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Thinking about an FT-817...

Richard Andrew Knack
 

I have been seriously looking into getting myself a Yaesu FT-817ND for all-around mobile and portable use. I like the fact that it will do all modes in all bands from 80m to 70cm, and I believe it will be much more rugged than my SDR (besides having its own battery pack, though I would probably upgrade that). My preferred modes of communication are digital and voice (though I recently found my old Gordon West 5WPM cassettes and am thinking about re-learning Morse code...which I haven't used since I passed the test to upgrade to General years ago). Are there any special mods or accessories I should have to use the radio as a "manpack" type radio? I have a Chinese-made digital modem, so I can do digital modes without needing a laptop, and am working on building a WA2EBY amp for more power if needed (this amp was the basis for the HF Packer amp).

Rich
KC8MWG

AC2FV
 

Get a KX2.

Sent from my iPad

Scott Conover
AC2FV
Cell: 516-982-4557 

On Aug 11, 2017, at 6:34 PM, Richard Andrew Knack via Groups.Io <ihc73scout2@...> wrote:

I have been seriously looking into getting myself a Yaesu FT-817ND for all-around mobile and portable use. I like the fact that it will do all modes in all bands from 80m to 70cm, and I believe it will be much more rugged than my SDR (besides having its own battery pack, though I would probably upgrade that). My preferred modes of communication are digital and voice (though I recently found my old Gordon West 5WPM cassettes and am thinking about re-learning Morse code...which I haven't used since I passed the test to upgrade to General years ago). Are there any special mods or accessories I should have to use the radio as a "manpack" type radio? I have a Chinese-made digital modem, so I can do digital modes without needing a laptop, and am working on building a WA2EBY amp for more power if needed (this amp was the basis for the HF Packer amp).

Rich
KC8MWG

Joe Krepps
 

They're fine little radios. What other portable rig does 160m to 70cm, all modes??? (...crickets chirping...)

I've been running mine "as is" since I bought it in '06. I run 99.9% mobile, which has its own "challenges". Still, using 20m SSB almost exclusively and a crummy mag-mount antenna, I've managed 7 or 8 states and about as many DX stations, from south-central PA.. Haven't tried digital...yet. My car is stick shift so I don't attempt CW (though, I was at 20wpm but now down to ~18wpm). 

You might want to join the two Yahoo Groups devoted to the '817, for more info' on mods. Looks like the old Collins SSB and CW filters are no longer made but there are some interesting electronic filters out there. Much controversy on small amps though. Filtering seems to be questionable for some amps. My original battery is toast after all these years so I just use external power though I'm tempted by the really nice aftermarket internal batteries out there.

You won't be disappointed! It's Yaesu's biggest selling rig, by far. 
Joe 
WB3CFN

Richard Andrew Knack
 

Why a KX2? It doesn't come with a hand mic (that is an "option", according to the web page, and adds $60 to the cost), and it won't do VHF or UHF as well as HF all in one package. I already have an Elecraft T1 tuner, which I can interface with the Yaesu for faster tuning if I want to  (though it really isn't necessary). I like SDR radios, but they're not the "be-all-end-all" for me.

Rich
KC8MWG



On Friday, August 11, 2017, 8:40:22 PM EDT, AC2FV <xtraham@...> wrote:


Get a KX2.

Sent from my iPad

Scott Conover
AC2FV
Cell: 516-982-4557 

On Aug 11, 2017, at 6:34 PM, Richard Andrew Knack via Groups.Io <ihc73scout2@...> wrote:

I have been seriously looking into getting myself a Yaesu FT-817ND for all-around mobile and portable use. I like the fact that it will do all modes in all bands from 80m to 70cm, and I believe it will be much more rugged than my SDR (besides having its own battery pack, though I would probably upgrade that). My preferred modes of communication are digital and voice (though I recently found my old Gordon West 5WPM cassettes and am thinking about re-learning Morse code...which I haven't used since I passed the test to upgrade to General years ago). Are there any special mods or accessories I should have to use the radio as a "manpack" type radio? I have a Chinese-made digital modem, so I can do digital modes without needing a laptop, and am working on building a WA2EBY amp for more power if needed (this amp was the basis for the HF Packer amp).

Rich
KC8MWG

Mark Wickens
 

You won't regret buying an ft817. They are very portable. An internal battery is good for around 2 hours listening with some ssb. Sounds great too - I had a qso from Virgin Islands to uk with remote station ft817  on 5w (I was using my ft817 with a minipa50 at 45 watts) that's close to 1000 miles power watt. 

All band all now is great to. Power is very flexible - anything from around 9v to 16v. Lipos will run it for hours.

Rugged little thing too. I bought an original ft817  its 13 years old. I don't think I can trust myself with anything fancy. I paid £250 for mine. 

