FT817 and FT817ND

These little rigs from Yaesu have basically remained unchanged since 2000. They cover all bands from 160m-70cm (not 4m or 1.25m), all modes, 5W. With transverters, mine have been used from VLF upwards on all available bands. They work well, but I was surprised Yaesu did not do an upgrade in time for the last sunspot peak. Also, I was surprised they had no real competitors. These days there are a few SDR radios around, but the FT817 reigns supreme.

With mine I have worked the world including some great handheld DX. For base station use I recommend the Z817 auto-ATU.

I tried the Elecraft auto ATU but prefer the Z817. I am very happy with the FT817, although the early ones had PA failures with low voltage. This was fixed (I think) in the FT817ND.

See https://sites.google.com/site/g3xbmqrp3/hf/ft817

Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cambridge, England.

11 Responses to “FT817 and FT817ND”

  • N6ALT:

    I agree with you on the 817. I just received a new one Thursday and am really enjoying it. I can tell it’s dated, but that is what I like about it.


  • Stephen Slater:

    It is a lovely rig. I was surprised the other day to see the invoice was dated October 2007.
    My favourite out of my six Yaesu rigs. I also use a LDG Z817 ATU.

  • Bob VE3ORK:

    I have both the 817 and the 817ND. Most versatile rig around with many accessories available. Great radio.

  • bill lynch km4uuo:

    I have read so many good things about the 817nd. I have one, am about to start using it and I am very excited!

  • jerry w5kaw:

    I own the old model and the newer nd model and I love mine and are planning on getting one or two more for the furture plus some parts radio’s and extra final boards from yeasu! these are the finest radio’s made and i’m gonna keep running mine!! 😉

  • Bob KK5R:

    Good commentary. Thanks. Makes me wonder about getting because it does it all, everywhere. I’m wondering about 2M and 6M SSB. Where I live, there is little local activity on such modes so maybe I’m missing something from other areas.

    Bob — KK5R

  • Boots VK3DZ:

    Peter VK3YE’s utube offerings prominently feature a FT-817 often down at the beach, often with sand on it.

    Mine has visited deserts, snowy peaks, Pacific islands, been used for MFSK experiments on AM on 160 & 80m (turn the carrier down to 1 watt to keep mod % up), listened to Radio Australia at the back of Whoop Whoop. Currently on the bench listening to mf b’caster 3AW. It’ll be in my grab bag when TSHTF.

  • Les M0LPB:

    Yes I also agree with all the comments about the 817. I have had mine for about 6 years now with no problems. I have it ready in my go kit for training ATC, and it does all it says on the tin and more.
    My home base Station I use the 857 and again what a great radio to work.
    73 for now


  • Sam N4AWT:

    Had mine for several months Live in a condo can’t use mine here too much Qrm

  • Frank ON6UU:

    A good rig but powerhungry. Batteries in it don’t last long. Other then that, fine machine to work with.


  • Mike N8FRI:

    I’ve had my 817ND for about a year and have been having a ball (over 900 contacts) on the digital modes especially the new FT-8. I have the Z817 tuner and operate with an earlier version of HamRadio Deluxe. Flawless performance on all bands.

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