Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KD4MOJ, Apr 18, 2020.
Any recent reviews? Would recommend it over 400xdr?
Been asking that myself. Seems nobody is talking and keeping all that joy or misery to themselves.
I have one but it is my first mobile radio so take that for what it’s worth. It has made me realize how much better mobile radios are than handhelds.
I also have an FT3DR so I’m somewhat accustomed to the touchscreen interface. Personally I prefer the buttons on the FTM-300. I’m using it in my house before putting it in my truck but I like it so much that now I want to get another mobile radio for the house and I’m considering getting a 2nd FTM-300.
The menu setup reminds me a lot of the FT3DR but it has some “Easy to Use” features for entering frequencies, updating memories and using APRS that makes those items easy to find.
Everyone has complimented me on how great it sounds and I’ve been reaching some repeaters that were previously too far.
I’m waiting for RT Systems to come out with the Mac version of their software so I can get my memories updated and better organized but it wasn’t too bad for initially entering them manually. I have over 100 repeaters programmed. I have an SD card ready to go and it plugs into the display unit so keeping them updated will be easy.
The receiver seems very sensitive. The FT3DR has wide band receive but can’t pick up 1.25m for crap. This FTM-300 is able to easily receive 1.25m on an antenna that isn’t even meant for it. I thought that was cool.
Like I said, now I want to get a 2nd mobile radio before I put this in my truck because I’ll miss having it in the house. I’m considering a Kenwood TMV71 as well just to try something different.
One thing that keeps bringing me back to the FTM-300 is the display. I can see the frequency as well as up to 16 digits alphanumeric for two bands all at once. The way I program them I have the stations call sign and then the city where it is located. So it’s been amazing for cleaning up my repeater lists and seeing what is active and what isn’t. While the Kenwood looks amazing, it can’t touch this feature.
There was some tropo propagation going on for 2m in Florida tonight and I’ve been receiving and transmitting APRS up to 180 miles in one case. Then earlier on 146.520 I picked up a guy in Tennessee. I didn’t try a QSO because I could barely make him out of the static but there he was over 700 miles away.
I’m a newb so maybe I’m easily impressed but so far I’m really enjoying it.
I didn’t consider the FTM-400 because the screen seems too big for a vehicle installation and also I’m not a huge fan of touchscreens in a mobile environment. I didn’t consider any of the Icoms because their displays don’t do it for me. The Alinco dual band was interesting but I’m happy with my choice.
One thing I don’t like, you can’t tilt the unit when using it as a base station, that was a little annoying. Another thing is that I would prefer a simple button to scan. I always hated on the FT3DR that I have to hit menu first. On the FTM-300 you have to hold the up/down buttons on the mic to start a scan. I have also programmed P4 to scan as well so I kinda have the one button scan I want.
"...One thing I don’t like, you can’t tilt the unit when using it as a base station, that was a little annoying..."
One solution is to attach the mounting bracket on a small flat board, something like a cheap kitchen cutting board. Then attach the radio to the bracket. Add 4 rubber baby bumpers to the bottom and you have a stable tilting base for your mobile radio. Maybe not as much tilt as you would like, but better than laying flat.
Just got the FTM300 to replace a FTM100. The menus are easy to use and overall it is a good piece of hardware. It is the memory management and MAG scan options which severely limit the overall appeal of the radio for me. The M-AIR only scans programmed civilian VHF AM air frequencies. If you have military aircraft VHF AM or UHF AM frequencies programmed, they aren't scanned from this group. There are M groups that will scan all VHF or UHF memories separate or combined, but I don't see any real need for these functions. The M-GRP allows you to create one bank from all programmed memory channels. For me, this is a step backwards in memory management compared to the FT3DR that has 24 memory banks that can be labeled, linked, and locked out as needed when traveling outside your home area. Maybe I am missing something here, but in my opinion, the MAG group memory scan function ruins the practicality of this mobile radio, unless you are going to use it as a node radio and never travel outside a given area.
I like the fact that one can record qsos to the sd card. I also like the it can handle C4FM on A and B channels at the
same time. Finally, the memory is better than the old A and B style on the 400 but initially does not seem as flexible
as the banks available on the FT3D.
The price on that rig still seems alittle high...
Yep, especially for what is basically a $300 Chinese radio. It will come down. Wait for HRO's winter sale in a year or two and we'll see it in the $300+ range.
Have now had a chance to use a 300 and, as previously mentioned by K9CMI - the memory management is definitely
a retrograde step from the FT3D and the 24 memory banks that can be user defined. Why on earth Yaesu thought that
their scanning by VHF/UHF/AIR etc. would be useful I don't know. If the banks were user defined, we could set these
up for that ourselves. Pity to be "locked" to the pre-defined memory banks! Let's hop a firmware revision can change this.
On the positive side, I quite like the 300 compared with the 400 but further experiments are ongoing before I will reach
a final verdict!