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FT-891: is it that bad?

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

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  1. EI3IBB

    EI3IBB Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 7300 is a nice rig but I wish Icom spent more time and effort giving it better audio like the FT-891, and improving the receiver.

    The 891 is a bit fussy with headphones, I use high impedance headphones and it makes a big difference. The built in speaker isn't the best but it absolutely shines with headphones and makes a great SWL Receiver too.

    I got the panadapter for the 7300 and connected it to the Airspy HF+ and it improved the audio but it's still not as good as the FT-891, whatever Yaesu did here it really does sound great via headphones. But the waterfall on the large screen makes a massive difference to the usability of the 7300 and the ability to see a gap on a busy band, highlight it and it tells you the frequency so you can tell your friends to QSY to that which you can't do on the 7300 screen and it's too small anyway.

    I wish Icom and others would do what Kenwood did with the 590SG and not bother with a tiny useless screen and concentrate more on the receiver with proper buttons and offer a built in panadapter for those who want SDR, I think this is a really great way to do it. I've used the 590SG at a friends QTH and it's leaps and bounds better than the 7300, much nicer radio to operate too.

    Icom compromised too much on the 7300 receiver and the Audio, I was going to sell it but ended up getting the Acom 1000 and then discovered the 7300 overshoot issue, that 7300 really does bug me now I have to say and I bet the audio on the 705 is just as bad as on the 7300. But I wouldn't spend that money, you could get a FT-891 100 watt + Chameleon MPAS 2.0 with CAP HAT which is a great antenna and probably have money left over for a EFHW 49:1 or build one for NVIS.
    KA4DPO likes this.
  2. KD1JT

    KD1JT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I’ve had mine for a few months now. I’m a CW op. And only work portable. And only care about HF. That said, I can’t imagine what I'd want this rig to do differently. “Horses for courses”
  3. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Allow me to help you with your IC-7300 Dennis. First, the passband tuning will do wonders for the audio if you attenuate the high end a little bit, it gets rid of the annoying high frequencies, almost like a tone control. Second, add an outboard speaker, and not some little cheap thing either. Use an old stereo speaker or a newer bookshelf type, you will be amazed by the improvement. As for the receiver? It costs a lot of money to improve on the IC-7300 receiver, an IC-7610 or a TS-890S will beat it but, not as much as you think, and at more than twice the cost.
  4. EI3IBB

    EI3IBB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I tried everything but there is a harshness to the audio I don't like and no matter what way I configure the radio settings it makes no difference without effecting audio quality. Other sdr's sound the same like the Kiwi.

    I saw a youtube video where someone simply disconnected the antenna and the harsh noise is the noise I'm talking about, connect the antenna again and you get the normal band noise + this harsh sound.
    K3EY and KA4DPO like this.
  5. SA4MDN

    SA4MDN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Got shot of mine with the FC50 tuner for various reasons, replaced with a FT-857D and FT-897D with FC30 tuner and internal batts, Couldn't be happier.
  6. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Unfortunately that is the price for an all digital signal path. It would be prohibitively expensive to make the audio smother without sacrificing receiver performance. As components get faster and cheaper I have no doubt that the audio fidelity will improve. I have some older tube rigs that sound fantastic but the performance can't hold a candle to my DSP rigs, wish it wasn't that way.
  7. EI3IBB

    EI3IBB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well to my ears the FT-891 sounds a lot better than the 7300 and it's receiver performance is better too, unfortunately I'm stuck with the 7300 for a while because I bought an Acom 1000 :)

    I wish Icom would go the route Kenwood took , they made the ts-590sg with panadapter so you get the best of both worlds, a traditional radio that's a joy to use with the option to add sdr if you want.

    I added the panadapter to the 7300 but it was a waste of money should have got the ts-590sg or the sun sdr 2 DX.
  8. EI4IWB

    EI4IWB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've been using my FT891 as my first real radio (got the license start of August) and I've been happy enough with the radio. I've had it portable on a SOTA activation with an 80-10 OCFD, tuner, and battery. Slightly cheating on the portable side as I drove up the hill and carted the stuff a short distance to the summit area, Still, I was getting 5-9 reports 1500km away. The DNR is *amazing* and really helps my damaged hearing pull the voice from the noise.
    This radio will be my sole radio until I can afford a "real" shack radio and amp, but in the interim it's sitting beside my PC and working nice and hard at 100W digital modes, and I'm getting out on SSB with compliments on the modulation and sound quality.
    I'm not yet good with CW, but I can really see how the beepy people like the radio. Narrow and accurate filtering for the win there.
    When I was first running it, I was running from a high-amp 12V supply, but not outputting more than ~70W at full tilt. I changed the PSU for a 13.8V and now it's happy pushing a generous 100W pretty much all of the time.
    I have modified the radio to put in a buffer amplifier and push that IF output to an HF+ Discovery to my PC and I have a very effective panadapter setting. The 891 local scope is effectively useless for my purposes so having a real output for SDR really helps.

    My other radio is an 817ND, and I've not had much luck making contacts on that rig, even with the 40W amplifier I got for portable/holiday use. Maybe I'll get the oscilloscope out and verify if it is actually outputting correctly or not..

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