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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FT-2900R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-2900R
Yaesu FT-2900R Reviews: 85 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $$$$??? SHOP - AROUND
Description: The Yaesu FT-2900R is quiet and powerful. This ruggedly- built 2 meter transceivers boasts 75 watts of output. Yet no fan is required thanks to Yaesu's die cast chassis/heat-sink design. The ergonomics are unsurpassed for safe mobile operation. Four power levels are available: 75, 25, 10 and 5 watts. And weather channels are built in with Severe Weather Alert capability. The FT-2900R is MIL-STD 810 tough. You get extended receive from 136-174 MHz.
Product is in production.
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KE8DWE Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 2016 16:16 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful radio!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Yaesu FT-2900R is my second 2 meter radio, and I'm super impressed. I paid $130 for this little gem.

I have been using this radio daily for 5 months, first month as a mobile, and 4 months thereafter as a base unit. Antenna is a 5/8 wave 2 meter unit.

Good points of this radio...
-Great send and receive audio quality.
-Easy to program, even without the software cable.
-Well built, strong construction.
-Seemingly infinite number of settings to customize this radio are built in.
-Large, easy to read, dimmable display.
-Can display radio internal temperature on screen.
And the list just keeps going.

Not so good points of this radio...
-Factory squelch settings are a bit on the low side but this is easily corrected. Other than that, I have ZERO complaints!
-Heatsink does get very hot when talking on higher power for any length of time, but I think this is to be expected. I installed a 12v cooling fan and the internal temperature sensor never goes over 95 degrees fahrenheit now.

In my view, this radio is GREAT value for the money. I mostly talk within a 50 mile radius and often get comments on how well the rig sounds. I have one frequent contact that lives 25 miles away I they have no trouble hearing me on only 5 watts.

All in all, I absolutely DO recommend this radio.

PA3GPA Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2016 11:28 Send this review to a friend
Does the job  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It is big, rugged, does the job right and is very good value for the money. Well done Yaesu!
K0VH Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2016 14:26 Send this review to a friend
Bargain for solid built 2m rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got mine as a Christmas present with the $119 deals that were too good to pass. Plus it let me give my 20 yr old 2nd hand Yaesu mobile to my son who only had a handheld. This is an easy to use basic 2m only radio for base or mobile use. It's heavier than I thought but I used the same space on the drivers side under right leg sideways on the "transmission hump" and it fits fine. I just finished a 3000 mi RT snowbird MN/FL trip and made many contacts on the road and in the Orlando area.

Pros: I think it's easy to program and use, but I also have the Yaesu/Vertex 170 handheld (for some reason I've favored Yaesu VHF like my 15 yr old FT-1500 still in use, but Icom HF with exception of Icom ID31 for our DStar).

I detuned my hi power to 45-50 watts as others have suggested ( , be careful and using a dummy load and watt meter) - no problems w/overheating and still plenty of power to get out mobile.

Excellent audio both xmt & rcv using stock mic and built in speaker.

Cons: Mic plug is flimsy. That said I got 14 yrs on my FT-1500 before it needed replacing.

I haven't figured out but dialing up repeaters in VFO mode while traveling, the tone squelch occasionally will go off when I change frequency (I like to dial up the frequency from the mic and then the TSQL frequency, it's just a 3rd item to have to mess with and don't want to even glance onto the radio screen).

I'm actually more of an HF operator but have had 2m rigs in the car ever since the early 70s only buying/trading every 10 years or so. I am an ARES member and do limited public service mobile, but just like having a decent radio in the car despite many quiet repeaters these days. Hopefully this radio will give me 15+ years like my FT-1500 has.
K6SPY Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2016 18:44 Send this review to a friend
Don't let this deal pass by  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
At the current special price of $119 shipped from several vendors, I can't see why anyone who uses 2 meter FM could pass this radio up! Radio is built like a tank and has a fantastic receiver. HUGE LCD display, buttons and knobs that are tough and will stand the test of time. Radio sits on a desk with 2 included plastic feet that makes this a perfect desk rig. Bottom mounted speaker sounds good, not the typical cheap tinny radio speaker sound on many radios.
W2DAB Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2016 14:36 Send this review to a friend
Nice inexpensive desk radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this radio for two reasons and they were price and reliability. I wanted a unit to go on my desk to hit local repeaters in my area, this thing is built like a tank with a good reciever. I am able to hit repeaters 10 miles away easily and I like that it is heavy and won't slide around my desk.

