Yaesu FT-897D Ham Radio – Part #2

Yaesu FT-897DAs mentioned in Part #1 of this series (Yaesu FT-897D Ham Radio – Part #1), I really love this mobile unit!  The Yaesu FT-897D is an amazing piece of Ham radio technology wrapped up in a very compact and sturdy package for HF and UHF/VHF operations in the field or as a base station.  This thing does it all and exceeds my mission requirements and expectations.

In the last post (Yaesu FT-897D Ham Radio – Part #1) I covered the specifics of the Yaesu FT-897D itself.  In this post I will go over the accessories, installation info and some other tidbits.

 

LDG AT-897 Plus  auto-tuner

LDG-AT-897 Plus : The AT-897Plus Autotuner mounts on the side of your FT-897 just like it is original equipment. They even added the ability to mount the “feet” on the side of the tuner so when you are transporting your rig by the handle, you can safely and securely set it down and not worry about scratching the case.

The AT-897Plus is microprocessor controlled. The tuner has a front panel button to initiate the tuning sequence while lowering the RF power to 25 watts and will bypass the tuner if pressed momentarily. The red LED lights during while the tuner is active.  The AT-897Plus takes control and power directly from the CAT port of the FT-897 (at 4800 baud) and provides a second CAT port on the back of the tuner so if you are using another CAT device, hooking it up couldn’t be easier.  The AT-897Plus does not need a fan, let alone one that is constantly running. Current consumption when it is tuned is in the micro-amp range. Autotuner specifications –

  •     Microprocessor controlled
  •     2000 fast memories arranged by frequency
  •     Switched L tuning network
  •     Mounts on the side of the Yaesu FT-897 with four M3-0.5×10 screws (included)
  •     Dual function tune control button
  •     Continuous coverage 1.8 to 54 MHz
  •     Power rating HF: 0.1 to 100 Watts, 30W on PSK
  •     Latching Relays
  •     CAT control at 4800 baud with extra CAT Port
  •     Tuning time: 1 to 7 seconds, 4 average
  •     Antenna impedance: 6 to 800 Ohms (Approximately up to 10:1 SWR, 3:1 on 6M)
  •     Tunes nearly any coax fed antenna. Use optional Balun for long wires.
  •     Power requirements: 11 to 14 volts DC @ 300 milliamps during tune
  •     Operating voltage supplied via the CAT Port (cable supplied with tuner)
  •     Enclosure sizes: 11.5D x 3.25H x 1.5W (measured in inches)
  •     Weight: 2 pounds

BUXCOMM WINDOM dipole antennaDipole Antenna :  Buxcomm Windoms (Includes 4:1 BALUN PoweRated @ 2000 watts PEP).  SuperFlex PVC covered wire, and covered connections to the BALUNs and end insulators. BALUNs use multiple cores, and are power-rated to handle 2000 watts PEP, and the hardware is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.

The BUXCOMM Windom (OCFD) is well known for its 4 to 9dbi gain over the common dipole.  Field gain test has shown, when the BUXCOMM OCFD is chosen for the lowest band of operation, each harmonic related HF band above it will exhibit 2.0 to 3.75dbi greater than the next lower neighbor band.  All this great performance is achieved through the use of specially selected toroids we use in the manufacture of our BALUNs.  They use a uniquely designed BALUN that exceeds the bandwidth of any of the competitors matching device. Pick the model best for your operations:  160 – 2m  (268′) #166265, 80 – 2m  (137′) #802134, 40 – 2m  (70′) #40270.

Buxcomm Coaxial in-Line isolator B2KLISO

 

Isolator :  Buxcomm Coaxial in-Line isolator B2KLISO.  The BUXCOMM LISO (line isolator) inhibits undesired RFI by preventing feedline currents and re-radiation. In turn, the LISO forces all the RF energy from the transceiver, tuner, or amplifier, into the antenna.

 

 

Yaesu FNB-78 BatteryYaesu FT-897D

Internal Battery :  (Radio can accommodate 2 batteries internally) Yaesu FNB-78 Battery

 

 

 

Yaesu CD-24 Battery Charger Adaptor

Internal Battery Charger Adapter : Yaesu CD-24 Battery Charger Adapter

 

 

 

RadioAntennaCar

Vehicle external antenna for temporary dual band (2m & 70cm) operations : This antenna is a must have for temporary vehicle operations.  It is not a permanent antenna, it is a magnetic mount antenna.  You can move the antenna to other vehicles if needed.  You can also use it in a non-vehicle setting as well by placing the antenna higher than the radio would normally be located.  This antenna can only be used for the UHF/VHF bands but it does have its own antenna connection on the back of the 897D.

