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897 vs 817

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  • k2uod <k2uod@hotmail.com>
    I am looking at these two radios. I am interested in transportability (not mobile operation), more than backpackability. Getting an 817 equipped the way I
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 1, 2003
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      I am looking at these two radios. I am interested in
      transportability (not mobile operation), more than backpackability.
      Getting an 817 equipped the way I would like (dual filter mod, one
      big punch, one plug power, Z-11 wi one quick switch/one touch tune,
      tcxo, travel paddles (no antenna), will cost in the vicinity of
      $1400. That being said, why wouldn't I opt for the 897 (I would
      probably install the internal power supply)?

      QRP intrigues me and this would not be my primary station-- I have a
      Kenwood TS-830S on HF and a TM-231 on 2 meters in the shack already.

      The issue is comes down to getting the most radio, for the money
      invested.

      Any thoughts?

      73, Keith K2UOD
    • Vince <vincewuzhere@yahoo.com>
      Keith, I went through the very same line of thinking. I would have gotten the FT817, an external power supply, a Tokyo 160m-6m linear (50W), and used my
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 1, 2003
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        Keith,
        I went through the very same line of thinking. I would have gotten
        the FT817, an external power supply, a Tokyo 160m-6m linear (50W),
        and used my existing antennas and antenna tuner. I wanted
        transportable (not backpacking) and base station use. I camp
        frequently and wanted something to take along besides my VX-5.

        In the end I chose the 897 and an external power supply. The
        internal supply adds some thickness on the bottom (as I understand
        it, correct me if wrong) and inhibits the possibilities of using
        batteries, even aftermarket ones (see story at
        http://www.eham.net/articles/4114) unless you want to interchange
        frequently. I wanted transportability and the odd need for battery
        use versus tiny, tiny size.

        Cons for my needs of the 817 setup:
        -menu driven
        -size of tuning dial
        -lack of basic controls on front panel
        -many "boxes" to acheive same end
        -size of display (about the same as my VX-5)
        Pros:
        -size -very small
        -very capable

        Cons for my needs of the 897 setup:
        -menu driven
        -a limited availability of software
        Pros:
        -Better appointment of front panel buttons for basic things
        -larger display
        -better as a transportable (i.m.h.o.) vs. the 817

        I also found the price of the power supply to be about $100+ vs. an
        external 30A. I have also had poor experiences with switching power
        supplies that have been "exactly sized to need" and thus long
        believed in oversizing your switching power supply to gain life out
        of it. The external allows me to do this.

        --- In FT897@yahoogroups.com, "k2uod <k2uod@h...>" <k2uod@h...> wrote:
        > I am looking at these two radios. I am interested in
        > transportability (not mobile operation), more than
        backpackability.
        > Getting an 817 equipped the way I would like (dual filter mod, one
        > big punch, one plug power, Z-11 wi one quick switch/one touch tune,
        > tcxo, travel paddles (no antenna), will cost in the vicinity of
        > $1400. That being said, why wouldn't I opt for the 897 (I would
        > probably install the internal power supply)?
        >
        > QRP intrigues me and this would not be my primary station-- I have
        a
        > Kenwood TS-830S on HF and a TM-231 on 2 meters in the shack already.
        >
        > The issue is comes down to getting the most radio, for the money
        > invested.
        >
        > Any thoughts?
        >
        > 73, Keith K2UOD
      • David Harris
        I purchased an FT-817 off of ebay for $730.It came with the outbacker antenna and an MFJ dipole antenna as well as the Buxcomm interface and memory software.
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 2, 2003
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          I purchased an FT-817 off of ebay for $730.It came with the outbacker antenna and an MFJ dipole antenna as well as the Buxcomm interface and memory software. It was a very good deal as I am one to spend hours on end on the internet comparing prices before making a purchase through EBAY. I then purchased a Z-11 auto tuner which will accept no more than 30 watts for $145 incl shipping on EBAY.The 817 had the W4ORT battery connection installed already so its real easy to charge.I then increased the output to 10 watts with an external power supply( it still runs about 3 watts on battery power) through the soft memories and actually made my first contact(Connecticut to Nova Scotia Canada) on 20meters using an indoor YOYO dipole antenna ($30.00)running 8 watts on Jan 1st.I also travel to Ca. about 3x/yr to see the inlaws, so the 817 comes in handy for traveling as well.
          So. basically, it fits my needs.I also found that after about an hour of playing with the menu's, they were pretty easy to master.Only problem I see is that you need to have skinny fingers to use the front BNC connector and tune freq at the same time.
          All in all, A great all around inexpensive (used)compact radio.My total cost? $905.00 versus the almost $1500 price tag on the FT-897 with power supply and batteries.
          A great deal and a real challenge IMHO............
          David
          WB1BPV
          "Vince <vincewuzhere@...>" <vincewuzhere@...> wrote:Keith,
          I went through the very same line of thinking. I would have gotten
          the FT817, an external power supply, a Tokyo 160m-6m linear (50W),
          and used my existing antennas and antenna tuner. I wanted
          transportable (not backpacking) and base station use. I camp
          frequently and wanted something to take along besides my VX-5.

