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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 22 of 47 —>

KB1PGH Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2008 18:46 Send this review to a friend
Great all in one radio for the price  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The story is I had an Icom 718 and noticed that I wanted to get into 6 meters so I thought I would give the Ft 857 a try.I certainly did not need an atomic bomb to sink a ship as they say.I didn`t need or could afford a multi thousand dollar contest rig for my casual hf dxing.The only way that I could desribe this radio is that it is what it is and sometimes that`s a good thing.I can see how someone who wants a big desktop radio with doznes of buttons may not love this radio but for for the performance per the price the FT 857 is hard to beat.Of course the menu tree takes a bit to get used to and the display isn`t as big but it is what`s inside that counts.I have had absolutely no problems with this radio.I have had nothing but great comments on the audio and i`m being a little brave by running the modulation at 8 on ssb and running the processor at 70%.The dsp works good as well.It comes with a setting of 8 and that takes away a little too much audio but if you reduce the setting to 4 your all set.I would recommend an external speaker but the radio speaker is fine. as well.I bought the LDG analog meter and that works great.I still do find it quite amazing that they can fit all those features into such a small radio footprint.I am giving the FT 857 a 5 rating for the radios ability to serve a certain niche of operators such as myself who want an all band all mode simple rig that they can use both in the home and then take it mobile without a struggle.All I want is a radio that puts out a nice clean signal and radio that receives well without breaking the bank and with the FT 857 I get that.
N5YRJ Rating: 3/5 Aug 9, 2008 18:34 Send this review to a friend
D was an improvement over original version  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned the original 857 pre D model.

Colorful Display
Small & Compact
Relatively inexpensive
Good Receive
OK transmit

Small Font Display- 20/20 Vision must squint.
Must go into secondary menu to get max performance.
Will reset sometimes by itself. Wise to write secondary menu settings down right after you get it.
6 meter oscillation problems.

Now the D is new and improved. So hopefully Yaesu worked out the quirks...... 73'
KX5R Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2008 06:43 Send this review to a friend
Excellent mobile!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
While the 857 does have limitations, I have to say that it has been a great performer for me. I've had one for several months now mounted in my truck, first with an Outbacker Perth and now with a screwdriver antenna. The Yaesu menu system is a necessary evil, given the size of the unit. I find it fairly easy to use once you spend a little time and learn it. These days there is extremely limited room in newer vehicles for added equipment. If you're like me and have to have 3 or 4 radios, cellular phone, multiple portable gadgets hanging around the cockpit for work, the 857 turns impossible into enjoyable. The menu system allows this radio to have full functionality despite size limitations. I'm curious where those who suggest it needs more buttons on the panel would put them. If you simply must have more buttons, you can put the optional remote mic on the unit and have a whole handfull of direct buttons. As for the audio, I find it superb, as do those with whom I communicate. I receive excellent audio compliments regularly! You must take the time to adjust the mike gain and processor settings for good audio. I find that the audio sounds best with the processor set around 12-15 and the mic gain around 30-35 on SSB. These are far from the default settings of 50. The receive audio is excellent and the size limitation of the internal speaker is obvious. I know of no mobile radio manufactured today, amateur or commercial, which doesn't need an external speaker to provide intelligible audio. I use my power/swr meter regularly, while driving, to tune my screwdriver antenna. While it is small, it is quite useful and adequate, even for a guy with tri-focals like me. For use as an S meter, it has limitations, but it still provides a good relative indication of signal strength. The button placement, which I hear many complaints about, is unique. Now, though, I find it very handy and easy to use without a second thought. Finally, if you are looking for a fixed station, get a Ft897. It's bigger, more buttons, same menu system, same electronics as 857, but better suited for fixed operation. For portable, get the FT817. It's smaller still than even the 857, less power, very similar menu system, but highly portable and excellent audio. It even works well mobile at 5 watts. I have them all and use them for different applications, which was clearly Yaesu's intention in building the three different units. If you try one, and learn to use it, you will find that it's a solid performer and quite user friendly.
KC5SEB Rating: 4/5 Aug 1, 2008 20:44 Send this review to a friend
Does what they say it will.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is not my favorite radio. If you read my review of the Ft-840 then you can guess why.
I can't walk away from this thing for more than 20 minutes without having to go back to the manual and get refreshed on what I forgot. I used to say that "if the Army wrote a manual on Brain Surgery I could get pretty could at it". Well not anymore!
The radio does what they say it will do but it takes some work to get it there so I only gave it a 4. Just tuning it up is a pain in the butt. Not to mention setting up some channels for VHF or UHF.
The radio seems a little week on Audio. The quality is good but I don't think even a drill sgt. could talk loud enough to drive this thing over 60 watts in SSB.
The Fan starts running just about as soon as you key up in digital and sound card modes but in such a small package that is to be expected.
When I want to get on the short waves for fun this is not the radio I go to. But if I am going to hump into a disaster area with only a back pack then I grab this radio because it is light and does it all. I have it matted to a Gamma research HPS 1-A power supply with TIgertronics Signalink and it makes for a light package. I can even run it on a string of 6 volt lanern batteries at reduced power.
This radio has been modified for MARS and it is a bit tricky if you don't use your soldering skills regularly so I had the MOD done by a surface mount tech and it works fine except that it wipes out the 60 meter channel presets. But that is a small price to pay.
IT does what is advertised but I just can't get used to finger fiddling this darn thing.
KG4RUL Rating: 3/5 Jul 29, 2008 06:11 Send this review to a friend
Adequate, but no more than that  Time owned: more than 12 months
We have an FT-857 as our EOC HF radio. The complexity of the menus is daunting for the casual user, as most of our ARES/RACES crew will be. The small display is tiring to look at. SWR and Power metering is barely usable. Adding an external speaker solves the problem of low audio output from the internal speaker.
M0VEY Rating: 1/5 Jul 29, 2008 04:31 Send this review to a friend
Jack of all trades, Master of None:  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I gave this radio 6 months before I decided to part with it due to its many issues. Compared to some of the competition this radio is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

