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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Yaesu FT-817 ND Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-817 ND
Yaesu FT-817 ND Reviews: 98 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $599.00
Description: HF/VHF/UHF 5 Watt All Mode Transceiver - operating 160 M - 7 CM with VHF/UHF portable antenna
Product is in production.
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WA2DDL Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2014 06:43 Send this review to a friend
waiting...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just purchased the straight 817 and ordered a Miracle Whip...from China (oh, Lord!). Very enthused about working QRP on HF. This should fit the RV much easier than the two Kenwood 430s's, AT-250 tuner, AC power supply and matching speaker (anyone want to make an offer?) Also will probably sell a VX-7, since I wont need that, either!
Will let you know how it works when I receive it and figure the darn thing out (at 61, I could use more knobs and fewer menu driven items that I forget in a week, hi hi!)
Ratings are needed for me to post so take them with a grain of salt....73's
EA5IGC Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2014 07:27 Send this review to a friend
A great starter radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I chose this radio for my first HF rig. I did wobble between this and some 100W rigs that (only) cost another $100, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I've learned a LOT with this radio. I've used it almost exclusively as a QTH base station, but I've also packed it up with a sealed lead acid battery, a little antenna analyser and a dipole and gone off to a club field day on my motorbike. It's truly fun and a good platform to explore some homebrew accessories. I made my own digital modes interface, an isolated linear amplifier switch / PTT output relay, a bluetooth interface, a power conditioner and even turned my own solid brass tuning knob.

After using the radio for about a year, I did succumb to adding an external linear amplifier (RM Italy KL-400 + homebrew low pass output filter).

If I were to gripe, I could say that some more buttons might be nice (but I don't know where you'd put them!), the microphone cable coming out of the side isn't very ergonomic and the power connector really is a bit weak.

Now that I have a FT-450D for the shack I shall be using this for portable work, probably with the magnetic loop antenna - inspired by VK3YE!
KA0USE Rating: 4/5 Sep 6, 2014 13:46 Send this review to a friend
it grew on me  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I am an analogue guy and much prefer knobs over buttons.
other than menus it is a joy to own and operate. at least it came with 4 knobs! I've loved operating qrp since my early days as a ham- almost 30 years. I love a challenge and doing more with less gives me great pleasure. first contact was 2k miles with a buddistick antenna on 20m.not bad for 5w!
still haven't mastered entering memories. menus, sub-menus, even a hidden menu...that's getting waaaaay down inside and I get lost!
had difficulty remembering to check which antenna outlet I was on. repetition helps.
the internal battery doesn't last long on a charge so I got a couple of inexpensive sla 12v 8Ah batteries with a charger from cabela's and one will run the 817 allll day long.
haven't tried manpacking yet. I guess the counterpoise is connected to the ground stud (?), but no idea whether it has to be resonant for each band. someone who does this might enlighten me. I also got an mfj multi-band walkabout telescopic wander-leaded antenna (bnc connector) for it.
I have panniers on my bicycle and the 817 goes in a camera bag strapped to the rack with the buddistick and battery in one bag and a full size camera tripod in the other.
dying to try it with a beam.

nice things to say:

quality product.
the enlarging feature for the screen is super.
I wondered why you could change colors of the display, but having used it in different lights I realized yaesu got it right- ambient lights affect screen readability differently.
yaesu has a downloadable manual you can enlarge to 8.5x11 before printing so it's easier to read.
there are a heapa 817 owners/enthusiasts, all want to help you succeed, and they know a lot about the unit.
external replacement faceplates, knobs, rubber buttons and frame parts are available on ebay, as are some accessories.
love the wide receiving frequency coverage for swl'ing.
K2GK Rating: 5/5 Aug 26, 2014 19:51 Send this review to a friend
Love it.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This should not be your first or primary station if you are out to keep score with the big boys. But if you have an appreciation for the "laid back" and the "art of the hobby", you will love this radio. It is a full desktop radio shrunken down to hand held size.
I take it with me on vacations and business trips. It has been on Cruises and many a hotel room. On a nice day, I and a couple of old dudes go to the local park and setup on the picnic tables and talk around the world.
Invest in some secondary power packs and a couple of different compact antenna types and you will have a ball all the time.
I promise you the "ND" stands for Nice Device. Buy it new if you can. K2GK
M0SAZ Rating: 5/5 Aug 24, 2014 11:51 Send this review to a friend
A Classic that will be hard to beat  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have bought and sold on a lot of radios. Currently happy with just an FT-817ND and a half decent antenna system. 5w really isn't a struggle if you can get a dipole or beam up at a reasonable height.

