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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: 23 Average rating: 3.5/5 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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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.

CR7ANE Rating: 5/5 Jun 2, 2017 10:18 Send this review to a friend
Great handheld at great price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Have been using this handheld for about 3 weeks and have no complains. Great specs with this radio. Love the the 3 power tx setings and the auto shift repeater function. The 4 programable buttons is a nice feature too.
One note only on the complains section: Yaesu were is the software for programming the radio?
G1WZM Rating: 5/5 May 25, 2017 05:06 Send this review to a friend
Great Handset - Definitely NOT a Baofeng!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First, I can confirm that this is NOT a "baofeng" rebadged as a Yaesu. I have checked this with the UK importer/agent that I bought it from, and they have confirmed it is NOT a badged Baofeng or Wouxun radio.

While it is made in China (as are many other modern radios including some others in Yaesu's portfolio), it's of very high quality and feels robust in the hand. When I checked the RF spectrum and performance on my Agilent speccy and Marconi 2955, the transmit output is nice and clean with any harmonics well suppressed and no nasty surprises- a real contrast with my Baofeng!

I've had mine from day one of availability in the UK, although at the time of writing I'm still waiting for the programming cable / software from Yaesu as per their product page.

I've used it hand held on simplex freqs, and to access and use both 2m and 70cm repeaters near me. Audio reports back to me have been very positive, with the audio described as 'nice and clear' and 'sounds exactly like you' from those I speak to regularly.
(My Baofeng certainly doesn't get such positive reports, quite the opposite in fact).

The radio as it comes is set up with a default squelch level for the noise level, and there are separate menus to set the point at which a signal opens the squelch vs the level at which the FM noise is cut. The squelch and several other menu settings are accessible from "shortcuts".

Note that there are errors in the userguide which refers to using the PTT key to confirm a menu entry/change. That's wrong, a quick press or a press-and-hold of the function button should be used NOT the PTT key.

The receiver is much more sensitive than my Baofengs, and at least as good as my aged Alinco DJ182 on stock antenna.
I have a couple of SMA-F antenna's (Nagoya) already and also adaptors for BNC. When these other antennas are used, the FT-65 shows a slightly higher signal strength and the auto-TX power setting kicks in earlier.

The radio has a proper signal strength meter, which runs the full width of the bottom of the display. Very useful, and works perfectly. The same meter shows TX power when pressing the PTT. The radio has a battery saving setting such that, when the radio is set for 5W and a strong signal is received (nearby repeater for example), the radio automatically drops the power to the next lower setting. This is easily observed on the power meter.

The radio receives wideband FM broadcast, however this is NOT in stereo, feeding only the LEFT headphone. A standard 3.5mm headphone works on the FT-65.
Its easy to program, and the battery seems to last well, I haven't managed to flatten it yet.

There are some other features and functions that I have tried but not used in anger yet, however I'm really pleased with this radio, and I'm in no doubt it will work reliably and sustainably for some of the field work I do with Search and Rescue / RayNet / 4x4 Response.

- programming software as promised on Yaesu webpages
- ability to "wideband" it (it cant cover 146-148 Mhz...)
- a non VOX headset/speaker mic

- pinout details / cct diagram included with the usermanual, for using with APRS / DATA modes

K7XRL Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2017 16:28 Send this review to a friend
Nice entry level radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After using this radio for a day or so, and programming it both manually and with the RT Systems software, I have a few thoughts about it.

The flashlight LED on the front face of the radio, and the "alarm" feature seem out of place on this radio. The flashlight might come in handy one day to find something lost in the bottom of a backpack or something, but I expect I won't need to use it very often. I can't imagine needing the alarm feature, but I guess it can't hurt to have it.

The power/volume knob has a nice tactile and audible "click" when turning the radio off and on. The volume pot is smooth to operate, though I usually prefer a little more friction so it can't be easily bumped louder or quieter.

The key beeps can be turned on and off in the menu settings. Strangely, the key beep volume seems to be at a fixed level independent of the overall audio volume level, so even with the volume turned all the way down, the beeps are at their usual volume.

Those are my only gripes so far. The antenna uses an SMA female connector, unlike other SMA-equipped Yaesu radios. This could be a blessing for those upgrading from Baofeng radios, as they can share antennas. Personally, I prefer the male side of the SMA connector on the radio, as I expect the pin to hold up to more connect/disconnect cycles than the springy split contacts in the female connector, so I actually like this antenna arrangement.

Programming manually was relatively easy once I figured out that you had to set the tone frequency AND the squelch type (in order to transmit the CTCSS tone) in separate menu items. Automatic Repeater Shift helped eliminate some steps. Still,as easy as it is, manual programming should be reserved for travel or other one-off situations where you need to enter in a new channel on the fly. For programming in an entire region or state's repeaters, using software is much faster and easier.

The radio has a good, solid feel to it. It comes pre-programmed with a bank of NOAA weather channels that can be accessed with a couple of button presses, saving you from manually programming them. Once in the bank of NOAA channels, a press on the PTT will scan to find the correct channel for your area.

The 4 custom buttons can be programmed with either VFO frequencies and settings, or memory channels to recall. Or alternatively, they can be programmed with menu items you'd like to access faster (like the squelch type and level, for example).

The receiver has enough bandwidth to receive some local public safety frequencies so it can double as a "scanner" in places where they haven't gone to digital trunking systems, etc. It also supports narrow FM which is useful for these frequencies.

