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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: 168 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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AC0DB Rating: 4/5 Dec 8, 2005 10:58 Send this review to a friend
Good Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
The FT-8900 was born before the FT-8800, so I bought one and just like in my review of the FT-8800, the features of this radio for VHF and UHF are exceptional. I didn't find the 6M FM operation useful and I never used it. The crossband repeater function was GREAT. Again, as with the FT-8800, they used liner pots, so expect most of your volume change to take place in a very narrow turn of the volume knob. Remoting of the head is easy, clean, and great since they attached the microphone to the head and just like the FT-8800, it only requires one run of cable and RJ-11 ends. "4" only because I didn't find 6M FM worth the price or time. They should have gone with 220....
K3UG Rating: 5/5 Sep 16, 2005 10:10 Send this review to a friend
Bought a 2nd unit!  Time owned: more than 12 months
As far as I can tell, this is the best radio out there for dual (multi!) band use.

I use one in my home station as part of a VHF/UHF contesting console. 52.525 .. 446.0 .. 146.49, etc.. all in one radio. Great for some extra Qs when you've worked them all on SSB.

I use one in the truck. I do alot of Public Safety monitoring.. local FD, etc.. when I installed this radio in a new pickup, I also installed a scanner. Well, this radio is so feature rich, that it serves quite nicely as both my amateur xcvr (mostly on the local UHF system) .. and as my scanner. I've since taken the scanner out of the truck .. don't need it!

Do yourself a favor and buy the programming software. Programming it by the front panel keys is a challenge, at best. The software will enhance your enjoyment of this radio many times over.

Great radio..! I highly reccomend it!
KU4VQ Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2005 11:23 Send this review to a friend
Still a great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have 2, one in the car and 1 in the house. On the car car I use a Diamond FT-8900 antenna and the house I use a UHV-4 by Comet. For those who wish for 222 instead of 10 meters, you are waisting your time, US hams do not buy 222 radios. You still can get new 222 radios that are over 10 years old from some of the stores. Its a shame as I operate both ssb and FM on 222 and its fun. I have made many contacts on both 10 and 6 FM while mobile, 10 has been open almost every day for the past month. As for the single antenna port, thats great also, allows the user better choice in antenna configuration.

Good DX on 10

K3UG Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2005 09:37 Send this review to a friend
CONTINUES TO BE EXCELLENT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned an 8900R for about 2 years, and have been very pleased with it's performance. I use it mobile as both a monitor for public safety activity, and local ham stuff.

The programming software available is a little cumbersome, and primative, but it does the job.
I'd highly reccomend acquiring it, for full enjoyment of this radio.

I would not reccomend this radio for new hams, or hams looking for something simple.

I've just ordered my second unit for use in the shack.

NI1S Rating: 0/5 Jun 29, 2005 14:14 Send this review to a friend
awful radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This radio is a nightmare to program.I've been a ham since the sixties and have never seen anything this bad.I've lost 440 on it and can't wait to find out how much it will cost.The antenna was not a problem, just the radio. NEVER a Yaesu for the next radio!
KA3SEI Rating: 5/5 May 31, 2005 18:13 Send this review to a friend
Just bought ANOTHER!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Had one in the shack and finally got one for the car! I can't imagine a better mobile VHF/UHF rig. Having 6M FM is a real plus. What I like best is the "hyper-memories". Push one button, and everything from the frequencies to the power levels is set just where you like it. With Priority Watch, I can monitor 4 frequencies at once!
N4DMJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 17, 2005 19:30 Send this review to a friend
Works As Promised  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my 8900 2 years ago this May at the Dayton Hamvention and have not been disappointed in it at all. No major problems or glitches to report. Audio is clean and functions are simple.

I did experience one minor issue with it when I first starting using the radio in which it was putting out a lot of noise on the frequency during qso's (ie: static/white noise). I reset the CPU and have not had a recurrance of the problem.

Only thing I wish the good folks at Yaesu would have done is offered a 220 set up in place of the 10M freq's. (Something like the old Kenwood's that would allow you a 2m/440 or a 2m/220).

All in all, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this radio! Combined with the Comet UHV-4 it makes for pretty non-stop mobile communications!
KG6JFN Rating: 4/5 Mar 11, 2005 21:22 Send this review to a friend
At the top of the heap!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Yaesu has done it again! The FT-8900R remains versatile and functional after two years of service. Yaesu products have always been known for functionality and ease of operation. The menu system is as simple as one two three. Push the center function button rotate the knob to select the desired setting, push the dial in, set the function, then push the dial when done and push the center function button to get back to VFO or MEM operation. Easy to read and understand acronyms (Abbreviations) of each function are readily accessible.

