Yaesu FT-818 -- The FT-817ND Replacement Available Soon

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W4LKO, Feb 23, 2018.

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  1. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    I conclude that a lot of people hate their 817's and wanted the 818 to fix all the problems... I thought the 817 was a pretty cool radio, but I guess not!

    Yaesu appears to be updating the radio with parts that are available, not making a new wiz bang radio. Judgeing by the changes, really should be a FT-817 MKII, not a new model number IMHO... They have little competition and a loyal following (or so I thought), so why mess with a proven formula? Until Kenwood, Icom, or someone else come out with a radio that actually offers some competition, why change? Kenwood still ships the TS-2000 because people are still buying it!

    They could have just discontinued it if parts are a problem, but they chose to refresh it. Not completely redo it. Sounds like that was their plan, but everyone appears to have different plans for what Yaesu should be doing.
     
    K5WW, NL7W, KK5R and 1 other person like this.
  2. NL7W

    NL7W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The new FT-818 is akin to the name change and "upgrade" from the VX-170 to the FT-270. The FT-817ND to FT-818 makes only incremental changes.

    Essentially, it's a marketing ploy that address small, barely perceptible performance changes to a rig that has sold well, but might be suffering sales because of recent band conditions. Essentially, it's the same radio.
     
    KK5R likes this.
  3. KX3DX

    KX3DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have no objections to the FT-818; I welcome it. I wouldn't be surprised if there are other enhancements not noted - maybe less power draw or something like that, that makes it more appealing than the initial information availble. Any one who has followed the techinical progression of the 817 knows there were many lots produced, with changes to the later lots that improved the performance of the design. An early lot number 817 doesn't work nearly as well as a later lot number 817ND. Go study the parts lists for the various lots and you will see the changes. So if the 818 is a follow-on to those changes, with updates due to parts obsolences, I say great! Will I buy one? I don't know but I wouldnt rule it out. It is the swiss army knife of QRP radios.

    I presently have a KX2, a Flex 1500 and a very old, very modified FT817. All three rigs get regular use on backpacking trips above the tree line - even in winter. They all have their strong points - the Flex is great for digital, the KX2 is great for long hikes and the 817 is the choice when VHF/UHF SSB operation is needed. If I could only have one? The 817 would win. The KX2 is really good but don't get rough with it, it won't hold up and don't try to call CQ on 2m/440, even harmonically.... So if my old 817 needs replacing, I'd buy an 818. Price will come down; perfromace will be tested and graded. Let it play out and we'll see where the cards fall.
     
    G3SEA and KK5R like this.
  4. OZ1FKU

    OZ1FKU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If there will be a new FT-818 why not thinking of a SDR model with all the new possibilities in components, filters, and better receiver data?

    de OZ1FKU, Ole
     
    KK5R likes this.
  5. KM6CQ

    KM6CQ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It could be Yaesu had to end the production of the 817 due to lack of parts. They had an option to produce a 818 to continue the 817 legacy until the market forces them to build what we were all hoping for. And really the value for what
    you get for your dollar in a 817 was diminishing. For example, what is the cost for a 817, 2 filters, txco and cables? It is a loaded KX2 that runs circles around a 817 on HF and draws 250 mils. But you say, it's only 80-10. And how many of us use 160 for portable work? 6 meters? a few more maybe. An HT will handle what's left.
    This move will sustain their place in the market for them until they come up with an SDR unit. If they do another superhet, their done.
    And who’s to say they won't? Look at the FT891 a poor performing superhet. I was very surprised that they made such a blunder in 2016.
    In the end, they have to talk us out of our money, or another manufacturer will. For the minimalist in us, the mountain toppers are perfect.

    Dan
     
    KK5R likes this.
  6. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    If that were true, they could have just substituted newer parts and kept the same model number.
     
    KK5R and KB2SMS like this.
  7. KG5BJV

    KG5BJV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back to the battery capacity going from 1400 mha to 2000 mha for the people that have a 817 and myself you can buy 2 4 packs of rayovac 2300/2400 mha rechargeable batterys for $24 total!! I just sniped the green wire on the aa battery case to enable charging from the radio.
     
  8. N8HM

    N8HM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Please tell me which HT does CW/SSB/AM on 2m and 70cm.
     
  9. KD2KIQ

    KD2KIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree that would be the logical decision to make. Perhaps there is some regulatory requirement regarding components being changed... maybe a new model number is required, or otherwise can't be marketed as the same product. I am speculating. On another note, I'm not sure how I feel about this radio. An underwhelming upgrade to the 817? Perhaps, but as an individual who does not own an 817/ND, I may consider purchasing one of the 818 units in a few months. My alternative would be the KX3, which is looking increasingly appealing as each day goes by....
     
    KK5R and KC8VWM like this.
  10. WD9GNG

    WD9GNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love my Yaesu FT-857D and have had it for over 10 years and take it camping and hilltopping. When I was deciding on a portable rig for camping and emergency operations I considered the FT 817 and the FT 897 but ended up getting the FT 857 and bought a couple 4500 Mah batteries from W4RT for portable operation. Even with the higher receive current drain of the FT 857 compared to the FT 817, I still get great operating time out in the boonies if I keep the power turned down.

    Every time I think about the FT 817 I just can't bring myself to spend that much for the radio. But there are many many people that love the FT 817 and sing its praises. For some people it is their only radio in their shack. With a decent antenna I assume that it does pretty well. But for me the FT-857D is the keeper and knock on wood no Zebra stripe issue yet. As a precaution, I run the relay cleaning ever so often: up & down buttons during power up to keep the relays clean.

    The FT 817 must have found a spot in many hams hearts since there are so many of them out there. I would be game but not for the amount of money that it costs. Just doesn't make sense to me.
     

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