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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: 93 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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You can write your own review of the Yaesu FT-817 ND.

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OZ1CQQ Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 2013 10:32 Send this review to a friend
i love it :-)  Time owned: more than 12 months
I love this little gem.
Forget all the details this is wonderfull qrp station.
MM0IMC Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2013 13:23 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!
MM0IMC Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2013 13:23 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!
KATEKEBO Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2013 09:52 Send this review to a friend
Best portable HF rig available  Time owned: more than 12 months
The FT-817ND has been reviewed so many times that it's hard to add anything new. So I will be brief and to the point:

After using many other portable QRP rigs side-by-side with the FT-817ND I can attest that no other radio beats the little Yeasu in terms of flexibility, versatility and overall performance. Other radios may shine in one area or another, but none is an overall champion like the FT-817. If you need a highly portable, self-contained, reliable and versatile radio for backpacking, camping, pedestrian operations or travel, there is simply no contest.

That said, the FT-817ND does have some limitations:

1) The only really serious shortcoming is power consumption, especially on receive. At nearly half-ampere, it runs through the internal batteries with abandonment. An external power source (substantial battery or power supply) is a must if you want to operate for more that an hour or so.

2) The radio has other, minor quirks:

- CW selectivity could be better.
- The screen is small. It is a small radio.
- The menu operation is complex. But this is because the radio includes an incredible amount of options and functions in a small package. It is not a radio for the technically-challenged, those who are too lazy to read and understand a manual, or those think that 1960's technology was the best.

But the good things easily outweigh the shortcomings.

There are other radios that may be a better option if you look exclusively for a very specific thing, like dedicated CW rig, something extremely simple and easy to use, or something that will consume less power. But even if these radios surpass the FT-817 in one or two specific performance areas, they can't match the other 10+ advantages that the FT-817 has. The only way to match and beat the FT-817 is to use a full-size mobile / base rig, or to carry several portable radios.

N6AIR Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2013 17:55 Send this review to a friend
Very happy with it  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been a ham since the mid 1960's and I've had quite a few radios, mostly Kenwoods.

I'm very impressed with the FT-817ND.

The audio quality, the sensitivity and the selectivity are all superior to the SG2020.

The menus were a pain at first but I'm used to them now. It just takes time.

I love the small size and light weight.

I hesitated a long time before I bought it because I was wondering how limiting five watts would be. It's turned out to be a real education for me.

If I hear a station that's moderately strong, the chances are excellent that they will hear me with Q5 copy with my five watts. If the station sounds good and strong, the chances are better than average that they'll be able to hear me with half a watt. With 2.5 watts running mobile using a Hamstick, I'm not as strong as the other stations but more often than not I can make contact with the stations I hear.

I love this little radio. Though you have to wade through menus to find them, it has numerous features.

Here are some criticisms:

1. The rf attenuator isn't very effective and cutting out white noise like my old Kenwoods.

2. If you want to program frequencies with a computer, a Mac won't work.

3. The internal battery is something you'll want to replace. It lasts about 10 minutes.

I've very glad I took the plunge and bought this radio. It's a little marvel.

SAPPHIRE Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2012 06:41 Send this review to a friend
A magic box  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought last version.
Very good, better performance of many rtx.
A magic box!
WD4ELG Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2012 22:12 Send this review to a friend
Updated review, Oct 2012  Time owned: more than 12 months
What's not to love about this rig?

Let me tell you about versatility. I have two of these. Here's what I have accomplished:

1. Mobile DX in my car with 500 mW to 1500 miles out
2. Base station DX, busting through the Clipperton DXPedition.
3. On travel from hotels, working DX and stateside.
4. Digital modes: JT65, PSK31
5. LEO satellites, both FM and x-band CW/SSB.
6. Aircraft scanner
7. Police scanner
8. Field day
9. FM repeater work

I love this rig!


I travel a lot, so my goal was to obtain a small, very portable rig loaded with features which I could use from the road.

I am a die-hard Kenwood fan - TS520S, TS570D, TS480SAT. So I was not sure what to expect with Yaesu. And this would be my first truly QRP portable rig. Some investigation and tinkering down at AES Radio Supply in Orlando (thanks to Eddie Vallejo, KD4RAZ) helped me to finalize my decision, and I have enjoyed EVERY MINUTE of this rig since I picked it up over the holidays in December of 2007.

I use it with an Elecraft QRP-ATU, just for insurance/protection of the rig's finals. I also have the SignaLink USB and Ham Radio Deluxe for PC control with digital modes.

My antennas at home are dipoles and verticals. On the road, I use Par EndFed half waves. In my car, I use HamSticks.

I have had great QRP DX success to Europe and South America. The rig is very easy to travel with. The menus are not hard to get used to, if you use the rig often. The digital modes are a snap to use also.

While it does not have an internal antenna tuner, the Elecraft ATU is easy to use and affordable.

While it does not cover the NOAA weather bands, there are many alternatives for receiving weather alerts in real time (SMS text messages to cell phone, etc.)

While others have noted the short battery life, I bypassed that and got the MFJ FT817 PS which works perfectly.

SUMMARY: The radio is PACKED with features, and the receiver is OUTSTANDING.


For anyone interested in finding out more, feel free to contact me ( I strongly encourage current and potential owners to participate in the YAHOO group discussion on this rig. That answered so many questions for me and helped me make my decision.
K7ZOV Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2012 18:05 Send this review to a friend
Keep coming back 5th time  Time owned: more than 12 months
OK Now my background Ham since 1963 (49 yrs). EE for 35+ yrs (Analog, digital RF, LASER systems, microprocessors etc). Have had, and traded many dozens of radios over the years Found the 817 a good trading toy to try other toys, but as I said, this is my 5th and will be my in keeping. My comparisons are based on some great radios that have come and gone. This review is based on QRP. Not comparing to my PROII, or awesome new T-T Eagle, or a IC-706, or FT-857/897D etc. So here it goes..from a EE/old ham point of view.

