- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Yaesu FT-50R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-50R
Yaesu FT-50R Reviews: 83 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $200
Description: Dual band 2m/70cm HT with scanner
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Yaesu FT-50R.

<— Page 2 of 9 —>

M0PZT Rating: 4/5 Feb 13, 2009 04:23 Send this review to a friend
A Performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was given my FT-50R from new as a gift for passing my RAE in early 2001, since then it has been taken out with my walking, cycling and also on holiday. It has had about 2 years of respite as I've not been constantly active or out /M (due to the weather) so it hasn't had 8yrs of solid use.. However...

The tuning knob is a tad un-reliable, if you turn it forwards it tends to go backwards! The power-switch had to be retro-fitted with a bit of tin-foil as it had stopped conducting! The battery lasts about 2hrs on receive - dreaded memory effect (and possibly mis-use on my part!) The spkr/mic jack is also reliable, the speaker mute pin sometimes sticks and you have to poke inside it to get the main speaker to work again.

Bottom-line though, it's a decent radio that's given me hours of fun and although I've had a VX-7R for a couple of years, I still like to fire-up the FT-50 every so often.
N8EKT Rating: 5/5 Jan 18, 2009 06:58 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was Yaesu's first dc to daylight radio
with full power.
A rugged radio that does it all.
The VX-6 and VX-7 have now eclipsed the performance of the FT-50 but it held the title for a number of years.
SFR Rating: 4/5 Aug 6, 2008 22:23 Send this review to a friend
Drop it, kick it, splash it, it can take it!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my FT-50R new back in 1997 and still own it today.
Overall a great little radio, although it is not without a few issues.

Like many others have already explained, mine one day would not turn on anymore (power switch). I fixed mine by cutting the little carbon contact dot off an old TV remote keypad (using a razor blade) and affixed it where the old dot was with a tiny dab of RTV silicone. I experienced the same issue with some of the keys on the keypad as well (something about the rubber that the keys are made from oozes an oily substance on the inside, which then gets all over the carbon dots and causes them to lose their conductivity. I've seen this happen on many types of electronic devices (TV remotes, phones, etc), not just on the 50R).

The battery drain problem does not seem to affect every radio. I picked up a 2nd used 50R and it doesn't seem to have this problem (it will still turn on after sitting for a month or more), whereas the one I had from the beginning would always be dead after a week or two of sitting.
NiMH cells seem to be more tolerant of the deep discharging than the original NiCd cells were.

The WFM works fairly well to receive the analog sound carrier from television stations that are within it's freq range, but as others have said, its 100% useless on FM radio broadcasts 88-108MHz.
AM works well on the aircraft band (and nearby signals don't overload it as easy as the AM on my FT-530)

Things I like about it:
*Compact size, but not TOO small (it's bricklike shape is a bit clunky to hang off your belt though)
*VERY solid construction
*Has a decent speaker with good volume
*Continuous battery voltage display (gives you some warning of when the dreaded batt-low icon will appear, as you got maybe 15 seconds left to talk after it does show, that is if you even notice it lol)
*DCS capability
*Actual volume knob (not up/down buttons)
*Good battery life with NiMH cells
*Has a clone function that works with other 50Rs

Things I don't like:
*Oddball mic jack (uses a hard-to-find 4-contact mini-plug)
*Only 4-digit alphanumeric display
*Display light not real bright, and unlit keypad
*Bleeps at you every time it stops while scanning (you have to turn the key beeper off)
*No clock or alarm like my FT-530 has
*No simultaneous dual-receive or cross-band repeat functions
*Picks up too much intermod and spurious image products, even on the duckie (it's particularly bad on UHF)

One thing I can't say enough about the 50R is the durable construction of the radio. I've dropped this thing on concrete several times, left it in the car on 110 days, had it get splashed heavily next to the pool, even had it fall out the window of my truck onto the highway once... Although showing numerous battle scars, the radio still functions as good as the day I bought it (that is, as long as the rubber band is still around the battery to keep it against the contacts because the slots for the catch tabs finally broke off the radio's case :-o )

I give it 4 out of 5. The receiver's spurious reception, non-standard mic plug, the issues with the buttons, and the (apparently common) battery drain problem on my one unit are detractors, but the ruggedness of the unit helps make up for it somewhat.
QUINNY Rating: 4/5 May 27, 2007 08:01 Send this review to a friend
Not a bad handie  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Bought mine as my first radio in April 2006,second hand,after I had passed my foundation licence,and it came boxed,with instructions,and with an extra battery,as the original wasn't holding a full charge,and a Yeasu speaker mic.A few weeks later I bought an original 12v power lead from a guy in France,and it was cheaper than buying it in England,and that included the postage!!!! This then gave me the option of running it in the car and the truck,and getting the maximum 5w out of it,when needed.I was able to open my local repeater up with it running on 5w,from some 50 miles away,using a Watson antenna on the top of the truck,but it would get hot after a while.I never had the on/off problem that some have experienced,and all of the other buttons worked without fault.It was also good when operating the local IRLP node,and in QSO,others couldn't believe that I was on a handie.If I had one crtiticism about it,and that was that the menus were a little complicated at first,as there were so many of them,but once you got the hang of them,I couldn't really fault it,and despite the age of them now,I would still buy another.The only reason I've marked it as a 4 and not a 5,is because of it getting hot under use at full power,but then again,I guess handies aren't meant to run at full power for up to an hour at a time.
M0PZT Rating: 4/5 May 17, 2007 05:23 Send this review to a friend
Good Work-Horse  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just traded my FT-50R in for a VX-7R, used the FT since late 2000 whilst I was doing my course. It's a fairly solid unit with a host of usable features.

