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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: 182 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!
Product is in production.
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K1WJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2016 07:12 Send this review to a friend
Nice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Cool little radio! QC seems very good. Replaced supplied hand mic with MH67 and seems to drive the radio better, but mic gain on ssb at 90-100%. IF shift works very well. Menu and options are easy enough to navigate.Some meter reading are a tad vague (SWR and ALC ). Made 1st 40m QRP QSO, reports were good. Audio with MH67 & mic gain cranked up, reported as strong punch. Strong stations within 2khz of operating freq. will make receiving difficult, optional ssb filter should help with that. Buttons are small and no stand to prop up radio are the downsides I see. So far so good ! Enjoying my 817ND ! 73 K1WJ
KB9ZTF Rating: 5/5 Dec 12, 2015 18:57 Send this review to a friend
the it works every thing rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
had the ft817 non nd and now have the new ft817nd dose every thing I want I can take it any where and work all modes all the bads and with the little laptop and the signal link it will work all the digital modes and the receive is great for this little rig Its not a ft300 or for that matter a ft1200 but with the rig stock it has good receive and with the op filters is very good this is the rig I take with me to the hotels and away from home places with the laptop and rig its like a shack in a bag and when I get bored I like to run this rig a home and do some qrping and for what it dose and all the bands you cant beat this rig for the price
GM3HNN Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2015 22:55 Send this review to a friend
You do get 5watts out!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just a quick 1 month owned review, you can actually get 5w out using the supplied battery pack it comes with, yes, battery life is only a couple of hours when using 5w, but many think you need external 13.8v or upgraded Ni Cad pack to get to 5w, not true, just adjust as per manual and it's there!

Great radio, I use it only portable with base loaded 20m/40m telescopic antennas, SSB, on first day test from Brighton beach, I hit Norway, Spain, Slovakia & Ukraine, all were impressed with the signal, and the audio on Tx/Rx is just superb, it's a wonderful all in one radio,

Now to try my CW on it!
WB0FDJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2015 10:45 Send this review to a friend
Everything you need!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned mine for 10 years, got it when I lived in an apartment. First time out took it to the local park with a simple vertical antenna and had 2 long winded stateside contacts, then worked Greece running 2.5 W.

Moved into my present home 8 years ago. This was my daily driver for about a year, hooked to a simple 33' wire. Made a lot of Q's and was able to get back into the hobby. Connected now to my Gap it just sings. If you understand QRP you'll know that 5 W is more than enough power.

I have a number of other QRP rigs but this is one that will NEVER leave the shack. I have the aftermarket internal battery and it's adequate for a back up station. I use it, connected to a dummy load, for calibrating the kit's I've built checking frequency and offset. My very first 6 meter QSO ever was made connected to an indoor slinky dipole, SSB into Maine.

It's nice to have a "do everything" radio handy. Did Yaesu make compromises here? Of course but then it's small enough to actually fit into my parka pocket and runs DC to daylight. It always gets the job done.

M0SAZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2015 16:15 Send this review to a friend
Best Radio EVER  Time owned: more than 12 months
OK update on how I stand with this radio. I did sell it since my last review, went through a bunch more radios (some high end / expensive), and I have come straight back to the FT-817ND.

Overall, its the best radio ever produced. Think about it. It must be the most sold ham transceiver in history and there are tons of reviews on eHam and other sources that overall are excellent. Its a joy reading the eHam reviews – reading just how many people (like me) have an FT-817 as their only base rig and / or have sold a high end radio and are happier with the “lowly” FT-817 / FT-817ND.

The radio hasn't the receiver of the FTDX-5000 or the K3 but you can’t fit those in your pocket. It hasn't got the ergonomics of an FT-2000 or an IC-756 Pro III but you couldn’t get one new for under £500. It hasn't got a 400w PA like the FTDX-9000MP but with 5 watts and the same antenna, you would only be down several s-points and don’t need to worry about the electricity bill or causing interference.

This radio DOES work well as a shack radio - I am proof (see my QRZ profile / YouTube videos / Blog). It also works well in mobile and portable environments.

Using a TXCO, mechanical filter for your mode choice, headphones and / or external speaker, some bracket for raising the front of the rig up on the desk, a decent Mic, proper use of the carrier offset / IPO / ATT / RF gain, you have some cheap (and free) solutions to making this good radio, great.

As someone who has spent tens of thousands on rigs and sold them - the FT-817 puts the biggest smile on your face and is the ONLY radio you will ever need.

I have 2 - one for base and one for portable / spare.

N0TES Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2015 19:35 Send this review to a friend
My list of requirements was long  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My goal in getting the 817 was to have a packable radio. I wanted a rig that would work after I put in all of the effort needed to activate a summit for SOTA. I wanted a rig that could be paired with the 1.8 pound Magnetic Alpha Loop Antenna that could also be mounted directly on my Trekking pole. I wanted a rig that could operate off my Solar Battery. That's a lot to demand, and the 817 filled every aspect of that order. I am so glad I bought an 817!
AD5KO Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2015 18:08 Send this review to a friend
Great for what it is.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned two Ft-817s, the last one being the ND. Both with after market filters.

I think for an HF/VHF/UHF portable it's very good. I made many contacts on both VHF and HF and was often told how good the audio was. Some finding it hard to believe it was a QRP rig, I think that helped a number of people understand what QRP could really do, me included.

Battery life really sucks, there is no public service band reception, no NOAA etc, it's not water proof or even shower proof. But a simple portable can do that and as a purely all band all mode ham portable it is excellent.

