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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FTM-400DR Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FTM-400DR
Yaesu FTM-400DR Reviews: 26 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $$699
Description: The FTM-400DR uses C4FM FDMA (C4FM – 4-level FSK Modulation, FDMA –
Frequency Division Multiple Access), which has been developed for the
professional LMR communications. It uses this enhanced technology for a
lower BER (bit error rate), resulting in stable communications without
interruptions during mobile operations, even in a rapidly moving vehicle.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=106&encProdID=227201D29C822AEFF8482F3367495319&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0
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N7FLN Rating: 3/5 Mar 16, 2015 14:44 Send this review to a friend
Disappointed in non-standard connections   Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I'm disappointed in non-standard connections of the Yaesu FTM-400DR. Installation has been frustrating. The distance between my back seat and the dash was too great for the supplied cables.

I ran some cat5 cable between two points. Yaesu should have used rj45 connectors for the Mic and head unit (regardless of how many wires or pairs they needed). The Mic cable uses an rj12/rj25 which can be found at various stores and can be crimped with most rj45 crimpers. The head unit uses an rj9 connector which I couldn't find anywhere (and if you can find them I suspect they would not fit in a standard crimper). These are the connectors used on curly cords between the telephone and handset. rj9s don't fit in the barrel connectors correctly like the rj45 and rj12 connectors do. To solve this problem I bought a curly phone cord, cut it in half, and connected rj12s to the cut ends (Hint: curly phone cords are crossed over and make sure it has 4 wires). This gave me two pigtails that I could connect to the radio and head unit with two barrel connectors and cat5 in between. The black curly cord looks nice and gives you some leeway on mounting position.

Lastly, I bought an action camera mount for the head unit assuming the Yaesu used the standard ¼” size for mounting stuff and was sorely disappointed.

Yaesu is charging $50+ dollars for extension cables that probably cost them $2 to make.
Needless to say, I will do my utmost to not buy any non-standard Yaesu accessories. Yaesu should know that Hams are tinkerers and DIYers and should not go out of their way to use non-standard connectors.

I haven’t used the radio enough to give a signification review but I am happy so far. I would give it 5 stars if I didn’t have the connector issues.
 
NG0Z Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2015 10:08 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an update to a previous review...

I purchased this radio to add FM capability to my radio room and it runs off the same power supply as my HF rig.

Here is what I like:

-It is beefy (the transceiver box) and well-made

-The detached touch screen is large, bright and beautiful and the dual volume and VFO controls work very well.

-The signal strength and other graphic presentations are very easy to read; this would make a great in-vehicle radio as I'm sure others have discovered.

-It appears to be a good receiver and transmission audio reports have been very positive

-The microSD capability is nice if for no other reason to back up your programming.

-APRS capability. I am just starting to experiment with this and I am pleased it has this function as well.

-Scanning functionality: You can simultaneously scan all your memories and across 2M and 440 (just like the FT1D) on both Band A (upper) and Band B (lower) or scan on one and hold on one on the other or both. It's like having two radios on one.

Here is what I don't like:

-The Group function, which I am sure is rarely used by anyone, has a dedicated button thereby using up valuable real estate, and should be buried in the menu system like other more prevalent functions; a mute button for instance; same goes for the digital mode button for that matter - especially since it can be set for "automatic" anyway.

Overall this radio has exceeded my expectations and I may move it into my vehicle with the windshield mount that is an available option.
 
OE1TRB Rating: 3/5 Jan 1, 2015 07:05 Send this review to a friend
GPS dramatically delayed  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am happy with the transceiver, the c4fm digi mode and usage of the transceiver. BUT I must say after email and talk with my dealer , no answer came back from Yaesu after 1 year now.
It seems an old issue like GPS mouses in the former days is present in the units. Mine is like this... A game if it gets ready in 5 mins or never. In the same location my 710 from Kenwood has no issues like that and works properly.
I will hope this is not a major issue in the hardware and will be fixed like Yaesu fixed the DSP no go in the FT2000 in a certain time.

The new firmware did not fix the problem, but I got a roger beep on digital.

Let's see what 2015 brings us
happy new HAM year
73 de Thomas
 
W4CLJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2014 13:22 Send this review to a friend
Excellent but...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Radio is exceptional with a couple minor drawbacks. When you select narrow-band FM, transmitter deviation is throttled back but the receivers filter remains "wide-band". This leaves the receiver open to adjacent channel interference.
The receiver is also prone to intermodulation problems in high RF areas.
 
VE6CWG Rating: 2/5 Dec 15, 2014 09:49 Send this review to a friend
Not sure about this one  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bought this last June, worked well, love the digital, but it too had the GPS acquisition issues mentioned by others. The real problems started in August when it got warm out (hot in the truck), the radio would just transmit dead carriers when sending out APRS beacons, and although it was receiving the beacons, it would not decode them. It was as though the Modem was not working. Sent it in to Yaesu, and took 5 weeks for it to come back.

Installed it again, and it was only a short period of time before it dropped the modem again, as well the display started to act up. Once again it was returned to Yeasu, and this time they replaced the control unit (which seems to have fixed the display issue) but did nothing to address the modem issue.

Looks like I will have to wait and see if it occurs again, but lucky for Yaesu it will most likely occur after the warranty expires.

So 2 trips for service, and not having warm feelings about it gives it a 2.
 