A quick check into a repeater was met with a good signal report, the audio described as "crisp".

The radio came with a charging base, which was nice compared to my VX-6R which has one available as a separate purchase. Charging the battery right out of the box took less than an hour, I suspect because these radios are new on the market and the batteries have not had time to discharge much sitting on the shelf.

Overall, my impression is very positive. It isn't the most feature-rich radio in Yaesu's line, but will do well for a basic communications radio. If you need advanced features like integral APRS and GPS, you'll have to look elsewhere (and dig deeper $$$). But for those looking for a basic radio to talk simplex or access repeaters, this could be a good choice.
KA6GEM Rating: 4/5 Mar 23, 2017 09:59 Send this review to a friend
Decent Dual Band Analog HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased a new Yaesu FT-65R/E from Ham Radio Outlet last week. I also own a Baofeng UV-5R. I help teach a “Get on the Air” class for newly license hams so I’ve studied many of the current HTs on the market. I’m often asked for a recommendation by first time buyers. I think the Yaesu FT-65R/E is worthy of consideration for the newly license ham interested in an analog dual band HT but I would place it well below the Yaesu VX-6R or the Kenwood TH-F6A.

The new Yaesu FT-65R/E seems to have the DNA of a Baofeng UV-5R but there’s a big difference in my opinion: the ease of operation, intuitive programming and clear documentation combine to make the new Yaesu what many newly licensed hams expect when buying their first dual band HT. The Baofeng has an exceptionally low price and many other qualities to its credit but programming it by index finger is a nightmare. To me, it is way too complicated for the first time buyer. And it should be a top priority for any ham interested in community service or disaster communications to know how to change or add new frequencies on the fly. If you don’t know how to use your radio, it’s nearly useless.

The Yaesu FT-65R/E by contrast seems to be much easier to operate and program. I managed to program several of my local repeaters without ever once looking at the manual. Depress and hold the function key, (right at thumb level below the PTT) and adjust three menu settings for a repeater: #24 (“Repeater”) #29 (“Squelch Type”) and #8 (“CTCSS”). Press and hold the */V-M key to add it to memory and then add a label if you wish. There are four programmable buttons (P1 - P4) for a quick recall of favorite frequencies or repeaters and also serve as the DTMF A, B, C, D tones and with the function key, quick access to four menu settings.

Unlike most Yaesu HTs, the FT-65R/E key pad has only a few short cuts: holding the “1” key turns on/off the weather radio frequencies, the “6” key is the key-pad lock. The WFM broadcast band covers from 65 MHz to 108 MHz and favorite FM stations can be added to memory. The VHF band covers from 136 MHz to 174 MHz. Transmitting outside the ham bands returns an “ERROR” message. There is no AM broadcast or aircraft band and the top knob is on/off and volume only. There are several scanning options including “Priority Scan" but no dual-receive. One cannot transfer a memory frequency to VFO however touching the #BAND key enables “Memory Tuning.”

The FT-65R/E has several things in common with the Baofeng such as a lithium-ion battery, a LED light, and a reverse SMA antenna but it’s also an ounce heavier and about ½ inch higher. The drop-in chargers seem to be interchangeable but the Yaesu power supply puts out 12 volts, the Baofeng 10 volts. Batteries are not interchangeable. The tiny clip that holds the FT-65R/E battery in place seems a bit fragile. And there’s no way to charge either HT without the drop-in charger so charging while on the road will require a DIY power cord from the cigarette lighter to the back of the charger cup.

By comparison to the FT-60 (now in its 13 year), the FT-65 offers some nice improvements: it’s lighter, smaller and the lithium-ion battery lasts longer and charges in far less time than the nickel-metal hydride battery pack. And there’s no “WIRES” trap to fall into. But the FT-60 is still worthy of consideration.

For the first time buyer, Yaesu now offers an expanded choice of decent analog dual band handi-talkies.
W7DCF Rating: 3/5 Mar 20, 2017 12:27 Send this review to a friend
Depends on Expectations  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I don't own the FT-65r, but I did spend 2 days with a neighbors new 65 and manually programmed about 80 channels into the radio and verified its operation through a number of repeaters. At this writing, I am not aware of any programming software (even RT) for the radio. I own an FT-60 and several flavors of "Chinese" radios such as TYT, Wouxun and BaoFeng which provides the perspective for my observations.

I can't confirm or deny any faults that may be part of the 65, but in my cursory use of the radio I did not note anything that stood out as a problem. It clearly does not have the personality that I associate with the "Chinese" radios. The auto repeater offsets, memory banks, and general programming flow are far more in line with the FT-60. I liked the very clear display with the ability to display 8 character names. The 65 also has a dual display mode not found on the FT-60r. The battery setup on the 65 is an improvement that reduces weight and improves charging utility.

You have access to the FM broadcast band, but no aircraft band on the 65. The 65 scans much faster than any Chinese radios that I have and the audio quality was clear and loud. What I did miss was the rotary selector and I felt that relying so much on menu selections as opposed to functions assigned to buttons made accomplishing some programming steps more lengthy. However, manually dealing with labels is quite straight forward.

Given the current price point of the FT60r and the FT65r, I would favor the FT-60r although I can appreciate someone making the opposite choice. The existing programming options, track record, battery alternatives/12 v operation, separate selector knob and squelch control all push me towards the 60.
That's my 2 cents worth.
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