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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FTM-350R with APRS Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FTM-350R with APRS
Yaesu FTM-350R with APRS Reviews: 65 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $780
Description: The Yaesu FTM-350R dual band mobile transceiver operates on 2 meters and 70 centimeters. And that is with a full 50 watts of reliable power on both bands. And even QRP 220 MHz (1 watt) is supported (USA version only). It has two separate receivers with dual speakers on the rear of the control head. The controls are easy to use. On the left receiver enjoy the AM, FM and stereo FM broadcast bands with extended receive: 0.5-1.7, 76-108, 108-250, 300-1000 MHz (less former cellular frequencies). The right receiver covers 108-250, 300-1000 MHz (less former cellular frequencies). Enjoy 500 memories with alpha tagging for the left band and 500 for the right band (total 1000) plus 9 DTMF memories. And the FTM-350R menu system is easy to use. There is also stereo line inputs available. This radio has a built-in TNC for APRSŪ applications. Cross-band repeat is supported. The FTM-350R is ready to accept the optional FGPS-1 internal GPS receiver-antenna. The front panel is easily remoteable with the 10 foot included cable. A 20 foot remote cable is available optionally. There is a front panel built-in microphone activates PTT transmission. Please note that the control head does not directly mount to the radio body. Supplied with: MH-48A6JA DTMF hand mic, Front panel suction type mounting bracket, DC power cable, 10 foot control panel cable, speaker cable, spare fuse and Owner's Manual.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=106&encProdID=33C814E3D04C92310507ECDE68CC3C01&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0
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K2OOL Rating: 3/5 May 16, 2014 14:45 Send this review to a friend
FTM-350AR  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this radio on a whim and I do like Yaesu but the Menu driven system on these new radios is a big pain in the you know what.I liked the older Press F then 1 and press and hold F then 1 kind of system to do basic functions that yaesu used for years.Menu systems are too much WORK!
The receiver was very very sensitive and the transmit audio was LOUD and clear.I was not a fan of the cheesy little baby speakers they put in the control head and for $500 this should not have modules you have to buy,it should be built in!!! APRS GPS and Voice announce is optional.
Overall it works ok.Selectivity is poor,on 146.850 I can hear 146.880 spatter.It was connected to my TV for amplified speakers since I did not enjoy any of the built in speakers.So I had a Tv that did ham and when noone was talking I had full FM STEREO radio!Pretty cool,huh?
Power output was 50 watts like it advertised on both bands,220 was great as long as I was base.
1 watt is funny,isnt it?Come on Yaesu,give us 50 on 220mhz,TYT does.A better alternative to this is a Kenwood TM742A.
I had to replace the volume potentiometers on both sides,since they are cheap.
 
N4MJG Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2014 20:55 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great Rig for the big display ! easy to see for my eye.i never have any problem or any issue with this rig what so ever !

That something i keep it in my truck for long time ! :)


73
Jackie
N4MJG
 
WD0FIA Rating: 4/5 Mar 24, 2013 06:59 Send this review to a friend
Follow up review after 3 years.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have often had questions on my initial review of the FTM-350R. After three years of ownership, my opinion has changed, and I would like to be fair.

The cons are:
The radio was released with some serious "bugs'. I never could get the supplied suction mount to be acceptable. The unit does not have all the features of my Kenwood V71 with the RC-710 control head. The unit will not digipeat.

The positive items that have changed my opinion:
Software updates corrected the lock up / freezing issue. A mount from Pro-Fit works great. The large display is easy to read at all times. For mobile use I do not see a need to digipeat. If Yaesu had ever responded to emails, I would probably give it a "5".
 
KD6G Rating: 3/5 Sep 12, 2012 20:51 Send this review to a friend
Great for what it does  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Well per all the shortcomings per previous eHam opinions on this radio, I would like to add a few comments.
This is a great radio with a BIG display and you don't need a manual or notes to operate most of the functions even mobile in traffic.
The display colors and contrast have more adjustments than any other radio on the market. I find marine blue, contrast 5, and brightness 3 looks great to me.
Sensitivity and noise rejection is also excellent if you hardwired it right per proper grounding base or mobile.
The stock mic puts out an excellent flat pattern for FM work. Just don't abuse the mic and you will be fine.

