Tag Archives: Yaesu FT-818ND

Jonathan takes the Yaesu FT-818ND on an inaugural POTA activation!

Many thanks to Jonathan (KM4CFT) who shares the following guest field report and video:


Chatfield State Park (K-1212)

January 20, 2022

by Jonathan Kayne (KM4CFT)

The honorable Yaesu FT-817/818. You all know it and love it. I had been wanting to get myself one for a while but after just buying myself a shiny new ICOM IC-705, I had been planning on getting myself an 818 in the spring to play around with. December came and I find out that Yaesu was going to discontinue the 818, so I went and bit the bullet and bought one from Ham Radio Outlet.

I had been getting into CW for portable operations lately after wanting to learn CW for a while and my friend Zach Thompson (KM4BLG) had pushed me to learn it. I learned it over the course of two months through an app called “Morse Machine” and listening to Thomas’s YouTube videos while working so as to get used to the exchanges and pick up words. Then I activated and all the rest is history! (If you want to see my 3rd time activating see this video here.)

Why is this important? Because the FT-818ND does not have a narrow 500 Hz filter for CW operation by default, and since I consider myself to be still a newbie I wanted to install a Collins Filter before I take my new 818 into the field. Since these filters are hard to obtain, I went with the build your own route. The method I used has been outlined in this blog and I have made a video of it here.

Now that I had my radio all ready to go with a filter, side rails, and Windcamp Battery, I wanted to get it in the field as soon as possible. Unfortunately due to a snow storm, the temperature in the Denver area was quite cold.

I can handle myself pretty well in the cold if I put on enough layers, but my fingers are another story. I have found that I cannot write properly unless my fingertips are exposed. The solution: do the activation in the car! Continue reading Jonathan takes the Yaesu FT-818ND on an inaugural POTA activation!

Some ham radio retailers have a limited number of new Yaesu FT-818NDs incoming

As you, no doubt, know by now, Yaesu recently discontinued the FT-818ND QRP transceiver. Within a day of the announcement most US retailers sold out their remaining inventory. There may still be new units at some UK and EU retailers at time of posting.

Ham Radio Outlet

Many thanks to John (KC8RZM) who writes:

I notice HRO, after having no listing for new FT818NDs for a few days, it’s now back being listed as being available for ordering (though not currently in stock).

John was correct, of course. I checked HRO’s FT-818ND product page and see that they’re listed as out-of-stock yet you can still order one for $699.95 US they seemed to have increased the price to $799.99 since yesterday (Jan 24, 2023).

I reached out to HRO to gather more information. HRO Sales Manager, Steve (W4SHG), replied:

We have been told more may be coming, we have no idea how many or when they may arrive.

So it sounds like they’re taking orders for an unknown quantity of radios they’ll be taking into inventory at some point in the future.

Martin Lynch & Sons

It also appears ML&S have new FT-818ND inventory arrive by end of January. They are allowing pre-orders to reserve these units. The price is £624.95 and they include a free MyDEL Leg Peg kit. Not a bad deal!

Should you bite the bullet?

If you’ve been considering a new-in-box, fully warranted FT-818ND, it might be worth reserving one of these units.

I would certainly not panic-buy an FT-818ND because there are so many tens of thousands of these in the wild I think there are deals to be found on the used market. I do suspect there may be a temporary increase in prices on the used market, but in a few months they’ll go back down.

Other retailers?

If you know of any other ham radio retailers who will be receiving new FT-818 stock, please comment below.


Here are some tips from readers from the comments section:

Wimo (Europe)

Leo (DL2COM) comments: Wimo was out of stock a few days ago and now seems to have a few new ones. Click here.Scott (K4IBX) comments: Thomas – thanks for all you do! Nevada Radio still has stock w/shipping and today’s exchange rate about $705+/- delivered via FedEx to US.

Confession time: I bought a brand new Yaesu FT-818ND

I know what you’re thinking:

“But Thomas, don’t you already have two FT-817NDs–?!”

Why yes, I do!

Before you label me as a hopeless radio addict (I am, but let’s shelve that for a moment),  let me explain myself…

First off, why two FT-817s?

If you’ve been a reader for very long, you’ll already know that I’m a huge fan of the FT-817/818.

