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Reviews For: Yaesu FT3DR/DE

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

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT3DR/DE
Reviews: 44MSRP: 520.00
Dual band VHF/UHF HT with colour touch screen,C4FM, APRS, Bluetooth
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
G8WWD Rating: 2021-03-16
Plenty of features, but let down by receive audio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
It wasn't for me!

Firstly, to charge a 2200mAh battery = 9 hours? Really? What century is the battery technology from? I can charge the 2200mAh battery in my phone, from completely flat to 100% in just under an hour! Battery life with the screen blanking to save power and on a quiet channel, is way less than a day. Again, my MUCH more powerful phone, with a screen 3x the size, only gets down to 65-70% after a whole day of fairly heavy usage. My Retevis RT3S DMR handheld radio, which cost 1/4 of the price of this, charges the 2000mAh battery much more swiftly and it lasts easily a whole day.

Audio quality from the speaker is tinny and harsh. Again, the audio quality from my DMR handy is much clearer and far less harsh. Therefore much more pleasant on the ears. Even with the volume control turned fully down on the FT3D, there is still a faint continuous shhhhh coming from the speaker. Why?

Usability is hardly intuitive and despite this being marketed as a C4FM/Fusion/Wires radio, there is little on these modes in the supplied manual. You have to go to the Yaesu website and download the separate Wires/Fusion manual for the rig. Why? It leaves you reaching for the manuals several times a day, to do things that should be relatively easy.

On the positive side, there is free programming software available from the Yaesu website, which is a nice touch.

Overall, I am not impressed. For a radio costing this much money, I would expect it to be intuitive to use, have fast charging, decent battery life and excellent receive audio.

Yaesu's school report "Must try harder!" ;-)
EI3IBB Rating: 2021-03-14
Excellent Radio But Audio Quality Suffers Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Yes I gave it a Great rating, it's an excellent radio but Audio quality does suffer, audio volume is too low and it distorts when you have the Volume high.

Bluetooth is disappointing, there is a continuous buzzing that is impossible to endure.

In the car I can hardly hear it compared to my Anytone D-878 which goes much louder so I intend to make a lead to connect to the cars Line in socket. But around the house in a quieter environment the audio is fine.

The wideband receiver is just really convenient to have and being able to monitor 3 bands, for instance, I can monitor traffic on my Openspot 3, Local Analogue repeater and have FM broadcast going too, really cool feature.

While the Anytone 878+ might have good audio it's also not the best on Bluetooth, it does pair to the cars audio system though but TX audio is bad but audio over the car system is good.

Here is where the advantages of the Anytone and DMR in general diminish rapidly and it comes down to Programming, the Anytone is extremely time consuming as with any DMR radio, you have to mess around with spreadsheets and for every talk group you have you need matching channels, for instance, say you have 30 DMR talk groups in your radio then you need 30 channels, 30 channels are 30 repeater entries or hotspot, so for every talk group you have to enter the same repeater frequency or hotspot frequency over and over and create receive group lists it's a hell of a lot of hassle.

Now, say you want to travel to another region, country, then you got to program 30 more channels for the different repeater then link this to the 30 talk groups, and the same for each and every repeater so you can imagine the length of time needed to program a DMR radio it just wasn't invented for Ham radio use, Wires-x was this is the key difference.

The FT-3d, all you have to do is enter the repeater or hotspot frequency then press wires-x and you are into wires-X it really is as simple as that, if you travel or go to another country you simply need to enter the repeater frequencies, import from repeaterbook and enter into rtsystems software and it's as easy as this so when you get to another repeater/country you'll only ever have to just find the repeater frequency and press wires-x and you can then connect to the channels you stored previously. With Wires-x you can store the reflectors or wires-x rooms. With DMR, no chance, you got a whole lot of spreadsheet processing to do.

Bear in mind that if using a hotspot you can not access official Yaesu Wires-x rooms, you can only access wires-x rooms from a Yaesu node or wires-x node.

I can access wires-x via my openspot 3 and ft-3d but this only gives me access to reflectors not official wires-x the openspot 3 just allows you to use the wires-x on the ft-3d to access the ysf reflectors, so bear in mind that if using any hotspot you can not access official wires-x rooms but a lot of YSF Reflectors are connected to wires-x rooms.

Anyway, the FT-3d is an easy and nice radio to use and while the audio might not be the best I have programmed DMR radio and it takes far too much messing around so if you don't want to do this then get the FT-3d.
VA7ZEB Rating: 2021-03-02
Not perfect but very good. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
It's not perfect but it does so much that others can't do that I'm giving this a top rating.