 

 

 

Yaesu MLS100 external speakerExternal Speaker :  I had to go with a Yaesu MLS-100.  You can buy other speakers but I like the idea of a speaker that is matched to the radio by the manufacturer. The Yaesu Vertex MLS-100 external loudspeaker is a high performance communications speaker matching the impedance and output requirements of most Yaesu transceivers. It mounts on a swivel stand that is supplied along with mounting screws and bolts. A 6.5 foot (2m) audio cable that terminates in a 3.5 mm mono mini plug is also supplied. Black plastic cased speaker and black metal mount. Impedance is 4 ohms and the maximum power input is 12 watts. Yes, the FT-8900r has an internal speaker, but for vehicle operations and the associated noise I think an external speaker is really needed.  Dimensions: Height: 3.75 in., Width: 5.5 in., Depth 1.75 in.

Heil Sound - PMS-6 & Headset Adapter for YaesuHeadset with Boom Mic :  Heil Sound – PMS-6 & Headset Adapter.  Why?  Because I believe that there are times when you want, or need, more privacy or the ability to hear/speak under adverse conditions.  A headset with boom mic is the right answer.  The Pro Micro Single Side is a very unique high performance single sided headset.  This headset is outfitted with the HC-6 element and is designed for commercial broadcast applications, the -3dB points are fixed at 100 Hz and 12 kHz with sensitivity of -57 dB at 600 ohms output impedance (centered at 1 kHz.).  The microphone audio for the Pro Micro series terminates into a 1/8” male plug while the head phone terminates into a 1/8” stereo with adaptor. To adjust the headset simply bend the stainless steel piece that is inside the black padded headband.

Mic Gain
Adjust the mic gain while watching the ALC meter. Adjust so that the audio peaks just fill out the ALC scale and do not go beyond the ALC scale.

Speaker
The 706 speaker works all the time. To turn that off simply plug an empty 1/8” plug into the front headphone jack.

Vox  (voice activated transmission)
Set the Vox gain controls for proper activation.

Carrier Balance
If your rig has carrier balance it acts as a type of mic tone control. It is best to listen to yourself in another receiver as you transmit into a dummy load. You are actually moving the carrier + or – 200 Hz above or below the center of the filter network, which causes your microphone audio to change its tonal quality.  The use of the AD-1 series mic adapters allow simple interface with popular transceiver inputs. The adapter is 6” long and has a 1/8” female input jack for the boomset microphone and a 1/4” female that is for the PTT (push to talk) line for the Heil foot switch or hand switch. The 1/4” stereo plug goes into the headphone jack on the transceiver front panel.  All Heil Pro Micro Boomsets are shipped with foam windscreen that fits over the microphone. The windscreen does not change the frequency response, just the breath blasts directly into the microphone.

RT Systems programming software for the FT-897DProgramming Software w/cable :  RT Systems FT-899D Radio Software.  While the radio is fully programmable from the front panel that is not the way you want to try and program this radio. I tried several different “free” programming software program; had problems with all of them.  RT Systems puts out a superb product that can’t be beat in my opinion. FYI – You can use the files from any of the RT Systems software to transfer to any other radio that you are programming.  So I can use all programming I did for my FT-60r for my Yaesu 8900 radio with a simple click of a software button.

 

NOTE: I will be posting programming files for different parts of the country as well as different repeater systems.

MFJ-4230MV COMPACT SWITCHAC Power Supply : MFJ Enterprises Inc. MFJ-4230MV COMPACT SWITCH (COMPACT SWITCH PS, METER, 4-16V ADJ. 110/220VAC).  This is a great AC power transformer, high quality and very reliable.

This is the world’s most compact switching power supply that also has a meter and adjustable voltage control. Just 5″ W x 2 ½” H x 6″ D, it weighs only 3 lbs. — it is the perfect pack-n-go power supply for field day, DXpeditions, camping, hiking or to pack for your next business trip or vacation to some far away place. MFJ-4230MV gives you 25 Amps continuously or 30 Amps surge at 13.8 VDC. The voltage is front-panel adjustable from 4 to 16 Volts. MFJ-4230MV also has a selectable input voltage: choose from 120 or 240 VAC at 47 – 63 Hz.

