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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-70DR dual band digital HT

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

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-70DR dual band digital HT
Reviews: 70MSRP: 199.95
FT-70DR C4FM FDMA / FM 144/430 MHz Dual Band 5W Handheld Transceiver
The new FT-70DR is a compact and very attractively priced YAESU System Fusion transceiver providing both conventional analog FM operation and the advanced C4FM Digital mode. The FT-70DR provides up to 5W of reliable RF power, and its large Front Speaker delivers 700mW of Loud Audio Output. Because C4FM has better BER (Bit Error Rate) characteristics than other digital modulations, the user can expect exceptional audio quality. The new digital FT-70DR includes our unique Automatic Mode Select (AMS) function. AMS detects the operating mode of the received signal as C4FM digital or analog FM, and then automatically and instantly switches the receiver to the appropriate mode. Users do not need to manually change between modes. The multi-colored LED Mode-Indicator displayed on the front allows the operator to easily see what mode the FT-70DR is in at any given moment. LED Mode-Indicator clearly and visibly shows the transmit/ receive mode by changing its color so that the operating mode of the transceiver is easily recognized at a glance. One of the other distinguishing features of the FT-70DR is Digital Group Monitor (GM) with DG-ID (Digital Group Identification) and DP-ID (Digital Personal Identification) now included in the FT-70DR, to simplify the GM operation. Simply put, the transceivers selecting the same DG-ID or DP-ID can communicate with each other. Between 00 and 99 DG-ID and DP-ID are selectable which provides loads of flexibility so that users can enjoy group communication with friends in GM mode in accordance to their individual operational needs.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
VE3VVZ Rating: 2020-09-29
Pair with a hotspot Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Very happy with the performance and build quality. Really easy for a beginner to start with and explore analogue, digital and every aspect of the hobby.

This unit has me exploring into different areas and where to concentrate time and money in the future. I have it on all day on Dual-watch with a hotspot and my local repeater and talk maybe 30-45 at most each day. I charge it all night and ready for the next day.
VE3TMT Rating: 2020-09-25
Nice little handheld Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
After one of our local repeaters went total C4FM, I decided to pick up an FT-70DR to try it out. I bought used, with extra battery, quick charger and everything looked as new. No trouble at all programming repeaters in from the keyboard. Both RX and TX audio is nice and robust. I've had no problems with battery life. Even after sitting for a week, battery voltage dropped to 7.4V on RX and 7.1V on transmit. Liked it so much I bought a 7250!
GRUMPY2021 Rating: 2020-09-24
Ready to throw it in the trash. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
It's a good radio. With that said it takes 2 hands to change the volume. THat's complete fail to me. Then the programming with software becomes a Japanese finger trap of remove this plug in that hold a button down blah blah blah. HUH? Then the battery life is beyond horrible. Just like the summary says I am very close to just throwing this in the trssh. Sell it? I wouldn't even give this away. It's that bad.
VK3LZ Rating: 2020-09-12
Good value for money Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought this to replace an older Yaesu single band HT which was still working because I wanted dual band. I was going to buy an FT-60 but decided upon this newer design. After several months of using it the radio is still performing well and I'm happy with how easy it is to program repeaters from the front panel (no computer needed which is great for when you're travelling around) and it hooked up to my Openspot 2 very easily. One reason I'm giving 4 stars not 5 is the drop in charger stopped working so for now I'm forced to charge it using the socket on the radio which is a lot slower. The other reason is that the battery life is short.
G4XTA Rating: 2020-09-11
Brilliant Successor to the FT60! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
After fifteen years enjoying my fleet of thirteen much-respected FT60's,
the urge to use Wires-X whilst portable made me sell up and buy my first
half-dozen FT70's. Very pleased! The FT70 is an appropriately well-featured
and designed radio, with excellent performance, good price, and great
ergonomics. After the disasters of my first high-end Yaesu Wires-X mobile
rigs I was nervous that the FT70 might have a similarly overcomplicated
design, hopeless RX intermod, and dirty transmitter. No such problems!
I can't fault this adorable little radio, and am now steaming ahead with
replacing my entire HT fleet with FT70's. Their excellent inter-operability
with Wires-X leaves the more expensive models behind in the dust.
I like mostly all the features, but three items deserve mention:
1). Battery Life: Because many reviews said that the FT70 EATS batteries
(even when switched off), I bought NINE batteries with my first three rigs.
Well, they easily out-last the FT60 in use, and I really use mine a lot!
I repeatedly tested them by fully charging two identical batteries, putting
one onto a radio, with the second one lying on the bench. Yaesu must have
fixed the problem! It took nine days before any difference in the two batteries
was detected. On day nine, the one on the radio had dropped to 8.1v whilst
the other had fallen to yes, a loss, but an insignificant one.
2). Cloning Cable: The special smaller diameter jack plug of the CT-27 cable
is designed to fit the recessed socket in the rig. Bigger plugs supposedly
won't go in far enough. But I found that the CT-27 plug goes TOO far in
and cloning results in 'Error'. Edge it back out a bit and it'll work.
3). The FT70 is tough! I've dropped one onto concrete twice, resulting in
no damage. Great! It also has a soft case option, which the FT60 never had.
Yup, this is a keeper. Well done Yaesu, you got this one right!
WY7CHY Rating: 2020-07-22
One good radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've only had the radio a few days. I originally bought it to give to a new tech licensee. But after checking it out, I decided to keep it for myself. I'm not normally big into 2m/70cm radio. I'm normally big into HF Long Haul ham radio. I have a Baofeng 82 as a backup/emergency radio, so I'm not totally ignorant of HT's.

