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


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


  • 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.

FT1DR APRS Messaging

How to do stuff on the FT1DR – TX/RX APRS MESSAGES

Check your messages
press [F] [0]
press [0]
messages marked “>” are ones sent BY you
messages marked “<” are ones sent TO you
press [ENT] to read them
while in reading mode, press [GM] to respond to the message (as below)

Send a message to anyone (not on a list)
press [F] [0]
press [GM]
clear the call/ssid field (press [A/B], select CLR or CLRALL, press [V/M])
enter call/ssid
compose message
long press [ENT] to send

Respond to a message sent to you
press [F] [0]
press [0]
scroll to a message you’d like to respond to
press [ENT] [GM]
compose message
long press [ENT] to send

Send a text to someone that is on the list
press [F] [0]
scroll to station you want to send a message to
press [ENT]
press [GM]
this brings up the msg compose screen with the call/ssid filled in
compose message
long press [ENT] to send

The ‘compose’ screen
once you have made it to the compose area of a message,
you can just start a new msg using the keypad – like old school phones
or you can insert a “canned” msg by:
press [A/B]
press again CLR
press again INSERT mode
press again CLRALL
press again DELETE mode
press 1: msg one
press 2: msg #2
press 3: etc

pressing [V/M] is like pressing Enter here – it inserts your canned message
key [0] is for space, punctuation and special characters

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