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RE: Seeking Opinions: FT-847


I didn't give much in detail before, so will add a couple comments to Jeffs
comprehensive review:

At 03:37 PM 2/17/03 -0500, Jeff Breitner wrote:
>I've had my FT-847 for just over two years now.
>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.

I bought a good stereo headset (Sony) and it works fine just requiring a
higher volume setting (11-o'clock).  I use an old HRO speaker from the
1950's (8-inch?) and makes listening much nicer on HF, FM, or strong
VHF-ssb.  The headphones get used for weak ssb, satellite and eme.  I use
the DSP NR at 10 and 100Hz Dig Fil on cw for eme.  But at times on
satellite the DSP adds too much audio distortion to offset the improvement
in SNR, so then I turn it off.  I am very sensitive to speech clarity
issues (major hearing loss).

>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.

Yeh, my FT-840 was a better HF rig...much better NB.
But I operate little on HF so matters not to me.

>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.

Early production radios had a problem with the DSP pcb (poor solder
defluxing) that produced internal birdies.  Yaesu fixed mine for free (and
also peaked my VHF and UHF Tx output for min of 50w).  Still have a few
birdies but not near what it was...most go away when preceded by my eme
preamp (probably coming from the computer...ext preamps are over 100-foot

>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.

I like the internal preamp for HF and 6m.  On 2m my 4-yagi eme array does
triple duty for terrestrial ssb contacts, mode-B sats, and eme.  I don't
use the internal preamp since I have a 0.15 dB NF, 30 dB gain preamp at the
array.  I use the internal preamp for 2m FM work though.  For AO-40 my
downconvertors have plenty gain without the internal preamp.  It is easy to
overdrive the internal preamp with ext preamps.

>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.  

I agree it makes a nice all-in-one package: HF-6m-2m-70cm.  That was my
deciding factor for my trading in my DEM 144 and 432 xvtrs, FRG-100, and

Ed - AL7EB 

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