N7WR Rating: 4/5 Dec 10, 2014 15:42 Send this review to a friend
Nice Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I wanted a new VHF/UHF radio with good features, a solidly built control head, and nice looks. Even though I intend to use it mostly for FM analog and some APRS since there are zero digital systems in my rural area I chose this radio thinking that when I travel I may eventually use the digital features. I am impressed with the quality of construction and the ease of accessing what I need while driving. The only downside is that even with the fine RT Systems software with SD card and USB adaptor programming is NOT easy. However a call to RT's tech support solved the problem and I am a happy camper. One interesting thing compared to the FT 8800R it replaced is that using the exact same antenna sitting in the exact same location the 400 will access repeaters the 8800R wouldn't. I even ran them side by side with a switch to rule out different propagation at different times. Using a watt meter the 400's output on 2M was 53 watts and the 8800R's was 48. I guess 5 watts made the difference
 
K1PN Rating: 5/5 Oct 21, 2014 19:13 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned this radio now for over 3 months and have used extensively on UHF VHF and APRS. I have found that the radio performs very well in both analog and digital modes. Some reviews gave this radio a lower rating, but I feel this is due to an inadequately understanding the radio and how to configure it properly. Reading the manual is quite important as well as downloading the separate aprs manual. Furthermore one reviewer states that he had problems obtaining satellites using the internal GPS. He may have things configured wrongly because the radio obtains satellites very quickly.I have received many very positive comments on the audio of this radio and after a small learning curve it is easy to operate and has many different facets that are not included in Yaesu's marketing ads. I have been a ham for over 33 years and had many radios, this one definitely is worth the money.
 
KD5FHA Rating: 2/5 Oct 9, 2014 09:40 Send this review to a friend
Good radio. Horrible GPS  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
So I took a leap of faith and went with this radio and took a chance on Yaesu System Fusion. Big mistake. There are no YSF repeaters in my area. But the biggest issue I have is the deplorable GPS. It would take anywhere from 9-35 minutes to find the satellites EVERYTIME I turned on the radio. So I can go all around town and never get to transmit my position on APRS.

If you want a digital radio go with the ICOM-5100. Don't let the fancy color touch screen of the FTM-400 fool you.

In all fairness I did get great audio reports with this radio.

So I used more of my hard earned money and sent my radio in to have the GPS serviced. In true fashion I was given lip service. From Yaesu:
"We have tested your FTM-400DR and can report the following: the GPS appears to be acquiring normally. We tested it on both the internal antenna outside in a car and on an external GPS antenna. I was able to receive up to 9 sat outside and 7-8 inside. The GPS meets specifications per our testing procedure. Without further information we will complete the service under warranty and return the unit to you."

Notice there was no mention of the real issue which is time of acquisition.

I've been a avid Yaesu fan but this experience has left a bad taste in my mouth.
 
W4KQB Rating: 5/5 Aug 29, 2014 10:44 Send this review to a friend
I purchased another FTM 400 DR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After working with the first purchased FTM 400 DR now in the mobile, had purchased the 2nd for use as a base radio.

Really have had a good experience-both on transmit audio and receive and now have several fellow hams in the area looking and even a few repeater owners are thinking about the repeater purchase.

I have a D-Star rig also but the programming had alsways been a little dificult and the switch over while driving from analog to D-Star was a little tricky whereas this radio will switch modes for you to the operating mode on the air hands free.

I solved the event of the main unit heating on high power by taking it out of the lower console and mounted on a floor mount with out any problem.

Look around for the best deals which can vary as much as 175$-pays to shop. See my QRZ page for the FTM 400 DR mounted in the pick up.

Send email if you have questions-would be happy to help and comment!!
73
Ricky
W4KQB
 
KC2YQF Rating: 3/5 Jul 7, 2014 08:29 Send this review to a friend
Good technology, kludgy interface  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've spent some time with this radio, testing it and the System Fusion with the local club. I'm not a big Yaesu user, so some of my thought on the interface structure may be not applicable only to this model.

As others have mentioned, this radio only has a detachable head. There does not appear to be any configuration where you can mount it, or the bracket, to the unit itself. Fortunately it comes with a very long cord to connect the display, and I used a cell phone suction mount to put it on the windshield of my vehicle. The microphone cable is comically short in comparison, only a couple of feet long, which precludes remote mounting without extending it. The microphone's transmit button is insanely sensitive, it's way easy to brush it and key up, even unintentionally.

Not being a Yaesu user, I had hoped to use this radio out of the box without too much trouble, but I found myself going back to the manual time and again to figure out where something was or how to get to it. Despite the size of the manual, for some reason you have to go and get PDFs of the APRS and GM manuals. Even with the GM manual we could not get that function to do anything between digital radios.

This radio really wants you to use the System Fusion, with the D(X) and GM buttons taking up physical button space. It seems to transmit periodically as a poll or beacon when you have it in DM mode, much to the dismay of others on frequency, but it will switch back to FM automatically.

The touch screen interface is bright and clear, easy to see. There are no "notches" for the volume or tuning knobs, they rotate easily, for better or worse. Trying to operate the touch pad mobile is impossible, having to press and hold or poke squares that are not readily responsive. As others have noted, you're getting some software to program this, or you will be pressing buttons all day to populate the memory. The supplied USB cable doesn't do anything for programming, just writing new firmware to the radio.

Again, though, audio quality, sensitivity, the output level from the built-in speaker, are all up to par for a mobile transmitter, in my opinion. If you don't need the System Fusion mode, then you perhaps would find it best spending your money on a different radio, with a better interface.
 
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