Cheers Mark

On 12 Aug 2017 02:00, "Richard Andrew Knack via Groups.Io" <ihc73scout2=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Why a KX2? It doesn't come with a hand mic (that is an "option", according to the web page, and adds $60 to the cost), and it won't do VHF or UHF as well as HF all in one package. I already have an Elecraft T1 tuner, which I can interface with the Yaesu for faster tuning if I want to  (though it really isn't necessary). I like SDR radios, but they're not the "be-all-end-all" for me.

Rich
KC8MWG



On Friday, August 11, 2017, 8:40:22 PM EDT, AC2FV <xtraham@...> wrote:


Get a KX2.

Sent from my iPad

Scott Conover
AC2FV
Cell: 516-982-4557 

On Aug 11, 2017, at 6:34 PM, Richard Andrew Knack via Groups.Io <ihc73scout2=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

I have been seriously looking into getting myself a Yaesu FT-817ND for all-around mobile and portable use. I like the fact that it will do all modes in all bands from 80m to 70cm, and I believe it will be much more rugged than my SDR (besides having its own battery pack, though I would probably upgrade that). My preferred modes of communication are digital and voice (though I recently found my old Gordon West 5WPM cassettes and am thinking about re-learning Morse code...which I haven't used since I passed the test to upgrade to General years ago). Are there any special mods or accessories I should have to use the radio as a "manpack" type radio? I have a Chinese-made digital modem, so I can do digital modes without needing a laptop, and am working on building a WA2EBY amp for more power if needed (this amp was the basis for the HF Packer amp).

Rich
KC8MWG

Peter Parker
 

Rich - Most important is a good battery.  You can get aftermarket internal batteries with higher capacity but if possible I'd go for an external battery around 5AH.  11-12v is a good voltage for the 817 - too low means you can't run the full 5w and too high means you waste power.  Another thing that's essential (in my view) is an L-match antenna coupler.  Some FT-817 hints are on my website at: http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/qrp/ft817.htm

As for an antenna you basically have a choice of a magnetic loop or a whip.  For this I suggest a telescoping 5.4m fishing pole, a wire and an antenna coupler. That's good for 10 - 50 MHz.  Add a loading coil for 7 MHz. Best used if in salt water with a ground contact ring. More details at http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/projects/projwade.htm

Richard Andrew Knack
 

Well, for a matching device I have an Elecraft T1. Not anywhere within several hundred miles of salt water (I can see Lake Michigan from a hilltop a mile from my home), so that's a moot point. 

Do you recommend LI-PO, or some sort of SLA?

Is solar charging practical? I was given one of those solar panels that is intended to be plugged into a lighter socket to keep a car battery toppedup, and was wondering if that could be useful in any way.

What about the MFJ 1899t? Is that of any practical use?

Rich
KC8MWG





Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Peter Parker <vk3ye@...>
Date: 8/11/17 7:15 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: hfpack@groups.io
Subject: Re: [hfpack] Thinking about an FT-817...

Rich - Most important is a good battery.  You can get aftermarket internal batteries with higher capacity but if possible I'd go for an external battery around 5AH.  11-12v is a good voltage for the 817 - too low means you can't run the full 5w and too high means you waste power.  Another thing that's essential (in my view) is an L-match antenna coupler.  Some FT-817 hints are on my website at: http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/qrp/ft817.htm

As for an antenna you basically have a choice of a magnetic loop or a whip.  For this I suggest a telescoping 5.4m fishing pole, a wire and an antenna coupler. That's good for 10 - 50 MHz.  Add a loading coil for 7 MHz. Best used if in salt water with a ground contact ring. More details at http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/projects/projwade.htm

Peter Parker
 

An SLA battery is OK but heavy relative to the power provided. But it doesn't require a fancy charger and doesn't have the bad behaviour that poorly used LiPOs can exhibit. 

As for an amp hour rating, I'd recommend something between 5 and 9 amp hours for a good several hours of operating. 

As an example the video below is me operating HF pedestrian mobile during a contest. The 11.1v LiPO easily lasted the 4+ hours operating time. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr4544ZbGwE

 

Richard Andrew Knack
 

How about the solar charger I mentioned?

Rich
KC8MWG



On Sunday, August 13, 2017, 6:05:53 AM EDT, Peter Parker <vk3ye@...> wrote:


An SLA battery is OK but heavy relative to the power provided. But it doesn't require a fancy charger and doesn't have the bad behaviour that poorly used LiPOs can exhibit. 

As for an amp hour rating, I'd recommend something between 5 and 9 amp hours for a good several hours of operating. 

As an example the video below is me operating HF pedestrian mobile during a contest. The 11.1v LiPO easily lasted the 4+ hours operating time. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr4544ZbGwE

 

Don Lewis
 

Rich:
 
  1. Power out needs to equal power in.
  2. Power over time is watt/hours.
  3. Total watt/hours out (day + night) must, as a minimum not exceed total watt/hours in during the day (solar charging).
Just do the math yourself.
 
