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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.
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N2DRB Rating: 2019-04-29
Don't tell my FT-60 Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I've had this radio about 8 months now and I am still very impressed. The radio fits well in the hands, is easy to program via the keypad (although I still bought the kit as I travel often for work). There's a couple of good videos online on how to do it. The audio is solid, both TX and RX and having Fusion is a bonus. I have a few HTs and have always said my favorite was the FT-60 but I think the FT-70DR edges it out and is now the one I reach for most. Don't worry, I'll keep the other as I think everyone should have one but the FT-70DR is now the one I recommend when people ask for suggestions on either their first or one that it fits within their budget. I even bought mine when it was closer to $200 and still think I got a great deal. Also, I have not had any issues with the speaker that others have noted and the battery is fine given the capacity and usage (I did get a spare and the desktop fast charger).
KJ7BRE Rating: 2019-03-28
Great Radio! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Ok, so here we are reviewing the RADIO. Not the BATTERY.

The radio is great! Im a 14yo ham radio operator and got this for my b-day. Its my first digital radio and was my friends first ever radio. This radio has lots of good features including:

Banks, SUPER easy programming, flashlight, adjustible beep level, AM reciving, 1 knob operation, 12v charging and input and much more.

As a starter radio for anyone I would HIGHILY recommend. The only other feature I would want would be APRS but that is just me.

Now im not here to talk about the battery but, yes the battery does not last long. They (yaesu) NEEDs to make a larger battery.

This radio has been know with some of my friends to have problems and have had to be sent back. I have not had any problems yet.

This is my best HT at the moment! Thanks Yaesu for making a great product!
G8FXC Rating: 2019-02-13
Initial impressions positive Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was looking for a replacement for my elderly ICOM HT and fancied trying Fusion. I fancied the FT-2DE, but the asking price was a bit high, so I opted for the FT-70DE instead - and I am not too disappointed.

The radio is solidly built and feels like it will last. Most of the ergonomics are good too, though there are a few niggles. I'm just on the edge of range of a couple of Fusion repeaters - can hear them, but not open communications through them. I drove closer to one in order to test and the FT-70 works fine on WiresX - quite fun! It also works fine on FM through other local repeaters and direct to other local stations.

Battery life could be better, but is not a problem for my pattern of usage. I bought the fast charger and drop the radio in whenever I'm near it - have not run it flat yet.

All in all, I'm enjoying it. Easy to operate and it does most that I could ask of an HT for around £170. I still fancy the FT-2DE and may well buy one in the future, keeping the FT-70 as well. The new firmware for the FT-2 allows it to be configured as a hotspot to the FT-70 as a client.
N8OFP Rating: 2019-01-27
Nice little dual band radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've had the FT70DR for a few weeks and thus far I like the radio a lot. It is well made and the I have gotten good reports on the audio quality on both analog and digital.

Pros: The radio seems well made as with the other Yaesu handhelds I own. Fit my hand well. 900 Channels, that allows my to program in all VHF / UHF and simplex frequencies in Ohio and still have room for expansion. Good reports on the audio quality on analog and digital. Receiver has plenty of output and has good audio quality.

Cons: The Yaesu programming software isn't very good. I would recommend the RT Systems software if you plan on using a lot of channels and the Memory Banks. As others have stated the process you have to go through to program the radio with the Yaesu software is crazy.

Other Notes: The original FT70DR I purchased had a defective speaker / mic jack, when I plugged in my Yaesu speaker mic I got no audio out of the speaker mic, and when I unplugged the speaker mic there was no longer any audio coming from the internal speaker. I contacted the place I purchased the radio from as well as Yaesu, they had me return the radio and replaced it with a brans new one.