Many people (like myself) have suffered the on/off button problem - tinfoil and superglue seem to fix it but with the button "bouncing" occasionally. The original 7.2v NiCad doesn't hold much of a charge anymore - but that's NiCads for you! I've used the radio in rain, and it faired well despite the TX audio going a bit mushy. WFM Mode: Useless. Rubber-Duck: Not great - the one supplied with the VX-7 seems to pick-up much more. Running on DC (even at 100mW), then radio gets really warm - However, it's fine on the battery.

Overall, a good radio when it was released but now overtaken by technology and relegated to my shack shelf for casual monitoring/tests.
KD5JOS Rating: 4/5 Apr 21, 2007 19:11 Send this review to a friend
7 years of ownership...  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is the first radio I ever purchased. I bought it in 2000 used. When I got it, I had the same problem other people did with the power switch. I used the aluminum foil trick and have had no problem since. I have consumed the first battery it came with (NiCd) and a second NiMH battery. It is currently on its third. The antenna had to be replaced after being sat on. Other than that, I have worked data, satelites, and RDF with this tranceiver. It has beome a part of my identity as an amateur radio operator. Anything new that I do FM VHF/UHF, I do with it first. I have never felt let down by it's performance. In fact quite the opposite. As this radio is now ten years old, I am surprised by the fact it functions after being spilled on, dropped, and left in cars in Texas/Utah summers. I've owned vehicles that haven't performed as well as it has. Because of this radio, I have purchased other Yaesu products (vx-6, ft-1802). I never had a problem with WFM functionality. For what I needed, it was adequate.
K3NG Rating: 3/5 Oct 25, 2006 12:40 Send this review to a friend
K3NG  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had the power button go bad as well. I fixed it by super-glueing a piece of aluminum foil to the back of the button. Now it works too well and sometimes "bounces", but at least I can turn it on and off.

The WFM mode is useless as others have mentioned.

If you don't use the auto power off feature, this radio will destroy batteries with deep discharging. Instead of shutting off nicely when the voltage gets down to a certain point, mine will cycle itself on and off when the battery gets to 3.6 volts. It will cycle quickly on and off for minutes or hours until it drains every last electron from the battery, resulting in wrecked batteries from presumably reversed cells. The radio also seems to discharge batteries when it's off. Every year for the past five years I've had to buy new batteries.

The alphanumeric display is limited to four characters. Make sure all the repeaters you use ID with 1x2 or 2x1 callsigns :-)

RF wise the radio has performed well. In the rain I found that water will get into the little mic hole and muffle your transmit audio. The rig does have a tough case and can take a beating.
WB5RPU Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2006 00:03 Send this review to a friend
Superb  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought mine used in January, 2006 for $100 with two batteries. The fellow I bought it from said it had a problem with the power button but didn't say how bad it was. After a few weeks, It would turn off, but not turn on again no matter how many times I push the power button. Yaesu wanted $80 plus parts to fix it. After perusing these reviews I ordered a new power button from Yaesu for 67 cents and the nicad warning sticker for 87 cents. My wife installed them with no electronics background and had no problems. Now it works like new. I've installed a new Pryme RD-78 antenna which has almost 3db gain which made quite a bit of difference. Anyone who needs instructions to install a new power button, let me know at WB5RPU@ARRL.NET.

Kempner, TX
WH6CYY Rating: 1/5 May 21, 2006 05:06 Send this review to a friend
great waterproof case guards junk electronics  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my FT-50R in 97 and had problems from the start. The PTT jammed repeatedly, the CPU needed many resets and finally the surface mount components needed to be replaced. The SMA jack and the poor WFM were just the icing on this poor excuse of a radio. Bought Icoms since and had no problems (with aftermarket batteries). I can not recommend Yaesu or will I ever buy their products again.
HAPA515 Rating: 4/5 Mar 20, 2006 06:29 Send this review to a friend
a decent radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought mine used and it was well loved before me. The only problem is a squirrly menu knob...which probably came from use. I would have bought this one new if I had the chance. The only reason I can't give it a 5 is 'cause I didn't buy it new...

<— Page 2 of 9 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.