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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | Yaesu FT-857 - all flavors Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-857 - all flavors
Yaesu FT-857 - all flavors Reviews: 460 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.

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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.)
DL4MG Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2015 01:37 Send this review to a friend
Small all-rounder  Time owned: more than 12 months
Can all a bit , but nothing really ... but it may well . ideal for vacation, camping , field day , living room table ...
K2JVI Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2015 06:46 Send this review to a friend
Great little radio with big features follow up  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just a follow up to my review last July- The 857-D is going strong working very well as a base and a mobile for the past year. Does a great job on 2m and 440 as well. Will be mobile again in August taking our daughter back to college.
VK3MJA Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2015 05:04 Send this review to a friend
Funtastic Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This rig NEVER FAIL my expectation... I have an ATAS 120a with this rig and at 20 meter I spoke to someone from Italy. the DSP is making the QSO very smooth. I will recommend this rig to anyone. Another job well done Yaesu!

K6SBA Rating: 5/5 May 22, 2015 14:30 Send this review to a friend
What's the Alternative?  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned one 857 and two 857d's (as well as an 897d). I mainly use the radio for vacation portable. I find the receiver quite noisy and the AF DSP is certainly antiquated. But what is amazing about this radio is it's small size and portability compared to anything else out there. My Elecraft KX3 has a receiver that is light-years better, but 5-10 watts with compromise portable antennas just doesn't cut it. Even the 897 is big compared to the 857. Add internal batteries to the 897 and it is hardly a light weight.

I have bought and sold to 857's and am now on my third (for four years on the latest one). I just can't find a viable alternative for vacation use. I have even mailed it to Hawaii via Priority Mail for $18, used it for 3 weeks and mailed back home.

I would love to see an updated version (IF DSP, better screen, etc.). But the compact size in a rugged package is what keeps me coming back to this radio.

73 de K6SBA
David In Santa Barbara, CA
KI6ZUP Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2015 22:32 Send this review to a friend
857D is a solid little rig= Fun DX  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this from a gentleman that never installed it. I don't think it was ever connected to power. I got this as a package with the ATAS 120. it has been mobile from day 1. it is now in it's second car and works as well as the day it was first installed. on 80W I have worked deep into eastern Europe from my little barefoot mobile. (check my logbook) It's kind of fun working the Slovak Rep. while driving down a So. Cal freeway. Or working Japan on 15 meters from a parkiing lot while waiting for the XYL to get off work.

I have had none of the Issues others have discussed here. maybe it's a Quality issue in manufacturing. or maybe something else?

I will keep this rig until it dies. It may not do everything perfectly but it is no slouch when properly installed and grounded. A tight SSB filter is nice to add but not a necessity. DSP is adequate and really helps during noisy band conditions.

hope to catch you on the air sometime
WO8USA Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2015 17:39 Send this review to a friend
Nice mobile, compact and flexible  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've owned other small, detachable-face mobiles (Alinco DX-70TH, Icom 706 and the MKII). This radio compares well with both but is smaller and I feel more versatile if you do not mind menus. I use an FT1000MkV at hme so it is night and day. You can get higher performing mobiles for more, but for the balance of price ($800), versatility (HF+VHF+UHF), detachable face, size, and features, its hard to beat. CONS: no internal ATU, and power can be on the low side of the spec. If you want to optimize on a band/mode you should do so with another radio, this is a small swiss army pocket knife. If I just wanted HF and an ATU I would get an FT450 but it is much larger. Tried mine out/purchased at R&L Electronics, always great service. Right your needs and balance them, for me the 857D is fine.

73 Chris WO8USA
N2WSC Rating: 5/5 Apr 3, 2015 01:39 Send this review to a friend
good little radio  Time owned: months
I got my 857d in 2007 and have not regretted it except I has a couple of quirks. it has a very loud double fan that comes on too much! , chronic fm squelch noises . I had to instal a small filter to fix that issue but now it's good . the speaker is a little weak but oh well . that's about all my complaints and as for the pro's,: excellent rejection, sensitive , low noise , high output , very clear modulation on even am , vhf uhf reception is very selective and sensitive . don't let the small dimensions fool ya . the 857d is a very capable radio.
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