I have read some complaints about battery life but so far I haven't run into any issues with the battery. I would say I get a good 10 or so hours out of the battery with normal use (receiving and transmitting and close to 18 or 20 hours if just receiving. I plan on purchasing a second battery for this radio because one is never enough when you need the radio the most.
M3SXA Rating: 2019-01-20
To early to say Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Only just got this little radio and thought lets program it up, oh dear what a disastrous way to have to program, take out the battery, plug into charger switch on, remove plug, plug in programming lead plug charger lead back in hold down 'band' key... nearly there.... JEEZ!! more to follow if I get any further...
KA7EII Rating: 2018-10-09
Fantastic entry level Fusion HT! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have had my Yaesu FT-70DR for over six months now and it is a very capable analog/digital HT. Very nice upgrade from my 20+ year-old Yaesu VX-5R HT.
As others have noted, the battery life may be a little short but I knew what to expect before purchasing the FT-70DR after reading the owners manual online. Battery life is as good if not slightly better than the VX-5R. I can get a days use out of the FT-70DR if I'm just listening to one frequency and use low power on the local repeaters. Longer QSOs and scanning will run the battery down faster. Easy solution – just purchase an extra battery and call it a day. I also purchased the drop in desktop charger and soft case. I already have a DC cable and speaker-mic that was used with the VX-5R. Using the stock antenna, I find the FT-70DR to be a bit more sensitive than the VX-5R and the receive audio is louder. It took a few days to get used to the single knob on top – having to push a button then twist the knob to adjust the volume was crazy at first but now I like that arrangement. I no longer bump the volume knob and either miss calls or have the radio blast when a call comes in. The FT-70DR does not cover as much receive spectrum that the VX-5R has but I rarely listened to AM or FM broadcast stations or shortwave stations on the VX-5R. Never did any public safety monitoring with the VX-5R so the extended receive is not really missed on the FT-70DR. I do listen to the aircraft band a lot and the FT-70DR does a better job than the VX-5R of receiving the VHF aircraft frequencies.
C4FM is a lot of fun. The FT-70DR does not have a dedicated “WIRES-X” button but you still can access WIRES-X by pressing the “F” key followed by the “AMS” key. The FT-70DR does not have GPS so you only see the callsign of the station you are working on digital. The FT-70DR does not have true dual receive but again, this is something I would rarely use. GPS would be nice but it was not a deal breaker for me when deciding to get an FM/digital HT. Those that want or need dual receive and GPS may want to consider the Yaesu FT-2DR.
For my needs, the FT-70DR is a winner and I look forward to enjoying many years of use out of my HT.
KG6TR Rating: 2018-07-11
under-rated radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I've gone through a couple of HT radios over the past few months. Had the ID-51a and didn't really like it, same story with the FT-2DR (terrible display in the one I had). Currently have a TH-74 along with the FT-70DR and frankly I prefer the way the Yaesu handles. The only thing I find a bit annoying is no dedicated volume knob (have to hold a button on the side along with the encoder) but even with the small display I find I can get around more quickly on the Yaesu than the Kenwood.

For $200 you get wide RX, solid ergonomics, and Fusion. Hard to beat if you're looking for a day-to-day HT.
KB9ON Rating: 2018-03-29
Battery Life definitly need Improvement Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I agree with WX2WMU and N1ART It is a good radio except in the battery life. The battery even with the power off loses voltage daily. With the power on the radio drains the battery rapidly even on the half watt setting! just Listening to the radio the Battery only about 8 to 9 hours. It is a great radio foe getting your feet wet in to Fusion radio.
removed Rating: 2018-03-22
FT70D and Yaesu Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Heres an UPDATE to my review:

The battery stinks on this radio,I charged it overnight it said Charge Full.Transmitted a
few times the battery went dead.Tried draining
the battery and then charging it,no joy.
Same thing.I thought I could live with the lack
of 500-999MHZ that the FT60R has,nope,I ended up returning this after finding there is 1 battery
available for this radio at the time of me writing this.It receives poorly out of band so you really cant enjoy the wide receive.A cheap UV82 Baofeng
actually receives better out of band.I live 10
miles from NYC and like to hear the excitement on 476MHZ,you wont reliably do that with this radio.
The guy at Yaesu was no help to me,so I brought it back he could of cared less.I am not getting anymore Yaesu Walkie talkies after the way I was treated.
W5KVV Rating: 2018-03-20
EXCELLENT ! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Great little HT. Compact, but not microscopic. Good audio on both modes. C4FM is a novelty for my needs but better to have it and not need it than vice versa. Programming via front panel is easy once you familiarize yourself with the radio. No real need for computer software unless you're dumping a huge file into the radio. The volume control is a non issue once you get use to it.

My only gripe is battery life. It's a certified battery eater. Hopefully someone will offer a high cap battery for it in the near future. Also, Yaesu could have included a drop in charger. Come on Yaesu. Stop the nickel and dime routine. You're better than that.

Overall a great little radio. Mine is combined with a Diamond SRHF10 stubby antenna and makes for a stealthy little HT.