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Author Topic: Buying A New Yaesu  (Read 3274 times)
KD6OJG
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Posts: 69




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« on: May 03, 2018, 10:58:33 AM »

I've been saving for a new radio for quite some time and have a question about rigs.

Ever since they came out, I've always wanted a Yaesu FT-817ND and now they have the upgraded model FT-818.   It seems that half the people either love them or absolutely hate them.  Is the new version worth the current price?  Would I be better off buying the FT-857?

In a thread back in Jan. someone mentioned that with the new model they could have included a speech processor with the FT-818.  I'm not very tech savvy...What does this mean?

BTW - The main reason I've always been attracted to the 817 is because of the size and how that would work out for me.
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KJ6ZH
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Posts: 56




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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 11:47:02 AM »

I have an 857.  100 watts out is much better than 6 watts out on the 818 to be able to make contacts.
I can always drop the power down to 5 watts to play QRP.
The 857 has spots for a CW filter and an SSB filter while you get only one choice on the 818.
The 857 has a spot for a TCXO.
The MH59 microphone works with the 857 and is highly recommended if using the rig mobile.
On the other hand, the 857 has no internal battery and is heavier if you want to backpack with it.

There are other differences as well.
So both have advantages depending on how you intend to use it.

I have a couple of mcHF clones to play HF QRP from my hotel room.  I use the 857 in the car on longer road trips.

73 Chris KJ6ZH


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K0UA
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Posts: 4369




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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018, 04:04:35 PM »

I would ask what do you intend to do with the radio?  Did you especially want to work QRP? Do you understand what that entails?

Do you want to invest in technology that is close to 20 years old or would you rather invest in more modern cutting edge technology? This is why the 818 was such a major disappointment when announced as it is the same rig as the 817 with the option tcxo now standard on the 818 which was just an option on the 817.  The 6 watts instead of 5 is just a gimmick. 

 What is your budget? Do you need the 2 meter and 70cm capability of both the 817/818 (same rig) or the 857? Or are your interests just HF and 6 meters?

 Is ease of operation a consideration? Or is the size the driving factor here?

I don't have any answers, but I do have a lot of questions.  And I would asking myself all of those questions above and more before I laid down the long green.

OH, wait, I do have one answer.  A speech processor circuit (included in most modern radios) is a method of raising average talk power on SSB.  Some claims are made for up to a 6dB increase of average talk power with some reduction in pure fidelity.  So if you had a 5 watt SSB transmitter and added speech processing it could sound like a 20 watt SSB transmitter from an average power standpoint.  It goes without saying that care must be used in adjusting these processing circuits so that the speech still sounds good and intelligible. 
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
KC0MYW
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Posts: 88




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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2018, 06:39:42 PM »

I too wanted an 817 for a long time before I finally got one. I'm glad I finally did it and really like it, but you also have to keep in mind what the radio is and what it is designed for. I also have an 857 that I enjoy using, but for different purposes.

As for the 817 or 818 question, personally I was disappointed by the release of the 818 but not because of any of the changes they made or didn't make. My disappointment is from the fact that the 818 really isn't a new radio, it's the same radio (yes, with some changes) with a different number on it.

Manufacturers release the products they do and sometimes we didn't ask for all the features they decide to give us (i.e. was anyone really demanding and extra 1 watt TX power?) and sometimes they miss ones we wanted.  Although, a different (i.e. LiPo4) battery would have been really nice and even better if the new battery would fit in the 817; but I would guess that most people (myself included) aren't using the stock battery anyway.

My take on it is basically:

All that said, if the FT-818 was released as one of the following:
FT-817 Mark III
FT-817NDX
 
Then none of us would be bitching now.

Currently it appears that both the 817 and 818 are available for purchase from at least 1 major vendor. The 817 can be had for $700 and the 818 for $850 also the optional TXCO for the 817 is roughly $110 which makes the price more equivalent and the major differences basically non-existent. While I wouldn't suggest that a TXCO is a bad thing to have, the situations where it is of significant importance to have are quite specialized and not things that most hams are doing with a portable QRP type radio. In my opinion, I would rather use that money to put towards a CW filter (I have the 300Hz filter in mine) than get the 'newer version'.

If I were to be new the hobby and just starting to look at rigs I might lean a bit more towards the 818.

If I didn't already have my 817 and were still in the stage of "always wanted one" I don't think that I would get the same satisfaction of finally getting it if I got 'the other number' instead and this might be just the kick of "time is running out" that could make me finally do it.

If you're trying to decide between the 817/818 or the 857 then you really need to answer this:

I would ask what do you intend to do with the radio?

I have both and enjoy using both. I like to grab the 817 and go on a hike or to the park, throw up a wire and spend a while just seeing what I can do with it and then moving on with the hike or whatever. It's sufficiently small, relatively lightweight, the Windcamp battery works well for my use, and easy to bring along. Sure, a KX2 or KX3 might be a 'better' radio for these purposes but I'm not unhappy with my 817. If I am going to be camping and while camping maybe spend a little bit of time on the radio between water sports, bike rides, and other activities the 817 would be the rig I bring along.

