10 February 2018

An Update To The Yaesu FT-817?

The Amateur radio world went into a bit of a high hover this week over the discovery that Yaesu has submitted a new transceiver design to the FCC for testing and type acceptance. Of course Yaesu is mum on the subject, but the FCC filing gives us a few interesting tidbits.

According to the filing the radio has been designated the FT-818 (gee, no give-away there!) and the submitted test unit has the following basic functionality:

  • Superheterodyne design. Sorry, this is no software defined radio 😒
  • HF/VHF/UHF operations
  • Wide band receive
  • Battery power source (although I think most are mis-interpreting this entry. It does not mean the radio will have an internal battery pack, it just means it's designed to operate off of standard 13.8 v DC vehicle power. In other words, a mobile radio)
  • BNC antenna connection. This is interesting since there's no SO-239 connector listed. This indicates a low power design and it could also indicate a smaller form factor than the current FT-817 design (SO-239 connectors can eat up a lot of 'real estate' on small radio designs)

There's a lot of wishful thinking going on regarding this announcement, mainly because of what isn't stated. What's the form factor? Will it have an internal battery setup? What's the power output? Will it have an internal antenna tuner? What does the display look like?

The confidentiality request Yaesu has submitted to the FCC, restricting the release of manuals and photos, is set to expire just before the Auguts 2018 JARL Ham Fair in Tokyo, so we'll likely see a product introduction at that show. Until then, on with the speculation!

W8BYH out

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