If you want a small shack in a box, the Icom IC-706 MK11G takes some beating.
If you want a really good HF/6m mobile/portable/base radio, then Kenwoods TS480SAT/HX is the obvious choice & the radio I now use for mobile.

This radio scores 1 for its small size. Apart from that, I found the TX & RX audio had issues. On RX, if travelling at 60mph, the internal speaker was at best useless.

On Tx, reports were always less favourable than other equipment I have used. Even a Heil mike could not make things better. I've since noticed, most 857's have this same nasally sound.

Another real bad thing is always having to go in & out the menu system to adjust power, compression & everything. Why could there not be more buttons on the front of the radio?

The S-meter is no good either. The ability to give an accurate report is not possible for the 857.

I was at a loss to find that there was no screw to attach an earth to the chassis. Perhaps that's why so many people sound to have RF issues when using this radio. All in all a big dissapointment.

I'll be sticking with Kenwood & Icom in future. The latest range of Yaesus, such as the FT450, 950 etc are tacky offerings thbat are complex to set up & seem to often re-sell very quickly from new on the secondhand market. Discounts aplenty & no wonder why.

The 857D was not for me.
AE5EH Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2008 14:14 Send this review to a friend
Talking straight.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Sans corny colloquialisms. Not talking about, bells, whistles, apples, (or any other kind of fruit). Not boiling anything down. Talking about radio transceivers made for use on the amateur radio frequencies.

That is all.

Lots of good ones out there. The FT897, and FT857 are among those. I have had both of these and have nothing bad to say about them.

Fact-All mfrs have produced a crappy radio or two.

Fact-Nothing is perfect. Notice the number system when you do a eham review. Notice that "5 - Great!" It does not read "perfect". Is that too obvious?

Fact-It is impossible for anyone to produce anything over and over and over that is 100 percent free of defects 100 percent of the time.

Fact-At least some (some, not all) of the bad reviews made by people were the result of a single experience. The whole world does not revolve around any one person, or special interest group. Just because you got a lemon (haven't we all) does not provide a realistic basis to condemn all previous and subsequently produced models of your lemon. Take some responsibility for your decision. Don't be a cry baby. Learn from the mistake and move on. If it hurts when you poke yourself in the eye with a sharp stick, don't do it.

Sorry, maybe I'm trying to be too pragmatic.

I'm down to only one Yaesu radio. I've got a bunch of those "other radios". We won't talk about those here. I'll stick to the FT857.

Great display. Too small? Get some glasses, or another radio with A LARGE DISPLAY WITH LARGE CHARACTERS. 1 inch maybe. Mine was great in bright sunlight. Unlike those "other radios".

I have those "other radios" with IF level DSP. Yeah, its cool. But so are the mechanical filters. Last couple of FD's I went to, there were 857's and 897's in force. The ops were happy campers, and making the contacts. Plenty of folks that have those "other radios" with IF level DSP, don't have a clue how to use them or what they do. I know some of those folks personally, and had to show them how to use them. Imagine that?

Too many people go looking for radios, but they don't define to themselves what they want to begin with. Or, much less how radios work to begin with.

The 857 is a decent radio for the price. I miss mine from time to time.

Don't believe everything you read in these reviews. Do your own research, and try to find one of whatever it is you are thinking about buying to try out, before you buy.

If you can.

Good luck!

