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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FTM-10R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FTM-10R
Yaesu FTM-10R Reviews: 53 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $460
Description: Dual band transceiver with multi-band coverage.
Product is in production.
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G6DLJ Rating: 5/5 Jul 4, 2009 04:27 Send this review to a friend
Ideal for mazda MX-5!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've only owned this rig for 3 days so this a 'first' impressions account rather than a full blow review, however so far so good, I'm very impressed. I picked up the rig for 175 including a mag mount and weird 3rd party mounting bracket. I'd read various comments here to say the rig was hard to drive and even harder to program, yet I found both to be the easiest of any on the Yaesu rigs I own (FT-8900, VX-2, VX-7 and FT-857). The menus seems very logical and simple to me buy maybe that's 'cos I sat down and read the manual cover to cover first?

I went for this rig as I've just bought a new MX-5 soft top and space is at a premium, so it fits nicely in the centre consol with a simple L-shaped bracket covered in black tape and fixed with double sided tape making for quick removal and a no-hole installation. The umbilical cord is terminated in an RJ45 meaning you could use a regular screened network cable to remote the head which I've done.

Not quite sure why I'd need a PA or a siren but having the mic and second speaker in the remote head has saved me having to fit a gooseneck mic and extension speaker. Likewise being able to alter the mic gain and the option to automatically increase the RX volume as road noise increases is huge bonus, Yaesu really thought this puppy out. Both AM Air and Marine VHF reception is good and easy enough to label and program into memory. OK, so there's option to program via PC but let's it only take a few seconds to program each memory and making changes is a doddle, and once it's done it's done...zzzzz. This rig would make an ideal Air/Marine scanner in it's right.

