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. W8IJC

    W8IJC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Personally, I pretty much agree with the review, except that the menus are not that bad. I have an 891 as my 1st HF radio, and once you have it for a few weeks, the menus are easy to get used too. I don't usually play around with the DSP or notch filer without a PC connection, but it is doable. For a mobile/portable radio, for the price, weight and size, plus the 100w output, it's a very hard radio to beat. I've certainly pulled off some decent DX with the DNR, and the TCSH (Triple Conversion, Super Heterodyne) receiver is about as good as you can get without being an SDR. Though I might be biased, the 891 will always hold a special place in my heart, despite its' flaws and quirks. Also a very good radio for digital, though keep it under 40w without additional airflow and the head unit removed. It can get quite toasty, though saying that, I did push it to 70w on FT8 once, it shrugged it off like a champ! Certainly a great starter radio, to keep around for portable once you decide to upgrade, and it'll be there when your fancy SDR radio is giving you issues.
  2. WL7PM

    WL7PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    FT-891 uses (two) Mitsubishi RD100HHF1 final output MOSFET
  3. VK5KKS

    VK5KKS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I want to return to the days of the FT7 and similar radios.
  4. KE0LXT

    KE0LXT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use my 891 for portable operations. I use it for Field Day, Winter Field Day, Summits on the Air. I like the receive on it. I also like the 100 watts in a smaller radio.

    I do not lick the menus. That is a “Yaesu thing.” I have toyed with adding a bracket to the mount in in the pickup for HF mobile operations. However, it is something I have delved into. They way I use it, it works well.
  5. VA6TD

    VA6TD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I really like mine. Works well, I don't have any issue navigating menus. I have it set up as mobile with an ATAS 120. No amp. Always have good signal reports
  6. DL7ISA

    DL7ISA Ham Member QRZ Page

    i have a noise level of S8 on 80m, a sough throughout the whole band, that sound like in FM mode when there is no signal and nothing to receive, i think thats called white noise. how about the DNR and NB etc. in the FT891, would it be able to take that sough away? not that i buy a new 891 and then the sough stays, thats why i ask before buying. best would be of course if the DSP in the 891 can take the sough away that much, that signals come out from under the noise and become intelligible, can the 891 do that and how much dB does it do that (without disturbing the desired signal to much) ?
  7. N5HXR

    N5HXR Ham Member QRZ Page

    So... yes, if you have static coming in on the FT891 and turn on DNR, it will reduce the apparent static that you hear. And if there's a signal somewhere in the noise, it will improve, but it's not magic. If the noise overwhelms the signal, the DNR can only do so much.

    With the implementation in the FT891 specifically, there is a lot of difference between the settings, and usually one setting will work much better than another. If I were to tune around the band with DNR turned on, I would miss signals that would be heard on either a different setting or with DNR off. So the way I've used it, anyway, is to turn it on if I find a signal with DNR off that is hard to hear, and hope that one of the DNR algorithm settings will improve the copy.

    It does work, but it's not a silver bullet that can turn your S8 noise into S4 noise or something like that...
  8. K9TDW

    K9TDW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The NB and DNR in the FT891 are incredible at getting the noise levels down. I would also suggest getting the Timewave ANC-4 to pair with the FT891. With the IPO and DNR engaged and with the ANC-4 adjusted to null the noise, I easily go from S7 noise down to S1 to S0 and the signals I could not even hear before pop out and are easily heard. Even without the ANC-4, the DNR and IPO will knock the noise down by 2 "S" units and will make a lot of signals easily heard.
  9. KK5LX

    KK5LX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have had the 891 mounted inside my work vehicle since March 2020. It receives exceptionally well for a $600.00 rig, and I usually get good audio reports with the stock microphone and 100 watts. Worked 70 plus countries mobile paired with a properly bonded vehicle/ homebrew antenna.
  10. N7KO

    N7KO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Of all my radios I have I like the 891 best as far as a portable rig with easy menus , unlike the 897 which I have but since buying the 891 the 897 is setting on the desk. I like the 891 for a portable HF rig, I do not care about VHF, UHF or phone, strictly CW mode HF, heck I have never plugged in the Mic on the 891. Same with my Kenwood TS 590, very happy with it and it also has a very good easy menu system and the most used functions are on the dash board with a quick easy push of the button. Same thing with this radio, I have never used the phone mode, CW only.

    I am just a novas when it comes to CW but I think most CW op's would agree, once you spend the time and effort to learn morse code and using CW mode it gets in your blood and makes all other modes obsolete.

    Sorry I got off subject.
  11. DL7ISA

    DL7ISA Ham Member QRZ Page

  12. NQ6M

    NQ6M Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    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.
  13. KK0DJ

    KK0DJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    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!
  14. F4INS

    F4INS Ham Member QRZ Page

    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 :
    N5HXR likes this.
  15. KN4RHC

    KN4RHC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What controller are you using to interface tarheel and ft891?

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