First the bad: The touch screen is hit and miss. There's a totally inadequate amount of customization allowed. The Alpha Tags are still too short (although better than most). You still need RT Systems to program the thing decently. It doesn't ship with a desk charger, and the only way you're doing USB charging is if you buy a step-up cable. GPS isn't very sensitive and often can't get a fix. There's no TNC access and APRS messaging is clunky to use (beaconing is fine).

The good:

Wide receive is amazing and covers marine, air, CB, LADD (for those of us in Canada), VHF/UHF/220, FRS, GMRS, shortwave, weather and broadcast. I really consider that to be a critical feature for emergency preparedness.

Memory banks let you organize your channels just about any way you want. I keep separate banks for each of the groups in my wide receive list above.

Most menus are excellent and the radio is easy to navigate. I know others will disagree with this but that's my assessment.

The colour screen isn't as bright as a phone (or as responsive) but it's better than any other HT screen I've seen, and even though touch is hit and miss, it's GOT touch which most others don't. The screen is also very well designed to give you maximum information at a glance.

It has APRS and, with Kenwood discontinuing the D74, I believe that leaves it as the only full implementation APRS HT out there (double check me on that if it matters as I might be wrong).

Bluetooth is surprisingly useful and lets you use your radio without forcing your hobby on those nearby.

C4FM has been surprisingly good although I'm new with it so time will tell on that one.

The battery lasts the better part of a day for me, and well over a day of light use.

Some complain about the speaker. Maybe I'm not that fussy but I think it's fine. I get reasonable audio reports, too, although 5 watts isn't going to get you all that far no matter what the rest of the radio is like.

Build quality is excellent and it just has the feeling of something that could last 20 years.

Overall, I am extremely satisfied. There are things I would like improved but this is the best HT on the market right now for my money.

W6CJ Rating: 2021-01-14
Hey, Yaesu: Not a great way to promote C4FM & Fusion Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I'll start with the bottom line:

Receive audio out of the FT3D speaker is horrible, on FM but especially in C4FM. You cannot monitor for long periods with the FT3D. The FT3DR receive audio sounds tinny. Highs are over-emphasized and there are no mids or lows. Received audio is even worse when the other station is transmitting with a too-high mike gain setting, or a mike that boosts the highs.

The hiss or crackle in not-full-quieting FM signals is irritating in this radio because the highs in the hiss are boosted, making it harder to hear the speech in the signal.

A handheld radio, especially when in noisy or outdoor environments, must do a good job of reproducing human speech (lows, mids and highs) - especially with C4FM, or other digital modes. I should not have to buy a speaker-mike, or bluetooth headset to circumvent the poor receive audio.

Listen up, Yaesu:
If you are seriously trying to promote C4FM, Fusion and WIRES-X, don't use a bad-sounding speaker. The poor grade I gave the FT3DR is mainly because of the speaker audio. Look at public safety and Amateur radios that sound good - what they all have in common is a larger speaker. Larger speakers do a much better job of reproducing the lows and midranges in human speech

The FT3DR comes with a "manual" that is Yaesu's spin on what they think you need. Other specific manuals (WIRES-X, APRS, GM, ...etc) have to be downloaded from Yaesu. The manuals were pokey; hard to read and I would advise Yaesu to spend a moment on layout, translation and English grammar. The Yaesu programming software was convoluted, so I bought the RT Systems programming software and USB cable-highly recommended. I also bought the charging stand.

I sensed that Yaesu took shortcuts in the design of the radio...the receive audio; squelch pops when you change frequencies or scan; missing APRS features; and its stops decoding C4FM sometimes.

I too noticed the annoying clicks in the received audio when the scan function is on. Not acceptable, especially if you have to monitor for any length of time such as ECOMM or special-events comm.

As well as a good (non-tinny) speaker; absence of annoying hiss, pops, clicks- and features that work, I'd like to see the addition of 220 MHz and a display that would hold up better in bright or outdoor light.

I tried the so-called "VOX" function on FM simplex, and it makes my transmitted audio sound awful - low, mushy and a slight echo. Disabled the VOX and sounded normal again.

I broke down and bought a Yaesu SSM-17A speaker-mike as a possible work-around for the tinny receive audio in this model. With the SSM-17A, receive audio is only a little less tinny (disappointing). What's worse is, with the SSM-17A speaker-mike attached, annoying pops are heard at the beginnings of other stations transmissions and whenever the touchscreen is pressed.