So far I'm very impressed, personally I can't find any negatives, though I really need to get my head around the various memory layout options!
KD4PBS Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2009 19:43 Send this review to a friend
97.5% perfect for a motorcycle.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this radio a couple weeks ago with the intentions of using this on my motorcycle. This unit has met or surpassed my expectations. FYI my ride is a 2008 Kawasaki Nomad 1600.
To begin with, I'll outline my configuration:
I have the MMB-M11 handlebar mounting bracket supporting the control panel on the left side, next to the mirror/clutch clamp. I threaded the cable through some nylon webbing to help protect it from abrasion, and to dress the look of the cable somewhat. This webbing extends down past the triple clamp through the frame bracketry, protecting the control panel cabling thoroughly.
I have two of the Yaesu MLS-200-M10 waterproof speakers mounted to two of the fairing support bolts. The whole control panel and speaker mounting configuration was seamless, and did not cause me to have to modify anything in the bracketry of the motorcycle, or the radio and speakers.
The RF deck is mounted securely into the right hard saddlebag. I had to slightly elongate the holes on the RF deck mounting bracket in order to use some existing hardware that fastens the top saddlebag hook to the saddlebag. This allowed for minimal modification of the motorcycle.
I did have to drill 4 holes into the saddlebag to route the cables from the RF deck. The holes were made in the top inside facing wall of the saddlebag, allowing for the cabling to exit near the top of the right rear shock. This was one hole for the power leads, one hole for the control panel, rear passenger connection, and the stereo speaker leads, one hole for the antenna feedline, and one hole for the iPod cable. I sealed all these with black RTV once the wiring was installed. I also put most of this external wiring through some black nylon webbing tubing for abrasion protection.
I programmed most of my frequencies I'll be using before hand, off the motorcycle, where I could sit in a recliner and punch and twist to my comfort. My fingers got numb several times, and I had to take short breaks from programming to do something else. I think all in all it took about 2-3 hours to program around 150 memories with alpha numeric tags on 99% of them. Programming software would be nice, but this is not something I fault Yaesu for. They never suggested or said that this radio would be software programmable, so I would be a moron to deduct points from it due to this reason. I did not find the method of programming difficult once learned. I can only assume that the operators who had trouble programming the radio will usually have trouble following directions for other things as well. The directions are clear and consice, as well as accurate. No, it is not as easy to program as my Kenwood equipment, but once the procedure is learned, it is only about a 3 on the 1-10 cumbersome scale. Remember that not long ago we had dip switches and maybe 10 memories, and you'll be thankful that the programming of this radio is as good as it is.
The radio has some wonderful features for motorcycle operation. First is the ability to act as an intercom. The wife has been wanting an intercom while on the bike since we got it last year. To use this, I purchased a MEK-M10 microphone jack that mounts to the control panel, and two CT-M11 cables. I also purchased two of the Chatterbox CB50OFHS hard wired microphones with stereo earphones for our open face helmets (CB50FFHS for a full-face helmet), and two Chatterbox CB50HSEX extension curly cords. I cut off the male end of the CB50HSEX extension cords, and wired these to the CT-M11 cables, using a male and female Neutrik XLR connector pair for the wife, and just shortening the cord and soldering direct for my front adaptor to the control panel of the FTM-10R. This is due to the fact that the wife's cable terminates on the RF deck itself, in an inaccessible location in the saddlebag, while I have easy access where mine connects to the control panel up front. I also purchased a small on/off button with adhesive mounting from Pep Boys. This switch comes as a push on / push off model, but I disassembled the switch and modified it for momentary PTT operation. I discovered while wiring this mic system that indeeed the FTM10-R does NOT supply mic bias on the mic input line for use with a condenser microphone (such as what the Chatterbox units utilize). I had to use the +5V line available on the CT-M11 to supply bias for the microphones, and as such I had to use two resistors and a capacitor in circuit to bias the mic. This is a basic circuit, using a 1K current limiting resistor connected between the +5V line and the mic, a 2.2uF capacitor between the mic + and one leg of another 1K resistor, then the other leg of this resistor to the mic input line to the radio. Of course the mic - went to the ground connection on the CT-M11. The PTT also has to be "special" in that there are two "switch" leads on the CT-M11, both of which have to go through separate 390KOhm resistors to ground in order to key the radio. This is worrisome, in that any high impedance path to ground might key the radio as well, such as water intrusion to my PTT switch. I'll have to keep a close eye on this when I get caught in rain storms.
Once I had the headset and microphone situation ironed out, I discovered that the intercom works extremely well. The rider can hear me while I'm talking on the radio, the rider can hear the radio when I unkey, and the rider can hear the music after the amateur radio traffic is over (using the "AF WATCH" feature, which allows one to monitor amateur radio traffic, and revert to FM broadcast radio, AM broadcast radio, or line input upon loss of amateur radio signal). The rider is not broadcast over the air if I have the PTT engaged on my wired in microphone. I can only speculate that if I had a PTT switch wired into the rear (RF unit) CT-M11 connection, it would allow the passenger audio to be heard when engaged. As a side note, as soon as the intercom feature is enabled, the front external speakers are muted, and the audio signal heard in the earphones is summed to 2-channel mono instead of being full stereo as when the intercom is off. I can understand the need for muted speakers, but as for the mono summing, I don't know if this is a limitation or an oversight, but it is a bit of a bummer to know that I can't listen in stereo while the intercom is on. Also, one cannot simply wire only mic audio to the front or rear CT-M11 connection and use the built-in PTT button on the top of the control panel. If one attempts this, even with a microphone connected to the control panel's MEK-M10 microphone jack, the built-in microphone in the control panel will be used instead of the mic that's right next to your mouth on your helmet! I do know for a fact that when using the bluetooth adaptor and a bluetooth headset, this is not an issue. When the unit is paired to a bluetooth headset, the PTT key on the control panel activates the mic audio from the bluetooth mic. If the bluetooth mic becomes un-paired for whatever reason, after 30 seconds or so the front panel mic is again routed to the transmitter. A friend who has had the FTM-10R for a year and uses bluetooth discovered this the hard way.
I would like to point out that the Chatterbox mics that I use are extremely wonderful at cancelling noise. I can go 70 MPH and talk in a normal voice. The Nomad does have a windshield, but at 70 there is still lots of wind noise blowing around as well as motorcycle noise. Even so, I can speak in such a soft voice that I can barely hear myself talking, and that is with an open face half-helmet that doesn't cover my ears. The Chatterbox mics are just that phenomenal! Overall audio quality aside from their noise cancelling capabilities on these mics are superb as well. I run the mic gain menu option in the radio at it's lowest setting, and this works great.
Audio quality for the amateur receiver is also wonderful. It is a sensitive radio, and has good tone, using either the headphones in the helmet or the two external speakers. At highway speeds it's easy to hear speech from the speakers, and does not require full volume. Using helmet headphones requires even less volume, and the radio has the capability to drive helmet headphones to such a high level it would hurt! The radio also has the ability to tailor the frequency response in 5 different levels, with normal being pretty flat, low having much less high frequency, and high having much less bass, and the two "in betweens". I usually keep it on mid, because either side of mid sounds either too tinny or two muffled. Audio quality of music is adequate using the Yaesu speakers, as well as the Chatterbox helmet headphones. The speakers lack bass response (typical of such a small driver), and have an annoying peak around 1.5-2.5KHz. This is great for amateur radio use, but not so much for audio, tending to make electric guitars and some vocals more of a piercing screech than what it is supposed to sound. Bass response is also lacking in the chatterbox helmet headset, so I am not sure if the problem lies with the radio or the speakers and headphones, or both. I will have to hook up to some higher quality speakers to determine the answer. Regardless, the audio is much better than nothing, but not as good as a decent pair of earbuds. I wouldn't recommend earbuds though for a motorcyclist... Hearing the idiot in the car next to you might save you from being run over one day.
I have not yet purchased the bluetooth interfaces for the radio, so I cannot testify to the usefullness of that, except for the good results my friend has had with one bluetooth adaptor and a Noland built-in bluetooth unit. His audio is slightly over driven, even with the mic gain turned all the way down in the radio setting. This sometimes plays havoc with the Communication Speacialists TSU-32 CTCSS decoder on my repeater, as the low-frequency rumbling ends up interfering with it's decoder, causing him to drop out intermittently. Only disabling the CTCSS decoder fixes this. When he uses the hand mic, he does not suffer from this problem.
The radio does have the ability to store several DTMF strings in memory, and transmit these DTMF strings without having a DTMF microphone. This is handy for me since I can store a few repeater control strings in memory and recall them with only 4-5 easy button strokes. All can be done with one hand.
Having the PTT latch feature is also a good thing to use motorcycle mobile. This frees the hands and fingers for more important operations while driving and talking. I do have to watch out though, as I tend to be a very vocal person while riding if someone does a typical "I didn't see the motorcycle" maneuver while I'm talking. I don't need no pink slips from any OOs! This brings me to another point, and that is that using the VOX is a pretty useless thing while motorcycling, regardless of how well the VOX circuit works. I cannot for the life of me imagine how people would be upset that the VOX doesnt work too well on a noisy motorcycle. Add this to the fact that the VOX circuit waits until the channel is clear before engaging the transmitter, and it makes a pretty useless "feature" for this radio. I guess it's nice to have in case one is working simplex in a quiet environment, but I don't think that it would be too good on the motorcycle.
AM reception is weak, just like others have noticed. Do make sure the squelch is turned all the way off for AM reception though. I noticed while programming that it was not hearing any AM radio, and that there was not even any static. I opened the squelch all the way and to my suprise I could just hear the 50KW station about 25 miles from my QTH.
Overall, this radio is the near perfect solution for use on a motorcycle. It kills three birds with one stone; intercom, AM/FM stereo (with line in), and a 2M/70cm amateur radio. I guess one could even modify it and use it on GMRS (I don't know that it's type accepted for this, but I guess it's possible to do regardless). I've never been a big fan of Yaesu, but they seemed to have hit the nail on the head with this one. If I could have only one wish list to add to this radio, it would be full simultaneous APRS functionality. I could work 440MHz while beaconing on APRS from my motorcycle. That would be cool! Thanks, Yaesu!
KT7DAD Rating: 4/5 Apr 4, 2009 19:55 Send this review to a friend
Update/improvements  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ok, I need a water/dust proof radio, and in split installation that feature is "disabled".
I however solved the problem..

The two big holes in the piece between the control head and the radio got sealed with a solid center grommet.
Then I had a friend make me a cable using RGJ45 connectors. I thread the cable trough the center hole in the mounting plate, and plugged the cable in the radio, and filled up around the cable with silicone.
As of now, I am using a dual female connector between the short cable from the control head and the home-brew cable, but I will fit a female RGJ45 connector in my dash to get a better looking solution.
N0FPE Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2009 14:51 Send this review to a friend
Great!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I own 2 of these bad boys! Love them! I have one mounted in my camper, it gets damn hot in there in the summer and this rig works perfectly all the time. The second unit is in my work van and gets beat around and stuff spilled on it and works every time. Yes I wish there was programming software but after reading the manual and playing I have no problem programing them. Maybe someone will come up with a aftermarket programmer. But since this is a VERY specialized radio I will not hold my breath.
W2UIS Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2009 14:04 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a transceiver designed for "hands free" operation which it accomplishes very well.

If you desire a mobile unit with a microphone then buy another model.

If you don't like menus then buy another model.

If you don't like programing frequencies buy a crystal rig.

Overall a very well made piece of equipment from Yaesu at a reasonable price. Well suited for mobile, base, or portable operations.

Additionally you can listen to am and fm broadcast, aircraft and just about anything else that you can with a scanner.

All for less than $300.

M0SAY Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2009 10:15 Send this review to a friend
GREAT RADIO  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
KV4AN Rating: 4/5 Jan 2, 2009 10:22 Send this review to a friend
GOOD FOR SMALL CARS  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Needed a small radio that offerred flexibility in mounting for a small car (the XYL's Ford Focus). She also didn't want a lot of holes drilled in her car in the usual places. Decided upon the FTM-10. Bought the MMB-M10 stand bracket and mounted that horizontal at the rear of the tray under the 12V power outlets. Used the quick-release mount. Mounted the radio body to the rear wall of the glove box. A 20" black Comet dual-band on a black and chrome Diamond trunk lip mount made a very nice installation. The FTM-10 is a nice dual-band radio with plenty of menu options/features. The high-tech looking read backlit buttons and cool blue display matched the blue displays of the Focus. XYL is happy with installation, but didn't really like the built in microphone and even with the microphone gain on minimum, you still hear your fingers scraping while pressing the PTT on the control head. So, I had to order the microphone and connector kit. For the price of the rig, the microphone should have been included, which is why it got a "4".
KE6PID Rating: 5/5 Dec 1, 2008 17:00 Send this review to a friend
Super on a motorcycle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the FT-10R to mount on a motorcycle advertizing seems to indicate this model is specialized for this type of use. One of the most important functions of this radio for my use was Bluetooth operation. For Bluetooth operation an accessory board needs to be purchased and installed, which is very easy.
The transceiver comes with the control head/microphone attached to the radio which unless you buy one of the accessory separate mics is the last way youd be likely to use the radio. The radio comes with two easily interchangeable interconnect cables, a very short and a 10 long one - once you disconnect the control head from the body there are a number of mounting options one of which is to not mount it at all and use it as a microphone! It fits nicely in the palm of your hand and its very robust. Push to talk switch is right where youd expect it to be if it were a mic. If you had a small car and were unable to mount the control head this setup should work great. Its all there right in your hand. Neat.
Since I was mounting it on a motorcycle I opted to mount the waterproof control head to the handlebar with the optional MMB-M11 handlebar mount which worked flawlessly. It is supplied with two sizes of clamps and rubber sheets to securely clamp to the handlebars of motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs what ever your ride might be. The larger set of clamps is large enough to fit around the plastic sheathed handlebars found on Honda Gold Wings and BMWs touring bikes, like the K-1200LT. The mounting is neat and secure but not entirely theft proof as it can be easily disassembled with a screwdriver. The interconnect cable isnt quickly detachable from the control head however. I mounted the main unit, which isnt waterproof in the travel trunk. After routing power, control and antenna connections to the radio it was ready to go.
Special features the radio has two speakers, on in the main unit and a second one in the control head. Through a menu can select either one, both or neither. The optional Bluetooth adapter BU-1 can be installed in either the main unit or control head I mounted mine in the main unit and it works fine thanks to a plastic trap door in the cast aluminum case to allow the Bluetooth signals through. Although Yaesu sells a Bluetooth headset as an accessory; I opted to try it with a J&M HS-BLU-277 Bluetooth helmet system I was worried about how these two items would interact with each other and found them almost 100% compatible. The only non compatible function was the battery save feature, when activated after a short while the radio signals the Bluetooth headset to shut off. I found there was no way to wake it back up until there was receive activity. To solve the issue the battery save option can be turned off at the cost of shorter Bluetooth headset battery life. All three of my Bluetooth devices acted the same way. The button on the Bluetooth headset thats used to answer a call when paired with a phone becomes your PTT switch when paired with the FT-10R. The FT-10R has an adjustable sensitivity VOX function that seems to work without any false triggering with the noise concealing J&M headset at normal highway speeds. Its possible to turn the Bluetooth VOX function off from the control head, but its fiddly and while riding with gloves-not recommended! I am working on adding a hardwired PTT switch which ought to be able to connect to the accessory mic jack on the control head. It could also be wired to the main unit, as it already has a mic jack.
Other handy features: Ambient noise controlled volume the faster the louder. AM/FM stereo radio the AM part doesnt work at all with the wave dual band antenna I selected to work with the radio. With a random wire it plays okay. Memory functions: Extremely easy to use once you read the manual and get up to speed. If you plug an external speaker into it its very loud, its got a high powered audio amp that really blasts the sound out. Its also got a PA function with several sound effects that will play if you receive a coded message and many-many more features.
The radio is differ in form and function from most other radios. Youll need to go through the manual understand and enjoy the many thoughtful features custom designed for the motorsports enthusiast.
KB0XR Rating: 4/5 Oct 25, 2008 05:29 Send this review to a friend
Good Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one to install in my new 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander. Installed the radio head in homemade mount inserted into cup holder under dash on console. Main body under the drivers seat mounted on a small breadboard with 5 inch wide velcro that locks it into the carpet.

VHF/UHF transmit and receive just fine. Utility monitoring(railroad and AM Aircraft) works well. AM broadcast band reception is a no go for me. On glass antenna just won't work for the AM. Neither did a Maldol VHF/UHF whip mounted on lip of hatchback.

Tedious programming of memories. I just can't remember the sequences from one day to the next.

Texas Towers sold me this for $269 shipped to my door. Best price I could find.

I see that the Milwaukee ham store is closing these out already. Might get a deal there if you want one.

Yaesu missed the mark by not having it software programmable.

ONKAN Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2008 13:15 Send this review to a friend
FTM-10 in mobile use  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Great tranceiver ! Installed in my car, reports give transmit audio as broadcast FM, a lot of possibilities inside this dual band small box. A little difficult to program at the begining, but after few days, no more problems. No regrets !
73's de ON3KAN Jean-lOUIS
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