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. KA2FIR

    KA2FIR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why didn’t Yaesu just replace the radio?
  2. W1PJE

    W1PJE Ham Member QRZ Page

    If I knew that, I'd be a happy man. They refused point blank, essentially by ignoring my repeated requests to do so. Perhaps you can take that as an indication of the kind of support you too will receive from Yaesu warranty if the issue (like mine) is one where they determine it "meets factory spec".
  3. K4PDM

    K4PDM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "Got my FT-891 today and got it all hooked up and ready for the RTTY contest, only to find out that it has some sort of USB issue. Constant beeping from the internal speaker (external speaker plugged in also exhibits this) when connected via USB and software (N1MM/HRD) is communicating to it.. sounds like coupling between the speaker and USB circuits maybe? Yaesu support has reported that their test units do the exact same thing, and that the beep is a CAT command error beep from utilizing an incompatible instruction set. HRD/N1MM must release a 891 specific command set for their software before it will function properly. "

    I copied this from another forum. Is this the same issue or a different one?
  4. W1PJE

    W1PJE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think it's separate. The "beep" is not a beep but rather an artifact of the data (it changes form when you slow down or speed up the data rate).
  5. W1PJE

    W1PJE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Further thoughts:

    Blaming it on HRD/N1MM is not the answer. I tried several different logging programs, including ones that have a specific FT-891 command set such as MacLogger DX (specific 891 driver has been coded in since December of 2016 following the FT-891 technical programming manual). Same trouble.

    I can't say for sure, but that response from Yaesu HQ is strongly reminiscent of "we don't want to fix the problem so we'll make up an excuse". Even a small amount of test time from their engineers would reveal that the explanation is ridiculous, but it seems as if they don't want to expend the effort. That's exactly the same kind of non-answer I got from them on my problem.
  6. W1PJE

    W1PJE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Forgot to add this final note to my tale of woe:

    My serial number started with "6L" and I think that means December 2016. So if others stumble across this thread, check your serial number - if it's in that date range, that could be a clue that your problem is due to a bad run of components, or an earlier PCB version, etc.
  7. N0JDS

    N0JDS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I heard from a friend this morning who just purchased a brand new sample of this radio that he is not experiencing the clicking problem. Has there been some sort of serial # threshold at which newer radios stop exhibiting this behavior? I like the rig but operate nearly 100% digital and it makes me nervous to try it. Are there members here who operate digital modes extensively while also using CAT control that do not experience this condition?

    Thank you,

  8. W1PJE

    W1PJE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi John,

    That would be interesting information. Even more interesting would be to have people open the top and bottom of the radio (really just removing 8 screws or so per side) and looking for a PCB revision number. That would tell you whether a given run is the culprit. However, this might be dangerous as not everyone has access to an anti-static environment (beware ESD). Although I have sold the radio, I'm still interested in seeing whether the problem can be further defined.
  9. LB1TI

    LB1TI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the FT-891 (bought it cheap off eBay) and happy with it as my first rig aside from the uBitx frankly, but the USB polling noise renders it unusable for N1MM / contest logging or any CAT control in general.
    Has anyone gone into any effort in trying to figure out where the noise is coming from and how feasible it is to fix? Alternatively, has anyone looked into hacking a alternative CAT control through the MIC RJ45 input connector?
  10. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I want to add an interesting update, as I have found with my FT-891....

    I was using it in the field this past weekend, and didn't bother to bring the external motorola speaker that I usually run. I bring the external, because I have been unhappy with the poor/tinny sound of the internal 891 speaker. I also happened to bring along a new-to-me used LDG external tuner, for the first time in the field. I placed the tuner on top of the FT-891, and was pleasantly shocked to hear that the audio of the 891 improved tremendously. The tinnyness was gone. There was a much more clear and defined midrange.

    I have come to the conclusion that this is, perhaps, by design, as the 891 was developed to be placed in a car. If you are unhappy with your internal speaker's audio, try placing something like a tuner on top of it.

    image1.png 891.jpg

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