Tag Archives: Yaesu FT-817 Narrow Filters

How to assemble a narrow CW filter for your Yaesu FT-817/FT-818/FT-857/FT-897 (an affordable YF-122C equivalent)

QRPer.com readers know that I’m a big fan of the venerable Yaesu FT-817 and FT-818 series transceiver.  So much so, I own two FT-817NDs–I purchased a second unit last year primarily for full duplex satellite work.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the one gotcha with the FT-817 and FT-818 is narrow CW filter availability. The YF-122C 500 Hz and YF-122CF 300 Hz Collins filter boards are no longer produced. Neither are the Inrad equivalents.

With the renaissance of CW we’re experiencing along with the growth of POTA, WWFF and SOTA, narrow CW filters for the FT-817/818 are very difficult to find and come at a premium when you do find them. I saw one sell recently for $250 US–over double what I paid two years ago.

In addition, this same filter not only fits the FT-817/818, but I believe it also fits the popular FT-857 and FT-897 series transceivers (please correct me if I’m wrong about this).

The Problem: I wanted another narrow CW filter

One of my FT-817NDs is loaded with a Collins 500 Hz mechanical filter that I purchased from my buddy Steve (WG0AT) nearly two years ago.

The second FT-817ND had a narrow Inrad 2 kHz SSB filter that came with the radio when I purchased it used (see image above).  Initially, I had no intention of buying yet another narrow CW filter because I’d only planned to use the second unit for FM and SSB satellite work.

Then, during field day this year, I decided it might be fun to build a quick-to-deploy portable HF station with something like an Armoloq TPA-817 pack frame. That thought experiment made me realize that I should simply bite the bullet and get a narrow CW filter for the second FT-817ND.

I started searching in late June and was simply not willing to pay the price for the very few filters that have shown up on the the used market.

The Solution? Assemble one!

I owe QRPer reader, Petr (OK1RP), for this tip.  Thank you, Petr!

The process of assembling your own narrow filter is actually quite simple and affordable. If you have even the most basic soldering skills, you’ll be able to manage this easy project. If interested, keep reading and I’ll show you how you can assemble your own…

Continue reading How to assemble a narrow CW filter for your Yaesu FT-817/FT-818/FT-857/FT-897 (an affordable YF-122C equivalent)

The Yaesu FT-817/FT-818 and narrow filter availability

So I’m a big fan of the Yaesu FT-817/818 series radios. This general coverage QRP radio has had a longer market run than any other transceiver I can think of and for good reason.

While the 817/818 lacks some of the advanced features of more modern field rigs and have no internal tuner, it makes up for it by:

  • sporting multi-mode HF, VHF, and UHF coverage,
  • having two selectable antenna options (a front panel BNC and back panel SO-239),
  • being incredible durable/rugged,
  • featuring excellent QSK (albeit with a bit of relay clicking…which I actually like),
  • and  generally being very affordable (prices typically from $400 used to $650 new).

In addition, they tend to hold up well with time.

For the price? I feel like you get a lot of radio with the FT-817/818.

This is the reason why I often recommend the FT-817ND and FT-818ND if it sounds like a good match for the operator.

One gotcha though…

I’m starting to realize that there is one downside to this rig especially if you’re primarily a CW operator: optional narrow filter availability. Continue reading The Yaesu FT-817/FT-818 and narrow filter availability

Yaesu FT-817ND: Mechanical CW filter suggestions?

I mentioned in a previous post that I recently purchased a Yaesu FT-817ND package from a friend. The Yaesu had a number of upgrades including an Inrad SSB filter. Thing is, I rarely need a filter when operating phone, but desperately need one for CW since the the default filter width is quite wide.

Although I plan to purchase a SOTAbeams Laserbeam-817, I’d still like a narrow mechanical filter for the one available filter spot on the FT-817ND.

It seems the YF-122CN (300 Hz Collins Mechanical Filter) is no longer manufactured. Used prices can be quite high.

I’m curious if anyone has suggestions for alternative narrow CW filters? Please comment if you have any advice!