FT-897D...Pros....Cons

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by N0LW, Mar 9, 2009.

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  1. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also have an 897D for about a year now , also a new ham about 1 1/2 yrs.
    Like any other interest , it much about where you plan to go / do .
    In this culture spending & planing do not go together [ the news ] .
    As others have said its price range & abilities are a good all around choice .
    One thing I have thought of , being a new ham , but older [ 56 ] , is that learning to be a ham is the best way to spend the least money to get the most out of this interest / hobby ???
    With that in mind , I would say look for an older manual rig , then you learn more about what is going on , instead of a lot of automatic steps behind the computer parts of newer radio's .
    Like almost anyone there is going to be many radio's in your future , and if this is you 1st , you will still find a place for it .
    but again I like the idea behind a manual [ old or new , lots of button's & nobs to learn to use ] , much like antenna's , you can buy something out of the box & get on the air [ maybe ] , or spend much less , learn a lot more and definitely get on the air .
    73s
     
  2. N4WSH

    N4WSH Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you don't mind a used rig, I picked up a one owner Yaesu FT1000MP for $1000.00 and I love it. I had a FT-890 but sold it. It was a good radio, but being a geek :D I wanted more bells/whistles/and FILTERS. If you can find a FT-1000mp that is in great condition, it is a great radio.
     
  3. KC7YPJ

    KC7YPJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can honestly say I love my 857d, with the mh59 remote mic.

    I can honestly also say that I wouldn't spend the extra $100 for an 897
    It is effectively the same radio with a slightly better display, the internal
    Power supply, batteries, and tuner are insanely overpriced and excluding the
    power supply dismal real world performers.

    if your looking to put a decent begining hf only station together for
    under 1k you are fairly limited in your options, a 718 will get you on the bands
    for the smallest investment, and you should be able to aquire the 718
    a power supply (astron ss-30 or similar) and an mfj 993b/ldg at200pro
    and come in under budget, shipped to your door.

    If you want the most bang for your buck spend the extra $60 and upgrade the 718 to an 857d
    yes it's smaller and has features burried in a menu system
    The menu shock subsides with time and use, and most frequently used
    functions can be assigned to a "hotbutton".
    For your $60 you also get all mode 6m-2m-70cm that works decently for most situations.
    steller performance no, comparable with every other radio in the price range often outperforming it's peers, yes..

    The 897 is the same radio in a bigger box with room for an overpriced dismal internal atu,
    an overpriced internal power supply or overpriced underperforming batteries and last but not least a slightly bigger display.

    It's not worth the additional $100 in my book, if you want the most bang for
    your buck the hands down winner in the new, under 1k market is the 857d.

    the only other thing I would add to the list is the mh59 accessory microphone for the 857d

    I forgot to mention the other plus to an 857d, when you outgrow it in the shack it fits nicely in the car or
    on a shelf relegated to dedicated digi mode use.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  4. AB3FH

    AB3FH Guest

    I have had FT897D for abt 1-1/2 ys and I use it as a second base station for bands not covered by my older Kenwood Ts820S. I really think the Yaesu is a great radio for the price. I have also used it succssfully as a portable in the Bahamas with the portable ATAS25. The higher bands perform better than lower. Suggest the filters especially for CW use. I use the 300hz filter. I also have the LDG AT897 tuner which works adequately. I agree with kd0cac's comments below regarding older rigs. here are many on e-bay for reasonable price. Even a hybrid (tube and transistor) like my Kenwood or maybe an Icom IC-761. Or try restoring a boatanchor. If you go with the Yaesu you wont regret it.
     
  5. K4UUG

    K4UUG Ham Member QRZ Page

    You will not go wrong with the FT 897D buy the ldg 897 tuner with it you will be happy with it.this is a rig that you can take portable uses as a primary radio in the shack or mobile.2 meters 440 160 thru 6 m. Mil Spec. no cons:)

    My Ft 897D has the fp 30 internal power supply just plug it in the wall,LDG 897 tuner, CW & SSB Filters,TCXO, md 100 desk mic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  6. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got an '857 & love it. If you're planning CW operation and if you wind up with an '897 or 857, think serously about the 500Hz CW filter. You can probably get by with the audio DSP, but nothing beats a mechanical filter in the IF.

    And, if you get one of those radios, be sure to get the FT-Meter. Having an analog S-Meter (and this is a good one) rocks!

    Good luck and have fun.

    73,

    Paul
     
  7. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have had more radios than birthdays, ok so that is a bit of an exaggeration. Lets see, Tempo one, FT-920, FT-100d, IC-706MKII, IC-706MKIIG, IC-730, TS-850SAT, IC-7000(still have), IC-756ProIII(still have), and quite a few HT's. Well that's what I have owned over the last five years. Am I done, I sure hope not. I am hoping to pick up a boat anchor at the hamfest on the 19th with the funds I have been hiding for a few months now...Shhh..dont tell my girlfriend.:D

    As for the original post. I have used the 857 and the 897 extensively and they are good radios in their class. Their price suites their performance.
     
  8. N0LW

    N0LW Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is great information! Thank you!

    A Kenwood TS-440S(AT) rig became available in our local club, so I bought it. [​IMG] I also purchased a new FT-2800M 2m radio. [​IMG]

    The FT-897 will have to be my 2nd HF radio‚Ķ [​IMG]
     
  9. WA5CXY

    WA5CXY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Getting an 857 and taking it to 10,000 feet this summer, cant wait!!
     
  10. AE5JU

    AE5JU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here's my FT-897:

    [​IMG]

    This radio has the Yaesu FP-30 power supply installed in the bottom in place of the internal gel batteries.

    The LDG AT-897 works very well, and as far as "ugly", it looks fine to me. Consensus on the FT-897 yahoo group is that the LDG is the better tuner. I know mine will easily tune a 5:1 SWR down to 1.1:1. I've read it will tune up to 10:1. The only thing I have not been able to tune is the 160 meter band on my 75 meter dipole, and I would not expect it to.

    The LDG FT-Meter is a welcome accessory.

    The radio-tuner-power supply makes for a very neat "grab and go" package for portable use, too.

    [​IMG]
     
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