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FT-857 question

Singularity35

DU7DVE
Jan 16, 2014
425
89
138
Small City, Philippines
I have this slightly used Yaesu FT-857 and I can't seem to make it throw full power. I know the rig is good since I tested it before buying. I'm thinking there's something in the settings that I'm missing. Help anybody?
 

TonyV225

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Apr 18, 2005
5,824
315
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Wisconsin
I have the 857 and 897 great radios!! What are you seeing for power?? If its around 80 watts that's what mine show on a good average meter now on a true active peak reading meter you would see 100 watts PEP
 

Captain Kilowatt

Professional Amateur
Staff member
Apr 6, 2005
16,847
11,000
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Nova Scotia,Canada
The most common and biggest mistake people make is trying to read pep output on an average reading meter or a meter that says pep on it but does not require a power source to function. Only an active electronic circuit can accurately measure pep power.
 
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TonyV225

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Apr 18, 2005
5,824
315
143
Wisconsin
I have went round and round with people and even had to explain this to a few fellow Ham operators!! The biggest argument was "Well my meter does have a power cord!!!" Then I have to explain that 9 tmes out of 10 that power cord is strictly for the light the meter may have in it for night viewing and this is not to power the circuit as the meter does not have a true active peak reading circuit!!

If it was a True Active Peak Reading Meter the instructions would tell you and so would the price!! That argument usually came after the first common argument of "Well my meter is a peak reading meter it says so and has the switch marked on the front!!" Then I have to explain that switch is there for (METER MOVEMENT) The switch changes the speed of the meter movement usually with a capacitor so you can atleast get a close to accurate reading when on Sideband since SSB is audio driven without the peak option you would never be able to catch even your Average (AVG) power measurement as the meter would be jumping up and down freely at 100 MPH.

After this is when the power cord argument comes into play in most cases. No sense these people get pi$$y with me for being the fella to tell them the truth that their $200.00 Dosy DOES NOT HAVE A TRUE PEAK READING CIRCUIT!! Most MFJ Meters just like mant other don't but they are becoming more common and affordable to obtain a meter with (True Active Peak Reading Circuit) as I said the advertisement will tell you along with the owners manual or instruction paperwork.

Most True Peak Reading Meters will say right on the front . Also as mentioned they have to be powered by external power source or batteries as one of mine takes 12 volt power source or an internal 9 volt battery. I can modify the Radio Shack meters with a Capacitor that helps a ton as far as peak reading and they are not to far off but that's to be expected as they DO NOT HAVE A POWERED True Peak Reading Circuit but those little 2000 Watt Radio Shack Meters are more accurate then the other junk that's out there as far as TRUE HONEST AVERAGE OUTPUT POWER.

I have 6 or 7 of the older slant face ones and 1 of the newer plastic flat faced ones Ive done the mod to. Again as far as the PEAK mod I do its obviously not 100% accurate but doesn't lie and show you way more then what your actually doing but shows a decent reading amount above the typical average what your doing so basically better swing readings but again just a better4 reading of your average swing so to speak.
 

Singularity35

DU7DVE
Jan 16, 2014
425
89
138
Small City, Philippines
Thanks for the quick replies guys.

I'm not really wanting an exact output measurement but I see that on my built in meter at the power setting, it indicates just 2-4 bars. Shouldn't my meter range from 0-max when I speak into the mike during tx?
 

Captain Kilowatt

Professional Amateur
Staff member
Apr 6, 2005
16,847
11,000
823
59
Nova Scotia,Canada
I have went round and round with people and even had to explain this to a few fellow Ham operators!! The biggest argument was "Well my meter does have a power cord!!!" Then I have to explain that 9 tmes out of 10 that power cord is strictly for the light the meter may have in it for night viewing and this is not to power the circuit as the meter does not have a true active peak reading circuit!!

Exactly. Next time tell them to unplug the meter and see if it still works. If it does it is NOT a true pep meter.
 
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Captain Kilowatt

Professional Amateur
Staff member
Apr 6, 2005
16,847
11,000
823
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Nova Scotia,Canada
Thanks for the quick replies guys.

