End of an Era: The Yaesu FT-818ND is being discontinued…

Many thanks to Gavin (GM0WDD), followed by a number of other readers, who shared breaking news that both the Yaesu FT-818ND and the Yaesu FTM-400XDR are being discontinued due to parts availability.

The following announcement originally appeared on the Difona Communications Gmbh page on Facebook:

I suspect there will be a rush on remaining Yaesu FT-818ND stock. The 817 and 818 have been in production for well over two decades!  It’s one of my favorite QRP radios and certainly one I recommend.

Indeed, if you haven’t read it already, check out this article I posted only two months ago detailing why I think the 818 is such an enduring radio.

UPDATE: Many thanks to K4FBI who shares this announcement from Yaesu USA:

43 thoughts on “End of an Era: The Yaesu FT-818ND is being discontinued…”

    1. Since this action seems to be prompted by parts issues, I’m not sure they have a replacement ready for prime time yet.

    2. I agree. The 818 was created for the sole reason that components for the 817 could no longer be sourced. They had to make enough structural changes to the main board that they gave a new model number rather than call it an 817NF Mk II or whatever. People were really disappointed when the 818 came out because it didn’t address ANY of the features Yaesu customers had been clamoring for.

      Yaesu has nothing in the QRP category now. And unless they have something amazing already under development, by the time they get a new QRP radio to market, Icom and Elecraft will have entirely captured Yaesu’s market share.

      I hope I’m wrong, because I have been a Yaesu fan for 20+ years, but I think Yaesu is finished in the QRP market.

  1. It’s a great little radio. I used mine (817nd) to activate K-7580 today and yesterday. I’ve talked all over with it. Including from my front porch in TN to Maine, SSB 6 meters. Always impressive. Mat – K4OCY

  2. Sad news around the 818ND – that family has been an awesome part of Yaesu’s lineup. So many of us are drawn to it for what it doesn’t have, perhaps, as much as for what it does. I am glad I just bought a new one a couple of months ago and so I should be all set for a long time but I do wonder if Yaesu will reveal a more modern successor and how it might be configured!

  3. Wow. It was bound to happen but still, big news after so many years of production.

    Timing is everything, I just purchased one a month ago and have received from Japan a CW filter and from Poland a circuit board. I have a date with the soldering iron Friday afternoon (thanks to you Thomas for the links to get those components!).

    As we have all chatted about for a long long time, I wonder if this is also the signal for a spring rollout of a new Yaesu QRP / field rig, the love child of the 818 and 891 perhaps? Let the wild speculation begin!

  4. This was posted by Swedish radio supplier.

    Nothing on HRO and they still have stock.

    I will wait and see.

    But if true might make my 18 year old FT817 more valuable especially since I have he Collins 300 Hz CW filter, hi.

    But with the large verity of QRP rigs maybe Yaesu thinks time to terminate the sale.

    Also Yaesu has so many Fusion rigs I can see discontinuing the FTM400, they about 5 FTMxxx rigs.

    73, ron, n9ee

  5. The 818 wasn’t much of an upgrade from the 817 which came out over 20 years ago. Same hard to use controls as the 817. My guess is that it didn’t entice 817 owners to buy new radios and had trouble competing with newer tech in the Icom 705 or similar cheaper alternatives like the Xiegu x5105.

  6. I loved the idea of the FT-818 and most recently the price had dropped, but you still had to buy a mechanical filter and the big flaw is the FT-818 did not add the ability to put both the CW & SSB filters in place at the same time. Who buys a radio these days without filters? Even in 1979 I enjoyed the selectivity of both my Hammarlund HQ-145 & my TenTec Century 21 direct conversion transceiver.

    I am hoping that there is a Yaesu version of the Icom IC-705 coming out with all the bells & whistles, yet ruggedized like the FT-817/8 & FT-857 combos I was used to seeing. 72, Dave – KU9L

  7. But what about the full power equivalent? The 857/897? If parts are scarce, those could follow.

    I couod never decide whether the low power one for mountain topping, or higher power for home use, so bought neither.

    Like I said before, fifty years ago you’d need a whole rack of equipment.

  8. I’m glad I got mine before this news, I wonder if I should get a second one as a back up. Thanks for letting us know.

    1. I just bought one on ebay that was shipped from Japan. The manual is in Japanese and now I’m worried there might be some functionality that the Japanese version doesn’t have that the USA version might have. Any thoughts?

  9. Thank you for the update! I’m sad to see them discontinuing it.

    I’d been researching the FT-818, and was still a bit on the fence. I’ve been watching yours and all the Youtube videos that I can find, looking at the strengths and weaknesses, and was trying to justify the purchase of the 818nd. I’m pretty happy with my (tr)uSDX, but I’d like some more bands and an internal battery that gets me at least 5 watts so it’s a bit easier to carry and work with in the field. The 818 seemed to be just enough, but missing some filters, and the internal battery is not so powerful. But it just gets so much love. I had found one of the major retailers was selling it for $629 this past week. I was about to do it. But, now I think I’ll just wait to see what spring and a Hamvention bring.

    If Yaesu were to come out with a replacement, maybe the FT-818 turns into a FT-900 with filters and an internal battery that gets you 5W? Maybe an FTM-300 screen? I hope they try to keep the price point and form factor about the same.