First part of my review is of the physical characteristics of the radio. Well built. Solid constructions. Perfect size. Feels good in the palm of the hand.

If you have any experience with Yaesu handhelds, you'll probably be able to program this radio from the front panel quite quickly. I have no experience with Handhelds other than the Baofeng (Which stinks for programming manually); but the FT-70dr was easy to start programming. I decided to download the FREE Yaesu programming software for the radio. Contrary to what some may say, the software is actually very simple to use and works great. The only drawback with the software, is if you will want to have a LOT of channels programmed in. You can put in up to around 1100 channels in up to 24 banks. You would want to try and download directly from repeaterbook or similar sites. The free yaesu software stinks for that. Get RT Systems if you need that much programming. But if you're just doing normal programming, the free ADMS-10 software works fine. The procedure to get into programming isn't that difficult. Once you do it once or twice it's second nature. Don't use Chirp software. I like chirp, but for the FT-70DR, it doesn't support digital channel.

The call quality and such of the radio is quite good. Very clear audio and reports say nice and clear on my transmissions. I haven't had a chance yet to do Wires-X yet, but that's another great option with this radio. Also, digital C4FM (Fusion) is becoming quite popular. My town has a couple of Fusion repeaters. Programming is simple. Same as normal analog, just change the mode from analog to digital and you're done. Too easy drill sergeant.

Some say that the battery life and recharge time is a problem. I've only had the radio for a short time, so I can't really tell yet. But my theory is this: 1) If you actually plan on trying to talk for 8+ hours a day on an HT, then you need to have an extra battery and probably the rapid charger ($30-$40) so you can recharge in about half the time. They do have aftermarket batteries with a little more capacity. 2000ma vs 1800ma with the standard batter. If you're a normal user, not field day or such, the radio will last the day. And just like I've become accustomed to charging my cell phone at night when I sleep, so can I charge the FT-70DR at night when I am sleeping. I don't need a radio to be charged for 2, 5, 10, 30 days. It's a lithium battery. it's not going to build up a memory. Just charge the thing when you're sleeping. If you want the radio to be ready to go in an emergency, and want it charged, then disconnect the battery after it's charged. It's lithium. The battery will stay charged for MONTHS and MONTHS without being connected to the radio and it's residual discharge. Just like a pistol or anything else for an emergency, you have your magazines and such ready to go. But if you're so into the radio that you're actually using it 8+ hours a day, then get a 2nd battery and the rapid charger.

Can't say much more. It's a great radio. For $155 (Current sale) at HRO, DX, and other places, you can't beat the price for a dual band, analog/digital/Fusion radio. And before worrying about the different digital modes like fusion (C4FM), DMR, Dstar, etc. You can always spend a little bit of money on a hotspot that will put your HT onto the internet and link with repeaters all over the country/world; AND can CROSS-MODE so that your Fusion can talk to a DMR, DSTAR, etc. Just like the internet lets a MAC talk to a PC and an Android can talk to an apple. And depending on where your repeaters are, you might want to consider a better antenna. The one provided is fine for most use, but just like any HT, you might considered a higher gain/larger andtenna. E.g. 15"+. Definitely a great radio. Highly recommend it.

