After recently switching from ICOM over to Yaesu, of course I realize (and already knew) that Yaesu has its own problems. For example… their mobile radios are missing fairly essential features that their handhelds have. The two primary missing features that affect me are:
- Memory banks
- Scan restart time
The memory bank issue is self-explanatory and has been beat to death on social media. Without memory banks you literally cannot scan two different sets of memories on this radio. As a dual-receive radio… my first move would be to set a bank of memories to scan on receiver A and a different bank of memories to scan on receiver B. No can do with Yaesu mobile radios.
The scan restart time feature is not as well-known. Say you’re scanning a set of memories. And the scan stops on a frequency… you’re listening to a conversation… and the signal drops. Well… if you are able to set the scan restart time, you can have the radio wait for up to 10 seconds before it restarts scanning. This way… you’re way less likely to get jerked out of a conversation that you wanted to listen to. Without that feature… as soon as someone unkeys… boom… you are gone… back to scanning.
Of course the new FTM-500DR is all the rage in the Yaesu groups. You have people buying them and posting pictures of the box when it arrives. Of course, for ham radio operators… any new gear put out by their manufacturer of choice is tempting. To be honest, getting new gear is half the fun of ham radio. But I think these radios have a real limited usefulness without memory banks. So I resisted. And instead of buying an FTM-500DR… I simply bought another FTM-200DR.
So now I have two FTM-200DRs on my desk and a third one I use for my WiRES-X node. Of the two on my desk, one is hooked to my attic antenna. The other is connected to a dummy load for use with my hotspots and nodes. Two FTM-200DRs on my desk actually gives me more functionality than an FTM-500DR and at a lower price.