by William Eric McFadden

Yaesu FT-817ND
(click image to enlarge)

From the manual (v2013):

The FT-817ND is a compact, innovative multiband, multimode portable transceiver for the amateur radio MF/HF/VHF/UHF bands. Providing coverage of the 160-10 meter bands (include the 60m band: USA version) plus the 6 m, 2 m, and 70 cm bands, the FT-817ND includes operation on the SSB, CW, AM, FM, and Digital modes, yielding the most comprehensive performance package available for portable operation.

Designed for use either from an external DC power source or internal batteries, the FT-817ND provides five watts of power output from a 13.8-Volt external power supply. When using the FNB-85 Ni-MH Battery Pack or 8 "AA" Alkaline Cells (not supplied), the FT-817ND automatically switches to 2.5 Watts of output power. Via the Menu system, "High" power may be selected during battery operation, providing as much as 5 Watts of output, depending on the operating frequency.

The multi-function Liquid-Crystal Display includes Blue, Amber, and Violet backlighting, which may be disabled for battery conservation. The display includes bar-graph indication of power output, ALC voltage, SWR, and modulation level. Also include are a number of operating status icons, as well as function displays for the three operating function keys (A, B, and C).

Among the advanced features of the FT-817ND are many incorporated only in large base-station transceivers. These include Dual VFOs; Split-Frequency operation; IF Shift; Clarifier ("R.I.T."); IF Noise Blanker; AGC Fast/Slow/Auto/Off selection; RF Gain and Squelch control; IPO (Intercept Point Optimization) and a receiver front-end Attenuator; AM Aircraft reception; AM and FM Broadcast reception; VOX; built-in Electronic Keyer; Adjustable CW Pitch; Automatic FM Repeater Shift (ARS); Built-in CTCSS Encoder/Decoders; ARTSTM (Auto-Range Transponder System); Smart SearchTM Automatic Memory Loading System; Spectrum Scope; 200 Memories plus Home Channels and Band-limiting Memories; Alpha-Numeric Labeling of Memories; Automatic Power-Off (APO) and Time-Out Timer (TOT) functions; Computer Interface capability; and Cloning capability.

My FT-817ND, serial number 9N630240, was purchased used in October, 2022, and includes Portable Zero 817 Escort rails, a W4RT 500Hz CW filter, and an N0WL Powerpole adapter, and has had the "green wire mod" performed. My FT-817ND came equipped with a FingerDimple FT-817 Kranker spinner-knob, but I've removed this because it extended beyond the Portable Zero 817 Escort rails, putting the rig's rotary encoder at risk in a drop.

I purchased my FT-817ND to serve as the core of my now-defunct FT-817 Mini Travel Kit to use during bicycle-portable operations, the rational being the venerable FT-817ND is more rugged than my Elecraft K1 or Elecraft KX3, and the FT-817ND would be less expensive to repair or replace if it were to be damaged during an outing. I discovered, to my dismay, that a kit built around the FT-817ND weighs too much to be safely transported by bicycle on bumpy roads and gravel trails, so the FT-817ND will be used for general field operations and is now the heart of the larger and more complete FT-817 Travel Kit.

Brochure and Manuals:

Yaesu FT-817ND Links: