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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Yaesu FT-50R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-50R
Yaesu FT-50R Reviews: 83 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $200
Description: Dual band 2m/70cm HT with scanner
Product is in production.
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N0UY Rating: 4/5 Sep 27, 2015 15:28 Send this review to a friend
Quite Surprised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got this HT at a hamfest from a fellow selling an estate. He said the power button is iffy and he wasn't sure if it worked or not. Gave him $20 and it came with the speaker mic and quick charger with a good battery. The darn thing works like a champ. It probably has all the short comings listed in many of the reviews but for the price I can afford to give it to one of our newbie hams. Besides, many of the reveiws here say it's a great little rig. All I know so far is it has great receive audio on the ham bands and all reports so far say excellent tx audio with the speaker mic.
N1EE Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2013 12:30 Send this review to a friend
Great Dual Band HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a great HT. The only reason to get rid of it is to replace it with one with more features such as more bands.

The on--off button can be replaced with a lower profile button as many complain these radios turn themselves on--that was the big complaint about these on--off buttons. I have the button which Yeasu provides for free, but have not bothered installing it, as it has never been a problem for me.

I've had mine for, I think, 17 years and it still works well except for the batteries, I replaced again recently and promptly dropped it--it still works buy the case of the battery split open. Batteries are cheap and I'm ordering two new ones today--one slim and one chubby. The chubby battery is nice for standing up the radio. The slim one is great for shirt pocket carry.

I don't usually use HT's. I like base stations and mobile rigs. Still this HT has grown on me and I intend to keep it and the other one I acquired. The other one was a gift to my brother. It was beat up and cheap when I bought it and worked fine for my brother for ten years until one of the battery contact pins broke. I intend to send it back to Yeasu for repair. I like having two of these now.

I also have the programing software, which while it has a few bugs, works fine for me. I have these opened up for emergency marine band use, as I'm a boater. I'll use these when cruising in my boat for people on shore to keep in touch with the mother-ship on the ham bands--as this offers more privacy. I also use these for NOAA weather reception. Furthermore, I use these for cordless microphones to connect to my dual band set in cross band repeat mode.

It is a feature packed radio, with more features than you will ever use. I installed the fancy keypad on this HT, I forgot the part number. Not sure if that is worth it. I tried some aftermarket antenna without much luck. The stock antenna works well from my hilltop location getting into my club repeater which is 10 miles away. It also reaches across long Island Sound the another repeater--20 miles away, with full quieting.

These are tough durable radios that can take a mil-spec beating and will out-last any battery you buy for them. I'd much rather have a used FT-50R than any of the current Korean, or Chinese HT's on the market.

Plug into a car charger or a wall charger, and these put out full 5 watt power.

I often carry mine with a slim battery and the car charger for the best of both worlds. Slim battery and full power.

I've read some people dislike the belt clip. It works great and has never broken on me. It can be removed if you want the slim battery without it for shirt or suit pocket carry.

I'd say Yeasu hit a home run with this HT.


Programming is a bit of a pain, like most HT's without software. Software is not mandatory, but it is very nice if you have more than one of these and want each programmed identically.

I fully expect these two HT's to last me a lifetime. I would only consider buying another HT if it gave me the privacy of a band like 33cm.
N2WSC Rating: 0/5 Nov 21, 2012 18:23 Send this review to a friend
awful little radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
if you are in a city like manhattan the front end can't handle it at all, intermod world! with just using the rubber duck. the back light is really dim so you might lose your sight ! the rx is pretty sensitive at the cost of selectivity, and finally the nicad battery is pretty bad.
don't waste your money.
N3ATS Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2012 22:48 Send this review to a friend
Easy Power Button Fix  Time owned: more than 12 months
This radio is plagued with a power button that, over time, ceases to work. Apparently there is some sort of conductive material on the rear of the button, that when pressed, makes contact with a trace on the PCB. This deteriorates over time and prevents the radio from being powered on/off.

