Yaesu FT817ND

Started by medic photog, January 25, 2015, 10:53:55 pm

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medic photog

Picked up an 817ND last week along with an LDG antenna tuner, antenna and programming software.  As of now I'm set up with a lot of Yaesu gear.  2 VX8s, 2 FT857s, and the 817.  I like commonality and the way these radios work, where and how the features and  menus function.  I've also added a Vibroplex Bug for CW work, very nice key.  After a week, here's my thoughts on the 817.

It offers a lighter set up for QRP and adds SSB, packet, and CW that I didn't have with the HTs.  That might not sound like much until you need to use those options, then you wish you had them.  It is portable, fits nicely in a 72 hour pack without overloading it and can be used on the fly but makes a much better movable base unit.  Adding a battery system and an 857 is pretty heavy unless you need the additional power but with a good antenna you're set with the 817.  I do a lot of 2, 6, 19 meter and 70 cm stuff and there are plenty of program channel slots for everything I need either repeater or simplex.  With a bit of planning you can even set up separate groups of channels so you only need to go through, say a 2 meter repeater group, instead of all of them.  On a power supply it puts out 5 watts, on battery 2.5 watts, still plenty plus with a solar panel and YETI power system you're good to go max power for a long time.  There is a glitch when programming the radio and it's a pain to try and figure out on your own.  When you use the cable and RT Systems software you have to make sure you remove the cable from the radio and then the computer when done.  If you do it the other way around the radio may delete whatever CTCSS codes you programmed in for repeaters.  RT Systems is aware of this.  Don't know if it's something they can fix or not.  The 817 is the baby brother of the 857 which was the middle child when Yaesu was still making the 897.  Sources say the 897 is no longer made due to an exhausted chip supply and that the 857 will be next to go. That's a shame since these are some well made decently priced radios that should last a lifetime. 


It is a good radio. The nice thing about these Yeasu radios is the ability to use ssb on 2 meter and 70 cm. You can make that signal go a little bit further locally.