A simple front-panel push-button switch lets you choose either Ampmeter or Voltmeter — allows you to select Amps or Volts as you wish to read them. MFJ-4230MV has an excellent 75% efficiency and extra low ripple and noise, < 100 mV. Awhisper-quiet fan cools by convection and forced air cooling. Normal air-flow around the power supply is continuous and a heat sensor increases the fan speed when the temperature rises above 70 degrees Celsius. DC output is five way binding posts on the back of the MFJ-4230MV so you can power your dedicated HF, VHF or UHF transceiver with ease.

Charge Guard CG-MP

 

TIP – Battery protection when installed in a vehicle :  I also use Charge Guard CG-MP timer for my truck’s power installation.  This ensures that I won’t inadvertently run my battery dead using my Ham radio without the engine running.  Well worth the $’s.

 

 

Anderson Power PolesTIP – Power connectors :  I use Anderson Power Poles for all my power connections.  This makes hooking up my power “brainless” and quick.  Plus it gives me the added advantage of using power cables, fuses, etc. for more than one radio.  Basically allows for flexibility.  I chose Anderson Power Poles because there are essentially the standard for Ham radio operators.

 

So this concludes my review of the Yaesu FT-897D radio.  It is a solid “Buy!”  You will not be disappointed and it will serve you for a very long time, especially when the grid goes down and you need the ultimate Ham radio.

I will be posting an article in the future that shares some of my “power” ideas on keeping your radio rig up and running plus what my 897 “go kit” looks like along with a list of its contents.  Look for it!

 

Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Yaesu FT-897D Ham Radio – Part #1

Yaesu FT-897D Yaesu has been putting out high quality products for a very long time.  The FT-897R is no exception. This was the HF radio I purchased and I am extremely glad I did. It meets or exceeds every expectation I have for a quality HF rig, then it throws in an added bonus – UHF/VHF.

I will go through my standard outline of reviewing this radio based on its designated mission and requirements.  But before I move on I want to tell you the best feature of this HF rig – it also handles my favorite bands 2m & 70cm as well!  The 6m band coverage is built-in as well.  Way more bang for the buck than I imagined.  Let’s get started on the rest of the info…

 

Mission –Yaesu FT-897D with LDG AT-897 auto-tuner

Provide reliable clear communications over the HF Ham frequency band for both disaster and ”grid-down” situations in the field or function as a base station.

Requirements & Limitations –
  1. Must be able to access all HF (High Frequency) band frequencies.
  2. Must be a sturdy radio fully capable of hard field use.
  3. Must be 12vDC compatible.
  4. Must be easy to computer program.
  5. Must have headset jack.
  6. Should have internal batteries
The Good & Less Good
  1. Absolutely great to have the added bonus of 6m, 2m, and 70cm bands in the 897!!  This unit is the ultimate “grid-down” radio.Yaesu FT-897D dual antenna hook-up.
  2. You can hook up two antennas to this unit.  One for the UHF/VHF bands, the other is for HF & 6m bands.  Really a sweet option if you are going for an “all-in-one” radio.
  3. Mic is a mini-remote control unit for the radio.  It can step through the menus just like using the front panel.
  4. Very solid and reliable.
  5. Easy to program via the RT Systems programming software.
  6. Read the manual and use on-line resources to understand the full capability and operation of this radio.
  7. Use an automatic tuner and this radio rocks!
There are some minor, very minor, drawbacks:
  1. I have heard of, but not experienced, some minor RF interference on the mic from being too close to an antenna.  My antenna is nowhere near my mic so I have not had this problem.
  2. The manual doesn’t cover everything this radio is capable of.  Use on-line resources for additional information.
  3. If HF is crowded and busy, the radio is not the best out there.  But it doesn’t cost $5000 either.
  4. The internal speaker is adequate but not the best quality.  Use an external speaker or headset for high-quality listening.
The Details –Yaesu FT-897D in the field

The FT-897D is a rugged, innovative, multi-band, multi-mode portable transceiver for the amateur radio MF/HF/VHF/UHF bands. Providing coverage of the 160-10 meter bands plus the 6m, 2m, and 70cm bands, the FT-897 includes operation on the SSB, CW, AM, FM, and Digital modes, and it’s capable of 20-Watt portable operation using internal batteries, or up to 100 Watts when using an external 13.8-volt DC power source (standard 12vDC operation).

The new FT-897″D” version includes coverage of the U.S. 60-meter (5 MHz) band, along with the 0.5 ppm TCXO Unit, at no additional charge. The coverage is HF 160 to 10 meters (including 60 meters) plus 50/144/430 MHz VHF/UHF. Receive coverage is:  0.1-56, 76-108, 118-164 and 420-470 MHz.

