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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Yaesu FT-817ND Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-817ND
Yaesu FT-817ND Reviews: 59 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $589.00
Description: The world’s first self-contained, battery-powered, Multi-mode Portable Transceiver covering the HF, VHF, and UHF bands! Despite its incredibly small size (5.3" x 1.5" x 6.5"), the FT-817 delivers big performance! Its next-generagion PA puts out five watts on all HF bands, plus the 50 MHz, 144 MHz, and 430 MHz bands, on all popular operating modes: USB/LSB/CW/AM/FM/Packet/PSK-31/RTTY. Now the 817 legacy is even better with the introduction of the FT-817ND, which includes coverage of the U.S. 60-meter (5 MHz) band, and it also includes a 1400 mAh NiMH Battery pack (FNB-85) and NC-72B Charger!
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K7LZR Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2013 12:29 Send this review to a friend
7 years later.....  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, its been 7 years since I bought my first FT-817. These rigs have been everywhere with me over the years and and have been used in almost every conceivable configuration from base station to mobile to backpack/picnic table portable and even bicycle & pedestrian mobile.

To date, there are still no other portable radios on the market which compete with the FT-817nd in terms of versatility. I considered the Elecraft KX-3 for my uses as well but ended up staying with the FT-817nd because of its 2m, 70cm, airband, and FM broadcast capabilities. I do use all of these bands and modes. For example, I'm somewhat active on 2m SSB & CW with an 11-ele. beam antenna. Couldn't get there with a KX-3.

Some folks say that the 5-watt transmitter output is a serious limitation. I personally haven't found it to be a problem and am usually able to contact the stations which I try for. In base radio configuration I use an external 100w HF amplifier and it works well.

I installed the Windcamp LiPo battery in my FT-817nd several months ago and it works great and lasts for a long time between charges.

All in all, I just don't think that as of yet you will find a more adaptable & versatile radio.

MM0IMC Rating: 5/5 Sep 14, 2013 12:15 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig Yaesu, Don't Change a Thing!!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Great rig! Yaesu, please don't change a thing about this radio!
KC9WQR Rating: 5/5 Sep 9, 2013 09:19 Send this review to a friend
Great Durable Rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have both the FT-817 and the FT-817nd and to tell you the truth I LOVE them both!!! I currently use the non nd version as my base station and the nd version for portable stuff. If it weren't for the non nd version being so good then I probably wouldn't have the nd. I have used them both portable and can only tell you that this is the way to go for a camp site radio. throw a wire into the trees or on an extendable pole and your in business. Great Bug out bag radio too. multiple power source options,
MM0IMC Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2013 05:15 Send this review to a friend
Great QRP Rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had mine about 6 weeks now and have made contacts into the Eastern U.S. on just 5W SSB on both 40m and 20m. This was using a simple homemade wire inverted-V fan dipole up about 23 feet on a fibreglass fishing pole.

I've also had inter-G contacts on 500mW too!
KW6JIM Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2013 18:17 Send this review to a friend
Excellent QRP rig!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought this radio about 6 months ago. I have it installed as part of a go-pack with an external battery and a solar charging system.

I had it set up today with my Buddipole in a vertical figuration on 15 and 20 meters. I am in the north end of California and had 5 quick QSOs. Two in Utah, one in Kansas, and two in Texas - the longest being about 1650 miles at 5 watts. I plan on doing SOTA activations with it this coming summer.

It's an excellent little rig. I highly recommend it. But, I also recommend doing yourself a favor in buying or building a quality QRP antenna. Again, I highly recommend the Buddipole system.
N9APD Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2012 10:03 Send this review to a friend
Solid value  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my '817 new about 4 years ago, my first HF radio purchase. I knew the next three years would require frequent moves into apartments and HOA restricted locations as my USAF wife moved us from assignment to assignment. My favorite mode quickly became PSK, and when paired with the Signalink USB this rig is a great performer. I had always planned to add a QRO rig when we finished our military whirlwind and I have done that. The '817 now lives in a tool case I picked up at Harbor Freight for $25. Fits my rig, Signalink, and an MFJ Antenna tuner. Now it comes with my on business trips, making QSOs with random wires fed out of hotel room windows. I can't imagine parting with this radio. I'd give up the Icom 746 first, if I needed the money and had to sell a radio.
N6PAT Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2012 15:18 Send this review to a friend
It really does work  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When I first got this radio I thought it was junk. I tried for a solid week and not a single contact! I was using a manually tuned MFJ mini stick on my Jeep with good reception but no contacts at all.

