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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-897 & 897D

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-897 & 897D
Reviews: 340MSRP: 1049.95
It is the world's first multi-mode high-power base/mobile transceiver designed to fitted with internal batteries (optional) for portable use. The coverage is HF 160 to 10 meters plus 50/144/430 MHz VHF/UHF. Receive is 0.1-56, 76-108, 118-164 and 420-470 MHz. 7.9x3.2x10.3 inches (200x80x263 mm).
Product is not in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N4MJG Rating: 2023-07-02
still using it to this day ! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
UPDATED AS July 2023

i still using this rig since 2006 using 2 meter and 40 meter a lot took a break from my ft 857 for a while anyway good rig so far !


I use it quite abituse it on hf more then ever since i have use my tuner of z 100 plus i been 40 meter quite abit
then took a break from it ! will be back on it later one soon i hope i hope !


I use it on 2 meter as of now and may try do ft8 i have setup just right cut power down to 40 watts for dignal ft8 with tigertronic with setup get it right i can enjo ft8 withwsjtx software ! the 897D is still kick for 16 years great rig never lets me down alway still works after 16 years !

SKCC 7305 SINCE 2005
NAQCC 5233
OMISS 11548

Back in late 2000 i brought this radio with 500 hz cw filter atfer installed in my radio what a differce that cw makes ! i love this rig i test it on field day that years had lots of fun,it keeper for me for sure. going keep it for me just in case when ft 847 goes down 897D is main backup rig !

Earlier 5-star review posted by N4MJG on 2012-08-10

I never ever had any problem with mine! It does what it supposed to do! Buit like tank! ;) for other got hold the rig with problem! I had mine since 2006 from Dayton ohio hamfest!
Earlier 5-star review posted by N4MJG on 2011-11-20

This radio never dies or anything it still going strong! I had this radio since 2006.

I never have any problems. At all!

BEEN HAMMING 21 years!
KK4RUI Rating: 2023-03-29
Reliable as my 1st HF/UHF/VHF Radio and retired to a To-Go Kit Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This radio was my first HF/UHF/VHF radio after I earned my General license in 2014. I used it extensively on 80, 40, 20 and the UHF/VHF bands using a G5RV dipole and Diamont vertical antenna, respectively. I had it set on several layers of scrape pieces of 2X4's to aim the display directly at my face. Before it went off the market, I purchased the mounting bracket and other optional pieces for a future day, including a independent Anderson power pole connection cord. It was such fun and easy to use, having other on-the-air 897D operators helping me to adjust the audio and receive settings. For these reasons I give this radio a 5 Star rating.

Around 2021 I purchased the IC-7300 and purchased dual band mobile radios for my UHF/VHF needs. I had one of those tall "cube" coolers and mounted the 897d and the antenna tuner on the inside roof of this first HF/UHF/VHF To-Go Kit. With the already built in wheels, I rolled it into the yard and field tested it and it works great! Can be operated upright or as a desk, if it rains, just shut the lid. Two bulk barrel connectors protrude through the cooler wall to easily accommodate the VHF/UHF and HF external antennas respectively. Since the optional power supply was installed on the bottom of the radio it saved alot of room to accommodate the Duracell AGM marine battery, so I have two power sources and could also connect solar power to the battery if needed. It is so cool as a great To-Go kit. I hope I can keep this rig going as long as I can.

73's One and All to a 5 Star Great Radio!!!

Neal Klimek
K1VFR Rating: 2023-02-26
Wish you could still get them new! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This radio is exactly what I need: a fantastic, contained, portable radio, that can also easily function as a complete base station.
Along being a ham for several decades, I've also been a pilot/aircraft owner. I use this rig with a buddipole to create my own mini dx-peditions to remote airstrips. I can charge the dual internal batteries before I leave, grab the buddipole and an antenna analyzer, and I have a complete, portable, medium power station that I can have up and running for a day wherever I want.
When I get home, I hook up the radio to an external power supply and now I'm able to make 100 watt contacts with ease.
I can't think of a weakness, at least a weakness of substance, that would make me not give it 5 stars. Rx works well with good audio, and I often hear surprise from those I speak with on those "mini dxpeditions" that I'm sounding so good with just 20 watts.

