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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
ZS5J Rating: 2020-10-02
A lemon in the hand Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Really ? this is Yaesu's flagship HT ?

Firstly the form factor - it is short and fat. It feels like I am holding a lemon in my hand, perhaps that's because it is a lemon. I would have preferred 2 inches taller, and slimmer. Using the extra length to have a bigger display screen and/or a proper full keypad, and a higher capacity battery. C'mon Yaesu.

The speaker is awful, any cheap Chinese cell phone has better audio coming out of their speakers, than the Yaesu FT3DR

GPS and APRS integration is terrible

Bluetooth integration is a hack at best

My FT3DR is going into file 13 and I will be getting the Kenwood TH-D74A. Yaesu has a rich history of making good HT's, they can do it. Listen to your customers next time Yaesu.
KE7MU Rating: 2020-09-23
Quirky little thing, not worth the money! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Yaesu, just can't seem to get it right. A rapid succession from FT1Dr, then FT2, now FT3, still problematic! I was chided for spending allot on the Th74 kenwood, but at least it works. I thought it would be better than my FT70, but noooo, more money for a quirky and difficult paperweight. Few local repeaters, and $500+ to set up a node! So back to DStar even if the voices sound funny.
DF5KC Rating: 2020-09-19
Far from being ready for the market Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
YAESU! Can't you do better?

To me it seems, after a time of making weird experiences with the FT3-DE, that the product was mainly 'built' by designers, taking most of the functions from the FT2 and trying to even minimize the case to a size, which is good for a jeans pocket, but not for a man's hand.
Sound? No comment, every iPhone is a concert hall, enough said here, and I sign every word.
Bluetooth? See above, not reliably usable.
Influences of different kind, audible as clicks, confusing S-meter indications when changing channels or watching the scope. Some disappear with the first step of Squelch.

I was was happy to find Yaesu's free programming software. I was desperate, when I found out that the USB-cable provided with the radio isn't good for it. OK, got an SD-card, no issue. But desperate again, when the programming didn't work as described... 2 times fine, after that never again, I tried everything, learning the manual by heart and watching free youtube tutorials. So I got the professional software by RT-systems.... perfect from the very beginning until today! Yaesu, what's wrong with you?
I'm addicted to APRS, have lot of fun with it, but even here I'm disappointed. Compared to my 'old faithful YAESU VX8', two steps back. A lot of stations can't be decoded, even with strong signals.

But since yesterday I'm completely fed up. Some 15 FM radio stations are stored, which I hear from time to time for information and entertainment (OK, the sound is good for news, music is worse than my landline telephone of 1965). When I was searching for my favorite station, I found out that some others were missing and no longer on the list. Going back and forward, more and more stations disappeared, until at the end only one station was left and the FT3-DE gave up all other options. Not one button showed a reaction, loudness, squelch, A/B, modes, bands.... nothing, not even SWITCH OFF! So, no other way to do than taking the battery off.
Waiting for a minute, then battery attached again, the radio went on, but with the same faults.
So I let the battery off for one night. But no improvement.
Taking the SD-card out, resetting the HT to the original status after unboxing, entering my callsign, SD-card in and loading my settings. Everything worked again. To be honest, who would agree with me???, when I say: that's far from being a reliable handheld!

Again I want to express my disappointment, I have an old VX-8 and thus be able to compare that with the new FT3-DE. Two steps back, except the nice colour touch screen no further improvements. The screen could be a little closer to the front surface, finger trouble is what I'm used to experience now. I'm not a surgeon, but far from having digger's fingers.

I bought this new HT, because I live in Germany and Italy, good to have C4FM, APRS, Broadcast radio and all the other options. But when they don't work reliably, I'd better wait for an FT4,5 or 6. The FT3 is definitely not ready to be sold. I observe Yaesu advertising like crazy on all media for it, I suppose because it's not the fast-selling radio, recommended from ham to ham, they were hoping for...

Yaesu, you could better, much better.

I'm waiting urgently for an update, healing all the teething problems. Please, Yaesu, take my critics for serious. You are burning money trying to market this radio by means of a crowbar. Sooner or later owners will find out and reputation is down. Bad news travel fast.

If nothing happens I will sell it in a few months with big loss to someone who just needs a handheld and not the beautiful options this radio, or at least the marketing promises in huge, colorful accessory advertising.

The devil is in the detail... too many devils!

