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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
K2GTV Rating: 2016-01-24
Sharp Solid Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This radio is a peek into the future of HT's in the ham radio hobby. I know reviews shouldn't be about what if's, however owning 2 FTM-400DR's I cant help but to imagine this radio with the same TFT display as the 400. We'll be there soon enough.
That said, there aren't any big negatives to speak on.
I ordered the most advanced HT Yaesu has offered thus far, and received exactly that.
Transmit audio is...LOUD real LOUD, as LOUD as you would ever want it plus 10, its easy to go overboard especially when using the MH-34 speaker mic.
Receive audio has improved drastically over the VX-8 era.
User interface is great, anything can be done, changed or set in seconds.
The touch screen is no Iphone, but its no slouch either, it's just different.
Ergonomics and build, great...feels expensive, looks very important and professional!
Only actual gripe-While in dual receive mode, I'd rather see the Alphanumeric tag, as opposed to the actual frequency...hopefully in an update, that'd make it a 5!
If your looking for a real sharp HT to get into fusion with look no farther. If your looking for something that hasn't come out yet, wait... It will be there eventually.
PD8EER Rating: 2015-11-05
Not as aspected Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought the Yaesu ft-2d a few weeks ago. But i am not very happy with it. The receiving is not very well. Also is it sadly that it does not show the call from a station but only his frequency. You can let it show but only when used in mono band and in single band you can't see it. So you must remember channel position ore the frequency which is very difficult when traveling trough the country.

Also the cable they supplied isnt usable for this device. You have to order another prorgram cable. The APRS signal works fine but only when using an external antenna. Otherwise the poor receiving quality will loss data. So im not very happy with this device and regret buying it. And it isnt a cheap one.
OE3JJS Rating: 2015-09-22
Sadly not the touchscreen HT we've been waiting for. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
The good news is that the hardware feels very sturdy. The FT2D is slightly higher, but a bit slimmer than its predecessor, the FT1D. There's a new volume dial on the top which is very welcome. The big new feature is of course the touchscreen, which sounds amazing at first glance. However you'll quickly come to realize that the screen is way too small to press anything but the biggest buttons when on the go, and worse, the display isn't too amazing. The contrast is even worse than that of the ID-5100, which is saying something. Seriously, when you get the device the first thing you'll try to do is to up the contrast, but no, that only makes everything go darker. The optimum viewing angle is about - 45 degrees, i.e. you have to look upwards from below to get the optimal contrast. The message LED is now on the top, which is actually sensible considering this thing usually clips on your belt. Reception is good, the speaker is definitely adequately loud if needed. The signal reports I got were very positive. The battery clip has been changed, it's more sturdy than on the FT1D.

If you're coming from the FT1D like I do, then I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is, this is very much like the FT1D. The bad news is, this is very much like the FT1D ;)
Seriously, what Yaesu did here is take the firmware of the FT1D and modify it a little for use with a touchscreen. Individual buttons have been replaced with touchscreen buttons, most of the time on the very same positions. Text entry is a huge disappointment - there has been zero progress in terms of usability. You dial letters like on a 10 year old phone, just like on the FT1D.

Another thing, if you're moving up from the FT1D, you'd think you can just save your channel memories on the microSD card, and then put it into the FT2D and load up your stored memories, right? Nope. Nada. The FT2D just won't load anything from the FT1D without you messing around with the SD card. So having a save from my FT1 I decided to play around a bit, and I actually managed to flash a complete NAND "backup" of the FT1 on the FT2 by copying the backup file between directories on the SD card. Guess what happened: My memories have been successfully restored, however now the menu items are exactly as on the FT1, with some options changed and/or missing. Also, the volume and VFO knob are now switched around, i.e. the top knob controls the volume while the ring below changes frequencies and moves between menu items.
The radio version screen shows v1.0 for everything but the DSP, which is now at version v0.0 (!!)
Whatever you do, make sure the radio writes a backup file before you attempt any of this. And if you find yourself in this situation, do a factory reset by holding the BACK, DISP and BAND buttons while powering on. This will make the FT2 behave like an FT2 again.

Copying the MEMORY-CH backups would probably work, but I haven't tested this.

I got this radio because I wanted a better user interface, but frankly, so far it disappoints. It's a perfectly good HT in its own right, but if you think that tasks such as APRS message sending have become any easier or more logical, I have to disappoint you. Just about the only improvements are a context sensitive button that appears on some menus and lets you perform additional tasks, for example you can enable/disable auto beacon sending or get into the APRS message sending menu from the station list screen that way. I was so hopeful that sending APRS msgs would finally become a viable task to perform on a HT, but no, it feels like 1999 all over again. Text entry is a real pain, both because of the dialing entry system, the small size of the touch buttons, and many annoying software usability issues. For example, you know how pressing a different button during text entry moves you to the next character right? Well it does so here as well, except if you're switching to numbers. Then the number will overwrite your current letter instead of using the next character.

