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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Yaesu FT-65R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-65R
Yaesu FT-65R Reviews: 18 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $$169
Description: The FT-65R is a very compact, ruggedly constructed
Handheld VHF/UHF with three selectable power settings 5W
/ 2.5W / .5W allowing each user to select the power they
need. The big front speaker provides a full 1 watt of
crisp, clear audio quality. The unit comes supplied with
a 1950mAh Li-ion battery pack capable of over 9 hours of
operation, with an optional higher capacity 2500mAh Li-
ion battery for over 11.5 hours of operating time. A 2.5
hour rapid charger comes standard, making the transceiver
ready to operate at any time. Our newly designed large
white LED displays are vibrant and highly visible. Four
Quick Recall Keys (QRK) are user programmable to
instantly recall favorite channels with just the push of
a button. VOX operation is available with the optional
Earpiece Microphone SSM-512B. Other useful features
included: versatile scanning capabilities such as
Programmable VFO Scan, Memory Scan, Priority Channel
Scan, and Weather Alert Scan, WX Channels with "Severe
Weather" Alert, PC Programming, Transceiver-to-
Transceiver Cloning, FM Broadcast Receiver, Automatic
Range Transponder System (ARTS), CTCSS/ DCS Operation,
Busy Channel Lockout (BLCO), Automatic Power Off feature,
and Transmitter Time Out Timer (TOT).
Product is in production.
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ROCK1N Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2017 17:40 Send this review to a friend
Love it  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just purchased about 4 days ago, very impressed with the construction quality, the standard antenna is very adequate, I’m able to pick up repeaters from 15 miles away. I live in Dallas. Battery live is decent, been using it since Friday and just today, Monday I had to ge it charge. For the price is a great investment.
KC2FYA Rating: 3/5 Sep 28, 2017 13:27 Send this review to a friend
Dissapointed  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have the FT-65R a while now and I am a bit disappointed in Yaesu. The Audio quality without the Compander is too low TX & RX. With the Compander enabled, it does beef up the transmit audio, but the receive audio is muffled and hard to make out at times.

Programing it is a real chore. Very time consuming even in just putting in a repeater in the VFO. I went and got the FT-70DR to see how that works for me.

Other than that, the 65 is rugged and tough.
W1REV Rating: 1/5 Aug 18, 2017 05:24 Send this review to a friend
Worst Yaesu Ever  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This thing motivated me to retire from carrying a HT on hiking trips. I made the mistake of buying one mainly because it was from Yaesu.

IMO: This was contracted and outsourced to some Chinese vendor and somewhat built to Yaesu's specs; i.e., it was not fully engineered by Yaesu. Why do I say this? Engrish:

Manual comes in two parts, with noticeable Engrish. Good Engrish, but nevertheless, Engrish.

I bought one, played with it for 2 hours, could not figure out how to turn on PL tx tone, boxed it up, sent it back.

If you think Ham Radio is dead, then contribute to the cause and buy this or some BayFung.

If you think this is good for newbie hams because of the cheap cost of entrance, consider that 12 year olds are getting handed cell phones, laptops, etc.

My quick impressions:

- It's low priced
- I think it worked, although I did not work one repeater since could not get CTCSS to work.
- Nice case design.

- Battery latch suspect. Drop it - done, IMO.
- Confusing menu.
- The FM broadcast band: For the life of me, I couldn't understand why it was there. How about adding a MP-3 player??

Sorry, but I've had a bit of experience with commercial HTs. My expectations are too high for the current state of the hobby. Today, I'd expect to pay $300-$400 or more for a comm quality HT. My cell phone cost $650 and has its faults for that price - as a point of reference.

If Yaesu really had upgraded the FT-60, maybe would have kept it. By "upgrade," I mean:
- Three solid pots - knobs: VFO, on/off volume, squelch.
- Super lith-ion battery pack, 2,500 ma-hr or more.
- BNC antenna connector.
- Heavy, polycarb case, drop in mud, a okay.
VE7IG Rating: 4/5 Aug 5, 2017 12:07 Send this review to a friend
Works fine  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Programming the CTCSS became simple once I found the instruction to turn on Tone programming (menu number 29). The manual was not clear.

