Yaesu FT-897

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KD6OJG, Mar 15, 2018.

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  1. KD6OJG

    KD6OJG Ham Member QRZ Page

    To my dismay this particular model has been discontinued but I am still interested in getting one. I was so serious about it that I was socking away money in one of my savings accounts specifically for it. There was just something about it, the rugged look and the simplistic layout.

    I may still pursue it if I can get enough good positive information about it. If any of you own this can you give your objective opinion and experiences about it. The good, the bad and the ugly as long as it’s objective. Thanks!
  2. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    My FT 897D is my 100 watt go to radio for portable operations. To me it's the perfect radio. Since it has audio DSP, the current drain is less than most IF DSP radios. Forget the internal
    batteries. Just get yourself an 18 amp hour external battery if you want to operate portable.
    I probably use mine about once a year anymore since I have been focusing more so on QRP portable. But no way and I going to part with my 897D. It's a 100 watt one radio do all for
    portable operations. It's built like a tank.
    I have the 500 CW filter in mine. I alway hated those 1.8 khz filters, they are too narrow for SSB. But you can get a 2.3 khz filter for the 897 / 857 and it's great. I am glad I installed one
    in mine.
    I was going to replace my 897D with an FT 991A. Out club has one and I hate it. Very menu driven and not easy to navigate around. The memory channels are terrible to program and just
    as hard to navigate. The 897 is so easy to use and the memory channels are super easy to program and navigate.

    The only problem I had with mine was the VFO encoder fell apart. I poped it back together and it ran backwards. I ordered a new one from Yaesu and it was super easy to change. No soldering needed. If I can change it a monkey with a banana can change it !....and it wasn't an expensive fix.

    If you have a direct question, feel free to email me direct.

    Barry, KU3X

    N9FM likes this.
  3. KA4SFF

    KA4SFF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Probably to late for my opinion but I own 3 of them!! Had always been a Kenwood fan but used these on field day several years back and have been hooked ever since. They are well made operate on almost every amateur band and with batteries make an excellent emergency back up radio. Still can get the add on tuner and power supply from HRO.
    KU3X likes this.
  4. W4SOU

    W4SOU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I’ve also have obsessed over this radio for the last one or two years. I even have a kx3 and kx2: but always found myself looking at reviews and pictures of the 897 in peoples stations. I finally caved in two weeks ago and got one from qrz. It will be my dedicated base station and my elecrafts will be for field day. I already love the 897d. Came with the yeast tuner and mfj meter. Works on all bands and receives well. If you have the money, just get it. You will not be disappointed.

    KU3X likes this.
  5. W4SOU

    W4SOU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    “Yeasu tuner” not yeast. Darn autocorrect.
  6. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page


    I have the small brother of the FT897d the FT857D .
    I already have it for 15 yrs, do use it occaisionaly at home and more for portable or hollidays.
    I had a FT450, dumped the FT450 kept the Ft857D.
    I had a TS590S , dumped the TS590S kept the Ft857D.
    Now have a IC7300, but still have the FT857D including narrow 300Hz Collins CW filter.
    Only use the FT857D for the portable work, still cannot part from it.
    Its not perfect, its not the best, but I never found such things that I hated about it that I could say goodbey to it.
    And hey its 15 yrs old now, its still working, never had any defect, not bad for such a cheap rig.

    73 Jos
  7. KG6LWE

    KG6LWE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've had my 987 (non-D model) since they first came out. It was my first HF rig.

    I had it out today to play a little radio in the back yard. Set my Buddipole for 40, where it's incredibly narrow-banded, so I dragged out the YT-100 tuner I bought for it years ago. Couldn't get them to talk to each other, because Menu item 20 (Cat/Linear/Tuner) is stuck on Tuner, and should be set to Cat for use with this tuner.

    For some reason, rotating the main tuning knob doesn't result in a change to that setting. If I bump the menu down a notch, rotating the big knob does change the data rate. Also touching the home button causes it to go to the default of 4800 BPS. Pressing Home has no effect on the Cat/Linear/Tuner menu at all.

    What the heck is going on with my beloved radio? Anyone experienced this before?

    I will resort to a full CPU reset if all else fails. Just don't want to have to redo all the memories.

  8. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Does not sound good. I was going to say download Chirp and save the memories so you can do a reset, but since the radio is stuck in the tuner mode, Chirp is of no value. By the way, with Chirp you can reprogram the 60 meter memory channels.
    It's very odd that every other menu item can be changed but that one can't?

    As far as the tuner goes, do what I do when the computer controls the radio and I can't free up that connection for the tuner......put the radio in
    the AM mode and key the mic. Where the tuner sees a high SWR, it will go into the tune mode. Once the match is created, go back to the mode
    your were in before.

    Good luck,
    Barry, KU3X
  9. KG6LWE

    KG6LWE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Barry,

    I figured out what my problem was. Menu item 85 (Tuner/Atas) has to be set to OFF. It was set to tuner, so Menu 20 was too. Turn that one to OFF, and Menu 20 is unlocked. Set it to CAT and the tuner stops complaining.

    Just gotta read the ENTIRE menu section of the manual.

    W7EDC likes this.
  10. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Glad you figured it out. It was odd that just one menu item would have failed. Don't feel bad. The other day I was trying to turn on the transmit equalizer on a TS590 and only the receive equalizer could be turned on. Could not turn on the transmit equalizer. WTF? Then I found my mistake.
    I was in CW mode and needless to say, the transmit equalizer does not apply to CW. DUH ! I guess I had a brain freeze?

    Barry, KU3X

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