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Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FTM-400DR Help

Show all reviews of the Yaesu FTM-400DR

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KC2YQF  Rating: 3/5 Jul 7, 2014 08:29  Send this review to a friend!
Good technology, kludgy interface  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've spent some time with this radio, testing it and the System Fusion with the local club. I'm not a big Yaesu user, so some of my thought on the interface structure may be not applicable only to this model.

As others have mentioned, this radio only has a detachable head. There does not appear to be any configuration where you can mount it, or the bracket, to the unit itself. Fortunately it comes with a very long cord to connect the display, and I used a cell phone suction mount to put it on the windshield of my vehicle. The microphone cable is comically short in comparison, only a couple of feet long, which precludes remote mounting without extending it. The microphone's transmit button is insanely sensitive, it's way easy to brush it and key up, even unintentionally.

Not being a Yaesu user, I had hoped to use this radio out of the box without too much trouble, but I found myself going back to the manual time and again to figure out where something was or how to get to it. Despite the size of the manual, for some reason you have to go and get PDFs of the APRS and GM manuals. Even with the GM manual we could not get that function to do anything between digital radios.

This radio really wants you to use the System Fusion, with the D(X) and GM buttons taking up physical button space. It seems to transmit periodically as a poll or beacon when you have it in DM mode, much to the dismay of others on frequency, but it will switch back to FM automatically.

The touch screen interface is bright and clear, easy to see. There are no "notches" for the volume or tuning knobs, they rotate easily, for better or worse. Trying to operate the touch pad mobile is impossible, having to press and hold or poke squares that are not readily responsive. As others have noted, you're getting some software to program this, or you will be pressing buttons all day to populate the memory. The supplied USB cable doesn't do anything for programming, just writing new firmware to the radio.

Again, though, audio quality, sensitivity, the output level from the built-in speaker, are all up to par for a mobile transmitter, in my opinion. If you don't need the System Fusion mode, then you perhaps would find it best spending your money on a different radio, with a better interface. 
Product is in production.
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