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Your really better off buying the original 857 vs the 857d anyway. The only diff. between them other than price is the 60 meter band. But if you plan to modify the radio, you get the band anyway. Also everyone says the d model puts out more power. Not true, the only reason it does is because the menu power levels are slightly raised. In any model you can manipulate the power out through a menu(drive to the collector of the finals) and get 135 watts hf 90 watts vhf and 40 watts uhf. If it were me I would leave these settings alone.
There were two ways to mod the 857/897.One was through a software program called a soft mod and the other involved solder pads called a hard mod inside the rig. I believe the software mod is what no longer works.The solder pad mod still does.
100% correct, the software mod does not work on the newer 857D's.
The hardware mod is pretty easy, just moving some surface mount links. You do need a steady hand , good quality fine tip soldering iron and good eyes though, as there are some darn fine tracks that could be damaged.
By the way, I beleive the other differences with the 857 and 857D are the 857D comes standard with the DSP. There may have also been some circuit changes with later 857D's to fix a 6M oscillation problem.
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