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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: 86 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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KD6JXM Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2013 01:05 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a 2900R in a dune buggy... this means it is exposed to sun, sand, heat, excessive vibration and jarring.

I haven't had any issues with it as of yet... I picked this one up because of the lack of a fan thinking that sand wouldn't get in it... well I'm sorta right about that.

Sure there is some sand in the radio face, the hand mic is a bit crunchy (I use a headset in-car, the hand mic is used at camp or when we are stopped for a while and still need to communicate).

The radio has worked when my wheels are 6-8 feet off the ground... (Isn't that what they mean by a ground plane???) The radio has also worked well when I shredded a tire sliding sideways off a trail with everyone a half mile ahead of me (took that one a bit too fast).

This has been an entirely reliable radio for 3 desert seasons, the audio has been superb and I really do entrust some of my safety to it.

I would buy a second one for my other vehicles in a heartbeat... but lack of detachable faceplate and no 70cm keeps it from being used in my "in city" vehicles... of course neither of those features are designed into this radio, so it doesn't factor into the rating.
KF7GTU Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2013 07:49 Send this review to a friend
No trouble here after 16 months.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had a handful of mobile VHF/Dualband transceivers. None can touch the quality of signal, maximum output and rugged durability of this radio. Well, maybe the MaxTracs can meet the durability standard.

I have never had any trouble with this rig, does not get hot like some other reviewers are reporting, have had no issues of any kind with the radio. My calibrated MFJ meter reports slightly higher than 75 watts out (closer to 80) on some frequencies. The potentiometers & buttons are of excellent quality and will, do doubt, hold up to years of service.

My 2900 is in a mobile installation that commonly sees both on and off pavement use. Plenty of rugged, rocky terrain and bumps/jars galore. I do take it somewhat easy on my equipment otherwise, and have not directly exposed the 2900 to a rain storm, or mud bath, but in a vehicle in an area dominated by forest service access roads, deep canyons and steep hillsides, it gets it's part of the communication process done very well and with no concerns whatsoever.

As an aside, I have occasionally powered up the rig in 20 degree outside temperatures (and essentially just as cold inside the vehicle), full wattage output and have had 5-10 minute conversations. No trouble for it at all, never acted up/strange or bizarre in any way, shape or form.

If I didn't already have a properly programmed MaxTrac in another of my vehicles, that truck would have a 2900 as well.
N8ZEE Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2013 20:20 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have read the other reviews, and must say, I must be easy to please. This radio works great, and when run at 75w, it does get a little warm. I normally run it at 30w and it hits all the repeaters. I do not find any problem with the mic, it is just like all the other Yaesu radios I have. The radio seems like it is made as solid as a rock. I would recommend this radio to everybody. Feel free to e-mail me with any info you would want.
K7XFM Rating: 4/5 Feb 21, 2013 00:57 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought my FT-2900 as a replacement for my vintage Kenwood TM-231, which still works well yet lacks some of the newer features. I purchased the FT-2900 at an incredible price and have found it to be worth every dollar.

The radio performs well as a base station using a simple rooftop mounted j-pole antenna at 22'. I typically run at 5/10 watts within a 25-30 mile radius and received very clean audio reports. I can easily reach repeaters 70-80 miles away with higher power (50/75 watts).

The “Set” Menu for configuring the wide variety of transceiver parameters is navigated by the tuning knob. The extensive menu with 59 parameters requires either some memorization or the user manual nearby. Some of the descriptions aren't intuitive and locating a specific parameter can be difficult. This is not a big deal once a user is familiar with the menu but it can be rough in the beginning.

I wish the FT-2900 included a separate data port. Having to remove the mic from the RJ11 port when operating with a computer interface makes the radio less useful unless a manual work around is implemented. Depending on your needs, this point may be of little significance.

Overall, the FT-2900 is an excellent radio with lots of power and many helpful features. It lives up to Yaesu's reputation.
KT4EP Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2013 19:24 Send this review to a friend
No problems after 2 years  Time owned: more than 12 months
I must have got a good one. This radio has met and exceeded my expectations. I seldom run it at 75 watts because I let the antenna do the work. It gets hot no matter the setting, but never has failed me. I know of several Memphis hams who have them mobile and at home and are satisfied with them.
NT4I Rating: 2/5 Jan 1, 2013 12:42 Send this review to a friend
Trouble  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Segments of my display went out after less than 1 year, and this is with minimal use. YES it runs VERY HOT, so hot that it will not transmit after a short time of operation. If I want to engage in any reasonably QSO, I have to turn on an external cooling fan over the cooling fins to keep in running. I purchased it because it was reasonably priced, but in hind site, I should of paid a little more and got another brand. I did take it apart to fix the display and the interior of the radio is cheaply made. I suspect that the boards are Chinese. Next time it breaks, in the garbage it goes. I have no patience for tinkering with junk.
KF7VXA Rating: 5/5 Dec 8, 2012 18:57 Send this review to a friend
Very Pleased  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
So far, I have found little not to like about this radio. I got it for $145.00 plus a $25.00 off coupon for a grand total of $120.00 delivered, great deal.

The extra 25 watts can make the difference when needed. I do wish the microphone weighed a little more, but it's light like on my other YAESU'S.
The few little things wrong still get a 5 when you look at the low price and the great features. It is a simple radio, but sometimes simple is nice.

