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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: 64 Average rating: 3.7/5 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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KN4NN Rating: 2/5 May 3, 2016 07:10 Send this review to a friend
Issues from the start!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Radio was bought at the end of Jan and started having issues with the buttons and touch screen not responding. Sent to Yaesu for service -LCD replaced. Radio returned and reinstalled in middle of April and after a few days started having the same issues!! Trying to get Yaesu to return emails/calls.. Saga continues
 
K5ACL Rating: 4/5 Feb 5, 2016 05:48 Send this review to a friend
Great for mobile - not so great for shack use  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I love the FTM-400DR. The touch color screen is responsive. Signal reports are always great.

The fan can be a tad loud at times, especially if you are using 25-50w for long rag chews.

The radio isn't so great for data modes though, that's my only complaint about the radio. So I've decided to keep this one mounted in the vehicle and use a TM-V71A in the shack.

Glad I was able to snag this during an HRO sale for about $350, because the new 400 models are close to $700!

The microphone cable is very short, and finding an RJ12 cable & female coupler to add to it was just another pain, but not a biggie. The control head unit cable was plenty long enough, as was the power cable to be mounted in my vehicle. I have the speaker pointed backwards in my truck & I can still hear the audio fine.

APRS works great with the radio when your mobile, and it has the ability to SmartBeacon.

I haven't found many other C4FM users in my area to test out simplex, so if you get one of these radios, let other hams know! I'm in Central Texas if anyone ever wants to do simplex! The audio on C4FM mode is just amazing. I'd almost compare it to cell phone quality lol!

I've updated to the most recent firmware & DSP software, so make sure to update your radios! Yaesu made several improvements to the DSP functioning & firmware since the radio was first introduced. It did come with a data cable (that was extremely short (2-3 ft maybe?). All the software for this radio is on Yaesu's website, so you can download it and try it out, the programming software is quite simple, but easy to use. Updating the firmware involves removing the top cover of the radio, flipping a switch, running a software update & resetting the radio, was fairly simple, even for a new ham :)

Overall a great little radio if you can get it on sale.

 
KM4NYI Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2016 16:31 Send this review to a friend
The most "Bang For Your Buck"   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The pre-Christmas sale in December combined with the $100 Yaesu rebate made me pull the trigger on the FTM400DR radio. After spending some time with it, I believe it would be a good deal even without the rebate.

I usually buy the software for programming, but since the FTM400DR has free programming software on the Yaesu website, I decided to try it first. While it's not the most advanced programming software, it does work. However, programming from the radio itself is not nearly as hard as I imagined.

To say I am pleased with how this radio performs would be an understatement. I have received uniformly positive reception reports, and I couldn't be happier with it's sensitivity. While most of my time is spent on analog FM, I have a choice of several local Fusion repeaters. The difference between analog and Yaesu Fusion digital is like night and day.

I have tried to think of things I don't like about this radio, and to be honest, I can't come up with much at all. A longer mike cord would be good, and it really should come with a decent stand for use as a base unit. There are some aspects of the menu I found a bit difficult, but once I spent some time with the manual it made better sense.

I spent a lot of time looking and reading reviews, and I really don't think you can get more radio for the money than you get with the FTM400D.
 
N6PG Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2016 06:38 Send this review to a friend
Great radio with some room for improvement  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I own Kenwoods, Icom's, Yaesu, and Elecraft (and boat anchors). The VHF/UHF get use in the car or hiking, so I generally like a radio that's easy to use and set up. That being said, I found my VX-8R nearly impossible to use without the manual. The FT1RD was a big improvement, and this is even more so. I can head out without a manual and still quickly make any needed changes to the setup.

Once you figure out the logics, it's easy to navigate the menus and set up the radio. The menu items are the same (almost) as the FT1DR, so they work well together. In the day and age of smartphones it seems the radio manufactures are missing a better way to enter text on the APRS message screen. It's should be quick and easy, but it still needs work.

The display is nice and easy to read. I like the touch screen. I would like to see an easy way to dim or brighten the screen as day turns into night. I like the size of the control head. Someone else said they would have liked it larger, but then I'd have a hard time placing it in my car.

The audio is very nice, especially on digital. The APRS has a beep ringer that can be set to a sound level of "high" or "low." They could use a few more increments. Maybe with a firmware update.?.? Also, I miss having a dedicated squelch knob. The menu item is an easy button sequence, but I still like a knob for that. I've had to replace that knob on my FT-857, and I will say that having only one function on the knob (volume) makes the knob more solid feeling. No wiggling like the FT-857.

This radio is loaded with features. I used RT Systems to program the radio. I cut and paste the setup from my FT1DR. Easy and quick. I wish I had a few of these radios! What do I do with all of my FT-7800s and 8800?

It's a great radio that I'm sure you will enjoy. It's not perfect, but no radio is. It seems people only give a 1 or a 5 on eham... So here is my 5.
 
KE4D Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2015 09:10 Send this review to a friend
super  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I've owned a TH-7, a 700 and 710 from Kenwood and this rig beats them hands down. I have no issues with the display brightness, nor with the touch screen, its works great. There are a lot menus but the rig has a lot of features. Programming the micro sd card and then copying the programming from that to the rig beats the hell out of taking the rig out of the truck to program or hauling a computer out to the vehicle. Good job Yaesu. The mike switch is too sensitive so I bent the spring and filed the PTT button on the switch inside the mike down to give it more travel. Works fine now. That is the only criticism I have for a fine radio. Some have complained about lock up time on the satellites for APRS. This radio finds and locks onto the birds much faster than my Rand McNally GPS does. IT can even see the birds when I am parked under my metal carport. I have no issues with the built in GPS. Perhaps those with problems don't have the control head out where it can see the satellites. Mine sits on top of the dashboard with a clear view through the windshield.
 
