- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Yaesu FT-817 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-817
Yaesu FT-817 Reviews: 295 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $769
Description: All band 160m thru 10m plus 6m, 2m and 70cm, all mode QRP rig with internal batteries. PL259 on rear, BNC on front.
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

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

Page 1 of 30 —>

N8AUC Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2019 18:15 Send this review to a friend
So much fun - such a small package  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this radio used several years ago. And it still astounds me how much this radio does in such a small package. It could easily be your only radio.

It isn't the best at anything, but it does everything, and does it quite well. And I dare you to sling an FT-5000 over your shoulder and carry it out into the field, much less all the batteries you'd need to run an FT-5000.

Radio-wise, it's a combination of a swiss army knife and a leatherman tool all rolled into one neat little package. 160 meters through 70 centimeters, ALL modes, 5 watts. I did add a CW filter to it, which makes all the difference in the world when operating CW.

My only regret is that I waited so long to actually buy one. I do know that I never want to be without an FT-817. If mine ever dies, I'll replace it immediately with an FT-818ND. There isn't another QRP rig out there with the fit, finish, function, and ruggedness of an FT-817.

If there is one thing I'd really add to this rig, it's a zero beat tuning indicator for CW like the FT-857D has.

It case you haven't realized by now, I absolutely love this little radio!
W9HAN Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2019 12:57 Send this review to a friend
Phenominal rig with room for improvement  Time owned: more than 12 months
I absolutely love the Yaesu FT-817 for all the reasons stated by the others, but here is my wish list for the perfect FT-817-Mark-II...

Direct fequency entry via keypad on mic. This is a massive oversight by Yaesu.

Direct frequency input by taping the Tune dial and rotating for each digit of the desired frequency. To clarify, I mean that a push button would be added to the tuning dial just the same way it's done on the SEL knob. Depress the tune dial to enter the left most digit, then depress the tune dial again to enter the next digit to the right and so on until all the digits of the frequency are entered. Yaesu should do this to all their radios.

Native LiPo battery and internal charger. Nothing else needs to be said about this.

The VHF frequencies top transmit limit is just below marine (156/157MHz) band on MARS Tx so let's expand to include marine. Including marine VHF would make this the perfect rig for sailors who sail big water (oceans and seas) and want to travel light.

Yeasu, I hope you read this.

AB0O Rating: 5/5 Dec 8, 2018 18:44 Send this review to a friend
Very nice rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Owned this rig since 2002, so probably fitting to review at this time.
This has been my trusty portable rig all those years, and I had a chance to look at the new 818 recently...see no big changes or concerns.
I have operated my 817 in a variety of ways and setups...
a) Packpack, bicycle, and other portable with both the internal battery and an external battery. The internal battery is limited, but convenient.
b) Base station with the MFJ power supply and the LDG Z-100 autotuner (if needed)
c) Mobile, powered from the car power and using a hamstick

I installed the BHI DSP internal unit in 2007 which was a worthwhile addition.

The receiver is quite good, and operating portable with a buddipole provides good signals, R and T, even on current bands conditions. I play portable HF with a friend who uses a KX3 and I can hear and work any station he can work. Simple as that.

I owned the 857D as well (bought them on the same day), and the software is virtually the same, but the 857D consumes far too much current on Rx to qualify as a portable rig.

I looked at the KX2 and KX3, but hesitate to give up the all-band feature.

I would likely give the 818 a try if I needed to replace my 817.
VK3FBIC Rating: 5/5 Nov 30, 2017 20:29 Send this review to a friend
Best Radio Ever - Period  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The best radio i have personally ever owned, its well made. And it made in japan NOT china! which is a bonus. the radio is solid and does not feel flimsy, this radio feels rugged and it does not feel like it will fall apart when taking it QRP. The radio is very functional and has all the features that could be expected from a QRP radio. the only critisism i have of it is that in this day and age it should be fitted with Lion batteries rather than NiMH batteries that it is fitted with. However it is understandable because the radio is designed in 2004, however it would be nice if lithium batteries were fitted.
K4TB Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2017 16:02 Send this review to a friend
My 2nd One and Enjoying it Even More  Time owned: more than 12 months
Although I wrote a review back in 2005 on my first FT-817ND, I figure I'm allowed to do another review since I bought another FT-817ND! I gave my first FT-817ND to my son so he would have get-away radio package since he is our county ARES EC. However, after a few years of playing with several different big desktop radios since then, I once again was yearning for a good, throw-it-in-the-briefcase radio for travel fun. Needless to say the FT-817ND was first choice so I bought one again.