Tim -- K1VFR / 1970 Piper Arrow N1010Y
DL9BDM Rating: 2022-06-09
Universal work horse! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have some other and from the technical specifications certainly also better transceivers (e.g. Yaesu FT-902DM etc.) in my shack. Originally, I bought the FT-897 (with built-in mains power supply FP-30 and LDG AT-897 Plus tuner) only for holliday trips. However, I use the radio now mainly at home - it is simply a very universal allmode TRX - from the lower shortwave bands to UHF - and it makes fun! This transceiver is so good that it can replace all others for normal QSO operation. The FT-897 would be unbeatable if it had the option to allow battery operation in addition to the built-in mains power supply at once. That would be a top notch transceiver! Probably Yaesu does not produce it anymore (in contrast to the FT-817/818) because it is too good and offers too much competition to their own other products. What a shame!
SP9HZX Rating: 2022-05-15
Great small radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
One of my favourite radios.Really versatile,rigid and easy to operate.
It has all that I need.I find it usefull during my escapades and at home.
I've never had any problems with it.
VK3ZGP Rating: 2021-12-10
Great! Set (pity about the Yaesu options) Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought my FT-897D when I retired in 2008 and still using it. This was optioned to be my base station and go in a mobile home plus run portable operation.

I've been disappointed with the performance of some of the Yaesu options. My preferred setup includes an LDG AT-897 bolt on tuner as it matches a greater range of impedance than the Yaesu's alternative FC-30 option. INRAD filters as there is a much greater range of IF filter options from 300Hz to 5kHz while Yaesu was limited to just 3 IF filter options between 300Hz and 2.3kHz. The FT-897D has sockets for two IF filters and being able to customize the IF filters for different modes is a great advantage of the INRAD filters. When using a remote tuner the LDG RT-100 matches a greater range of impedance than Yaesu's alternative FC-20 option. The FT-897D can be configured for a low current draw when portable. This is a versatile radio that does have compromises e.g. a base station transceiver with a well designed front panel is going to be easier to operate than the menu driven FT-897D.

Just be aware that Collins have ceased manufacture of mechanical filters and the range of INRAD IF filters is being restricted as items are sold out.

The FT-897D does everything that I need across a number of roles in one package and I have no hesitation in giving it a 5 star 'Great!' rating. In any single role there will be better transceivers (e.g. there are better base station transceivers).
VK3ZT Rating: 2021-07-06
Excellent Grab and Go Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased this radio through one of our local radio clubs from a deceased estate for $1,000 AUD about two years ago. After replacing the dead internal batteries with two new ones from IMAX_Expert on eBay. I had also purchased two from an Amazon dealer though was duded on poor battery performance. Very disappointed with the Amazon dealer and refusal to accept the batteries back from Australia.

Back to the radio. I use this radio for portable use and as an emergency radio when the power goes out. In both applications it works great. For portable I go to a site not too far away in a coastal national park with no RFI noise interference, (yes the S meter bottoms out at S0) and the radio in conjunction with a Transworld 40 metre band and 20 metre five band vertical dipole antennas works a treat.

The only caveat that I wish to pass onto potential users is that do not use it in conjunction with a friend who is also using his radio. I was running 20 watts PEP on 20 metres whilst my friend using a IC-705 on 10 watts PEP on 40 metres which was interfering with my radio. By its self and away from the crowds there are no issues. If there is another operator close by you will require outboard pre-selectors tuned for the band in use. Though this will take away its band agility.

In the shack at home it is used for 2 and 6 metre band SSB DX openings using loop antennas. For 2 metre band FM and repeater activity use I have a FT-2900R for repeaters over 100 kilometres away (60 miles) with two mountain ridges between myself and the repeater. There is no breakthrough on either transceiver no matter which one is in use. I run 75 watts FM on the FT-2900R and 50 watts PEP on the FT-897D via different antennas. Dual loops for SSB and a 4 element vertical polarised yagi for FM.

Recently after a strong gale force storm on the coast we were with out power for three days. I was able to use the FT-897D to activate a repeater 100 kilometres away as all local repeaters, mobile telephone networks and internet were down. Chatting to operators on a Melbourne repeater whom had internet access I was able to find out power would be restored in four days. We were lucky and everything was back on in three days. I should state that I accessed this repeater with a 4 element vertical yagi to make the most of the 20 watts FM output.

This is great portable grab, go and emergency radio. I do also own a Ten-Tec Argonaut VI though have yet to fire up this radio, which is also secondhand. It would be interesting to see how the Ten-Tec radio handles itself when another operator is close by.

In conclusion with the internal batteries, the FT-897D lasts for a days outing for a portable non-contest use. No wires to fiddle with, no external battery. Everything in one box.

Highly recommended with the above caveat. I have not used this radio on HF at home as I have another radio for that purpose. In a crowed housing environment I think you would be very disappointed.

