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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FT-90r Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-90r
Yaesu FT-90r Reviews: 144 Average rating: 3.5/5 MSRP: $399.96
Description: Micro 2m/440 transciever
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.yaesu.com/ft90r.html
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Page 1 of 15 —>

W9MT Rating: 4/5 Jun 20, 2013 20:45 Send this review to a friend
I like it, quirks and all...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
There is a software bug in the radio's code. (This has been documented elsewhere on the Internet.)

If you have 2m set to the default step rate of 5KHz and the radio begins to get a bit warm, the squelch "works in reverse". By this I mean if the radio is squelched, even loosely just past the point of initial silence, no receive signal will open it. You can even see a full indication of the S-meter, but even a booming signal won't open the squelch. If you turn the squelch off, the signal will pop in with good audio, but you'll have the white background noise between receptions.

Change the 2m frequency step to anything but 5KHz and the radio will function normally. 440 doesn't have this issue on any frequency step size.

So, this is an easy workaround, but can drive you crazy if you don't know what's causing it.

The radio programs well with the ADMS-3 software. Establishing communications between the radio and PC is a bit obtuse, but read your manual and the display messages on the radio carefully and do exactly as they say...and you won't have any problems. It's nice to blast the memory full of settings in seconds instead of the drudgery of hand programming the radio.

Also, I program every memory channel to the Mid 1 transmit power range (about 25 Watts output). The radio runs cooler this way, and you can always up the power to the full 50 Watts when running in a fringe area on simplex. Rotating the main frequency knob to a different channel or one step up or down in frequency and the output power setting reverts back to the pre-programmed value.

I bought mine used about a year ago, and was lucky enough to get the remote cable for the control head as part of the package. It makes for a nice, clean, neat, and compact installation. When my wife drives the truck, she doesn't even notice it's there.

Treat it right, know the quirks and how to work around them, and this is a great dual-bander that fits where others don't.
 
KF4HPY Rating: 2/5 Feb 7, 2013 13:23 Send this review to a friend
Puzzling Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This the second FT-90r I have had. Once again the mic cord is frayed; this time at the radio end. I contacted the folks at Yaesu via E-mail. Same price for cord;$35.00. Received phone #'s and ordered cord. Seems audio is a bit low to listeners. Mic buttons work OK. My first FT-90 works Just Fine! So have to troubleshoot the radio, Will open rptrs.far away, weak audio. Maybe SMT as usual, cold joint. 73, Ed
 
GABRESEVEN Rating: 5/5 Jun 4, 2012 16:43 Send this review to a friend
Mic Cord  Time owned: more than 12 months
The only gripe I have about the FT-90 is the mic cord - mine just frayed badly after about a year of use as a receive only rig...

There's no (as far as I know) exact replacement for the stock mic, the MH-36. So you're s-o-o-l if you want to get a replacement MH-36 mic. I heard the MH-48 mic works for PTT only - so that would work if that's all you need...

Being a retired airline pilot, I use my FT-90 primarily for aircraft VHF listening, and have used it on 2 meters a few times...

The receive is awesome, but I can't say about transmit since I have little experience using it for that...

My only gripes are the mic cord, and I see I'm not alone in that regard, and the overly senstive volume control - you just gently touch it and the volume will break your eardrums just about...

Capt. Kani (GABRESEVEN)
 
KB3WVR Rating: 5/5 Apr 11, 2012 13:44 Send this review to a friend
Packs a PUNCH  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought this radio used on ebay. Needed something small for my Jeep Liberty. Something I can quickly disconnect and bring into my apartment since my Icom 208H has died in my base station. I love this radio. Easy to use, good reports, good power. Half power is all you really need. I have other Yaesu rigs and love the quality. If I find another one of these used I am going to pick it up.
 
KE6LCE Rating: 5/5 Mar 23, 2011 19:27 Send this review to a friend
If this radio had an odometer  Time owned: more than 12 months
This radio was bought new in 3/03. I have used it till the key button wore through. It has been in 3 vehicles -02Jeep, 04Ford PU, 06Dodge PU. It would be in the "million mile club" if it had an odometer. It has never failed to work. It has bailed me out in the "boonies" when cell service was no-go. Guess I was lucky as it has a poor rating. I am NOT selling this radio, EVER! I posted in '03 see page 7. 1st 4 digits of serial# are 2L67.
 
