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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Yaesu FT-2DR Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-2DR
Yaesu FT-2DR Reviews: 44 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $640
Description: The FT2DR is the latest Yaesu System Fusion handheld with a touchscreen and
dual band digital capability.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=249&encProdID=4A66D869E574453F343581B53E9FAB40
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KD5TXX Rating: 4/5 Aug 9, 2019 03:53 Send this review to a friend
Nice rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well, Iíve had this and used it a while so I feel I can review it now. I have owned and used many HTs, from different companies and this is replacing my VX7r. Iíll also compare it to the TH d72a. It is a very well built and solid radio. I bought this new for under $300. As far as APRS, the GPS connects fast. And I mean in 10 seconds or less usually. With the bigger screen, itís a lot easier to see. The 72a does have an advantage in the fact that packets donít make my conversations on the A band cut in and out....but other than that, I prefer this radio. It is by FAR the easiest to program by hand in the field. The stock antenna isnít that bad either. The battery last all day even with APRS running. Itís a great HT that I have been carrying and using for a while now and I am still learning all of the things that it can do.
 
SQ9MT Rating: 2/5 Jul 25, 2019 10:26 Send this review to a friend
The radio was not bad but it broke down after 2 y and 3 weeks  Time owned: more than 12 months
Cool radio can be said, but in the category it was once. Unfortunately, it broke down (completely) after 2 years and 3 weeks.
Currently, the YAESU company promises to repair it. I hope it will happen. I was a little disappointed, I thought that these devices are more reliable. I want to note that the seller gave the radio a warranty of only 2 years, and 3 weeks later the radio is damaged itself? A bit strange.
 
WX2WMU Rating: 4/5 Mar 15, 2019 18:32 Send this review to a friend
Great after a year!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The FT-2DR has a lot to offer and it is relatively easy to program by hand once you get used to the menu layout and logic. The touchscreen is not too sensitive and the dot matrix display is good. The first negative I wish to mention is that the radio is supplied with a very slow wall charger. I have sine purchased a rapid charger set to limit downtime. I wish a strap was supplied too.

The audio receive quality is good, excellent on C4FM Digital. It is crisp sounding even on analog communications and it is loud enough for outdoor use. The radio has a good feel and is rugged. My TX audio reports from other stations has been excellent with the adjustable Mic-Gain. I elected to purchase a Diamond 3 Db Gain antenna which works great on both 144/440. The only thing is that the radio is unbalanced and could fall over very easily if I am careless.

The battery is good enough to last all day, especially on the 100 MW or Half watt setting. I have used it for race communications and it performs very nicely. I did opt to rig a screen protector film for it to not damage the screen. the contrast is adjustable to my preference.

Overall this is a good rig for C4FM Fusion Digital & Analog true dual band radio. As a flag ship priced radio, a quick charger and strap should be supplied. Now that the radio is under $300.00 it should be considered. The FT-70DR is about a third less in cost and has some drawbacks.
 
K7LTF Rating: 4/5 Feb 18, 2019 01:27 Send this review to a friend
Good radio - Display could have been improved before launch ?  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I feel the radio is a good radio overall. The interface I felt was intuitive once you read the manual a bit. The audio sounds very good, I also have an FT70DR, and that sounds good too.

Doing the Wires X side of things is a lot easier with this radio then the 70dr. Its nice the mics between the 70dr and this radio are intercchangable.

What I DON'T like and I think is a gripe of many or most other people that have bought the radio is the display, I think there is plenty of backlight but not enough contrast by far. I can read it with my CCTV, that is basically an electroic magnifier , for the visually imparied - very clearly - but thats way to much money for sometrhing *the radio* that could have been retified in the development process. If they could have made the display as legible as lets say the ID-51A, the lack of not having a color- would be non issue for me.

The touch screen is not as sensitive as an ipod, but for what it was designed to do , it works well.

I have not used the GPS fully since I mostly use a D74A for ht GPS work, but it seemed to lock on pretty quickly and obtain a lock.