The only thing it really needs is a viable battery life and I am told that there are after market battery packs which can do this. With current battery technology Yaesu could have done this. In the past I have used a solar panel to charge the battery pack for brief periods of TX or all day monitoring, I have also used a mobile power supply.

Most of all, I can never really figure out why I sold it. With this type of radio the smart move is to keep it, even if you don't use it often. It's a niche radio, it's a compromise and still the only and best all band, all mode portable on the market.

I wrote this review because I am thinking of buying a third, I was thinking of how much I miss the 817 and how much fun it was.
VU2JE Rating: 0/5 Sep 18, 2015 19:59 Send this review to a friend
Blank Display Unusable  Time owned: more than 12 months
This FT-817ND a little over 2 years old, very sparingly and carefully used, does not work now, as its got a blank display.. As there is no service centre for this in india I am forced to scrap it.. shows poor build quality..
Yaesu and Icom and Alinco are not what they used to be.. deteriorating quality, unimaginative products and utterly devoid of any new technology and products .. sad..
ECHOFOX Rating: 5/5 Jul 5, 2015 08:11 Send this review to a friend
I'm Taking it With Me!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Yaesu FT-817 is no "D", "PRO", nor "K", yet, this deaf as a post, broad as a barn, 5 watt flea is one of Amateur Radio's great rigs.

The configurations and combinations are endless...base, mobile, portable, pedestrian/hand-held, external power, internal batteries, antennas, antennas, ANTENNAS, SO-239, BNC, HF, VHF/UHF and more. In the shack, in the mobile, in the field, in the hand, there ain't nothin', AIN'T NOTHIN' that can do it ALL from anywhere and everywhere quite like the FT-817.

I've made DX contacts with my FT-817ND from impromptu shacks with a wire, while seaside in 4X with a "screw-stick", while walking the dog with HF BNC whips, countless Sporadic-E, Tropo and satellite contacts with a variety of antennas and many, MANY more. A different shack each day. The world is my shack.

The FT-817 is great in the mobile too. At 5 watts, it only draws 2 amps. Just connect it to the lighter/12v and a mag mount antenna. Wedge the rig between the seats...EASY! VHF/UHF FM and SSB, HF DX, SO-239, BNC, each connector selectable by band...Too easy! I get good reports from around town and around the world.

Its back is its bottom, its front is its top. Wow! The agile FT-817 is an acrobat that stands on end. The FT-817's modest size and nimble form enable it to work from ANY position.

Clutched in the left hand, the FT-817 is ergonomically smart to the right handed with its BNC out of the way to the left, its display, VFO, AF/RF Gain, "Select" and other HT sized controls well positioned and it's mic connected to the right side. Clarifier and IF Shift are a touch away.

With its BNC at the "top" and internal batteries, the FT-817 is VERY effective when used hand-held. With a collection of HF/VHF/UHF BNC whips, whether contacts exceed 1000miles/watt HF SSB, 100miles/watt VHF SSB or 10miles/watt VHF/UHF FM, I'm often asked, "Did you say hand-held?".

With no experience, I can't comment on digital or CW, but there are innumerable successes just as diverse as voice...10,000miles/watt.

Every contact is memorable because every contact is an adventure..and a thrill. And with each contact, a story ("There I was,.."). One is always at their Radio Amateur best to get the most out of the FT-817's 5 watts. One will find themselves looking at the '817 after, yet, another great contact in, yet, another configuration from, yet, another QTH, saying, "WOW!..This rig is unFBelivable!".

The FT-817 is even an ambassador for Amateur Radio. When working portable, be prepared to get "those looks" and to demonstrate what Amateur Radio is to the curious.

Do you want to tighten it up? Get a filter. Do you want to mod this versatile rig? There's a cottage industry supporting the FT-817.

Great but aging, the FT-817's receiver, filtering, speech, efficiency, power, battery and other features need to be updated. But NOT the "anywhere, anyway" gestalt of the rig that makes the FT-817 so amazing, so versatile, so influential, so profound and so much FUN.

How can you NOT like this rig? How can you not find a use for it? How can you not find a place in the shack, in the mobile, in the field, in the hand for the FT-817? Every ham should have this rig!

The FT-817 provides an extraordinary Ham Radio experience..anywhere and everywhere.

"Hand-held, QSL.".

I'm taking it with me!

LA0BY Rating: 3/5 Jun 4, 2015 02:06 Send this review to a friend
Antenna switching issue  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own the FT-817 ND since June 2013, when I bought it from WIMO in Germany. No doubt it is a nice and handy transceiver, but I use it only occasionally for driving transverters to other bands (4 m, 23 cm and 3 cm).

In June 2014 I encountered a problem while driving a 4 m XVTR: The RF connection through the antenna switching relay RL3016 (Omron G6Y-1) was broken. After some research I found that this relay is operated outside its specifications when the rear antenna socket is used. The relay coil is permanently energized in this case, and the heat could lead to generation of a coating of the contacts, which apparently has happened.

There are three solutions to the problem:
(1) do not use the rear antenna contact
(2) replace the relay with a type that withstands permanent magnetization of the coil
(3) bridge the relay RF contacts such that both front and rear antenna sockets are active

I did not want to damage the PCB so I choose not the replace the relay but rather bridge the contacts (solution 3).

Before I did this I approached the supplier WIMO, since the RIG was still covered by warranty. They did never bother to reply, even not after chasing them up, so I decided to just modify the RIG. Still I think it is a design issue, and YAESU should install a different type of relay.

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