Yaesu FT-818 fact or fiction??

I just came across some info regarding a replacement for the road warrior FT-817 it's the mystery FT-818? I have read some comments on blogs that wrote about the FT-818. Some seem to be drooling while others see it as wishful thinking. I did try a link on one blog that boasted of a Yahoo group for the FT-818 but it did not exist. The "up coming rig" sure does boast of some very impressive improvements.


  • All mode, all bands 1.8-1296MHz with 5MHz and 70MHz
  • 5W RF (2W 1296MHz)
  • 3.5AHr Li-Ion battery pack (2hr charging)
  • Built in random wire and whip auto-ATU
  • Full colour OLED display
  • Multi-function DSP noise reduction
  • RF Speech processor

BUT Yaesu has not even hinted about this rig...nothing at Dayton....and well check out the Icom IC-7000........seems to me the FT-817 has had a photo shop crop job done to it! What do you think is the the FT-818 fact or fiction?
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

28 Responses to “Yaesu FT-818 fact or fiction??”

  • Stefan Johnson, AF5BE:

    The only place I’ve seen mention of this is on the Elecraft KX-3 yahoo group. This was pure speculation on the part of the original poster. The discussion led to someone telling them they ought to check the yahoo group for the FT-817 for assistance on such a question. It was someone in Europe who wanted a cheaper “newer” alternative to the KX-3 and thought Yaesu might actually step up soon… Here’s a link to the actual first post on that thread: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KX3/message/2989

  • Goody K3NG:

    I have no doubt Yaesu is working on an “818”, they just don’t announce new rigs two years before they’re ready to ship 🙂

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Stefan, thanks very much for adding clarity to this mystery. It’s to bad that it’s just may be a romor looked like a great rig. As someone commented on my blog maybe Yaesu will run with the idea. Have a good weekend Stefan.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Goody point well taken and there is something to be said about the art of surprise factor!

  • k8gu:

    I’ll wait to get excited until it shows up on the used market. 🙂

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning K8GU, I agree with your way of thinking there are a lot of good ideas out there but until we can get them into the hands of op’s they are just ideas……but then again thats where it all starts. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • Goody K3NG:

    Although Yaesu hasn’t announced the 818 yet, I think we should get eHam to create an FT-818 reviews area. That way we can get ahead of the curve and start posting reviews of it, before it’s out….or even designed….just sayin’.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good afternoon Goody, True that “think and write about it and it will come to be”

  • Goody, there’s that stinging wit I love! 🙂

  • Scott, N9TGW:

    I didnt know Obama was a ham!

  • Phil KA7TTI:

    Something may very well be in the wind for the 817’s replacement. It has been months since Yaesu has shipped any and they are saying it was supply problems for some part(s) due to the Tsunami. It’s been far too long for this to be a viable reason IMHO. Perhaps the replacement is not too far down the road.

    Phil KA7TTI

  • Bob KK8ZZ:

    Oh please…. “1.8-1296MHz with 5MHz and 70MHz 5W RF (2W 1296MH Built in random wire and whip auto-ATU” with a rip-off copy of the Icom 7000 display? Did someone smoke their breakfast? Let’s close this one before anyone gets too excited….

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Phil, yes the FT-817 has been out for some time now but that may not mean it is in for an upgrade. Yaesu may see this as the QRP work horse and most whom I have talked with are very happy with it. So when you have a good thing best thing is to leave it alone. But having said that it would not hurt if Yaesu came out with a second QRP rig.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hi Bob and good evening, It does seem far fetched for sure with the coverage and all, I thought the same. But if Yaesu does come out with a new QRP rig or a second one to go along side of the FT-817 there are sure some good ideas with this rouge radio. As for smoking my breakfast….make sure the eggs are scrambled as sunny side up just does not give the buzz one would expect…:)Oh and about getting excited I hope lots do from this post and somehow it makes it’s way back to Yaesu and they get a brain storm to introduce a new QRP product!!
    Thanks for commenting Bob and have a great week.

  • Andrew AC8JO:

    At the R&L Electronics Customer Appreciation Day, the rep from Yaesu did announce that they have new rigs in the pipeline and that they were delayed due to the tsunami and nuclear disaster. He did not indicate when things would be released, and I’m guessing we’re not going to hear of much more than what has already been released about digital voice (D-Star competitor).

    But I agree with KK8ZZ – this rig looks like a rip off of an Icom and the spec of getting all bands from 160 meters to 23 centimeters seems too good to be true (although it would be absolutely cool to have!).