All and all in general a good radio solid build - but not perfect, largely due to the display not being very legible overall.
 
YO9IRF Rating: 2/5 Feb 6, 2019 10:19 Send this review to a friend
Half-baked  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I own the FT2D and a good set of accessories for it, including the camera mic. I also set up a small home iGate just because I got the FT2D.

Yaesu already advertises all the positive points about this radio, so I will only mention the negative ones. First of all, it won't display the saved memory's name (alpha tag), only the frequency. To be able to see it you have to go to single receive mode. Any cheap chinese handheld can do this, I wouldn't even have expected Yaesu to miss this especially on a high-end model.

Another issue is when saving a repeater to memory, it doesn't save the mode. So not only you can't even see what repeater you're on, but you need to remember if it's a digital or analogue repeater just by looking at the frequency on the screen. Feels like the dark ages of handhelds, when people had a label with repeater frequencies attached to the back of the radio !

The screen is terrible. It's a very washed monochrome (dark grey / light grey) touchscreen with resistive digitizer, like they used in the 90s. The contrast is very low and you it needs hard presses. This was launched at the same time that 7" screen full color capacitive touchscreen tablets were selling for about 1/10th of what the FT2D was. Absolute fail.

User interface in general is awful, like with any Yaesu handheld. Everything is counterintuitive and relies a lot on you remembering where things are. It uses the PTT as an "OK" button in some contexts, essential functions are hidden in menus, abbreviations don't make sense etc. They managed to make it so complicated and hard to use that there is even a separate manual just for APRS use.

Charging takes forever unless you buy the separate rapid charging cradle, the stock antenna is not great, the belt clip is attached to the battery and not to the radio body etc. Overall, expensive and poorly executed.
 
N3GBJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2019 20:29 Send this review to a friend
One of the better handelds  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had my eye on a YFS HT, used a borrowed FT1D for a while, and wasn't entirely happy with some of FT1D quirks such as having to hold a button to change volume. I was looking for a replacement for the Chinese handhelds which, FCC certified or not, typically do not meet spectrum standards under Part 97 and are a "you get what you pay for" situation. A $50 radio is a $50 radio. I enjoy using the FM broadcast feature that the typical Chinese radios (e.g. UV-5R) have and was looking for something along those lines in "name brand" and the FT2DR fits that need quite well! You can listen to the ballgame on FM broadcast while monitoring two FM repeaters (no digital) and the radio will switch back and forth as needed. This, and the fact that there is a real volume control, is am improvement over the FT-1D.


I had originally looked at the FT-70DR but it does not have the FM Broadcast bands.

I bought this radio last week when HRO put them on sale for $291 which, from what I can see, is an appropriate price for this radio. $400 is a bit steep and a bit too high to me for what it has. This is, though, one of the best handhelds that I've used and I fell that I have the right value for cost paid.

The FT2D menu concept came easy to me, I suppose, having used a FT1D and having a FTM-400. I actually found FT2D with its touch screen easier to use over the FT1D. For example, the FT2D touch screen facilitates easy changes between single and dual band operation by allowing this to be accomplished by the A/B button and touching the screen. I found myself not experiencing a high learning curve as a result but one's experiences may vary.

The FT2D provides for a 16-character "tag" for each frequency entry in memory which allows for better identifying repeaters, such as "N3KZ Princeton" The touch screen allows one to "tap" a channel to see the tag details. The touch menu system makes it easier to get to frequencies like NOAA weather and other preset receive frequencies. There are some nice AM preset frequencies but I've never had any luck receiving them, either with the FT1D or the FT2D. This may be antenna related. I would definitely explore antenna options for "out of Ham Band" listening.

I did find that there are some indicators and menu choices found on the screen that are not at all listed in the manual. These may or may not be associated with APRS or Wires-X which are detailed in supplemental manuals found on the Yaesu website. I didn't this factor to be problem with using the radio, merely a curiosity of what does what.


I would not get a programming cable and instead use a SD card and use that with RT Systems software and a PC for the cost of the card and $25 for the software. This is what I do for programming the FTM-400. You can easily cut and paste entries from one RT systems program to another and I simply did a cut and paste between the FTM-400 RT Systems program and the FT2DR RT systems program and had everything up in ten minutes. By the way, using a SD card is a good idea anyway. You can do a factory reset if you really foul up your memory choices from puttering about with it and simply import the last known good configuration from your SD card. A factory reset does not erase or affect the SD card.

Speaking of the SD card, I bought a $3.99 16G microSD card from Micro Center, supposedly a "10" level. I first though it wouldn't work as I formatted it in the FT2D, removed it from the radio and plugged into my PC, sent a configuration from the RT Systems FT2D software to the card, put it back in the FT2D, and it would see the card but not allow the data to be imported. I fixed the problem by re-formatting the card and then sending the stock configuration to the card while it was in the FT2D, then moved the SD card to the PC, imported it into the RT Systems software, then wrote my new configuration to the card after cutting and pasting my repeaters from the FTM-400 program, put it back into the radio and then the FT2D imported the information.

I found that, in some cases, my FT-60 is a better receiver on analog FM repeaters, even when I take my third-party whip off the FT-60 and use with the FT2D. My initial contacts on both digital and analog reported clear and crisp audio.


That the radio has a monochrome touch display compared to color doesn't bother me. I did put a screen protector on it to cut down on glare and prevent it from getting scratched. I had a glare screen company called "Photodon" make screen protectors for the FTM-400 and I cut down one of those to use on the FT2D.

Battery life seems to be good in the few days that I've used it. I've noticed that the GPS will hit it hard when indoors and the radio is struggling to find a signal. I am thinking of purchasing the rapid charger. Yeasu's manuals indicate the supplied wall charger will do a full charge of the supplied 2200 battery in 9 hours while the rapid charger does it in 5 hours. Important Note: The supplied wall charger typically will NOT properly work with the rapid charger. My SAD-18B supplied charger is only 10.5V whereas the CD-41 needs 12-16V. Powering the CD-41 with 10.5V may not be enough to get a real rapid charge. Additionally, the CD-41 is not supplied with a source of 12V. One can get an accessory power cord to power the FT2D from the 12V in a vehicle and the same cord and be used power the FT2D or the CD-41 from a 12V bench supply or get a wall charger that does handle 12V
In my case, I have a Yaesu PA-48B, one of the two wall adapters that Yaesu has for the CD-41, as it comes with the desk charger for my FT-60. So, if you have a FT-60, you are good to go with the CD-41 as they can both use the same wall adapter.


Overall, a great radio. I feel that it could easily become my primary "go to" HT unless I'm wanting to do D-STAR or DMR.
 
KS3J Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2019 16:51 Send this review to a friend
Super-Versatile!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I took advantage of Yaesu's holiday discount to buy this radio at a great price, $291 shipped, from HRO. I've been an Icom guy for many years, but I've become disenchanged with their recent products. My first radio was a Yaesu FT-208R so I thought I'd give Yaesu's latest and greatest a try.

I'm impressed. I'm a Yaesu ham again. The second I held this thing in my hand I knew I was going to love it. The build is solid, the controls have a great feel and are easily accessible, the screen is bright and its touch feature very responsive even to my large fingers, and the audio seemed excellent.

The built-in GPS and associated APRS functionality are wonderful! No more connecting my phone to my rig through a cable or building a tracker with a second radio. I can leave the APRS frequency in the B slot and it'll beacon for me, so I need only one radio.

The rig's broadband receive function is extremely useful, as is the bandscope, in areas other than ham radio. It's a great tool for troubleshooting analog FM wireless microphone systems, for example.

Some have complained about the cost of the programming cable, and it is both exorbitant and weird ... $80 will get you just the cable, but if you only want to spend $65 you can get a kit WITH the same cable and an adapter. Go figure. I don't have either yet, but I do have the $25 RT Systems software, and I found an old, class 4, 16GB SD card at Rite-Aid. It works perfectly and cost me $15. It's a perfect, cableless solution to the cable problem, unless and until I decide to use the new Personal Node functions which do require the cable.

