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Author Topic: FT-891 as a " Man-Portable"  (Read 715 times)
WL7PM
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Posts: 42




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« on: August 26, 2019, 01:07:55 PM »

 One focus of my amateur radio ops is medium range regional "emergency" comms, within  aprox 500 to 600 mile radius.
  With regular checkin to the   statewide  75 and 40 meter nets on a low-slung wire dipole, I find   that I can easily work  in state  at least 90% reliable from  fixed position at 100 watts.
 I would like to  put together a  compact package with a precut  feedline, spool of light rope, a couple  ready to deploy  dipoles ,  antenna "tuner" , 30 Amp-hour battery  and  one of the very compact transceivers.
......On the short list of radios for such an application is Yaesu's FT 891...

  Questions I have for   anyone with FT891  experience,:
 1) what is actual measured standby  amp draw on receive ?
2) Is the radio efficient" at reduced transmit power ? Asked another way,  at QRP power levels, does the radio draw proportionately LESS  battery power ?
 ...
Anyone  able to measure the actual current draw of an FT891 at 10 watts  CW output on 75 meters ?
 IS the backlight adjustable to reduce standby power draw ?

  3)Is the menu accessed  option for POWER output level easy to access, and is POWER level, when set GLOBAL between modes/ bands , or does each  particular  BAND/ MODE combination retain it's previous POWER setting ?
  Any  observed shortcomings of this particular radio for  portable battery power operations ?
 Thank you for any provided input, or   info.
 ( Hoping to retire my 22 year old  Kenwood TS-50s, with a modern replacement )
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W9WQA
Member

Posts: 375




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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2019, 02:31:24 PM »

2 amp on rec.
you can download manuals on yaesu site

Specifications:

Frequency Range: TX: 1.8-54 MHz (Amateur Bands only) RX: 30 KHz – 56 MHz
Channel Step: 2/5/10 Hz (SSB, CW), 10/100 Hz (AM, FM)
Frequency Stability: plus/minus 0.5 ppm 14 degrees F to 122 F (-10 C to 50 C)
Modes of Emission: A1A (CW), A3E (AM), J3E (LSB, USB), F3E (FM)
Impedance: 50 Ohms, unbalanced
Supply Voltage: 13.8V DC plus/minus 15 percent, negative ground
Current Consumption: RX: 2.0A (Signal Present) TX: 23A
Operating Temperature Range: 14 degrees F to 122 F (-10 C to 50 C)
Case Size (WxHxD): 6.1 in. x 2.0 in. x 8.6 in. (155 x 52 x 218 mm) w/o Knobs
Weight (Approx.): 4.18 lbs. (1.9 kg)
Output Power: 100W SSB/CW/FM (AM: 25W)
Circuit Type: SSB/CW/AM: Triple-conversion Super-heterodyne FM: Double Conversion Super-heterodyne
Intermediate Frequencies: 1st: 69.450 MHz / 2nd: 450 KHz
Maximum AF Output: 2.5 W 4 ohms with 10 percent THD
Audio output Impedance: 4 to 16 Ohms (8 Ohms nominal)
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K0UA
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Posts: 4784




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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2019, 02:51:29 PM »

They don't really draw 2 am on receive.  Yeah I know what the manual says, but it is much closer to 1 amp at reasonable listening levels. The backlight doesn't make much difference. Just like all 100 watt final PA sections, they draw almost 4 amps bias current, so the "sweet spot " for amps drawn for power out is at about 25 watts  BUT like all 100 watt radios, a radio that was designed as 20 or 25 watts maximum output power will draw several amps LESS current than the 891.  If you need 100 watts, there is no substitute for 100 watts. If you just need 20 or 25 watts, then a radio designed for that will beat a 100 watt radio energy consumption wise every time.  The HF setting is global band wise, but some modes have settings like AM for instance.  and the VHF setting is global, of course it only has one VHF band, 6 meters.

