FT-891: is it that bad?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WB2WIK, May 22, 2017.

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  1. WL7PM

    WL7PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My FT 891 gets very positive audio quality reports on SSB.
    I run mic gain at 25% with stock mic.
    I've had fancy-radio ops tell me received the signal looked good on their 'scopes....
  2. EI3IBB

    EI3IBB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah it may have been fixed with later versions + firmware, I am on the current firmware which is different to the original, I know because I updated it myself. I didn't take note of the waterfall on the hack green before hand sadly but I think it was excessive mic gain that was the issue but it's certainly not an issue for me.
  3. N2WJW

    N2WJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've had my FT-891 for a few days but I've spent sometime with it (who doesn't have time these days) Purchased it new from HRO.
    I am 99.9% cw op so based on that and having owned dozens of rigs over the years, in my opinion it is a good cw machine, I have not taken the mic out of the box yet. The filtering options for cw are great, I can dig out weak qrp signals from the muck, very good receiver overall. Transmitting on cw, the relays are not as noisy as many other rigs I've owned (not counting TT rigs) and the fact that I dont use full qsk, it is not a problem for me.
    For casual SWL, it blows away a lot of shortwave receivers I have owned, AM reception is crisp and clear and even with the filtering not being very wide Im able to separate stations 5khz apart, as long as they aren't mega kilowatt stations, SSB as well.
    It has taken me sometime to figure out some of the intense menu driven features and honestly, Im not sure I'll ever get to use many of them but in all fairness, I have not tried to, I know I had to dig deep on the net to figure out a couple of functions, one in particular was the sidetone volume, who would have thought choosing "mon" from the menu would give you a choice to adjust the sidetone volume!
    It is a small rig and sounds small but can get very loud, using a decent hi-fi set of headphones cures that.
    This is a very limited review and maybe I can add more as I use it and time will tell once Im out of the honeymoon period with it.
  4. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree with you 100 %. I have used one exclusively on ssb and cw for the last 2 years. I operate sporadically due to my family work schedule and it is awesome, especially on cw. I received a fee heil mic with the purchase and I get great reports.

    In my shack, space is valued so the separation kit makes it great.

    I like old rigs and this is the only modern rig I have. Right now I stay on 60 meter cw. I just like the basic options and don't care about a bunch of bells and whistles.
    N2WJW likes this.
  5. N2WJW

    N2WJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    So after a couple of more days going through the rig, I found the headset output on the front side of the removable head to have some faint strange data like noise on certain occasions (as some here have mentioned here) especially at times when keying up on cw or even with the volume turned down , this "noise" becomes more noticeable with sensitive hi-fi headphones, not present using the speaker or speaker out in back of rig.
    Coming to the conclusion it is a ground issue and digging deep on the net for this issue, I found there is even a mod to fix it. Here is the link for it...


    This mod is a bit too invasive since it requires soldering inside the removable head.
    I found a temporary fix that works as well, seems (to me) the issue could be the head not grounded to the body of the radio since it is plastic?
    This involves nothing but two small ring terminals and a short piece of wire, one terminal hooked to the ground in the back, the other will fit over the headphone plug... as seen in pictures. The ground part of the headphone out is now grounded to the body and has removed all the noise.
    I get this is a "crude" way to do this and it's something that I wonder after 2-3 years of this radio being out has not been corrected.
    I would appreciate any comments and hope this helps

    ft891.jpg ft8911.jpg
    K3EY and OH1BOR like this.
  6. OH1BOR

    OH1BOR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just tried your trick Gil and it seems to work. Well done! Sound that used to be there when turning the dial disappeared after grounding the mic socket.
    Didn't do anything about the constant hiss which was disfussed previously. Still waiting for a fix for that.
  7. N2WJW

    N2WJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think you meant “the headphone socket” not the “mic socket”?
    Again, it’s not something that was so overbearing but it was there if you listen closely.
    I’m wondering if a different RJ12 cable would do the trick? I’ll try that next. I really want to stay away from going inside and doing any type of soldering. Glad it worked out for you!
  8. OH1BOR

    OH1BOR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ah yeah, headphone socket I meant indeed.

    This sound isn't too noticeable with the stock head connecting cable but it gets really annoying when I use a 2m long home made extension cable. I'll have to try this trick with that longer cable too because yesterday it tested it only with the stock length.
  9. N2WJW

    N2WJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are correct, the sounds I have been referring to are not noticeable unless you really look for them... at least in my case. I have not tried any other cables yet, is yours a shielded cable? I have been reading about some issues with some of the extended cables.
    I hope you are enjoying the little rig as much as I am.
  10. K9GLS

    K9GLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 7300 is a very very nice rig. Damn nice rig. It just doesn't "fit" as well as others.

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