Differences Between YAESU FT-817ND and FT-818ND

Yaesu’s FT-817 and FT-817ND radio have been the favorite portable transceiver for QRP enthusiasts, especially for backpackers.

More Details All Mode QRP Yaesu FT-818ND VHF UHF Shortwave HF Mobile Transceiver

Here are some differences between YAESU FT-817ND and FT-818ND

20% More Transmit Power
The YAESU FT-818ND now has a maximum output of 6 watts instead of the original 5 watts. (2 watts AM carrier vs 1.5 watts in the 817ND)

High Frequency Stability
Off the shelf, the 817ND took 1 hour to warm up for the frequency to go from +/- 4ppm to +/- 1 ppm/hour. Yaesu chose to include the optional TXCO-9 frequency stabilizer as a standard feature in the 818ND.

28% Higher Battery Capacity
The 817ND included a 9.6 V, 1400 mAh battery. The 818ND comes with a 9.6 V 1800 mAh battery.

UK 60 Meter Channel(s)
The 60 Meter channels changed since the 817ND was released. In order to adjust to the changes, owners had to make the MARS mod. The 818ND has updated the channels, but if/when they change again, it will also require the MARS mod to use the new channels.

Power Consumption
As expected, the higher power you run, the more power you use. The 818ND’s extra watt of power requires more power consumption than the 817ND when operating at maximum power. However, maximum power is only available when using a 13.8v power supply, an external source or the alkaline battery pack. So, there will be no noticeable difference in power consumption on receive or using the internal 9.6 volt battery.

The 817ND uses 2.2 Amps HF through 2 Meters and 2.5 Amps on 70 cm. The 818ND consumes only 2.4 A and 2.7A respectively.

Same Light-Weight
Yaesu includes the alkaline battery and antenna in the weight of the 817ND, but not in the weight of the 818ND radios. The 817ND weighs 2.58 lbs (1170 g) including the alkaline battery and antenna, but the 818ND only weights 1.98 lbs (900 g). The weight of the batteries alone is.34 lbs so with the weight of the antenna added, I don’t think that there will be a noticeable difference between the two radios.

Similar Pricing
While the 818ND comes with a higher price tag than the 817ND, when you add the price of the TCXO-9 as an add-on to the 817, the difference is very minimal. All things being equal, the difference in price is insignificant.

How are the QRP enthusiasts reacting?
In the UK, the hams are celebrating the fact that the radio includes the UK 60 Meter frequency, but here across the pond in the US, the general consensus of the 817ND owners is that the only real reason to upgrade is to get a new warranty on their radios.

Many hams are expressing disappointment in the 818ND because it appears to be the exact same radio made with available components. Only time will tell, but chatter on the Internet doesn’t suggest that the 817NDs will be dumped in favor of buying the 818ND. So, if you are looking to get a bargain price on the 817ND, don’t set your hopes too high, yet.

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