WC2F Rating: 2021-01-10
Great ht packed with so many goodies Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
As soon as i unpacked the radio bam! I was amazed by it. Got rt s5stem softeare with cable plusvthe free adams software both worked great. I used aa dv4mini and get so much access to rooms and more.

APRS, C4FM fusion and use it portable as a node

In yaesu wires-x

Love it
SQ9MEZ Rating: 2020-11-21
Good radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Very good radio, has a few bugs but I hope the company will fix them with updates. Wires x support very good, bt operation with plantronics handset perfect. Generally a simple radio with digital functions and a wide receiver, a larger battery could be needed, the antenna is very good, some interference from the display and overall everything seems positive
EA4AZZ Rating: 2020-11-15
NO PROBLEMS FOUND Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have bought one week ago. Works great. No display noise, no bad audio , no nothing. The gps is fast and aprs recepcion is great. In the same position witch VX8r and TH D7 2.0 the ft3d receive the same aprs packets. C4fm works great. I cant found any problem . My unit works great.

The BT SSM BT10 also works great. Great audio in TX and RX
DL1ESZ Rating: 2020-10-22
Nice Radio but hard Problems with BT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
so even after 3 weeks of use, i found a lot of Problems/Bugs. I cannot understand why Yaesu cant deliver a nearly fail free radio, what is wrong with there software, Product manager and testing crew?
Problems and hints
BT is unusable, the sound with the ssm-bt10 is not usable, high distortion on TX low audio by RX and less than 2m Range. The TX-Audio switches beetween overdirven and noisy,(put your hand for the screen and RX hum is better!!! BT RFI Problem) a change of the Headset does not solved the problem, a use of jabra or plantronics headset gave a better audio but most headsets cannot swich ptt without vox, Range and poor Audioi is still given.
The SSM-BT10 (original BT-HS has a build in chip which check the noise around and set the NF audio level up or down , means in quiet environment the audio increase and is distorted (highlly). this also takes a little time so the first 2 seconds audio is not given (check Build in chip CSR8615 in SSM-BT10/ nice review in youtube about the SSM-BT10 )
Build in Loudspeaker is a joke, never seen by other handhelds..
Batery Managment is good, better than FT1 or 2. Display fine, TX sound very good modulation in FM and C4FM, produces low BER.
By external 12V HT will be very fast hot like all Yaesu HT / Power reach 4-5 Watts with Baterry and ext Power both identical.
Accu charges poorly ( if empty 8h), but charge with external Power when radio is on with external PSU ( 12V 3Amps TX and charge ok).Sometimes signaling no battery (off/ on solves the Problem) End of charge Voltage is 8.6Volt hope that is not to high (normally max 8.4V)
NO different mike gains for internal mic, external mic and BT, so you like a lot of changing beween FM and C4FM by using different mic sources, why? ( mikegain BT 2-3, internal Mic 7, external depents of used equipment 5-9 / divergent on mode FM or C4FM)
APRS is not usable, does decode less the half the packet than a TH-D7,74, TMD700 or VX8
Conclusion: Yaesu Yaesu.... Software is not your thing, does you testers/productmanages test major functions before go live? Sometimes it will help to do a QSO and check the result of it
Programming software is still missing ( only 3rd party like RT Systems works well),

Over al, this radio has the possibillity to be a very fine radio but therefoer Yaesu have to fix a lot of problems.
This review was made by 8 owners who has owned the radio with neary all original equipment and has a lot of expierence on hanradio and exspacially with Yaesu HT like FT1, FT2, FT70, VX7,VX8 and other fine stuff from Yaesu
By the way i like the radio....

Update BT Funktion....
we found a very good small BT Headset called Plantronics 87300-05 Voyager Legend Bluetooth-Headset Voyager Schwarz 3
Its cost 53 € in Germany amazon prime and woks very well.
The TX Audio is fine Rx also and the PTT woks also with the headset back button with 7-10h activity.
Distance still 1-2m. The original SSM-BT10 is a bad choice the Plantronics is much much better. Mic Gain 3-5 is for C4FM and FM ok
News Novenber 2019: Yaesu established new programming software ADMS11 on there website and runs fine also with the RT-Systems cable. Chirp implement in there free programming software the FT3 runs also very fine. Now exists 3 Software for programming the FT3. RT-Systems and ADMS-11 and chirp for Windows and Chirp also for Linux. A workaround for Linux based on the RT-Systems cable is on my QRZ presence "in detaisl". This rise the rating for 4 Stars up. Hope that Firmware Update fort BT Problem ( low distance and quality) is comming soon
Update after 1 Year Nov 2020

After all these described problems my one had a problem with audio jack connection to external Headset and BT connection was lost.
I send it back to dealer ( who is also the official service for Yaesu in DE), make long things short, i get it back and what a suprise it works perfect, no BT Problems with SSM-BT10 or any other Headsets with BT, all functions are well, it looks like a new device without the Bluetooth Problems, so increase the voting to 5 Stars.