I did epoxy a 4" X 4" fan on the top with an off on switch, it fits right under the mounting bracket and makes a huge difference in the temp that the radio runs. I know they say the fins are enough, but I figured that keeping it cooler may avoid a trip to Yaesu to get a part that got too hot while the radio was mounted in a vehicle. Heat does do bad things over time.

Bottom line, this radio is easy to program, simple to operate and you can run it at lower wattage, but when you need the extra, it's there and waiting. It does make a difference. Maybe not like a 160 watt brick, but for the price, you can't loose.

Be sure to use as short of a run of #10 wire from the battery to the radio. I got .4 volts drop from good connections on my battery to the radio, this one sucks up the amps on 75 Watts.
When my truck is running, I'm still getting 13.7 V at the radio because the truck puts out over 14 volts when running. Just a good reminder. I'd use #8 wire on a longer run.
KQ0J Rating: 4/5 Nov 14, 2012 11:55 Send this review to a friend
Good rig for the $$$  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I picked this rig up 2 months ago - I use it daily.

The only real problem I have with it is the receiver - it seems to me a bandpass filter would help. At the home QTH I live near some broadcast facilities ( FM, TV, Paging, Cellular) and intermod is very strong on some 2M frequencies - so much that there are some frequencies that I really can not use them. Luckily none of these are my favorites so beware that if you are in a RF rich environment ( or get a bandpass filter too ).

Pros: Price - had a $20 mfr coupon, High Power is great, lots of great audio reports, easy to program ( I see no need to use computer SW - yes! ), I like the instant WX button. Good audio output.

Yeah, its gets dang hot when you talk a lot - I have a small 12V fan mounted behind it when I have it in the shack.

Cons: Out of band rejection. When you set 'low power' it goes back to high power when you change frequency so watch out if you are using a power supply that can not support the high current requirement of 75W. The mic button is sensitive as some have mentioned.
K3PRN Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2012 10:03 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I must strongly disagree with the majority of comments by "Lumpy" in the previous review. I selected the FT-2900R because of it different power levels, 5, 10, 30, and 70 watts, the large screen, the large Vol, SQL, and Tuning knobs. The five push buttons are small on the bottom the rig but I program the rig on my bench and not being a large person, had no problems with their size. I found programing to be very easy and 200 memories more than enough. As far as not being intuitive to setup, that's what manuals are for. The complaint of the top of the rig getting getting very hot is due to the fact its the RF finals heat sink! I also can not place my hand on top of my kitchen toaster oven!

I totally agree with "Lumpy" about the microphone. It feels cheap and the DTMP buttons are hard to hit. I use a finger sideways to use them and this really is an example of poor design. I do not use the clip for holding the mike but lay it down on the shack desk. In short it works but I do have to wonder for how long?

I would give the rig 4.5 dues to the mike issues, as even numbers are the only rating I selected five. Yesterday I ordered a second FT-2900R and feel they are an excellent bang for the buck. As mentioned shop around, I paid $135 for the one and prices vary up to $50.
N0EQ Rating: 0/5 Oct 23, 2012 08:15 Send this review to a friend
Silly Little Microphone  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I see only TWO pro's -

- 75w output
- Sturdy cast aluminum brick

Other than that, everything about this radio is a con, IMO. EXTREMELY non intuitive controls. Example, the switch from MEMORY to VFO is on a button labeled "MW D/MR". What in that label suggests choosing memory or VFO? The other menu choices are equally as confusing and all of them are of that typical "Push momentarily for one function, hold down for 1/2 to 2 seconds for another, hold down longer than 2 seconds for a third choice". That's hardly good engineering, particularly for a mobile rig. If you hit a menu choice button and want to get out of it, there's no clear way how to "back out". Sometimes you have to recycle the power.

But the absolutely most ridiculous "feature" of this radio is the stupid microphone. Weight of the mic is about 3 oz. Doesn't want to stay in any mic clip unless the clip is set up with a LOT of tension. When it does sit in a clip, the slightest movement of the vehicle or the mic cord wants to either push the mic out of the holder or rotate it around on it's clip button. PTT switch is very large and takes almost NOT pressure to activate. That, combined with the tiny size of the mic, means that every time you try and pick up the mic, it's likely you're activating the PTT. Sitting on my desk in the shack, I can simply brush the mic cable aside and it will rotate the mic onto it's PTT and key up the radio. DTMF buttons on the front of the mic are a joke. Each button is about the size of the positive terminal nib on a AAA battery. The labels on the button are, of course, smaller than that. Difficult to read in a well lighted shack, much less in a vehicle while moving. And the buttons are recessed with some kind of plastic ridge/guard thing around them which means about the only way to activate the DTMF buttons is to use some kind of stylus like a ball point pen to push them. No way in heck will my thumb or fingers fit into the recess to reach the buttons. The mic to radio connector is an RJ style modular, which all the manufacturers seem to think is appropriate. To remove the mic's RJ connector from the radio front panel requires some kind of tiny screwdriver or other tool. Fingers cannot grab the release tab on the RJ because it is shielded/shrouded on the front panel.

High power radio, looks like a huge, strong heat sink. Otherwise a pretty stupidly designed radio with no logical or intuitive use in real use.

Craig 'Lumpy' Lemke
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