The external speaker is very good, the range of frequencies is impressive, the operation is much quieter than most other radios out there, the receiving ability is very strong without even an advanced antenna, and there are lots of other great features too.
Yaesu FT-8900R Features
So let’s delve a little deeper into its feature set to help you find out whether it’s what you’re looking for your HAM experience.
It’s a quad band HAM radio so that’s certainly something to consider. If you don’t need a quad band or even a dual band, then something like the Yaesu FT-2980R would be enough for you which is available at a much lower price.
However, the FT-8900R comes with some advanced capabilities too. The external speaker would certainly leave you impressed with a great audio. The transmit and receive functions don’t leave much to be desired either.
The transmit audio is indeed very impressive, the receive audio not so much. But that’s not saying it’s bad; it would be good enough for most users all the same.
The range of frequencies is great. Even when buying a quad band radio if the range of frequencies is very limited it will not offer a “true” quad band performance.
The receiving ability of the FT-8900R would blow you away. A particular user mentioned how they can receive aircraft traffic (AM) from as long as around 90 miles away. And that’s without using a high-end antenna, but just with the VHA antenna.
The functionality of the FT-8900R is just as good as its power and performance. Its x-band repeat function is particularly impressive, and many users say they bought the FT-8900R over its competitors only for this feature.
There are over 800 memory channels, an easy way to access WIRES and other similar systems, quiet operation despite there being a fan, easy setup and operation, and also the fact that it supports CHIRP.
Being able to use CHIRP would make things a lot easier for beginners, although the programming is pretty easy in general too.
The scanning options are useful too, especially for beginners. The same goes for the hyper memory keys which allow you to use them to access important functions you want quickly and conveniently.
Unlike with most other radios out there, the manual is not in Chinglish but rather well-written and easy to understand.
The compact body of the FT-8900R doesn’t mean a lower durability in any way either. Just like all the other Yaesu radios out there, the FT-8900R is very well built too and would stand the test of time.
- Great quad band performance with advanced features
- Powerful external speaker produces great audio
- The range of frequencies is probably as good as it can get even by a quad band radio’s standard
- Amazing receiving capabilities
- A very useful, advanced feature in x-banding
- Lots of other useful features like over 800 memory channels, CHIRP support, easy programming, easy way to access WIRES and other systems and so on
- Surprisingly easy to use and operate
- Quiet operation although there is a fan that comes on from time to time
- Useful scanning options and hyper memory keys
- Well-written, easy-to-understand manual
- Solid build quality just like all Yaesu radios
- Only FM and no SSB
- The knobs are rather on the smaller side and feel a little wobbly with use
Let us clarify however that although the knobs may feel a little wobbly over time if you tend to use them a lot, but they probably wouldn’t come off as they are still well-made overall.
Yaesu FT-8900R Review Conclusion
There are a few good quad band radios on the market and some of them like the TYT TH-9800 are much cheaper than the FT-8900R, but the feature set the latter offers gives it a clear edge.
If you don’t care much about the other features and are just after a cheap quad band radio, you can look elsewhere. But if you want a solid overall quad band performance with advanced features like x-banding and a great receiving ability, you aren’t going to find many options like the FT-8900R.
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