W3LJ Rating: 2020-10-10
Tiny screen, terrible audio, USB audio, proprietary modes Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought the FT3DR because Yaesu C4FM is used heavily in my area. The only reason to buy this radio is because you need a C4FM HT. If we had multiple brands to pick from that support C4FM, you would not want to buy this radio.

The screen is really small. It's crazy that in 2020 when smartphones that cost $40 have 5" screens that Yaesu can't figure out how to put a decent size screen on the radio. It's a touch screen so it's really hard to press the correct button with the soft buttons so small.

The audio is really bad. Both the built-in speaker and the camera speaker mic have terrible sounding audio. I'm going to purchase an MFJ external speaker and see how that performs.

Are people really demanding smaller HT's? I don't understand the tiny screen and tiny speaker. The radio does hold nicely in the hand, but it could be a bit larger and still be comfortable to hold. I don't know what Yaesu is thinking when it comes to the ergonomics of this radio.

The radio has an AX.25 modem so it can send and receive APRS. Why can't I connect a virtual serial port over USB to be able to use the AX.25 modem to connect to other stations. C4FM is a stupid mode for not providing for data transfer. At least let me use the AX.25 modem to send data. C4FM can send pictures via the camera on the microphone. Clearly data transport is possible, why not allow me to send RACES situation reports? Seems silly to have built all this capability and then only allow it to be used to send tiny pictures from one tiny screen to another.

If I need to connect this radio to a computer to use FLDIGI I have to buy an expensive audio interface like the Signalink. In 2020 it's crazy that we still have to do this. Why doesn't the USB port that's already on the radio show up as a virtual sound card to the computer? I can do this with a Baofeng and $25 worth of parts, on a radio this expensive I expect to get USB audio.

C4FM is a stupid mode and Yaesu are a bunch of bad engineers for creating it. We deserve a digital voice and data mode that is free from proprietary codecs (IMBE/AMBE) and is interoperable across all the brands of radios. It's silly that we have D-STAR and YSF. Even if YSF has some technical superiority over D-STAR, D-STAR was first and Yaesu should have known that the community needs a single standard. They should have never created YSF.

The GPS in a $50 smartphone can get a fix inside my house, why does the FT3DR need to be outside for the GPS receiver to get a fix?

Remember VHS and BETAMAX? Remember Bluray and HD-DVD? The market settled on a single standard relatively quickly. Technology in ham radio moves at a snails pace. It will take a decade or more for us to get a single digital mode that's commonly available across brands.

I think that Yaesu knows they are behind Icom and Kenwood when it comes to product design skill. I think they knew the only way they could survive in the digital voice world was to carpet bomb the market with ultra cheap YSF repeaters. That's a good strategy from their marketing team. That's good for their investors/owners. This is very bad for the ham radio community. I wish all YSF repeater owners would lock their repeaters in analog FM mode to discourage people from buying these terrible YSF radios.
KC8RZM Rating: 2020-10-05
Terrible audio and reduced HF sensitivity compared to the FT2DR Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I haven't really put this handheld through its paces. But I have to say the audio on this handheld is just bad and inferior to the FT2DR (which I also own and like very much). Audio on VHF/UHF is merely ok but is clearly inferior to its older brother re volume and overall quality. On HF it's just awful with distortion even at low volumes whilst the FD2DR's audio on the HF band is just fine. At first I thought my FD3DR's speaker was faulty but it seems others have noted the audio issue as well.

The color screen is pretty an' all but getting good audio is a basic requirement and if I had to choose between my FT2DR and FT3DR I'd go with my FT2DR which I think is a great little handheld despite all the negative comments I've read about it...honestly the FT2DR's screen is just fine as far as I'm concerned.

The FT3DR is also noticeably less sensitive on HF than its older brother the FT2DR. With the supplied rubber duck antenna, weak stations that are clear and readable on the FT2DR are completely absent on the FT3DR.

Apart from the color screen, the FT2DR has noticeably superior HF sensivitity and audio compared to it's younger brother.