The radio works fine otherwise.
VE7IG Rating: 1/5 Aug 2, 2017 21:02 Send this review to a friend
Programming nightmare  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Absolute nightmare to program. Who cares if it works if you can't get it programmed in a decent amount of time.
F4EPP Rating: 1/5 Jul 31, 2017 06:19 Send this review to a friend
First bad experience with YAESU  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I think my product has 2 serious problems:

1 During the first use everything was OK, then suddenly the audio from the speaker became awful. I almost don't understand what people say and putting the volume louder hurts my ears.

2 I've found out that the scan doesn't stop on signals. I wondered before why the VHF/UHF bands were so quiet but I noticed this issue when I went to my favorite WFM broadcast local station memory and found out that the squelch didn't open !

Otherwise I like the menu system , the 4 programmable buttons, the scan speed.
I don't like that the PTT doesn't confirm the menu's choice like before. I always have an "ERROR" message in the display. Very annoying. I would appreciate a sign on the keypad for second long press action like the lock on the 6 for example. You have to remember them and there are a lot. Something you obviously forget with time or dealing with several HTs.

The italian store refused the refund and for the first time I contacted Yaesu UK for a warranty repairment.
K6RJF Rating: 5/5 Jul 22, 2017 10:59 Send this review to a friend
Great first radio for new hams  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First impression: when new hams ask me which radio to buy, from now on I will recommend the FT-65R.

Things I like about the FT-65R:
-- Single knob on top is easier for new hams.
-- Menu is in alphabetical order.
-- Size is slightly smaller and weight is 3 ounces lighter than FT-60.
-- Operating Manual has the Yaesu standard table of contents.
-- Four quick memory keys.
-- Side function key is easy and getting used to the side function key takes just a few minutes.

Minor dislikes about the FT-65R:
-- Keylock key is not labeled "LOCK" or with a padlock icon making it difficult for new hams to remember which key locks and unlocks. (In defense of the FT-65, there is no VFO knob, so there is almost no need for a keylock.)
-- Like most HTs, the default or auto frequency channel steps are too large for some operations, a stumbling block for new hams and some repeaters.
-- The menu items for repeater operation are far apart on the menu: Menu 8 CTCSS and Menu 29 SQUELCH (a consequence of the alphabetical order).

The outward appearance of the FT-65R is similar to the Bridgecom BCH-220, not the FT-60R or any Baofeng.
N2RAC Rating: 4/5 Jul 6, 2017 05:18 Send this review to a friend
Great value for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Basically pasting in my review notes from my site

I will convert this into a full review time permitting. I will also update these notes as I discover new things.

I just discovered the ADVANCED manual, which describes how to do odd splits and dual display!

* Nice dot-matrix screen. Up to 8 characters display
* Programmable function keys (4 vs 2 in the older models like FT60R, FT270R, FT250R)
* Split CTCSS or DCS capability. Can do encode-only DCS(unlike some Icom models which are forced to both DCS encode/decode)
* You can input alpha tags with multi-press, just like a cellphone keypad (why have others not done this for decades?)
* Has memory banks (no marking on the keypad where to find though)
* Lithium Ion battery
* Smaller, lighter from factor
* Does not get desense when aerial antenna is connected
* 5+ watts tested
* Loud audio
* Illuminated keypad (numbers and characters, since keypad itself is black)
* Dual monitor through dual VFO (not dual memory, though)
* Price!!! In the Philippines, P4,500 ($90) intro price for FT-65 and P3,500 ($70) for FT-25