A simple fix for this? A small piece of aluminum foil and some crazy glue. Simply cut out a small circle of foil that will fit on the rear of the button and glue it on.

Problem solved. I did this "repair" to my FT50 and it works flawlessly. Just be careful not to get any crazy glue on the foil that will touch the PCB, as crazy glue is NOT conductive.

WF3H Rating: 1/5 Jul 24, 2012 12:19 Send this review to a friend
Not a good radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'll split this into 2 sections: technical and mechanical operations.

Technically this is a great radio. It's flexible, easy to open up and is very stable on both VHF and UHF. It's nice to have the voltage on the display so you can check the battery condition. It's water resistant so can be used in a marine environment.

Mechanically, it's the worst HT around, and that's saying something. The batteries slide onto the back and never really mate properly with the radio so it's constantly cutting in and out. The PTT button is on a corner of the radio so your thumb always slips off. The power connector is hard to engage so you're never sure the radio's charging properly AND it a weird size that NO ONE stocks, so you have to buy the $25 power cables from Yaesu.

I do a fair amount of emergency service work. There are plenty of HT's on the market. Do yourself a favor. Get one of the others.
KA2AYR Rating: 4/5 May 18, 2010 20:21 Send this review to a friend
Still have mine...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought mine in 1999 and still have it as my primary 2 meter/440 HT. Guess I was fortunate to not get a lemmon. It has its quirks, like the channel selector knob jumps to a channel out of order every few clicks, but the rest of it works fine. It's a little hard to figure out without the manual, but they are readily downloaded by plugging FT-50R in a search engine. Programming via software is much easier than keypad entry. Has held up over time.
KJ4PBV Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2010 17:09 Send this review to a friend
A Great First Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I just got my license in September 2009. I am 12 years. My grandad who got me interested in ham radio gave me his old FT-50r when I got my license. I used it as my main radio until I got a FT-7900r for Christmas. I now have a VX-8r that I use for my main HT, but I have to say I couldn't have asked for a better first radio. I waas able to hit almost all of the repeaters in Richmond. I know it is an older radio but it is great HT.
W9CN Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2009 15:52 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased mine when I was first licensed in 1997. Purchased the Yaesu rapid charger for it and a couple of the Yaesu batteries along with the RT System programing software and cable.

Until the FT-60 came out it was my go to use every day HT. Packed it in my briefcase and flew it with me everywhere (100K miles per year for many years). Developed the power on/off issue a couple of years back and W6AUN fixed it with a daub of conductive silver paint.

It always worked and worked well. Other than the power switch it was a 100% radio. Dropped, kicked and generally used to death it always ran and ran well.

It has now been relegated to being my DF receiver or to loan to my son as he studies for his ticket. I use the AA pack these days as the nicads are hard to find and it doesn't get much transmit use any more.

My FT-60 has taken its place as my go to everyday radio but the FT-50 is still at it after 12 years and that folks is a testament to how good that radio is/was.
WW5AA Rating: 5/5 Mar 9, 2009 14:17 Send this review to a friend
Takes a beating...  Time owned: more than 12 months
After reading the reviews it seems I got lucky. Bought mine for $50 on eBAY. I'm not a VHF/UHF kinda guy, but after years of folks wanting to talk to me at hamfests, I picked this little radio up five years ago. This poor thing spends it's life in the glove box and only gets used about 4/5 times a year. I have forgotten to charge it after a hamfest and still have it work two or three months later. I have dropped it several times without so much as a nick (the rubber case is great if your a clutts like me). I think this is about the only dual band HT I'll ever need. By the way since it was used, I would not have given it a bad rating here if there had been issues with it.

73 de Lindy
W8LHT Rating: 2/5 Feb 13, 2009 18:05 Send this review to a friend
HELP ANYONE  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just got the FT-50R, used, and even though the display shows full output power, the radio is only outputting milliwatts. I was told to try a hard reset, but don't have a manual, and haven't found it on-line. Anyone know how? Anyone had output power problems? Please respond.
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