I’m just wondering if anyone knows if yeasu are planning on launching an ft817 replacement (917). I’ve searched the interweb and only found 1 or 2 guys mentioning a possible new 817 replacement at hamvention 2016 but nothing more than 1 or 2 people with a possible rumour?
I WANT to believe it, but rumors like this have been running around for years. I would love to see a lighter unit with a better display, noise blanker, and lower standby power usage. Here’s to hoping!
You mean like a KX3?
Yes! Only it should be about 2/3 the cost, and also whiten your teeth as you sleep!
I’ve heard of no plans, but rather than a replacement, perhaps some added features to make the 817 more attractive?
I have the following suggestions:
An internal ATU(ACU)
10w output rather than 5w
More contast in the display for when used in bright sunlight
Addition of 60m and 4m band capabilities
It’s alwas a business decision and while the FT817ND is still selling well, why should Yaesu have the risk and expense of changing things?
I’ve wondered for a while why ICOM stopped making small portable HF rigs, I suspect the market isn’t as big as we would like.
I’m waiting until next spring to buy a lightweight HF-capable radio, and my eyes at the moment are set on the 857, since it easily allows more than 5W or 10W without the need for an external amp. The 817 would be a second choice, with the KX3 a very distant 3rd choice (too expensive, not robust enough).
If a replacement for the 817 were to offer something like 20W, I’d be interested, since I can only use SSB (or digital). However, I know full well that Yaesu are just waiting for me to purchase one of the 817/857 radios before they announce the newer, all-bells-and-whistles replacements. Such is life…
It is much tougher then you think actually. I carry mine in a fluke multi-meter case. The water proofing ability of the casing could be improved somewhat though.
Worth the money IMO, and I am an impoverished student… You are unlikely to get PA’s over 15W in radios at the KX3 sort of size . Removing the heat is the main problem.
I still think there is a big market for something like the MTR with SSB capabilities.
Ed, the 817ND comes with the four 60 metre US channels. It is a simple job to open it fully, you could do it yourself in about ten minutes but this would affect the warranty, a good supplier could do it for you for a small fee. The rig is very effective on 60, I have made over 90 chases with mine so far this year and have activated with it on 60 several times.
I have heard of people getting the 817 to work on 4 metres but I doubt that it would be much good - the first IF is 68.33 MHz and there is an IF filter.
It is possible to make a small mod to the output stage to give at least ten watts output, I have never felt the need to try this - why diminish the safety margin for half an S-point?
MTR with SSB…That’d be the X1M.
That thing is a disaster… Not suitable. MTR stuff has a more elegant approach for the radio equipment that would benefit us.
Have you used one? I’ve made many a QSO on mine. It has a cct not unlike the MTR and like the MTR has some short comings compared to sets $1,000 more expensive. But it works adequately, is light and cheap.
That MIC socket won’t last long :). Its a perfect example why you shouldn’t stick a small OLED display in a radio that size. Sorry Ron its not something I would bother with.
Sure is Jonathon - agreed! The X1M is an extremely difficult to operate and poor performing transceiver. I bought one new from ML&S - and returned it after a shack test and to ML&S credit I received a no quibble full refund. I purchased a secondhand FT-817 in place of it with my refund. The MTR3 as reviewed by Michael is a totally different kettle of fish with or without SSB!
Yes, I know the US model comes with these channels. I wondered whether this could be changed to a normal band or not. Of course we’ll need to wait some time (minimum 1 year, more likely 2) to see what the various countries decide to do about implementation of the WRC15 recomendation, and by then, bringing this back to the original subject, there may be new options from Yaesu and others.
This question as to a replacement or even an upgrade for the 817 is raised with monotonous regularity on the 817 yahoo groups - and the answer is as always no. Yaesu could well be thinking about a replacement but there is no official word out about there being anything at all in the pipeline.
Realistically I am not that confident that there will be a replacement. Whilst there is definitely a market for this type of radio (and if the popularity of schemes like SOTA is any guage, this is increasing), there is also a plethora of small lightweight radios already out there that eat into the potential market for them. It is purely a business for them and if they do not see that the high cost of developing a new product exceeds any return, then they are not likely to do this, particularly whilst sales of the venerable 817 remain high.
Would I like to see a new model? Most certainly, but until I hear that they have ceased production of the 817 I don’t expect that there will be any genuine indications of this happening.
The 817 when you enable unrestricted TX works fine on 60m. The only changes Yaesu may want to do is to ensure the filtering that gets selected is best. ISTR my both my 817s are down a little on 60m compare to 40m and 80m and I put this down the PA filter selected is more lossy at 60m as it was not expected to be used there.
I’ve never had a problem with the display on my 817s. I don’t have the backlight enabled for outdoor use and the contrast is fine. I know we’re not renowned for sunny WX here in GM, but I had no problems in F, Southern DL, CT3 or EA8 where it is sunny. My statistical sample of 2 possibly has wide error margins!
I think Rob is more on the nail with 20-25W output than 10W. I’m not sure that moving 10W would be worthwhile TBH.
Biggest improvement would be in reducing RX consumption, improving TX efficiency and reducing weight.
From Yaesu’s point of view, they have produced a viable all-band/all-mode radio that while having less optimal UX with the small buttons, it works and does everything the big radios do. If you are not a SOTA/outdoor radio person, then 817 is perfect for a bit of portable use. For SOTA activators, we can make do with significantly less bells and whistles. When you see what can be done with Altoids sized CW radios, you think it should be possible to make a radio come in 3 Altoids tins, 1 for the RX/TX, 1 for the SSB/audio/DSP stuff and 1 for the PA.
Would it sell the way the 817 did? Nope!
The model sold in the UK has them, too. As far as I know, the only way to get all of the bands, bandlets and channels authorised in various parts of the world is to fully open the rig. This is not difficult to do if you have a steady hand, but it puts the onus on you to make sure you don’t operate out of band. Its up to Yaesu whether they change the firmware in the future to cover a band but it would be puzzling to know what the best coverage would be when some countries allow 200 KHz and one allows 400 KHz whilst others only allow discrete channels!
My measured output on 60m is the same as on 40m. The filtering was designed to permit operation on the Alaska Emergency Frequency (5.1675 MHz) so it won’t be too far out on our bandlets. I wonder if it can be adjusted?
I agree over the display, though I do find that using the blue backlight helps a little - the only time it is any use as the colour hurts my eyes for prolonged use!
My wishlist would be for a more robust front end and above all for IF DSP which could do away with the two filter slots. I think that if the power went much above 10 watts then cooling would become a problem and a small fan might become necessary - adding to the power consumption!
Incidentally, I seem to remember reading about an automatic ATU that would fit in the battery compartment but can’t remember where I saw it. As most of us prefer to use external batteries this might make a worthwhile mod.
Not me Brian! The biggest improvement I’ve made to my 817 is the installation of the 2500maH LIPO in the battery compartment. It makes things A LOT simpler than carrying external batteries.
To add to the general comments, as I said before without a good business reason, I can’t see Yaesu bringing out a replacement for the 817.
What I think is more likely is an Android or Arduino based small SDR portable transciever for the HF bands coming out of China in the next few years, that may or may not steal the show.
Out of curiosity, has anyone any experience of the LNR Precision LD-5?