* Slow scanning
* SDR-based? I can hear crackles and pops, like with Baofeng/Cignus radios.
* Lost the “live” voltage reading; There is a voltage reading, but you cannot keep track while you press PTT
* No split repeater frequencies. Offset limited to 0.05 MHz increments (I have discovered how to turn on odd splits through the advanced menu, though)
* No earpiece, handmic or programming cable here yet
* RX/TX indicator on top a bit small
* Menu system a bit confusing at first, with a mix of “fn” key and PTT press to confirm.
* Lost shortcuts for frequently-accessed features on the numeric keypads (CTCSS, CTCSS freq/DCS code, bell, Rpt, skip, etc)
* By default, single VFO only, and no “VFO A / VFOB” (EDIT: possible to enable dual display using advanced menu, with VFO A and B)
* By default, single monitoring only (but priority watch or bank scan possible); EDIT: Dual monitor is possible through DUAL display, but only with VFO

Other Observations
* Can fit in Baofeng UV5R charger
* Flashlight on front. I would have wanted the LED to be like the FT270R TX/RX indicator (its TX/RX lamp is a small LED at the top)
* Battery is latched via sliding switch and no longer a clip like with previous models
* Angled PTT button
* SMA-female antenna. You can use Baofeng or Cignus antennas here.
* Nice clip (I like it compared to the FT270’s swivel design); It screws into place. I think Baofeng clips will also fit here
* Keypad is tough and clicky
* Lanyard holes on both belt clip and radio
* Has a “Scrambler” feature, which I think is beat-shift. Perhaps this can be used for more private conversations somehow with other FT65 or FT25 users? (But not legal with amateur radio, right?)

The Verdict
For now, I can’t say that it’s a worthy successor to the FT60R because of the many features and functionalities removed. But perhaps it’s like when Yaesu took out dual VFO and extended receive when they released the FT-60R (compared with the FT-50R). It’s somewhat a parallel upgrade — which gives the user a choice. The price (at least locally here) is the main selling point. It sells in the Philippines for around $90, which is almost half the suggested retail price in the US.

Time will tell.
N4XTS Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2017 11:17 Send this review to a friend
Not a "CCR" by any means  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First off, the negative remarks about the FT-65R about being a repackaged Baofeng are completely false.

Yes, it is made in China. But so is an iPhone 7 and a Galaxy S8. The FT-65R is a YAESU and has the classic Yaesu menu system/UI. It has great performance and unlike the CCRs, Yaesu now gives you a 3 year warranty with US based support and service.

That's what you pay for. Now that this out of the way, the FT-65R is a great HT with stellar battery life, comes with a stout 1900mah lithium ion battery and rapid charger. Build quality is sturdy but not bulk. TX audio is EXCELLENT, not muffled or shrill. RX is loud and crisp.

Programming from the keypad is simple and straightforward. Have had zero issues with scan and PL/DPL decoding. Radio is a nice upgrade from the FT-60 and the one area where is shines and clearly stands out is the display. 8 characters and multi-line menu system that is in a logical order. Furthermore, it can do true split tone CTCSS and split tone DCS.

The radio can be had for $119 and this is a great price considering it out of the box comes with a decent battery and desktop charger, and real USA support and service from a reputable vendor for 3 years.

I am very happy with mine.
KC2FYA Rating: 4/5 Jun 8, 2017 11:42 Send this review to a friend
Tough little rig.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the FT-65R as a knock-around radio for hamfests and events (outdoors) because of the military specs C/D/E and IP rating for dust and splashes. I keep my Kenwood TH-D74 in the shack for I do not want to risk dropping it without the rugged nature of the Yaesu

The programming was easier to figure out after glancing at the manual a few times. It is time consuming to program by hand, but the menu is laid out OK. The menu is displayed at very small level. I need my reading glasses to program it.

The speaker volume is loud enough, but could be louder especially in outdoor situations. My audio reports seem to be good, but a few have stated that I need a bit more mic gain. This is a great starter rig for new hams on 2-meters and 70 CM. The size is a bit smaller that the FT-60 which is great for the "Go" bag.

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