So, if you want a mobile that's cheaper than most HT's and has 75 Watts of power, consistent Yaesu quality I highly recommend this rig.
MM0HRL Rating: 4/5 Dec 19, 2015 19:15 Send this review to a friend
Update notes added  Time owned: more than 12 months
Added notes, 20/12/15.

Rig continues to draw unsolicited compliments on its TX quality - mostly I'm using WideFM and always using the standard rather flimsy feeling mike. After using the rig in the car and at home I find it's now a pest that it lacks a detachable faceplate. The radio is a hefty lump to find a site for in my VW Golf estate. So I got a used FT7900 to try out with its separate faceplate - far smaller and lighter than the 2900. More expensive too, but the 2900's now likely to see use only at home - mostly on a variety of near and distant repeaters. Can still sometimes trip and use that 94-mile distant one in Fraserburgh (I'm in Fife, Scotland - go measure!) using a simple vertical resonant dipole when at its full height of not-quite 40ft up, on a fibreglass mast.

After around an hour of ragchew with the rig on its 30Watt setting this evening it was too hot for comfort really - so am wondering if replacing it with another set with a fan might be sensible - while this one is still 100% operational. We'll see. END of update notes.

My 2900E (Euro version) was bought just over a year ago and came with a 2 year Yaesu warranty. Somehow I don't see it as likely I'll need that warranty, but you never know...

This rig can be initially summed up with some pluses and minuses - here we go.

Price - currently (early Nov, 2015) shown variously around 129.
Ruggedly built - pretty much beyond argument.
Simple to program, using only the rig's own controls. (don't put too much credence in reports saying it's hard - I can only conclude that anyone finding this hard might struggle to use speed-dial on a phone)
Large, easily read display - Alpha tags too, very easy to read at a glance.
Essential controls all on front panel - ie Vol/Squelch/VFO cum channel-dial.
LOTS of memories available.
Simplicity - except for function button labelling which is - strange.
Memories groupable into Banks, can be separately scanned - this is just brilliant.
RF Squelch - truly very useful indeed.
Genuine 75watts - I've measured this as accurate - brings you out of the noise even with distant repeaters. I've regularly opened a repeater that's 94 miles from my house using a simple vertical dipole around 40ft high.
It's a monobander - less complex than a dual bander, and virtually all contacts around here are 2m on stone age FM - hence this seen for me as a "plus"
Many rig functions available on the standard DTFM mike - indeed some are only available on the mike's buttons.

It's "only" a monobander. Potentially less useful than a Dual Band set. For others, this could be a plus - for me, that's so.
No RF gain control - a universal complaint on FM sets these days!
Segmented bar-graph S-meter. Every set has these now, but I don't have to like them - I'd prefer an S-number display added like my FT857d gives.
Scan rate is strangely sluggish. My FT60e Handy-Talky beats the pants off it, easy.
Set gets locked-up if a scan is still running, even if it's stopped on a memory the menu remains inaccessible till the scan is cancelled - this is stupid and it's irritating.
Mine is Chinese-built. Unsure whether this may introduce quality issues later on - quite possibly a non existent matter, but can't get rid of the feeling somehow.
Slightly less sensitive to weak signals than my FT60 when hooked to the same antenna system. Difference not too significant, but I'd have expected a single band set with its reduced coverage to have higher sensitivity than a dual bander. (My FT60 is an earlier Japanese manufactured unit - significant? Don't know.)
Used value - not great on private sales - expect low trade in values too. Ebay sees these fetch around 50% of new price. Seems a little low to me - but makes for a great buy used, if you're sure it's not been beaten to death on a lousy antenna system that is.
All VHF/UHF sets nowadays seem to use the horrible modular mike plug. I hate these things with a vengeance - it's so obviously a shift made to save pennies at manufacture regardless of these plugs being so obviously nasty in nature.
Mine gets decidedly warm if used on high power for a while, I mean maybe up to an hour on approx. 50% duty cycle. So far this hasn't proved problematic, but I'd rather it stayed a bit cooler.
It's cursed with the bloody useless Yaesu-Wires system that NOBODY uses, Yaesu really needs to listen to user feedback - this system is panned by virtually everybody with a Yaesu FM set - it should be written off as useless and the price dropped or else the freed up cost ploughed into other refinements.
Sound comes from the rig's belly - opposite of most ham rigs. Means an ext. speaker is more necessary for some installations.

