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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FT-8800R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-8800R
Yaesu FT-8800R Reviews: 189 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $399.95
Description: DUAL BAND RADIO
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Yaesu FT-8800R.

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N4KXO Rating: 4/5 May 15, 2015 06:56 Send this review to a friend
Minor issues  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The menu buttons are very small and not backlit. That's the only reason for not giving it a 5.0 The squelch/volume control is very small for us folks with fat fingers. But maybe that's my problem the way I had to mount the radio in my van. However the dual band radio itself is a real winner. Tons of memory channels. Comes with a separation kit. (Mine did) Programming it with the RT Systems software was a snap! Adding an external speaker in the mobile provides more than enough sound in noisy road conditions.
VE7REN Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2015 19:15 Send this review to a friend
very nice!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
this is a follow up review to my jan 2014 one.. I agree with all the positive remarks on this rig.. if works flawlessly,easy to program tones,etc,etc.. no heat issues.. the only thing I would like to see are backlighting on the lower keys.. it is difficult to use in a dark environment..i originally gave it a 3. after 13 months and many hours of tx time,it has proven itself.... would I buy another,, yep you bet.. when yaesu offers the discount of 80 and free sep kit,, sure.. its like having 2 radios in one,and versatility
LISTENER007 Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2015 13:33 Send this review to a friend
Very GOOD indeed...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my FT-8800 about a month ago (beginning of Feb' 2015) to replace a radio I'd bought only about 3 or 4 months before and simply grew tired of very quickly,, and there has been no looking back..

The FT-8800 is a very good radio to use and quite easy to set up and/or program. The setup menu is accessed by the central 'SET' button on the front panel and the options provided give a good choice of preferences - very straight forward and quite typical of this type of radio. Once your options are set and memory channels are programmed in, it's very plain sailing from here on, as it has been for me for over a month now, and this is the way it should be. Memory channels consist of more than 500 per each band, equaling over 1000 in total but who'd really ever use that many anyway.? But, they are there if you want or need them and can be used in a variety of different ways. Me, I'm "old school" and just use them like I've been using programmable memories since day one, mainly for good old voice contact via the local repeaters with the occasional simplex QSO for good measure. In this type of setup, the FT-8800 shines brightly as it apparently always has. I can now see why so many recommend this radio..

I use mine strictly indoors, from in my room and if there was one gripe, NO, one "question" I could ask Yaesu, it would be - "Why, did you make the bottom side of the FT-8800 the shape it is?" also while we're at it, "Why are the cooling fins on the underside of the radio?". Whoops, that's two questions.. Now let me explain... First, having a slightly round shaped head underneath, means that it's impossible to use on a desktop because it slides all over the show each time you use the mic or try to use buttons or knobs, with its odd points of contact - across the back on the fin ends and one at the rounded off head up front, which lifts the front upwards. Second, I thought heat rises, so why the cooling fins underneath. That also creates a third situation.. I had to use stick on rubber feet to both lift the radio off the desk surface and stop the rounded head from making contact and also to stop the sliding, but sticking these feet onto cooling fins is a little hard to do. This is an odd situation, but I got it all working after a while of figuring out just how to go about it.

Apart from this, the 8800 has performed flawlessly since the first time I pressed the PTT. I especially like the 1 - 3 & 4 - 6 buttons down each side of the display which, if used, hold all your of settings and gives you 6 different choices of setups at your fingertips. That is very cool. I tried a couple of them and "I like it"...

I also found that using the FM-Wide/Narrow option set to Wide, if permitted in your locality, gives the mic audio a lot more punch. It was alright set on Narrow but really great set on Wide and made a noticeable difference according to feedback from others.

It would have been nice of the buttons were illuminated for night work. That would have been like icing on the cake, but it's no major concern to me as I seldom use it in the dark, just every now and then. The mic light, red, also could have been a slightly brighter colour, maybe orange or green making the buttons a little easier to see (red is a very hard colour for the human eye to focus on,) but red is "nice" and if driving it would be unobtrusive, just a little dull...

If this radio gives me years of service, I will be very happy. It is a straight forward radio which has been around for a few years now and has seldom given any owner even a moment of worry according to what I read, and that sums it all up for me. In a nutshell - the Yaesu FT-8800 makes me smile from ear to ear. Why didn't I just by this radio in the first place, like I was originally going to...???

