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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: 465 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 5 of 47 —>

AB4D Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2013 10:12 Send this review to a friend
Great little mobile  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using an original FT-857 mobile for over 10 years, and luckily have not experienced some of the issues reported by others. Maybe the original was built better than the "D"???

My 857 has been mobile in two separate vehicles, with the radio riding along in operation for over 375,000 miles. I've been mobile using other rigs as well, Icom IC 706mk2, and Kenwood TS-480. I would rate the Kenwood 1st, Yaesu 2nd, and the Icom 3rd.

In the mobile, noise reduction circuits are worth their weight in gold. The Icom's arsenal of noise reduction options were mostly worthless in fighting the type of noise encountered when mobile. The DSP in the 706 has a lot of artifacts that are introduced into the audio chain, if you try to use the DSP too aggressively. I found that both the 480 and 857 worked much better in a mobile environment. The Icom 7000 is reportedly much better. However, others I know that have used both a 7000 and 857 or 480, prefer the Kenwood or Yaesu over the Icom.

Based on my experience, both the Kenwood and Yaesu have proven to work well for mobile HF and VHF.

My preference of the TS-480 over the FT-857 is about the size of the control head. The small buttons on the Yaesu are difficult and distracting to use, especially at night. You really have to memorize the lay out on the 857. In contrast, the 480's relatively large backlight buttons are a pleasure to use, and even more so at night. Operationally, they are fairly equal in performance, with one edging out the other depending on the comparison of features. As an example, I like the fact you can set one of 32 custom colors for the display with the Yaesu, but I also like the fact that the Kenwood has a decent size speaker mounted in the control head.

Based on my experience, I would purchase the FT-857 again. It's been a nice compact mobile. Although I like the TS-480 slightly more than the FT-857. If space is at a premium, the FT-857 may fit where a Kenwood TS-480 will not.

NS5F Rating: 1/5 Dec 27, 2013 04:17 Send this review to a friend
Quality Control and Durability is very poor.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Let me stress, I have been a MAJOR fan of Yaesu since they began importing rigs into the country. I originally bought the rig for DC to Daylight mobile use with the matching ATAS-120 antenna. After finding that match up was a complete debacle, I had switched to the "Lil Tarr Heel and had great success on HF and using Larsons on VHF/UHF all was well. THEN the display issue began..the dreaded "Zebra Strip" issue. For the princely price of 400+ dollars Yaesu will replace the complete board. The failure reason by the way is the cheap use of conductive glue to connect the display module to the board. I Loved my Yaesu, everything from the FT-101 through the FT-847. I have the FT-2800, the FT-8900, but those are the last I'll own. With the total lack of quality control, the cheap construction, and the general lack of interest in repair.
PA1ZP Rating: 4/5 Dec 9, 2013 10:28 Send this review to a friend
shack in a box  Time owned: more than 12 months

An update.
We have the FT857D for 10 yrs now.
I have the 300 Hz Collins CW inside for 10 yrs now.
i put it in when I bought the radio.

I use it as a back-up rig at home and a do it all for portable.

It hasn't got the best and quite reciever but it has excelent ears.

We have abused it a lot portable and it never failed.

I hear others having quality problems and that could be ,we didn't have a problem at all.

It is small it can do anything and works great portable.
i do not think there is another rig that size and price that can do the same.

And in CW it still amazes me that it works so good even on very big antennas.
In big contests the RX will overload and using ATT helps.

i am glad I bought it 10 yrs ago and it will stay here untill it falls apart.
It is the best back-up rig I could wish.
It can be a back-up for all my rigs.
for the price it is a very nice peace of equipement.
i hope it will take another 10 yrs before it falls apart and I will have to say goodbye to the old FT857D

Are there better rigs, yes a lot.
but it is what I said a little shack in 1 box.
take it with you and you have got everything you need in one little handy box.
And at its size and prize it is very hard to beat even after 10 yrs.

