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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-857 - all flavors Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-857 - all flavors
Yaesu FT-857 - all flavors Reviews: 467 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $769
Description: Yaesu HF/VHF/UHF Mobile Transceiver
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Yaesu FT-857 - all flavors.

Page 1 of 47 —>

KD6NXI Rating: 1/5 May 17, 2017 13:03 Send this review to a friend
Infuriating  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The menu and button combinations are so obtuse and their abbreviations for things are maddening. Nothing is logical.
K5XOM Rating: 4/5 May 3, 2017 13:49 Send this review to a friend
It has been a good radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the radio for a road trip plus the ATAS-120a. But I didn't get to use it as the trip got too busy doing other things, and I really didn't get to ground strap the vehicle like it was suggested.
So after the road trip I set the radio up in the house as the base rig. I had been out of the hamming circuit for around 20 years. This is the first rig plus a FTM-100Dr that I purchased after resuming hamming in 2015. So I have made many contacts on HF 20m, 17m bands across the world, Eastern Europe, South America and South Pacific on a OCF inverted vee. Also worked many contacts on 40m and 80m. Audio is good as noted from some contacts. I have tried 60M but always get a transmit error. I sort of gave up on figuring out why that is. Some of the modes I have not used yet. I hope to get my vehicle ground strapped as needed and put the ATAS-120A on it to try that out. All in all it has been a good radio on HF and VHF.
KB0KYV Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2017 22:53 Send this review to a friend
Solid, Well Built Mobile  Time owned: more than 12 months
This rig has survived two Nebraska winters in my pickup. I use it almost every day. Paired with a couple of well tuned HamStick antennas for 17 and 10 meters, this radio has given me lots of enjoyment.
VK2LEE Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2017 02:36 Send this review to a friend
I really ENJOY using this ultra small all mode Transceiver  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
It is incredible that so much can be crammed into so little space. It has taken Me a while to read some of the manual to find how to do just about anything..Hi Hi.. Although still a lot to learn, or maybe I know enough to do what I want to do Hi Hi. When You have selected the High tuning speed, a man running appears on the bottom RH corner, and He runs as you turn the large tuning knob. I have worked out most of the HF menu items that I would use but haven't done any of the UHF VHF menu as yet. Although the top mounted speaker is very small, I find the audio OK and when using this Radio it really takes Me back to My early SSB CB days. My Radio has an SO 239 socket for HF-6m and an N connector for VHF UHF. Once you get the hang of how the menu system works it is quite easy, although the size of the operators manual is a bit daunting Hi Hi. Now as a 70 year old I find most things with a menu very troublesome but I have nothing but praise for this ultra light and small all mode Radio. For use in mobiles, all you need is a cat cable to connect the head to the body of the radio. If You prefer a different color screen display , there are 32 options, so there should be a color to suit everyone's taste..Hi Hi.. I have NO problems reading all the text etc on the screen when in My shack [usually using 144 MHz SSB] but it could be a problem when mobile, although You probably won't need to adjust anything apart from the RF gain, Volume, Tuning and maybe operating the ATAS mobile antenna. I really enjoy using this ultra small Radio with 100 watts HF +6m and 50 watts on 2 meters and 20 watts on 70 cms. ALL MODE. This Radio does get very hot when You have long overs [as I do] so I use a 4 inch fan to keep it cool. A larger external speaker would probably be a huge improvement, although I haven't tested this as yet. I also have an ATAS 125 mobile antenna and the LDG external meter. I believe I get more pleasure in using and hearing this Radio than My FTDX-3000. VK2LEE LEE
N2MDV Rating: 4/5 Feb 13, 2017 10:19 Send this review to a friend
Great for portable and mobile, but not a great base rig.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've used the FT-817 at contests and got the FT-857D since (To me.), is was an FT-817 with a 100W amp in it. I've found the HF performance to be average, even with the added on Collins filters. However, this rig did shine on 6M SSB and 2M SSB, albeit it did need help in sensitivity there on 2M. 432 SSB and 440 FM was nice to have, even if you only got 20W out of it. FM TX, you needed to do mic set adjusting, compared to where you sound good on SSB (Which sounds punchy on SSB), but that seems to be the deal with every SSB rig with FM that I've had. On AM transmit, this rig sounds terrible. So no doing 50.400, 29.000, 7295, and 3885, AM with this rig. My TS-50S, TS-60S, and even an Icom 7000, just blew this rig away on AM quality. I did like the custom adjustable LED back lit LCD display, even if it is small and a bit crowded. That big, right side, tuning knob looks awkward, but it has a nice feel to it. As a portable rig, it will wear down gel cell batteries with over 1A draw on RX. (There, the FT-817 is king with just the .250A draw.) Where this rig did shine was mobile Rover operation during a June VHF / UHF contest. The only other rig that I had to put in with me was the separate 222MHz rig. A friend of mine wanted this rig, so I sold it since I had better performance with the mentioned preceding Kenwood and Icom rigs, and I can use them as base rigs. (And, I still have them.) Still, for what the FT-857D is, price-wise it is the best bang for the $$$$ out there, but just consider what it is that you want to do with it.
KI7AQJ Rating: 4/5 Mar 6, 2016 01:59 Send this review to a friend
So far so good.   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The sound quality is poor, and the display is tiny and hard to read, but it seems to be a fairly robust little transceiver, despite it's shortcomings. The control head fell into a bucket of water while washing the truck. I disassembled it, and used 36 years of tricks to get it dried out. It actually came back to life and still works. I think I put a piece of cardboard in backwards, as one button does not light up now, but everything seems to work again. HF is okay on it. 2 meter & 70cm are really good. The ATAS 120A is a pile of junk for HF. Don't even waste your money on that POS! Buy a Tarheel or get one of those coil loaded antennas off eBay with over 200 tap combinations, or Hustlers, or ham sticks & do away with the moving parts all together. Those screwdriver antennas just don't like bad roads & bad weather, but I don't have much choice where I need to drive. I have had that ATAS120 apart for cleaning & repairs twice already, so maybe stick with the 857, & don't get the ATAS with it. For what the 857s cost they are a neat little transceiver at home in the vehicle or anywhere else. I am using an old Astron 35 amp PSU for home use, and 25A fused #10 AWG automotive zip cord, off the main block with some 3000 volt .01uF filter cap, coils & ferrites on the alternator for the GM truck. It seems to be a good little XCVR. That Yeasu antenna is another matter entirely. I know I have good counterpoise, but it just fails to find any good place to tune most HF bands between 40 & 10 meters. I have mounted it to a metal building & grounded it and the building to ground rods, abandoned piping, water pipes, etc, and it still refuses to work right. The truck has 7/8" braided straps all over it and the same story.
K4NBC Rating: 4/5 Feb 3, 2016 14:37 Send this review to a friend
Great mobile radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well got a used ft857d in great shape and vhf/uhf good reports, in hf parts which it has audio monitor but a friend show me thru alc meter to adjust using hand mic. But will get a md100a8x