If I'm going somewhere to use the radio for several hours in a portable or semi-portable setting (like at the park) or going camping with the intent to spend my time relaxing at the campsite and making contacts on the radio, then the 857 and battery are going to be coming along.

Neither of these options 817/818 or 857 are cutting edge technology, that doesn't make them bad and I still like mine; but there are other radios that are more advanced.

Sorry, this got a bit long, but hopefully it gave you some insight and things to think about and consider to hopefully make your decision a bit easier.
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W2UIS
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2018, 06:56:05 AM »

I would not purchase a QRP transciver as a first station, althouh these units are appealing you will be disapointed not having the wattage to make contacts on HF.

If you like the size of thses QRP transcivers I'd suggest the Yaesu 891. At $620 you have 100 watts of SSB wattage. You can always go portable with a battery reducing power to 10+/- watts.

I plan on purchasing an 891 to use on my deck. Going portable without going too far LOL.
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KD6OJG
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Posts: 69




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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2018, 12:42:21 PM »

This would not be my first rig.  I have a Yaesu FT-840.  The reason why I’m looking at these models is primarily because of the size.  I like the idea of having a smaller rig that would be easier to move around than the typical base station.  These rigs also have 2m and 70cm and 6meter.

Money is not a factor only that this new 818 is almost the same price as the FT-857.  When the prices start getting around a grand I might as well buy a full blown rig.

I’m also envisioning building a type of portable frame that would house one of these along with my 1.25m and Yaesu ft-8900, 11 meter Shocked, power supply, tuners, meter and etc....
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 12:50:40 PM by KD6OJG » Logged
W2UIS
Member

Posts: 131




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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2018, 02:49:31 AM »

The Yaesu 857D would be a good choice. I owned one, the radio was fantastic. I then started using DStar and changed to the Icom 7100.
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W8JX
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Posts: 13268




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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2018, 04:42:38 AM »

The Yaesu 857D would be a good choice. I owned one, the radio was fantastic. I then started using DStar and changed to the Icom 7100.

857 is getting pretty dated and not a good choice for a base station. A 100 watt rig has to dissipate same amount of heat regardless of its size so a small rig will run a lot hotter especially in key down digital modes. Plus while it can run QRP, it will use considerable more power doing it that a true QRP rig. 
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
K0UA
Member

Posts: 4369




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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 07:17:06 AM »

Quote
like the size of thses QRP transcivers I'd suggest the Yaesu 891. At $620 you have 100 watts of SSB wattage. You can always go portable with a battery reducing power to 10+/- watts.

I plan on purchasing an 891 to use on my deck. Going portable without going too far
LOL.


I have one and they work well for that purpose.  But you do have to remember when operating off of a battery that while you can turn down the power to lets say 50 watts for SSB and 25 watts for CW operations, it is still a 100 watt class finals and as such the bias current is about 4 amps.  A true QRP rig like the 817 will have a bias current in the milliamp range. This is the only drawback of the 891 vs the 817/818 rigs.  The DSP and features are more advanced in the 891 as it should be as it is a modern rig not a 20 year old design.. But you will still have a lot of fun with the 891 as a portable (it is tiny) you just need a bigger battery.  By the way there is one heck of a difference in running 5 watts SSB vs 50 watts of SSB.  Some guys run 50 watt amps behind their 817, well with an 891 you just turn the power up from 5 watts to 100 watts.  13 dB is a big difference, and can mean the difference between  "I think I hear someone in there"  to  "your 59 thank you."

Good luck on whatever you choose. 
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
N9AOP
Member

Posts: 1154




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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2018, 11:36:45 AM »

I also have an 891 and use it when camping.  For the price it is sturdy, compact, and works quite well.  If all you are going to do is call CQ and talk to whomever comes back to you then QRP will do you well.  If you wish to work calling stations then QRO is very necessary at times especially since camping usually involves less than perfect antennas.  I find that I have to QRO about 2/3 of the time to get a comfortable QSO under these conditions.  Whatever you decide upon, hope to catch you one the air one day.
Art
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W4KVW
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2018, 06:03:05 PM »

YAESU = YET ANTHER EXCUSE SIMPLY USELESS.There is a message there yet so many ignore it when they put it out there for anyone to see? Also have you ever noticed the number of people with those QRP rigs who either own or are looking for an amplifier for that rig? It makes much more sense buying a full power rig & just turning down the output power & having it if needed or wanted.From 1st hand experience the Yaesu 857D is by far the WORST Amateur Radio I have ever used or operated hands down.Be careful what you wish for.  Huh Shocked

Clayton
W4KVW
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 06:06:51 PM by W4KVW » Logged
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