Yaesu FT-891 Review: A Sleeper of a Deal

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KE0EYJ, Jul 6, 2017.

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  1. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    This does appear to be a multi-machine issue, and perhaps a design one. I hope they fix it for you, but I am pessimistic.

    I wonder if they would be able to adjust software to higher port speeds? As W1PJE has noted, increasing to its highest port speed makes the click reduce, and much higher in pitch. If they could go from its max port speed to 38400 to 119xxx, or whatever that high port speed is, I wonder if they could reduce that noise entirely? I also wonder if the noise might then interefere with digital performance (or if it does, already)?

    At this moment, I cannot recommend this rig for digital mode use with rig control. It is a good value for SSB use, and portable SSB, but if you plan to go digital, I would look into other rigs.

    I am new to digital modes, and leave commenting to others who know more.
    W1PJE likes this.
  2. W1PJE

    W1PJE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I looked into the potential interference with digital modes by capturing audio in WAV format and then analyzing it with a couple different tools including spectral analysis. It was very clear that the periodic interference was going to provide QRM to any digital mode no matter what baud you used. But modes like FT8 and JT65 have a lot of coding redundancy built-in (error correction, etc.) and in practice you might not necessarily notice the problem as it would not be that correlated with the code sequence itself. In a controlled lab setting, I would bet that you could show that the weak signal floor of -24 dB in e.g. JT65 over SSB bandwidths was degraded (i.e. noise floor raised) by the QRM, but you'd have to isolate that and it might be hard to conclusively prove the problem exists.

    It would be equivalent to having a really strong in-band transmitter within your SSB filter bandwidth competing with the digital coded signal coming in through the antenna RF path.
  3. KD1H

    KD1H XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I recently purchased an ft 891. I have limited space for a shack and recently retired and want to spend more time on the low bands. I read the story in arrl about the IMD problem but read the article at least four times and did a lot of research.
    Well, I bought the rig from HRO and quickly unpacked it read the manual and turned it on! LET me tell you. THIS IS ONE SWEET SURPRISE. I work predominately cw and it' superb receiver and easily accessible controls works wonders in any pile up and a transmitter getting solid reports off an attic bound end fed.

    While I have never done much phone work, I figured I would try my hand at some net work on 75, and 40. Again with great success. I agree that a different mike and headset could
    make operating more comfortable with possibly additional performance.
    I learned some 50 years ago that when operating with an antenna turned, it' best to log the settings. It's success continues with using a manual tuner with the ft891.. Once you have set the reference band switching a 1.2 and 1.1 swr are readily obtained.
    To close. A fantastic little rig with a great price small footprint and ease of operation. A pleasure to operate.
    73`s. Roy
    KD 1 Y F
  4. N1CLC

    N1CLC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the review. I saw this review and picked up a unit for SOTA and love it. Given the sun cycle, the 817 just wasn't hack'n it and in a pileup, I didn't stand a chance. With the 891, I can activate and pack up a little quicker so people aren't waiting around too long for me.

    I stayed away from the Yaesu matched tuner... I'm bummed that they couldn't turn out a better unit. I opted for a LDG 100 PRO II given my familirty with the Z817 but it just didn't seem to work right and refused to tune on command (had to ask it 3 times). I switched to the MFJ-939Y and it works well and the MFJ can be commanded by the 891 tuner button too!
  5. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    The radio is fantastic on SSB and Cw. Don't give a flip about digital, so I should be ok. Im thinking about getting an automatic tuner. Seems like the ldg z100 should mate ok...
    KF5VGK likes this.
  6. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    the 891 is fine for digital operations, in fact, it as a separate menu adjustment just to adjust the audio level to maintain zero ALC deflection.
  7. WQ2H

    WQ2H QRZ Lifetime Member #214 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Very nice - wasn't even on my radar until now. I agree with the tuner comment, can't do much better than LDG on just about any Yaesu.

    I do like the fact that it has the TUN/LIN, DATA, and USB connections like the 991. I like easy programming.

    Jim, WQ2H
  8. VK4DX

    VK4DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm about to purchase one later this week and can't wait to get my hands on it. Having read and viewed so many reviews, I can say that I'm pretty familiar with the radio and it is exactly what I need.

    However, one thing puzzles me, why on earth did they go with the dot matrix display when TFT screens are so cheap these days. It would have made a huge difference if the radio had the FT-DX1200 or 3000 type of display, just in the small size.
  9. WQ2H

    WQ2H QRZ Lifetime Member #214 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    My guess would be tooling, firmware, and getting the product to market quickly. The company I work for builds instruments that use similar displays. Every time they change display sizes it's a nightmare of tooling costs for the new size which is dwarfed by the firmware implications. Not a good excuse, but it could be a reason.

    Good question however - the TFT's on the 991, 1200, and the FTM-400, are all excellent with apparently even higher resolution then the dot matrix.

    Jim, WQ2H

    However, one thing puzzles me, why on earth did they go with the dot matrix display when TFT screens are so cheap these days. It would have made a huge difference if the radio had the FT-DX1200 or 3000 type of display, just in the small size.
  10. K4PDM

    K4PDM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have to add a word of praise for the FT-891. I'm using it mostly for CW at my home station and it performs quite well.
    I have no HF hams within several miles of me and no beam antennas, so I decided to not be very concerned with the ARRL phase noise report. Comparing the ARRL test chart with those from other rigs, there are some that are not much different in transmitted noise.
    I wonder why ARRL did not ask for another sample in case there was something wrong with the test unit?

    Anyway, it does pretty much everything my FTDX-1200 did in a much smaller form factor, except for the tuner. I added a MFJ autotuner and took care of that issue.
    The 891 does have the parametric transmit equalizer, with separate settings for processor on and off, as the bigger rigs.
    The Yaesu FH-2 remote keypad works with it for direct frequency entry and the sending of CW or voice memories.

    Most cost-effective ham purchase I've ever made.

    73 Paul K4PDM

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