FTM-350AR - ???

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KD8KSN, Feb 12, 2011.

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  1. KD8KSN

    KD8KSN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Forgot to comment on the xband repeat... From the little bit of research I have done, when using the repeater, just say something like "this is KD8KSN via the KD8KSN repeater," and that should take care of any id requirements, if there are any on crossband.
  2. KA4UDX

    KA4UDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    It works great as a base rig here ... I ran RG-8X originally and then at someones suggestion pulled that down and ran LMR-400 / 50 ohm. My antenna is 25 feet to the top, omni antenna ... a few db gain. Works great. APRS is not the Internet and I imagine most people just set it in beacon mode and forget it. Who would want all those pop ups of APRS bulletins from everyone out there? Most of the functions on the special display / control buttons are not hard to use and quite handy for most common operations ... Squelch ... tone settings ... listening to a repeater Reverse ... VFO / Memory ... Power ... Scan (and Scan Skip) all nice and easy to find. The audio seemed a little low but you can set the Control Head Speakers and / or the speaker in the main unit. I'm still looking for where to plug in a headphones or external speaker? It does get a little warm on high power tx, but most radios probably do that. The main unit I am sure is designed to heat sink and channel that heat away from the internal components. Setting the display contrast where I like it darkens the outlines of the display ... kind of ugly ... but I'm tolerating that in favor of it being darker and crisper for the charaters and symbols rather than lighter and fuzzy. In general it receives great and transmits great at least the reports I get.

    73 de KA4UDX,
    Alan Spicer
  3. KA4UDX

    KA4UDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh the control head suction cup does exactly that ... it sucks! But I guess most suction cups suck. I mounted the control head hanging from my shack shelf rack unit by using 2 1" strips of 3M dual lock (like super velcro) and it's been there ever since then ... instead of constantly falling down with the "sucks"tion cup. It fell in the car on the one road trip I took it on, to the Orlando ham fest quite a few times. It just wouldn't hang onto the windshield for very long.
  4. KA4UDX

    KA4UDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cross band repeat works great while camping or such things from a vehicle. But I wouldn't leave it engaged in base station operation. I'm sure that people wouldn't appreciate an uncoordinated cross-banding repeater. I left mine on and went about 10 miles away ... and had trouble reaching it in the mobile with a handheld. And I wanted to get back home soon and dis-engage it. You never know who is going to transmit on your input frequency. And it's a bit odd repeating repeaters. Someone tuning across it might not know what the h- is going on. The problem also is identifying in this mode if you left it on without being closeby to disable it and not being able to identify if someone else transmits. And re-transmitting a repeater would be getting the id of that repeater which is not your station.
  5. KA4UDX

    KA4UDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    It doesn't seem to say it in the manual, but check this out ...

    On the included microphone:

    * - Switch to left bank (in dual display mode) - press again and activates the band scope
    # - Switch to right bank (in dual display mode) - press again and activates the band scope

    It's really nice to be able to do those things from the microphone ...

    (the following is in the menus and can be modified ... it's in the manual)

    P1 - SQL Off (I change mine to REVERSE for a quick repeater reverse button!)
    P2 - SQL Type
    P3 - RPT Shift
    P4 - TX Power

    A, B, C, and D do things too ... Let me see if I can document this:

    A - VFO / Memory (V/M) - Nice!
    B - (2 beeps ... error?)
    C - (nothing ... this is while in memory mode by the way)
    D - SQL - Squelch setting ... use microphone Up and Down buttons to adjust

    while in VFO mode ...

    A - VFO / Memory (V/M) (this is the same as before, and makes sense)
    B - GR1, H-U, H-V ... maybe someone can explain that? H-U and H-V just seem to be V and U bands
    C - Flashing First 3 Digits - Mhz Up function ... it looks like. (It exits this on it's own with no Up Down button presses for some seconds)
    D - SQL - (this is still Squelch set mode as in memory mode.)

    * In alpha tag programming for memories these keys perform other functions. I'm not sure if that's in the manual. I think it is.

    So, there are a few nice handy buttons to press on the microphone, although you need childs fingers or a closed ink pen (or pointy object) to press the ABCD ones. If Yaesu had continued the shallow ridging on to the ABCD it would be easier to press them. But it might be by design to prevent accidental pressing. I wouldn't want to try pressing ABCD keys on the mic while driving a motor vehicle.

    73 de KA4UDX,
    Alan Spicer
  6. KA4UDX

    KA4UDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I changed P3 to "TFreq" so now I have:

    P1 REVERSE ... for checking to see if someone is close enough for Simplex when on a RPT.
    P2 SQL Type (same as before)
    P3 TFreq - for programming in tones for RPT's.
    P4 TX Power (same as before)

    ... now, I thought, I wonder if that "A" key if pressed and held will behave as the front panel "V/M" (F - Function on F-1) button does? YES!!! So now I am all set to program repeaters into the radio from the Microphone without ever having to touch the front panel. I don't need RPT Shift because it's done automatically via Automatic-Repeater-Shift. So unless I need an odd split or someones repeater goes the wrong way - I am good to go.

    73 de KA4UDX,
    Alan Spicer
  7. KD8KSN

    KD8KSN Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is exactly what I am finding as well! If you leave it in the sun (on dash) it will also take on a darker contrast. I have mine set at 5.

    I am still learning the ins and outs of the radio - did you know it has a PA built in? It may not matter for a base rig, but I have it mounted in my vehicle, so it works perfect. I have an external speaker hooked up to he rear of the radio, then the wire goes into a DPDT switch (so I can toggle between the two) and is split, one wire goes to the external speaker and one goes to the outside speaker in the engine compartment (and it is loud!). I had this hooked up to my 8800, but now with the 350 you can listen to regular Amateur bands, FM broadcasts AND use the PA from outside your vehicle. I don't know why this feature stood out to me... Maybe becuase it doesn't seem like a feature a radio would have.

    No complaints so far - everything else works great inculding APRS which is a breeze with the internal GPS antenna and SmartBeaconing.
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