|Well, almost a year ago I made my review, and had to do a little update. I must say that my FT-8900 is probably close to 6 years old now, and still would not get rid of this rig for anything.|
I recently upgraded my vehicle..from a 2009 Ford Ranger nice truck..not much room. To a 2011 Toyota Tundra double cab, 4X4, with lots of room for rigs, speakers, etc. So..what to mount? First off with the help of friends in our local radio club, we first installed my Kenwood TS-480HX, with the Turbo Tuner, and my GAP Hear It speaker. So much for HF, I needed something for VHF/UHF, didn't have a dual band rig..having traded my last one for a 9 mm pistol.
I still have a couple of 2 meter rigs..with out remote capabilities. How about my FT-8900...yea would be doubling up on 10/6 meters, but the TS-480 does both, but my Tar Heel antenna is only capable to 10 meters, no 6 meters unless I go for a shorter whip..but then would sacrifice performance on the lower bands. So the FT-8900 wins, have the remote kit, the Diamond HV-7A antenna, which covers 10-70cms. Had bit of difficulty finding a spot to mount the control head, but finally figured out the best position and we got the rig mounted.
True, the control head could be laid out a bit differently, maybe widen the entire radio, give it a bit more body to the rig so to speak. My only nit if I had to pick would be to have the buttons back lit, that would be a nice feature. Other wise, I have had no issues in turning the knobs, pushing the buttons,etc. I do like the cross band feature, especially during the hurricanes we had roll through our area causing wide spread destruction. I could set the FT-8900 up with my HT and I could talk with our EOC while in a meeting with the shelter manager and staff of the shelter, or hospital administrators.
I am eventually going to get another dual band to install in my Tundra, I like the fact that I do have it all, its fun to work the local 6 meter repeater, the 10 meter repeaters when 10 is open is a blast, but I can use the TS-480's features for 10 meters..I'll just have to do with out 6 meters for the time being. I use the FT-8900 for our local ARES group, so I really need my 8900 back as base. For the time being I'm having a ball with my FT-8900 mobile again.
73 de Mark
Earlier 5-star review posted by AI4HO on 2010-12-15
Its been a while since my last review, more than 2 years. I was AI4HO then, my FT-8900R is STILL chuggin right along. Since my last review, it has been mobile, back to a base unit, back mobile and now back in the house. If there is any one aspect to this radio that is a factor when one purchases one of these great little radios, is reliability, that and durability. I have had this radio going on 5 years now, well OK 4 and a half, you get my point. I hope to have this rig at least another 4 and a half 5 years, the way its going I have no doubt it will,
I have seen a lot of trash talk about how the manufacturer wouldn't do this or that, or the vendor where I bought it wont let me do whatever. I don't think that is a valid reason to give the radio itself a 0, or a 1, or 2, this review is about the radio, not the company. If you want to complain about a vendor or manufacturer, do it on that forum, not on these pages.
Yes, I will admit that Yaesu has had there problems with this radio, what manufacturer hasn't, you're gonna get bad runs of this or any rig out there made in the last 10-12 years...nature of the beast. My only frame of reference is my own personal experience with this radio. So far that experience has been excellent,with the use and abuse I've piled onto this radio over the last 2 years, I'm surprised I haven't hd something fail on it.
Tis true that this rig can be a little persnickity when entering frequencies into memory, especially the 6 meter band. Bt if you read in the manual, it tells you exactly how to do it, recieved freq. in memory channel, your xmit freq in the same memory channel, but, before you try and put one freq over top another, press and hold the PTT button, then you can finalize entering the one with the other, make sure to have your off sets and tones in before hand...that's it. As far as the main body not being lit......yea well, ya got me there, wouldn't mind seeing that myself, however, the microphone is lit. I did most of my changes via the mic. still do for a good majority of things. Once you learn which button does what on the mic and it doesn't tke long to learn it, if you want to.
I don't care what the critics say, I've had my FT-8900 through the mud and the blood and it still keeps transmitting, buttons are getting a bit worn, probably wouldn't hurt to have it sent in, gone over, any little thing taken care of before it goes, but, with being disabled, and on a fixed income, its one of those things that until it happens, it'll just have to wait. I'm savin my jack now so I can have my TT Jupiter looked at by my good friend Lee at Technical Specialist over in Tampa, thats priority #1, then, maybe, I'll see if maybe he can take a look see at my 8900. I doubt that any thing is seriously wrong as once it came home to roost, I have taken excellent care, to make sure nothing doe go wrong.
But all it takes is a bad IC, or a diode blows, any one of a hundred things and poof, its now a paper weight. No sir, the FT-8900 gets a 5 in my book any day and everyday, with that, I'll say Merry Christmas to all, I truly hope you all have a great Christmas, may your New Year see you with better band conditions, and you work all the DX you can handle.
73 de Mark