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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: 23 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.
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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!!
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.
W4KQB Rating: 5/5 May 30, 2014 11:50 Send this review to a friend
Great investment -so far!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Received and installed in mobile now one week. So far, all is fantastic and programming was done in about 10 minutes due to the touch screen and prior Yaesu knowledgeI have. Received excellent audio reports and have worked simplex digital with the HT companion I purchased. Truely clear digital!!

Does get a little warm when in high power setting on x-mit, but used high power for testing only as I run 5 watts with the repeaters.

Look forward to testing with digital repeaters.

I would reccomend this radio to anyone wanting to make a step up. Not having very long, I will report back in a few months on my review.
W5RLW Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2014 05:27 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLANT RADIO  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
KK7COX Rating: 4/5 May 15, 2014 13:28 Send this review to a friend
I am pleased with the FTM-400DR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm pretty new to amateur radio and this is my first mobile radio so perhaps I'm giving more or less credit than I should. I have no past mobile radio experience to compare it to.

I like the crisp and clear display and the radio functions great. Programming from the control unit could probably be simpler but I use the aftermarket software on an 8" Windows 8.1 tablet and programming it that way is pretty simple.

I may be in the minority but am pleased that the microphone jack is on the main body and not the control head. I have my radio mounted down under the dash and the control head is horizontally even with my DVD/Stereo receiver display up high. I did have to fabricate my own bracket but that wasn't too difficult. More brackets for mounting options would be appreciated by most, I'm sure.

Right now I have the microphone cable running under the passenger floor mat and I just slide the mic under the seat while parked (small pickup truck with a split bench that is recessed in the center). I'll probably re-route to have the mic cable coming out of the ashtray. Then I could stick the microphone and cable inside the ashtray and close it while parked. I ordered a cheap "RJ11 6p6c straight coupler" and a "RJ11 6p6c flat cable" from Hong Kong via a popular online retailer. They sent a 8p8c RJ45 coupler and 6p6c cable with the lock on one side up and the lock on the other side down. Luckily both of them cross the circuits over so the end result is straight through and all of the microphone functions work fine. On this I spent $6 instead of ~$40 for the microphone extension kit from Yaesu that provides a flat rather than coiled cable.

I think I'd like to run the control head cable out of the glove box too so I can detach the head and put it in the glove box while parked. It looks a little cleaner now but that control head is quite visible to anyone who peeks in the window.

The complaints that I do have (if anyone at Yaesu is listening):

1) microphone cable is too short; the extension kit costs more than I'm willing to pay and I like having the coiled cable.

2) screw for mounting control head to bracket; this should be a thumb screw rather than (or included with) philips head screw for those of us who would like to remove/attach the control head regularly.

3) no memory banks; this wouldn't bother me as much if you could read various .dat files with various names directly from the microSD card using the radio rather than having to use the software to write the main file back to the card each time you want to switch frequencies around for scanning and such. I have been spoiled with the VX-6R which allows you to assign frequencies to multiple banks and allows scanning by bank.

4) low audio internal speaker; I didn't think this would be a problem because I bought the bluetooth module and thought I would be able to play the audio through my bluetooth stereo/DVD receiver. I can't get my stereo to recognize the FTM-400DR and it just errors out after a period of time. The built-in speaker is nearly worthless with a window slightly open. I will remedy this when I build an external speaker but it would be nice if the built-in speaker was better.

There's probably more but this sums up my most prominent thoughts.
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