Still their suction cup mount sucks. Yaesu give us more options! I'm a hardwire guy for mobile so I have to goto both Pro-Fit and Lido to get a clean combination for a mobile install. As for a base go buy a cheap 5x7 picture frame. Throw away the frame and keep the glass. Buy some of that kitchen shelving no-slip drawer liners (in black) and put underneath the glass. Then mount the head/suction cup to the glass. Now it's a solid mount and looks great atop my Yaesu SP-2000 speaker.

Speakers. The remote head and main speakers are interesting but not very useful especially in mobile environment. On the rear speaker output a mono plug won't work as the output is for two separate speakers requiring a stereo plug. With one mono speaker you will hear great on the left but crappy on the right. Goto http://tim-yvonne.com/ham/ftm-350r/ to get both channels to work on one speaker. I know being an electronics engineer I'm still trying to figure out where the ground connection is, but it actually works and sounds great on my SP-2000.

Then again two speakers work great if you are going to use the broadcast FM stereo abilities of the unit. Why they added this ability to an Amateur radio I don't know. Every car I have driven for the last 30 years had FM stereo!

If you are seriously into APRS then go for the Kenwood TM-D710A and the AvMap G6. Yaesu's version is limited vrs Kenwood getting it right. Then again the Kenwood versions with display will set you back $1000.00 plus mounts.

Overall this is a great 2m/440 radio with a big display that you can easily control without having to lookup up something in the manual. Still the FTM-400D will be released soon so let's see if Yaesu got it right this time.

Regards,
George
KD6G
 
AB9XI Rating: 4/5 Aug 26, 2012 18:26 Send this review to a friend
Low Audio Fix  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use this radio mobile exclusively and so far it's proven to be quite bullet-proof. Like several others have noted, the right side audio is low when connecting a single external speaker. I came across the FTM-350R information pages Mike Mercury posted that document how to wire a 3.5mm stereo plug to the external speaker cord to correct this problem. You'll find this information as well as other FTM-350R tips at:

http://tim-yvonne.com/ham/ftm-350r/
(posted with Mike's permission)

I performed the external speaker fix on my external speaker and for a friend that has a FTM-350R in his truck. Both of us are much happier with the audio level on the right side and neither has experienced any issues with our radios. I highly recommend doing this if you use a single external speaker.

I saw a reviewer express concern with the knobs sticking out quite far. My head unit has fallen off the dash numerous times, almost always without any damage as a result. The right VFO know was bent on one occasion, prompting a call to Yaesu support. They were good to work with and offered to send me replacement parts if I was comfortable with a soldering iron, or I could send it in. I chose to send it in, but since there was nothing to lose, I tried straightening the knob myself. It bent back straight with no problem and has been working fine ever since. I didn't need to send the radio in but it's comforting to know support is good to work with if you need them.

I have the GPS module installed in the head unit and run APRS fairly often, especially on longer trips. I've had a number of enjoyable QSOs - both simplex and on nearby repeaters - as a direct result of APRS information popping up on the display.

I'm very happy with my decision to purchase the FTM-350R for mobile use!

73, Rick
 
AB7CC Rating: 2/5 Aug 21, 2012 11:11 Send this review to a friend
Over looked problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this rig in my car for a year and a half and as far as talking and listening on both 144 and 440 mhz I find that this radio aside from the low volume works as well as any rig I have
used. I purchased it because like so many of us older hams, my vision requires me to use reading glasses and that was the main reason this large display attracted me. I have since found that just because I can now see the frequency I am on, doesn't mean I can read the functions of the buttons below the screen. I remember trying to find the REV. button to talk to a friend monitoring a repeater that I could not hit from the mobile. I had to stop the car and put on reading glasses to find it.
This radio would be a great base unit except for all of the mobile functions that would be waited
such as GPS and APRS along with the waist of money dished out for the external GPS antenna and speaker.

I also hate all of the menus needed and the need to carry the owners manual because I operate the
radio much more often than change the settings and do not remember how to navigate to a desired
setting in the menu. After using the radio for 3 days, I was driving down the road and pressed a
button with out looking and found I had changed to the GPS mode and I had no idea how to get back
to the 2 meter display.

