Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KG7HVR, Dec 13, 2020.
The FT-891 absolutely SHINES when it comes to CW. I can make that receiver sing with the DSP/Filters/Peaking/RFgain on weak CW sigs. If that radio only did CW I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
It's my favorite CW rig of all of mine, especially portable.
Your comment that it might not be needed - to reset something or select another item on the display... going down the road is a good warning. The FT817/818 though one of the best rigs I ever owned, was an ornery cuss on the road. Several years ago I set it up to handle all the VHF/UHF repeaters between Iowa and Xenia while traveling to Hamvention. It was good as a scanner, but if you wanted to use anything different than how it was set when you began driving, at least I... had to pull over, stand on one foot, hold my finger in my right ear and gargle peanut butter to change something.... well... slight exaggeration but it sure seemed that way.... next time I think I'll find another Atlas 210X to use on the road for HF and something from the 80s for VHF/UHF... with no menus!
I'm the happy owner of a 891 for about one month. My previous radio was an Alinco DX70, which I loved and would have kept using if it was not for severe limitations in CW mode : the filters on the Alinco are all too wide , without an easy possibility to install something narrower. So I went ahead and bought a 891, and I really am glad I did.
Coming from the Alinco dx70, the menu is about the same style, with more pages but extra programmable buttons so I am just comfortable with this.
The receiver is clearly much more sensitive on the 891, and the selectivity is better, too.
The CW section is night and day. I can now easily isolate and decode a faint station in a crowded 40 meters afternoon, which was not possible with the Alinco. The filters are really sharp and narrow, even down to 50 Hz.
The various noise reduction options are clearly a big step ahead too, would it only be for the RF gain, which on the DX70 is only a 4 positions attenuator/amp button. I really appreciate the various possibilities to play with bandwidth size, and rx/tx equalization.
Going digital is a breeze with a simple ps2 cable and a dollar usb soundcard.
What I am not impressed with , are the Digital Noise Removal, with indeed does the job of removing static, but to the price of a weird bathroom effect on the voices, and the waterfall, which is not really usable in my opinion.
What I was disapointed with , was the audio hiss and clicks when using a headphone, but after reading some various forums on the subjet, I understood that it comes from the signal being much too strong on the left headphone jack. It turns out that using a simple inline volume control between the radio and my ( higly sensitive, low impedance ) headphones, the problem disappears, and I can really enjoy the great quality of the receiver and audio. Listening to AM broadcasts is a real pleasure on the 891 that way. No more hiss, no more clicking sounds.
You can find a similar inline volume knob on various online markets, just search for "Inline Volume Control for 3.5MM Headphones" - I got mine for about 4 € delivered :