LB6BG Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2015 22:19 Send this review to a friend
Depends on what you want ;-)  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought the 857 for portable use from hotels and cabins, while visiting friends in their homes etc. I power it from a light 12V 12Ah CT (AGM) battery together with a cheap battery charger to avoid possible interference from switchmode stuff. Earlier I used the KX3 which has a better receiver, but I had often problems to get the qrp signal out with poor (indoor) antennas. Together with a small MFJ-16010 tuner I can make on HF up to 100 watts with the FT-857, and the overall results are MUCH better. I did not experience any problems. This radio gives me EXACTLY what I want. And 2m and 70cm is a great bonus :-) .
VK2FSTU Rating: 5/5 Nov 13, 2015 01:43 Send this review to a friend
My Favourite   Time owned: more than 12 months
To say this is my favourite rig out of the 4 I own would be an understatement. It's been in 3 4x4 vehicles now and performed under all conditions given it without fault. My 857D was put into action as an all round radio, my first contact DX to Russia while mobile out middle of NSW on 10 watts. It's been a great radio for VHF/UHF use. Great little rig overall.
MM0HRL Rating: 2/5 Oct 30, 2015 11:07 Send this review to a friend
Annoying Fault - Select control twice gone faulty  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Soon after this radio was bought it developed a fault in the rotary coder Select knob, which is used to QSY and also to navigate through the menu systems. It started skipping, sometimes up to 4 click values with one click's passage. Back to Yaesu UK for a warranty fix, five weeks later it's sent back via my dealer. Guessing that was maybe May (2015). Now it's started doing it again - October, same year. Obviously a design fault or a bad batch of coders. (I'm a very careful user, all my radio and camera gear has a pampered life) Leaves me unsure if I should repeat the warranty process or just accept it's got a shitty part which must be tolerated.