I give it 9.5 out of 10 for what it IS...
KF6VTA Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2015 05:22 Send this review to a friend
One of the best Dual Banders of History  Time owned: more than 12 months
I liked it so much that i bought a second one. This radio is literary "Intermod Free". I live in a very congested RF area, specially on the UHF band. This radio handles Intermod "The right way" No noises, nothing but the intented frequency. I tried kenwood, Icom ( by the way this one was the worse ) and Alinco...Nothing works better than my beloved FT-8800R. Radio is sensitive, has independent squelch both both bands, great display ( I wish Alpha and numeric would be together without having to choose individually ) , great audio ( when you connected to the MLS-100 External speaker. The internal is no good at all and the audio sounds muffed and poor. Power when you need it,, this radio pulls out 50W without hesitation. Rear fan was louder in the past, seems that my newer unit is more silent than the one i have from 2010, they might improved the fan somehow. Specs on both are the same and they work as cloned radios. If you have a chance buy the Programming software, it is very usefull when programing many frequencies and names on both bands. Robust, durable, strong construction will stand the vibrations of your car. The new packing for the new edition is extended and Yaesu includes the separation kit inside!!! Mounting the radio with faceplate separated from body is simple and Yaesu gives you all the easy tools to make it happen without trouble. YEs!, i wish they iluminate the front buttons, oh well...Nothing is perfect. For me at least..The best dual bander Yaesu has made in analog. Super recomended...Get one before they get discontinued !
KC3AYT Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2015 11:23 Send this review to a friend
Liked it so much I bought a second one  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought my first FT-8800 in June 2014 and set it up at home with a Diamond X50NA antenna. I can hit most local repeaters on only 5 watts and reception is great. But the real bonus with the FT-8800 are the dual tuners. I was using a single tuner Kenwood rig in my car and missed the dual tuners so much that I bought a second FT-8800 for use in the car instead. Having the ability to monitor the calling frequency and scan through a bunch of others at the same time is nice. Because the FT-8800 has 1024 memory slots (512 per tuner) I was able to program in every 2 meter and 70cm repeater in Pennsylvania for use while traveling. Hard to manage that, you say? Not with 10 memory banks. I simply divided the state into 6 geographical sections and put the repeaters in each section into their own memory bank. If I travel to the northwest part of the state, a simple bank change means I'll only have northwest PA repeaters accessible in my radio. I used a 7th memory bank for repeaters that are very local to home, so if I'm just driving around town I'll only have a small selection of nearby repeaters available. Plus I still have 3 more banks I can use for some other reason. The memory management capabilities of the radio are excellent, but I highly recommend that you purchase a memory management program to use with the radio. I use the FTB-8800 software; it was only $15 and works wonderfully on either a stock or extended transmit FT-8800. And yes, the MARS/CAP mod can be done by removing only one resistor if you have a need for that. Easy to do in about 5 minutes. Of course no radio is perfect, and the 8800 could certainly have included a better internal speaker. I threw a $12 external speaker from Amazon on mine to get better, louder sound. And the rather long dials on the radio are prone to break if you smack them accidentally or drop the face piece, so it's best to be careful and mount the faceplate where it's less likely to get bumped. The remote head mounting kit was included with my first FT-8800 but not my second. However, for about $20 you can find the pieces to make your own kit from Ebay and Amazon. There's no reason to spend $50 or $60 on the remote kit. All in all, I'm pleased with the FT-8800 and I'd buy it again. In fact, I did. :)
N4MJG Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2014 14:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I brought this radio about 4 or 5 years ago I love dual frq.

I never having any problem with this radio. plan on keeping this rig !

And I love the cross band too !

K2JX Rating: 4/5 Sep 25, 2014 12:33 Send this review to a friend
Good   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an update to my review below. I wrongfully pointed out the that the separation kit was unusable because the mic plugged into the radio enclosure. Not so, as pointed out via e-mail from another owner, in fact the mic does plug into the control head. He's right and I apologize for the error on my part.

So, if your looking for a new dual band radio go ahead and buy this one. I have been happy with my 8800 since my last review, especially the Cross Band Repeat function, flawless. Great for ARES and public service events when a low power portable is not enough, your 8800 becomes a mobile repeater.

Both the VHF and UHF receivers experience low IMD and very high sensivity to weak signals. TX audio is very good, I am using the "Narrow Audio" menu setting. The 8800 becomes much easier to use as time with the radio increases.

I am glad I bought RT Systems programming software as I've added and deleted channels on both bands several times since new. Biggest changes were ENC-DEC PL tones. You can program the radio in your vehicle via a lap top or with your desk top out of the vehicle.

