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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: 474 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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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 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.
SA6CKE Rating: 4/5 Aug 21, 2014 08:43 Send this review to a friend
Great radio, but a bit dated  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have the FT-857D as my first ham radio, and I did select it because the shop was out of the 817 that I initially planned to buy. But I'm not disappointed, it works great as a radio.

There are a few things that I think could be better though.
1. When the band is crowded it's hard to filter out adjacent frequencies on the reception, even when putting the upper cut-off frequency to 2kHz.
2. No USB connector, you have to use the CAT interface to talk with it from a computer as well as having a ground separation for audio when connecting it to a computer.
3. The size of it is compact, but it's also not in any "standard" format, which means that it's not a simple drop-in for a vehicle with a DIN position for radios.
4. Why isn't it possible to just buy the plastic holder for the separation kit instead of the full wired kit? I can make wires myself with little effort - and they will get the correct length. This is of course not any fault of the radio itself, just the accessory list.
5. There's no support for the 4m band, which at least in some parts of Europe is coming up.
6. The soldered jumper configuration of frequency bands depending on market requires you to run the soldering iron if you want to do a MARS mod (or corresponding) for where you live - and even then the 2m band has a low ceiling rendering the radio less useful if you want to use it outside the ham bands.

Summary is that it's a good radio, but is starting to be a bit old in the design.
N0TES Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2014 10:54 Send this review to a friend
A go to rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
This rig seems pretty bullet proof. I've used mine for years in less than ideal conditions. From hiking through trails in rain forests to trail rides on my bike. This thing has only required one cosmetic repair due to being dropped off the top of my SUV while merging onto a highway after I left it on top of my truck. Definitely will continue to be my go to rig!
AE9C Rating: 5/5 Jul 6, 2014 11:00 Send this review to a friend
Very Nice....AE9C  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased mine (857D)about 1 month ago,,EZ to program,put in 18 frequencys ,repeaters, simplex, fire,police ,aircraft ect in a short time.. Menu system is layed out Very well,set and forget it.!This Shack in abox hears And transmits nicely.on HF good Signal Reports ..Verry pleased with this Radio* Small size, Nice price.had a Icom 706m2g I would say the 857D is better.(sorry Icom)...
K6MTS Rating: 5/5 Jul 1, 2014 13:29 Send this review to a friend
2nd best all in one rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Great radio but I like my Icom IC7000 much more. They are both priced well for what you get in features and performance.

I actually kind of prefer the 857D in my truck over the 7000 as I don't feel so bad beating it up in a dirty/hot environment. But as stated in my 7000 review, if I had to do it over again I'd spend the extra for the 7000 (too bad they have been discontinued, the 7100 went a bit in a different direction).

Still the 857D fits a specific market segment at a good price point and is a very good value.
AD5TD Rating: 4/5 Jun 29, 2014 13:21 Send this review to a friend
Love/Hate relationship  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my Original FT-857 (non D) for around ten years now. To say it's been an easy relationship would understate the problems I have had. The first year, it went back to YAESU four times for all kinds of problems, Mostly a sensitivity to any VSWR above 1.2:1. I can't complain as it was all done under warrantee. It's never worked well on 6M, I just gave up on that band. I don't use UHF/VHF as I can't stand to hear the band relays click while it scans. It has been in four different cars/trucks over the years. I couldn't put it in my last work truck, the company wouldn't let me. It was just starting to show the missing pixels by then and I put it away. 4 years later, I got my own truck and pulled it out for an install. I had a lot of trouble with RF getting back into the rig, but once I got that situated, it was working OK. I decided to send it back to have the display fixed and do a "tune up" on it. Almost $500 bux later, it came home. The reason for the cost was that YAESU no longer stocks the model of LCD or the PC board that supports it, so all of it had to be replaced. Later I found out I could have bought a complete new face plate for less. Well, they fixed the display and aligned all the guts and sent it back and FINALLY after ten years, this thing has been working like it should. It's fantastic! YAESU managed to fix the VSWR problem and it now responds perfectly, It used to make you sound like you had a loose connection, now the power just drops slightly like it should. It took ten years to get it right, but they finally did. I love this little rig, I just hate all the BS that comes with it.

KJ4DKT Rating: 2/5 Jun 29, 2014 10:44 Send this review to a friend
TROUBLE  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have three ft857d. Two developed squelch problems and lines in the display. One, the newest, developed a full display outage. I cant decide whether to junk them or send them out for possible repair. I am very disappointed with these transvievers.
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