73 Jos
AE7LC Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2013 11:57 Send this review to a friend
After three years very rough use in 4x4  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm hitting the three year anniversary since I purchased this radio new. I've been using it *a lot*. It gets beat to heck in my 4x4 that is 95% used for off-road trips. The other 5% that's in-town use always has the radio going. After a year or so I got tired of moving it from truck to house and back even though it only takes five minutes and got a nice base station for the house. So it pretty much stays permanently in a non-garaged 4x4 that is in the Arizona heat and cold.

It gets a lot of punishment. Extreme heat, aggressive pounding, tons of dust, storage *and* operation well below freezing. It's doing great. No display problems or anything else. It's hard to imagine a much better rig for the 4x4 and the price was right. The display is super easy to read day or night and I'm completely comfortable navigating the unit. Just in case there's a copy of the manual in the glove box but it rarely needs referring to.

It doesn't have the brilliant receiver and capability of my home rig. I don't expect it to. It costs a fraction of that rig and is great for mounting and using in a mobile application.

We use it for rig-to-rig while off-road. Fantastic for that and extremely useful. 2m FM simplex at 50W does great even when the other guy is behind a hill or in a canyon. We usually follow with up to half a mile between each vehicle since there's usually a lot of dust. Without radios we have to wait at every ambiguous turn-off in the road for the guy behind us. With the radios it's too easy to say "I'm bearing left by the windmill" instead. And if someone gets confused they can just shout out. It allows us to move at a much better pace.

When hanging out in the backcountry out here I'll do a lot of playing around on HF. Phone with a hamstick for quick sessions and digital with a solid element vertical when parked for a while. On mountain tops it's fun to work some 2m "DX". I've gotten 250+mi simplex contacts! I was overnighting in the far away remote desert with some friends a couple of weeks ago and they all felt lost without cellular coverage. It took me a minute to find and work a repeater. I threw on a 20m hamstick and in about a minute got Anchorage. Then the Caribbean. And so on...

Anyway, I really like this radio for the 4x4. I don't think there's much of a better way to go especially considering how much punishment I expect to dole out to it. I still carry a good HT too.

---Original Aug 5, 2011 review (owned ~1yr):

I bought a 4x4 pickup for backcountry use (I live in AZ) about a year ago. I'm very seasoned at backcountry exploration and have always carried a HT for use in case of problems. I've since seen some medical challenges that limit my ability to hike out of the rough country more than a couple of miles so having a "real radio" for the truck was very important to me.

I purchased the FT-857D about eight months ago and ripped out the upholstery from one of the [useless] little jump seats in the back of the extended cab and mounted the radio to the seat frame. The remote head was very easily mounted into the empty radio bay below the AM/FM in the dash.

Beautiful install and with a good 2m/440 antenna on the roof of the truck I've yet to find anywhere in the state of AZ I can't hit a repeater. At this point the emergency use has been addressed. Very clean and it works superbly for this.

I installed another UHF mount with a UHF-3/8 adapter. Since I only held technician's class license (for more than a decade) and don't have and CW proficiency I purchased a 6m and 10m fiberglass antennas. But then I had to promptly go out and earn my HF privileges!

Presently I have enough vertical radiator adapted to 3/8" to cover 20m and up with no loading and can be setup once parked in seconds. I run wire radial(s) that attach very quickly to the UHF-3/8 adapter and really improve performance. I've got my cookbook almost complete that allows me to immediately tune with wide bandwidth to whichever band I choose.

This HF setup works as a portable station extremely well. I have enough cables to run everything including the remote head, a SignalLink USB and remote speaker outside the cab, but I only do this if I'm set somewhere overnight. I've gotten contacts all over the US and Latin America and several in Europe, Asia and one to New Zealand.

At home I got a power supply, a multiband vertical that covers 80m-10m nicely and created a four element 2m yagi with both vertical and horizontal elements and have a seven element 440 on a simple 1-3/4" fiberglass mast. Future plans are to include a 6m 4-element horizontal yagi to this. The radio moves from truck to house in about two minutes.

I have made gobs of contacts and have a really nice and clean setup. The cost of the things I use is probably ~$2000 and I probably spent another $500 experimentation pieces. I don't mind the cost of experimentation since I get a lot of enjoyment from that.

