable underneath a slide-out drawer beneath the head there was a slight tendancy for the mic cable to move the right side vol control everytime I grabbed the mic. I use mine daily and I have never had any problems at all with the mic. I use the rig to control the W4VD-R echolink node and the buttons have gotten quite a workout over the years and she is still ticking like a Timex.

Bottom line is that I wish all the radios I have owned were as versatile and reliable as this one. And again remember this is over years of heavy duty mobile operation. The antenna I use is the Diamond HV7A, and I noticed that antenna had a lot of negatives reviews, but mine is as solid as this radio. Usually fold it over once a day to get thru someone's drive thru, I have hit my share of trees and it keeps going. I would highly recommend it for this radio.

I would hate to see someone pass up this radio based on a few bad experiences. I just don't see how someone with a working unit could not help but love this rig as much as I do.

Any questions feel free to contact me,

Bill W4VD
KD5ZZK Rating: 4/5 Nov 15, 2006 03:59 Send this review to a friend
4.5 out of 5  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this rig second hand because I couldn't afford it brand new FT-8900 at the time. I am really satisfied with it. The only reason I don't rate it a 5 is two things. I wish the lower buttons were back lit like the FT-7800. I do alot of driving at night. However, many of these functions can put on the P1, P2, P3, and P4 programmable buttons on the mic. Second is the lack of extended RX coverage. I wish it could RX 30-49.99 mHz VHF Low and WFM 191.75 mHz television.
K5THR Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2006 22:22 Send this review to a friend
Great Quad-Bander!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I owned this rig for around a year before I traded it off going towards a FT-857D, I definantly miss this rig, and would greatly recommend if you are in need for all 4 bands. It's only missing SSB. If you are not in need of 6 or 10 meters, then I would recommend the FT-8800R.
KI4LFG Rating: 5/5 Jul 17, 2006 09:58 Send this review to a friend
Nice  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my first rig as a tech, I mounted it on a piece of plywood with the bracket reversed. It has worked flawlessly since I bought it.


Quad Band (10m 6m 2m and 70cm)
2 VFO's allowing the monitoring of 2 bands at once
Tons of memory
Problem free
Mostly metal outside, very rugged
Nice 50 watts of power


Only 1 antenna jack
FM only (ssb would of been nice)
Slightly on the expensive side

Overall I liked this rig but would of prefered a rig with ssb and a spare antennas jack for 2m/70cm and 10m / 6m.
PA3CUU Rating: 5/5 Jul 1, 2006 23:22 Send this review to a friend
verry happy with it  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
y am verry happy with it, and use it every day.
y am looking for the layout of the memory progamming cable,can anyone help here?
thanks ,
TIMOTHIUS Rating: 3/5 Jun 27, 2006 13:36 Send this review to a friend
Has memory issues  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a nice radio, but it is not what it is cracked up to be! If you try to access memories abouve 256 via the mic buttons it will fail and bring you back to memory 0. This has been well documented. It seems that someone at Yaesu failed to program the thing right. The 8900R also has no bank or memory management. Even my VX5R has that! What happened here Yaesu?? The 8900's Hyper memories (6 of em) help a little in this area but there is virtually no memory management. The radio is a functional tranceiver and performs it's radio functions well. If you need to be able to access memories higher than 256 or need to separate your memories into banks, this is probably not the radio for you. There are discussion groups on the web about this radio and I suggest that you read them for awhile prior to purchase. It ain't what it appears to be!!
M0PZT Rating: 5/5 Jun 4, 2006 03:56 Send this review to a friend
Very happy, a great perfomer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I live in quite a nasty intermod (153MHz pager) area for 2m - Most "black box" radios cannot cope with these signals - until I plugged the FT-8900R into my co-linear... Not a peep of pager noise. When I got it, I started setting-up some memories - But remembered the G4HFQ programming software, so payed my money - and 30mins later, I had 30 presets all stored and working.

The dual-VFOs are very handy, as are the 6 hypermemory buttons. Operation is a breeze - although the volume knobs are a bit sensitive near the bottom end.

The only niggle I have with the unit, is that you cannot leave the squelch open in CTCSS Dec mode when using the 6pin miniDIN DATA connector - ie: you can't run eQSO/EchoLink open-squelch (as it sends the squelch pin "high") - But not a major turn-off for most.