          In the end I chose the 897 and an external power supply. The
          internal supply adds some thickness on the bottom (as I understand
          it, correct me if wrong) and inhibits the possibilities of using
          batteries, even aftermarket ones (see story at
          http://www.eham.net/articles/4114) unless you want to interchange
          frequently. I wanted transportability and the odd need for battery
          use versus tiny, tiny size.

          Cons for my needs of the 817 setup:
          -menu driven
          -size of tuning dial
          -lack of basic controls on front panel
          -many "boxes" to acheive same end
          -size of display (about the same as my VX-5)
          Pros:
          -size -very small
          -very capable

          Cons for my needs of the 897 setup:
          -menu driven
          -a limited availability of software
          Pros:
          -Better appointment of front panel buttons for basic things
          -larger display
          -better as a transportable (i.m.h.o.) vs. the 817

          I also found the price of the power supply to be about $100+ vs. an
          external 30A. I have also had poor experiences with switching power
          supplies that have been "exactly sized to need" and thus long
          believed in oversizing your switching power supply to gain life out
          of it. The external allows me to do this.

          --- In FT897@yahoogroups.com, "k2uod <k2uod@h...>" <k2uod@h...> wrote:
          > I am looking at these two radios. I am interested in
          > transportability (not mobile operation), more than
          backpackability.
          > Getting an 817 equipped the way I would like (dual filter mod, one
          > big punch, one plug power, Z-11 wi one quick switch/one touch tune,
          > tcxo, travel paddles (no antenna), will cost in the vicinity of
          > $1400. That being said, why wouldn't I opt for the 897 (I would
          > probably install the internal power supply)?
          >
          > QRP intrigues me and this would not be my primary station-- I have
          a
          > Kenwood TS-830S on HF and a TM-231 on 2 meters in the shack already.
          >
          > The issue is comes down to getting the most radio, for the money
          > invested.
          >
          > Any thoughts?
          >
          > 73, Keith K2UOD


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        • Björn Mohr
          Keith, I think it all comes down to what you will be spending most of your time doing with the rig, carrying it around or operating. The 817 is excellent for
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 2, 2003
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            Keith,

            I think it all comes down to what you will be spending most of your time
            doing with the rig, carrying it around or operating.

            The 817 is excellent for carrying around, you can actually operate it as
            you walk! The size and all the feature makes a perfect hiking or travel
            companion. But is it really comfortable working a contest or activating
            some far away island with it? Probably not!

            The 897 is bigger and heavier. It runs on internal batteries or houses
            an internal power supply. Another interesting obervation is that rig has
            a VFO know in the size of an fullgrown DX machine. This suggests that
            the makers of the rig intended it to be transportable but the focus is
            really on operating the rig.

            The question is really, do you want to walk and talk or do you grab you
            rig, drive to the cabin and for hours hunting down that rare DX or
            working a contest?


            73 de Björn /SM0MDG
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