I won’t go into the reasons here because I published a very long-format article on this topic last year.

Suffice it to say: I believe the FT-817/818 an effective, durable, versatile, and frequency agile multimode radio.

I purchased my second FT-817ND because:

  1. I wanted it for full-duplex satellite work (funny: many satellite enthusiasts call a pair of 817s the “Yaesu FT-1634”)
  2. The unit I purchased was like-new with all original accessories and side rails for $350 shipped.

Although my first FT-817ND has a Collins narrow CW filter installed, I decided to build one for this second unit as well. That way, I could grab either radio on the way out the door to activate a park or summit.

So why the new FT-818ND?

It was always my plan to eventually replace out one of my FT-817NDs with an FT-818ND. Here are the reasons:

  1. I was having difficulty finding a TXCO. The  FT-818ND has a TCXO-9 high-stability oscillator built-in.
  2. I wanted one of my two radios to be a late model.

I had planned to buy a Yaesu FT-818ND sometime in 2023. Possibly at the 2023 Hamvention.

When Gavin (GM0WDD) informed me that Yaesu was discontinuing the FT-818ND on December 28, 2022–only moments after the announcement was made–I immediately hopped over to DX Engineering and purchased one. I realized that the remaining inventory of new radios would be depleted in short order and I was right. By the following day, all major US retailers were out of stock.

Are FT-818ND prices going to soar?

No. I don’t think so.

The FT-817 and FT-818 have been on the market since 2001. In that time, Yaesu has sold bazillions of them. Seriously. These pop up in the classifieds and at hamfests all the time because there are so many floating around out there in the wild.

The FT-818/817 is sort of the opposite of a rare, limited-production-run radio. If you’re looking for a used ‘818, I think you’ll find that the prices are relatively stable.

I would discourage you from paying a premium for an FT-818ND.

Next steps with my ‘818ND

I am going to set this unit up for POTA and SOTA activations; it can do double duty for satellite work.

I’ll remove the Portable Zero side rails from one of my other 817s and attach them to the FT-818.

I initially planned to yank the narrow CW filter out of my 2nd Yaesu FT-817, but that just seemed cruel. If/when I sell that radio, I would like to give the buyer a narrow CW filter option.

I decided, instead, to order a Collins filter from Japan and filter board from Artur in Poland and build yet another 500Hz filter.

I also purchased RT System’s programming software and cable for the FT-817/818. I’ve adopted RT systems for all of my other VHF/UHF radios, so it’ll be easy to load, change, and clone all of the frequency memories. I’ll be nice having both SOTA calling frequencies and repeaters pre-loaded on my radios.

I’ve thought about actually making a no-edit video of building/installing the CW filter and side rails.

Speaking of videos about building a narrow CW filter, though, check out this one Jonathan (KM4CFT) published only recently.

Zero buyer’s remorse

While the announcement by Yaesu may have prompted me to pull the ‘818 trigger a few months early, I have no regrets whatsoever.

The only challenge I’m going to face down the road is trying to sell the “extra” FT-817ND.

Then again, I’ve thought about keeping the third one decked out in the TPA-817 pack frame (see photo above) and lending it out to local POTA/SOTA newbies who want to test out the healing waters of QRP.

If Yaesu designed an FT-818 replacement…what would you like to see?

We hams can be quite opinionated when it comes to our radios.

After Yaesu announced last week that it was discontinuing production of the FT-818ND, hams across the globe expressed their opinions about this pint-sized rig.

It seemed to me that the majority who posted messages in email groups and on social media had high praise for the FT-817/818. Indeed, many of those same people purchased an FT-818ND the same day of the announcement. The rush of FT-818ND purchases wiped out new inventory at most US retailers overnight.

Not everyone had praise for the FT-817/818 series, though. Many felt the ‘818 was a relic of the past and irrelevant in 2023. Some even posted long “good riddance” rants about the FT-818.

Let’s face it…

Our love of radios is highly subjective

What one person loves, someone else might hate. This is especially the case in the incredibly diverse ham radio world where radios are used in different parts of the spectrum, with different modes, for different activities, and in different operating environments. Continue reading If Yaesu designed an FT-818 replacement…what would you like to see?

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: