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Yaesu FT-897D Review

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  #9  
Old 04-06-2009, 10:02 AM
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The modification for the 857D and 897D are the same, and are very easy. Here is a thread that Happy_Hamer did with pics a while back on how to do it:

http://www.worldwidedx.com/radio-rad...uency-mod.html

LDG Electronics makes a meter that plugs into the face of the radio that allows you to see most of the functions a lot easier. Here is a pic:



And one with the radio:




I had one of these meters that I sold with an 857D. I sort-of wish that I had kept it because it is much easier to see and is more precise than the built in meter.

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  #10  
Old 04-10-2009, 11:25 AM
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RX and DSP Stuff:

The RX capabilities of this rig seem to be comparable to an Icom 706MKIIg to me. It's a little noisy, but not horrible. My Icom 746pro seems like it is more sensitive and has better audio fidelilty, but it's also twice the price. Basically if you remember that you're using an $800 rig, your expectations will be met.

One thing that isn't terribly obvious from the manual is that there is a RX Preamp that is turned on by default. For HF use, you're probably going to want to turn this off by default to minimize some of the noise. The manual calls this feature "IPO" or "Intercept Point Optimization". Check page 26 for the instructions on how to disable this. For me, this made a big difference.

I find that the Noise Blanker really does work pretty well. On one occasion I was using the rig on the base while my neighbor was mowing his lawn and I was picking up a little motor noise in the RX. Kicking on the NB eliminitated it. It also seems to reduce some of the various odd sounds I pick up from living in the middle of a big city.

Another useful feature that isn't obvious by looking at the face of the radio is that the Clarifier knob doubles as an IF Shift, as well. IF you hit the little button that isn't labeled just above and to the left of the clarifier knob, it now functions as IF Shift. I actually find it more useful to leave it this way. There is also a menu function that moves the clarifier knob function to the Mem/VFO CH knob (menu 021). This also seems to be a fairly useful way to configure the front panel since the rig already has a large VFO dial. Check page 24 of the manual for more details on this.

The basic DSP functions like Noise Reduction and Auto Notch works pretty good for AF DSP. Using the noise reduction in conjunction with RF Gain yields the best results. To adjust the DSP bandpass cutoffs, you have to go into the menu settings. It would be really nice if you could just vary this from a knob on the front panel, but some things have to be sacrificed when you go small with the rig. The quickest way to adjust this is to hit the DSP button on the top right which activates the DSP functions on the screen. Now you can press the C button below the panel which will be labeled DBF on the screen. This takes you directly to the menu settings for DSP HPF and LPF Cutoff. It's not the quickest thing in the world, but it does work OK for general usage. It's also not as easy to understand as some of the other rigs available.

One other thing to note is that this rig has a built in 0.5ppm TXCO and seems to be very stable on frequency. I've used it on Ham and MARS frequencies in both voice and digital modes. I've never had any complaints about this rig being off while passing digital traffic on the MARS nets, and I know I would if that was the case.

For me, this rig is a very useful and capable portable base rig for both fun and emergency use. It's almost as if they designed the rig with the emergency operator in mind. If you attach the LDG tuner to the side, you really do have a very good all mode HF/VHF/UHF take anywhere rig.

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  #11  
Old 04-10-2009, 02:05 PM
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Thats all well & good, but what really matters is how it works on CB! LOL

actually, whats more important is how it sounds on AM, and the problem is theres alot of settings on the radio to be mis-adjusted.

from kc8ntp:
What I found to help the AM audio on the Yaesu FT-857D: first go to the alignment menu and turn the output power wide open - both AM carrier and and SSB. Next you go through the alignment menu and there is a setting for the ALC - turn it down about half way. Next, turn the power down to 80 by the main menu. I also find that when you use the LPF, and also use the #2 setting on the mic and turn the processor on to about 30, that it really improves the AM audio.

(The 857d should have the same guts as the 897d)
Those settings are highly dependent on your voice, so tweaking to your preference is advisable.

As far as the "Intercept Point Optimization", the only time i've found it necessary is on the freeway with a trucker a few car-lengths away. The receiver is overloaded and becomes really distorted. Turning on that RF attenuation cleans it right up.

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  #12  
Old 04-11-2009, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudmuck View Post
As far as the "Intercept Point Optimization", the only time i've found it necessary is on the freeway with a trucker a few car-lengths away. The receiver is overloaded and becomes really distorted. Turning on that RF attenuation cleans it right up.

You will also want to use the IPO function when on 40 and 80m. The signals are generally very strong and can cause overload especially on 40m with all the broadcasters.I use my FT-857, which is the same radio in a differant case, to listen to AM broadcast and longwave bands. Using the IPO or even the ATT function is an absolute must or you will hear images of stations all over the bands.
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  #13  
Old 04-11-2009, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
from kc8ntp:
What I found to help the AM audio on the Yaesu FT-857D: first go to the alignment menu and turn the output power wide open - both AM carrier and and SSB. Next you go through the alignment menu and there is a setting for the ALC - turn it down about half way. Next, turn the power down to 80 by the main menu. I also find that when you use the LPF, and also use the #2 setting on the mic and turn the processor on to about 30, that it really improves the AM audio.
That's pretty good advice. I have mine set up about like that also. If you crank up the processor too much it really sounds bad.

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  #14  
Old 04-11-2009, 04:39 PM
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Don't go into alignment menus without putting the radio on a service monitor. You'll likely drive it into a non-linear state at best and at worst, cook the finals.

It is extremely foolish truckstop behavior to just turn up all the bias settings to get 'extra power' out of these radios without the proper equipment to see what you are doing to the linearity.

Nobody will hear the difference between 100 and 150W. 100 to 200W is 1/2 s-unit, so you are gaining less than 1/2 s-unit in exchange for a dirty signal and overheating your finals.

Set carrier power for 25W on AM and adjust your audio properly. You'll be all set.

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  #15  
Old 04-11-2009, 04:50 PM
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You're right...I kinda skimmed over that part of the post before and was looking at the settings for processor,power, etc.

If you set the power to about 25 watts, set the processor around 30, mess around with the DSP settings, and set the mic gain properly, you'll be sounding pretty good on AM

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  #16  
Old 07-27-2010, 04:53 AM
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Hi,

I also enjoy my 897D. After adding a 2.8 Kc SSB filter, it's amazing how good it sounds! Of course if band conditions are bad, you can always select the stock filter from the front panel.

73

Steve
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