Yaesu FT-7900r vs. Yaesu FT-8800r (at roughly the same price)

jLB

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I was looking at adding a ham radio to my LX. I started by looking at the FT2900r, but I'd really prefer having 70cm too, which kicks me up to the FT-7900r. Just about ready to pull the trigger, and I see that the Yaesu FT-8800r is currently available for only $5 more (on closeout). Any reason, other than the fact that the 8800 does not have backlit buttons, not to go with the 8800?
 

honk

 
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It's pretty well liked: Yaesu FT-8800R Product Reviews

I like to go to the first reviews instead of just reading the latest. As with most every other product internet reviews tend to get more enthusiastic and perhaps less realistic as the price goes down.

No backlighting sucks when in a vehicle, IMO. I wouldn't buy a radio without a well lit screen, discount or no discount.

Some like a simple radio as a mobile. The FT2900 has that going for it and it helps to ask yourself if you'd really be using the 70cm. 2 meter will be why the radio is there and there's no benefit in being able to tune to mostly dead air.
 
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jLB

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Good point on the older reviews.

It is my understanding, that the screen is backlit on the FT8800, but the buttons themselves are not.

Also a good point on simple being good for something I could be using while driving. Not to mention that the price sure is attractive on the FT2900.

As far as the 70cm. Away from home, I'd probably get a lot more use out of 2m. Near home, a number of the more active repeaters seem to be on 70cm.
 

honk

 
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You're right, it's only the buttons that lack lighting. I missed it.

If you know that you've got active 70cm hams in your area and want to get into it with them then the choice is a lot more clear. More so if there's road assist type of use going on as you'd want to be able to access it if you need to commute or drive all the time. (That FT7900r is a pretty neat radio - compare carefully if you go for the multi as the dollars won't matter much soon after the deal is done).

I'd be all over a radio that will cover where I want to go, of course, but it seems like there's some who buy a higher capacity job just because it makes them feel better to be able to say "mine is multi-band" when all they can find is dead air in their unneeded capability. There's no point in a radio that does more than needed and that's especially true in a car where radio fiddling could be a grievous distraction instead of a benefit.
 

bj70_guy

 
 
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I'd take the 8800 over the 7900 any day (I own both… well, a 7800)
The 8800 functions as 2 separate radios, i.e. you can be talking on one frequency while monitoring another. This is a really nice feature.
 
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e9999

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yes, apples and oranges given the 2 tuners very useful feature.
 

george_tlc

 
 
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For $5 more the cross repeat of the 8800 makes it a clear winner.

I went with the 7900 in my oz vehicle since there's usually no one around anyway other than my mates and then we just go vehicle to vehicle so no need for cross repeat. I wanted/NEEDED the remote head, so the 7900 got me that (vs the 2900). IF the 8800 was only $5 more when I bought my 7900 I'd have bought the 8800 without a 2nd thought.

cheers,
george.
 

opg4759a

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I agree with george, price being the same get the 8800 as it is a great radio.

I wouldn't worry about the non backlit buttons since you will rarely if ever need to use them once the radio is programmed up. I control my radios primarily with the buttons on the mic and rarely from the face plate
 

jLB

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Thank you all, for the confirmation.

I just wanted to make sure that there was not something I was missing about the 8800. It seemed to me, that for an additional $5, there were many added features and very few drawbacks to the 8800.

I've ordered the 8800. Now I need to dig through previous ham radio installs on this site, to figure out exactly how I can mount this in my LX.
 

opg4759a

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Just
Thank you all, for the confirmation.

I just wanted to make sure that there was not something I was missing about the 8800. It seemed to me, that for an additional $5, there were many added features and very few drawbacks to the 8800.

I've ordered the 8800. Now I need to dig through previous ham radio installs on this site, to figure out exactly how I can mount this in my LX.
out of curiosity where did you order it from?
 

jLB

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honk

 
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Heh. I ordered one too.

I'm not sure if it'll really be an upgrade to my nice simple Kenwood TM-281 and its 65w output but I'd been thinking about something more complex and something with a low power option. Then I noticed the ft-8800r's receive ranges of 108.000-520.000 MHz and 700.000-999.995 MHz I was a goner. Don't know how much I'll use it or how well it works but the idea intrigues.

The Kenwood only has 25 or 65 watt output and it booms for other people when talking close. Two or more others on low power or handhelds and me unintentionally yelling because my radio won't crank down. It's a great sounding radio but I've had to make excuses for it.
 

Brentbba

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Thanks and damn you for posting this. I've had the 8800 in the Landcruiser for years and love it. Been wanting to put a radio in my daily commuter and looks like this is my opportunity. Killer price!

Order placed. Too good a deal to pass up.
 
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e9999

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I'm seeing the 8900 at $329 out there. What does it have that the 8800 doesn't? And is it $40 worth?
 

jLB

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I'm seeing the 8900 at $329 out there. What does it have that the 8800 doesn't? And is it $40 worth?
The 8900 is "quad band" (adds 6m & 10m), while the 8800 is dual band (2m & 70cm). If you're using 6m or 10m, maybe it would be worth it. For me it was not.
 

jLB

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Thanks and damn you for posting this. I've had the 8800 in the Landcruiser for years and love it. Been wanting to put a radio in my daily commuter and looks like this is my opportunity. Killer price!

Order placed. Too good a deal to pass up.
You're welcome. Glad I got to be a bad influence on you. :)

I guess it was my turn, as I've had it done to me on this site multiple times.

If it makes you feel any better, I keep having thoughts about ordering 1 or 2 more. I could use one in my son's LC (if I can talk him into getting his Tech license), and I could use anther one as a "base" on my desk at the house. As long as I don't start thinking about additional units just to stockpile in a closet, I'm probably doing OK.
 
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Brentbba

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You're welcome. Glad I got to be a bad influence on you. :)

I guess it was my turn, as I've had it done to me on this site multiple times.

If it makes you feel any better, I keep having thoughts about ordering 1 or 2 more. I could use one in my son's LC (if I can talk him into getting his Tech license), and I could use anther one as a "base" on my desk at the house. As long as I don't start thinking about additional units just to stockpile in a closet, I'm probably doing OK.
Certainly not the first time in all my years on this board and probably not the last either. Sad story is that I had a 2nd 8800 in a Miata I had as a commuter car about 5 years ago. Sold the car and sold the radio set up to local mudder. Almost kept it as a base unit in the garage, but didn't. Hindsight is always 20/20.
 

opg4759a

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The 8900 is "quad band" (adds 6m & 10m), while the 8800 is dual band (2m & 70cm). If you're using 6m or 10m, maybe it would be worth it. For me it was not.
I have the 8900 while it's a great radio, however the 6m and 10m are kind of useless unless you are in an area with 10m or 6m repeaters. The SF Bay Area does have a great 6m repeater network which is why I went with the radio.

I think the 8800 is a better radio overall since it's basically 2 radios in one body, so you can be running 2m or 70 voice on one side and still run APRS on the other side without interfering with the voice side.
 

Kofoed

 
 
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I'm seeing the 8900 at $329 out there. What does it have that the 8800 doesn't? And is it $40 worth?
Look at how many repeater are in the LA area on 10m. Its like 4. 6m would be interesting for back scatter, long distance comm, but that is a novelty for me (if I could ever do it) The 8800 is very intriguing, and dang, HRO is three miles from my house
 
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