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RE: Seeking Opinions: FT-847

> Greetings Operators,
> I'm considering selling my three monoband VHF+ rigs in order 
> to purchase a 
> FT-847. I seek opinions on the 847 in general; how well does 
> it perform on 
> the birds and as a terrestrial VHF/UHF rig for contesting? I 
> would also 
> like to hear from ops who have used the 847 "in the field" 
> for satellite 
> operations, demonstrations, field day, etc.
> For reference, the three monobanders are TS-60 (6m), TM-255 
> (2m) and Yaesu 
> FT-790R II.
> I have a TS-850 for the HF bands, so my primary interest in 
> the 847 is for 
> the VHF+ bands. I will probably hang a transverter on either 
> the 850 or 847 
> for 23cm activity.

I've had my FT-847 for just over two years now.

In short, I like it.  Although I haven't been all that active on the
birds as of late, I still use it as my primary radio because it is very
convenient having a one-stop-rig.  Coupled with the PC control, it's
very nice.

However, I still have some complaints.

The resolution on the audio output is kinda shaky.  It also *hates*
low-impedance headsets.  My venerable cushy Koss headset (about 10 years
old) is unacceptable with this radio.  To combat this, I use an external
amplifier plugged into the external speaker jack that I use to drive a
speaker or my favorite headset.  A little creative padding and switched
jack for the headset makes the transition nice.  I didn't have to play
any intense games matching the impedance for the external amplifier and
the radio's external audio amp, which was good news.

Out of the box, the radio is quite broad on HF.  I plugged in the
optional filters and it makes a great improvement, but the radio is
still lacking enough that for HF Sweepstakes, I push it aside and run my
TS-530.  For VHF/UHF contesting, I haven't had any issues.

I've experienced internal "birdies", but none fortunately have been in
the downlink of any operating satellite.  From what I've read however,
this isn't necessarily the case for everyone so make sure you research
this yourself before laying down any money.  A search on Google might be
a good idea.

On HF, the radio's SWR protection defies explanation sometimes.  I
suspect it's the right combination of swr and rf feedback.  My FT-747,
which I've always thought as overly conservative, never had any problems
with my old 40 meter dipole, but the 847 does.  Albiet, the 747 is gone
and something could have certainly changed, but nothing that I can
figure out.  Seems perfectly flat from 7.0 to 7.2 @ 1:1.1 or better.
This is more of an annoyance, and doesn't manifest itself on VHF/UHF.
In fact, it was perfectly happy to pour 50 watts into an egg-beater at
field day despite the fact that I know the vswr on that was pretty

The rig has connectors for every purpose in life.  Packet, vhf packet,
rtty -- you name it.  I'll forewarn you that you should plan on putting
some thought into how you want to hook everything up once you get this
radio.  That's because the radio behaves differently between modes/bands
and whatever options you have set. It can be confusing. 

The internal preamp is ok, but obviously for what you'll want to use it
for, your preamps will be hanging next to your antenna.  There's a menu
option to provide DC to the amplifier from the radio, but caution is
urged because if you accidentally plug the DC into a DC shorted antenna,
you'll pop the driver transistor.  I would have preferred that they have
some other type of "fuseable link" that was easier to replace.  For me
though, non-issue because I do not send DC through the coax.

Overall though, I think it's a good radio for the price.  Once resolved
to my satisfaction, I like the sound of the audio and have received
compliments on how good it sounds on the air.  It comes with all the
cool bells and whistles for vhf/uhf rag-chews and repeater contacts
(CTCSS squelch is soooo nice when the band is open and those big systems
in Cleveland start pouring in from across Lake Erie).

Would I buy it again?  Yes.  

Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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