Just ordered a 857d and need suggestions...

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KF2Q, Jan 7, 2014.

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  1. KF2Q

    KF2Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    From HRO, they are having a holiday sale including manufacturer rebate so running $780.

    This is not meant to be a base rig at all, strictly for when I'm out of the house. And to put it simply... I want it all! OK not a backpack radio, that's one thing we can scratch, so weight and cargo capacity aren't issues.

    I want to run it in a hotel room, my RV, my truck, a picnic table, local bar - heck from the bathtub! No wait, that's in the house.

    OK so I'm asking a lot, let's get back to basics. Batteries for picnic table use? Antennas? Tuners? Accessories?

    I didn't order the remote control mic or the head separation kit. Thought I would see what you guys suggest first. Oh, software & cable?

    Thanks y'all!
  2. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    You'll have fun with the 857! I have taken mine to St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and various places while traveling in the US. It's size makes it a good radio to travel with, but it's power consumption does not make it battery friendly like a FT-817 or IC-703 or KX3. In a hotel room, RV, truck, etc., it no problem as you bring a power supply with you (I bring a 25A switcher) or run it off the vehicle battery, but for truly portable use you'll need a good sized battery, even if you're running 5-10W. On receive the 857 takes over 1A IIRC, and probably 4-5A transmitting even at the lowest power output, while the other QRP rigs listed are optimized for low power (receive under 200mA for the KX3, my 703 was about 330ma). Your not going to run it on AA batteries like some of the QRP rigs. I used to bring a 17AH AGM battery with me to a park when I used the 857 portable - just had to carry it from the car to the picnic table!


  3. KF2Q

    KF2Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a KX3 and sold it. Looking forward to being able to bump this around rather than hold it like a baby. And always had to haul big batteries around the KX3 if wanting to run 12 watts so no difference there. Looks like 5amp draw should be expected for roughly 20 watts on the 857, and I can do that with a sealed lead cell (or two).
  4. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is the IDEAL power supply for it, for portable use.

    The Samlex SEC 1223. That is the one I am using. New, they are pretty pricey, but I got mine at the swapmeet for $25!


    I used the Mobile bracket and bolted it on to the top of the cabinet. The form factor is almost the same, so it is a perfect fit, and allows plenty of power for it.

    This was used in the ULTIMATE GO KIT I built. The one SORE POINT on the Samlex is the poor power connector they use You have to put a wire in a hole and then tighten it down with a screw. I can never get it tight enough to hold. A better choice would be to drill a hole in the back and run a red & Black pair of wires out to a Power Pole set up.

    The Samlex is good for all voltages around the world, so U just plug the appropriate Power plug into the IEC outlet in the back. It has a fan it it so it will keep plenty cool.

    One local ham bought the matching Autotuner for his 857D and is having great fun with just a random wire at club picnics and events. Working alotta DX on it too.

    The only CAVEAT on the 857D is the Display is very delicate, so don't bounce it around too much or broil it in the sun. Lines can disappear from the display. I just saw this on a FT-897 the other day on one that had been mounted in a Jeep. It had many lines out. So PROTECT it well and treat it very gently.

    It will be a favorite rig that will last forever if U treat it right!
  5. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Found some pics of the setup I had while operating KP2 back a few years ago.

    FT-857D, RS 25A switcher, LDG tuner (not seen in this pic), laptop for logging. I was using a small portable vertical that didn't require the tuner in this picture, I also would throw a long wire off the balcony into the trees and end feed it thru a 4:1 balun. Humm... I seem to be missing the prerequisite margarita for operating KP2...


    View from the balcony. Operating conditions were rough. :eek:

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  6. WJ4U

    WJ4U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Antenna: Buddipole
    Tuner: none
    Battery: 12ah SLA

    image.jpg image.jpg

    If you're going to program a bunch of memories get RT Systems software and cable. Pricey and worth it.
  7. KF2Q

    KF2Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    2 Meter mobile mag mount antenna?
  8. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Worked a couple of locals on 2M. Also good for room to HT comms, like when ordering another margarita.

    You have to be prepared.

  9. KF2Q

    KF2Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good old HRO with next day delivery - never failed me yet. Radio here now before noon when ordered yesterday. Cute little bugger! New buttons to play with!

    Radio Shack - of all companies - has a 30amp, low ripple power supply on sale today at $100 off, going for $75. I ordered one.

    I will dig into the manual for the radio and see if I think I need the software and cable.

    I'd like a soft case for it to keep scratches away, maybe I'll make one out of some scrap leather.
  10. KC9DRE

    KC9DRE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an 857 and love it. Its quick to move from vehicle to vehicle, I even use mine as a base for digital modes, I use a west mountain rigbalster duo with it and bought the optional control cable and use that to program hte radio through the Duo, using Chirp. I have had mine for nine months and only fond issue as to what antenna I want to pair it with for mobile as I just use in on 2m/70cm/6m currently as a mobile.

    Be careful of using he cover though, these lil guys can get warm, seperation kit also keeps the fan noise down I have it mounted in my console of my work van with the head at my fingertips from the wheel and I can keep my eyes mostly on the road.
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