Basic walk through on ft891 a great compact but complicated rig

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KG7HVR, Dec 13, 2020.

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  1. KM4RT

    KM4RT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I own one and have it as an HF mobile solution in the truck paired with a Little Tarheel II antenna. The radio functions very well and as others have said, the RX is incredible, especially when paired with the digital Noise Reduction (NR) function. I have a YT video on both the NR function demonstration as well as the voice record / playback functions that I believe are pretty nice. Links below. As others have said, the menus take some getting used to and IMO, the best way to assure your settings stick per each band is to get all the settings as you like them for the band of operation, then save this to a memory channel. Do this for all the amateur bands where you can tune and operate and also for each mode you want to operate. For example, I have a memory channel saved for 40m SSB, 40m CW, and 40m USB-D, all with appropriate names. Then, you can just go to memory mode and scroll to the band and mode where you want to operate and then tune off the stored frequency to wherever you desire to QSY. -- 73.

    FT-891 Voice Record Function:
    FT-891 Dynamic Noise Reduction:
     
    KZ4TN and KG7HVR like this.
  2. SV0SGS

    SV0SGS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have owned an FT-891 for about two and a half years. You can have mine. Granted, it is a compact, relatively light weight 6m and HF radio, but it has many down sides. First, it has no built-in sound card like even the entry level Icom IC-7200 has. If you want to do digital modes you need an audio interface of some kind. Those cables plus the USB cable for rig control are a real mess, even more so when operating portable. The settings for portable on the radio are finicky. You heard of NTSC (never twice the same color) for US color TV? Well, think that about the settings for digital work with the FT-891. There is no way to directly enter a frequency. Yaesu offers no mic with this capability. I have not found one from a third party either. Do you want to mount the radio in your car? Good luck. You need two,maybe three cables running from the base to remote head. One cable connects the base to the head. Another cable connects the mic to the base. There is NO mic jack on the head. Speaker is in base. You need a cable to connect base to remote speaker. There is no touch screen or real time waterfall. The menu is looong. You have to have the operating manual nearby or memorize at least a few menu items. To change output power, you have to delve into the menu. To change filters same thing. Hard to do when you are in the middle of a QSO in the shack let alone working portable. I bought the FT-891 because here in Europe it was about half as expensive as the Icom IC-7100 (in the US they are priced similarly). Mistake. The Icom is heavier, but can be carried for portable work. It has a permanently separated head with ONE cable. Mic and phone jacks are located on head. ONE USB cable controls rig and audio for digital modes. All modes, all bands (UHF/HF/6m/HF). 100w on HF, reasonable output (don't know exact wattage) in VHF/UHF. Also does UHF/VHF SSB. A real "shack in the box."
     
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  3. N1IPU

    N1IPU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have two, One is my mobile rig and the other is portable. Best mobile rig I have run and it takes the abuse of being in a 3/4 ton over potholes for two years now. Receiver is great running through a Diamond sd330 and a remote swr meter for tuning.
    I have never had issue with the menus because I don't drive using a cell phone which means I don't tune going down the road. I stop whenever I need to shift it up or as 6mtr is on a separate antenna I flip a switch and pop the memories.
    If your confused over menus just pick up a 991a. That's the menu monster in comparison.
     
  4. KJ7LVZ

    KJ7LVZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What's the LAP indication on your display?
     
  5. WA9TDQ

    WA9TDQ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    this rig quit on me twice in 2 years - once under warranty. after second breakdown I was done with it. I do not recommend the 891.
     
  6. M0TTQ

    M0TTQ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have had one for 2 years. I don't tend to find I need to dig into the menu much. I have IF Shift and IF Width on the programmable buttons. The spectrum scope is hopeless, so what? All scopes do is show you where the pileups are. The DNR is OK, but I have never heard a DNR I really liked much anyway. The basics of the RX are good enough that I don't really care about the scope or the DNR, it is tight and sensitive. The big annoyance for me, as someone who only operates portable, is the current drain on RX. It's over 1A usually so I begrudge the way it munches away at the battery. Most of the complaints people have about it are basically "it doesn't do X as easily as a rig three times the size with more space for controls". I rarely read a complaint about the RF performance.
     
    G3SEA and KX4UL like this.
  7. WV8JHF

    WV8JHF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have this radio for about a year and it is a great little radio. I find the menus some what painful but after going through them they get a little easier to navigate. When I get the 991A this will go back in my truck for a mobile which I feel it is perfect for radio in the back and the head unit mounted remotely. It is a lot of radio for the price and i don't think a new general could go wrong picking one of these units up new or used. Just my 2 cents
     
    K7GFD and KX4UL like this.
  8. KG5HBX

    KG5HBX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love mine, easy to program and setup, no software necessary.
     
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  9. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have you ever required software to setup an HF rig? (Not counting SDR rigs without external controls)
     
    K9GLS likes this.
  10. KD4QMS

    KD4QMS Ham Member QRZ Page

    As the owner of an FT-891 I noticed something common in most reviews. The reviewer as in this case as well does not take advantage of the programmable buttons. After taking a little extra time while parked and setting the programmable buttons the FT-891 is easy and intuitive ( because the operator has designed the interface). I find the DNR useless as commented above however the adjustable band pass and notch filters along with the noise blanker make this rig a functioning mobile rig. If you forget where something is, a long press of the left most button gives a long list to scroll through (while parked). After using this transceiver for a year mobile I find that I can perform most actions without looking at the rig.
     
    K7GFD and KX4UL like this.
  11. WM5TS

    WM5TS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just bought this rig about a month ago and so far so good. Waiting on the Nifty manual to come from Santa. LOL Menu layout is not an issue so far. I'm accustomed to programming 90's era PBX systems so menus are not a big deal.
     
    KX4UL likes this.
  12. K9GLS

    K9GLS Guest

    According to the downloadable manual is for connecting the Linear Amplifier. Amazing what you can learn downloading manuals beforehand. You can see if a rig really would be a good fit or not. I wouldn't buy this if it were the last 100w portable on the market. Oh wait...it is, I digress.
     
    DL3DCT and KG7HVR like this.
  13. NQ6M

    NQ6M Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I absolutely love his little radio. My go-to portable rig. Take this rig with a 5lb LiFePO4 20AH battery and operate @ 100 w as long as I've ever wanted to.
    The menus are easy to master, and once you take the time to learn how to use the the DSP and the RF gain knob TOGETHER.... and with all the filtering options you'll see
    that the receiver in this little rig is AMAZING. Kicks the sh_t out of other radios I have that cost much more, I don't care what the Sherwood specs say!
    I've never had as much fun with another radio as I have with this one. Replaced my 857D for portable, have not missed it at all!
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
    K7GFD, DL3DCT, K4FMH and 2 others like this.
  14. KX4UL

    KX4UL Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree with you 100%. I love my FT-891. After familiarizing myself with the menus I find it a joy to operate. The menus are not that hard to follow. Maybe it’s because I am a fan of Yaesu radios and own and have owned several of their radios is why I have no trouble with the menus. I have also owned Kenwood and ICOM radios as well. Including the IC-7300. Enough whining about the menus already!
     
  15. KX4UL

    KX4UL Subscriber QRZ Page

    Very well said! I have had more fun with my FT-891 than any other radio I have ever owned in 28 years! One simply has to take the time to familiarize themselves with the menus. They are actually laid out in a logical manner. And also how to use the filtering. I can get exactly what I need from the filtering on this rig. I will not sell mine. In fact I almost bought a second to use as a base. These little FT-891 radios pack a lot of bang for the buck!
     
    KF7DS likes this.

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