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ConFuzin' After All These Years (Yaesu FT5 Review) HamRadioNow

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K4AAQ, Oct 2, 2023.

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  1. K4AAQ

    K4AAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    ConFuzin' After All These Years
    (Yaesu FT5 Review) on HamRadioNow

    Back in 2014, I did a HamRadioNow show titled System (Con)Fusion, with a look at Yaesu’s new C4FM mobile and handheld radios that I had just reviewed for QST. In that show, some friends from the Charlotte Digital Radio Group helped me do a comparison of DV modes using handheld radios on D-STAR, DMR, P25, and those new C4FM Fusion. That episode is our most-watched HamRadioNow show, with nearly 48,000 views (one TAPR DCC show in our catelog has more views). And although the show was a fair look at all the radios, the title alone seems to have cememted my place on Yaesu’s black list.

    Fast-forward to 2023, and I've finally added some Fusion radios to my arsonal of mobile, base and handheld radios, with a pair of FTM300s (mobile, base), and an FT5D handheld. In this episode, I review the FT5D, with help from hosts David W0DHG and Jim NO1PC, neither of whom see themselves signing on to System Fusion anytime soon.

    The fun begins with a look at the Yaesu FT5D Facebook Group, where I posted what I considered to be some innocent questions about my new radio (search the group for ‘Gary Pearce’ to find the posts). That led to some snarky replies from a few members of the group, and the ‘discovery’ that I was that Gary Pearce, of System Confusion fame. You be the judge.

    And bottom line: I like the radio just fine (and the FTM300s). There are a few things I'd do different, and a thing or two I consider to be a bug or an oversight in design, but no dealbreakers. And at this point I don't expect Yaesu to take any of my suggestions into consideration because… well, I'm the Confusion guy. And damn proud of it!

    HamRadioNow is also available as an audio podcast
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    US7IGN, WA6QGH, KD5BVX and 1 other person like this.
  2. K7LZR

    K7LZR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ya know, every single Yaesu radio which I've owned or used - except for the 1970s original FT-101b and the FT-817 - had some super annoying user flaw(s) which despite repeated requests from owners were never corrected in firmware. Example 1 - on the FT-891 you cannot toggle between USB & LSB without going 2+ menu levels deep and changing a setting which is then static so you must do it again to toggle back. Why? Also, you'd better be fast on the mode selection or else the radio will pick whichever mode that the tuning knob stops on. Why?

    Example 2 - FT-991A which I had - can recall memory list and scroll through list with a rotary knob but cannot dynamically select & use a memory from that list. Why?

    I gave up and sold those rigs, no regret. That was a few years ago though so maybe these issues are no longer.....
  3. AD4ZU

    AD4ZU Ham Member QRZ Page

    N3HOE likes this.
  4. K4AAQ

    K4AAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    'Catalog' is a typo. 'Arsenal' is just bad spelling. I doubt that I've used that word in print more than twice in my entire life. Sadly, the article is no longer editable. I'll have to live with the shame.
    W5ACO and AD4ZU like this.
  5. K4AAQ

    K4AAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Also, there's a grammar error. A singular subject and plural verb. Can you find it? If not, know that most people get it wrong. Except English teachers.
    KI5HSE likes this.
  6. K2XT

    K2XT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It sounds like you are describing "MT" function, which means Memory Tune. You rotate a knob through memorized frequencies, then when you get to your desired one you rotate the vfo knob and the rig switched to Memory Tune. All well and good until you want to continue reviewing memory frequencies. To do so you have to hit another button to get back into memory mode. Extremely annoying. My 1000MP from 1996 operated that way.

    Your description of the 891 mode selection would be even more annoying, if the user had need to do that often.
  7. KA0JW

    KA0JW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I see the Phantom Proof Reader has struck again. I do however, agree we should all lern to spel
    K4AAQ and KD5BVX like this.
  8. NP2GG

    NP2GG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    At least on the FT3(5)D the memory channels roll over to #1 when you turn the VFO knob past your last programmed memory channel. The FTM300 stops at the last channel and doesn't rollover to the first. You have to turn the VFO knob all the way back to #1.
  9. K4AAQ

    K4AAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or grab the mic and punch in 001. I don't find myself doing that as much as I thought I would.

    Having the hard stop at the beginning and end of the memory channels is unusual behavior for most ham radios. I was surprised to see it in the FTM 300. I'm waiting to find a circumstances where it might actually be useful. Since I put 146.52 as my first memory, rocking back to that and having the radio stop might potentially be useful. We will see.
  10. KQ1V

    KQ1V Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    ...what about that dangling participle?!
    AD4ZU likes this.
  11. N3EG

    N3EG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I will not sit through a YouTube video. I can read. Can you????

    I've also done my own review of the FT5. It does what it's supposed to, but in my opinion Yaesu dropped the ball on several items. I mainly use it for APRS and to add capability of another digital mode. However, it is useless on channels with most 4 digit 2.5 kHz VHF frequencies or split TX/RX PL tones and the charging indicator is completely worthless, along with the stock antenna not being resonant on 2 meters and the supplied cable not programming the radio.

    For me, Yaesu seems to be making their radios hard to like, especially with their HF radio ergonomics.
  12. KE0GXN

    KE0GXN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Don't hold anything back there Earl....:eek:

    I personally don't see much value in most HTs. IMO, the feature rich ones are way overpriced. I have two HTs. An FT-60R and an AnyTone 878UV, I solely bought because my Club had a DMR repeater. The DMR machine has been down for about 2 years or more, so much for that....

    Both HTs sit collecting dust on my shelf. If I want to listen or talk on VHF/UHF, I use my base in the shack or my mobile in my truck.

    And no, I don't clip any HTs to my belt to walk around with at hamfests or much less in public anywhere.
    KQ1V likes this.
  13. KQ1V

    KQ1V Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  14. N1FJB

    N1FJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    My only thoughts are why has Yaesu not fixed the crappy speaker in the ft-2, ft-3 and ft-5. They sound mediocre at best on digital and like total @$$ on analog. I have owned each one hoping they would be better. But no, after research found it is the same damn speaker in each model? Why???? Do we as hams deserve crappy audio? As much as I hate say this Yaesu could learn from some of the cheap Chinese radios. I have a couple that have ten times better audio on analog than any of these 3 models I have listed. Don't get me wrong I really like the theory of Yaesu fusion and love some of the features. Yaesu if you are listening please add just a little more size to the radio and make the analog of your handheld more pleasant. We do not always want to use just digital. Just my 2 cents.
    KA2MWS likes this.
  15. WX1D

    WX1D XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    They're not wrong. The 5D tempts us with it's sexy touch screen, compact form factor and hip VFO font. The problem is when you try to use it. The UI is the most cobbled together mess of buttons, buried menus and mismatched fonts. It's literally harder to program than a 'feng. I say this still loving the radio as I use one almost daily, but cmon. Look at the UV-K5/K6 open firmwares. People are adding pretty sweet bells and whistles and that radio cost me $11, shipped.

    My suggestion is to fire the UI people and start fresh. Bring the hate!
    N3RYB likes this.

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