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. K5OP

    K5OP Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you have the money for an FT-8900r, you should go ahead and get that one over the 8800. The 8800 and 8900 are the exact same radio except for the two added bands on the 8900.

    I have an 8900 in my car, bought it when the radio first came out back in 2003. LOVE IT! It has great audio quality, no complaints on my mic gain or quality. I use the cross-band repeater feature all the time to extend the range of my HT. Even if you're only a technician right now, you could always upgrade to general or extra, and then the 10meter band on that radio would become available to you.

    And in a year or so when the new Solar Cycle kicks in, 10 meters is going to start becoming active. When that happens, you're going to hear 10 meter FM repeaters all over the country, and in other countries, day and night, and you'll be able to get into them with that radio with just 20 or 50 watts easy.

    Just to give you an example, about 2 years ago, we had a freak band opening one saturday afternoon, I so happen to be driving down I-10 and was monitoring 29.620 FM on my FT-8900R. I heard a ham who was in the TURKS AND CACIOS Islands come up on frequency announcing he was monitoring. He was going through a 10 meter FM repeater located in NYC. I responded back to him, and we had a 15 minute QSO. I'm in Mississippi, driving down I-10 talking to a ham in the Turks going through a 10 meter FM repeater located in NEW YORK CITY.

    That hasn't happened since then, because I don't bother monitoring all the time for those freak occurances, BUT, in a year or so, it's going to become common, everyday activity, and will continue for 11 years. The solar cycle lasts 11 years, part of it is UP and part of it is DOWN. We're at the very tail end of the DOWN SIDE. So it's time for it to go back up.

    So in my opinion, getting the FT-8900 is better than the 8800 for that reason. The FT-8900 is a solid radio. I have mine remote mounted. The rig is in the trunk of my car, and the head is mounted on a special mounting plate on my dash. It certainly performs on all 4 bands equally. It won't replace the 706, because the 706 has all of the other bands and modes, but when you want to listen to a 10 meter, and a 2 meter conversation it's good, or when you want to crossband a 10 meter fm freq to a 440 or 2meter freq, and then use your HT to talk/listen to the 10 meter fm freq, its great.
  2. W1AEX

    W1AEX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an FT-8900 in the house and another in my Jeep. They are rugged, reliable, and work fine on all 4 bands. One shortcoming of this rig is that 10 meter FM is limited to narrow band 3kc deviation, which is a bit on the light side for the repeaters here in the USA. Another shortcoming is the lack of memory management for the 700+ memories. Unfortunately, there is no option for memory grouping, so you are limited to tagging your favorites as "preferential" and scanning just those, or you can scan all your memories. Utilizing the 6 available hypermemories can help to overcome the lack of memory grouping, but it seems like a major flaw in the firmware to not have a grouping feature. I primarily use my 8900's on 6 meter FM and they do a great job there. Crossband repeat is very easy to set up and works very well when roaming away from the house or car with an HT. The 8900 does a fine job of scanning the public service bands, although there is no coverage from 30 -50 MHz.

    Rob W1AEX
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  3. KE5KTU

    KE5KTU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have two Kenwood v71's and I love them. Don't know much about the 8900, but I would make sure it has a built in I.D.'er. I use crossband a lot and found the cw I.D. er invaluable !
  4. KI6WDZ

    KI6WDZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got an FT-8800 in my truck and love it. I looked at the FT-8900 and couldn't justify the extra expense for the little use the other bands would see. Your mileage may vary. . .
  5. KD8GFC

    KD8GFC Ham Member QRZ Page

    As someone has already pointed out as a tech you are not allowed to use the portion of the 10 meter band your radio covers you are allowed from 28.300 to 28.500 SSB only. As for 6 meters never hear anything were i live on that band it's deadsville.Unless you plan to upgrade soon I would go with the 8800. Good luck, Jim !!!
  6. W2TXB

    W2TXB Ham Member QRZ Page

    My wife and I have a similar setup - one in the house and one in each of our Jeeps (must be part of the "Jeep Thing" ;) ), and we love these radios. She got one several years ago, then I got one, then we replace a TM-731A in the house with another one. Using the ThinkPad to program them is a big help, and they perform absolutely perfectly. We do 6 meter, 2 meters, and 450-mHz mostly, and I occasionally get on 10 FM with mine.

    At the going price, the FT-8900R is well worth the money.
  7. KC2JZB

    KC2JZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Yaesu 8800 and 8900 are the same radio except the 8900 can do extra bands but on FM only which is outside your lisc permits. Even if you could operate those bands it's FM only which is dead at least in my area and I live in a relatively large area (NYC).

    The other radio mentioned the Kenwood TM-V71A/E is also a nice choice it does 2/70 and outputs 50w on both bands what hasn't been said yet is that this radio is also Echolink ready, all you need is to buy the cables no other hardware is required. The reception is very good and tx power speaks for itself, the only thing I don't like about the radio is the speaker it can sound a bit tinny, but you can easily get an external speaker setup and if you do so the radio has excellent sound.
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