Yaesu FT-857D Review [Portable Ham Radio]

The FT-857D is a portable ham radio from Yaesu that is packed with a lot of features. Though it is not the best ham radio in the market, the FT-857D from Yaesu has a lot going for it to make it enticing for amateur radio operators. Made for outdoor activities, you can use the Yaesu FT-857D for camping, hiking, or any other outdoor trips.

If you are looking to buy and use a ham radio as a hobby and if you are thinking to buy this model from Yaesu, then you have come to the right place. In this post, we will take an in-depth review of the FT-857D ham radio with its pros and cons.

Yaesu FT-857D Amateur Radio Transceiver - HF, VHF, UHF All-Mode 100W Remote Head Capability

Review of Yaesu FT-857D

Physical Form

The Yaesu FT-857D is a compact and portable ham radio coming at just 2 x 9 x 6 inches in dimension. With this small form factor, you won’t have any problems taking this radio throughout your adventure trip.

The Yaesu FT-857D is one of the smallest transceivers in the market, so keeping it in a constrained space also won’t be a problem. With this form, you can use this radio indoor as well as camping outdoor. You can also attach this radio to your car as the front panel is detachable and use this radio on your road trip.

There are various control and knobs present at the front of this radio along with an LCD panel. These buttons give you access to control menus, sub-menus, select features, dial knobs, control volume, and SQL/RF. There are also several ports and connectors present for charging, connecting two antennas (HF & VHF/UHF), and data cable transfer. The stand present at the bottom helps you to incline the front of the radio. With the stand, you can use this radio on a desk instead of mounting on your car.

Features of Yaesu FT-857D

High-Performance Transmitter/Receiver

The FT-857D has a good transmitter and receiver for ham radio. The transmitter has a coverage of 50 MHz, 144 MHz, and 430 MHz while the receiver has coverage on 100 kHz to 56 MHz, 76 to 108 MHz, 118 to 164 MHz, and 420-470 MHz. This radio also features a double-conversion superheterodyne system with an extensive bandpass filtering in the front end. There is also a very low noise floor along with a wide dynamic range present with this model. These features of the Yaesu FT-857D makes it a good model for receiving and transmitting communications even in a crowded place.

Digital Signal Processing

The FT-857D features an optional DSP unit that provides effective DSP noise reduction. The DSP component of this model has a 24-bit high tech D/A chip for processing the signal and reducing the noise. The unit also has a Bandpass filter, auto-notch, noise-reduction filters, and a microphone equalizer. The adjustable DSP filtering allows you to customize the radio’s audio, which eliminates unwanted interference and noise during the communication.

Memory System

The FT-857D from Yaesu has a versatile memory system that provides up to 200 main memory channels. Each of these channels can be named with an alpha-numeric label up to eight characters for identification. These memory channels can be separated into 10 memory groups of 20 memories each. There is also quick memory and home channel feature on each memory band as an added convenience.

Microphone and Speaker

There is a basic hand microphone that is included with this radio. The included microphone is a good quality one that receives and transmits your voice clearly. You also have to option to upgrade this microphone with an external one, and you will have a direct frequency entry with an external microphone.

The 2.5W speaker present with this model is decent and will be good enough for most people. If you want a better speaker experience, you can always get an external speaker and use it with this model.

Durability

This model has steel in its cover and feels really solid. With a durable construction material, this model from Yaesu has high durability and will give you a long life. You are sure to get at least 5 years of life without any problems with this device

Other Features

  1. You can easily set this radio in your car with a mounting bracket and some screws. Mounting this radio is a straightforward approach without any difficulties.
  2. The knobs present to control features of this ham radio are easy to use and ergonomic.
  3. The LCD display present in the front panel of this radio comes with different colors, so you can customize the display to your wish. You can also set the display color depending on the ARTS status or meter indication. There are over 30 different colors from which you can customize this display.
  4. The function button present in this radio gives you access to controlling the menu. You can scroll through the menus and sub-menus, and adjust different settings using the buttons present in the front panel.
  5. The display features backlight and contrast color features. It enables you to read the display easily in any light situation.
  6. The noise reduction feature present in this radio works well. It will help you reduce the static noise and interference to give you clear communication.

Pros:

  • The Yaesu FT-857D is an affordable and compact radio.
  • It has a good transmitter and receiver functionality with a wide range of coverage.
  • This model also features a full DSP (Digital Signal Processing) functionality.
  • The noise reduction feature present in this radio gives you clear communication by reducing the unwanted noise.
  • Made from durable materials, this ham radio will give you a long life.

Cons:

  • Though the internal speaker is decent, you might want to use an external speaker to hear better in some situations.
  • The menus and controls are cramped and bit complicated to operate.
  • In low light, it is difficult to see the dials as there are no color marks except the physical marks.

Conclusion

The Yaesu FT-857D is one of the popular ham radios among amateur radio users as it is highly portable and affordable. The transceiver functionality is also excellent with this radio along with a good noise reduction feature. You are sure to get clear communication with this device. There are a lot of advantages going for this radio with a few quirks. If you want an affordable ham radio, you can surely buy this model from Yaesu as it has many pleasant features.

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