Overall, this radio performs great as a base unit - I have the head mounted on the wall in-between my TFT screens, and the body under the desk next to the PSU. The fan on the radio itself - Amazingly quiet, yet keeps the radio fairly cool. In contrast to the fan on my IC-207, this is a whisper. The mic connector is also head-mounted, which is a bonus.
YB0IR Rating: 1/5 Apr 7, 2006 19:22 Send this review to a friend
Poor MIc Cables  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have FT8900 & FT7800 for my cars as well as Icom 2710 & 208H & Kenwood radios. I found that both YAESU Mic Cables cracks easily because of bad quality compare to Icom & Kenwood. Compare to ICOM & Kenwood I never had this kind experience. Icom HM 133 Mic is the best so far. I could change the Mic cable without throwing the microphone to trash. For your info that Some Asian countries very high in Humidity. So Please do start to solve this problem seriously. De Rezky , YBØIR
WB1AEX Rating: 4/5 Mar 24, 2006 16:42 Send this review to a friend
Very versatile radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The FT8900R is a radio that can keep you plenty amused in a vehicle. It is great to have the ability to park one side of the radio on a favorite frequency while putting the other side to work scanning whatever you desire. The display is very easy to read from most angles and the ability to remote the head to a convenient place is a big plus. Once you have it programmed, the 8900 is very easy to control while driving.

A huge factor in ease of use is the ability to utilize the 6 hyper-memory buttons to set the radio up for different configurations. Once these are set, pressing the appropriate hyper-memory button puts the radio into your chosen configuration on the fly. Once you get used to the hyper-memory interface, you can do that without taking your eyes off the road. I ended up using hyper-memory number 1 as a scratchpad, number 2 has my favorite 6 meter repeater on the left and my favorite 440 repeater on the right, number 3 has 52.525 on the left and 146.520 on the right. I ended up setting up hyper-memory 4 in an aircraft band scan format on the left. Just use one of the limit range slots (I used 120mhz = L and 130 mhz = H) and let it start scanning then hold the hyper-memory button down for 2 seconds to save that configuration. I saved that to hyper-memory 4 along with my favorite 440 repeater on the right side. Pressing that hyper-memory button sends it off scanning the aircraft band in 25kc steps automatically. It takes it about 12 seconds to sweep the whole aircraft band. It catches everything. I did the same thing with the marine band for hyper-memory 5 (156mhz =L and 158.350=H) using 50kc steps. It hits all the channels in just a few seconds. I got creative with hyper-memory 6 and set it to do a preferential scan on the right side. I have all my police and fire frequencies tagged as preferential scan frequencies. Putting that side into preferential scan mode and then pressing hyper-memory button 6 to save that configuration while it is scanning makes it a one button police-fire radio on the right side. On the left side I dial in either my favorite 6 meter or 440 mhz repeater.

The cross-band repeat function works flawlessly. I have a little difficulty getting into my favorite 440 repeater from the house on my VX7R. With the 8900 connected to my GP-6 (2 meter and 440) base antenna, I can use 50 milliwatts with the VX7R anywhere in the neighborhood to access the 8900 and it gets me in just fine with its 35 watts. It should be great fun setting up the 8900 on 52.525 and a 440 link frequency for local 6 meter chats or band openings using the VX7R at 50 milliwatts and the 8900 at 50 watts on 6 meters. I am definitely getting a second 8900 for the house to handle that stuff.

The receive audio is excellent and the receiver front end appears to be extremely resistant to intermod issues. I have a pager within a half mile of the house that will bring a cheap radio to its knees, the 8900 doesn’t even flinch.

The transmit audio is pretty good right out of the box, but I ended up padding the coupling caps inside the MH48 mic and removing the mechanical obstructions in front of the mic element to get more low end and more total audio output from the mic. No real problems there, it sounds great.

The radio is very efficient and does not draw much over 6 amps when putting out 50 watts of power.

On the negative side, there are three things that could have been done better with the 8900. Its lack of a memory group feature (as found in the VX7R) is a deficiency that should be addressed in the next generation of this great radio. The lack of a CTCSS split tone feature (different TX and RX tones) is another limitation that can be worked around, but really, why is not included? The inability to put 10 meters into plus/minus 5 kc deviation is a serious limitation for this band. You can improve this slightly in the service menu, but you will get complaints from anyone you work on 10 meters that your audio is low. Not sure what they were thinking there. I know it has been reported that they did this to comply with some country’s requirements, but why not make narrow the default mode and then allow users to select the wide mode if it is allowed?

Even with the 3 limitations mentioned above, this is a tremendous radio that warrants a 4 out of 5 score in my opinion. I have no regrets and enjoy having it in the vehicle for daily use. I do plan on picking up a second one for the house and will use it with a GP-15 tri-bander (6m, 2m, 440) up on top of the tower.

KI4MYL Rating: 4/5 Feb 4, 2006 13:09 Send this review to a friend
overall good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The radio seems to be very user friendly and easily programmed. It works just like its' suppose to except for the crossband repeater, on a occasion when the xband repeater is disabled and radio transmission proceed on the transciever there is a fuzz sound in the audio when transmitting. This is easily fixed by turning radio off then back on. This isn't a big issue for me, because I seldom use it.
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