I find the menu system on it very usable. As I learned new task I learned how to navigate the menus for those tasks.

I have been a dual-sport moto rider for many years and this radio really reminds me of those machines. They aren't really great at any one thing but do so many things very well and can generally be upgraded with a wealth of aftermarket or homebrewed things to make them even more capable. What they are really great at is enabling you to do so much because of the wide capabilities. The FT-857D is that dual-sport of the radio world. Instead of street and dirt it does HF and VHF/UHF. It does mobile, portable and base station.
GI0ZGB Rating: 4/5 Oct 31, 2013 10:49 Send this review to a friend
Bid Surprise Small Package  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was offered a little used FT-857D at good price, and despite never liking the look of the rig I decided it was too good an offer to refuse. The MH-31 had succumbed to the China mic element disease where the impedance had so drastically changed there was no TX audio. This is a good time to convert the MH-31 into an electret mic which blows the factory offering away. However, I bought an MH-59A8J Remote Control Mic which, being built in Japan was a different class of build quality compared to China!
But, unless the rig is well grounded in both mobile and shack use, it suffers badly from RF feedback. Once grounded I could set the mic gain at 100% with no feedback whatsoever. There are internal mic mods using a toroid core on the mic lead which clean things up and well worth doing.
Anyway, TX audio reports were were good and sounded excellent on my receiver being crisp and clear. It takes a while getting the menu system into your head, after that operating is easy, but not a few people seem to have problems that are related to not being familiar with the menu items, where taking time to have an RTFM session would have solved many of the issues. Like all multi band rigs the front end performance is, not surprisingly, lacking compared to dedicated HF rigs, but gives a pretty good account of itself overall. Received audio via the built in speaker is not bad, better into and external unit. The DSP worked better than I expected, reducing unwanted noise without sounding like a fish tank. In conclusion, I was well pleased with the performance and the bells and whistles, it's a little rig that puts a big smile on your face!
KD8MJR Rating: 1/5 Oct 30, 2013 16:19 Send this review to a friend
Devolpes Lines Expensive to Fix  Time owned: more than 12 months
Worked great for a few years but then the display suddeny started to get a faint line. That got worst over time and more lines developed until a few months later it was unusable.

What was the shocker was Yaesu saying it's $300-$400 to repair/replace the lCD, are they kidding!
I might as well replace the unit at that price.

The 857D was great in that it's like the swiss army knife of radios but unfortunetly like a Swiss Army knife it really does not do anything really well. The HF Receiver was pretty Deaf compared to my full sized rigs and the menu system was frustrating. If your 857d developes lines sell it fast, if you buy one that has lines I can assure you the problem will most likely gets worst and worst by the month and no one has yet been able to fix the problem DIY style because the LCD itself is failing at its own internal solder points. So I now have a $800 brick that I can either fix for 50% of it's value or I can unload it on ebay.
KJ4DKT Rating: 2/5 Sep 17, 2013 21:17 Send this review to a friend
PROBLEMS  Time owned: more than 12 months
Both of my late model 857d radios suddenly developed squelch and lines in the display problems. My 897d so far, is ok. When they work they are good. When they dont, Im pissed. I believe Yaesu is having QC problems. My 450d and 950 are working fine.
N2WSC Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2013 02:21 Send this review to a friend
great little radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I really can't add more comments when it comes to the positive remarks, it's just a great little radio. the floor noise is very low and I sometimes
have to switch off the nb cause it's too quiet when there's no activity . when it comes to customer service in California , you can not beat them ! they stand behind their products with very fair pricing.
KP4MLF Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2013 15:42 Send this review to a friend
The Best Mobile HF ever!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This radio is the best HF for the money, maybe the menu's are a littlebit hidden but the performance of the radio and all toys that come for him make it special
VK4FLYS Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2013 07:21 Send this review to a friend
Super Size Me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Its a Swiss knife that talks.

It does it all with power to boot.

Can't wait to upgrade my licence.

Worth every penny.

Ps- get the ATAS-120A to match it.

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