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FT-847 Review

I've been using my FT-847 for about a week now, and like it
very much.  It replaced my Kenwood TS-850, and plan on using
it with the Satellites...all my antennas are not up yet, so can't
tell you alot about it there.  Not sure if this is an HF radio with
bands added for Satellites, or a Satellite Radio with HF added.
I found a review of the radio on the internet from a person who
works the satellites, and am attaching it here...his opinions, not
mine, but I do agree with the operation of the radio and the several
quirks he mentioned.  It does not have VOX, or an SWR meter, but
since all my antennas are resonant that doesn't matter.  The radio
will reduce power whenever the SWR becomes too high.

For what it's worth,

73 de Bill, N4DH

Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 17:23:20 -0800
From: John Gordon <xlr8@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: FT-847 SAT and HF reveiw Part II

I got a lot of positive feedback on my first reveiw so
I thought I would add more as I worked more Sats with the

 Mode B AO-10 : Already dicussed in Part I

 Mode A RS-12 : Mode A is 145 MHZ usb uplink and 29 MHZ usb downlink.
                My equip on Mode A is the FT-847, 20X element beam
                controlled by the computer running the "STATION" program.
                The Downlink antenna is a homebrew 10M turnstile. I set
                 the radio to 20 Watts out and answered A CQ RS 12 from
                WA3LKT in Silver Spring,MD FN19. I am located in FN30 on
                Long Island,NY. Rege gave me a 5/7 report and I gave him
                the same. I asked him about the audio on the FT-847 and
                he  said it sounded "natural". In this mode I use the VFOs in
                TRK-NOR or Normal Tracking. When I want to move up and down
                passband I simply move the Downlink VFO (or main dial)
                and the Sub VFO follows. Then when I correct for the doppler shift
                the SUB VFO acts indepenent of the Main. This is very handy
                and the 847 does it well. I am very happy with the performance
                on Mode A as this is one of my favorite Modes. Rege and I talked
                for about the whole pass as I was only his second SAT contact.

 Mode J FO-20 : Mode J is 145 MHZ up and 435 MHZ down. On Mode J I use
                the  20X element on the uplink and a 30X element on the downlink
                . My first contact with 847 on mode J was KB8UHY...Steve in
                EM79. Steve and I talked most of the pass and I noticed with
                the Internal 10db preamp on the 847 I could hear the SAT right
                down to the horizon at abt 3 deg with no problem. Steve gave
                me a natural sounding audio report and we cleared when the SAT
                hit the horizon. Performance on Mode J was very close to my 736r
                with the external 10db preamp I use to use. On this mode again
                I only used abt 20 watts as I foung this to be enough.  

The 847 has a cleary marked wattmeter on the front panel that is easily
 controled by the RF Power control.

 AO-27 Mode J (FM) : AO-27 is a popular FM satellite. Uplink is 145.850
               FM and 436.800 FM Downlink. My equipment is the same as Mode J
                AO-27 is very crowded on weekends so it was tough to make a 
                contact today. I did hear my own voice once or twice when the
                Activity on the SAT dropped during the Noon pass today (Saturday).
                Didnt make a contact today but did make a discovery abt the 847.
                When xmitting to the uplink with the receive preamp on (internal)
                I was getting some crossband splatter on the downlink. If I turned
                the internal 10db preamp off that problem cleared up all together.
                Preamps tend not to help anyway on FM (they do not increase the S/N
                ratio) so I left it off remander of the pass. I was fairly happy
                with the radio on that mode of operation. The FM Discriminator Meter
                came in very handy . All I had to do was watch that little LCD dot
                on the Disc Meter and keep it in the middle buy turning the main dial

Internal DSP : The internal DSP works quite well. I also have a Timewave
                DSP-9 with the new version software that I use on every radio I have.
               The Timewave is on the speaker output of the FT-847 so I can do
               an A/B comparison between that and the internal DSP. The Noise
               Reduction on the 847 works well but you must go to the Menu and
               adjust it to the level you like. Once adjusted though its set and
               forget. The Digital Filter on the 847 works very well and you can
               adjust its width down to 25HZ. The Digital Notch works and is fairly
               quick at knocking out hetrodynes. I must admit I am tending to 
               favor my DSP-9 though. I like the way it sounds in NR and its
               Press and forget (No Tuning).

HF Contact 17M : Made one HF contact so far with the 847. My antenna on
               17 Meters is a ground mounted R5 vertical. With the 847 running
                abt 100 watts
                 I spoke with Dean...NO5E in oklahoma. Dean gave me a 5/5 and I
                 5/6 and we spoke for abt 30min before the band started to go"long".
                 During this QSO I could tell the radio was very stable (very little
                 drift if any) and it stood up well in a crowded band. We had strong
                 stations either side and I was running the receive preamp and the
                 noise blanker and the receiver did not "Cave in". 

Quirks and Odittys with the 847: 
             1) The radio has a 12v DC Power Cord that has TWO conductors
                on the Plus and Minus side of the cord. The conductors are 
                of abt normal size you would see on a 100 watt radio These
                wires go to two BLADE fuses at the end of the cord insead of
                in-line fuses. I can only think they used two conductors 
                per side to cut down on Voltage Drop across the power cord
                during full output. It works, as the Indiglo Blue display
                never dims during modulation.

             2) The radio's AF output control that controls speaker volume
                goes up and down in little steps as you move it. Its almost
                as if they are controlling the volume with a Fly-by-wire approuch.
                I think the volume control is controlling a dc voltage that controls
                a digital circuit that in-turn actually controls the volume.

   I programmed in all my favorite Out of Band Utility stations (police,Air
 and Fire) and am still finding the radio very sensitive. I can hear the 
  Tower at Kennedy Airport with no problem with the preamp on. Something
  my Radio Shack 2006 had trouble doing on the same antenna. I am still
  very   happy with the FT-847 and an still using it as the main radio here in
  the   shack.
 73 all.

John Gordon