VE3RNM Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2015 20:34 Send this review to a friend
One Great Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have used this radio over a year with no problems. GPS locks on quickly, Amazing sound. Sounds a lot better than D-Stars tin sound. Works extremely well on Wires Touch screen is bright and easy to use. You don't need software to program this radio, and much easier to program and use than D-Star, but being able to read would help.At present there are 3 Fusion repeaters in the area and 2 more going up.I sold my Icom ID-880 to get this and will never look back at D-Star. I also have a FT1DR. Yaesu has a winner no matter what the naysayers say. Don't blame the radio for your lack of understanding.
 
AA8HS Rating: 4/5 Dec 25, 2015 18:31 Send this review to a friend
Audio issues  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I managed to negotiate the touch screen menus before using my purchased software product. It is worth the effort to learn the touch screen menus for on the fly changes. The manual should be rewritten by an American English writer and reviewed for clarity. The receiver is excellent and the quality of digital reception is also superb. The controller is near a large window at the base and I lock onto numerous satellites within 5 minutes.
The greatest complaint is with the distorted audio quality. I am an audiophile and own over 20 speakers. The built in speaker is miserable. Connecting external speakers definitely helps but the audio output is certainly not 8 watts RMS and some distortion always seems to be present. I even used an external amplifier and equalizer without improvement in the noticeable distortion when a ham is speaking. The quality is worse than some handhelds. Yaesu needs to use a different audio chip and address the issue.
 
KK4BF Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2015 04:36 Send this review to a friend
Does everything well  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have to give this radio a 5 because of the people who give it a 0 for reasons that aren't related to the radio. I'm seeing complaints that there aren't enough Fusion repeaters in their area which is certainly not the radio's fault. This radio offers full dual band, dual receive analog, and offers digital mode at a price similar or even less than the competitors. The front panel design is wonderful if you can stand change in your life....take time to get familiar with the controls and it's all fine business. The radio has functioned flawless for me and looks great in the shack.

Well done Yaesu! (and this is from a Kenwood man!)
 
KC0VOE Rating: 0/5 Dec 22, 2015 12:38 Send this review to a friend
Sigh.....  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This entire radio is poorly thought out and engineered. It seems like Jun Hasegawa, sat everyone down in a board room and said, forget about actual usage, let’s just make this radio and fusion look good on paper. The biggest annoyance is that the screen is way too bright at night, even on its minimum setting. The touch screen is mostly useless and obviously an afterthought. The screen on this thing is like time traveling back to the 1980s. APRS is crippled, if Yaesu cannot do it right they should just leave it off. The STUPID camera mic, take 10 minutes out of our day to send some extremely low quality photo at a completely useless resolution. Then if someone keys up in analog you get to start all over.

System Fusion is a disaster! According to the repeater book there are 34 Fusion repeaters in my area. I have tested and only 2 of them are set up to work on Digital. There are 30-something more between Minneapolis MN and Omaha, NE and during a recent drive, there is only 1 that has digital enabled in Des Moines, IA. Digital and analog should not be fused. Now we have people linking analog/digital repeaters and the audio is mostly unintelligible horrible garbage. Wires X is the dumbest thing to ever hit ham radio. What a total mess! Now we are in this never ending “waiting on firmware” before it works on the repeaters. The firmware isn’t coming. Stop wasting time waiting for it! It’s like Yaesu is having a GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE with their lame repeaters and dirt cheap prices on the FTM-400DR.

People would be better off buying an analog only rig.

Icom’s ID-5100 is 1000x better. The boys in Yaesu should have copied the boys in Osaka.
 
K9EQ Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2015 09:19 Send this review to a friend
Best Rx in any V/UHF Ham Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own three FTM-400DR's. And absolutely love the radio. The touch screen works great and it spoils me - I hate going back to a "conventional" radio.

I've had no issues with the GPS. It will typically lock within 1-2 minutes of when I start my commute in the morning. It's quite a kick to be on the repeater linked via WiRES-X and seeing distances of 300, 600, or 3,000 miles show up on the screen!

The biggest surprise for me was the quality of the receiver. In highly congested RF areas (in my case 35 W north, south, and through Minneapolis), I could not work our repeater with my Kenwood TM-V71A. They could hear me, but the QRM was too much for the Kenwood. With the FTM-400 I now have continuous coverage through this same area. At most I might miss a syllable or two. What a huge difference!

The radio is also nice in that it really does make 50 watts - even when the car is shut off and the battery is down to 12 volts.

Another big plus is the ability to use a micro SD card to store/back-up radio programming. This allows me to use a different SD card for trips to different areas as well as copy my channels to the other FTM-400's. (Having different channels in different positions on three different radios will drive you crazy!)

To be honest, there were some reliability problems in the beginning. I had to return both my 400's (only had two at the time) for repair. But the units were updated with design fixes and have now been quite good.

BTW, I'd be crazy to buy a third FTM-400 if I didn't really like the radio and felt that it would be solid over the years.

I primarily got the radio because it does Fusion. At first there wasn't much Fusion activity in our area, but it has now really taken off. And, quite frankly, I much prefer to operate Fusion to FM. It's just more fun.

If you do decide on the 400DR, I hope you enjoy it as I have enjoyed mine.

73,
Chris, K9EQ
 
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