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hi Andrew, that sounds like great news and if it’s not an FT 818 that is in the line up I am sure there are some cool surprises. Thanks for taking some time to add your comment 73

  • Andrew, W8FI:

    Leave good things alone. There’s not enough ‘wrong’ with the 817 to warrant an upgrade. I for one love this kind of thinking, it’s akin to the Kenwood TH-F6A.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And complaints don’t mean it’s broken.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Andrew, I fully agree with you in that the FT-817 should stay but to add another QRP rig to the mix would not be a bad idea either. As for complaints they just may come from a lack of understanding the rig and once that hurdle is passed a better understanding of the rig may bring more questions…..and sometimes in the form of complaints.
    Thanks for adding to the mix Andrew and have a good week…73

  • WW - KB9TMP:

    FT-818 = Ham Radio Version Of The Unicorn

  • Larry AD5VM:

    My FT-818 wish list:

    -10 watts (with battery or external power)
    -Speech processor
    -IF DSP
    -Replaceable 5Ah 14 volt LiPo battery pack
    -IXP7 waterproof
    -Anderson powerpole connector
    -IQ data output for panadapter display via iPad or android tablet.
    -Bluetooth for rig control via tablet
    -Bluetooth for audio via third party wireless headset or speaker

    Optional accessories:
    -Yaesu headset (no adapters!)
    -External 15 watt antenna coupler (like mini Icom AH-4)
    -3 Amp power supply that affixes to the bottom of the radio and provides a slanted viewing angle for base use.

  • KC2UGV:

    The problem with all these “add-ons” is they increase power consumption… Bluetooth for example, would be a big drain on the battery.

    IQ output jack would be nice, and adds nothing but about $1 in parts. However, space is at a premium on the chassis of the 817 as it is.

    And what is everyone’s fetish with PP connectors?! They are overkill by and large, and I just cut them off whenever I see them. Genderless connectors are a danger when hooking up power (Connect a 20A power supply to a 20A power supply, and see what I mean). You want them? Add them. But stop expecting OEM’s to buy into the EmComm fetish.

    10W out? You just lost the portability the 817 has. There would be no way to run it on a SLA without increasing the weight dramatically.

  • Brad KA3YAN:

    Bluetooth 4.0 spec is extremely low power. The fact that it can be turned off in settings makes it a really nice feature. So I would dispute that Bluetooth as an add-on feature is a “big drain on the battery.”

    I agree with your assessment of the Anderson PP connectors. They are nice for those that like them. I do use them on all of my equipment, but I can also see how others would find them difficult and expensive. I see nothing wrong with the current Molex connectors.

    10 watts isn’t out of the question, but I agree that it might be tough to do. Not only do you have to contend with battery life, but also heat dissipation. Nearly all of the aftermarket ATUs for low power application are 5 watt max. This would make things more difficult for the aftermarket vendors. I do like the idea of a QRP remote tuner though.

  • John ve3ips:

    I sent this feature request to mr takahashi and nakamura and the response was that c4fm is more important.

    THEY DID NOT KNOW how important the Ham Radio Unicorn can be to us qrp fan boys

    Oh well

    John ve3ips

  • N1EA:

    FT-818 (HF/VHF/UHF/TRANSCEIVER)
    FCC ID K6603770X30

    FCC GRANT, TEST REPORT etc

  • N1EA:

    https://fccid.io/K6603770X30

    That’s the FCC ID search for it.

    73

    DR

  • Razvan M0HZH:

    After so many years, it finally happened ! Yaesu FT-818 will be launched this year: http://qrpblog.com/2018/02/yaesu-ft-818-details-leaked-ft-817nd-replacement/

  • Dennis W7KB:

    If the FT-818 hears no better than the FT-817,it won’t be much of an upgrade at all.Regardless of cost,I would stick with the KX2,or the IC-703+ that I currently own.What good is the Swiss Army Knife of radios if you can’t hear the other operator anyway?

  • Shirley Dulcey KE1L:

    It looks like a minimal redo of the FT-817. Same appearance, same receiver architecture, mostly the same features. Added are 60 meter coverage, a TCXO, a slightly higher capacity (but still NiMH) battery pack, and an output boost to 6W. Until somebody gets their hands on one we won’t know whether the boards inside are just a redesign around obsolete parts or whether it’s been completely redesigned.

    No mention of DSP on either transmit or receive, so it won’t be a great radio for CW reception out of the box. Still no full break in CW. The lack of 4 meter coverage is a disappointment to European users, but it would be impossible to add given that the radio appears to still be using the same first IF that’s right in the neighborhood of that band. Given that it’s retaining the same basic receiver architecture, I have no great hopes for performance improvements or for a substantial decrease in receiver power draw. And no System Fusion capability, a surprising lack – is this a signal that Yaesu is giving up on it?

    All in all, it looks like it’s just an attempt to keep the cash cow alive rather than a real effort to make a new radio for this market segment. I’m disappointed that Yaesu hasn’t done more. The success of the FT-817 over the years has demonstrated that a market exists. It’s well past time for somebody to step up with a modern design that takes full advantage of the state of the art.

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