I have an 891 mobile. Just a couple of nitpicks, that deal with mobile operation.  Mostly dealing with setting bands and modes while driving.  NOT GOOD. The changes are done by the VFO knob.  If they had put it on the multiknob so you could count clicks you could do it with your eyes on the road.  If you could look at the rig of course none of this matters.

There is only so much real estate on the front panel, so you have to use menu's for some things. Not so good while driving, and no touch screen.  Not a problem if you can look at the rig. It is what it is. It DOES have a LOT of features. Not the best mobile rig that could be designed, but the size is right, and the price sure is right. The overall performance is not bad either. Especially for the price.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
K0UA
Member

Posts: 4784




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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2019, 02:58:44 PM »

Current consumption tests.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1aShLDZcFg

Then for those that "peed and moaned" about the lack of volume up in the receive current test.  This puts that to bed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=cwksCCf0JEE
« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 03:03:09 PM by K0UA » Logged

73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
K0UA
Member

Posts: 4784




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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2019, 03:09:52 PM »

Here is another comparison of of similar Yaesu rig the 857 vs. the 817.  Compare the efficiencies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_u1ss3GXcI
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
N8AUC
Member

Posts: 643




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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2019, 09:23:01 PM »

One focus of my amateur radio ops is medium range regional "emergency" comms, within  aprox 500 to 600 mile radius.
  With regular checkin to the   statewide  75 and 40 meter nets on a low-slung wire dipole, I find   that I can easily work  in state  at least 90% reliable from  fixed position at 100 watts.
 I would like to  put together a  compact package with a precut  feedline, spool of light rope, a couple  ready to deploy  dipoles ,  antenna "tuner" , 30 Amp-hour battery  and  one of the very compact transceivers.
......On the short list of radios for such an application is Yaesu's FT 891...

  Questions I have for   anyone with FT891  experience,:
 1) what is actual measured standby  amp draw on receive ?
2) Is the radio efficient" at reduced transmit power ? Asked another way,  at QRP power levels, does the radio draw proportionately LESS  battery power ?
 ...
Anyone  able to measure the actual current draw of an FT891 at 10 watts  CW output on 75 meters ?
 IS the backlight adjustable to reduce standby power draw ?

  3)Is the menu accessed  option for POWER output level easy to access, and is POWER level, when set GLOBAL between modes/ bands , or does each  particular  BAND/ MODE combination retain it's previous POWER setting ?
  Any  observed shortcomings of this particular radio for  portable battery power operations ?
 Thank you for any provided input, or   info.
 ( Hoping to retire my 22 year old  Kenwood TS-50s, with a modern replacement )

Check out Julian, OH8STN.
He's doing that exactly with an FT-891, man portable, solar/battery power.
He has a website OH8STN.ORG, with a bunch of you tube videos he's made of his adventures.
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W3TTT
Member

Posts: 310




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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2019, 08:40:06 PM »

...but it is much closer to 1 amp at reasonable listening levels. ....so the "sweet spot " for amps drawn for power out is at about 25 watts...Mostly dealing with setting bands and modes while driving.  NOT GOOD. The changes are done by the VFO knob....It DOES have a LOT of features....the size is right, and the price sure is right. The overall performance is not bad either. Especially for the price.

You are correct - I measured the Rx power at 1 Amp.  That is way too high for receive. I don't understand why it needs so much power on receive.

Thanks for the "sweet spot" eval.  I will remember it.

I get about 60 minutes of operation with my 7 AH battery.  That is SSB, 100 watts, transmitting about 10-15% of the time. 

BTW If you set the memory channels, then changing mode or bands is a snap.  To set a memory, tune to a freq and mode, set any features that you want, like filter or width, Then push V>M (vfo to memory), spin the multi knob for a channel you like, and push the V>M button again.  All set.  

I have at least two vfo memories set for each band, one CW and one SSB.  It is very easy to change bands and modes that way.  I also set all of the WWV and CHU freqs, and use them as beacons for checking the propagation.

