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blue box thief
February 5th 08, 01:18 PM
Hi all,

I am in the market for a new radio, and have been looking at some
different radios from the point of view of:

output power
ATU (internal, optional)
general receive coverage (at least 0-30MHz full coverage)
receive quality
internal filters (optional filters also)
ability to run on emergency power (I wish to use it for RACES-emcomm
usage)
ability to run as a home station

I want to run this radio 80% of the time as home station, and 20% as emcomm
station.

I have been looking at the FT-450 and it seems to be very capable and fits
most of the above requirements.

I have also been looking at the Yaesu FT-897, which seems to be a more
mobile radio.

I am still making the decision, but I was wondering if anyone has either radio
(or ideally both) and could give some opinions (constructive please!).

thanks in advance,
bernard
ei8fdb

The Shadow[_2_]
February 5th 08, 04:24 PM
"blue box thief" <"blue box > wrote in message
in...
> Hi all,
>
> I am in the market for a new radio, and have been looking at some
> different radios from the point of view of:
>
> output power
> ATU (internal, optional)
> general receive coverage (at least 0-30MHz full coverage)
> receive quality
> internal filters (optional filters also)
> ability to run on emergency power (I wish to use it for RACES-emcomm
> usage)
> ability to run as a home station
>
> I want to run this radio 80% of the time as home station, and 20% as
> emcomm
> station.
>
> I have been looking at the FT-450 and it seems to be very capable and fits
> most of the above requirements.
>
> I have also been looking at the Yaesu FT-897, which seems to be a more
> mobile radio.
>
> I am still making the decision, but I was wondering if anyone has either
> radio
> (or ideally both) and could give some opinions (constructive please!).
>
> thanks in advance,
> bernard
> ei8fdb

Over 227 reviews of the Yaesu FT-897 at URL:
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/2432

Over 37 reviews for the FT-450 at URL:
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/6583

Lamont

blue box thief
February 5th 08, 04:44 PM
On 2008-02-05, The Shadow > wrote:
>
> "blue box thief" <"blue box > wrote in message
> in...
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I am in the market for a new radio, and have been looking at some
>> different radios from the point of view of:
>>
>> output power
>> ATU (internal, optional)
>> general receive coverage (at least 0-30MHz full coverage)
>> receive quality
>> internal filters (optional filters also)
>> ability to run on emergency power (I wish to use it for RACES-emcomm
>> usage)
>> ability to run as a home station
>>
>> I want to run this radio 80% of the time as home station, and 20% as
>> emcomm
>> station.
>>
>> I have been looking at the FT-450 and it seems to be very capable and fits
>> most of the above requirements.
>>
>> I have also been looking at the Yaesu FT-897, which seems to be a more
>> mobile radio.
>>
>> I am still making the decision, but I was wondering if anyone has either
>> radio
>> (or ideally both) and could give some opinions (constructive please!).
>>
>> thanks in advance,
>> bernard
>> ei8fdb
>
> Over 227 reviews of the Yaesu FT-897 at URL:
> http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/2432
>
> Over 37 reviews for the FT-450 at URL:
> http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/6583

Hi lamont,

Yes, I have read both sets of reviews from eham (also looked at QST, and, I think,
the PW review).

The most logical reason for the more 897 reviews is that radio has been out alot longer
(4-5 more years?) than the 450 (it was released sometime last year).

Does anyone have any first hand experience/opinions of either of these radios?

thanks

Ed_G
February 5th 08, 06:04 PM
> I have been looking at the FT-450 and it seems to be very capable and
> fits most of the above requirements.
>
> I have also been looking at the Yaesu FT-897, which seems to be a more
> mobile radio.
>
> I am still making the decision, but I was wondering if anyone has
> either radio (or ideally both) and could give some opinions
> (constructive please!).


I made the same decision between those two radios over a year ago
and have no regrets in chosing the FT-450.. The receiver is
definitaly superior to the Rx in the Ft-897. The IF DSP features are
well worth it. I use mine primarily as the HF station in my motorhome,
as well as a backup to my IC-746 in the home station.

In addition to the hundreds of reviews already suggested to you,
you can also check out the Yahoo Groups for each of those models of
radios you are looking at.


Ed K7AAT

blue box thief
February 5th 08, 10:12 PM
On 2008-02-05, MTV > wrote:
> How many more opinions do you want? 264 not enough?
> MTV

No.

blue box thief
February 5th 08, 10:17 PM
Hi Ed,

Thank you for the reply, and comments.

