FT-857d discontinued

Just learnt that Yaesu has discontinued this great portable radio. It has been a fine rig for SOTA for many years. Confirmed with the VK dealer. Nothing has been put forward as replacement.

Very sad.

73 de Geoff vk3sq

FT 891 is a similar rig but better than the 857 I had. The FT 857 I used had a horrible noisy receiver to try to pull out low CW signals inspite of the filtering they claimed to have. FT 891 is much better being the latest version you would hope it was better of course.
Hope to cu out on a summit later on.
vk5cz …

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Hi Ian, Hi Geoff,
I believe Yaesu intended to withdraw the FT857D after they released the FT891, in the same way that the FT897D was withdrawn when they released the FT991 (and 991A later). There was such a reaction in the Ham community however that the FT857D (which has VHF & UHF, that the 891 doesn’t), that production continued and the price of the FT891 was dropped until it became attractive enough for people to buy it on its own merits rather than as the FT857D replacement.

I suspect Yaesu have decided to stop the FT857D production now due to lack of parts. The design is now old and getting some parts to keep production going (and cutting into the FT891 market somewhat) doesn’t make financial sense. The other option could have been, as was done with the FT817ND/FT818, a redesign of the rig to use more modern components but again this level of investment probably made no sense.

The FT891 is a far more modern design and has undoubtedly a better receiver but I think many people with hang-on to their FT857Ds due to it’s wider range of bands, for some time to come. It’s a question of flexibility over absolute performance. When portable how good is “good enough”?

73 Ed DD5LP.


I agree, Ed. I looked at the 891, the test figures are good (I gather that the DSP is excellent) but without V/UHF it just isn’t worthwhile trading in the 857 for it.

I don’t find my 857D to be noisy, I would guess that there was something wrong with that particular rig.

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Good riddance I say. If you want something for the shack, then the 891/991/991A range looks good. If you want something for hilltop portable, then you can work the world with an 818 and resonant antennas. If you’ve already got a working 857 then hang on to it.

Shack-in-a-box radios where popular as they offered HF and VHF in one hit. Many will have been used with simple VHF/UHF antennas but all mode VHF/UHF capability was available. Now as people buy new for whatever reason (new toy, new ham etc.) it means there will be fewer VHF/UHF capable stations. This is in general a bad thing.


That’s a point that worries me, too. I don’t see many people forking out £1800 for an IC-7900 for V/UHF only, the FT-991A looks a good prospect as a shack in a box though it is several hundred quid more than the 857D and half a big again, and ISTR is also reported to have a dirty output.

Hi Andy,
One rig that seems to be going against the flow and including DC to daylight (or rather Top band to 70cm) is the new ICOM IC705 - which I expect will be launched (at least in the US) around the time of when Hamvention was meant to take place - so next month.

By all accounts a nice rig but not as “hardy” as the FT8x7/8 range and only 5/10W.

Now if only ICOM would produce an update to the IC-7300 to add 2 metres and 70cm (and a couple of extra antenna sockets) - that could be an interesting “shack-in-a-box” solution.

Kenwood stopped making the TS-2000 about 6 months ago, I wonder if we are about to see a replacement for that - perhaps based on the TS-590SE - but I doubt it.

73 Ed.

We’ll see. The shack-in-a-box to 70cms radios may never have been the best VHF and up radios but they exist(ed) in quantity. For many, their shack-in-a-box radio may have been bought for HF and could be the first multimode VHF +up radio they owned. Even if these sets spent their VHF+ time on a local net or repeater on FM you always had the possibility it could be switched to SSB or used for VHF chasing for example.

If the VHF+ bands are not fitted there will be fewer people readily equipped for a casual VHF+ chat.

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I’m a big fan of “shack-in-a-box” radios. My last shack radio was the FT-897. I anticipate the next one being the FT-991A. My current portable radio is the FT-817. I anticipate the next one being the FT-818. Joking aside (I didn’t really mean “good riddance” before!), I am quite surprised the FT-857 has been discontinued without an obvious successor. It definitely filled a market for those that wanted a compact robust portable transceiver, but with access to more power than QRP. Everyone I know that has one absolutely loves it.

When my FT-817 broke 3 years ago, I was in the shop and had a look at both the FT-891 and the FT857. Although I would have loved VHV/UHF SSB/CW capabilities, I decided for the FT-891 due to its DSP filter capabilities, and never regretted it.
Good that I didn’t decide at that time to loot the FT-817 and use its CQ filter for the FT-857. In the meantime I found the time to replace the FT-817’s PA module and it became my primary SOTA TRX. However, when I once made a shootout with the 817 and the 891, the RX of the 891 did far better with weak signals and QRM.

So for the time being, I’m happy and just waiting for a FT-819 shack in a box with the RX capabilities of the 891, or any equivalent from another manufacturer, which could motivate me to re-assess my TRX collection :slight_smile: GPS, APRS and C4FM would be a plus…


I used FT-857D for SOTA, ARRL VHF contest and DX-peditions until it was stolen after one activation. I bought IC-7100 as a replacement with all HF/VHF/UHF band. It is good for digital communication, but not as good for SOTA and VHF contests portable operation, because it has two pieces. I am looking for an equivalent replacement for FT-857D, but it seems that nobody plan to make it at this moment.

I really like the “all in one” formula of this radio and have been using it portable for years, in fact i ordered a new one some time ago when i learned they would be discontinued as my old one still works fine it is starting to miss a few segments in the display. Perfect radio for me on SOTA as i am a phone mode op. only and need a little more output than a 817 would put out. I don’t find it to be noisy at all,it has a very quiet receive on a mountain top. Very satisfied with the 857D and i love the fact that i don’t need to carry an HT to work VHF-UHF.

Yes I agree that the FT-857 would be the rig of choice for a phone modes only op. I admit I sometimes forget this what with having CW and FT8 to turn to as alternatives. But if I think back to my early days when I too was “phone-only” then the extra power would have been really useful. Like I say, I am somewhat surprised this rig is being discontinued without a natural succesor.

For now it is still being advertised, and it is more expensive than the 891. I’m fairly sure that our SOTA and portable use of the 857 was not envisaged by Yaesu, it was intended by them as a mobile rig, which is why it comes with a bracket and a very long fused power cable.

The 857 was my first ‘shack’ radio after passing my test. Ive used it for all the bands sucessfully for the last two years. My plan (after buying an Icom 7300) was to trade the Yaesu 857 in and buy an Icom705. To be honest ive grown to love the 857 and think i may now keep it. great solid radio.


That of course would be the long rumoured FT-791 Jens. There was a lot of talk about it just before the FT817ND MK II (or sorry FT-818) was brought out.

73 Ed.

My first HF SOTA radio, I was very happy to use it and I still keep it.

73, Jarek


New Years morning one time I was on Mt Gawler for SOTA trying to work a S2S with a Japanese station using the FT 857, I had plenty of power out but just could not pull him out of the noise. That day I also had my KX3 with me, hooked it up to my antenna and heard and worked him straight away, No it was not a fade up from qsb the RX ability of the kx3 compared to the internal noise on the FT 857 made the qso possible. That’s when I came to the conclusion my FT 857 was crap swapped it for a mighty ft 817 with a bloke who wanted a 100 w rig for his Holden Ute.
vk5cz …


Perhaps an option might be the upcoming offering from China? No VFO knob, but 30 W output on HF/6 and 5 W on 2 & 70. The promos say 1 kW PA also available…

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