The reason I am writing this review today is because a friend put up a 220 MHz repeater last week nd I found that I had a heck of a time trying to figure out how to tune the rig to his frequency and that once I did get it programed in and saved to memory, I couldn't even bring up his repeater with the puny 1 watt. What a waist 1 watt is in a mobile radio. If Yeasu had at least put a separate SO-239 for the 220 band, I could put an amp in line to use the band. I have been in contact with one of the amplifier manufactures and was told that I would have to isolate the 220 MHz Transmission from the other two band transmissions or I would destroy the amplifier because of the amount of power that the radio puts out on the other bands.

The engineers at Yeasu are so smart that operators like myself can not use the radio as well as they designed it to be used. More than a couple of times I have grabbed the mike and checked into a local net and found that no one heard me because I was transmitting on the other frequency. If the folks at Yeasu were as smart as they think they are, they would have included an input scan. Unlike a band or memory scan, an input scan would lock onto which ever band had activity on it and with a press of the PTT button the radio would quit scanning the two inputs and remain on the active input until the input scan is started again.

I have since been looking for a tri-bander to use at the QTH like a TM-742A, TM-741A, or a TM-641A and wondering why all of the radio manufactures have given up making and selling tri-banders. Like I said, I have been trying to get a tri-bander and there are a number of them showing up on the internet, they don't stay listed for sale for very long. I would guess that unless they are over priced for used equipment, the average time they stay listed is less than one day. Let me restate that, tri-banders WITH 220 MHz. 10 meters, 6 meters, and 1.2 GHz models don't sell nearly as well and the 220 MHz modules are almost impossible to find. Yeasu has sure missed out with this radio when it comes to being an all around great radio because of a few silly things that they over looked or thought were
not important enough to make them usable.
 
GI0ZGB Rating: 4/5 Jul 3, 2012 02:08 Send this review to a friend
New Kid On The Block  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got mine a few weeks ago, firmware 1.6 (EXP) equivalent to firmware 1.3 elsewhere. Good TRX performance, the lack of memory banks is a serious design blunder given the wideband coverage, the knobs and buttons have a cheap made in China feel to them, the display, while large and very visible, is let down by the colour selection and contrast adjustments.
APRS works well with the built in unit, the voice unit is a useful addition for the white stick operator and mobile use as is bluetooth.
The only problem I had was most likely caused by a violent thunderstorm when the QTH took a direct lightening strike.
The 350 was not connected to an external antenna but to the WondrWand multi bander, but after the power outage the rig was slow to start and the SET menu function was gone as were the memories, no TX and a faint audio hiss, eventually the screen froze completely.
Firmware version 1.6 is as rare as hens teeth, but Sam of Yaesu UK emailed the files and once installed all issues were resolved.
For those who seek I uploaded a copy to Yahoo Groups: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ftm-350/files/ - Removed at request of Yaesu UK - no reason given!
However, after having a hissy fit, due to the difficulty getting the update, I ordered a new Kenwood TM-D710 and AVMap G6 unit, so it will be interesting to see how both rigs compare head to head.
73 Gerry.
 
GI0ZGB Rating: 4/5 Jul 2, 2012 11:17 Send this review to a friend
New Kid On The Block  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got mine a few weeks ago, firmware 1.6 (EXP) equivalent to firmware 1.3 elsewhere. Good TRX performance, the lack of memory banks is a serious design blunder given the wideband coverage, the knobs and buttons have a cheap made in China feel to them, the display, while large and very visible, is let down by the colour selection and contrast adjustments.
APRS works well with the built in unit, the voice unit is a useful addition for the white stick operator and mobile use as is bluetooth.
The only problem I had was most likely caused by a violent thunderstorm when the QTH took a direct lightening strike.
The 350 was not connected to an external antenna but to the WondrWand multi bander, but after the power outage the rig was slow to start and the SET menu function was gone as were the memories, no TX and a faint audio hiss, eventually the screen froze completely.
Firmware version 1.6 is as rare as hens teeth, but Sam of Yaesu UK emailed the files and once installed all issues were resolved.
For those who seek I uploaded a copy to Yahoo Groups: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ftm-350/files/
However, after having a hissy fit, due to the difficulty getting the update, I ordered a new Kenwood TM-D710 and AVMap G6 unit, so it will be interesting to see how both rigs compare head to head.
73 Gerry.
 
