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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-8900R

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held)

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-8900R
Reviews: 171MSRP: 469.95
10M, 6M, 2M & 440Mhz Quad Band Radio with Dual Band Receive.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KD5ZTR Rating: 2004-01-25
Wow What a Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My wife bought this radio for me as a christmas present and I cant say enought about it. Im a new Ham and I did alot of research on radios and I seen this one and so I decided to give it a shot. This radio gets better clear signal reports than some of the base units here in town. Everytime I talk to someone they always tell me how good the audio sounds. If you looking for a good heavy duty radio that wont let you down and thats easy to use then this is the one hands down! Way to go Yaesu :-)
W2YMM Rating: 2004-01-12
Good Mobile Radio Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I've had mine about 1 year now, and I'm happy with it. There is ton's of memories and the signal reports that I get are always good.
The menu system is fairly easy to figure out when programming. I like the cross band repeat.
I wish that it did the split PL/DPL like the VX-7 has.
All in all I am happy with this rig.

W1CAR Rating: 2003-12-31
nice, but not nice Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Ok.. I'm an Icom lover. All my rigs are Icom, so if this post sounds biased it's because all my experience is with Icom rigs. I received this rig as a Christmas present because I asked for it. I was looking for some good multiband flexibility while mobile and this rig is the only one of its kind on the market right now.

I like the fact that this rig is quad-band. Three great repeater bands, and one sometimes great repeater/simplex band (10 meters). Why they didn't institute 220 instead of 10 meter FM I'll never know. 10 FM is fun, but so is 10 USB. I could buy a Radio Shack 10 meter rig for under $100 and it would have more uses because it's multi-mode.

I like the 800 memories. I don't like the fact that they can't be banked like on most Icoms. I like the alpha display although I never use it.

I love the six Hyper memories. I use that feature more than any other one on the rig.

I hate that there is no easy way to check the reverse frequency on a repeater to see if the station I'm talking to is within simplex range. Even after checking the reverse, it dosen't open the squelch so I can hear a weak signal.

Yaesu microphones stink. I've had to open this one up twice to move the micro switch over in order for the PTT to work properly. Also, why illuminate some buttons on the mic and not the rest?

The PTT is way way way to easy to press.. too easy to kerchunk repeaters accidentally. The DTMF buttons are kinda hard to get too also with thick fingers.

Some of the functions that I'll never use are the easiest to access. The internet connection feature activates by pushing the left lower knob, and you can tell if it's on because the radio emits a short DTMF tone before it TX's. I'll probably never use this feature.

I like the four power levels since I usually only run 10 watts while mobile.

If you use the ARTs feature, in order to turn it off you have to reset the entire set menu.

You have to do follow a specific algorithm in order to use the DTMF memory function. It's faster just to write them down and press the number keys while keying the PTT.

FM Bandwidth and Mic Gain are changed using the same menu option. Seperate options would be nice.

Oh.. and for anyone that is involved in Skywarn like me; there is no Weather Band function, and no weather alert like so many other radios on the market right now. You have to program each frequency for each transmitter in order to listen, and make sure you don't use a Comet SB-15 because it's too narrowbanded and won't receive the WX band at 162 mhz.

All in all, I am satisfied with the radio. It is built well and has more than enough bands for me to play with while mobiling around. The drawbacks listed above are annoying, but aren't enough for me to get rid of the radio, unless Icom makes a radio with the same capabilities and WX band/alert functions.

2E1VAR Rating: 2003-11-24
Wow ! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
What a radio. I'd give this 20 out of 5 if i was allowed.
As a 2/70 radio it knocks spots off of anything I have used before. Receiver is very sensitive but as yet I have had no breakthrough at all and I'm using it on a high base antenna. I can comfortably work repeaters with the 8900 that my 847 doesn't hear at all on the same antenna !
AM Airband recieve is awesome, very loud and better than any of my scanners (including an AR8600 and a VR500).
Critisisms ?
Only one. With 800 memories it would be nice to have selectable scan banks. It's still quite versatile with the right VFO only scanning 2/70 and the skip and PMS features.
This radio is the mutts nuts ! BUY ONE TODAY !
Not associated with Yaesu BTW :)
NE0P Rating: 2003-11-20
Why get anything else?? Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Yaesu really trumped the competition with this one! While everyone else is putting out dual band rigs (Icom, Alinco) or triband rigs at astronomical prices (Kenwood), Yaesu comes out with a quad band rig, with dual receive and crossband repeat, at a very affordable price (obviously since I have one). This rig does it all.

Before you complain that it does 10 meters and 6 meters instead of 222, give those bands a try. 10 meter FM is a blast. I have done crossbanding on 10 meters with my TS2000 and HT, and it is alot of fun. I have worked several states and a couple of countries while biking around town on the HT. 6 meter FM is also alot of fun during band openings, and a great way to get some new grid squares. Sure, I would like the FT8900 to also do 222, 902, and 1296, but then few of us could afford it.

This rig is sure compact, but it also means that you need to read the manual. Many functions are not intuitive from the front panel, but you quickly get the hang of which knobs to push in, which buttons to push, etc.

The hypermemories are great! What a terrific idea. You can save the current setup-frequencies and tones on both sides, etc, and recall it all with the push of a button. However, you have to hold down the hypermemory button for several seconds to get it to save the setup-not the 2 seconds the manual says. This about drove me crazy for awhile until I figured it out.

