Yaesu FT3DR review

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KM6LYW, Sep 9, 2019.

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  1. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Given that it receives HF, does that mean it can receive SSB & CW?

    If so, presumably 2M SSB too?

    Roger G3YRO
  2. VE3TSV

    VE3TSV Ham Member QRZ Page

    KD1JL likes this.
  3. WB2LBV

    WB2LBV Subscriber QRZ Page

    Old thread, but there have only been a couple of HT's capable of SSB reception. The ones I know of are both Kenwoods, the (recently discontinued) D74A and the TH-F6A. Maybe the D72A but I'm not sure. I don't think there are any others.
  4. G7SQY

    G7SQY Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is the worst radio purchase I have ever made, the poor speaker in the FT3DE would be ok if you could really use the bluetooth but sadly mine refuses to pair with every single device I have apart from a Jabra 65 headset which it will sometimes work with or sometimes not! As for the SD card read/write again sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. When reading from a card when I'm uploading new channels it locks up so I have to take the battery off and hey presto the channels have loaded. At £350 GBP this is not a cheap radio and doesn't even come with a belt clip! I've run an FT900 on HF for years and planned to buy at FTDX10 when I retire later this year but not sure I want to give Yaesu any more of my cash. The ADMS-11 software looks like it was designed for Windows 3.1 but at least that's free...
  5. KD1JL

    KD1JL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The radio is OK overall. I have found the receiver in the ham bands and up to 490MHz to be very good

    RX audio isn't great but livable, the Bluetooth has been useless for me with any device I have tried to pair with it. Definitely easer to change simple things for FM ham use in other radios (D74, F6A even the VX-6, for examples). Sometimes I like the separate volumes in the ft-3d opposed to the balance control in the D74. The touch screen frequency entry can be klunky at times. Often I end up clicking TX power when I want to click Scan in the FMW menu as well. Additionally I wish there was a setting to toggle the long press on the DISP button to be a short press. I can't count how many times I have looked at the compass rose when I just want to change a setting.

    The kicker for me is the squelch break pop using headphones. Absolutely cannot use the Yaesu ear bud speaker mic because of it, shameful design.

    I have owned it for about a year and I do still use it quite a bit. The size is nice, the side button design/placement is great. It has the best hand feel of any HT I have picked up. It is very easy for me to adjust the top knobs with my thumb even while holding the side button for squelch and monitor functions.

    Despite its flaws, given what is on the market that compares currently, I would buy another if this one was lost.

    When is that 52A coming?
  6. K3LSU

    K3LSU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm a shiny new Ham and still trying to learn how to use my ft3, but I have managed to connect with two repeaters. My question: why can I see signal activity on the nearby ysf repeater but can't hear anything?
  7. KD1JL

    KD1JL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Welcome Shiny New!
    I haven't played Fusion much with this radio yet, but you can start thinking about the basics of why you can't hear it I would think, just like any other mode. You either have some type of decoding (akin to CTCSS on analog) not set correctly or the output from the repeater is not the mode that the receiver is set to demodulate.
    Let us know if you figure it out. I am curious too.
    You also may be better off posting your question in some type of Fusion support forum opposed to a radio review forum.
  8. KX3DX

    KX3DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I like my '3DR. Lots of cool wiz-bang features to play with and programs up a lot better than any DMR HT I've had - and I've had them all. GPS is excellent. APRS is good - it doesn't decode down into the noise like my TNC-3 but for how I use APRS (solo high elevation hikes), it's OK. I have no need for the Bluetooth so I can't comment on that. As far as speaker audio, a simple mod makes a huge (tremendous?) difference (I wrote this up a few days ago):

    No doubt the radio has thin speaker audio. Somewhere on the internet I read removing the rubber side cover for the power and mic jacks makes an improvement in speaker audio. This does work and if you are not too worried about losing a little water resistance, it's a good start. Then, with the side cover removed, cut a small piece (0.75" by 1.10") of vinyl electrical tape (Scotch 700 is my favorite) and place it centered over the speaker opening on the front of the radio. Don't push the tape down into the horizontal depressions - leave those "ports" open to the left and right of the tape. You will be amazed at the improvement. The width of the tape can be tailored to your preference - making the tape wider reduces the high frequency content but don't completely close off the "ports". Experiment with different tape types and sizes. The tape I'm using is same color of the radio case and is hardly noticeable.
    Someday when I have the time, I want to disassembly the HT and explore how to possibly leverage more of the inside cavity acoustically, possibly with some 3d printed pieces and additional holes in the case. A 3d printed external appendage in front of the speaker with more favorable porting might be beneficial too. Do the tape mod - now - and you'll be amazed....helps the pops too.

  9. KD1JL

    KD1JL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I forgot to mention that the dual receivers are a great feature. The crop of HT's with this feature seems slim. I wish it was full duplex like the D72 though.

    I am personally willing to take the audio hit compromise for the water resistance benefit.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
  10. OK7SE

    OK7SE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I don't own this radio, however.... It's AM only, so you can forget about listening to anything else than broadcast on HF. If you want to monitor HF HAM bands with a HT, you need something that knows SSB and for CW some filter width adjusting. I had couple of devices for this: Alinco DJ-X11 scanner (RX only). It was definitely the worst. On HF, it was off-frequency, maybe several kHz, with rubber-ducky it was capable of hearing only super strong HF stations. With a telescopic whip it was noticeably better, but still nothing compared to e.g. a FT-817 with some tuned portable HF telescopic ANT. Apart from this poor receiving capabilities, Alinco DJ-X11 was very noisy, so I sold it.

    Then, I have Kenwood TH-D74, it can RX SSB anywhere, so HF, VHF, UHF. It performs better than DJ-X11, but at HF it's still far worse than Tecsun PL-880, which already is a HF receiver, while both Kenwood and Alinco are rather like toys at this discipline. If you connect the HTs to a proper HF antenna, of course you hear much more than with a rubber-ducky or a telescope, but the radios get overloaded terribly. Fortunately, Kenwood TH-D74 has Attenuator (!) which helps here a lot, however, real HF equipment is still far beyond the performance of HTs.

    So, if I apply this knowledge to FT-3DE, I suppose it's not great even for listening to SW broadcast and I'd suggest buying a Tecsun (possibly Tecsun 365 is quite cheap and still SSB capable) or similar receiver, if you mean listening to HF portable seriously, no matter if you want AM or SSB.

    Despite all that, if you just need to quickly check the HF conds somewhere on a hike, it should be possible with devices like FT-3DE or TH-D74 quite well.

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