Don
N5CID
 
 
 
 
=====================================================
 

From: Richard Andrew Knack via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2017 9:17 AM
To: hfpack@groups.io
Subject: Re: [hfpack] Thinking about an FT-817...
 
How about the solar charger I mentioned?
 
Rich
KC8MWG
 
 
 
On Sunday, August 13, 2017, 6:05:53 AM EDT, Peter Parker <vk3ye@...> wrote:
 
 

An SLA battery is OK but heavy relative to the power provided. But it doesn't require a fancy charger and doesn't have the bad behaviour that poorly used LiPOs can exhibit.

As for an amp hour rating, I'd recommend something between 5 and 9 amp hours for a good several hours of operating.

As an example the video below is me operating HF pedestrian mobile during a contest. The 11.1v LiPO easily lasted the 4+ hours operating time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr4544ZbGwE

 

n2msqrp
 

Check ebay for the seller Windcamp.


He sells a Lithium battery with a protective circuit, power switch and external charging port. A charger is also included.


It fits into the space of the original battery pack and has a replacement cover.


I bought one and it seems to be working fine.


Mike N2MS

 

On August 13, 2017 at 6:05 AM Peter Parker <vk3ye@...> wrote:

An SLA battery is OK but heavy relative to the power provided. But it doesn't require a fancy charger and doesn't have the bad behaviour that poorly used LiPOs can exhibit. 

As for an amp hour rating, I'd recommend something between 5 and 9 amp hours for a good several hours of operating. 

As an example the video below is me operating HF pedestrian mobile during a contest. The 11.1v LiPO easily lasted the 4+ hours operating time. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr4544ZbGwE

 

Ken watson
 

RE: solar power.

 No personal experience yet but in researching for 0.5 KW  2 panel solar cell array for my camper van, solar cells start out at relatively high voltages which drops dramatically when placed under load. So you have a peak voltage to contend with and a varing amount of power available depending on the load and of course clouds. There are cheap ebay charge controllers to fix the peak voltage issue but suspect they are noisy. Perhaps a linear pass regulator will work well with lower current needs. Best for charging a battery.

Ken

K1KLW

On Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 11:50 AM, n2msqrp <mstangelo@...> wrote:

Check ebay for the seller Windcamp.


He sells a Lithium battery with a protective circuit, power switch and external charging port. A charger is also included.


It fits into the space of the original battery pack and has a replacement cover.


I bought one and it seems to be working fine.


Mike N2MS

 

On August 13, 2017 at 6:05 AM Peter Parker <vk3ye@...> wrote:

An SLA battery is OK but heavy relative to the power provided. But it doesn't require a fancy charger and doesn't have the bad behaviour that poorly used LiPOs can exhibit. 

As for an amp hour rating, I'd recommend something between 5 and 9 amp hours for a good several hours of operating. 

As an example the video below is me operating HF pedestrian mobile during a contest. The 11.1v LiPO easily lasted the 4+ hours operating time. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr4544ZbGwE

 

Walter J. Skavinsky (KB3SBC)
 

I have a 100 watt solar system made by renology.   I have not detected any noise from the controller.   I have a deep cycle marine battery for storage.  The system is large and I only use It camping.  It's not a backpacking setup.   It has been  sufficient to run my ft891 at 100 watts for several hours or my kx3 for at least three days.  I am sure it would go longer but I was only away for three days.   I also used it to charge the phone and laptop I had.

I am experimenting with a small folding solar panel but haven't worked out the particulars yet.


  Good luck 

72
Walt 



Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7 active, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Ken watson <watsok@...>
Date: 8/13/17 19:03 (GMT-05:00)
To: hfpack@groups.io
Subject: Re: [hfpack] Thinking about an FT-817...

RE: solar power.

 No personal experience yet but in researching for 0.5 KW  2 panel solar cell array for my camper van, solar cells start out at relatively high voltages which drops dramatically when placed under load. So you have a peak voltage to contend with and a varing amount of power available depending on the load and of course clouds. There are cheap ebay charge controllers to fix the peak voltage issue but suspect they are noisy. Perhaps a linear pass regulator will work well with lower current needs. Best for charging a battery.

Ken

K1KLW

On Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 11:50 AM, n2msqrp <mstangelo@...> wrote:

Check ebay for the seller Windcamp.


He sells a Lithium battery with a protective circuit, power switch and external charging port. A charger is also included.


It fits into the space of the original battery pack and has a replacement cover.


I bought one and it seems to be working fine.


Mike N2MS

 

On August 13, 2017 at 6:05 AM Peter Parker <vk3ye@...> wrote:

An SLA battery is OK but heavy relative to the power provided. But it doesn't require a fancy charger and doesn't have the bad behaviour that poorly used LiPOs can exhibit. 

As for an amp hour rating, I'd recommend something between 5 and 9 amp hours for a good several hours of operating. 

As an example the video below is me operating HF pedestrian mobile during a contest. The 11.1v LiPO easily lasted the 4+ hours operating time. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr4544ZbGwE

 

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