Yaesu FT-3dr - Very Disappointed

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KD2TGV, Feb 23, 2020.

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  1. KD2TGV

    KD2TGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recently took delivery of a new Yaesu FT-3dr handheld. Most everything I read prior to making this rather expensive purchase was positive with a few minor, non-deal breaking issues. I also got the RT Systems software and cable to go with it. The best part of the package was the software and cable.

    Color screen is impressive I'll give it that but the audio is terrible. I like to listen to the Aircraft Band which I can also do with my FT-60r. If I set them side by side on the window sill, the FT-60r picks up ATC crystal clear while the FT-3dr may or may not break squelch. I'm confident I have it programmed correctly as I exported the 60r file and imported it to the 3D.

    No drop in charger included so I have to shell out another $40+. Charging with the standard power adapter is terrible. Over 9 hours from almost dead to full charge. Hopefully the rapid charger will perform better.

    I've actually thought about returning it or selling it already but I think I will hang on in hopes a firmware update will improve things. I am currently running the latest version 1.02.

    Any suggestions?
  2. NN6D

    NN6D Ham Member QRZ Page

    not defending the ft3 but
    if you're not using the same exact antenna on both radios while side by side then it is not a valid comparison
    at least swap the antennas and try again
    M0KBO likes this.
  3. K8HIT

    K8HIT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Audio is horrible, that's a common complaint.

    It really is just a color FT2, same quirky menus. No inovation. APRS is weak.

    The one firmware update since release didn't seem to do much.

    Waiting for a firmware update to make it better ... what could you reasonably expect?

    I too, am considering selling my FT3.
    K4AGO likes this.
  4. KJ7MJR

    KJ7MJR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I like the FT-3DR. I find the audio to be just fine and battery life is really good. Colorful touch screen is snazzy. It does take a long time to charge from the included power cord. For $350 new I am happy. I have been playing with different antennas and climbing nearby mountains on my bike and making contacts pretty far out. It is fun.
    MM7SAH, M0KBO, WS4K and 2 others like this.
  5. WS4K

    WS4K Ham Member QRZ Page

    Listen guys these things are junk. How about I give $100 for the sorry things?
    NG0L, WA0CBW and M0KBO like this.
  6. M0KBO

    M0KBO Ham Member QRZ Page

    The audio, granted is a little thin, but it's a tiny speaker in a compact little waterproof radio. It's all going to be a trade off, like a wise man I work with once said 'You can't have the penny and the bun...'

    I read, I think it was on here, that if you open one of the rubber seals on the sockets on the side it improves the audio a bit. I've found it does, suppose it gives the little speaker a bit more air movement. Just don't drop it in the toilet like that...

    I've bought a little Heil headset for it, audio on that is perfect if it is worrying you, good reports and it sounds good on the YSF parrot.

    I can't see me ever using APRS, so that isn't a deal breaker for me.

    It has a few quirks, but what radio doesn't? It took me a while to get used to it but I love this little radio. Give it some time, you may like it eventually...
  7. N4DJC

    N4DJC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had one and thought the audio was decent, a little punchy but not distracting.

    The APRS was not up to that of a Kenwood.

    Great build quality and battery life.

    While the color screen was nice, I had a very difficult time seeing it in bright sunlight (my eyes are not great). I have the same complaint with the D74A too, so am not biased.

    I had no issues working contacts on SO-50 with it, the audio recording was a plus. The TX audio is a little low but I don't speak loudly.

    The software was fine but getting the radio communicating with it was an experience I won't soon forget.

    Pretty good at the current price point of $350. I liked mine overall but needed another satellite radio.
    CHRISMAYUSA likes this.
  8. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can't imagine why anyone would spend that much on a Handheld !

    I have had an old IC2E for years, which still works fine . . . but a couple of years ago bought a Baofeng UV5R for £20, which works great on Tx and Rx ! (as long as you don't try putting it on a base station antenna - but why would you?)

    Roger G3YRO
  9. K8HIT

    K8HIT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I can't imagine buying a Baofeng. Your lying to yourself saying they work great. I agree they may work, but that's as far as I'll go. In the real world, you will hear the difference. The Boafeng guys will have trouble getting into the repeaters. When using simplex the range will be less, audio is scratchy.
    K4AGO and M0KBO like this.
  10. N3WPD

    N3WPD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was excited to get the FT 3D, but after receiving and using it for several weeks, I must say that it doesn't hold a candle to my Anytone 878UV. You are so limited on menus and functionality and the speaker sounds very "tinny" and overall disappointing when compared to the Anytone. Wires-X connectivity is sporadic whereas with the Anytone, if you want to go to another talk group, you merely change the channel with no need to wait for others to stop talking as with Wires-X. All in all, I cannot recommend the FT 3D.
    KK9W and K8HIT like this.

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