Just my 50ct

N1FRZ Rating: 2020-09-14
Compatible bluetooth receiver Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I wanted to connect the FT3DR to my car's Bluetooth but as a lot of other people have found out there are not a lot of Bluetooth receivers that work with the FT3DR. After buying and returning two receivers I finally found one that worked. It is the MPOW Wireless Music Receiver Model BH408A on Amazon:

I plugged this device into my car's USB port to keep it charged and the audio cable into my car's Aux jack. Now I can hear the FT3DR audio through my car's audio system.
EI5IKB Rating: 2020-09-09
Seems fine to me. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'm newly licensed and this is my first handheld, so I've nothing to compare it to. My version was the FT3DE.

The only issue's I've found are:
1. Bluetooth will not connect with any car I've had it in so far.
2. You need to keep quite close to the mic when using it, otherwise modulation is reported as low.

Other than that, I'm happy with it and would buy another one. It's small and solid, quite heavy for it's size. Sound is good, FM broadcast stations are crystal clear.

I knocked off one star for non functioning BT.

Not really relevant to the HT itself, but I did get the charging stand with it. That can be hard to get the radio into, it doesn't always just slot in first time.
N2QGV Rating: 2020-09-07
1st experience -Fail / 2nd -Not ready for prime time Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I was looking for a part the other day, and while digging around in the corner of the shack I kicked something on the floor that was buried. Oh my, it was my FT3DR. Must remember to put it somewhere else out of the way so as not to step on it again and get broken.

This will be my 3rd and final review of this HT. I have spend a full week very intensively messing with this little rig. I must admit my opinion was severely influenced by the 1st HT I received. Yaesu was lucky I gave it two stars. That rig should never have made it thru quality control and the factory. My experience levels have been based on use of several other HTs (older Icoms, VX-2, VX-6, and VX-7 Yaesu HTs, and more current Icom ID51a and Kenwood TH-D74a).

I find my expectations and what the FT3D offers in features and the user interface are gradually merging into a more favorable opinion. I have learned that by turning the volume down on the SSM-BT10 ear piece and almost upping the HT volume to full, it becomes useable with little background buzzing noise. And yes the useable range of the BT seems to be maybe around 3'. Ok if the HT is in your pocket or on the belt. Just don't expect much if you walk away from it. APRS can still use some improvement. It is a feature that I would rarely use, so it is a non issue at this time for me. I would like to give the HT a 3.5, but I have to choose a three or four star rating. I believe it tends to be closer to four stars, so I have changed my initial rating from two to four stars. 73....
* * * * * * * * * *
Below is my review of the first HT I purchased. It was returned. The immediate difference observed between the original and the replacement was the firmware. The replacement was ver1.02 with a JAN date. I do not have the date of the original, but it came with ver1.01. The first review were observations after I updated to ver1.02.

2nd HT Update......
1. No Clicking sound.
2. Still has the scanning issue reported.
3. No change in opinion of HRO
4. No Pop noise heard emitting from speaker with one exception. (See APRS)
5. Buzzing still there in audio stream, although it is at a reduced level about 1/2 as loud as encountered with first HT.

APRS - I did not spend any time on first go around with this. I did check it out yesterday. Yuck.... Decoding issue obvious. Side by side with a TH-D74 the Kenwood easily decoded all packet bursts received and filled the station heard list. The FT3D heard the same bursts, but decoded nothing except for the occasional Yippie moment when we got one. Also when APRS is functioning and you use the encoder to scroll through the APRS 1 to 28 menu items the annoying static POP is back. This only happens when the modem is on at 1200. Modem off, no noise. Select a station heard in the S.List, tap to review, and use the encoder to scroll thru the various screens of APRS data for the station. The Blue led lights up and the static POP is heard for each turn of the encoder. This happens with the modem on or off. Not the quality expected for a HT at this price point.

Overall Impression...… Not Ready for Prime Time
I will hold onto this HT. It may be a good one in the future, but not now. My TH-D74, ID-51a, and VX7 all have an overall feel of quality in all aspects of form and function. The TH-D74 is still the top dog in this fight. Yaesu I believe rushed this to market and volunteered their customers to their QC team. They did not thoroughly investigate the "quirks" when their hardware and software were merged into the form factor of this HT. I have never owned one, but I am left with "That Baofang Feeling" about this radio. I think all of the issues can be resolved as Yaesu continues to roll out a string of new firmware updates. The radio has not been released for sale too long and we have three versions of firmware already. (original ver.00, ver.01, and ver.02)

* * * * * * * * * * *
Before I get into the review, I want to express my thanks for the great customer service that HRO offered attempting to correct the below issues. The HT was immediately taken back and a replacement should be on the way today. Hopefully I can do a second review with five stars.