The radio is not perfect none are, but for a QRP, take it anywhere market it is nothing short of being great. All the HF ham bands + VHF/UHF + AM + avaiation + FM + SWL. Yeasu did really, really stupid by not making the VHF capable of at least going to the Weather Freq. They had their chance with the nd and blew it, but hey look at what you get. A very small radio with a build in hand held. You get AM, FM, SSB, CW, DIGITAL, HRD support for people with bad eyes and fat fingers. (Did the same for the K2). The RX more the surpasses the TX in hearing power. Add a filter and much better, but again this is NOT a desk top radio. This is a field radio/take it everywhere radio. It does not have a IF DSP so yes it is not the worlds quietest. So what. It put out 2.5 watts internal battery and 5 watts with external. Think QRP. Want more power get something else or a after market amp. If you want a CW only radio, get a K2 or KX1 or KX3 and pay a whole lot more. If you want SSB, CW, PSK31, and other digital mod, 6 meter FM/CW/SSB, 2 meter and 440 FM/CW/SSB and hear your favorite music this is your radio...period! Nothing on the market even close.

Short coming yes. Needs after market for up grade toys. i.e. Speech compressor, AFDSP, ATU, more power. So what. For what you are getting you have a radio for hiking, camping, Emcomm, take to work, take on a trip, sit by the side of the bed and tons more.

5th time. Last time. I just made a interface for PSK31 for my netbook. I have a NUE-PSK modem for no computer PSK31, RTTY and CW help. I a T-1 ATU. I can put a complete SSB, CW, Digital station in a cheap metel CD case and take it with me. What short comings the radio has is blown away but what can do. My advice is get one and decide for yourself. Don't like it, put it up for trade. You will be amazed at what you can get. I did. Now it is time to stop and hold on to it. Thank you for your time. Hope it helps some of you make a proper decision.

Harry K7ZOV
KA2WDV Rating: 1/5 Jul 13, 2012 21:13 Send this review to a friend
SAVE YOUR MONEY  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Here is my unbiased HONEST review of the YAESU FT-817ND. First let me help you understand this review. I have held a ham radio license for 27 years. I have a degree in electrical technology and have been employed in a technical field all my life. I'm not a nine year old who just walked out of a VE session with a extra class license. SO HERE WE GO.
My review is as follows.
1)It is a cute little radio, very impressive
2)The audio quality is very good.
3)The sensitivity and selectivity of this radio is very poor
4)The battery life is very poor. This radio will only output 2.5 watts with the internal battery pack. An external battery pack such as a AGM 7.2 AH battery is highly advised. This is the only way to output 5 watts for any length of time.
5)The intermod rejection capabilities of this radio is highly lacking.
6)The AM broadcast band is a joke. I have a Sony ICF-SW7600G that blows the doors off this radio as far as the receiver goes.
7) The radio was not tested on 6 meters or 440.
8) I tested this radio on 2 meters and can tell you it is weak at best using a Diamond SG-7900 as the Antennae.
9)I called CQ on 40 meters for 45 minutes until I reached a guy in Indiana.
10) The Collins SSB filter was installed along with the TCXO-9. By the way, some factory bozo puts lock tite on the screws so be careful opening up this radio as you can very easily strip the screws and than you will be getting out the Dremel tool for serious surgery on the screws.
11)The Collins filter does make a small difference in the performance of the radio but like I said, very small.
12) This radio is not advised for anyone with vision problems as the display is very tiny.
13)Understand that this is a QRP rig and not a FT-950. However in my professional opinion, a linear amp is required to help this radio along.
14)I have watched the you tube videos of this radio with the Miracle Whip antennae working the world on a whip and 2.5 watts. This must be some kind of magic trick because I too used the Miracle Whip antennae on this radio and can tell you this. After calling CQ on 10,20,40 meters for 3 hours. I DID NOT MAKE ONE SINGLE CONTACT WITH THIS ARRANGEMENT.
15)A tuner is a serious consideration for this radio as a miracle whip will not load up on 75 or 40 meters. The LDG 817 was used with this radio and it is a great little tuner. Seriously!
16)All in all this radio falls way short of the mark. When you add the price of the filters,the tuner,the 2500mah battery pack, you could have invested in a FT-450D. Lets be real. When we call CQ we want to talk to someone. I fail to see how other hams can rate this little toy so highly. I could go on a lot further but I think I have made my point. THERE WAS ONLY ONE OTHER HAM THAT WROTE A REVIEW SIMILAR TO MINE> HE TELLS IT LIKE IT IS AS WELL. In closing please don't hand me this crap I must have a bad radio or I am doing something wrong because I am not. This radio is best suited for a 10 year old who wants to turn the lights down low and pretend he is a lost ship at sea. I encourage anyone to contact me further at if you think I gave an unfair assessment of this radio because my review is dead on. And please, I am not a Yaesu basher because I own another radio, a FT-2900r and that radio for 2 meters is a 10 + hands down. Good Day.
KJ4NWZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2012 22:35 Send this review to a friend
Great Bang for My Buck!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Finally purchased my FT-817ND instead of the Elecraft KX3 to keep my FT-857D company. Got it new for about $100 less than market price from a private seller (a steal). Works great. No complaints. Worked a few local repeaters at .5 watts today. Haven't tested its metal yet on HF but I am sure I'll need greater skills at minus 5 watts than with my 100w 857D. Rig is a wee bit greedy on battery power but it's still the best pound-for-pound QRP rig on the market.
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