WZ6P Rating: 4/5 Jun 3, 2012 16:28 Send this review to a friend
Good Dual Bander with APRS  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I like this rig alot. It is very easy to use and has an excellent receiver. I have not yet had a voice qso so I can't comment on any signal reports. I purchased the optional software/hardware kit from RF Systems to handle the complex menu options. I strongly recommend this as you'll spend mucho time programming otherwise. If you like APRS, you'll be thrilled!

The construction is top notch!

Regarding the mobile mounting bracket assembly:
I applied the adhesived backed die cut plastic donut to the dash top and then mounted the suction cup to this. After about 1 day the head unit toppled over. Well, it turns out that I did realize the donut had a protective membrane on the top as well. I removed that and now the head unit has been securely attached for 3 months.

I recommend this rig!

73, Ken wz6p
 
W3DBB Rating: 4/5 May 25, 2012 06:07 Send this review to a friend
FM receive needs improvement  Time owned: more than 12 months
My FTM-350R is a non-APRS model. I bought it for the large display that sticks to the top of the dashboard for easy viewing. The combination of the suction cup mount with the adhesive pad underneath is holding up fine after more than a year since installation. Display parameters have several options to find the one that is right for conditions. The display is first-rate.

I use an external speaker and find the audio output amplifier in the FTM-350R to be a bit on the light side, but my second generation S-10 Blazer is fairly noisy going down the road. This might not be an issue in a quieter vehicle, but frankly the lack of receiver audio output was first noted when I was testing the transceiver in my house prior to vehicular installation. I don't notice this deficiency on any other FM HT or mobile rig I own.

I only use the rig for FM voice. On receive I find the receiver AGC to be too fast for my liking, but this may have been optimised for APRS operation. One menu choice I wish it had but alas it does not.

I use this rig mobile with a Diamond SG7500NMO antenna mounted to the luggage rack on my SUV. This antenna is a half-wave on 2 meters and two 5/8ths wave on 70 cm. I find the receive section in the FTM-350R a bit too susceptable to broadband noise like CATV system leakage. Increasing the stepped squelch setting takes out the broadband noise but also clips the desired signal. To be fair to Yaesu, I do live in a fringe area for VHF and UHF.

This is only a problem on 2 meters but part of this problem- not all of it- goes with the territory. I own a pair of Icom IC-2100H's. Their receivers are superior to that of the Yaesu FTM-350R's VHF unit when it comes to rejecting unwanted noise.

I use rejection of these types of noise as a benchmark for mobile and handheld VHF/UHF receivers. On UHF, the receiver section of the FTM-350R is devoid of intermittent white noise. The combination of the FTM-350R on 70cm with the two 5/8ths wave antenna works much better than the VHF side in this radio.

I find programming of and the menu system in this rig a snap. Yaesu spent a lot of time on ergonomics in recent years and it shows. IMO there is no need for programming software and connecting cables. I will express the caveat I have found this to be the case will all VHF/UHF mobile/handheld rigs I own, perhaps a dozen in all.

I too am a bit concerned with the protruding rotary encoders on the control head which control RX frequency independently on VHF and UHF. Having two controls is nice but the way they stick out worries me.

The included hand microphone is a cheap, Chinese-made affair that will not hold up in a vehicle. Unfortunately this microphone seems to be the standard issue Yaesu hand mic included with their transceivers for many years. The thrifting is unacceptable. On a base rig, you can get away with it but it will not hold up in a mobile environment.

Yaesu redesigned the rig with a new suction cup mount and software changes for running the APRS. This rig is now sold as the FTM-350AR. I bought my FTM-350R when HRO was closing them out with a bit of a price break. A better receiver and I could have given the FTM-350R a "5" rating.

The large display IS nice for aging eyes.

 
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