For portable grab and go, stand alone which is what it is designed for. I believe you will be very happy. Though again, not in crowded environments.
KU4GW Rating: 2021-07-04
VHF TONE ENCODER MIC HANGING PROBLEM Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I recently began running a FT-897D given to me from the estate of KF4WHR George Wallace who is now a silent key after a long battle with both advanced stage Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The radio works fine on HF, but on VHF when I use the tone encoder on a repeater the transmit frequently hangs in transmit. I can usually finally get it to unkey by rapidly tapping the key on the mic. KE4CIJ Chuck told me his did the same thing and the problem was the solder bridge that solders the RJ45 female connector inside the radio cracks and can sometimes be fixed by reflowing the solder onto the board. He also said there is a problem on some with the upgraded Chip in the 820 tone control and that he had noticed several that drop the transmit and have audio loss. It may be the new chip on the 820 causing the issue with older rigs. He said he knows first hand the RJ-45 on the 897 and several rigs will cause issues, strange issues and some that you wouldn't contribute to the connector. It's a weak design that Yaesu did on purpose. Too much strain is on that type of connector and the female on the radio can't take it. Those pins break on the board and cause the solder to fracture. Normally just a crack comes on the solder bridge to the board and it needs to be reflowed. Best way to get over it is to tie the mic cable back to the front of the radio or to the case of the radio inside and that takes the strain off the connector over the long haul. He said the female RJ45 on the front of the radio weak point will cause random key-up's if the solder joints are cracked. (That's what mine is doing!) It's a bitch to fix but can be done. The FT900 also enjoyed this issue as well as RX loss...He said to check my RJ45 connector! He used the same adapter on the FT-900 and it solved several keying issues with that radio after he repaired the Female RJ45. He used a plastic wire tie and an adapter he made (can get one on Ebay) and clamped the Cable back to the side of the RADIO, the CABLE ADAPTER takes the stress and stops the mike cable from pulling on the Female RJ45. Those little wires inside it also get dirty and make for crappy connections which result in loads of problems. He solved his issues using the Cable adapter and using a screw on the side of the radio to hold the cable clamp, that lets the easy to replace cable adapter take all the pulling and stress...Why Yaesu ever switched to those worthless connectors is beyond me! They made the radios cheaper to manufacture and that's the only reason I can see them doing it. I guess that's what I'll try first, checking the solder joints inside the radio for a cracked solder bridge.
G3WRT Rating: 2021-01-28
A versatile 'utility' rig. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had my 897 for a few years now and use it off and on HF and VHF and presently broadcast FM and AM on 80/60m where it performs adequately TX and RX at 20W or so. It is a good, versatile ‘utility’ radio which has proven reliable. It was especially useful portable with batteries, but I cannot bring myself to replace those, so expensive are they (and heavy). I had to replace the shaft encoder on the main tuning knob. No idea how it got damaged, but I would recommend the protective aftermarket side handles (I have not got them yet) because I now use it in the shack. In the process I found Yaesu parts easy to rapidly obtain = excellent service in the UK. It was also simple enough doing the repair. I measured the S meter response versus signal and in my model AM/SSB S1 to S5 are covered by 2dB! Yes really. After that S5 upward is about 3dB per S point. I searched the circuit diagrams and could not find any clue as to where the seemingly after thought (what a bizarre place to put the socket) of the external AGC/meter arises. I use a DSO instead of a ballistic meter and it truly adds another dimension to operating. I find the radio tiringly noisy and I do not enjoy the user interface. Like all such arrangements infrequent and sparse use means tedious relearning. I use an external AATU on HF and it is noticeable that the ALC does significantly overshoot. I have modified the MH-31 microphone to incorporate an RF speech compressor which does help keep the talk level up. The cheap socket preempts using other microphones which I find annoying. I have yet to attempt to lock the LO to GPS which would be handy for microwave transverter operation. When I can justify it, and before I ever take it mobile/portable again, I will be buying those expensive aftermarket side handles for front panel protection. It is a great pity there are not lithium batteries available that are made to fit – that I know about. Overall, the multiband versatility, the RF power output of the rig and its potential and convenience for driving microwave transverters makes it a keeper for me. I would however really appreciate having the IC705 spectrum display……
S53V Rating: 2020-08-22
Great portable HF & VHF transceiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I had bought this transceiver second hand for 500 Euro (580 USD) as my portable transceiver. They are easy to modify to make it the portable HF&VHF contest grade transceiver. As an enthusiastic contester, I wanted a better receiver performance so I decided to improve IMD3 and RMDR with my own constructed 2,7kHz roofing filter.
I have also added RTL SDR dongle to IF 68.330MHz for the bandscope function and I also reduced some audio hiss after AF passband has been modified.
After new modifications I have been testing the transceiver in IOTA_2017 CW/LP contest in Croatia as 9A8CV (Island Krk EU-136) and also in some European VHF contest,s and I was really satisfied with modified FT 897D and now I have nice portable contest grade transceiver.
IMD DR3 and RMDR measured results are now comparable to much expensive transceiver. This modifications cost me only about 70 EUR (82 USD)