The FT-817, along with the bigger brothers - 857 and 897 are often accused of having poor receivers but when you use the IF shift, RF gain, IPO/ATT functions, you really can get it sounding and performing well.

If you don't use the W4RT OBF board you are limited to one filter choice. I would go for the CW one, the SSB won't make enough difference from the stock filter. If you only use SSB consider an Inrad filter for a more dramatic difference - either narrow like 2.0KHz or wider like the 2.9KHz filter.

I use my FT-817ND as a base and portable radio. I have worked stations all over the world on 5w with little problem when the pile up isn't too crazy and the conditions are right. I like to SWL and the FT-817 is a great radio on the ham and broadcast bands.

Repeaters I can open on 5w with just a lowly Diamond X50N is amazing - talking about 50 mile + radius.

If you are new to radio and think you need something bigger in the shack but want an FT-817 for portable/mobile ops - try it 1st in the shack, you might be saving yourself a whole bunch of money.
R2ABT Rating: 5/5 May 21, 2014 21:03 Send this review to a friend
Second transceiver in my shack  Time owned: more than 12 months
Yaesu FT-817nd was meant to be my first rig, but I was persuaded by experienced HAMs to believe, that the output power of less than 100W is too small for short wave these days to be heard. Thus, my first transceiver was a 100W Kenwood TS-440SAT. It is a very nice radio, but while I was using it, I still felt eager to try something smaller and less powered. I also considered some other QRP rigs like PFR-3 or KX-3, but after careful consideration I decided that FT-817nd was the most appropriate to my needs. All HF bands including LW, MW and SW broadcasting, air band, FM-radio, 2 m and 70 cm VHF everything fits within the small box, packed tightly for your enthralling experiments!

I use very simple antennas like long wire, inverted vee, dipole and delta-loop, and I was able to make numerous interesting QSOs during a year from my QTH in Moscow, including HAMs from Japan and USA in CW mode, as well as the ones from Western Europe, Caucasus region, and Asiatic Russia in SSB. My best result is a contact through the distance of more than 2000 km with only 500 mW output power in CW.

I did not find anything to be disappointed by in this rig. I used it for a long while and experienced only positive emotions from flawless operation and mindful design. In my opinion, FT-817nd is the ideal radio for those who like QRP and QRPP.
AD9Z Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2014 06:22 Send this review to a friend
Love this little rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had so much fun with this radio! I work mostly cw with it ,but it does a good job on ssb too. I have had great success with the par end fedz 10-20-40 wire. If you enjoy, qrp and portable operations, then you will love this rig!
KF7RSJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 31, 2014 12:29 Send this review to a friend
Excellent radio that remains relevant  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is my first HF transceiver, and was purchased used, from its original owner. The radio came with a tuner, amp and terminal node controller.

I cannot be more thrilled with what this unit can do. I placed 100ft of 18g polystealth in my attic (making a big loop) and connecting to the transceiver via a 1:1 balun (LDG too) and 25ft of R213. My contacts have been amazing, as far as the Canary Islands East and Christmas Island to the West. My expectations have been completely surpassed, I would have been happy contacting Hawaii.

I did add the Tokyo HyPower 45w amp which certainly makes a difference but am looking forward to packing the unit up and see how we do on some mountain top adventures. The portability and wide variety of accessories have made this unit exceed my expectations by far.

Lastly, I preferred to keep the budget (relatively) smaller and avoid the temptation of spending a lot of money up front. The price point is excellent (again, relatively speaking) for getting on the air.

In summary, all this experience has been on SSB alone. I haven't begun to explore the digital opportunities.
EI3HAB Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2014 17:01 Send this review to a friend
Hard on it's internal batteries but still I like it.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I live in Dublin,Ireland but I bought mine from Germany because the seller HD Electronik is an official Yaesu retailer and he modified mine for the North Amercian ham bands and the batteries can be charged when I transmit as well as when the unit is "on charge" . When I am walking around with, it power is quickly lost, it seems to get warm even on receive ! (when I am out walking). However I am very happy with it, does a huge amount for it's small size.
W7RUE Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2014 17:07 Send this review to a friend
Super Portable QRP Rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my FT-817ND since July of 2010 and I couldn't ask for a better portable QRP rig! I use it when backbacking and when operating "Hotel Portable" during good atmospheric conditions. It is easier and lighter to transport through the airline/TSA gauntlet and it has its very own special niche in my amateur radio experience. W7RUE
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