Battery life is EXCELLENT. I ordered a spare battery (and since it's Lithium, I stuck with the Yaesu genuine one, which cost me dearly but will probably save me a battery fire down the road) but except for long days during public service events I don't see myself ever needing it. I bought the rapid charger cradle (which uses the same wall wart the radio charges from, but connects to the battery's charging contacts directly), a hand microphone, and the car charger, which I consider essential accessories.

For connecting a mobile antenna to the rig, I strongly and emphatically recommend a short RG-174 pigtail rather than the solid adapters that are available. I have one I bought on Amazon that's got an SO-239 at one end and an SMA male at the other, and is about 8" long. Doing it this way greatly reduces the stress on the relatively tiny SMA connector on the top of the HT. If you buy a replacement flexible antenna (and you should), buy the SMA version rather than the BNC type with an adapter, again to reduce stress on that poor little connector.

I'm extremely pleased with this radio and feel it will be much more than a simple replacement for my aging Icom IC-W32A. It's a clear step up, with features I haven't begun to scratch the surface of using.

I have very few complaints, and they're minor. One is that I wish they'd given it a BNC as the output connector. I know the trend is toward these SMAs, but they seem delicate and not at all durable, a weak point in an otherwise robust design.

Another is that the belt / clothing clip for this radio is attached to the battery, not the radio itself. Even most Chinese radios nowadays have moved away from this inconvenient setup.

Another is that you have to go three levels deep in a menu structure to turn the APRS beaconing off. (Hold DISP, touch APRS, touch APRS MODEM, and rotate the dial to OFF.) I wish there were a button under the F/MW screen to simply toggle it on and off.
 
KF7CG Rating: 3/5 Jan 1, 2019 01:10 Send this review to a friend
Ad confusing - pc programming requires extra equipment  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
As a transceiver it is very good. It does have some problems.

The radio CAN'T handle the new SD cards. Class 10 cards are too fast for the radio and DON'T work correctly. This was confirmed by Yaesu.

The computer software supplied as a download from Yaesu WON'T work for the first time without using an SCU-19 cable an approx. $80 option. Yaesu makes no mention of these limitations in the sales literature nor do they think it is a problem.

The RT Systems software will work with an SD card method but runs into the class problem with the SD card.
 
KR9B Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2018 01:32 Send this review to a friend
Love it!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Been a ham since 1992 and this is my third ht. I've got it hooked up to my Diamond SG7900 dual band antenna. I have been able to hit all the local repeaters with 0.10 watt.
 
NQ4T Rating: 4/5 Sep 9, 2018 18:59 Send this review to a friend
It's Been A Good One  Time owned: more than 12 months
Like many hams in the last few years, I started off with a Chinese HT that my limited budget would allow. So just after Christmas of 2016, I decided to atone by getting a "real HT". Our local club had purchased a Fusion repeater when Yaesu was doing the deal on them; and by this time I had "given up" on my "no proprietary" principal since it was clear, that's where digital was going to stay. I swallowed my words and picked up the FT2D on sale. I don't remember what I paid, but it more than I ever thought I'd spend on an HT.

Besides wanting to play with the new Fusion equipment, I picked this HT up because of its built-in GPS with APRS. I had been really playing around with APRSDroid into my cheap HT....even building a cable for two-way reception; so the idea of having a radio with a dedicated TNC that still allowed me to keep a VFO available for general use was great. I was also attracted by what I thought was it's "aggressive" look with the big touchscreen and nice lines.

