I am doing a quick review of the new FT-818 radio that Yaesu has released.
The new radio offers the following enhancements to the the previous FT-817 and FT-817ND model.
“What’s the difference between the original FT-817 and the FT-817ND?”
- Inclusion of 60 meters: No modification required.
- Selectable blue or amber backlighting
- New transistors for the PA deck to prevent the “Blown Finals Club”
- High capacity FNB-85 battery (ND model)
- Modification to the main board to minimize the 7240 birdy
“What’s the difference between the original FT-817/FT-817NDand the FT-818?”
- Power increased to 6 watts with new transistors for the PA deck
- TCXO-9 high-stability oscillator built in.
- SBR-32MH 9.6 Volt 1900 mAh NiMH high capacity battery.
My FT-817ND has the optional TXCO-9 oscillator installed as well as the Collins CW Filter $200 USD) and I threw away the lousy batteries and installed the WindCamp 3000mah Lithium Polymer (3S) battery.
This is now a FT-818 radio based on the enhancements made by the Yaesu Engineers (Tak, Miso, Hiro, and Yoshi) because there is really no change to the radio except for some new bits included in the box.
The radio I can happily say works as good as the FT-817ND performs. The performance is identical across all the models.
In April 2001, the ARRL concluded with the following:
It’s a delightful transceiver package to take on the road or just enjoy closer to home, such as in the car, on the patio or while sitting on the river bank waiting for the big ones to start biting. Thanks to Yaesu for ratcheting up Amateur Radio portability a few more notches and for showing us that less sometimes really can be more. This little radio will put smiles on a lot of faces. As one user so aptly put it: “The FT-817 puts the fun back into ham radio!” Reviewed by Rick Lindquist, N1RL
The Yaesu FT-818 continues the tradition of the popular FT-817ND and FT-817.
The FT-818 continues all the great features of the FT-817ND and adds these enhancement:
Power increased to 6 watts.
TCXO-9 high-stability oscillator built in.
SBR-32MH 9.6 Volt 1900 mAh NiMH high capacity battery.
The radio is a fully self-contained, battery-powered, low power amateur MF/HF/VHF/UHF transceiver for portable/camping/mountain top use. Providing coverage of of the 160-10 meter amateur bands including 60 meters, plus the 6 meter, 2 meter and 70 cm bands, the FT-818 includes operation on the SSB, CW, AM, FM and digital modes. This radio is designed for use either from an external DC source or internal batteries and provides up to 6 watts of power output when on external DC power. When using the battery pack or 8 AA cells (not supplied), the radio automatically switches to 2.5 watts. The multi-function LCD screen includes selectable blue or amber backlighting which may be disabled for battery conservation. This radio comes with: MH-31A8J Hand mic, SBR-32MH Ni-MH 1400 mAh battery, FBA-28 Battery case (for 8 x AA cells not supplied), AC wall charger, YHA-63 Whip antenna for 50/144/430 MHz, E-DC-6 DC cable and shoulder strap.
Installation note: only one optional filter may be installed in the FT-818 and I strongly suggest you buy one – CW or SSB.
Yaesu has released the manual on their website
Yaesu will announce a FT-818ND model later this year and include a better battery pack – possibly a 2200Mah with no additional improvements.
Why the Yaesu engineers (Tak, Miso, Hiro, and Yoshi) did not create a mini FT-891 in an 817 chassis is beyond me and a real market miss step. They took the 897 board and stuck into the 857 so they could have done similar here. A FT-819 being a 10 watt version of the FT-818 would have been awesome.
we can only hope!