On 2008-02-05, Ed_G > wrote:
> I made the same decision between those two radios over a year ago
> and have no regrets in chosing the FT-450.. The receiver is
> definitaly superior to the Rx in the Ft-897. The IF DSP features are
> well worth it. I use mine primarily as the HF station in my motorhome,
> as well as a backup to my IC-746 in the home station.

One question: what are the menuing systems like? I have no real problem with
getting to grips with menus, but some reviews seemed highly critical of them.

From POV of something like filtering, how easy are they to use?

> In addition to the hundreds of reviews already suggested to you,
> you can also check out the Yahoo Groups for each of those models of
> radios you are looking at.

Yep, I am a member of both the FT-450 and FT-897 Yahoo groups.

I was looking for another opinion on either/both radios.

Are there anythings you hate/love about the radio?

What antenna are you using with it?

Did you spring for the DTMF microphone? If so did it make frequency entry
easier?

Also, did you get any other options (ATU, etc?)

thanks for your comments and help.
b

Ed_G
February 6th 08, 02:06 AM
>
> One question: what are the menuing systems like? I have no real
> problem with getting to grips with menus, but some reviews seemed
> highly critical of them.

If I were to fault Yaesu for anything, it would be their menu system.
Of the big three, I find Yaesu's menu system to be the least intuitive.
That said, I will say that I find the menu system for the FT-450
"different", and perhaps more straight forward than that of the FT-897
system. I have an FT-817 which is similar to the FT-897 and FT-857
type radios and It is not nearly as easy to use as the FT-450.


>
> From POV of something like filtering, how easy are they to use?

Not as easy at the IC=746, but still better than the other Yaesu
radios to which I already referred.


>
> Are there anythings you hate/love about the radio?

No hate, nothing particular that I love, either.

>
> What antenna are you using with it?


A 23' base loaded vertical on the back of my motorhome. Works
superbly, but I always adjust my loading coil assy for a good 50 ohm
match for the radio.


>
> Did you spring for the DTMF microphone? If so did it make frequency
> entry easier?

I had no need for the DTMF microphone. I am pleased with the stock
mic.


>
> Also, did you get any other options (ATU, etc?)


Since my home brew antennas always are designed for a 50 ohm match, I
had no need to get the matching unit.


Ed K7AAT

Tom Ring[_2_]
February 7th 08, 03:23 AM
blue box thief wrote:

>
> Hi lamont,
>
> Yes, I have read both sets of reviews from eham (also looked at QST, and, I think,
> the PW review).
>
> The most logical reason for the more 897 reviews is that radio has been out alot longer
> (4-5 more years?) than the 450 (it was released sometime last year).
>
> Does anyone have any first hand experience/opinions of either of these radios?
>
> thanks
>

Just one, do NOT buy the D model of this radio, or its twin, the 857.
The only real change was they made it impossible to do the software mods
on it. To put it another way, if you have the 897 instead of the 897D,
you can easily add the 60m "channels" to normal memory locations after
doing the software mod.

That being said, both the D and non-D models have some serious hardware
issues, all of which are fixable. The processor isn't one, it's simply
a 100 gain op amp that starts to clip as you turn it up, no filtering,
no nothing. Fixable with 4 or 5 resistors and caps as I remember. The
finals bias currents are normally not set properly at the factory.
Simple to fix. The drivers, which are the FT817 finals, have the same
problem they did in the 817, they tend to blow up under certain
conditions. To be fair, it's very rare, and fixable with a voltage
regulator. The ALC time constant is way to fast, which causes dropouts
in during portions of words. This one is very easy to fix with a single
cap. There are some others that are less of a problem.

I own an 897 and an 857D, and they do not work at all alike on transmit,
though they are theoretically virtually identical. Both are very good on
receive for the design, and essentially the same. The 897 is great on
transmit, and the 857D is, to put it bluntly, absolute crap. I am
fairly certain that this is due to the bias on the finals, but will not
be able to confirm that until I can take it in for realignment. I will
do that, and then have the other mods done one at a time to see how the
transmit audio changes.

For more information on the 897/857, see the DG2IAQ document. I found a
copy on mods.dk. It may be available other places. It is very well done.

tom
K0TAR

blue box thief
February 7th 08, 12:34 PM
Hi Ed,

Thanks for the reply.

On 2008-02-06, Ed_G > wrote:
>
> If I were to fault Yaesu for anything, it would be their menu system.
> Of the big three, I find Yaesu's menu system to be the least intuitive.
> That said, I will say that I find the menu system for the FT-450
> "different", and perhaps more straight forward than that of the FT-897
> system. I have an FT-817 which is similar to the FT-897 and FT-857
> type radios and It is not nearly as easy to use as the FT-450.

That is very good news. Very glad to hear it. So the 450, has a
"better" menu system than the 817/57/97?