1. Received the radio on Saturday afternoon. By Sunday it was evident that when the HT was using YSF and C4FM any press on the display or button that would cause the rig to transmit a "Click" was heard. No noise when PTT was pressed. Ok, so I was attempting to convince myself this was appropriate and to ignore it.
2. Continued to use HT to learn how to operate. I noticed that when scanning memories, if the rig stopped and opened the speaker on a signal less than 1/2 strength on the meter a rapid pulse noise was heard that matched the dimming and brightening of the little decimal point on the display used to as a separator for the frequency. An additional annoyance.
3. Sent an e-mail to HRO explaining my experiences and received prompt reply asking me to call Yaesu with problem and based on their response stated they would replace if a resolution not found. Yaesu stated these issues have not been reported and warranty rested with retailer as first step. While still in denial mode I went to Hamcation in Orlando and on Friday purchased a Bluetooth head set and the PDN cabling kit from HRO.
4. Spent quite a bit of time with the HT messing with Wires PDN modes. It appears that after being on an extended time and really warmed up a new annoyance showed up. As an example then using the encoder to scroll thru menus a new noise manifested through the speaker every time a change was made to the display. Scroll down through five sub-menus and I would hear POP, POP, POP, POP, and POP coming out of speaker with each change. Yes I was starting to get grumpy and it was late at night.
5. Broken back syndrome. Before calling it a night and I might say extremely unhappy with my purchase, I decided to pair the Yaesu headset to the HT. Pairing was simple and quick. The quality of the audio was horrible. A constant buzzing in my ear was not acceptable and the proverbial straw. For comparison I paired to an iPhone and another manufacturers' HT and there was no background buzzing in the headset.

As I mentioned in the beginning, I returned to Hamcation and HRO on Saturday morning and James promptly took possession of the defective HT and told me I would be receiving a shipping notification for a replacement either late on Saturday or Monday. My take is the color display, associated hardware, or software are defective. Could it be making a strong enough noise to open the squelch or just bypassing and blasting into the speaker? I really like the format and features of this HT. Firmware updates are what they are. So this Monday morning I am waiting to receive the tracking e-mail. Fingers are crossed hoping for the best...

W4PHS Rating: 2020-08-21
Lots of bells and whistles. Terrible sound quality. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Over the last 10 years I've owned many HT ranging from a Baofeng UV-5R to high end Icom HT with DSTAR. I own DMR radios and everything in between. I've never been as disappointed with a radio as I am with the FT3DR.

The problem comes down to the sound quality -- it's awful. The speaker opening covers an area 1/2"x1". I think the speaker is the size of a dime. You get only very limited high frequencies. Even female voices are distorted.

I don't care how many wiz-bang features and bells and whistles a radio has, if you can't hear the person talking to you, it's worthless. I'd choose the $35 Baofeng over the FT3D any day.
K3CLT Rating: 2020-08-18
Very disappointed Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Yaesu like so many other companies are stuck in the mode of cramming more stuff into a radio and make it smaller. This radio is a prime example. First they designed the chassis for the radio and started adding stuff. When they were done, they had a radio with a battery that takes all day to charge, a speaker that is very small and very tinny. Just about any Baofeng will sound better. Having 2 bands and one set of controls is a real pain to operate. If you carry the radio then you better LOCK the screen because it will bet bumped and change stuff. If you have it locked and listening to 2 bands then you have to decide which band you want to control the volume on. Now you have to unlock the radio, hit the A/B button to switch control.
If you want to scan your memories you will find it somewhat easy to do but the buttons are very small, fun to do with fat fingers. Just look at the display with the menus open and you will see how small things are.
Now this could have been remedied by just making the radio a couple inches longer, installing a larger speaker, and a bigger screen. Put in separate controls for each band.
I have to look around now for another radio that has some though process done before putting the radio on the market.
I am surprised that some of the reviews give the radio good marks on the audio? Maybe if it was a $35.00 radio but for $350.00+ radio? I am more surprised that QST gave the radio good marks all around. I think Yaesu could have done much better.
W9OWO Rating: 2020-08-10
Seriously Poor Audio Quality Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The poor audio quality is enough reason to leave this radio on the shelf. The sound mimics a cheap 1950's AM transistor radio. Very disappointed.
W7LDG Rating: 2020-05-06
Excellent Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Got this new and was a little concerned about some of the things people have written. I am happy to say that i am very pleased. Audio sounds great and is loud enough I don't need to keep turned way up. GPS is flawless and the APRS works great. It really makes me wonder what some folks expect out of a HT radio. Anyway I am very happy and plan to get another one to carry in my truck for C4FM use. Radio is built solid and the screen is awesome. It will go well with my TH-D74. Color is so much easier to see. As far as the battery charge time it is listed in the manual. Maybe some should download a copy and read it before they buy a radio and then they wont be so upset about what is listed in the manual.