  • TX Frequency Coverage: 160-10 Meters, 50 MHz, 144 MHz, 430-450 MHz, plus Alaska Emergency Chan. (5167.5 kHz).
  • RX Frequency Coverage: 100 kHz-56 MHz; 76-154 MHz; 420 – 470 MHz. (Exact frequency range may be slightly different)
  • Power Output: 100 watts HF-6M, 50 watts 2 M, 20 watts 70 cm. (20 watts on battery)
  • Operating Modes: USB, LSB, CW, AM, FM, W-FM, Digital (AFSK), Packet (1200/9600 FM).
  • Digital Modes: RTTY, PSK31-U, PSK31-L, and User defined USB/LSB (SSTV, Pactor, etc.).
  • S. Weather Band reception.
  • Built-in 3-Message Memory Keyer.
  • Multi-Color LCD Multi-function Display.
  • Bar-Graph Metering of Power Output, ALC, SWR, Modulation.
  • Optional Narrow CW and SSB Filters.
  • AGC Fast-Slow-Auto-Off Selection.
  • RF Gain/Squelch Control/IF Control.
  • Built-in Noise Blanker.
  • AM and FM broadcast reception.
  • Dual VFOs, Split Capability, IF Shift, and R.I.T. (“Clarifier”).
  • Wide/Narrow FM Selection.
  • AM Aircraft Reception.
  • Dedicated SSB-based Digital Mode for PSK31 on USB/LSB, AFSK RTTY, etc.
  • Built-in CW Electronic Keyer and Semi-Break-In.
  • Transverter Interface Jack.
  • Built-in VOX.
  • Carry Handle.
  • Built-in CTCSS and DCS.
  • ARTS™ (Auto-Range Transponder System).
  • Smart Search™ Automatic Memory Loading System.
  • Spectrum Scope.
  • 200 Regular Memories, plus Home Channels and Band-Limit (PMS) Memories.
  • Alpha-Numeric Labeling of Memory Channels.
  • Automatic Power-Off (APO) and Tx Time-Out Timer (TOT) Features.
  • CAT System Computer Control Capability Cloning Capability.
  • Battery-Powered Field Operation
  • Base Station Operation
  • Rugged, High-Output Power Amplifier
  • Built-in Digital Signal Processing
  • Outstanding Features for the CW Expert

Battery-Powered Field Operation

The bottom side of the FT-897 contains a “power source tray” which can accommodate up to two of the optional 13.2 Volt, 4500 mAh FNB-78 Ni-MH Battery Packs, for completely portable operation without any external power source. Maximum power output is 20 Watts (all bands) during battery operation, and with two FNB-78s you may expect up to eight hours of operating time (TX 5%, RX 5%, standby 90%). What’s more, you can charge one of the FNB-78 Battery Packs while operating the FT-897 off the other pack—ideal for situations where solar or other power sources are available.

The optional CD-24 Charge Adapter provides the necessary voltage for charging, and it may be used in conjunction with an external 13.8 Volt source, or the optional PA-26 AC Adapter may be used to power the CD-24.

DC 13.8V Mobile Operation

Mobile operation, using the FT-897D as the cornerstone, is pure joy! The combination of the FT-897 and the ATAS-120 Auto-Tune Antenna System provides automated operation from HF through the UHF spectrum!

Using an external 13.8 Volt power source, you get a full 100 Watts of power output on HF and six meters (144 MHz: 50 W, 430 MHz: 20 W).

Base Station Operation

The FT-897’s outstanding fundamental performance invites expansion into a full-featured base station. The optional FP-30 Internal Power Supply provides operation from AC sources, and the clamp-on FC-30 Automatic Antenna Tuner option expands the impedance range of the transceiver. Round out your station with the MD-200A8X Deluxe Desk Microphone and the VL-1000 Quadra System Linear Amplifier for world-class performance at home!

The power source tray of the FT-897 is designed to accommodate the optional FP-30 Internal Power Supply, allowing full-power operation from 100-120 V or 200-240 V AC power sources. The quiet switching-regulator design of the FP-30 is tolerant of AC input voltage variations, making it ideal for DX-pedition use! And to extend the impedance bandwidth of your antenna system, the innovative FC-30 Automatic Antenna Tuner option clamps onto the left side of the FT-897 in seconds!

