Posts Tagged ‘ft817’

Current set-up for WSPR, JT65 and JT9-1

This is a photo of the kit currently used. The top FT817ND is used mainly for 2m and 70cms (local FM net, SSB and CW, beacon hunting) and the lower FT817 for WSPR, JT65 and JT9-1 mainly on 6m and 10m. The lower rig is set at 2.5W, but the cable run to the V2000 vertical is lossy on 6m. I use a SignaLink USB audio interface to the PC.  This works well. For all digital modes I use the FT817 on DIG setting via the rear connector.   Sometimes I use the Z817 ATU, which I find very good. With this, I can get onto 5MHz and some other bands.

Best DX (on WSPR) is Australia at 1W out on 40, 20 and 10m and Israel on 6m WSPR (1W ERP).

Not shown (on shelf above) is the 472kHz homebrew transverter, the 15m MFJ Cub and the Mizuho 200mW 2m SSB rig. Also out of sight are a 136kHz beacon, the 2m Fredbox, the 6m Sixbox, the VLF 8-9kHz beacon, and optical rigs. I am waiting for better health to be able to use these again. Currently my operating is all from home and mainly modes not requiring me to talk, although I have ventured onto our Monday night FM net and the odd 2m and 70cm contest.

Overpriced KX3 options

Steve G1KQH has spotted the price of “after-market” mics on eBay.  Under £5.

“The price of a Microphone:

Someone is having a good laugh at stitching folk up with those KX3 Mics.  The whole KX3 price is through the roof but there are plenty on the bands?”
I stand by my assertion that, sadly, the KX3 is overpriced, certainly over here in the UK. I know that it is a truly exceptional radio with a first class specification but, as I have said before, for my sort of operating – mainly from home and occasionally /P, the FT817ND is FAR better value and it covers 432MHz all modes too. I cannot fault the FT817 although I appreciate the KX3 is better on RX. My FT817 has worked the world on SSB and always with simple wire antennas. I have worked a lot of continents with whips on the rig indoors too.

KX3 antenna failure

I read on the M1KTA blog that an antenna lead on one of his Elecraft KX3 units has failed. I know these have seen some harsh portable field use but I would not have expected this.  I have owned an FT817 for close on 14 years and, touch wood, it has never once failed me – still the same PA, same everything.

In my view, the KX3 is overpriced (over here in the UK) and not well built for rugged field use. I don’t doubt it has excellent features and an excellent receiver, but it is still over twice as much as an FT817ND which covers DC to blue light, out of the box ready built. The KX3 is a mess for leads, coming out all over the place. The FT817 is neat, rugged, and compact.

For me, the FT817 still wins.

In praise of the FT817(ND) and QRP

FT817ND QRP transceiver

I have owned an FT817 practically since it was first released in the UK back in 2000. The FT817ND was bought this spring as a second QRP rig along with a Z817 auto-ATU.  The transceivers are mostly used at home. They are ideal for digital modes.

In my view, the FT817ND is the very best rig available. My FT817ND was just under 500 pounds for cash, brand new with 2 yrs warranty. The nearest rig (about 5 times larger!) was the FT7 10W radio which did not cover WARC bands, much of 10m , 6m, 2m or 70cm.

The FT817ND could be further improved in several ways but if 5W (or less) is all you need, then this is an excellent radio. The KX3 is no doubt a better radio but is far more expensive (here in the UK) and is less suited for home use in my view. For the price of one fully loaded KX3 you can buy two FT817ND’s in the UK.

If you have never owned an FT817ND you don’t know what you’ve been missing.

As a plug for QRP, going from 100W to 5W is about 2-3 S-points. So if 100W would have been 59 you’d still be 56 at least with 5W. What’s all the fuss about high power? I have worked THE WORLD on SSB with just  2.5W to simple wire antennas (no beams!).

My FT817’s have been used on VLF,  LF and MF with home-brew transverters and on all HF and VHF bands working some impressive DX.

There is a myth that QRP is “hard”. Let me tell you that is rubbish. Sometimes power helps, but that is rare. Mostly QRP is just plain good fun – making the hobby all new again. The most I use these days is 5W, and more often far less. QRP is great fun.

Go for it!

A Yaesu FT817 replacement coming?

From Steve G1KQH:

As its based around the 817, I guess rumour will be rife that it will soon be replaced?

Eligible FT-897D/DM/DS
June 2014 production end time

FT-897D series was popular for many years will be discontinued at last. (Successor model no immediate plans) will be limited stock. And as soon as possible please the person of your choice


73 Steve

Does this mean a replacement for the FT817 is coming?  We can only hope Yaesu will do the FT817 replacement as their next product.  For the life of me I cannot understand why they have not replaced it 2 years ago on the UP part of the solar cycle.  Here we are now on the slide to a probable quiet few cycles. Not the best time to launch a new all-mode transceiver unless they plan to add some VHF/UHF bands like 70 and 1296MHz?  That would be nice. Personally, I’d buy it if it covered 10m-23cms. That would be a CLASS selection of bands especially for Es (10, 6, 4 and 2m). 70cms and 1296MHz would be good for tropo. As a multi-mode mainly VHF/UHF transceiver with 10m thrown it, it would be a neat new radio with a good market worldwide.

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