>> From POV of something like filtering, how easy are they to use?
>
> Not as easy at the IC=746, but still better than the other Yaesu
> radios to which I already referred.



> No hate, nothing particular that I love, either.


> A 23' base loaded vertical on the back of my motorhome. Works
> superbly, but I always adjust my loading coil assy for a good 50 ohm
> match for the radio.

With all these average, or "positive" comments, I don't understand how the radio
has received bad reviews.

Thank you very much for your comments Ed. You'd helped me alot.

much appreciated.

b
ei8fdb

blue box thief
February 7th 08, 12:47 PM
On 2008-02-07, Tom Ring > wrote:
>> Does anyone have any first hand experience/opinions of either of these radios?
>
> Just one, do NOT buy the D model of this radio, or its twin, the 857.
> The only real change was they made it impossible to do the software mods
> on it. To put it another way, if you have the 897 instead of the 897D,
> you can easily add the 60m "channels" to normal memory locations after
> doing the software mod.

I like software mods, once you don't brick the thing :)

> That being said, both the D and non-D models have some serious hardware

<SNIP>

Ok, thanks for the information regarding the D/non-D models. Note made.

>
> I own an 897 and an 857D, and they do not work at all alike on transmit,
> though they are theoretically virtually identical. Both are very good on
> receive for the design, and essentially the same. The 897 is great on
> transmit, and the 857D is, to put it bluntly, absolute crap. I am

Interesting Tom. I have heard bad results from the 857D, but not anything
about the 857, as it is discontinued I think.

Have you any experience of the 817? I had thought about picking one up for
SOTA type stuff. The dollar is a good price for me at the moment :)

> For more information on the 897/857, see the DG2IAQ document. I found a
> copy on mods.dk. It may be available other places. It is very well done.

Yup, I have used mods.dk before. It is a good website.

blue box thief
February 7th 08, 12:49 PM
On 2008-02-07, blue box thief <"blue box > wrote:
>
>> A 23' base loaded vertical on the back of my motorhome. Works
>> superbly, but I always adjust my loading coil assy for a good 50 ohm
>> match for the radio.

Oh, one more thing Ed. Have you ever carried the radio for a long distance?
Is it heavy? I know its 2.xKg, but just wondering if its possible to carry
the thing in a backpack?

Just curious..

thanks
b
ei8fdb

Tom Ring[_2_]
February 7th 08, 02:23 PM
blue box thief wrote:
>
> Have you any experience of the 817? I had thought about picking one up for
> SOTA type stuff. The dollar is a good price for me at the moment :)
>

I owned an 817 for about 2 years, and wish I still had it. I used it
for PSK31 a lot. I had a Z11 tuner velcro'd to the top and they were a
good pair. It got traded in when I purchased the 897.

tom
K0TAR

blue box thief
February 7th 08, 04:35 PM
On 2008-02-07, Tom Ring > wrote:
> I owned an 817 for about 2 years, and wish I still had it. I used it
> for PSK31 a lot. I had a Z11 tuner velcro'd to the top and they were a
> good pair. It got traded in when I purchased the 897.

Yes I have read about the combination of the Z11 and the 817.
I might have a look and see if I can get an 817 as well as the 450.

thanks very much for your help.

b
ei8fdb

Ed_G
February 7th 08, 05:55 PM
> That is very good news. Very glad to hear it. So the 450, has a
> "better" menu system than the 817/57/97?


Menus are a rather "personal" interface between the operator and the
hardware. I am rather old fashined and I like knobs and buttons with
dedicated functions. Not much made like that now-a-days. While the FT-
450 is a bit better in this regard compared to those other modern Yaesu
radios, it is NOT even close to perfect by any means. In my opinion,
yes, the FT-450 has a 'better' menu system but others may disagree.


Ed K7AAT

Ed_G
February 7th 08, 05:59 PM
> Oh, one more thing Ed. Have you ever carried the radio for a long
> distance? Is it heavy? I know its 2.xKg, but just wondering if its
> possible to carry the thing in a backpack?
>

No, I'm not much of a packer any more. If there was any significant
reason for me to pack a radio on my body, I would get the FT-857...
although more for size reason than weight. THe FT-450 is smallish, and
far lighter and smaller than most of the radios aimed at use as a
primary base station, but still, its a bit big compared to the smaller
mobile type radios.

Yes, its is possible to carry the FT-450 but its size, in my
opinion, would possibly preclude carrying some other desired stuff....
and of course batteries would be the biggest problem. If you really
want to hoof it into the wilderness I'd recommend something like the FT-
817... even though it is a QRP rig.



Ed K7AAT

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