Rugged, High-Output Power Amplifier

Achieving 100 Watts of power output from such a compact package is a difficult mechanical and electrical engineering task. On HF, push-pull 2SC5125 Bipolar transistors driven by push-pull 2SK2975s provide the 100-Watt power capability, while on VHF maximum efficiency during battery operation is yielded by 2SC3102 bipolar PA transistors. The rugged aluminum die-cast chassis provides a solid foundation for the heat sink for the power amplifier, with a total of almost 40 cubic inches of heat sink surface area available. With its thermostatically-controlled twin cooling fans, the FT-897 will stand up to the rigors of DX-pedition or home contest use, with dissipation capability to spare!

Built-in Digital Signal Processing

The FT-897 includes a wide array of analog and DSP filters to help you dig out those weak DX signals on a crowded band! One-touch activation of the DSP filters, plus a convenient “DSP” LED on the front panel, enhance the ease of using the DSP. DSP Bandpass Filters, Noise Reduction, and Auto-Notch Filter circuits are included.

Look for Part #2 in this review of the 897 for information on antenna, accessories, etc. Yaesu FT-897D Ham Radio – Part #2  <click here>

This is a “BUY!”

 

 

Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Yaesu FT-8800R Mobile Ham Radio – Part #2

Yaesu FT-8900r Quad-Band Ham Radio As mentioned in Part #1 of this series, I really love this mobile unit!  The Yaesu FT-8800r is an amazing piece of Ham radio technology wrapped up in a very compact and sturdy package.  It is perfect for the “repeaters” part of its mission.  This thing does it all and matches my mission requirements and then it exceeded my expectations.

In the last post (Yaesu FT-8800R Mobile Ham Radio – Part #1) I covered the specifics of the Yaesu FT-8800R itself.  In this post I will go over the accessories, installation info and some other tidbits.

 

RadioAntennaCarVehicle external antenna for temporary dual band (2m & 70cm) operations : This antenna is a must have for temporary vehicle operations.  It is not a permanent antenna, it is a magnetic mount antenna.  You can move the antenna to other vehicles if needed.  You can also use it in a non-vehicle setting as well by placing the antenna higher than the radio would normally be located. Great option where portability is needed and only dual-band operations are needed. It is also a great option for an antenna when using a repeaters.

 

Browning BR-180 Amateur Dual-Band Mobile Antenna Vehicle permanent (or semi-permanent) mount external antenna : The Browning BR-180 Amateur Dual Band Mobile Antenna

The BR-180 is 37″ tall and has .4dB gain. Engineered for NMO mounting, this antenna has improved clarity and signal reception. This Browning antenna uses a center load.  Sturdy construction, enough flex in the antenna itself, and normally SWR of 1.5 or below right out of the box.
Specifics –

  •     37″ tall
  •     Frequency: 144-148 MHz/430-450MHz
  •     2.4dB gain UHF
  •     5.5 dB gain VHF mobile antenna
  •     NMO mounting (mount sold separately)
  •     Center load
  •     One Year WarrantyNOTE: Do NOT try a mag mount with this antenna.  It is not intended to be used as such.  The NMO mount is the way to go for a dependable mount to your vehicle.

Yaesu MLS100 external speakerExternal Speaker :  I had to go with a Yaesu MLS-100.  You can buy other speakers but I like the idea of a speaker that is matched to the radio by the manufacturer. The Yaesu Vertex MLS-100 external loudspeaker is a high performance communications speaker matching the impedance and output requirements of most Yaesu transceivers. It mounts on a swivel stand that is supplied along with mounting screws and bolts. A 6.5 foot (2m) audio cable that terminates in a 3.5 mm mono mini plug is also supplied. Black plastic cased speaker and black metal mount. Impedance is 4 ohms and the maximum power input is 12 watts. Yes, the FT-8900r has an internal speaker, but for vehicle operations and the associated noise I think an external speaker is really needed.  Dimensions: Height: 3.75 in., Width: 5.5 in., Depth 1.75 in.

Heil Sound - PMS-6 & Headset Adapter for YaesuHeadset with Boom Mic :  Heil Sound – PMS-6 & Headset Adapter.  Why?  Because I believe that there are times when you want, or need, more privacy or the ability to hear/speak under adverse conditions.  A headset with boom mic is the right answer.  The Pro Micro Single Side is a very unique high performance single sided headset.  This headset is outfitted with the HC-6 element and is designed for commercial broadcast applications, the -3dB points are fixed at 100 Hz and 12 kHz with sensitivity of -57 dB at 600 ohms output impedance (centered at 1 kHz.).  The microphone audio for the Pro Micro series terminates into a 1/8” male plug while the head phone terminates into a 1/8” stereo with adaptor. To adjust the headset simply bend the stainless steel piece that is inside the black padded headband.