I feel like I've rediscovered the fun of low power portable. Currently however, I'm still just using my new one in the home shack in lieu of my desktop regulars (FT-991A and Icom 7600). I love it's simplicity and great audio. The FT-817ND is such a good basic radio that has all you really need to work most modes. It is unmatched when you want HF,VHF and UHF, and SSB, CW and digital all in one box.

Those who have faulted the FT-817 for shortcomings are simply missing the point. Pick 2 of these 3 feature sets: 1) Small and lightweight yet good TX and RX performance, 2) all band/all mode, and 3) low power consumption. You won't find another rig that does all 3 as well as the FT-897ND. More modern DSP and SDR-based radios don't really compete in all 3 feature sets/ This will be a classic rig for years to come. Maybe my grandson will like to inherit this one from granddad!
VK2JEM Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2017 19:59 Send this review to a friend
Bonus!  Time owned: more than 12 months
DC to daylight (almost) multimode, good performance.

OK its no icom 7810 but hey for the price!

Good RXr, handles big antennas well. Good HF performance, good v- and uhf.

Pity its only 5 w. but thats part of the the thrill and skill. Its a really fun radio.

Fits so much into TEEENY TINY package. Problem is that tiny package means the buttons and knobs are very fiddly and i have small fingers. IF you got big burley paws you might want to look elsewhere.
Also lots of menus and nested functions.. press button, turn knob press another button type thing.
But you can do so much inside those menus (dont lose the manual - you will need it!)

Im still amazed at how well it works and all it does in such a small box.

K6AJY Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2017 08:50 Send this review to a friend
k6ajy good rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
it is a good little rig for out on the Feld and Feld day and ultra compact use from 70cm and 160m I like it "73"s

VK2IK Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2017 04:02 Send this review to a friend
An amazing rig in 2002, still a favorite rig in 2017.  Time owned: months
Theres not much that probably hasnt been said about the FT-817.

What a great rig, it was groundbreaking at the time, I got mine in early 2002, its still going in 2017. I have replaced the early version of finals in 2007, and the RF board in 2016 due to a fault when tuning up an antenna on 2m. Even with this issues, it is still a 5 in my view, 15 years of service, dragged everywhere, including Antarctica, been in backpacks, vehicles, suitcases, test benches, hookup to home built PA's, antenna testing, and has been fit for purpose every time.

Yes the controls are a bit dated by today standards, but it is still an amazing rig. I hope they keep making them for many more years to come. I still cant get over the size and function of this rig. it has to be one of my all time favorite rigs. simple as that.

K9MOV Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2017 04:28 Send this review to a friend
Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned the original FT-817 when they first came out.Its sits on my operating desk and I use it for everything-- HF qrp, Shortwave , 2 and 440 fm simplex, FM broadcast, AM broadcast. Its a fun, useful and reliable radio.It does everything good( 4.5) but it does EVERYTHING. I feel it was a very good investment.
OE3HPU Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2017 16:25 Send this review to a friend
Still the QRPers pride  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own 2 of them . One is used for SOTA activities and the other one for QRP operation in the shack. The possibilty to make QSOs also on 2m and 70cm is great. The rig is sensitive and sounds very well with the internal speaker. Strong signal behaviour is just OK for me. I purchased the 500Hz filter which is a must for CW. I had just one issue with the power connector on the rear,it did not withstand outdoor operation and thousands of cable insertions. I bought a 3,3Ah Li Ion battery and can work one day with the internal battery plus the Li Ion. The rig is of good mechanical quality,reliable and small. Dx with five watts ?? -No problem with just an inverted vee in CW. Rating: 4,6 !
Page 1 of 30 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.