The nice large touchscreen is nice...as a large screen. It displays quite a bit of information that's easier to read than HT's with smaller displays. The touchscreen function itself feels like an afterthought. While you can tap (or push very hard) on the screen to access some things, I still find myself using the knobs to scroll through menu functions. If you want to punch in a memory location in memory mode, or a frequency in VFO mode; it's ok. For accessing specific menu functions after accessing the menu, it's ok for that. Everything else is clunky. Tapping out messages on the onscreen keyboard is a chore, the screen isn't large or sensitive enough for the task. You can get it done, but you might have a lot of accidental presses you need to clean up. I also found accessing the buttons right on the edge of the screen is almost impossible.

The radio itself has kind of a learning curve, many features you might normally see aren't where you'd expect them or are named weird. Like the backlight for the LCD, which by default is always on, is listed as "lamp" in the display section...which may or may not make some sense to people. Of course, there's no keypad, so a lot of functions you'd normally access with a button shortcut are accessed through one of the multiple menus you can bring up. This could be good or bad depending on your view. On my D74 changing power requires pressing "Function" and "Menu" each power step; on the FT2D it means tapping the virtual "F(MW)" button and then tapping "TXPWR", where you then use the knob to select your power output. I call this a tossup...I can easily go from high to super low with fewer presses on the FT2D. But, this is the same with any menu driven radio; except this one is pretty much 100% menu driven. It will require spending time with the manual, carrying the "quick guide" with you to refer to, and just time until you get adjusted. If you're looking for a radio you can just pull out of the box and instantly use; well you might have some problems. It took me a couple of weeks but I got the hang of it.

Reception and TX are fairly good. With third-party "bigger" antennas it performs fantastically well. FM is pretty good. Fusion mode is pretty good too, though your use of Fusion will depend on what you want to use it for. I primarily have used this thing on FM and it's never given me a problem for that. Again, changing some options, like the CTCSS mode, can be done directly from one of the various menus...bringing me back to the fact it's a menu driven radio. But, I'm young, I should be used to that by now. The general coverage receive is fine if you're just looking for AM or FM listening. I will say hooked up to an external antenna that it's broadcast AM reception is on par for most digital radios...and it's WFM reception for broadcast is pretty good. IT really all depends on the antennas for that. The simple band-scope can be fun for finding either simplex activity or scanning general coverage areas looking for signals. No, it's not the best band-scope and it's not exactly real-time, but it will give you an idea of where you might find signals. Handy if there's no local FM activity and you want to pass the time listening to business bands.

APRS seems to work really well, and the internal GPS receiver has decent reception. Sitting on the front seat of the car has never resulted in GPS reception issues. It features "SMART" beaconing as well, but you can also pick time-based or manual beaconing. I have successfully sent APRS messages over it, and you can pre-store several messages and TX Status texts to choose from. The APRS popups can be annoying since they "lock" you from doing anything the duration they're displayed, but you can go into the menus and change which ones do in fact popup. Sadly if you're in a QSO and not transmitting, the APRS will still fire. Not being a full-duplex radio means even if you're in a QSO on 440, APRS packets can interrupt what the other person is saying.

The WIRES-X function seems to work. I wasn't that impressed with WIRES-X and never used it much. The "Group Monitor" function is also something I never bothered to configure or play with.

I will say the radio has been pretty tough. It's gotten dropped a number of times and has only done visual damage. Mine has quite a few knicks and scratches on the body and the screen, but neither has failed me. It seems to be fairly water resistant; at the last hamfest I worked it poured rain the entire day and there weren't many times when mine wasn't somehow wet; in fact, I assumed that would be the death of the radio. It wasn't. I'm not saying it'll survive getting dropped in water or saturated during hurricane force rains...but it didn't seem to mind getting somewhat rained on. Internal charging of the battery is very slow which you can solve by getting the charging cradle and connecting it to a good 13.8V source. The radio itself will gladly accept 13.8V directly, though I don't know if that helps to charge. Leaving mine in the car most of the time and the temperature changes made the battery act like it gave up, but it still lasts the better part of a day.

The major complaint I have is the belt-clip screws into the battery rather than the radio; meaning you either need to unscrew it every time or just buy more belt clips for your batteries.

Over the last almost two years I've been happy with it. It's survived all the abuse I can give it.
 
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