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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-1500M

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held)

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-1500M
Reviews: 185MSRP: 229
This is the new Yaesu FT-1500M Mono-band 2 Meter mobile radio. 50 watts out, MH-48 mic, CTCSS encode + decode, DTMF encode + decode, 130 memories, 1200-9300 Packet ready (connector on back), Backlit display, and most other bells and whistles you would come to expect from Yaesu (including SmartSearch, Clock Shift, ect.).
Product is not in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N2ZVT Rating: 2021-02-13
I own 2 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought my first FT-1500M in January 2001 ($139). Put it in my pickup by looping a cable through the mounting bracket. Hung it on the 4WD shifter. Plugged the power cord into the lighter socket. Added a mag mount. It is used almost daily. Still is. I like this radio so much that 2 months after I purchased the first one, I bought another one for a base rig. Works great.
Hit the * key, brings up the squelch. Direct entry from the mic. This was a huge factor in my purchasing this radio. I had an alinco that could not directly enter freqs. This was a PITA, especially mobile. Gave the alinco away as soon as I bought the Yaesu. Display is easy to read. Alpha tags, if you like them, I like to see the freq.
One button WX channel. Extended receive let me monitor some local PD, FD and EMS freqs (150 mhz range).
The only nit I have is that the radio does pick up some intermod. Someone told me that using a 2 meter only antenna will lessen this (I use an old dualband mag mount). It doesn't bother me enough to switch it.
Some have said not to have your radio on when starting your vehicle. I have left my radio on while starting and stopping my truck for years.
No problems. The cig lighter gets turned off when starting.
The heat sink (body of the radio) will get warm to the touch, almost hot, on long winded transmissions. Never a concern.
4.5 out of 5.

After more than 20 years both radios are still going strong. Work as well as when I purchased them. They are no longer used daily, but still operate as new. Display is still bright, buttons still function well. The rubber on the Mic cable started to disintegrate after all this time. I purchased a replacement cable for both hand mics on Amazon for just around $10. Fantastic job by Yaesu.
KQ4KK Rating: 2019-01-10
Will be running into the next century Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought my first one over 20 years ago for $120 new. Good ones, used now are $150. They are about the last 2m mobile that has a standard DATA port on the back for 1200/9600 packet. They make fantastic digi's for PACKET, APRS and even as a DSTAR mobile with the addition of a GMSK modem and DVDongle. I have 3 scattered around the county providing APRS coverage for over 10 years solid. Yea, the mic. cables are worthless. But as a data radio, you don't use the mic.

Earlier 5-star review posted by KQ4KK on 2012-09-02

The FT1500 has a 6 pin miniDIN port that can do 9600 baud. Add a STAR Board, a laptop, and it can act as a DSTAR HOT Spot. Add a DV Dongle and it can act as a 50watt Vhf DSTAR radio, not even being ICOM. Imagine, using a 15 year old radio as a DSTAR radio! Still have some running as APRS Digi's for years. Now, another use for the fine little brick.
K0VH Rating: 2019-01-09
Owned & used mobile since 2001 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I wrote a 4/5 review July 01, net: I mounted the rig sideways on the drivers side console under my right leg if you can picture it ... bought it for size, power, features - it has it all. No problems with heat but usually use no more than 25 W except on trips... Programming the rig is a bit of a bear...very satisfied with rig.
NOW 17+ years later after using on TWO Jeep GCs I plan to install into a new 19 Hyundai Santa Fe this Spring. I had it on the left side of the dash on my 07 Jeep GC for 11 years; nice little storage pocket that pops out on those old Jeeps fits a small mobile rig like this. The SF will need to revert to the "under the right leg" mount I had on my 01 Jeep. My only problems on this radio are microphones and cables. My original mic was intermittent, finally bought an Amazon MH-48 replacement but I think it was fake: mic was hot, easy to overdrive/clip repeaters (ok on 52). So I finally got just a new cable for $6 on ebay, now using the 17 yr old original mic head and getting fine reports with rig in house. Hopefully I can get the same after installing in the new SUV otherwise will be back to HH mobile.
These mics/cables take lots of stretching and abuse, I wish they had the room to use the old 8 pin metal connectors. This is a 5* radio for quality otherwise. I have a Yaesu FT2900R in my other car and it's great but 2X the size of the 1500M.

