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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: 451 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 46 —>

KE7MU Rating: 5/5 Mar 22, 2015 20:17 Send this review to a friend
9 years later still a great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my 2nd review after 9 years and no problems. Installed filters, works great. Audio DSP works better than my TS-570, and all mode all band, what else could you ask for.

Now for the issues of technology, it's a 12 year old radio meant for mobil operation, which it does well. It's display is small for a reason, so your not trying to program or set it up while driving "DUH".

Now some advice for some hams.
1. Look at the radio before you buy it, if the controls are too small, or the display is too small, DON'T BUY IT!

2. If you want a radio to perform like a K3 or KX3 then buy an Elecraft.

3. If you want the latest technology, then don't by a 12 year old radio.

4. Consider reading the reviews of the radio you buy, so you don't have to complain about every thing you can think of.

This radio deserves a 5 if you give an objective intelligent assessment and actually see or use one prior to purchase.
 
N4ZAW Rating: 2/5 Mar 22, 2015 15:17 Send this review to a friend
Meh!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This Yaesu fan is disappointed. While the radio's performance is great and is ADAPTABLE to individual preferences like no other radio I've owned, that display -- that terrible display is so small and fragile as to make me remove it from the mobile shortly after I installed it. I bought it lightly- used at the 2014 Orlando Hamfest.
The ergonomic failure of the tiny display is accentuated by the oversized tuning knob -- If it did more than the one function (which can also be performed at the small "SELECT" knob, btw), it would be worth the faceplate real estate it takes up. But with such little space for features layout, the designers decided to make this knob the predominant feature -- and important than a better display, one which was more "readable" from one's operating position behind a steering wheel.
Add to this, the "zebra-Stripe" issue that Yaesu has yet to acknowledge, much less address with a recall, and you are stuck with a sour taste for all things Yaesu afterword. Also,besides the zebra-stripes, mine display additionally-developed a layer-separation "bubble" after it got a little too hot last Summer in the cab of my Pickup.
Again, there is nothing wrong with the communications capabilities with the 857D. I've even received numerous, and unsolicited compliments on my audio quality, all while using the stock radio/mic. And RX is so configurable, that even if you don't like it, you can keep putzin-around with the menu options until you are. And I'm certain you will eventually find that "sweet-spot" that suits your individual tastes and requirements.
Yaesu, fix this display, or at least, add an external composite line-out socket (like the Icom IC-7000 has), to make-up for the shortfall. It really made a winner into a stinker IMHO.


 
N6BIZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2015 03:46 Send this review to a friend
GREAT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'LL KEEP "IT" SHORT ...
GREAT RIG !!!
 
MM0HRL Rating: 4/5 Mar 14, 2015 14:31 Send this review to a friend
Early Days yet  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
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 shifts the tone of RX and - that's it.
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 reassigned mine to align with the US setting, it's more useful to me as primarily an SSB user - 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. I use an RF control more than a squelch, far more since mostly the 7mhz band is so very noisy in my location - but I'm not alone in that.
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...)
 
W7KNX Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2015 20:28 Send this review to a friend
Remarkable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was looking for a new HF mobile for my Ford Explorer. My last mobile radio was a Yaesu FT-900. A fine radio that I always thought Yaesu discontinued too soon. I had my doubts about the 857D primarily due to the ergonomics of the control head. I downloaded the brochure and took a closer look and decided to give it a try. This is a remarkable little radio that does virtually everything. I use it mobile in my Ford Explorer. It turns out the control head is perfect for mobile use. I like big radios in the shack but if I was seriously challenged for space it would do the job. I have been a licensed ham since 1976 and have used a lot of radios over the years. The FT-857D gives a lot more than the price would lead you to believe. If you're looking for a mobile or a physically diminutive base station I recommend the Yaesu FT-857D.
 
PU5JGR Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2015 09:17 Send this review to a friend
Nice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purshased my F857D here in Brazil just a month ago therefore I cannot consider myself an experieced user at least for the time being.I nevertheless am enjoying every moment I use this little gem.The reception is very good in all bands and the DSP works extremely well. The compact size is a great advantage.
 