The cross band repeat function is possibly the easiest I have ever used. After you have chosen your desired frequencies and tone settings, go to the menu. Rotate the dial until you see X-RPT, then push the dial in two times and it’s on,.. It even gives the “Ta Dah” Sound! To turn the repeat function off, push the center function button and you are back to normal operation.

As good as the FT-8900R is, there are some drawbacks to the radio that must be noted. First of all this is a quad band radio (10m / 6m / 2m and 70cm) but there is only one antenna output (SO-239) for all four bands. Sure you could obtain a Quad band antenna, but you will be sacrificing performance over convenience. Not to mention most hams prefer horizontal operation on 10 & 6 meters, as opposed to omni directional. This is more feasible for mobile applications where performance is expected to be minimal with a quad band omni antenna. If you are considering using the radio as a base station, an external duplexer will cure the problem but expect to pay in the neighborhood of $100.00 for a new one. Trying to find a used one (On Ebay, QTH, QRZ, ARRL, that separates 10m & 6m from 2m & 70cm is next to impossible.

Feedback on Audio! Why Yaesu did it to their stock microphones I have not a clue. For those of you that are like me, and do not yell into your microphone, you are going to get some negative audio reports. Yaesu has put a solid plastic disk in front of the microphone element, which makes light talkers hard to understand as they are very quiet. To ease this problem, I disassembled the microphone and removed the disk. Additionally only two of those holes you see on the front of the Mic. are open,… one is sealed up. So I heated up a small diameter safety pin with a pen torch and opened up the third hole. When reassembling the mic, I included a small piece of cotton that I flattened to use as a simple “Pop Filter”.

For the advanced user you can dig into the manufactures menu and reset the audio deviation. Mine is set at DEV 14 because I usually talk in a quiet whisper and need the added gain. To access this menu go to and look up the procedure if you are having additional audio problems after the microphone modification. Be doubly sure to write down the manufacturers original settings before you start tweaking the dial and twisting the knobs. Playing with these settings can and will destroy the radio later on if not sooner, if you are not absolutely positive that you have the correct menu setting.

Crossed up in X-RPT Mode! I know that I just got done raving about how great the cross band repeat on the FT-8900R is but there is one problem that may be encountered. While coming out of cross band repeat and back to normal operation sometimes the radio transmits noise along with your audio. The only way to describe the noise is that it sounds similar to the noise from your television when it can not find a station, only not as loud. To cure the problem, just turn the radio off for a few seconds and then turn it back on. Note that I have only encountered this problem a handful of times in the two years that I have owned the radio, but it should be noted.

The Setup, By KG6JFN! As long as this post is I should be a novelist. This is how I have my Yaesu products set up, so you can get a background on operation. I am using an FT-8900R as a base radio, powered by an Astron 35A power supply. The radio is terminated by a Diamond X-200 2m / 440 dual band antenna. My solution to the duplexer is a Diamond brand three way antenna switch. On the other side I have a horizontal beam for six meters and a Shakespear 10m omni for listening to the local AM rag-chewing.

I also use an FT-8900R in my car. The main unit (Body) is mounted in the rear of the vehicle and the YSK- 8900 separation kit offers remote head (Face Plate) operation. The antenna is the Diamond SG-7900 dual band with a UHF “PL-259” mount. My wife would not allow any holes in the car so I am using a Pro-Am triple 5’’ magnet system. The Magnet base is NMO so I am using a Pro-Am NMO to UHF adapter. SWR on the 2m side is 1:1 on high power (50w) and the 440 side is 1:1.7 on high power (35w). For 10 and 6 meters I use a Yaesu FT-100D with a mobile quad magnet and ham stick system, therefore the 10 and 6 meter sides of the 8900 are never really used in the mobile. It may be a little bit of overkill but I sure do love using them in the vehicle.

73's Stephen, KG6JFN
G6OCD Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2005 15:52 Send this review to a friend
Superb as always from Yaesu the Ham Radio "Leaders"  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have eventually upgraded to the FT8900 after having Yaesu radio's since 1981, and i can honestly say that i have had about 30 different models of Yaesu Radios over that time spam, and they are as always superb 10 out of 10. I feel that the FT8900 is the "ultimate"


Dave G6OCD.
KE7CFA Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2005 13:09 Send this review to a friend
Works great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've only had it, up and running, for a couple months. But is is a great radio. Diamond (CR8900A) has an antenna made specifically for the 8900. This is what I went with [see: antenna reviews].

I am getting out good on all bands, I have gotten out as far as 60 miles - so far.

I don't like the Mic plug, it's cheezy.

I'd like the volume controls on the Mic too.

I'll know more after I have had it for a while.
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