The radio has been reassigned to portable DX work only, mostly using full size flat top antennas around 12m high. Performs well enough for this not too serious user. Reduced Rating to 2 because of this fault - from online checks I know I'm far from the only owner with this problem - and with a radio design this old all the quirks should have been ironed out years ago! End of added note.

Very early days yet, but even so have some impressions which might assist others.
This rig is TINY. I've had 40channel basic CBs which were bigger - not heavier - just bigger.
It's a solid little brick of a radio, for sure. And that's a blessing from some standpoints but a bit of a mixed blessing from others. The latter relating mostly to the lack of real estate to arrange controls on the fascia whilst still providing a workable screen size.
Reports received thus far have been good but unexciting - nobody's made any unprompted comment on the ssb audio for instance - which my old Kenwood TS50 did sometimes receive.
The mike is a poor thing with only scan up/down buttons and another, mysteriously labelled FST. Which can turn the radio off and on if held pressed in. A strange one that, and seemingly undocumented. My FT-2900 came with a DTFM mike - why are 857 owners penalised by being supplied only with this basic MH-31 mike? One is available to suit, but it's different from the 2900's MH48 mike. Why? No idea. Would have been nice to be able to switch the same mike between radios.
You better be okay with menus if you get one of these, because if you dislike them you best buy something else. The large VFO knob on the right - the IN YOUR FACE one - is useful but I find myself using mainly the "Select" knob instead - which on SSB can scroll in units of 1khz or 2.5khz. A quick finger-dab on the On/Off button doubles the scroll speeds of both these rotary controls. Which is very handy indeed.
This is a rig that demands you to actually read the manual - and if you're manual-shy you will spend lots of radio time searching for the right menu for this-or-that.
The TX power setting is buried in the menus and if you tune manually, digging this out soon gets VERY old indeed. So I was relieved to find that the three ABC buttons along the lower side of the screen are programmable in menu row "q" - so I set button A to access the power setting. Still more button presses than I'm used to with my old TS-50 with its mike-button cycing through the TX settings of lo mid hi - very user friendly indeed. Yaesu didn't bother with this idea in their 857's design.
The radio's audio is adequate, not brilliant. RX is improved a fair bit if you take the time to set the available filtering to best possible - although the "notch" filter is commonly acknowledged as an ineffective joke - it slightly reduces unwanted carriers, sometimes not by much.

Given the same decision to make again, I'm fairly sure I would choose something else. I wanted a small all-band all-mode radio and in that I certainly succeeded. An odd feature which has surprised has been the rate of scan - my FT60 HT can outpace it very easily indeed. And although there are groups of channels available for storage it doesn't function like the FM radios with their Banks - which is a disappointment.

There's a difference between US and UK models in two ways I've found so far. One is that UK users aren't allowed access to the 5mhz band, and our Sqelch controls are just that - but the same control in the US is assigned as an RF rotary - why??? I've occasionally reassigned mine to align with the US setting, at times it's more useful to me as an RF control (when on SSB) - and I can't see that any valid reason exists why Yaesu Japan reckoned that usage patterns between the two countries are likely to be so different? Again, not reading the manual would have hidden this possible change from me. Naturally when scanning FM memories this control is restored to squelch function.

If more observations crop up I'll add them - hopefully they'll shift this admittedly rather negative set if impressions more towards favouring this rig more than I seem to do at present. As it is I can foresee a likelihood of getting another radio for base use and shift this one to mobile work. (But I've a boat to sell before that's possible...) (boat now sold, added a TS590s to the shack, very nice indeed.)
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