KI5SO Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2008 19:15 Send this review to a friend
Best buy!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Looking for a good all around all band all mode radio? Your search stops here. The Yaesu FT-857D has a wonderful loud modulation and great receive, even better than my FT-897D I use in the house. In fact, if I had it to do over, I'd would have bought the 897D to use in the house instead of the 897D! The add on analog meters and tuners make this a big radio for those who like big needle meters. I've heard these radios used as bases and they sound just like the big boys. Don't let the little size fool you. It is a big performer. I got mine for $689 shipping included. That's all bands, folks. It is rugged. It is small. It even comes with the detachable face and separation kit. The radio is so small it will fit in just about any place anyway, so I just stored the separation kit. Go ahead and spend twice as much on an Icom IC-7000. You won't be getting twice the radio. You will be out a pretty penny if it is stolen. Besides, the Yaesu-FT-857D is easy to program. I can add frequencies to memory while driving, but I don't recommend this. It is a pretty radio, all lite up, at night. Go to a friend or store and try one and see what I mean when I say, it's a best buy.

Mike Baggett
WV4R Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2008 08:03 Send this review to a friend
Yaesu FT-857D "Replacement Radio"  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Yaesu FT-857D

My “Replacement Radio”.

After years of faithful service, my ole FT-100D bit the dust a while back after a beeg thunderstorm hit TheFarm. I opened her up and saw a clean hole thru the main board about the size of a .32caliber round… NOT worth fixing!


I replaced it with another Yaesu… FT-857D and never looked back.

It looks gud and works great as an All-In-One radio. I even rigged a low current closed-frame relay to key my new Tokyo Hi-Power HL-1.2Kfx amp… After finding the correct plug for the rear jack… getting even better reports. Emboldened with gud reports, I got a W2IHY interface cable and hooked it up to the W2IHY 8-band EQ & EQ-Plus using the Heil Sound PR-40 microphone getting even better reports!

Recently I purchased the “FTB857” software from G4HFQ in England and the “TTLUSB2” interface to make programming even easier. The gud news with G4HFQ software you can CLONE all your Yaesu radios to the same “memory channels” if you like… thus you can have all the VHF/UHF channels you have in your Hi-Band radios in your FT-857D! Gud FM reports received on VHF/UHF using verticals, however, no antenna for 6m yet.

Oh… yes… I even dabbled in slow scan TV & RTTY & keyboard CW with the new SignaLink USB interface. Is there no end to the fun of hammy radio?

Oops… I digress… You can even open up your transmitter a bit with MENU configurations so you do not get the dreaded “you have no lows” report… and your receiver a bit also… bearing in mind the “2.4” filter in the radio is the limiting factor.

As with any small footprint radio there are multi-function buttons requiring initial Menu set-up made easy with the good manual from Yaesu, which is available online from Yaesu in full-page, easy to read format for shack use IF you have trouble with those pesky half-page ones.

The microphone Input is that strange “telephone jack” type. If you want to use some of your old microphones, you can purchase interface cables with the correct jacks online & from W2IHY and Heil Sound among others.

So… for cosmetic design, functionality, flexibility in configurations, solid feel & bang for the bucks, it rightfully earns the WV4R “Five-Star” rating.

73 es God bless, murf/WV4R
HB9ECV Rating: 4/5 May 18, 2008 04:05 Send this review to a friend
Can be a good or bad choice  Time owned: more than 12 months
KF4KQI's review is excellent. I just want to add the following points: I would only recommend the FT-857D if you can't afford a better transceiver for HF or if you are primarily looking for a VHF/UHF all-mode transceiver. Without the expensive IF filters the HF performance is modest and the AF DSP doesn't help in this regard. Also this transceiver is very small - a pro if you want to actually use it mobile but a con for normal operation since it has only a few buttons. At home I use it only with HamRadioDeluxe/CAT otherwise you have to struggle with the FT-857D's menus all the time. The Icom IC-706MkIIG is bigger, but its HF receiver is slightly better (see ARRL QST reviews) and it is a pleasure to operate compared with the FT-857D. The IC-706 series provides an additional tuner socket that can be used to key a low power CW signal for some time (see, perfect if you use a manual coupler. For these reasons, I would not buy the FT-857D again but a IC-706MkIIG. Back to the FT-857: if you can't operate the FT-857D via CAT/Computer then the use of the memory channels is mandatory. Unfortunately Yaesu (or a third party vendor) doesn't provide a software to program them by computer. Doing this by hand is tedious work. And never forget to take the manual with you, you will need it often, because so many features are hidden somewhere in the extensive menu and operation isn't very intuitive. If the FT-857D is a good or bad choice depends on the purpose you plan to use it for. But in any case compare it with the IC-706MkIIG before.
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