View Full Version : New radio

04-18-2008, 11:24 PM
finally decided to bite the bullet and get a mobile HF rig. Seems fro ther $$$ it was best to go to a Yaesu FT897d with the ATAS Active tuning antenna system. Looked at the 706MkIIg and some other that were too pricey for something that will not get full time use. Got plenty of room in the truck fro the radio and plan to fix it where I can pull it from the truck and put it in the trailer along with two mounts for the antenna.

Get to play with the radio even on the road now.


04-19-2008, 07:35 AM
When you get it all installed can you post some pics?


04-19-2008, 12:50 PM
Sure will....


04-20-2008, 09:14 AM
I have had a number of Yaesu radios and I also went with the FT-897 for the motor home.
I looked at the ATAS but after doing some reading I decided to revert to the way I used to have an IC-706 and went with the AH-4 tuner and a standard 102" whip. That way I could ad wire to the antenna if I decided I wanted more bands. I knew that the AH-4 was a very fast and versatile turner from previous experience and with it I had more options.
The overall costs, even with an ICOM to Yaesu interface for the AH-4 was about the same. And having had a couple of screwdrivers in my time I learned that they are not a maintenance free item and AH-4 is quicker to tune if you band hop.
Enjoy the radio, they are nice little rigs. :radio:

Richard Stouffer
04-20-2008, 09:56 AM
Not exactly on topic, but a freind yesterday was explaining how he set up his mobile in his new Tundra. To avoid potential interference problems he rigged a separate battery for the radio only. He has a solar panel hooked to a trickle charger and says he has plenty of juice and no iginition noise.

04-20-2008, 11:03 AM
I hope he does not run that radio much. A single solar cell does not put much of a charge into a battery.
I typical 100 watt HF rig peaks at 14 amps or so on SSB.

Richard Stouffer
04-20-2008, 11:55 AM
Well, this is Texas ya know.

He only trnasmits while commuting- about 120 miles a day. But if need be, the extra batteries can be tied to a hefty altrenator or an additional alternator. However, my only point was that isolating the power from the ignition may be appropriate in some cases. I do have a ton on noise in RX, but signal reports say there is none in TX.

04-20-2008, 03:23 PM
I hope he does not run that radio much. A single solar cell does not put much of a charge into a battery.
I typical 100 watt HF rig peaks at 14 amps or so on SSB.

While all this is true remember the charge vs discharge cycle is about 100 to 1. The little panel charges all the time the sun is available, but the radio is only on for a short while each day and transmitting even less. The peaks are even less then that.

Sounds like a way to keep the HF rig powered in the boonies, assuming you keep the generous duty cycle above. Hey, you gotta eat...get off the radio and grill some steaks!

04-20-2008, 08:23 PM
Yes I forget that not everyone runs 5 HF rigs on batteries and solar power like my old club used to to on Field Day.
But then some people talk all the time. You know who you are!
I have known some that an auxiliary battery and a solar cell could never keep up with. :jitter:

04-21-2008, 08:01 AM
Probably would do fine for me. I haven't been on the rig in days. Who knows why, just have not seemed to have time.

04-26-2008, 09:55 PM
It is installed and operational....now to learn how to use all of the menu items and the radio. It is not as simple as my old TS830S.


04-27-2008, 09:40 AM
When I got back into this hobby after a number of years absence after my Novice Ticket in the 1970s I started with ICOM equipment.
I have since switched to the Yaesu line and I really like them.
The FT-897 is a nice little rig. Not too small like the 706.
I find it easier to operate too.

04-28-2008, 12:07 PM
The 706 and the Yaesu FT857 were too small for my taste. The 897 fits fine in the F350.


04-28-2008, 04:11 PM
I remember years ago I had the same truck with the 7.3 only a 1997.
I had a 746 installed in it at one time.
I had noise levels with that motor running that were terrible regardless of what I tried.
I finally traced the problem down to the high voltage injectors they used, and I was told only in that year.
It was a problem the whole time I had the truck. Nothing you could do to silence the problem.

Vette Racer
04-28-2008, 07:40 PM
Ken, be sure you have everything working for this weekend. I've been looking for a way to see what my radio sounds like on both 2 meters and HF, now I have a plan.:radio: See ya Friday.

04-28-2008, 09:43 PM
My 897 is up and running in the MH.
I don't do much VHF work though, mainly HF.

04-29-2008, 08:21 AM
I do get a slight ticking on HF with the radio, but not bad...I need to set the noise blanker on the radio as soon I find it in the book.

Tom, I won't have power or anything rigged for the trailer this weekend, but the truck is 100% go. Now I just need the copilot to drive so that I can do some serious talking....


04-29-2008, 11:17 AM
And for that exact reason I don't do any HF work while on the road driving.
I found that I spent too much time band hopping and it was just too dangerous to drive at the same time.
I restrict my HF work to parked unless I am staying on one freq.

04-29-2008, 12:15 PM
That is what I intend to do....park and talk or get it set on a freq and leave it.


04-29-2008, 03:09 PM
Good idea otherwise you may find yourself wandering off the road like I nearly did.
I still don't don't understand how anyone can send CW while driving but I know those who do.

04-29-2008, 07:27 PM
Its easy to send and receive CW when driving...when you get good with CW, just ask some of the old timers, your subconsious takes over and you can keep going down the road...its a thrill....one time I was asked how fast I was going, I sent back driving speed or sending speed...then I told the OM it was both the same, 25 MPH and 25 wpm....blew his mind...but that comes with many years of practice, most of us that can do this were former radiomen in the service...I also listen to the broadcast radio and talk to my wife when driving and sending cw and keep both conversations going..as I said for me its a Navy thing...learned to multitask many years ago in radio on the ship...

04-29-2008, 08:30 PM
Yes I knew an old timer that could send CW around 35 or better and still handle shifting his Fiat too but I don't want to try it.
But I am not an expert at CW either. I was an op in the Army trained to 15 GPM (groups that is) of encrypted random text.
Yes there was no fill in the missing words or letters on those tests.
Never used CW enough plain text to learn it high speed.
Even as a Novice in the 1970s most of my copy was written down and around 10-12 WPM.
I still play with CW once in awhile today.

04-29-2008, 10:21 PM
I stink at CW. Barely passed the 13 wpm test to get my advanced class. Never touched a key since, even though as a tech I made a fair number of exhausting slow speed CW contacts, still have that first QSL card from that first contact. The old guy had his wife take his picture and made a post card of the print so I could have a QSL. He was so patient, listening to my lousy fist and sending back real slow. Perhaps this skill is related to reading music and/or doing math, both of which I also stink at.

I was never a novice or a general. Went straight to tech and then advanced in a few months. Kept the advanced call when I got the extra (5 wpm code credit!) because "they don't make them like that anymore."

04-30-2008, 12:19 PM
Yes even today due to the encrypted text we copied in the Army I write in all down when I do work a rare CW contact.
It's fun, but it's just not a ragchew mode to me and I suppose that's because it was never second nature to me.
I did take that dreaded 5 WPM test for the license twice. Once in the 1970s for the Novice and once again when I got licensed again as a Tech+ a few years ago when I got back on the air again.
Yes I could have shown the old Novice ticket but come on, 5 WPM? It took me all of a day to get my speed up to 7 or better just listening to the practice broadcasts from the ARRL.
My other problem with CW is other ops fists. Some have no sense of rhythm and are really bad at it even though they use it all the time. I also have a slight hearing problem that does not help matters and it's getting worse of course with age, but then again so is the rest of my body.
We are going to go full time to try and see this country completely and enjoy it before we can't do it anymore!
Like they say, it's hell to get older.