Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Yaesu FT-2DR

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

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
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
AD5KO Rating: 2016-08-08
no Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Yaesu have done themselves and us a disservice with the false advertising of this radio.

There was no need to show the radio with a crisp black, grey and white display when
it is in fact very a dull grey. So many of us are calling support thinking the new radio has a broken screen. Only to be told that is normal and there is nothing wrong with the screen.
The implication here is Yaesu is ashamed of this 1980's display technology and they should be.

So now I see Yaesu in a new light, their advertising is not trustworthy, it is deceptive.
I use and have always recommended Yaesu products but I can no longer do that because it seems they have become a dishonest company.

Over all I give this portable a 3, because it has two bands and APRS, and does digital and analog.
It has 900 regular memories but they can not be displayed with a name, just the frequencies.. try remembering 900 frequencies.
The only way the radio can display a frequency name is in mono band, which means no APRS running in the background on band B.

Years ago I purchased a Kenwood APRS portable, the performance was very good but the build quality was unfortunate, the speaker had relatively low audio and battery life sucked. But you could name the memory channels and still run two bands or APRS at the same time.
It had very good reception, a very good antenna and I was able to make satellite contacts using both APRS and voice, portable outside in the yard.

An FT-1D with a volume and squelch knob would be nice but they don't make one, so I got the FT-2D because practicality is more important than looks, although it looks ok in the advertising.
It's strange walking around with a new radio that looks like it was made in the 80's.
Especially when you can buy a new unlocked Motorola phone with a beautiful 5 inch display and a quad core processor for $100 today, I have two of them.
After all, a portable phone is a multi band digital, analog radio, with a touch screen color display and they are water proof, which the FT-2D is not.

I have subtracted 2 points from the score, one for the embarrassing display, and another for misrepresenting the product and not being able to display memory names in dual band mode.

A 5 would be a FT-1D with a volume, channel and squelch knob on it or an FT-2D with a modern display and user interface. Things that are very easy to do.
The FT-60, the VX-150, the VX-5, 6, 7, and 8 and others are all very good portables. It's as if innovation has replaced common sense, why can't we have both?

Yaesu seems to be getting lost with it's portables, I hope this is just a result of a difficult transition phase and not the future.
What flashed through my mind when I found out there was nothing wrong with the display was
"I hope they haven't been sold to China like Alinco, because this is not the Yaesu that I have come know."
I guess we will have to wait and see, although the new Alinco radios are looking good I notice, especially the color displays.

If you are looking for a practical portable dual band radio that does APRS, this one's ok. It only costs $300, the Kenwood costs $450 and now I know why.
Is the kenwood worth the money?, no because it doesn't have the build quality, but what's inside the case works very well indeed.
Oh and be aware the display on this radio is made of a very soft plastic, like a coke bottle which actually bends when you press it, as it is meant to do and it's real easy to scratch.
Now the radio gets a 2, another point deducted for the cheap plastic display, not just how it looks.
So it doesn't have the elegance of a kenwood but it's not Yaesu strong either.
I want to get used to it but it's so ugly I don't know if I can.

I have a cheap dual band portable here, it's always been reliable and it can listen to two repeaters in my area, the FT-2D can only hear one of them.
It can also pick up the weather channel very well, which the FT-2D cannot hear at all.

And regardless of other reviews the FT-2D does not have loud audio, the cheap dual band portable REALLY blows it away there too. Don't believe me?
go out and buy one of those $35.00 portables and find out for yourself... check signal reception while you are about it.
The other issue is lots of white noise on even strong signals, yes really. There is no analogue FM reception with clean loud audio on this radio, it's just not there.
This radio also has wide band receive but it can't even pickup local FM stations, so whats the point? advertising and sales I guess.

Battery life? no, that's a lie too. Sure if you turn off the GPS and set the power to 0.1 watt it lasts a long time. But so does any radio with those settings.

And yes, it's has the very latest software in it from yaesu.

I was so looking forward to getting this radio but I am disgusted with Yaesu for misrepresenting their product in their advertising.

For the reasons stated above I do not recommend this radio to anyone.

N2EAC Rating: 2016-07-08
It is one great HT! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly reviews of the FT2DR. I don't discount the experiences of the other who have owned an FT2DR and had a bad experience. On the other hand, I have owned mine for about 6 weeks and use it routinely and find it completely enjoyable to operate. When I purchased it, I picked up an extra Yaesu battery, the Yaesu MH-34B4B Speaker Mic, and the Yaesu SDD-13 car adapter. I also put in a micro SD card. I have yet to try the System Fusion Product, but I think I am going to get hooked and put up a node. Anyway, back to the FT2DR. I have found the programming to be among the easiest of the dozen or so HT's I've owned. The touch screen display, the APRS/GPS functionality and the Tx/Rx audio are just outstanding. It is a complete package. The wide band receiver does the job... I even use it when traveling to listen to Air Band (AM Mode) and FM Broadcast (with a headset the stereo audio is loud, clear and robust). I wish those others operators having had difficulty well in resolving their issues. But, if my FT2DR is an updated/fixed release, all I can say in summary is that it is an "Swiss Army Knife" of an Excellent HT and I would buy it again.

73, Ed, N2EAC
ZP5BVK Rating: 2016-06-19
uh-oh .... lights out Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought my FT2DRat Dayton, worked for 3 days, then I got up the 4th morning, tried to switch it on and .... nothing ... no lights ... nothing Checked the battery - fully charged, tried a full reset ... nothing .... Hoping Ham Radio Outlet can sort it out ... pity I brought it all the way back to Paraguay though.
KC5DBH Rating: 2016-06-13
Don't bother buying it Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought this radio used. I programmed it with the ADMS-8 software downloaded directly from the FT2DR section of Yaesu's website. BIG MISTAKE!!

The ADMS-8 software apparently corrupted the radio's programming which rent the touchscreen inoperative. I've seen this happen before but not to this degree.

I can't reset the radio and I can't reprogram it. It's all tied to that ridiculous touch screen which is inoperative due to bad software both internal and external to the radio.

I sent it to Yaesu for repair. They insist that is the only way to do it.

It came back in the same inoperable state that it left in to begin with.

All I hear from Yaesu is "send it in for repair". So here we go again.

Don't waste your money on this radio. It's software is easily corrupted and the means to fix it in the field either don't exist or Yaesu won't share it. I could care less. I am through with this thing.
EI5JZ Rating: 2016-05-26
I love it. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Separate volume knob is great. I manage to operate the screen with my thumb. The radio stands on the table 2 feet away and I am still able to read the details on the GPS screen with dimmed back light. No problem to read the screen in bright sunlight with sunglasses on. I updated the Main, Sub and the DSP which is rather cumbersome. I did not encounter the 430.512,50 MHz problem with the GPS receiver being knocked off by the internal oscillator as described by someone on the internet. It showed the same position as my ‘Maidenhead Locator’-App on my Windows phone. The sensitivity of the GPS receiver is very good and accurate, but has the disadvantage that every small change can lead to a misreading before the GPS position calms down after a while and shows the correct position. One ham reported that there is a high pitch tone in Auto FM Mode and a high tone with open squelch. This is not the case with my FT2DE. Sensitivity of VFO A and VFO B equal - tested with a repeater on 145 MHz and a Diamond SRH-771. The included rubber duck antenna has a high SWR on 70cm. I had no issues with a microSD card from ADATA, Class 6, HC, 8GB.
I am very happy with this radio. The menu is much easier to operate in comparison to the FT1DE.
SQ5GHI Rating: 2016-04-27
Amazing little transceiver! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
While certainly not perfect, the Yaesu FT-2D is an amazing little receiver with several unique characteristics no other amateur handheld transceiver can match.

Sure, there are disadvantages:
- First, it is not Kenwood TH-D72:
-- no TNC (built-in AX.25 modem is only used for APRS)
-- no way to sort nor filter received APRS beacons (by distance, callsign etc.) - APRS stations (objects) are displayed in order they were received and that's it.

Other than that:
- No way to use APRS station location info with built-in GPS, at least in analog mode. There are three "target locations" withing GPS screen, I didn't however found any way to copy APRS station info there (neither TH-D72 can do that).
- VFO B is more sensitive to signals than VFO A - while in most environments squelch 1 is sufficient for muting unwanted noise on VFO A, one have to use 3 on VFO B.
- Sometimes on VFO B there are spurious noises on 70 cm - I don't know if these are distant signals or reflections, rarely I can observe them on VFO A.
- No standard Yaesu accesories - new transceiver means new accessories (although to be fair the batteries and quick charger are interchangeable with FT-1D).
- No way to display alpha tag for a channes unless in single VFO mode (the other VFO has to be switched off to make place for additional details).
- Care should be taken when trying to use standard audio headphones with the radio: they can be used (in mono), however sometimes inserting the plug causes radio to lock on transmit. In my case switching VFOs helps and I can use headphones to listen to the radio.
- Hard to operate using one hand only.
- APRS implementation not so brilliant as the one in Kenwood TH-D72, especially when it comes to APRS messages and acknowledgements.

However, the advantages! There are many areas where the FT-2D is so much better than TH-D72:
- The screen is actually very useable, with lots, lots of information readily available! What you see is frequency, mode (VFO, MR), memory bank numeber, volume level, signal strength, shift direction, squelch type, tone, transmit power level - for both VFOs at once! And the GPS, SD card, auto power off statuses, time... When displaying APRS frame or message - all the information (but the comment) is visible at once. You have to start using Kenwood TH-D72 with it's tiny screen to appreciate that!
- While contrast is on the low side, the screen is perfectly readable in all conditions I used the radio in so far. What is especially useful: the radio comes from factory with option "LAMP Save: Off" meaning that the LCD is constantly, albeit dimly, lit - and the default setting works OK for hours and hours!
- The battery life puts Kenwood TH-D72 to shame - the radio keeps going and going!
- While many can argue the Yaesu way of organizing menus is quite complicated, it actually works OK. It is not as quick as Kenwood's menu shortcuts however is pretty logical and, thanks to the screen size (one can see several options at once), pretty easy to use.
- New clip is really strong and usable, much better than the one included with FT-1D.
- The volume can be independently set for VFO A and VFO B.
- Amazing, and I mean amazing multitasking features - it's like having two or three radios in one. Thanks to AF Dual one can listen to broadcast FM (WFM) while at the same time monitoring VFO A and VFO B. What is not apparent is that actually you can to things like:
-- Listening to broadcast FM, scanning on VFO A and receive, read and beacon frames on VFO B.
-- Listening to broadcast FM, scanning given memory bank of VFO A (or B) and doing Dual Watch (monitoring given frequency while checking other frequency every 5 seconds or so) on VFO B (or A).
-- Doing all those things you can enter the menu, change settings, write APRS messages... Just compare that to Kenwood TH-D72 where at most you can read APRS message when scanning on the other VFO, however entering any menu stops scanning immediately!
- Very flexible menu system, much better than the one in the Kenwood TH-D72. What is especially useful is the ability to put a memory channel into multiple memory banks at once.
- The digital mode (C4FM) has really good audio quality.

So, to sum up: no radio is perfect and before buying one I would advise to think how one would like to use the radio. If you don't mind using two hands to operate the radio, like to scan and listen to several (well, two or three) frequencies at once - the FT-2D is hard to beat!
IZ4UFQ Rating: 2016-04-10
Disappointing display Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This radio could have been nice, but its display is so disappointing that I sold it after 6 months.

The radio works more or less as the FT1D. The dual encoder (volume / tuning) is an improvement in usability over the single encoder on the FT1D.

The touch screen SHOULD and COULD have been the biggest improvement in usability, but instead is the worst part of this radio.

Low resolution, horrible contrast (dark grey on light grey), ghost images. Trying to adjust the contrast or the brightness results in the displaying being all light grey or all dark grey. You simply CANNOT get a decent contrast. Also the viewing angle needs to be adjusted every time you need to read the display.

Yaesu, what are you doing? This display is so poor that it actually seems to be defective. But it's not defective. It's simply poor. Terribly poor.

I sold my FT2D and I'm hoping Yaesu will soon sell a new improved model just like the FT2D, but with a decent display.

No need for color. Just a plain high contrast, perfectly readable black and white display, that can be read both in direct sunlight and with the backligth on. It should be easy, after all black and white LCD displays are widely used since 1985.

WS8B Rating: 2016-03-09
Complex Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I am still working out the operation. It operates much like its mobile counterpart. I have used it on Wires as well as digital. Digital sounds life-like. It also works with FM very well. The APRS works flawlessly.

This is not a beginners radio. Display is OK. Would be nice in color or a bit sharper.

I will again review this in a few months.
N6RLG Rating: 2016-02-28
Great radio! Problems? Not a One. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'm not sure why others are having problems. My 2DR functions flawlessly. No, the touchscreen is not that of a Galaxy Tab or iPad, but then no one at this point realistically expects it to be in an HT. Actually, since most HT's are used in varying indoor/outdoor lighting conditions, this screen is much easier to see than that of my Tab or iPad. All of my radio functions work precisely as designed. Mic gain can be adjusted easily. Want the LED back light off? Turn it off. It's easy to do. This is NOT a radio for those who do not read manuals. I spent a few days reading and re-reading the manual before I set my radio up, and guess what -- I haven't had any of the problems or issues described elsewhere in these reviews.
N2ARB Rating: 2016-02-20
One and Done Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Solid design with very logical and intuitive operation first time out of the box.

Perfect audio, sharp display, easy to use controls. Great immunity to RFI/EMI.

I travel all over the world from rural areas to the largest of metro areas including large scale natural disaster zones. I can only take what is in my backpack or briefcase so anything that goes has to do many things.

For my purposes, where situational awareness is a high priority, this is now my travel HT.