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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
KB5PRZ Rating: 2017-05-11
Good but not great Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I am a long time Yaesu customer and own a FT1DR. In my boating life I also use Standard Horizon radios and really love my HX870 handheld VHF marine radio. I bought the FT2DR with the hope of enjoying some of the same features--namely the large screen interface.

The radio itself is fine and does its job, but my belief is that if you're going to put a GPS in a device like this you need to improve the radio's internal software to enable better GPS functions. For example, it would be a simple matter to allow users to input GPS waypoints into this radio and then do routefinding with those waypoints--much like the HX870 offers. I have to assume the firmware on this radio is too entrenched in the FT1DR legacy to allow for this improvement.

One major gripe with this radio: it ships with a standard USB cable that is fine for updating the firmware, but will not work if you want to use the ADMS-8 (or any other variety) software to manage the settings and memories. It would be nice if the manual explicitly stated this fact. You will have to buy the SCU-18 or SCU-19 cable, or get one from RT systems. I have an SCU-19 from my FT1DR so that's how I'm programming the radio these days.

Improved GPS receiver, good audio, easier interfacing with the radio--these are worthwhile improvements, but the same company (Standard Horizon) is producing the HX870 with far better features. Let's get the marine and amateur radio divisions at Yaesu to start talking to each other.
KA5IQX Rating: 2017-03-28
Lots of options .. Nice Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
It seems that many of the other reviews tend to focus on disappointment with the display screen. While it could be more colorful .. and perhaps have a little sharper image .. I found it to be perfectly functional, with no difficulty in viewing. Certainly not a "deal-breaker".

Like many of the "ham" radios of today .. this one had a bit of a "learning curve". I spent quite a while trying to familiarize myself with the basic menu approach .. and attempting to understand how to manually set up and program all of the frequencies and features I wanted. Yes .. I said "manually program". I know. I know. I'm an old "fuddy-duddy" for not using the "almost instant" .. sometimes successful .. computerized, super fantastic .. "semi-sort of automatic" .. "done in the blink of an eye" .. software .. hardware .. dinnerware approach. But ... my way works too. And with my method, I have yet to turn a radio into a useless "brick" because of some downloaded "Oops glitch". So there. To each their own. As the old saying goes .. "Whatever floats your frequency."

Besides .. if I go through the self-torture and agony of doing it manually .. there's at least a chance that I might remember what I did when something takes place out in the field, where I need to change or program something into the radio .. with no magic computer programing available. ( Please make note that I said there might be a "chance" that I would remember how to re-program the radio. Only a "chance". )

Actually, once I began to get the feel of it .. and programed a few things into it .. I quickly became more comfortable with the operation of it .. and in fact .. I'm thus far very pleased. I got the APRS beaconing activated and working fine .. and have also been able to dip my toe into the waters of the new C4FM "System Fusion" that Yaesu offers. It's nice that the radio is able to do so much .. in such a convenient package.

Is it perfect? Of course not. And since I haven't had it that long .. it's certainly possible that something could go wrong tomorrow .. and I would then become .. "Not a happy camper". But .. at this point, I don't think the radio deserves the low ratings that I've seen on this review site so far. I have yet to see any piece of "ham" equipment that was absolutely the "perfect" rig .. so there will always be good things and bad about most anything. But I believe this FT-2DR handheld is a pretty darned good radio.

I do find it irritating that the major "ham" equipment manufacturers are getting skimpy .. and often force us to download and print out the manuals for their merchandise. I like a physical, paper manual to thumb through .. and the companies seem to think that WE should spend more money using OUR paper and OUR ink to produce a manual which should have been included with our purchase. Really, really irritating.

In the case of the Yaesu FT-2DR .. there was a fairly good basic manual included. But .. the APRS specifics were in an on-line manual that had to be downloaded and printed here on my little trusty printer. ( And of course, the print-outs will have to be put in a binder, to keep the information somewhat organized .. as opposed to being just a pile of random APRS .. FT-2DR .. EIEIO out-of-order "stuff". ) Bummer.

Anyway .. overall I think it's a fine little radio, and for the limited time that I've had it .. I have no major complaints. If you want to conserve battery power .. it's easy to turn off the GPS and APRS if they aren't needed. And you can adjust the time at which the back-lighting will shut off, if the radio touch-screen or buttons aren't being used.

Some have complained that since it has "touch-screen" controls .. they often unknowingly hit or touch something that changes a frequency or mode ..etc. That should be no problem either. It's quite simple to turn the "lock" feature on and off. Nothing to it. No more accidental changes. The more I use it .. the more I like it. I'm really warming up to this rascal.

W2GT Rating: 2017-01-14
Much better than I expected Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After owning an FT1DR for a painful 2 weeks, my expectations for the FT2DR were fairly low. The digital modes mean nothing to me, until there is a universal digital mode and it offers something other than the comedic value of your friends sounding like a drowning robot, I don't see the point in them.
My favorite handheld is a VX8DR and the FT2DR has a challenge to bump that rig from my top ranking and it's not even close. My biggest complaint is that is WAY to easy to pick it up and unintentionally change something, the buttons push too easy and the touch screen just takes, well, a touch. This would simply be solved by getting in the habit of hitting the "lock" button.
Another issue is that the alpha tags (channel names) don't appear on the screen in dual receive mode, just the frequency - if there is a "deal breaker", this may be it!
To me, the screen contrast is a non-issue, we quickly became to expect larger-screen devices to have a super high resolution, beautiful color display - this it is not, I'm sure the design parameters were readability on all light conditions, power consumption and cost - I wasn't planning on watching NetFlix on the thing, anyways! de W2GT
KC2OUU Rating: 2016-12-19
Great Radio when it works Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I bought this radio in May of 2016 and this week the battery completely dumped wont hold a charge more than 1 day. I also bought the 3 AA battery pack for the radio and the radio will not even power on with that pack installed. I tried cleaning the contacts on the radio and the battery packs but that did not resolve the problem. Sadly I just today received my FTM-400XDR from HRO and now I dont even trust Yaesu so I think I will send it back and get an iCOM
VE1VON Rating: 2016-10-29
Very nice portable Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This portable is a very well built portable, you can even monitor the two bands VHF/UHF and monitor local broadcast stations at the same time.
The APRS works well, like all radios there is a learning curve, once you get over this you should have no problems.
The radio is solid and well built, the touch screen works well.
Yes, the regular price is a little high but if you were lucky to get the summer discount the price was the same as other similar function radios.
I highly recombed this radio.
K9CRT Rating: 2016-10-14
Feels cheap is cheap Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
In comparison to the lastest H.T from Icom this radio's quality is very poor. Terrible p.t.t button, not great battery life, bottom line the only reason I purchased this radio was if you need an HT for Fusion this is one of two choices both from Yaesu and both cheaply made. Everyday I use this radio is another day I cuss the build quality.. Pros it does function and has given trouble free service. Btw Yaesu took 120 days to mail me my rebate money. I understand Yaesu stated " up to 120 days" but hey come on this is just being again cheap like the unit.
K2ID Rating: 2016-10-13
Better than my old HTs Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I am on old timer so I am used to countless HTs that I have owned in the past. This one is the bet of the bunch. I have no problem reading the screen or using the touchpad. I find it very responsive. The radio does all that I need it to do and more.
I can see some hams comparing this to their smart phones. My generation did not even have the internet until much later in life so I compare this to HT's I have used personally up to the Yaesu 8R a few years ago. To me this is a good step in the right direction. Let's be realistic, I can live without an HT and just use echolink on my smart phone or call, text, send images, etc., to anyone in the world. For an HT it is pretty good and no complaints from me. Could it be better given the technology we have today? Sure but the HT market is much, much smaller than the smart phone market so the cost to buy one with the latest and greatest smart phone technology would be more than most would be willing to pay.
I have no problems with the menus and I have designed software and programmed for over 40 years. Sure it can be better but it is not bad for the money.
KI7KJ Rating: 2016-09-22
Solid rig but tired UI Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I haven't had a HT since my old ICOM 02-AT in the 1980s. But I got interested in APRS and got the Yaesu FT-2DR.

Pros: It's solidly built. The battery is compact and lasts long enough for my purposes. It's even water-resistant if you make sure the rubber flaps are closed over the ports. APRS works well, although with only 5 watts it doesn't get out very well sitting in a cup holder with the rubber duck antenna.

There are a couple of programs available at low cost that make it easier to program. I've mostly used the RT Systems one. It's easy to transfer the data with a micro-SD card, no need for a cable.

Cons: The software is so antiquated! Any smartphone is vastly superior. And even for 1970s software it's got some bad design flaws. For instance, to confirm a command sometimes you touch the screen and sometimes you use the buttons and sometimes you press the PTT switch -- and hope you don't transmit by mistake.

The screen is low contrast black and white and for me, it was hard to see in bright sunlight.

I got this at a good discount from list and there was a $100 rebate from Yaesu as well.
KF4BOG Rating: 2016-08-24
A Nice radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The yaesu Ft-2DR is a all around nice radio right out of the box . Works and love the display as it is easy to read on the eyes even in the outdoors. My plans are to buy a case for it next. If you plan on buying this radio the programing software is a must as it makes using your radio faster and much easier then using the touchscreen . Learning your way around the radio may take some time and help from a ham friend you know . Just note that using the aprs will lower the battery . All in all nice radio.
KV4AN Rating: 2016-08-20
Lots of features in one small package Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is a very nice HT. I've had the VX-6, VX-7, and VX-8 and this is the best yet. The menu and operation are like the VX-8 and memory management is like the VX-6,7, and 8, but easier to use with the touch screen.

I really like the touch screen display. Lots of information and easy to read indoors and outdoors.

I bough the FT2DR primarily because of the APRS feature, but found that it has the same multi-purpose capability as the other top of the line VX-series radios: shortwave, marine, public service bands, and AM/FM broadcast.

I haven't used the digital mode yet because there are not Fusion repeaters in the area, but hope to use it soon - sound like fun.

Getting back to APRS. The GPS finds its location very fast, even indoors. The TNC works great and APRS is a lot of fun.

I love the way the radio looks and it is just the right size - not too small. I bought a Condor tactical electronic gadget pouch and it fits perfect in it along with an FBA-39 battery pack, and a spare antenna. The included battery pack lasts a long time. I bought the CD-41 drop in charger, it's a must-have.

The only thing I don't like is the volume is not that loud. It is good enough, but not loud. It might be hard to hear in a noisy environment.

This radio was an excellent value with the large rebate.