  10. Quick look on the HRO website shows “In Stock – Ready To Ship” at only 5 of their 13 stores. Will be interesting to see how that shakes out in the next few days.

  11. Replacing the 817/818 will not be easy, an understatement! Icom has proven to be the technology/innovation leader beginning with the 756 and the screen revolution. What does Yaesu do as a follow-up that does not appear to be a “me too” product even if they can engineer a competitor? Parts availability does not go away and the significant development time needed is a major investment…is Yaesu committed to the amateur market on this scale?

  12. Sad, but inevitable. The 818 is still a great package for the money. I have an original ‘817 with almost every available bolt on apart from side rails; 20 years on it is still a competent portable!

    However, the availability of components and volume of sales will always be a factor and the QRP market has diversified too, as evidenced by my own collection of QRP rigs since the 817, MFJ 9420, and IC703 emerged.

    If I were Yaesu, I’d be looking to sell my global back stock of ‘818s before announcing a successor. Just a hunch, but I can’t see Yaesu not wanting a significant piece of the QRP pie, an “819” has to be in the works; after all they surely wouldn’t want to leave that market to Icom and Elecraft. The success of the 705, KX2, TX500 etc are indicators of demand, hitting the sweet spot at the right time is key for Yaesu. At least a further year to finish the development of something “a bit special” wouldn’t surprise.

    Timing with a good product is everything….

    Richard M0RGM

  13. My favorite grab and go radio is my FT 818! I leave the Ft 891 and my KX2 at home. The FT 818 is durable, durable, durable, small, durable and always punches out there to get the QSO. This is the end of an era. This radio is the reason that I always shopped Yaesu first. Durability in the field without the needless frills and fluff.

  14. I have 2 of the little guys. Second one set me back $75 at an estate sale…. Not perfect but its the Swiss army knife of radio’s

  15. All good things come to an end, included the 818/817. I bought an 817 about 9 years ago and used it portable, mobile and as a home station on all modes. The end doesn’t surprise me with all the completion but Yaesu certainly had a great run with this rig. I hope they do have some replacement up their sleeve and not leave the QRP sector of the hobby.

  16. I own an 817nd its very good I suspect they will replace it with some thin chinese thing with overcomplicatedmenu and software setups that will cost more and won’t be built as well

  17. I just bought an 818 a week ago. This never happens to me. I’m usually the guy that finally decides to pull the trigger a few days too late and winds up either empty handed or paying far too much. ?

  18. This was bound to happen. It had a really long run. A friend of mine keeps repeating a rumor that Kenwood is getting out of the amateur market. Who knows. There are still many radio options but this will be missed.
    -John N4HNO

  19. and just like that there is a new little boat anchor… 817 was my first HF rig 20 years ago, replaced by an 818… there are better QRP rigs nowadays but the 817 is a special little beast… if only yazoo had put in extended VHF rx to 163MHz i would have bought several

  20. Hate to see this happen as this radio was the only all bands still available- you could take it, a small AOR receiver and work QRP and linear satellites with very few cubic inches and internal batteries. And my pair of 20 year olds are still at it.

    Thomas, maybe an article about the future of the 818? I bet the second hand market will remain strong- used ICOM 706 mk2 Gs still fetch good prices as one of the best shacks in the box.

  21. Truly end of a particular tech approach in QRP. I am hopeful that Yaesu will introduce something to compete with the 705

    1. Yes, I spoke with Yaesu when the 818 was released. They were forced to change model numbers from 817 to 818 because there were *just* enough hardware modifications that required all of the new recerts, etc. The 818 only came about because some of the 817’s components became obsolete.

  22. After many happy years with the 817, I purchased a TX500 with the intent of keeping both. Usage is almost exclusively HF ssb and digimodes.

    After a year, I found the 817 just gathered dust. Eventually sold it and most of the accessories. The receiver performance of the TX500 was heads and shoulders better plus the minimal current draw and ruggedness were the deciding factors.

    After many years of great field ops, yaesu’s inability to update the design came to the products logical conclusion

  23. I hate to see the production of the 818 come to an end, but if Yaesu can’t get the parts I guess they have no choice. I’ve had my original 817 since they first came out and bought an 818 earlier this year to have one in case my 817 died. Now that they are being discontinued I’m tempted to get another, but I don’t see any available at any of the dealers that I checked. It seems that there was a run on available stock as soon as the announcement came out. Not many radios have had a 20+ year production run, it is a classic. I use mine every day and hope that Yaesu can design something even better for another twenty year run.

  24. I have owned too many 817s the past 20 years and eventually got a 818.

    I doubt Yaesu will bother with a replacement unless a more current efficient 891 is released as it’s power hungry at 5 watts due to too many cheaper Chinese versions of QRP radios

    BUT none are as good as the 818

    John VE3IPS

    I love my Icom 703

  25. I bought 818nd in about 2021, and then bought a lot of easy-to-carry antenna systems, but the effect was not very good. In Beijing, the complex electromagnetic environment made my communication very difficult. I used the dp antenna to carry out the first ssb, 7068mhz, the first cw communication communicated in 21mhz and Japanese ham, pac12, dp, the effect is not very good. Recently, I tried tbbox, but it has not been successful yet.

    1. I can’t imagine operating in a city like Beijing! Yes, the RFI would be pretty intense. Hard for any radio to handle. You might consider buying or building a mag loop antenna. They’re the best for an environment with QRM!

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