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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
VE2DTZ Rating: 2007-02-18
unreliable Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Having bought my ft-8900r in march 2004,that radio has been in the shop(at the local authorised dealer)for repair 4 times!The last of those 4 instances I have sent it direct to Yaesu California. Now it is march 2007 and that radio is back in the shop in california where I am told I will cost me 355$ (can) to have it fixed. I have never been so disappointed in a new product in all my life , and i'm retired!! Yaesu really put out a lemon with this one. I'm not having that radio fixed. it's a money pitt.
KG8Q Rating: 2007-02-07
Decent overall/Sometimes disappointing Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I won't go into a long dialog on this rig but my summary pretty much says it all . When I first got it I had to reset the processor a number of times because the radio would just lock up . That can be a pain especially when you are on vacation and don't have all the freqs/tones/offsets with you .It hasen't "messed " up lately but I'm sure it's not cured .To it's credit , it's so nice to have 6m and 10m and to be able to cross band to them with a handheld in the inlaws house !! So as I said , it's nice overall but it's not without it's glitches .
W4VD Rating: 2007-01-02
Makes mobile more fun Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Well I thought I would add an update to my previous post as I am now well into 5 years of operating this fine radio, strictly mobile. I was surprised to see out of 113 reviews only a 4.3 average! I cannot see why anyone could give this radio a low rating unless they simply got a lemon. And that happens with all brands. One thing I have noticed about the 8900R is that you don't see many of them on the used market, I check all the major the ads daily and it's one of the rigs you don't see very often, usually that's a good sign. I started to sell mine to help with the finances for a new HF rig last year and I was swamped with people wanting it. I backed out at the last moment, I couldn't bear to part with it. I knew I would end up buying another one.

I simply love this radio, I don't know where to begin, the cross band repeat was the main reason I got it, I was looking for a dual bander to CBR to friends on 2 meters and found with this one it was cheaper to go with 4 bands than some of the others brands 2 banders. I guess the fact I paid about 75 bucks less than they are now going for makes me more than a little happy. That's a first for me. But it's well worth the current asking price of $439. And I would most certainly buy another, in fact it's way down on my wish list as I need a lot of other things (like an Alpha and a SteppIR), but one of these days I WILL get one for the shack, Super receiver, as good on 2m and 70cm as any single or dual-bander I have owned. The true dual receive works fantastic, basically it's 2 radios in one, the 10 and 6 meter bands work great! Instead of being stuck with CBR on 2 and 440, I can cross band on 6 and 10, I have worked DX on more than one occasion on 10 meters with my little handheld even at the bottom of the cycle. This rig will REALLY be a blast when the cycle comes around. The low orbit FM birds are a great fun, my record is 6 QSOs in one pass on UO-14 mobile. There is so much you can do with this radio, it would take all day to go over it here.

The extended range receiver is great along with 800 memories, it's a lot fun to listen to public service on one side and have a QSO on one of 4 bands on the other. 2 complete sets of controls make operation a breeze. Like one poster said, it does make mobling more fun, there is ALWAYS something to do, whether listening to the cops running down a bad guy while talking about the latests DX-pedition to a buddy on 2, or working E-Skip on 10. There always something to do, and most times 2 things to do being able to listen to 2 bands at once. Scanning on both if you wish, your chances are doubled at finding something. If you can't find something on this radio, you're in trouble :-) There are 4 programmable function keys on the mic that allow you to pretty much run the rig from the mic, all you need on the radio is the vol and the sqlch.

Unless you are getting the separation kit as a free bonus, save your money. A standard 6 cond tel cable is all you need, I built mine and it's never failed me, I put heavy duty velcro on the top and botton of the head and it's neatly and firmly mounted in the coin tray in my dash, looks factory installed with the body neatly tucked away out of sight. I have used this installation for years with no trouble. Speaking of the body, it is TINY, I showed it to a fellow in the commercial radio business and he was amazed that they were able to put a duplexer in that small of a package, In my researching for a rig to cross band repeat, I had heard many folks talk about how hot their rigs got when in the CBR mode. This one is the exeption, I have checked the case after long periods of CBR operation (over 45 min) and it isn't even warm to the touch. Yaesu does a wonderful job of cooling. This has been without a doubt one of the most reliable pieces of gear I have ever owned. I can always depend on it. I don't have the PC cable, I have never had to reset the CPU. It just pumps out the power, I run hi power mostly on 10 and 6 and it just keeps on going. The power is nicely divided into 4 levels from 5w to 50 on all bands except 35w max on 70 cm.

If I had to complain about anything I would have preferred the mic connector be on the left side of the radio, until I tucked the cable underneath a slide-out drawer beneath the head there was a slight tendancy for the mic cable to move the right side vol control everytime I grabbed the mic. I use mine daily and I have never had any problems at all with the mic. I use the rig to control the W4VD-R echolink node and the buttons have gotten quite a workout over the years and she is still ticking like a Timex.

Bottom line is that I wish all the radios I have owned were as versatile and reliable as this one. And again remember this is over years of heavy duty mobile operation. The antenna I use is the Diamond HV7A, and I noticed that antenna had a lot of negatives reviews, but mine is as solid as this radio. Usually fold it over once a day to get thru someone's drive thru, I have hit my share of trees and it keeps going. I would highly recommend it for this radio.

I would hate to see someone pass up this radio based on a few bad experiences. I just don't see how someone with a working unit could not help but love this rig as much as I do.

Any questions feel free to contact me,

Bill W4VD

Earlier 5-star review posted by W4VD on 2003-03-24

The previous review hit the nail on the head. The narrow 10 meter FM is mainly noticable on repeaters and I get great reports on simplex. I mostly crossband repeat to 10FM via my 446 handheld at the office. I like the previous reviewer am barely scratching the surface of this great radio. It is the untimate FM radio and at 369 on sale till the end of March, it is extremely reasonably priced as well.

There is a hidden menu and you can up the deviation from 2 to 2.8, not a lot, but you do have that option, this is pasted yext but it too worked fine on mine,
Just do the following:

switch off the rig

switch it on again, holding the LEFT v/m and the (RIGHT) hyper memory (6) buttons. Release the buttons.

the display now shows "F1 SETMOD RESET"

sequentially push the following buttons: (one after the other) LEFT "low , v/m, hm, scn", then RIGHT "low, v/m, hm, scn" (8 keys in total.!)

the display now shows "A0 menu".

Push RIGHT dial button ca. 2 sec. and release ---> A1 menu is displayed.

Repeat this procedure until A4 menu is displayed.

A4 is the 10m. deviation menu.!

Turn RIGHT dial button untill DEV.3FH is on display, this is the max. adjustable deviation, ca. 2.8 Khz peak.

Turn rig off.... and turn it on again...THAT'S IT.!

Good luck with the mod..! (works perfectly with my FT-8900R) But remember, you do it on your own risk..


I found in a couple of places where he says turn right knob, it was the left, if the dial doesn't change the setting just turn the other one, piece of cake.
KD5ZZK Rating: 2006-11-15
4.5 out of 5 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this rig second hand because I couldn't afford it brand new FT-8900 at the time. I am really satisfied with it. The only reason I don't rate it a 5 is two things. I wish the lower buttons were back lit like the FT-7800. I do alot of driving at night. However, many of these functions can put on the P1, P2, P3, and P4 programmable buttons on the mic. Second is the lack of extended RX coverage. I wish it could RX 30-49.99 mHz VHF Low and WFM 191.75 mHz television.
K5THR Rating: 2006-11-02
Great Quad-Bander! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I owned this rig for around a year before I traded it off going towards a FT-857D, I definantly miss this rig, and would greatly recommend if you are in need for all 4 bands. It's only missing SSB. If you are not in need of 6 or 10 meters, then I would recommend the FT-8800R.
KI4LFG Rating: 2006-07-17
Nice Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is my first rig as a tech, I mounted it on a piece of plywood with the bracket reversed. It has worked flawlessly since I bought it.


Quad Band (10m 6m 2m and 70cm)
2 VFO's allowing the monitoring of 2 bands at once
Tons of memory
Problem free
Mostly metal outside, very rugged
Nice 50 watts of power


Only 1 antenna jack
FM only (ssb would of been nice)
Slightly on the expensive side

Overall I liked this rig but would of prefered a rig with ssb and a spare antennas jack for 2m/70cm and 10m / 6m.
PA3CUU Rating: 2006-07-01
verry happy with it Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
y am verry happy with it, and use it every day.
y am looking for the layout of the memory progamming cable,can anyone help here?
thanks ,
TIMOTHIUS Rating: 2006-06-27
Has memory issues Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This is a nice radio, but it is not what it is cracked up to be! If you try to access memories abouve 256 via the mic buttons it will fail and bring you back to memory 0. This has been well documented. It seems that someone at Yaesu failed to program the thing right. The 8900R also has no bank or memory management. Even my VX5R has that! What happened here Yaesu?? The 8900's Hyper memories (6 of em) help a little in this area but there is virtually no memory management. The radio is a functional tranceiver and performs it's radio functions well. If you need to be able to access memories higher than 256 or need to separate your memories into banks, this is probably not the radio for you. There are discussion groups on the web about this radio and I suggest that you read them for awhile prior to purchase. It ain't what it appears to be!!
M0PZT Rating: 2006-06-04
Very happy, a great perfomer Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I live in quite a nasty intermod (153MHz pager) area for 2m - Most "black box" radios cannot cope with these signals - until I plugged the FT-8900R into my co-linear... Not a peep of pager noise. When I got it, I started setting-up some memories - But remembered the G4HFQ programming software, so payed my money - and 30mins later, I had 30 presets all stored and working.

The dual-VFOs are very handy, as are the 6 hypermemory buttons. Operation is a breeze - although the volume knobs are a bit sensitive near the bottom end.

The only niggle I have with the unit, is that you cannot leave the squelch open in CTCSS Dec mode when using the 6pin miniDIN DATA connector - ie: you can't run eQSO/EchoLink open-squelch (as it sends the squelch pin "high") - But not a major turn-off for most.

Overall, this radio performs great as a base unit - I have the head mounted on the wall in-between my TFT screens, and the body under the desk next to the PSU. The fan on the radio itself - Amazingly quiet, yet keeps the radio fairly cool. In contrast to the fan on my IC-207, this is a whisper. The mic connector is also head-mounted, which is a bonus.
YB0IR Rating: 2006-04-07
Poor MIc Cables Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have FT8900 & FT7800 for my cars as well as Icom 2710 & 208H & Kenwood radios. I found that both YAESU Mic Cables cracks easily because of bad quality compare to Icom & Kenwood. Compare to ICOM & Kenwood I never had this kind experience. Icom HM 133 Mic is the best so far. I could change the Mic cable without throwing the microphone to trash. For your info that Some Asian countries very high in Humidity. So Please do start to solve this problem seriously. De Rezky , YBØIR