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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-2DR

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-2DR
Reviews: 46MSRP: 640
The FT2DR is the latest Yaesu System Fusion handheld with a touchscreen and
dual band digital capability.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N3GBJ Rating: 2019-01-13
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: 2019-01-11
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: 2019-01-01
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: 2018-11-27
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: 2018-09-09
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 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.
KF6VTA Rating: 2018-07-11
What an amazing piece of equipment !! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
It is so disorienting to read some of the previous reviews about this product... that I ended having serious doubts about purchasing it. Now that I have it ( and that it is been such a good experience ) I don’t know what to think about those previously mentioned reviews.
I own an FT1XD ( japanese version ). This radio is pretty much the same interior equipment in a different shell. As with my other radio, the FT-2DR Is very sensitive while listening, those 5 full watts will get me out there ( the same as with all my other radios ). It is very nice to have the dedicated volume control on top. Not a single problem with APRS. GPS locates my device indoors with no trouble at all. Somebody said previously that the radio looks like an 80’s radio... I don’t think so. And even if it would... I love the 80’s... I host a program on comercial FM about the 80’s so... love it. Screen is big, clear in daylight and nightime. Never ( and I repeat ) never accidentally touched the screen and change any setting by mistake.. so.. maybe people needs to start using these devices as they were intented to be.
All in all I love the radio and I have lots of fun scanning the bands ( 520 to 999 mhz !!!!! ) good reception of comercial Fm, airband, ham bands, 800 band etc.. I have some wireless microphones transmiting in the 180mhz band areas and this radio picks up their signals far-away, even when the dedicated mic receivers can’t.
Having the cradle CD-41 is a very good idea to fast charge, however if you do it directly on the radio it will take a night sleep (8 hrs or so) and you’ll be ready for a new great day on the radio waves.
I’m so glad I bought this radio that I’m strongly thinking about getting a second one. That good !
KC0VOE Rating: 2018-03-04
Serious Junk Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After the firmware update, aprs stopped working. So I reflashed the firmware which fixed the aprs but now the backlight is stuck on high. It’s so bright I cannot use it in a vehicle at night. I really hate this radio. Yaesu has been screwing up badly for a long time now. Don’t buy this this thing.

Earlier 0-star review posted by KC0VOE on 2016-02-26

This is what a touchscreen would have looked like roughly 20 years ago. Extremely poorly thought out user interface. This entire radio is Halfbaked. For example, why can't I turn off the backlight to save battery. Yaesu won't let you do that. Mic gain between digital and analog have to be changed as you switch modes. Automatic mode select always cuts out audio when on analog FM. The firmware updates that have come out have been mysterious because you have no idea what is being fixed or changed just that it's an "update"

I recommend you read the critical reviews here because this radio comes with a laundry list of problems. And probably wasn't ready to be released.

I sold mine and now I'm done with Yaesu
N0ANE Rating: 2018-01-22
Updated - Firmware Improvement Time Owned: more than 12 months.
In my first review, I addressed the problem of TX audio level. Yaesu has updated the firmware, correcting the levels. Good job with support from Yaesu.

I now have the FT1XD and the FT-70DR. They are both excellent but the FT2D is the king. The touch screen interface is full of information at a glance, the dual controls on the top make for flexible control of audio or channels. The build quality is very good. The RX audio is a bit light and the GPS is a bit slow. But experience has proven this radio to be my everyday "go-to" radio.

WQ2H Rating: 2018-01-16
Everything I expected ! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had mine about 2 years now - no troubles at all. I program it through the computer, so that's fairly easy. Good performance with local repeaters, through a VHF amp, and simplex HT. Display is good, although a color display like the 991 would be really nice. I like being able to switch from single to double band display. Have used it with APRS, Wires-X, and the camera mic with no trouble. The GPS takes a while, but it does connect - not as good as the FTM-400 (could be GPS antenna placement?) but like I said it does work.

Overall, very satisfied. My positive experiences with this radio were the main reason I got a FTM-400 for the car. Never had to contact Yaesu service so I can not speak to that. (maybe that's a good thing)
AE0DC Rating: 2017-06-29
not as strong as FT60r Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I will update this later as we put it through more testing; however, I purchased this at hamvention for my wife, who just passed her general. Of course we had it shipped to MO to save taxes. When it arrived she charged it overnight and then entered our 2 local repeater freq's.
It would not activate the repeater. So I looked at the programing, tone ect all looked correct, but no joy. I pulled out my basic FT60R and it hit both repeaters (Apx 23 and 27 miles away)
So I thought we had an issue and called Gigaparts. Problem is we sent in the warranty card the same day we received the radio, and Yaesu’s policy states once the warranty card is sent, you must go through Yaesu service.
Gigaparts tried to help anyway and made calls to Yaesu "Hats off to Gigaparts for customer service" but we ended up sending to Yaesu, insured...
Say bye $40.00
Once yaesu received the unit, they sent an email saying it would take "X" weeks for repair . I ended up calling them and letting them know I owned the radio for less than a day… They expedited the service.
Say owned 1 day, weeks for warranty service.
They found nothing wrong and called to tell me this. They hoped the resets they did cleared some problem but really found nothing wrong. I received the radio back and re-tested against the FT60r and found thateven on half power, the FT60R made both repeaters, and on low power made one of the two repeaters. The FT2dr could not make either repeater even on full power. With a longer antenna, the FT2DR makes one of the 2, and in the jeep, plugged into the Jeep antenna, makes both.
yes, we did swap the FT60R and FT2DR antennas, no joy.
So basically the $400.00+ FT2DR just is not as strong as the $150.00 FT60R. We are happy with all the other aspects of the radio and are Yaesu fans so we are keeping the radio, we just understand that when it comes to transmitting at our repeater distance, the FT2DR just falls short.
Lessons learned so far….
1. Don’t fill out the warranty card right away because if there’s a problem you won’t be able to return to where you purchased for another, you will be stuck with a weeks of shipping/service, and the bill for shipping insured.
2. Just because you purchase a higher dollar radio from the same manufacture, does not mean it will be the same as or better than an older, cheaper radio.
3. Gigaparts was very responsive, my Hat is off to their customer service who tried hard and went
Beyond to try and make me happy, but their hands were tied by Yaesu in this case, who told me they did this in order to control money (Forcing service repair)
4. Yaesu was very nice, and responsive once contacted, however, to agree that maybe the FT60r
Was just more powerful than the FT2dr radio that cost almost 3x the amount was, well, disappointing.
Just to be clear, I still love my Yaesu Radio’s