Why Shouldn't I get a FT-8900R?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KL2LZ, Jan 23, 2009.

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  1. KL2LZ

    KL2LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Any reason why I should not get an FT-8900R and opt for a FT-8800R or Kenwood TM-V71A?

    After studying the info and reviews here and at eham all of these three rigs seem so close together in performance it would be hard to go wrong with any of them. The rig will be used primarily as a cross band repeater from my HT (VX-6R) to a 2m repeater. I know the TM-V71A has 50w output power on 70cm and the FT’s both have only 35w on 70cm but when communicating with a 5w HT I don’t think the missing 15w from the mobile would be of any concern. Maybe if I was trying to reach a distant 70cm repeater with the mobile but that is about the only time.

    The FT-8900R has 6m and 10m capabilities along with the standard 2m and 70cm and I suppose this is what concerns me. It seems the little mobile rig is trying to do too much by being a quad band. I don’t know how much I would use 10m and 6m from this rig anyway as I have an IC-706 MKIIG that usually goes mobile with me as well. However, if the FT-8900R can indeed do all that it says and do it well the 706 might get to stay home more often. I haven’t read anything that would lead me to believe this rig doesn’t do what it says it will but I’m skeptical of things that seem a little too good. I still don’t believe in the multi band mobile antennas, that is more than two bands. With any of these rigs I would use a 70cm/2m antenna and then add an additional 6m and 10m antenna. I know people are having good results with the multibands but I just ain’t one of those people.

    Another thing that is part of my mobile purchase is the durability and just how tough the rig is. While it will spend the majority of its time in my truck as a cross band repeater there is the occasion where I may need to use it more extensively. I can see me needing to place it atop a hill or other structure inside a weather tight enclosure somewhere remote and then use it again as a CBR from a greater distance with my 706 on 70cm or 6m. I believe the Yaesu gets the nod over the Kenwood for this kind of application. It could be argued that if I can use the mobile rig with 50w as a repeater I could probably eliminate the mobile as my 706 has 100w but having the flexibility to use it as a remote repeater is a consideration for me.

    Given my intended uses does anyone know of any reason why I shouldn’t get the FT-8900R?


    Last edited: Jan 23, 2009
  2. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It sounds like you know what you want.

    I had an 8900 and I blew the finals after a few days but yaesu made it right so I will not fault them. I found out that it was not the rig for me, 10m fm is useless in my area. Aside from the fact that the rig was overkill for me I liked it.
    KE0PQJ likes this.
  3. KB8RYA

    KB8RYA Ham Member QRZ Page


    Hi all
    I have had an Ft-8900 for a couple of years...Works great..10m fm of litte
    value to me right now but I do use 6m.. The cross band does a good job also.
    I may get another for the other mobile,,,I have used the 8800 many time because our club has a few..Same radio minus 2 bands
    Don kb8rya
  4. KB3OSP

    KB3OSP Ham Member QRZ Page

    the only thing is that you cant go outside the 10m 6m 2m or 70cm bands like you can with the 8800
  5. KD0DKI

    KD0DKI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Say you have an HF rig with 10m.
    And you have the 8900R xban repete
    And you have an HT with 2m

    You would be able to talk and listen to your self on both 10m and 2m.

    The point is flexability the 8900R enables you to do new things.

    I have an 8900R and an HT, fun and learn at the same time.
  6. AB8ZL

    AB8ZL Ham Member QRZ Page

    As a technician, the 10 meter potion of the radio is of no use to you as its FM only and depending on your area you may find that there is little or no 6 meter FM activity.

    There are also some differences in the memory management from the 8800R that many users find annoying. Read the reviews at eham and decide for yourself if it’s the radio for you.
  7. KL2LZ

    KL2LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the info. Rugged flexibility I believe is my ultimate goal here and it seems I have found both. I think I have probably learned more from what I have not heard rather than what I have heard. No one seems to be complaining that this rig works really well on one band while the others suffer. Nor have I heard that the single antenna jack is a problem doing all four bands. Again, thanks for your comments on this rig given my intentions on using it.

  8. K6WAC

    K6WAC Ham Member QRZ Page


    Right now it seems that the sunspot cycle will never get back to maximum. But imagine when it does. Both 6 meters and 10 meters will be screaming! Also think about this; that the 8900 has two dx bands (during sunspot maxima)10 meters, and to a lesser extent, 6 meters. When cycle 24 REALLY kicks off you'll be working all sorts of FM dx with the 8900; repeater and simplex. Also two extra bands for about 45-60 dollars. I have used a Ft 8900 for the past 2 years and haven't had so much as a hiccup. It's a great radio.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  9. AI6DX

    AI6DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love the fact the FT-8900 does 6m FM
  10. N0LW

    N0LW Ham Member QRZ Page

    You should get whatever suits your needs best. Yaesu makes quality radios.
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