ft-817nd vs ft-857d

ft817 VS ft857

As people that read my blog posts might know; I’m always looking for the best portable setup. At the moment the options revolve around using the FT-817nd with a small linear or using the FT-857d.

Using an FT-817nd plus a small linear

In my post about using the FT-817nd with a “dirty amp” my idea was (and still is) to take the FT-817nd with a small linear with me when I’m out in the field. With that configuration you have a lightweight transceiver with a lightweight linear which in the end, together, is maybe not the lightest configuration.

The advantage of that configuration is that in most cases I just use the FT-817nd without getting the linear out of the bag. Only in certain cases I will really use the linear.

If you take the Tracer battery that I just bought you can still keep the weight down. The tracer battery is much lighter than the SLAB batteries that are normally used by HAM radio operators that go portable. Those SLAB batteries weigh around 3 kilos and are generally not more than 7 Ah! My Tracer is 14 Ah and weighs only 1 kilo!

Tracer 12v 14Ah Lithium Polymer Battery Pack

Tracer 12v 14Ah Lithium Polymer Battery Pack

Using the FT-857d

Another portable option, next to the one we just spoke about, is using the FT-857d. You can find enough comparisons of the ft-817nd vs ft-857d on the internet and after reading them I’m still not sure what is best.

Reasons to use the FT-857d in stead of the FT-817nd are:

  • it has 100 watts output power, the FT-817nd only has 5 watts.
  • What else ??

I cannot really think of more advantages of using the FT-857d over the FT-817. Anybody???

And now some reasons to use the FT-817nd in stead of the FT-857d:

  • the FT-817nd has a built in battery.
  • the FT-817nd ways less.
  • the FT-817nd is smaller.
  • the FT-817nd is cheaper.

So in the end it all comes down to power; the FT-857d has more of it!

If you want to use the FT-817nd with a linear you have to figure out if the whole package of FT-817nd, bigger battery and linear is maybe not the same size / weight of the FT-857d with a bigger battery. Maybe the FT-857d is actually smaller than the FT-817nd configuration including linear?

I guess in the end it depends on what you want to use the rig for. Whenever I go with the Airplane somewhere I prefer to keep the transceiver in my hand luggage and don’t mind putting the accessories (like a cheap linear) in the cargo hold. So in that case the FT-817nd is better.

If I’m going into the field carrying everything in my backpack, than maybe the FT-857d is a better option.

For me I’m still not sure what is the best option and for me the question of ft-817nd vs ft-857d is not answered yet!

If anybody has some more pro’s and con’s to add to my list please let me know. Maybe in the end it will get me closer to my perfect portable setup!


This article was first published on www.pa1ca.nl and is published here with permission of the author.

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