Just sayn'  Cheesy
73, Joe W3TTT
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 08:46:11 PM by W3TTT » Logged
N8AUC
Member

Posts: 643




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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 07:50:01 AM »

You are correct - I measured the Rx power at 1 Amp.  That is way too high for receive. I don't understand why it needs so much power on receive.

The high current on receive is caused by the IF DSP. Digital circuitry is relatively power hungry.

If you want a rig with exceptionally low current draw on receive, you have to get away from having anything digital inside.

Even the little FT-817 needs about 450 mA on receive. And although it has no DSP, it does have a little processor in it, and a digital display.
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ND6M
Member

Posts: 844




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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2019, 10:13:22 AM »

... edit...
  3)Is the menu accessed  option for POWER output level easy to access, and is POWER level, when set GLOBAL between modes/ bands , or does each  particular  BAND/ MODE combination retain it's previous POWER setting ?...

No one else has addressed this question.

The 891 has separate (GLOBAL) power level settings by MODE.

You can set (for example) SSB for 100 watts, Digital for 5 watts, and CW for 50 watts,... Am, FM, RTTY, ect.
The radio retains those separate settings for all bands.

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WA8NVW
Member

Posts: 91




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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2019, 11:46:38 AM »

Maybe the authors of technical reviews for new ham radios will keep in mind the questions that could not be answered directly from the manufacturer's data sheets and respond to them in their written articles.  Sometimes we just have to tell them what more we want to know about the products!

It could be useful for the FT-891 global power limits to optionally be set by BAND in place of operating MODE.  In particular, for 60 Meter frequencies, where an ERP restriction applies to all operators and all modes.   
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ND6M
Member

Posts: 844




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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2019, 07:48:59 AM »

... edit...global power limits to optionally be set by BAND in place of operating MODE.  In particular, for 60 Meter frequencies, where an ERP restriction applies to all operators and all modes.   

... and just how are they to know how much (or how little) gain you antenna has?

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WA8NVW
Member

Posts: 91




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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2019, 01:23:33 PM »

If you are operating on 60M channels you are required to abide by the ERP limit.  I'm sure the ARRL and FCC both have some technical advice and approved short-cuts you can follow.  YOU still get to set the max power output value.  I'm just suggesting that the memorized 60M value be applied to all modes when the bandswitch is set to 60M.  IMHO, not many hams have multiple fixed antenna systems for that range.
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KH6AQ
Member

Posts: 7975




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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2019, 04:17:41 PM »

Current consumption at 10 watts SSB will be 4-5 amps during speech

From a review by OE3HPU (I rounded current off to the nearest whole number):

RX 1.0A
TX SSB, no modulation 3.2A
Key down CW carrier
TX     5W, 5A
TX   10W, 6A
TX   20W, 8A
TX  40W, 10A
TX 100W, 20A (my estimate)

http://radioaficion.com/news/yaesu-ft-891-review/
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 04:24:30 PM by KH6AQ » Logged
N8AUC
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Posts: 643




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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2019, 08:44:44 PM »

Current consumption at 10 watts SSB will be 4-5 amps during speech

From a review by OE3HPU (I rounded current off to the nearest whole number):

RX 1.0A
TX SSB, no modulation 3.2A
Key down CW carrier
TX     5W, 5A
TX   10W, 6A
TX   20W, 8A
TX  40W, 10A
TX 100W, 20A (my estimate)

http://radioaficion.com/news/yaesu-ft-891-review/

That is  significantly more current draw than my FT-857D.
Measured draw on the 857 is:
5w out = 2A
20w out = 4A
30w out = 5.5A.

I think I'll hang on to my 857D.
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KB4MNG
Member

Posts: 354




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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2019, 05:10:08 PM »

yeah they goofed when they printed 2 amp draw on rx. It  is power hungry but a great radio. Mine is my base station and works great on ssb and cw.
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