20 May 2014

Yaesu and that (never coming) FT817 replacement

Yaesu amaze me. They would have a near certain HUGE market for a more up-to-date version of the FT817. We punters have been waiting YEARS and it has still not appeared.

Instead they mess about with VHF/UHF digital radios. They could probably re-use the FT817 mechanics and just update the insides. The FT817 is a good radio, but it is 14 years old and there are many features it could do with. The FT817 and FT817ND must have sold over 500000 worldwide! The window for releasing a new version is rapidly closing as the sunspots fade.

My wishlist (just some features, no particular order)
  • LiIon battery pack
  • Auto ATU
  • Speech processor
  • OLED display
  • DSP noise reduction 
  • 70MHz
  • 1296MHz
None of these should be hard (or expensive) for Yaesu to develop. So just why have they not done this?


9 comments:

Steve W said...

Why fix it if it ain't broke?

73 G1KQH

Roger G3XBM said...

Steve - because it makes very good commercial sense!

Steve W said...

I guess they have got something secretly on the boil hidden away in the broom cupboard..

You gotta surpise the enemy, keep um thinking?

73 G1KQH

Roger G3XBM said...

Steve, somehow I doubt this. They should have released it LAST year and are now in danger of missing the boat.

I suspect the Chinese will soon launch a credible, neat FT17-like radio instead together with an external PA.

Steve W said...

I think the boat nearly sunk when Fukishima went Pop!

I agree the Chinese are not far behind, I recently bought a X1M, quite good a fun rig, but not Yaesu quality :-(

73 G1KQH

Dick said...

Don't hold your breath, Roger. The window of opportunity has passed. Elecraft, Ten-Tec (now with their new do-it-yourself programming-type 5-watters) and the few kits still available, are on the market. Yes, the cycle is winding down. A year from now probably significantly down. My FT-817ND will not be replaced during my lifetime. I would have liked to have seen an outboard digital display add-on available.. Large and complete with all rig functions displayed. Something like the FT-857 with the jack underneath the front left which was put there to accomodate an LDG swr meter. For home use would be great on the eyes.

Roger G3XBM said...

Dick, the KX3 is a great rig, but in my view NOT an FT817 replacement. I feel you are right about Yaesu's timing.

Anonymous said...

It is broke as I don't want to buy one as it does not have an ATU and for something to carry around, an external ATU is a problem. Also it needs a USB port and build-in sound card. I would not mind if they took out the 2M/70CM if that helps make room or make other functions better.

Anonymous said...

Roger, why do you think half a million have been sold ? I'd be surprised if they're much past 100,000. It's a niche product in a niche market that's why the product development cycles are so long. 73 Trevor M5AKA