FT1D

After using the Yaesu FT1D for a few months now, I have discovered some likes and dislikes:

Likes

  • APRS and GPS built in
  • Scans very quickly
  • Loud audio
  • Small size

Dislikes

  • Takes forever to charge
  • Battery indicator is useless
  • Need two hands to operate volume control
  • Cumbersome menu system (very hard to program in the field)
  • Receive is not what I’d call stellar
  • Well under the rated power output (3.5 watts on high)
  • Got caught in my seatbelt and cracked the screen
  • APRS is not easy to use (should be one button/setting that turns on/off modem and GPS)
  • GPS sometimes takes 5+ minutes to get a lock
  • Cannot completely mute your own APRS “squawk”. HIGHLY annoying.
  • Does not keep the correct time
  • Doesn’t always automatically switch from FM to digital and vice versa.
  • “Flashlight” function buried in menu
  • “Bell” does not work (for me anyway – tried everything)
  • Shortwave receive is useless
  • Belt clip attached to battery (Doh!)
  • Supplied antenna is more like a dummy load (even a cheap $7 one from Ebay works FAR better)
  • Locking out channels while scanning is nearly impossible (I can’t figure it out anyway)

In a nutshell, it’s a pretty good radio but has MANY “quirks”. I really think Yaesu designed this radio and pushed it out the door in a rush. I also think it was designed by someone who has never operated a radio (at least a ham radio) before. Would I recommend it? Well, if you’re gung-ho about Fusion digital, you really have limited options. If you don’t care about that, buy something else. In fact, my Baofeng UV5R is far superior in quite a few aspects and it was only $40 CDN.

Yaesu Fusion

I took the plunge into digital ham radio. Yes sir, got a spanking new FT1DR handy talkie with all the trimmings (well, spkr/cam mic and RT Systems software). First off, the RT Systems software (although recommended) doesn’t work worth a damn – $35US wasted. Oh well live and learn right? So next I tried CHIRP. It *sort of* saw the radio but not well enough to work properly. I decided I’d try the FREE Yaesu software. Worked perfect first try. Go figure right?

After playing with the unit – and finally programming it via software – I find the radio is excellent! Very good TX and RX audio (only tried FM mode so far). The radio has built in GPS/APRS and both of those work perfectly as well.

Scanning memory channels is at least as fast as any scanner I currently own. Now that’s something as I’m used to having ham radios (even the Kenwood V71a) that scan very, very slowly. This radio also includes receive coverage from 500khz to over 900Mhz. I haven’t played with that aspect much yet though.

All in all, so for I find it an excellent radio and I’ll keep you posted as I find out more about it. 🙂


Hit Counter provided by orange county property management