I walked into the Yaesu booth at Hamvention early on Friday morning. Just before the doors opened, I had a received a message asking me to “confirm” if Yaesu was showing it’s new FT-817 replacement transceiver. So when I walked in and saw the new FT-891, I immediately took a picture and tweeted that it looked like the long-awaited replacement had finally arrived.
But in so doing, I engaged Twitter before my brain because while reading the cut-sheet on the new radio, I saw immediately that this was a 100W transceiver — and it was missing VHF/UHF.
This was obviously NOT the “replacement” transceiver after all, and I immediately tweeted a retraction. But it was too late. That initial message went round the world a few times while the correction message went ignored.
I’ve received over a thousand replies informing me of the error – and they’re still coming in. It’s a good lesson and I don’t mind the feedback. It simply reflects the power of social media to quickly disseminate information.
As for a replacement transceiver for the FT-817…
Never going to happen. Low-power enthusiasts have been crying for a new 817 since Moses was in the Bulrushes. That transceiver debuted back in the 20th century and every year for at least the last decade, there have been rumors of a replacement that never come to pass.
Perhaps Yaesu recognizes it has missed the boat in this regard. After all, the QRP market is now saturated with an array of low-cost, energy efficient, technically amazing HF transceivers.
Does Yaesu really want to compete with Elecraft for what would be for them, “low-margin” equipment, in this specific class?
I’d guess not. But hey, I’ve been wrong before — and I’ve got more than 1300 messages to prove it!