ADDITIONAL INFO: I've now had the radio for about 3 months. Initially, I used it on local repeaters. I did buy a better antenna for it and that improved a lot. I did a lot of research on hotspots and finally bought a generic Jumbospot. I've had that about a week. Took about 15 minutes to get up and running. I do a lot of research before buying something, and watched a lot of youtube videos on hotspots. NOW.... this FT-70DR really is a great radio. I'm still mainly an HF Long Haul ham; but not I can talk to people all over the world. I use the hotspot on repeaters and connect to people in london, australia, all over the USA, etc. this is what I like most about being a ham. Talking to NEW people. Not some other old dude I see at work or I've known for years and lives down the street.

Definitely recommend this radio. For those who think it's bad because of the battery life, it's perfectly fine for normal use. If you're on a radio like this for 4+ hours a day, you probably need a mobile/base radio. The battery lasts fine for normal use. If you're really anal about it, spend $25 on amazon and buy a 2nd battery. For those who complain that the battery dies when sitting dormant for a COUPLE OF WEEKS..... all I can say is; you have to be smarter than the radio. If you know you're not going to be using it for an extended period of time, DISCONNECT THE BATTERY. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that. And it's a lithium ion, so disconnected, it will last many, many, many months charged.
VE2TBC Rating: 2020-06-21
Good radio, good price but... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I love this radio.

1) Great performance, great audio both ways
2) Solid
3) Easy to use and program
4) Great physical format
5) Great price
6) It records the mode (FM or C4FM) in memory which is not the case for FT-2DR, FTM-100DR and FTM-400XDR.

The battery life is good provided that you charge the battery, put it in the radio and use it right away.

The big defect of this radio is the battery consumption when it is OFF. Yes it consumes several ma while being OFF which give the impression that the battery does not have enough capacity when you come to use it. Which is not the case, the battery was drained while the radio is waiting to be used.

Other units have the same problem such as the ICOM IC-91A and the County Comm GP-5/SSB. After 5-6 weeks being "OFF" the batteries are drained.

KV4BL Rating: 2020-06-18
Battery Situation Not Good Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had my radio about two years, now. It is my second one. The first one had some receive weirdness that got worse until it stopped receiving. As I had only had it a few days and had not sent in warranty registration, GigaParts took excellent care of me. Once they had received the bad radio and all included accessories in the original box, they verified my complaint and sent me a brand new radio. My radio had the MARS mod and they performed that on the new radio without charge before sending it to me.

The new radio works well on digital and analog. With decent xmit and receive audio. My biggest gripe, as with most Yaesu ht's anymore, is regarding the battery life between charges. To be vague, there isn't a lot of juice for heavy transmitting and receiving. Battery is only 1800 mAh. AFAIK, they don't offer larger. There should be at least a 2500 mAh battery for a radio like this. To compound matters, I understand this radio is never completely off, so your battery will be completely drained after a few weeks or less of just sitting around with the radio turned off. Yaesu, Kenwood, and others need to understand the importance of decent battery life in an ht and design their radios and. batteries accordingly. The crummy battery life is the reason for the low score.
W6AHH Rating: 2020-06-11
Gem of a HT, especially for a beginner Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
For my first HT, I was considering Baefang, and then FT-60, but finallly chose the FT-70. Boy am I glad!!
Plus +
- 1 large knob on top for all functions. Push side buttons to engage volume or squelch. Didn't think I'd like it, but it's great- no fiddling for the right knob.
- Short with great balance in the hand with positive action keys close, but not too close- key with thumbs. If you liked the old blackbery phones you'll feel right at home.
- Great build quality (made in Japan), with IP54 water/dust protection
- As much good sound volume as you would want
- Basic and advanced user guides that are clear
- Manual repeater entry straight forward
- Modern 2017 design
- Important for me- Easy to read LED display, BRIGHT backlight for display and keys (red- keeps your night vision)
- USB cable for programming and software updates
- Bright LEDs for recieve/tranmitt (can be turned off)
- Fusion digital mode if you have those repeaters
- Low battery life
- No OEM AA battery pack like FT-60, but I plan to make my own
- A little more than FT-60 ($159 @ ham city)
- Expensive accessories and you have to buy base charger separate

Unless battery life trumps all other features, it's a great radio!
SQ9MEZ Rating: 2020-03-08
is OK' but the battery she is weak Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Good receiver , good antenna little swr , solid housing . The big minus is the battery and there is no bigger capacity. Complicated data upload procedure but instead it has very good build quality.