Wednesday, February 10, 2021

FT-817ND drift test

  A while ago MW1CFN John tried to find a new mobile rig that wouldn't drift. His first choice, the Lab599 TX-500 seems to a nice choice at first sight, but drift wise it is a disaster. John seems having the same thing with his Yaesu FT-450 in the past. So, I offered him to do a test with my FT-817ND which hasn't got the optional TCXO, it is just standard. Actually I couldn't remember any issue with drift at all. Even my W5OLF 30m WSPR transmitter drifts only about 2-3 Hz, and that is just a kit not even een real transceiver. But I was curious what the outcome would be, so after a long time a put my FT-817 in service again.

Earlier today I did read John made his choice to buy a Icom IC-705. A very versatile and luxury rig with a very high price tag. Every mobile transceiver has pro and cons. The new IC-705 is state of the art at the moment with lots of features. One big pro is that it can be connected to a computer with just one USB cable or even wireless. A disadvantage is that it isn't as rugged as a FT-817 or 818. 

Certainly the big disadvantage of a FT-817 (818) is that it isn't really luxury. No extra filters, no touch screen. Not the latest state of the art at all. And you need a lot of cables to connect it to a computer as you can see on the piture above...

However, I think connecting CAT control and audio can be made simple if only someone takes up my experimental idea about bluetooth wireless control. I did experiments before and I showed a working "prototype". This could be implemented in one box with power supplied from the ACC socket on the backside. However I haven't got the time, knowledge and money to put something like this on the market.

But back to the drift story....does the original FT-817ND drift on HF WSPR? Well, you can judge yourself by taking a look at the above screenshot.

And in the meantime John made another choice.....which saved him a lot of money. He bought a FT-818ND which will do perfectly for his needs I guess. And he will not have any drift problem at all, that's for shure!


  1. Thanks a lot, Bas! That's very good about the 817. The audio from the 817 seems to be better than the 818, with more low frequency reproduction. But that doesn't much matter, especially with the DSP board I managed to get. I'm sure I will enjoy the 818; it's always a surprise how much can be achieved with QRP - if we care to sit down and make an effort, rather than dismiss it.

    1. Hello John, I replaced the original speaker for a aftermarket one with more response. See Might be useful for the FT-818 as well. It came from SotaBeams. Hope to read more about your purchase soon. 73, Bas


Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas