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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-891

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-891
Reviews: 155MSRP: 889.95
The FT-891 HF All Mode Mobile Transceiver once again continues Yaesu's legacy for legendary receiver design in a compact package, providing uncompromised performance for both the mobile and stationary Amateur operator. High end 32-Bit floating point DSP enhances the operating experience providing a cleaner, clearer signal and reducing overall operator fatigue creating a more enjoyable environment for any Amateur operator.
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KI5BMK Rating: 2023-09-20
Awesome Rig...Super Tough Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I love this radio...great audio, solid receiver and once you get used to the settings and menus it is a breeze to operate.

Loud audio too for outside listening...

I bought 2 more due to the incredible quality and price point...
KB3NWU Rating: 2023-07-24
Could be SO much better with so little work! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Yes, a zero. No, I am not a fan boy of one of the other Big 3 who hates Yaesu but never owned one. Almost all of my radios have been Yaesu. I have owned the 817nd, 857D, 897D, & the FTDX-3000. I bought this radio because my FT-857D died. Sent it off to get fixed - still dead. I wanted a radio that worked with my ATAS 120A antenna for mobile use. It was bad enough loosing V/UHF going to the 891 but, hey, I get the awesome 32 bit IF DSP (which works great in my FTDX-3000!), right?. OMG what a step DOWN from the 857D! This radio is a perfect example of a product designed by people who never have to use it. The team who put this together knew about computers but were obviously not ham radio operators. As mentioned by other reviewers many times before, the menu is a bit convoluted - but it is not as bad as some say. The 32 bit IF DSP is awesome. It is rugged and compact. TX audio reports are good. So, why the big, fat zero? Simply because everything that makes a ham radio a QUALITY ham radio (DNR, DNF, CONTOUR, SHIFT, NOTCH, RX BW) ARE TURNED OFF & YOUR SETTING ERASED every time you change bands, hit A/B VFO, or go to a Memory or QMB channel; and, you have to go back into all the menus to reset your settings - all while trying to watch the road while driving! This is supposed to be a mobile radio. These settings should not only be saved but saved PER BAND! The 857 could save settings 20 years ago. It's as if the 891 wants to be a $50 CB radio static box. Many of these adjustments require looking at the screen to adjust as there is no audio or "click" feedback. With the 857D I could adjust the band, mode, and all 3 DSP without looking at the radio. Not so with this 891. It's hard to believe Yaesu discontinued the 857D because they had this. All they had to do was to put IF DSP in the 857D and it could have sold for another 30 years. The only thing this 891 does better than the 857D is that it has a temperature sensitive fan - it doesn't come on every time you touch the PTT. Also, the scope is a little better. No, it's not color. It has no waterfall. No averaging. Silent when active sweeping. But it is a little better. Some have recommended this 891 as a great starter HF radio for those entering the hobby. No, they will soon get frustrated and pick up golf or pickle ball or something. Perhaps these shortcomings could be fixed with a firmware update but this radio has been out for like what 7 years now? It either can't be done or Yaesu is too lazy. IMHO, the only thing this radio is good for is a cheap, portable, 100W POTA or SOTA radio where you can take 10 mins to set your menu options, pick a frequency, and stay on that frequency until you "activate" your location and go home. I can't wait to get my hands on a used 857D in good condition.
WA8MEA Rating: 2023-07-13
Interesting little xcvr! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I, too, left the transmit audio as is - right from the box. Too many people were complementing me on the quality, so I figure... if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I use mine as a secondary rig. Effective noise blanker. Fantastic receive, which I have found typical for Yaesu's.

One weird problem: When the rig is off, and I use the Icom HF (doesn't really matter what band or antenna), the Yaesu ON/OFF relay likes to "click" with the peaks of my modulation. I use a power supply connected to a power strip. In order for me to stop the "clicking" - I have installed an on/off switch on the negative side of the DC power cord. Kind of inconvenient. In the past, I've had issues with RF getting into Yaesu rigs via power supplies.
HA7WX Rating: 2023-07-12
It has all been said Time Owned: more than 12 months.
It has all been said already but I wanted to add my own review on this radio. Having owned an 857D and still owning a 897D, the 891 is a step-up in terms of quality of RX, display readability and even transmit audio.
I was lazy with this one, did not bother to alter the stock TX audio settings, just made sure I have a satisfactory ALC deviation. As a result, I get unsollicited positive comments on my TX audio (using the stock mic).
It takes less than 1A on RX and it seems like it's not so voltage sensitive, at least on my LiFePo4 batteries it's all fine.
I almost can mimic the receive of my IC751A (comparing here apples and oranges, although a vintage radio, has still its place today and I would say has a soothing receive compared to the nowaday digital fatiguing radios) with both contour and IF shift, it has a nicer less "noisy" receive (although in itself this radio is not as "noisy" as its predecessors).
I was skeptical when it was released on the market then found a mint one used in 2021 and I had to try it.
Glad I did and recommend it to anyone who would like a quality, dependable and featured radio for any use, be it at home, mobile or portable.
Maybe I wish it had weatherproofing, in some instances it could be useful.
KG7M Rating: 2023-07-12
Multi Featured for Low Cost Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I haven't purchased a new Transceiver, or Receiver in many years. In the early 1990's, while working at HP I did make some significant purchases. A JRC Receiver, an R8A, an AOR 7030, and an Icom IC-706. At the time the '706 was groundbreaking. It turned out to require many repairs over the years. Specifically to the Bandpass Relays, and Switching Diodes and Transistors. The semiconductors are surface mount and very small. I'm thankful that HP trained their engineering staff to rework SMT devices. That enabled me to perform the repairs.
So since the '706 I've been using older rigs that I restored. Lately an FT-707 and a set of Drake's - R-7 and TR-7.
After reading a number of positive reviews I ordered an FT-891. I was worried about what others had said regarding the menu system and small fonts on the display. But the price I received was outstanding so I went ahead with the order.
I'm 70 and my eyesight isn't great. In spite of that, I find the lighting and font size to be just fine. And although the menu system can seem daunting at first, it's really not too bad. Quite well thought out and a breeze compared to the IC-706! The FT-891 has a built-in Dual USB Controller, so adding Yaesu's (or any other) External USB Controller is a waste of resources.Actually, no interface is needed to run the data modes. You can just take the audio out and in from the rear 6-pin mini-din RTTY/DATA Connector. I've checked the schematic and these lines are isolated through a capacitor. Those feed your Mic In and Line Out from your PC. I run WSJT-X and FLDIGI. Both programs tune the FT-891 when changing bands or frequencies. FLDIGI runs CAT under FLRIG and WSJT-X has CAT control through hamlib routines - at least in LINUX.
It's wonderful to have my FT8 and other data modes so automated. I had been running older rigs, without CAT, for FT8 and sometimes forgetting to select a new band when switching frequencies. Now, running the FT-891, I'm really automated for band changing.
The FT-891 has a very effective Noise Blanker. On par with Drake's from the 4-Line. Of course it has DSP as well, but the DSP is a bit "heavy handed". Adjusted to "1" is quite nice. Above "1" it is just too much. I run an outboard DSP. An original JPS NIR-12 Dual DSP. It is more versatile than the FT-891's DSP, but it's a nice feature in the FT-891 for the times you're not using an outboard DSP.
One of the other niceties is the ability to set up your CW Power Level independent from SSB. I run 10 watts CW most of the time (when I'm not running CW) to tune the rig at low power. I'm not using a compatible Tuner with the FT-891. I use SGC's Smartuner SG-230 to tune my end fed wire, then bring down any additional mismatch with a MFJ VERSATUNER V. This is accomplished by simply holding down my straight key. I picked this tip up from another operator.
Finally, the FT-891 has a good ALC Meter, which is imperative when running Data Modes. I see so many operators that are overdriving their audio and splattering across the entire FT8 spectrum. They're calling CQ and wondering why no replies when they are so distorted that the WSJT-X demodulator can't decode them! Learning to use your ALC is one of the key elements to being a responsible operator.
All in all I highly recommend the FT-891 for any Amateur Radio Operator on a budget, looking for a good, 100 watt, transceiver for home, on the road, or portable.

NI4TG Rating: 2023-07-03
Great Tranciever Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought the 891 to use portable with battery power. This is a lot of radio in a compact package. I get unsolicited good audio comments every time I use it. The backlit keys and design make it a pleasure to operate. Great receiver. Having owned other Yaesu products, the menu seems very simple to me after working with it a short time, and, offers a LOT of customizing opportunities. My only negative is that the Advanced Manual is not provided, although free to view on line.
SP9HZX Rating: 2023-06-21
Fantastic small radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Perfect for mobile and portable operation.
Very good receiver,great DSP.Everybody praises the audio.
Recently I've had a lot of great and long DX using it with Magloop, Outbacker and ATAS120a.
The radio copes easily with extreme temperatures.
In my opinion it's easy to handle.All is clear.
VE7KI Rating: 2023-05-28
Fantastic Little Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this radio in 2021, in hopes of re-entering the hobby after a 25 year hiatus. It has NOT been a disappointment.

I initially struggled with the small form factor of the radio, because it didn't "look" like a conventional base station rig. Also, I had heard that the menu system can be a headache. My fears turned out to be mostly unfounded, and I love the radio.

I also purchased the Ham Radio Deluxe software suite, and I must say that it has been extremely helpful in controlling many of the 891's functions with a quick mouse click using their awesome GUI. No need to access the internal menu system in many cases.

What sealed the deal for me? PRICE and Features. I wasn't in a position to spend a ton of cash on a transceiver, and the 891 delivered resoundingly.
OE5HHR Rating: 2023-04-11
What´s not to like about this radio? (oh yes 1 thing...) Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This radio is well recommended to anyone searching for a good reliable transmitter (mine does 94 Watts out on SSB from the box) and a good performing receiver (better than my old TS-480hx). After some extensive transmitting periods it gets warm to the touch, but not too warm, nothing to worry about. I use it on ssb with an antlion modmic and get nothing but good audio reports (once the TX equalizer is set to maximum performance).
Of course there is one thing that really annoys me: why the heck must someone dive into menues just to switch between USB and LSB?? Thats the only complaint i have about this radio, all other functions work top notch, i use it with a MFJ1718 relay box plus my SDR radio to get also these wonderful "waterfalls". To be honest, after some time of use, i cant get used to the waterfall display, i simply like to turn around the knob from the radio to hear whats going on. FT8 is also easy to setup once the drivers are installed correctly from the yaesu website. It is easy to use with the SCU17. Would i buy this radio again? mmmmhh...for this price...definetly YES! Recommended.
VA2DV Rating: 2023-03-22
Hard to beat Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I had most of the recent models mid-priced HF radios in the last years and I always coming back to this one for simplicity and ease of operation.
Coupled with a good external speaker and a resonant antenna, nothing could touch it at this price level and size.