KF4HPY Rating: 4/5 Aug 19, 2010 08:12 Send this review to a friend
Works well  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my FT-90R in Dec. 2002 it has a lot # 5 as the third digit. Therefore it has a 60W module. In 2006 had a failure to power up; had it repaired by Skyland in Atlanta. I bought it for disaster relief use, as it is a two band radio. Been using it for a home station since 2006. It is easy to use, and the manual is easy to read and heed. I color code the passages I need to heed. so I have a colorful book. Yaesu does have a problem in seemingly introducing a radio a month. However, they do have a warranty( my 817 went in 3 times for a PA fix) and after a while get their ducks in order. Yesterday I replaced the microphone cable,down to the last strands on one wire at the strain relief. I'm satisified with my FT-90, it's a good radio. TNX, 73
 
AF6RR Rating: 3/5 Nov 15, 2009 05:12 Send this review to a friend
good while it lasted, but it's got warts..  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a FT-90 when they first came out, for all the usual reasons.. a compact, powerful, affordable dual-band rig.

I liked the idea of a remote head, but the price for the remote kit was a bit more than I wanted to pay, and I really only needed the radio-head cable, and the mounting bracket, everything else was going to be custom built anyway. I would have liked to have been able to just buy the connectors, and the bracket, and build the cable myself.

I normally toss it on the transmission hump when traveling, since I normally use a HT around town.

The radio worked nicely for several years, and then the uhf finals went out.. the radio still receives, and transmits on 2m, but no power output on uhf.

Additional warts:

As others have noted, turning up the volume to a decent level, while using the internal speaker, generates a loud howl.. I simply use a small external speaker.

PL - encode only, or encode/decode, but cannot do split tones.

DPL - encode/decode only. cannot do PL encode/DPL decode or vice versa.

Mic cable - the cable falls apart over time. The rubber/plastic/whatever is crap. I have telephones and Motorola microphones that are 40 years old with cables in good condition, and a lot more mileage on them. I have never had a mic cable fall apart this badly, or so soon.

Repeater offsets. when using auto repeater offset, it sets a offset when set to 446.000. I guess Yaesu doesn't know about the national simplex frequency.

Overall, I like the radio. It's small, and packs a punch. I just wish it held up better.

I will probably replace the uhf finals when I have a chance, and keep it in the go-kit.
 
KD6KZU Rating: 2/5 May 18, 2009 09:43 Send this review to a friend
Heres the scoop on these radios.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just bought this radio used for $120 from an estate sale. I got it mounted up as a base station with a Diamond X200 antenna and found the 2m Final was blown. After searching I found some information on this radio. The original design uses a Mitsubishi M67781L power output module for the 2m side. This module is only rated for 40w and blows easily. Later models have a M67746 module that is rated for 60W. I'm guessing that the people who have good FT-90Rs have this module. This module has been replaced with the RA60H1317 and the RA module can be used in any of the FT-90r's if you have a bad 2m final.

*********READ*************
If you plan to purchase one of these check the serial number.

Mine is S/N 1D440178
The third digit/number is the lot code. Lot code 5 and above have the 60w m67746 Module.
 
KF4FRK Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2008 19:02 Send this review to a friend
Great Little Rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
My FT-90 was mounted under the front seat of my Jeep Wrangler and stood up to all the abuse it received. I never experienced any of the issues others did about heat and so forth but my radio was rarely operated on high power because it was rarely needed. I would still be using it expect the microphone cable got chopped by accident (it was under the front seat and shorted out when the seat was moved forward) and shorted the radio. Not sure what can even replace it, the control head was mounted on top of the steering column with double sided tape and was very unobtrusive. This entire rig was just perfect for a vehicle needing a small radio or 'stealth' type installs (soft top jeeps). I'm going to miss my FT-90.
 
N3DF Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2008 10:35 Send this review to a friend
Great Small Size  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have operated a Yaesu FT-90R mobile since 2000. My only problem came last month, when the mic cord disintegrated near where it enters the microphone. Replaced it for $35 from an ebay ad from Hong Kong. I like the small size and easy mounting of this rig. The South Florida heat has not affected rig (other than the mic cord).
 
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