73 de K2JX
KK6CPX Rating: 4/5 May 22, 2014 14:11 Send this review to a friend
Good radio, but...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I rate this a 4 because 4.5 is not an option.

I chose the Yeasu over the Kenwood TM-V71A because the Yeasu had an $80 rebate and the separation kit was free. Over all, I'm happy with the choice

This is a good radio. I installed it into my Ford Focus without problem. I do use an external speaker, so I can't comment about the quality of the internal speaker. My contacts report that my audio is clean. I love the dual band capability. I live in the bay area, and there are lots of repeaters around here. Being able to monitor two at a time is very handy.

I have not tried to cross-band repeat feature.

There are tons of memory management features, which come in handy.

What I don't like is the lack of back lighting. When I bought the radio, I assumed the lack of back lighting wouldn't really be a problem, since controlling the radio from the mic is possible for the most important features. But it turns out that I do use the radio in low light conditions and the lack of back lighting has been a problem more than once.

I do like the radio, and would have no problems recommending it, but the lack of back lighting is a real drag.
KK4PLD Rating: 4/5 Mar 21, 2014 07:06 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have this radio installed in my car connected to a Diamond SG-7500A. I also switch this radio to my truck when I go camping using a Diamond SG-7900A.

The unit is remotely installed in the trunk using the separation kit that I purchased separately. My truck installation at the moment does not separate the head from the unit, I plan on getting a separation kit and a speaker.

The radio has a very small and light footprint and is easy to locate an installation point. It also runs fairly cool and had an external fan in the back.

The audio for mobile installation is anemic so I installed the recommended Yaesu speaker which remedied the low output. The radio speaker itself is clear and has good audio.

I have used the cross band repeater function while camping, it works well and is easy to set up. You can cross band from V/U and U/V as well as V/V and U/U. I have it set up with my HT using encode/decode to allieviate any unwanted signals. In remote areas my HT is not powerful enough to hit repeaters so this radio does all the heavy lifting. I can sit by the campfire using my HT 300 mW which transmits UHF to the FT-8800, the crossband will hit the repeater I have programmed on the other VFO and will send the response back to me via UHF.

I am able to update the memories using a generic cable interface using Chirp software on a MAC computer. It took me a while to find the right drivers to make it work. You can program using both the repeater frequency or the callsign to show on the display, holding the P4 button on the microphone key pad will switch between the two.

The dual VFO's come in handy if you are monitoring a particular repeater and want to scan frequencies simultaneously.

The lighted keypad on the microphone makes it easier to use in low/no light situations but the function buttons on the front panel are not backlit making it difficult to use at night.

The microphone has programmable buttons but those buttons are already programmed to useful functions such as VFO L-R switch, power level switch etc.

All in all this is my first mobile rig and it performs very well. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good dual band mobile unit.

What would make this radio a 5/5?
1/ Lighted front panel buttons.
2/ Increase the speaker volume a bit.
K9YC Rating: 2/5 Jan 1, 2014 11:38 Send this review to a friend
Could Be a Lot Better  Time owned: more than 12 months
Since my rating is negative, I'll start by listing them. First, and most important, I can't program different PLs for RX and TX. This is a deal-breaker for me, because some of the systems I work use different PLs for local and linked TX, but not for RX. The Kenwood TH-F6A and TM-V71A both have this capability and it's easy to program it that way.

Second, Yaesu uses a different miniature connector for the computer interface to this radio than they did for the FT100D, for which I had already purchased an interface cable. No excuse for failing to standardize on simple things like this -- it only forces me to buy another cable.

Third, the programming interface is something that even the programmer's mother could not love.

Fourth, the mount for the control head that comes with the separation kit is next to useless.

On the plus side, the radio has been reliable over the 3-4 years it's been in my vehicle, sandwiched between the passenger seat and the center hump of my SUV. It's been sufficiently tolerant of mismatched antennas that nothing has failed when I've transmitted into a bad one. There are enough settings for output power level to allow me to drive a brick amp without overdriving it. I also like the feature that lets me put the Reverse function on my mic.

I can't comment on the strong signal performance of the RX -- I live out in the boonies, and haven't subjected it to the QRM of a big city.

Bottom line -- I'm not a brand-name loyalist -- I've owned and used Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu, Ten Tec, Drake, and Elecraft radios extensively. I'm an old timer, and have been using VHF/UHF radios and even maintaining repeater systems since the '70s. I find the user interface of Kenwood radios far more intuitive than Yaesu radios, and current Kenwood products have the missing features in the same price range.

73, Jim K9YC

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