Some of these minuses are common with lots of radios, not peculiar to this one - they're evidence of trends in how manufacturers feel they can get away with reduced cost and rig functionality, or so it seems to me!

Overall, although there's a fair list of minuses I find I still like this radio lots, and use it regularly. I especially like - and use lots - the Banks system for grouping memories into sets that make sense to you - if scanning in one locality you set your memories into a "Bank" for that place and set the scan - only those memories are scanned. If needed, memories can appear in more than a single Bank. My FT60 also has this feature, which is quite enough to set it apart from all the Chinese HTs that lack the feature.

This rig's audio on both TX and RX is loud and clear - sounds just fine both ways.

I just do not understand how some users comment that it's hard to program this radio. Perhaps those guys also need help dressing in the morning and have to use Velcro tab shoes? Honestly, the auto-shift and tone access makes programming in extra repeaters a matter of minutes to enter an extra few. If 7 characters were available for the alpha tags I'd like that better, but find that I can make do with the 6 available here. You just have to use a bit of imagination when longer names have to be truncated.

It's a solid radio in almost every way - if some of the minuses were to be removed, it'd get very close to the ideal simple 2m FM radio. But as it is, it's still a keeper for sure.
NV2A Rating: 4/5 Dec 1, 2015 20:29 Send this review to a friend
okay  Time owned: more than 12 months
I rated this radio Janary 2013 shortly after purchasing 3 of them. 2 of them died almost immediately and the 3 one is fine.

The one that works has not been turned off in over 2 years in my shop monitoring a DX club repeater. The 3d one was purchased about 2 months after the other two and from a different dealer. They may have corrected a problem in manufacturing? I am still crossing my fingers as I love the punchy audio out.
N7GWT Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2015 19:28 Send this review to a friend
Works well for APRS digi  Time owned: more than 12 months
Our club has deployed 3 ft-2900s as APRS digi-peaters and the have each now been on the air for 3 years each without a single problem. We run each at full power due to the vast distances between I-Gates here in Nevada, and have never had an issue with the transceivers. Receiver sensitivity is very good, and two of or digi's pass data direct to other digi's more than 180 miles distant. We're very pleased with the performance of the FT-2900 in our circumstance.
KM6CQ Rating: 0/5 Sep 4, 2015 19:52 Send this review to a friend
Gets hot and shuts down.  Time owned: more than 12 months
The radio is under built for the power it puts out. It will get hot and shut down. But then again the manual states, that if it is in direct sunlight it can over heat on high power, and it does. Other than that the radio works adequately.

N7XLR Rating: 4/5 Aug 13, 2015 23:12 Send this review to a friend
nice radio, hard to program  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
About 2 days after buying a Yaesu FT-60R HT, I bought one of these. The HT will be used as a mobile and portable, this will be my base station. I think it works great. It easily hit local repeaters on 5 watts, and I got great reports on the sound quality. I also didn't like the huge bulky power cable, but this thing does put out 75 watts if you are so inclined. The only real problem I had was the programming. First of all, it is possible to program way more stuff than anyone could possibly need. Second, it is easy to make a mistake with the tiny buttons when you are in a hurry, and it doesn't give you time to think about what you are doing before it cuts off. I went back the next day and got the programming software. Expensive, but now it has been successfully programmed with a ton of stuff I will never need.

I wish someone would make a simple radio where you could just look in the repeater directory (yes, I have a paper copy), use the VFO to set the frequency, key in the offset, and the repeater access code if necessary. You then try low power, and if you don't hit it, keep raising the power until you do.

I plan on doing a lot of traveling, and will need to be able to look up and tune the radio to local repeaters
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