20 Feb 2012

Commercial QRP: KX3 or FT818?

CQ Ham Radio Book
As I've said before here,  I just can't understand why an FT817 successor has still not yet appeared. The KX3 pre-release spec (now nearly 12 months old) gives a good idea of what is needed and Yaesu surely could beat Elecraft on price. Also, Yaesu's alternative is likely to win on size and looks.

Here in the UK, once import duty and tax are added, the KX3 will be expensive, so I am still hoping the FT818 will appear soon and be a more cost effective alternative. I love Elecraft kit but not sure that too many over this side of the pond will shell out over £1000 for a commercial QRP radio. An FT818 at, say, £599 would be a more cost effective investment. I say investment as my FT817 is now 11 years old and been the best amateur radio investment I have ever made.

So, I am still on the look-out for some HARD news from Yaesu Japan i.e. specs, price and release dates. If there are any leaks I promise you that the news will appear on this blog as soon as I get wind of anything. And of course, unlike the KX3 I expect an FT818 would be available as soon as an announcement is made.

The image above is linked from http://www.cqpub.co.jp .


John GM4SLV said...


The Elecraft stuff is great, true, but I think that now they've really left behind the original "you can built high performance radios in your own shack" ethos, they're nothing more than expensive niche market radios for those that want "something different". I've built a K1 and K2, with lots of extras, and recently sold them both, due to lack of use. The FT817 is a true radio experimenter's dream rig - something to use to investigate all manner of different aspects of the hobby. It's getting a bit behind the times, features wise, but the only thing it lacks (if you're being picky) is : Auto-ATU to allow easy use of short HF whips while /P, longer battery life from the internal batteries (And a decent CW filter as standard issue). Is there a need for an FT-818 when the FT-817 seems still to be entirely adequate?


Anonymous said...

I agree the FT-817 is long overdue for a revamp. At such low power levels there's no excuse for not having decent wide range ATU in the FT-817.

As for the KX3 - like I said before, I'm not going anywhere near that radio for that price. It's not that I can't afford it - it's that I think I'm being taken for a ride.

73's David, WB4ONA

sparky2171 said...

My FT-818 wish list:

-10 watts (with battery or external power)
-Speech processor
-Replaceable 5Ah LiPo or 3Ah LiIon battery pack.
-IXP7 waterproof
-Anderson powerpole connector
-IQ data output for panadapter display via iPad or android tablet.
-Bluetooth for rig control via tablet
-Bluetooth for audio via third party wireless headset or speaker

Optional accessories:
-Yaesu headset (no adapters!)
-External 15 watt antenna coupler (like mini Icom AH-4)
-3 Amp power supply that affixes to the bottom of the radio and provides a slanted viewing angle for base use.