I'm not really wanting an exact output measurement but I see that on my built in meter at the power setting, it indicates just 2-4 bars. Shouldn't my meter range from 0-max when I speak into the mike during tx?


OK now we just went from an inaccurate average meter to an impossibly inaccurate built-in digital bar meter that is about as accurate as a ham sandwich. Mayo optional.

Mike gain and ALC settings will make a big difference however you really should be using an external TRUE pep meter.
 

TonyV225

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Apr 18, 2005
5,824
315
143
Wisconsin
It depends bud... On audio ETC Remember that seeing full slamming scale isn't always good ;) you can easily be overdriven at that point. Also the stock Mi9crophones help with assisting in not overdriving. If you whistle then most likely full scale on output or (RF) meter but if you talk normal its going to show less on the RF meter but you are still getting out clean and clear which is the most important. Go into your menu settings and go to RF Power Set its menu #75 make sure its 100 watts if that's what you want. Remember that only SSB will actually be 100 watts as the AM setting is auto matically set at 25 watts carrier when at the 100 watt reading again that's just AM MODE at 25 watts when all the way at 100.

Next go to Menu #81 This is your SSB Mic Gain you have 1 - 100 and 1oo being wide open so again becareful and I have ran mine there it was tolerable but no processor!! I run my SSB Mic Gain at 60 and its great there and again I don't use the processor. You may want to check that your processor isn't turned on as this can play games if not set right to begin with. Push function don't hold it in to get the menu all we want is a simple quick push hear the beep and rotate your select knob and watch the bottom of the display and above button C watch for PROC and make sure there isn't an arrow showing its turned on. if it is push the C button and the arrow will go away meaning its turned off then see what happens with the RF meter after pushing function and rotating select until you see DISP above button C then look at button B and you can push B to toggle between RF POWER ALC and SWR meters ;) If your getting good reports I wouldn't worry about what the radio meter shows even at 80 watts nobody would ever hear or see the difference between 80 and 100 Watts anyways ;)
 

Singularity35

DU7DVE
Jan 16, 2014
425
89
138
Small City, Philippines
Thank you guys. Not to be a smartass but I do love menu driven radios. I think I have mine set up correctly. Question now seems to be whether I'm really throwing enough juice. I guess antenna tuner with a power meter might be the next purchase. This never ends, does it? :D
 
Last edited:

Captain Kilowatt

Professional Amateur
Staff member
Apr 6, 2005
16,847
11,000
823
59
Nova Scotia,Canada
I am pretty sure the software in the radio Automatically reduces output in AM mode.
Check your output in CW not AM mode...
All the Best
Gary


EXACTLY. I was thinking last night that we were only assuming you were testing in SSB mode. SSB/CW/FM modes will show full 100 watts out. AM mode should show NO MORE THAN A 25 WATT CARRIER ON AM. If you are seeing more than 25 watts of unmodulated carrier on AM then the radio has had the menue settings messed with and you need to reset them. Again IN AM MODE THE RADIO SHOULD MAKE NO MORE THEN 25 WATTS. RTFM.
 

Singularity35

DU7DVE
Jan 16, 2014
425
89
138
Small City, Philippines
EXACTLY. I was thinking last night that we were only assuming you were testing in SSB mode. SSB/CW/FM modes will show full 100 watts out. AM mode should show NO MORE THAN A 25 WATT CARRIER ON AM. If you are seeing more than 25 watts of unmodulated carrier on AM then the radio has had the menue settings messed with and you need to reset them. Again IN AM MODE THE RADIO SHOULD MAKE NO MORE THEN 25 WATTS. RTFM.

I see. I'll have to make another vid doing LSB.
 

TonyV225

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Apr 18, 2005
5,824
315
143
Wisconsin
I explained lastnight about the power difference in AM and SSB I explained that AM will actually do a "25 watt" carrier at 100 watt setting in AM as its factory set for 25 watts maximum. I was thinking that if he was indeed testing it on AM that it would make sense which is why I explained the power level difference. so it makes sense if you think about it. If on SSB at 100 watts you see a full scale or close to on the internal RF meter then you will only see a 1/4 of that scale reading with 25 watts as its 1/4 of 100 watts thus showing a 1/4 of the full 100 watt scale ;)
 

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