If I had one more wish, I wish you could change frequencies or memories remotely with a TTP, like you can on the Standard C5900DA. Still looking for one of those rigs. This, however, is the next best thing, unless you can get a TS2000.
N4LI Rating: 2003-11-18
Cute Rig! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
So, I had a full HF/VHF rig in a previous vehicle -- a 100D (crap... but, don't get me started). I found, after a short while, that I really didn't use the HF portion that much. DX in the car isn't the best idea, and I don't ragchew much or check into nets. Further, tuning the radio, etc., was a bit more than I wanted to do in traffic.

The only HF I did do was 10m FM; it's fun and is no more difficult than playing with a 2m rig. So, when the 100D died its early and merciful death, I considered this radio.

Good choice... for me, anyway. It does everything I want MY mobile to do. 2m/440 are easy. 10mFM works pretty well with a properly-tuned HV7A antenna. 50w should be enough. Sure, a 100D or 706 has 100w, but I can deal with the loss of 3db. I am also a big 6m fan, and I have worked a few new grids running FM on the call channel. I just wish I could get that card back from EM70, but again, don't get me going...

The cross-band is very fun, and is easy to use. During a recent bad weather event, I took my little 300mw HT into Wal-Mart, and easily cross-banded through the car to monitor emergency traffic. A few weeks ago, I took the same HT to the park on an outing with the kids and played 10m FM while pushing my daughter on the swing. Just make sure you keep legal with proper IDing, etc.

Again, the right radio for me. All the features I want, without features I don't use. Signal and audio reports are good.

I like it... I like it enough, as a matter of fact, that I own two of them.

Peter, Memphis
K6DNO Rating: 2003-11-15
Good Radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have enjoyed the radio so far and have had little difficulties with it. I have it connected to a Comet UHV-4 which seems to do little for the 6m and 10m sides. I will probably change over to a triband antenna and a separate 10m antenna. The radio is fairly easy to program on the fly but the computer program makes it a snap. Changing settings through the menu can be a bit burdensome. Another issue was when I transmitted on 440 it would open the squelch on the 2m side if the squelch was fairly low. Doesn't do it with the squelch turned up.

I did have one problem with the radio. I have it installed in a Jeep Wrangler. There was no problem while driving around town with the top off, but when I hit the freeway I would get reports that I sounded like I was off frequency. After checking everything out and with the help of some friends found out that I was overdeviating the radio with all the ambient noise, wind and higher talking volume even after changing the settings through the menu. I called Yaesu and they were helpful sending me the instructions to further change the settings. Without the proper electronic equipment though this was impossible. One suggestion was to put a sock on the mike but that was cumbersome and blocked access to the keypad. I wanted a baffle but didn't want to open up the mike. I had an idea and went and purchased a box of bandaids. I took the small round one and placed the gauze over the mike holes. The perferation in the bandage allowed the sound to go through while blocking the wind and reducing background noise. It worked great! I eventually bought the clear bandaids and colored in black with a permanent marker so it is not so obvious. Guess it was just a bandaid fix!

KB9TYC Rating: 2003-11-14
Great Rig Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I bought a new truck and decided to get something to replace my Yaesu FT-8100 dual band rig. I decided on the Yaesu FT-8900 since it would eliminate one radio from the vehicle for 6 meters.

I was pretty amazed at how well the radio was to program using the menu system. I ended up getting the programming software to save time. 800 memory channels is a great time saver when travelling to a new area. I don't have to waste time reprogramming the radio.

I have never heard a bad comment about the quality of my audio. I basically use medium power for repeaters 20 miles away. In the summer I use the Diamond CR627BNMO Tri-Band Antenna. My first contact on 6 meters was simplex to a station in Colorado using 20 watts. Receive has been great and I have not heard any intermod.

My only gripe about this radio is the lack of memory management. I would like to be able to scan certain bands on different sides of the radio. I basically keep one side of the radio on one channel and scan through the rest on the other side. Since I have a commercial radio for public service I scan through the channels pretty quick.

This radio would be a 5/5 if it had some sort of memory management.
N2ECR Rating: 2003-10-13
Finally... Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Had my 8900 since Feb 03, works great SO FAR (sorry, still jaded by the 7100 beta box). I too love all the features of the radio, even the memory issue isn't that bad if you keep your freq's in "virtual" memory...Example, just remember:
0-99 - Ham frequencies
100-199 - Public service Frequencies
and so on. The mike's keypad is direct entry, so all I do is key in 1-0-0 and now i'm in public service and go from there, it's not the best way but it works better than starting at channel 1. Anything under 100 has to be keyed in as 0-X-X and the radio takes you directly there.

This radio seems to working pretty darn good, did someone else make it and Yaesu put thier label on it?

K4MNJ Rating: 2003-10-10
APRS part 2 Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Part 2 of my previous review.

I just spoke to Yaesu technical support. They told me the capability to assign left or right channels on the rig is a mistake in the manual. Apparently it is a misprint in the rig too.

Although friendly, the technician was essentially a waste of time. His advice, talk to the store where I bought the rig.

This makes the rig unusable for my ARES requirements. Yaesu support has lost any future business from me.

Earlier 4-star review posted by K4MNJ on 2003-10-10

I bought this rig in June to use as an APRS transmitter while working the other channel.

I'm impressed with the cross-band repeat, audio, functionality, and simplicity. Until yesterday I would have rated this a 5.

The user manual indicates you can setup packet for Main(selected), Left or Right channel. Today, I've discovered that the packet output only works on the main band. It was embarrassing to discover I was transmitting packets onto my local repeater even though I setup the packet out on the other channel.