Earlier 4-star review posted by K0VH on 2001-07-17

I have had this radio for 3 months now, sold off an older larger YAESU when I bought my Grand Cherokee (nice SUV, but with console no room for big rigs). In fact I mounted the rig sideways on the drivers side console under my right leg if you can picture it vs tried it on left side for 2 weeks and did not like that spot. I bought it for size, power, features - it has it all. No problems with heat but usually use no more than 25 W except on trips. As other reviews have said a rotary or 'instant access' digital squelch (eg, use mic scan buttons) would have been nice as I have some car induced spurs so I need to up the standard squelch setting BUT P1 mic key that opens the squelch instantly. Programming the rig is a bit of a bear - be sure to learn how to use other 4 mic buttons that line up to rig that pick home frequency, switch power levels, etc so you do not have to take your eye off the road. I use the built in speaker but per my rig mounting spot it's kinda pointed up at me under my leg. (Nothing to do with this rig but DO NOT use a glass mt antenna as I got one but not satisfied with performance vs my old mag mt plus have heard they are nasty for emitting RF into the car even from rear hatch area). NET: very satisfied with rig for $175 a real steal and a size that fits anyplace (with cigar plug you could take it on business trips). 73s Dave K0VH
KE0OHO Rating: 2018-07-04
EXCELLENT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After being lost for 10 years, my 20 year old radio was found again,filthy, grimly dusty looking thing,, but it still works fine. If the only thing that you have found wrong is a frayed mic cable, thats not a problem, that is a minor issue. You havent seen the problems yet to have risen in your world.
MW0LDJ Rating: 2017-05-25
Bomb-proof, solid, reliable Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought a 2nd hand FT-1500 when I first received my Novice licence (MW3 in the UK) back in 2007 as I was restricted to 10 watts or less on that licence, and immediately loved it. I now hold a full, UK amateur licence and still run the very same radio for mobile/portable operation. It's bomb-proof, the super solid construction means it can take more than a gentle knock. I've taken it hiking, I've dropped it, got it wet and it still delivers.
I tend to hold extended simplex rag-chews, many of which are over several tens of miles so the 25 and 50-watt output capability is a great help. The high power also comes in very handy for accessing distant repeaters. I did build a small housing for the radio with a couple of PC cooling fans when it was in the shack as it can get hot on full power but even without it the radio is still extremely stable. Like others have reported, the mic lead did deteriorate but it is no hassle to replace.
The mic is also of a good quality with frequency input and programmable functions directly on the front of the mic. A switch to the side also backlights the mic, a real advantage when out for nighttime hilltop DX. It also feels good in the hand, unlike many of the modern mics which feel light and cheap.
For simplex or duplex in the FM mode, you'd have to go a long way to beat this little diamond of a rig.
This radio is deserving of a 5/5 for its ease of use, multiple operating features, power output and build quality.
5B4AJG Rating: 2015-10-05
Work horse Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Got mine from an old friend who left the rig running for long periods due to him forgetting to power it down etc (dementia)! It was in a poor/dirty state with a very ragged mic cable. A replacement mic cable from eBay £3.04 and some tlc in cleaning the rig and now it's like new. I believe this rig was nicknamed "the battleship", well mine has been through it and is working as good as new, all it took was a simple mic cable change and some time to clean it up. It's got a nice bright blue screen, fair audio output for its size and I'm guessing it's got years ahead with sturdy reliability. Nice one Yaesu.
KA1VF Rating: 2015-06-12
a Military grade rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought mine used but not abused several years
ago, and it came from a good home. The original
owner hardly used it at his QTH, and I've hardly
used it at my QTH. But, I've always been amazed
at the rugged design and the operating simplicity.
I've only used it as a base station to check into
a few weekly nets, and some occasional repeater
hopping. But, with a J-pole in the attic at 35'
I can hit a lot of distance repeaters with the
rig set to the 25 watt output.
KG4LLQ Rating: 2015-06-12
Great FM Rig..BUT.. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
All the 5/5 comments I echo, except...........
Mine has been exclusively in my non-smoking, heated/air conditioned shack since purchased in 2001. But the microphone cable insulation has deteriorated to the point where I am afraid to operate it.
I want to post the FT-1500m to sell, as I rarely do FM/VHF; but I don't want to sell the rig with the damaged mic cable. So, I'm at a loss as to what to do.
Thanks Yaesu for making a nice FM radio, but if you must, buy your microphone cables from Icom or someone else.
HA7WX Rating: 2014-08-19
Lacks a dedicated squelch knob. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
So much has been said here. This is a great rig, because it's like a tank and could withstand an explosion, because it's receiver is hot and selective (no intermod either) and because of the 50W PWR in such a small package without any fan noise to bother anyone.
Almost forgot to mention that it draws no more than between 8 and 9 amps (!!!) at 50W, so its efficiency is higher than other rigs.
However, i'd rate it 4.5 because of its lack of dedicated squelch knob which can drive one crazy when crossing a city.
One way to get around that is to set it up higher than needed and push on the mike the dedicated button to open the squelch if the station's signal strength i am listening to weakens dramatically.
I am also having the mike cord issue but i have eventually ordered a new one, so no problem here.
This one is a keeper after all, because of its size, quality of manufacture (will last forever) and its receiver's performance.
Highly recommended knowing the above facts.
W8AAZ Rating: 2014-06-17
Further adventures Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I probably reviewed this years ago. Still have two, got them cheap when they were discounted. One for fast deploy removable mobile, one for base station. Only issue over the years, the vinyl jacket on one mic cord pulled out of the plug and split. So I got one of the hi qual. US sold ebay aftermarket cables, not the Chinese things. Worth the greater cost. Only downsides are heating in extended Hi pwr, and tinny speaker. Both radios used with better speakers and not run as much at highest pwr, not needed here usually. Don't know if pgm. software works with W7 or later. Mine are still not for sale! Radios themselves aways have worked, no hiccups or fixes. Put rubber washers under the knobs if you find them too easy to jar accidentally off settings, esp. volume.