Operating the channel memory is just as cumbersome as before: You save the frequency first using a non-obvious long button press, then you dive into a 3-level menu to change the memory name. But oh, remember how naming your memory slots was useless on the FT1D because it only displays them in single channel mode? Guess what, it's the exact same as on the FT2D. They didn't improve a thing about this. Worse, some menus have apparently not been converted to touch control yet, and they require you to move a cursor with the frequency dial, and select values with the "Display" button (which is the new Enter button btw.) - I'm sorry, it just feels like an afterthought.

Alright, rant mode off. I'm sorry if I make this HT sound bad. It looks alright to me, it has a bigger 2200mAh battery despite it having the same size as the standard battery in the FT1D. I like the fact that it's a hair slimmer and the volume dial is really good to have. Oh and another good thing, it fits into the CD-41 desk charge cradle. If you're okay with the FT1D you'll likely be ok with the new model. In direct comparison, the downsides are higher price, a display that's less easy to read despite bigger numbers, and since it's a touchscreen you now have to lock the device anytime you put it on your belt, unlike the FT1D which I never really locked because nothing ever managed to press the buttons by accident.

I'm afraid I can't give this one a glowing review. It doesn't usher in a new era in HTs, and I honestly don't think it's worth the price of admission. The moment one of the manufacturers figures out that it might be time for an android-powered HT that has a modern UI, allows apps, and isn't just an android phone with a 2m/70cm transceiver connected via a serial connection like on those Runbo walkie talkie phones, the moment this happens nobody will look at this anymore. But those are my opinions, yours may vary of course.

I like the build quality of this radio, but the software is just embarassing.
SM3WEO Rating: 2015-08-09
No no no Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I had REALY high expectations on this radio.
Yaesu is an old name in the game and have earned my trust with previous ownerships of different models.

The second i powered the unit on my heart sank.
Forget the ads and how crisp and sharp the display looks. It does not even come close in real life, and the display was one of the biggest selling points to me. The display is a cheap crappy and obsolete piece of technology.
The black in it is dark gray, at best and the touch function is of the old resistive kind, not the new capacitive kind we are used to with todays smart phones. Not even the cheapest phone out there dares offer up this low quality.

My other big grief with this radio is the GPS and the utter useless accuracy it offers. It's a multi chanel receiver with all the bells and whistles but as to determine your position on the planet, you might as well spin a globe, close your eyes and put your finger down at any given place. Atleast that how it feels like. If you're walking, with the radio infront of you, antenna pointhing straight up you might get an accuracy of say +/-25m. Jump on a bike and it will throw you 200m of course instantly.
I've done several tests with conclusive results.

This radio is a dud. It's going back in the box and back where it came from.
KJ6EUC Rating: 2015-08-04
Worth the wait for me Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Well so far no problems:
Touch screen is great, very bright and contrast adj. is good.
The brightness and contrast is better than my ID-51 but the contrast is a little better on my FT-1D.
The menu from the touch screen is great and no problem for my large fingers. The lower buttons are well lit for night use and I'm happy with the arrangement and uses.
APRS is well thought out and faster to set up and use than my other APRS HT's
The GPS linked the first time the HT was powered up in about 15 seconds in my car. The GPS features and screen shot of the gps info is sweet.
Audio transmit and receive are fine for me, they seem the same as my FT-1D, but I am hearing impaired but not so bad that I need a hearing aid (YET).
****The only thing missing for me is BlueTooth audio, I love this on my VX-8DR and FTM-400D.
One last thing i don't miss the R2D2 sound of D Star

73s and I hope this helps. Lorenzo KJ6EUC
N8NQP Rating: 2015-07-25
Not ready for prime time Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I really wanted to like the FT2DR. But as of right now I couldn't recommend it. Once the audio issues are addressed, I might try it again, but not until then.


* Touch screen (makes programming easy!)
* Dual band and digital capable on both bands
* Good form factor
* less susceptible to birdies than the FT1D


* Some radios are reporting audio problems on digital sounding distorted and very "digital" and audio did not sound as good as the FT1D

* mic gain between Analog and Digital are not balanced

* Menu system hasn't been fully adapted for touch screen

* Display is low quality LCD and does not look as "nice" as it does in the ads

Issues specific to the radio I received:

* receive levels were showing different signal strength on the same frequency depending on the band (a or b) that it was received on

* display would fade out and become unreadable after the radio was operated for an hour or so (radio was sent back to Yaesu for this issue and they wanted to "repair it" vs replacing a 4 hour old radio)

* Audio was distorted and required a number of resets before it seemed to work correctly

* GPS wouldn't get a fix until radio was reset twice

While I am a big supporter of Fusion (I own 2 repeaters, an FT991, 4 FTM-400s and a few HRI-200's) I suggest waiting until:

a) the bugs are addressed (specifically the audio problems)
b) Mic gain level is equalized between analog and digital

The 4 hour old radio that I waited months for was RMA's to Gigaparts as they didn't have a replacement and Yaesu wanted to repair it instead of replacing it like I was led to believe they were going to do.