FT-857D VS FT-897D

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KI6HNB, Feb 23, 2007.

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  1. KI6HNB

    KI6HNB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is the 897 really worth $120 more for Jeep mobile/base station use?

    I have read that the radios themselves are really the same. Its the portability of the 897 that is the only real difference. Is this true? It would be my first HF rig and would be used in my Jeep and in my apartment.
  2. KI4MYD

    KI4MYD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The two radios are about the same... it's almost up to what you're looking to do with them that will be the deciding factor. I do think I read somewhere that the 857 has a little bit better receive than the 897, but not sure about that.

    If you're going to use the radio for mostly mobile use, I'd go with the 857 as it's MUCH smaller. But if you're going to do more base and portable operation, the 897 is a plus. It's a pretty rugged radio too. Also, the 897 has the option of running the internal batteries or power supply, so if you think you might want that, that's a plus.

    All in all, it's just what you'll use it for most. If you do mostly mobile I'd definitely go with the 857.
  3. KC1EMS

    KC1EMS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the 897, and I think that it was a better choice because of the versitility.  I use mine for both my base and as a mobile.  With the internal batteries I can use it for emcomm as well.
  4. KA5PIU

    KA5PIU Guest


    The internal board of the 857 and 897 are the same.
    I have the 897 and have made a mod to the board that now allows the front board to be disconnected for testing.
    I than connected the front face of a 857, as expected, perfect match.
    The trick was to ID the address range to allow a 897 to use the virtual face of the 857.
    Now that this is done, emulation works on the 817, 857 and 897, no mods to the radio.
    The firmware is very close across the board.
    And, the FT-897 tends to stay a bit cooler in operation, but a bit of metal bolted on always helps.
    So, just depends on what you want.
    The FT-857 can not operate for very long at full power.
  5. KI6HNB

    KI6HNB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well I cheaped out and just bought a b-34-g amp for the HT.

    I think I'm going to just save my money for a 746 or 756 instead of running HF in the car for now.
  6. KC4YLV

    KC4YLV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Probably a good move, to be honest. Good mobile HF installations can quickly top $500+ expenses, not counting the radio, after you get a good antenna, grounding, power cabling, a matching system, etc. etc. The incidentals can really nickel-and-dime you into the ground (But you're a Jeep guy, so you're probably already familiar with this concept [​IMG] )
  7. K4UUG

    K4UUG Ham Member QRZ Page

    They are about the same radio but one can run on ac power with the optional power supply or portable with battery packs.I have two 857d radios with the tcxo and the ssb filters.One is my home station the other is my mobile station with Atas 120 for 40m thru 6m hard mounted on the rear bed rail over the rear tail light assy.this allows for easy access to the mount and running coax to the radio of my full size Chevy Pickup the 2m 70 cm SG 7900 Diamond Antenna is on a KC 400 mount on the rear door lip this works well for those fringe area repeaters.I remote mounted the 857D to the rear of the cab under the back seat and grounded the mount with grounding strap connecting it to the rear of the cab.I used the panavice flex mount for my control head mount.I then connected several grounds for the antennas going from the body to the frame from the body to the bed from the bed to the frame, from the tail pipe to the frame from the hard mount above the tail light to the bed itself.No Noise no problems works good I get good reports .73 You will love that 857D. its a good rig for the money its a Best Buy. [​IMG] 73 !
  8. K4UUG

    K4UUG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Get the 857 D for the Jeep mobile and the 897d for the base station use.

    857d $629.00

    897d $799.00

    total $1,428.00

    You could get a Kenwood TS 2000
    for about that much.But you have two radios that sound just as good.
  9. AB1FV

    AB1FV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the FT- 897D.

    I have not bought the batteries for it yet.
    But it's nice to have that option of using it via Field Day, or if an emergency occurs.
    That's the Pros for the battery option.
    The Cons are that the batteries are not cheap, wattage ouput is around 20W, and you also have to buy the optional charger to charge the batteries. Just having it connected to an AC or DC power source will NOT charge the batteries.

    A removable control head would have been nice to have, but I can live without that option.

    I like the rugged design. And the handle to carry it helps also.

    My 2c
  10. KI6HNB

    KI6HNB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well I finally bought an HF rig. IC7000. Now I just need a decent HF antenna. The Diamond 627 is only good from 50.000.00 up to about 51.200.00 before the SWR gets out of hand. I have a friend who is going to loan me their AH4 so I can put up a long wire for now. I guess I'll see how that works out. I was also looking at the MFJ 971 or 904H. What do you guys think?
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