Mic Gain
Adjust the mic gain while watching the ALC meter. Adjust so that the audio peaks just fill out the ALC scale and do not go beyond the ALC scale.

Speaker
The 706 speaker works all the time. To turn that off simply plug an empty 1/8” plug into the front headphone jack.

Vox  (voice activated transmission)
Set the Vox gain controls for proper activation.

Carrier Balance
If your rig has carrier balance it acts as a type of mic tone control. It is best to listen to yourself in another receiver as you transmit into a dummy load. You are actually moving the carrier + or – 200 Hz above or below the center of the filter network, which causes your microphone audio to change its tonal quality.  The use of the AD-1 series mic adapters allow simple interface with popular transceiver inputs. The adapter is 6” long and has a 1/8” female input jack for the boomset microphone and a 1/4” female that is for the PTT (push to talk) line for the Heil foot switch or hand switch. The 1/4” stereo plug goes into the headphone jack on the transceiver front panel.  All Heil Pro Micro Boomsets are shipped with foam windscreen that fits over the microphone. The windscreen does not change the frequency response, just the breath blasts directly into the microphone.

RT Systems FT-8800r programming softwareProgramming Software w/cable :  RT Systems FT-8800r Radio Software.  While the radio is fully programmable from the front panel that is not the way you want to try and program this radio. I tried several different “free” programming software program; had problems with all of them.  RT Systems puts out a superb product that can’t be beat in my opinion. FYI – You can use the files from any of the RT Systems software to transfer to any other radio that you are programming.  So I can use all programming I did for my FT-60r or Yaesu FT-8900r for my Yaesu 8800 radio with a simple click of a software button.

NOTE: I will be posting programming files for different parts of the country as well as different repeater systems.

MFJ-4230MV COMPACT SWITCHAC Power Supply : MFJ Enterprises Inc. MFJ-4230MV COMPACT SWITCH (COMPACT SWITCH PS, METER, 4-16V ADJ. 110/220VAC).  This is a great AC power transformer, high quality and very reliable.

This is the world’s most compact switching power supply that also has a meter and adjustable voltage control. Just 5″ W x 2 ½” H x 6″ D, it weighs only 3 lbs. — it is the perfect pack-n-go power supply for field day, DXpeditions, camping, hiking or to pack for your next business trip or vacation to some far away place. MFJ-4230MV gives you 25 Amps continuously or 30 Amps surge at 13.8 VDC. The voltage is front-panel adjustable from 4 to 16 Volts. MFJ-4230MV also has a selectable input voltage: choose from 120 or 240 VAC at 47 – 63 Hz.

A simple front-panel push-button switch lets you choose either Ampmeter or Voltmeter — allows you to select Amps or Volts as you wish to read them. MFJ-4230MV has an excellent 75% efficiency and extra low ripple and noise, < 100 mV. Awhisper-quiet fan cools by convection and forced air cooling. Normal air-flow around the power supply is continuous and a heat sensor increases the fan speed when the temperature rises above 70 degrees Celsius. DC output is five way binding posts on the back of the MFJ-4230MV so you can power your dedicated HF, VHF or UHF transceiver with ease.

Charge Guard CG-MP

TIP – Battery protection when installed in a vehicle :  I also use Charge Guard CG-MP timer for my truck’s power installation.  This ensures that I won’t inadvertently run my battery dead using my Ham radio without the engine running.  Well worth the $’s.

 

 

Anderson Power PolesTIP – Power connectors :  I use Anderson Power Poles for all my power connections.  This makes hooking up my power “brainless” and quick.  Plus it gives me the added advantage of using power cables, fuses, etc. for more than one radio.  Basically allows for flexibility.  I chose Anderson Power Poles because there are essentially the standard for Ham radio operators.

 

So this concludes my review of the Yaesu FT-8800r dual-band radio.  It is a solid “Buy!”  You will not be disappointed and it will serve you for a very long time.

I have posted an article that shows how I set-up a solar powered, remote location, cross-band repeater using the FT-8800r.  <click here to read the article>

I will be posting an article in the future that shares some of my “power” ideas on keeping your radio rig up and running plus what my 8800 “go kit” looks like along with a list of its contents.  Look for it!

 

Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

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.

 

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.  Yaesu FT-8800R Mobile Ham Radio – Part #2

I will also be posting an article where I talk about building my remote location cross-band repeater.

 

This is a “BUY!”

 

 

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