Yaesu FT-8800R Mobile Ham Radio – Part #1

Yaesu FT- 8800R ham radioAnyone who has been in the Ham radio arena for 30 minutes or more knows the quality associated with the name Yaesu. The company has been putting out a high quality product for a very long time.  The FT-8800R is no exception. This was the second mobile radio I purchased and I am extremely glad I did.

I will go through my standard outline of reviewing this radio based on its designated mission and requirements.  Let’s get started…


Mission –

Provide reliable clear communications over two specific Ham frequency bands (2m & 70cm) bands for both  emergency/disaster/”grid-down” situation.  To use as the base unit for a cross-band repeater that is compatible with the Yaesu FT-60r and Baofeng UV5r dual-band handheld radios.

Requirements & Limitations –
  1. Must be sturdy, reliable and able to function in harsh environments; including in a off-road truck or as part of a remote location repeater system.
  2. Must be able to run on 12vDC power.
  3. Must have an internal speaker.
  4. Must be easily computer programmable.
  5. Should have a a large number of memory channels (at least 200).
  6. Should move easily from home to vehicle to repeaters system without undue effort.
The Good & Less Good

The Yaesu FT-8800R dual bander operates on 2 meters and 70 centimeters. High power output is featured with 50 watts on 2 meters and 35 watts on 430 MHz. It is like having two radios in one with dedicated Volume and Squelch controls on each side. And that is one of the, if not “the”, best aspect of this radio…you can easily and clearly monitor two frequencies or bands at once as individual radios.  I really can’t say much more about the really good aspects of this radio…it is darn near perfect!

There are some minor, very minor, drawbacks:
  • The buttons are not backlit.  I actually like this for OpSec purposes but for daily use it is a little irritating. When used as part of a repeater unit it really saves valuable battery power.
  • The internal speaker is usable but that s about it.  The quality is acceptable but much better with an external speaker.
  • You really need a computer and software to program this radio.  There are many features and trying to program them, or the frequencies, is more than difficult for me without the software.
The Details – Yaesu Dualband Amateur Ham Radio FT-8800R:Yaesu FT- 8800R ham radio
  • Built in features include: duplexer and CTCSS/DCS Encode/Decode.
  • Over 1000 memories are available. It is WiRES compatible.
  • Full twin Band w/ cross band repeater mode.
  • Features seperate volume & squelch controls, lighted mike, remote mountable faceplate.
  • Hasd ctcss/dcs, Alphanumeric display, 1000ch memories, scan modes.
  • Receives 108-520Mhz & 700-999Mhz (except cellular).
  • Transmits 2 meter band 144-148Mhz & 70cm band 430-450Mhz.
  • ARTS system, detachable Faceplate, cross-band repeat & more!
  • Requires regulated 12-13.8Vdc at 14 Amps or greater for power.Yaesu FT- 8800R ham radio
  • Receives 108-520Mhz & 700-999Mhz (except cellular).
  • Transmits 2 meter band 144-148Mhz & 70cm band 430-450Mhz.
  • ARTS system, detachable Faceplate, cross-band repeat & more!
  • Requires regulated 12-13.8Vdc at 14 Amps or greater for power.
  • Wide Frequency Coverage
  • Independent Two-Channel Operation
  • High Power Output
  • Over 1000 Memory Channels
  • Large, Easy-to-Read Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
  • Cross-Band Repeat Capability
  • One-Touch Band-Pattern
  • 50-Tone CTCSS/104-Tone DCS (Digital Code Squelch) Tone Systems
  • User-Programmable Microphone Keys
  • Convenient Remote-Head Mounting Capability

Wide Frequency Coverage

The FT-8800R provides extended receiver coverage beyond the Amateur bands, so you can keep informed of communication activities in the public safety, commercial, aircraft, and government communications ranges.

Independent Two-Channel Operation

The FT-8800R operates as two radios in one, with either 144 MHz or 430 MHz as the “Main” TX/RX band, while simultaneously monitoring the other band. Each band has its own Volume and Squelch controls. And, if you like, you can configure your FT-8800R for VHF-VHF or UHF-UHF operation, too!

High Power Output

To get your message through when it counts, the FT-8800R puts out a full 50 Watts of power on the 144 MHz band, and 35 Watts on 430 MHz. A thermal sensor monitors heat sink temperature, engaging the rear panel’s cooling fan only when needed.

Over 1000 Memory Channels

The FT-8800R provides a wide variety of memory resources, including 512 “regular” memories on each band, five “Home” channels for favorite frequencies, ten sets of band-edge memories on each band, and six “Hyper Memories” that store complete sets of transceiver operating status configuration.Yaesu FT- 8800R ham radio

Large, Easy-to-Read Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

Affording easy viewing from a wide range of viewing angles, the LCD of the FT-8800R features Yaesu’s renowned Omni-Glow™ display illumination, with four illumination levels available for different environments. You’ll marvel at the crystal-clear frequency display and status indicators, whether you’re operating night or day!

Cross-Band Repeat Capability

For emergency work, or to extend the range of a hand-held unit, the FT-8800R includes Cross-Band Repeat capability, similar to that pioneered on our popular FT-8100R Dual Band FM Mobile!

One-Touch Band-Pattern

To save valuable time while operating a transceiver with the capability of the FT-8800R, the “Hyper Memory” feature allows you to store a complete set of configuration data for the two bands on which you’re operating. Besides the usual storage of frequency and tone data, Hyper Memory will store such setup parameters as Automatic Repeater Shift status, Packet parameters, Scanning mode, and VFO tracking configuration.

50-Tone CTCSS/104-Tone DCS (Digital Code Squelch) Tone Systems

Providing excellent performance even under difficult link conditions, Yaesu’s 50-tone sub-audible CTCSS and 104-tone DCS signaling systems ensure that you have full access to repeater and remote-base inputs, and the built-in CTCSS/DCS decoders allow silent listening on busy channels. Plus you get Tone Search Scanning, which will scan for the tone being received on an incoming signal, allowing you to match tones quickly when operating on a new repeater system.

User-Programmable Microphone Keys

Four programmable keys on the microphone allow you one-touch access to your favorite command functions. The commands available from the microphone replicate the corresponding front panel key functions, and include Band Change, VFO/Memory switching, Home Channel access, 1 MHz frequency steps, Power Output selection, Repeater Reverse, and CTCSS/DCS setup. Customize your microphone for your personal operating style!Yaesu FT- 8800R ham radio

Yaesu FT- 8800R ham radioConvenient Remote-Head Mounting Capability

With the FT-8800R and its optional YSK-8900 Separation Kit, mounting your radio is a breeze even in the tightest locations. The YSK-8900 includes a 20-foot (6 m) remote cable and mounting bracket for the front panel.

Coming in Part #2 in about 30 minutes…See more of this radio review and accessories that make it even better; a few tips on installation and antennas, plus software to program it.

I will also be posting an article where I talk about building my remote location cross-band repeater. That article should appear in about 3 days.


This is a “BUY!”



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