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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FT-8500 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-8500
Yaesu FT-8500 Reviews: 37 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $699.99
Description: DUAL BAND VHF/UHF radio that has achieved cult status
Product is not in production.
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VE6SAR Rating: 1/5 Aug 8, 2013 18:15 Send this review to a friend
Overly Complicated to use!  Time owned: more than 12 months
We recently removed on of these radios from our SAR group's command post. It is WAY to hard to use if your not using it daily. And even trying to figure out the manual is hard.

I can figure out most radios with out a manual in a few minutes, but this one I have spent hours trying to figure out and write simple procedures for it. I can't recommend this radio for anything more then a paper weight.
N4KVE Rating: 4/5 Oct 31, 2012 08:05 Send this review to a friend
GREAT RADIO, HARD TO [ROGRAM  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had this radio when they first came out. I waited a while until it came with a normal mike. I have mixed feelings, as the radio was the best working radio I ever had. I worked in downtown Miami, but the radio got absolutely no intermod. However, I needed to always have the owner's manual at all times. To change a PL tone required going into a menu program, & pressing about 5 buttons. It was like that to change any setting. But to just use the radio, & just change freq's & volume settings was a pleasure, & it worked excellent. So it was a great radio that was horrible to change settings on while driving. I am now using an Icom 2720, & to change settings on it is a snap. It gets a little intermod, but that's the trade off for ease of programming. Since all the repeaters I use now tx a pl tone, I use pl decode, & the intermod isn't a factor now.
AG5Z Rating: 0/5 Oct 30, 2012 21:08 Send this review to a friend
Radio from Hell  Time owned: more than 12 months
This radio is terrible to try and program even with the poorly written manual. Accidently hit a button and it can take a week to get the rig working again. Have not had similar problems with Icom or Kenwood radios.
KF7MWC Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2011 08:55 Send this review to a friend
I like it a lot  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this radio cheep as it wouldn't power on. Sent it to Cal at he fixed it up and did a GREAT job. Thanks Cal.
This is one awesome radio. Because all programming is done on the mic, I wouldn't mount it in my mobile, but as a radio in my shack, this radio is awesome. I've got it set to cross-band repeat to the local club repeaters here in town and I carry a low output HT to talk to it.
If you have one you want to get rid of, send me an email. This is a great radio.
KJ4VOV Rating: 5/5 Aug 30, 2011 10:31 Send this review to a friend
Great rig!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I just recently (2 months ago) permanently installed one of these in my emcomm truck, set up as a dedicated cross band repeater. So far, during multiple public service events, an earthquake, and 36 hours of continuous use during Hurricane Irene the unit has performed flawlessly. I would not hesitate to buy another.
YO3GTS Rating: 4/5 Jan 29, 2011 12:56 Send this review to a friend
Good, but...  Time owned: more than 12 months
It's almost impossible to operate when drive...except if set only memory/freq. and work there
The menu it's very complicate.(compared with ICOM IC-706MKIIG)
I write the memories and settings only with PC, I try without but are very hard.
The duplex repeater…great function!
AB6PG Rating: 4/5 Sep 3, 2009 11:38 Send this review to a friend
good radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought radio back in 1998. I had it for 8 years. I also had the potato mic version. radio worked well. the mic eventually broke down, otherwise very happy with it. I eventually upgraded to 8800.
N9RLR Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2006 09:54 Send this review to a friend
Nice radio, used mobile  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have waited several years to write a synopsis of the radio. I bought it used in 1999. The radio went into the shop once in 2005. I didnt want to replace the grain of rice lights on the faceplate and the power on/off on the mic was not working anymore, also replaced the internal battery since it the radio being serviced. Sent off to Burghardt and good as new.

The 5 memory banks of 10 freqs is nice can scan each back or all banks of programmed freqs. The feature that had me going from the start was the spectrum scanner. It can be set up for many different ranges to find activity in an area.

I have the radio mounted in the truck via the seperation kit and faceplate on the dash. With the mic controlling everything its easy to monitor activity.

Audio quality has not been an issue. With an external speaker, recieve audio is very good.

Basically I am very pleased with this radio. I would like to get another one.
K5HDM Rating: 5/5 May 14, 2006 15:13 Send this review to a friend
A++++  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a great radio, I have 2 of them.. 1 as my base (which is used alot and hasn't been powered off in years) and another as a field radio (which has been in lots of extreme weather, dropped, kicked, etc) and both are still going strong. Never had even 1 problem or complaint on these.. I had 1 with the mh-39 mic and a "potato head" mic on the other, but now i have 2 potato mics and I love those (most people who don't like them are obviously just confused by it, but it's simple to use once you give it a try) I actually use many more of the features than I thought.. such as pager, cross-band repeater, msging etc. I'd love to pick up another one if i come across it. I'm picky and have been through many MANY radios, and the 8500 is probably my #1 or #2 favorite dual band rig.
KC9EJN Rating: 4/5 Feb 13, 2006 20:59 Send this review to a friend
Good little radio!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought mine used from a dealer mail order. Mine didn't have the infamous "Mr. potatohead" mic nevertheless, it took a bit of getting used to. I had to study a bit in order to get the functions down pat. After owning the FT-8500 for about a month and getting myself well accustomed to it's features and operation I began to feel that this radio was the best thing since sliced bread. The fact that it functioned as two individual radios in one I found to be a delight.
Another perk to this radio was the banking of channels. This was my 1st time at owning a rig with this ability… talk about a handy little feature!!!
But the thing that I loved most about this radio was the crossband repeat! In my opinion this has been the single most useful feature on any radio with the exception of maybe WX alert. I very much enjoyed being able to hit distant repeaters using my HT while hiking, fishing in valleys and such.
As with all good things, this too came to an abrupt end. After using the FT-8500 as a mobile unit for quite some time, the dome light was left on in my vehicle thus completely draining the battery. My girlfriend (needing my car that day) got a jumpstart from a neighbor. SOMEHOW both fuses on the power cord allowed a surge resulting in my FT-8500 meeting an early demise.
I must say, it wasn’t all “roses and sunshine” with this rig. Due to the volume and squelch being on the same potentiometer, it was quite tricky to adjust them on the fly.
All in all, I would recommend this radio to anyone who has time to get to know this rig. You will definitely need to get accustomed to it’s workings before you mount it mobile.
Since losing the FT-8500, I tried to replace the rig with the Icom IC-2720 with disastrous results (see my review for this radio). After that melee, I moved on to the Yaesu FT-8800. This is the radio I have been waiting for!! I liked it so well I bought two and will probably buy a 3rd!
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