ON4VP Rating: 5/5 Sep 29, 2014 05:47 Send this review to a friend
Very versatile shack in small box  Time owned: more than 12 months
Earlier this year I wanted a solution to work more portable while traveling. Owning a K3 at that time persuaded me to buy a second hand KX3. On it's own it is a nice little SDR radio but I sold it since I wanted to build a manpack capable of handling a bit more power and still be portable enough to take with me on trips. Buying the FT-857D again (I owned one before installed in my car) I added 144 and 440 all mode as a bonus in one small box. The 857 consumes almost double mAh as the KX3 while in receive and weights almost twice as the KX3 but the extra possibilities on VHF/UHF, the extra power and the more robust housing convinced me at that time.

I purchased a manpack kit to assemble and fitted the 857D in it together with the SG-211 Smartuner and a LiFePO4 8400 mAh 4-cell 13,2 volts battery pack. Two antenna mounts provided for the VHF/UHF whip and one 3/8 for the 15ft long whip made out of Budipole arms and a tall telescopic whip on top. Total weight of the pack is below 5 kilograms. It fits inside my motorcycles topcase or in a small backpack rucksack.

I fitted the 500Hz cw filter that I'm using both for morse code and digital modes. I think the 2,3KHz ssb filter is not worth the money. The receiver is good although strong signals in the IF pass band are not rejected that well. The receiver can be a bit overloaded when using large antennas on lower bands. But when using with mobile antennas or smaller fixed antennas the radio performs well.

For me personally, it's the radios multi-environment and flexibility that makes it a great all purpose rig. It's small, it covers 160m to 70cm, it has wide FM broadcast radio, it does all mode on all bands, it can deliver 100 watts on HF and up to 50/20 watts on VHF/UHF, it supports digital modes and does it well, it's rugged enough to use portable, outdoors and in a car, it has a decent heat dissipation so it can run for longer periods of time.

Add all those things up and while on the road or on the trail, in a tent or at home, the radio is so versatile that I don't care it's receiver performance is not top notch. Why compare this radio with a latest plus 3000$ radio, it's just not fair. The FT-8x7 range of radios is out for over a decade now. A lot of them have been sold. Not being the best of it class in any department, it can play in any department which is a big plus and the main reason why I got it over my KX3 that I sold.

At home it I'm putting the manpack in my shack and hook it up to a larger VHF/UHF antenna for repeater access or even catch a satellite now and then. Or it serves as a HF back-up radio from time to time. I can take the manpack outdoors, to the club, on a car trip, motorcycle ride and always have all bands and all modes to my disposal. Great.

If you are interested in a video and pictures of my 857D setup, go to www.qrz.com/db/on4vp/p for further details. For me it is a great little all purpose rig. Although there's some room for improvement on things and hopefully Yaesu will come with an update and keep developing a mobile compact rig, I still recommend this one.
 
N7ZM Rating: 5/5 Sep 11, 2014 15:45 Send this review to a friend
Keeps on ticking  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had my FT-857 installed in my SUV, I'm on its third SUV now, since it came out in 2003.Using it with my old High Sierra Sidekick screwdriver antenna. Yes it's the FT-857 original not the newer D model. Never had any problems at all. Keeps on ticking along and this one has had no display problems, nothing has gone wrong in 11 years. Would I buy it again? You betcha.
Ron N7ZM
 
W2UIS Rating: 5/5 Sep 11, 2014 08:30 Send this review to a friend
KM9V Review  Time owned: more than 12 months
I too had to replace the display after 7 years of 24/7 use. Nothing more than replacing tires on a car. Would a reviewer of an automobile give a rating of 1 because the tires had to be replaced after driving the car? I think not.

A word to the wise when reading reviews on equipment, don't put a lot of value on the numbers read the reviews. Notice that these reviews are not entirely for new equipment, many hams are writing about the performance of equipment they purchased used.

After all is done make you decision. I did and have a great station built around the 857D.
 
KM9V Rating: 1/5 Sep 10, 2014 05:33 Send this review to a friend
Display Problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
The radio was a poor choice for a mobile radio. I installed the radio in my 2003 Silverado with the ATAS 120 antenna. It was not too long before the antenna quit working. I sent it back to Yaesu and they said it was corroded inside. It was just out of warranty and finally, they decided to send me a refurbished one to replace it. 6 months later I replaced the antenna after that one was knocked off the truck at a lumber supply yard. That antenna stopped working and I had to take it apart and re-solder some connections inside. I had the display go out and paid to have it replaced. Now the display is out again. This was my first Yaesu product and it will be my last. They should remove the word mobile from the advertising information.
 
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