Comparisons Please: FT-857 vs. FT-891

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by N4MU, Jul 1, 2019.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-2
ad: Subscribe
ad: Left-3
ad: L-MFJ
ad: MessiPaoloni-1
ad: K5AB-Elect-1
  1. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Okay...here goes: I am considering one of the above radios primarily to use in my F-350 Diesel pickup...and probably some portable as well. The addition of V & U on the 857 notwithstanding (I already have a dual bander installed but could be removed) I am trying to get reports on one versus the other from actual users. The flood gates are open...have at it! Thanks.
     
  2. G1EYO

    G1EYO QRZ Member

    OK, first of all, I have never owned an 857 but I have used one very briefly. I was in your shoes a couple of years back in wanting a HF set for mobile use. I was also unconcerned about lack of V & UHF having a seperate dual band radio for that and saw an advantage in two sets. No doubt you’ve seen reports on both radios which abound on the internet which give almost universal acclaim for the receiver on the 891. I watched a comparison at a local rally were a fairly weak QSO was monitored with both sets in turn on the same antenna and it appeared the 891 could be tweaked for better clarity. The intensively menu based operation of the 891 has come in for some criticism but it doesn’t concern me that much. Many modern compact radios are like this. The display on the 891 is way better than the 857. The 857 had a recent revision with the D but, lets be fair, the 891 is a much newer design from the chassis up so, on that basis, should be a better a HF radio.
    So, the two things that swung it for me personally were a superior receiver and bigger, clearer display. Mine is over two years old now and I have had no issues at all. I upgraded the firmware some time ago which was glitch free. Ideally someone who owns both will post up.
     
  3. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    EYO: Thank you for your comments. Problem is, I agree with your last paragraph 100% but probably am now settling on the 857 anyway...probably...
    The deal with the "boss" is to get the radio but sell the two v/u ones I have now. I don't use 2M or 440 much (hardly at all) but for some reason can't seem to be able to give them up (warm fuzzy syndrome). I have a little time until the Huntsville, AL hamfest in August so I'll continue to obsess about which one. I sure wish I could disagree with you. OTOH...the 857 does have some other nice features...colors, wide band receive, remote mic, etc. Aghhhh....
     
  4. G1EYO

    G1EYO QRZ Member

    Yes, each have their pro's and con's for sure. The prospect of a new radio is always a nice place to be! Good luck with whatever choice you make and enjoy!
     
  5. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Allow me to be a devils advocate for a moment.

    NO ONE! Makes a state-of-the-art mobile. In fact, most of the designs date back to the early 2000s, and a few back to the mid 1980s! Yes, they have been updated to use currently-available solid-state devices, but the basic structure is still the same.

    Part of the issue is the price you pay. Ask yourself this; Would you pay upwards of $2,000 for an all-band, all-mode, mobile transceiver? Few would answer yes. Yet, that is the lower end of what is now the state-of-the-art! Oh! But that is not all!

    Anyone can operate mobile, with the simplest of installations. Even a lowly Kenwood TS50 (mid 1970's design), and a hamstick will give you lots of contacts, even DX ones. As long as, that is, you don't mind the band being closed most of the time to such a low-level mobile performance. Now if you want the best money can buy, you're going to need to spend the BIG bucks to get there! That might mean replacing your vehicle with an expensive, long-bed pickup, instead of adapting your wife's minivan! (You can read a lot into this obviously.) The truth is, not many will hike up the money trail to get there.

    So, where are you?
     
  6. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Alan. Thanks for insights. I'm in Florida. (just kidding)
    Well, I agree with your opinions. I'm not looking for contest type work while mobile. Just want to listen and casual qso's. I used to have a TS-50 mobile...was a nice rig in the day...still is actually. And I also agree that technology has made things look better but hasn't really made huge strides...well, some small steps to be sure but mostly operational. I already have a behemoth truck so that's covered (F-350 diesel but alas only 6 1/2 foot bed). I've used it with a Tarheel (stationary only) and it worked quite well. I'm surprised that you don't recall our many emails regarding that...I bugged you several times. Also, my wife doesn't have a minivan...LOL. If she did you can't imagine how difficult it would be to put any antenna on it. And she's licensed too (inactive). No...just looking for some fun...NOTHING too serious. I just like to tweek things and see what happens...oh...I also obsess about things way too much. So.that's my story. So you're saying that if I call HRO/ATL and insist that I pay full MSRP I will get better results? I'm sure Mark would gladly take me up on that one. On second thought, I'll play the stereotypical...no, typical ham and try to buy it for the least possible price...Mark will be expecting that! I'll keep you posted...BTW, I am really leaning, actually almost falling, towards the FT-857...with it's 20+ year old technology. Sigh...
     
  7. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I remember, but the subject had alluded me.

    My reference was to those who buy their favorite vehicle, with little or no thought about where and how they'd mount an antenna or their transceiver. Vans, SUVs, and crossovers all have antenna mounting issues, and seemingly, all you can buy now as those three! In a year or two, Ford's only "sedan" will be the Mustang. They're not alone, as all of the major vehicle manufacturers are going where the money is, and it is not family-oriented sedans! Add in the myriad of electronics, and going mobile these days is not for the light hearted, or the leery! The only saving grace is, the alternators are getting really powerful!
     
  8. G1EYO

    G1EYO QRZ Member

    As far as mobile opps goes I’m fortunate in having a vehicle that lends itself quite nicely. 21 year old Landcruiser so virtually zero onboard electronics. It’s a diesel so no ignition problems. It has a large flat roof area for antenna mounts. It also has factory fitted, steel, well grounded roof bars which provide extra mounting points and work well with the V/UHF dual band antenna. 2 x 90AH batteries as standard plus a third 75AH in the back fed via a split charge relay so no shortage of of operating power. No plans to change it for a hybrid either.:)
     
  9. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first mobile was with a Heath-Kit 75 meter single bander...don't recall the number...HT...something (75?). It was, by today's standards, HUGE. It went right under the dash...with the also huge mounting bracket, and we still had room to maneuver around the front seat. That reminded me of a long forgotten story...hope you don't mind my digressing:
    The dash was also steel. No plastic or padding in those days. I had a very small FSM that had a magnet mount on the bottom always up there.
    One [uneventful] day I was cruising with the "chick du jour" and she says, "What's that thing?"
    I told her it was my sexometer. She looked more than a bit surprised and doubtful. I told her, "Watch...come sit next to me." Which she did (remember those huge bench seats)? and as soon as she got close I keyed the transceiver. There was a quarter scale reading...Her eyes were popping! I said, "Watch this"...And I put my arm around her. Wow! That was worth about half scale! On the third round of astonishment I put my had on her leg...BINGO! Three quarter scale! Well, of course that was the end of it and the end of her as I recall. Who says ham radio can't be fun?
    PS. I never got a full scale reading as I recall. LOL
     
  10. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes sir-ee! I was once asked about the old HyGain 6M halo mounted on the rear bumper. I said, it was my angel's halo, and it was so big, it wouldn't fit into the car! That idea worked too!
     

Share This Page