Then I added a Z817 tuner to the mix. A day later I got my first SSB contact to Prince Edward Island 1,000 miles away. Not bad with just 5 watts.

Last week I decided to change my location and parked my Jeep in a wide open spot. That's when the fun started. I started hearing a lot of DX stations. Much to my surprise a few of them heard me through the pileups. So far I've contacted Canada, Iceland, Brazil and, believe it or not, Australia all SSB while running just 5 watts with a mini stick on my Jeep!

You don't need a 100 foot tower with a $2,000 antenna to make this little radio work. I had a 10,000 mile QSO with 5 watts and an MFJ mini stick with a good report. All it takes is a little luck and a lot of patience.

OD1USA Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2012 01:49 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Value  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I wanted a compact and portable transceiver with vhf coverage for my first rig. I was really taken by the small size and low power consumption of the ft-817nd and took the plunge. I have been operating it for about four months now with great success. Of course you must be willing to accept the challenges of QRP operation but it has really forced me to refine my shack and antenna. Using an Alpha Delta DX-LB+ on a 100ft mast as an inverted 'V' I reliable make contacts out to 2-3000 miles on a daily basis. I have even gotten out so far as South Africa from Afghanistan over 6,000 miles and with only 5w.
I have been using an MFJ-971 transmatch to feed 450ohm ladder line which have complemented the rig well. On PSK-31 operation I really need to invest in a filter as QRM from over powered stations tends to wipe out the band. Receive quality is good and audio sounds fine with external speakers. The internal batter does not last long at full power output but that is a given. I have been using a 12v. battery charged by a SOLSUM 10.10f charge controller and 62w solar panel. This has worked out excellently and of course provides renewable power good for emergency use as well. I highly recommend this radio to any one who travels extensively and likes the challenge of QRP operation.
As a side note using the Rig Blaster plug and play with this radio is quite easy once the initial configuration is done and works very well.
ZL1PO Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2012 15:48 Send this review to a friend
A Super Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bit the bullet and bought 'on-line' a new FT817ND in late 2010 from GigaParts.I then arranged with Ralf from W4RT to collect it and have fitted their fantastic W4RT accessories.Ralf then shipped it out to ZL.
Should have got one long ago.Highly recommend the W4RT upgrades.Do not expect the original internal battery to keep you going long so I recommend investing in an external DC power source.Choose a good antenna and let it do most of the work.

John ZL1PO
KE4SKX Rating: 4/5 Jul 15, 2012 09:44 Send this review to a friend
Very Good Portable Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my 817ND in 2008 as a portable “Swiss Army Knife” to accompany me on camping and backpacking trips. During that time it has modified it by adding the Collins narrow SSB filter, a W4TR speech compressor, a 2700 mAh battery and a bhi NEDSP-1061 KBD DSP unit.

At times when I’m not camping the rig sits on my desk along with LDG – Z-817 tuner and 12 volt power supply. The antenna at home is a 40 meter N4GG bob tailed dipole up 50 feet. This combination works well for all bands between 10 and 40 meters as well as providing good coverage of the AM broadcast bands.

I am blessed with a very low noise environment at my QTH, Stations worked QRP in June of this year include 9HISP and RZ3BW on 20 meters, IL6HYR and DL1BI on 17 meters as well as numerous State side contacts and the ability to check into almost any net I here.

Some Key Points

This radio is not FT DX 5000 – don’t expect it to perform like one.

The standard battery is woefully under capacity for a rig that draws the current the 817 does replace it.

If you want to hear or be heard use a good low noise antenna.

IPO ATT and CLAR are there for a reason – learn how to use them to you best advantage.

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