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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-70DR dual band digital HT

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-70DR dual band digital HT
Reviews: 74MSRP: 199.95
FT-70DR C4FM FDMA / FM 144/430 MHz Dual Band 5W Handheld Transceiver
The new FT-70DR is a compact and very attractively priced YAESU System Fusion transceiver providing both conventional analog FM operation and the advanced C4FM Digital mode. The FT-70DR provides up to 5W of reliable RF power, and its large Front Speaker delivers 700mW of Loud Audio Output. Because C4FM has better BER (Bit Error Rate) characteristics than other digital modulations, the user can expect exceptional audio quality. The new digital FT-70DR includes our unique Automatic Mode Select (AMS) function. AMS detects the operating mode of the received signal as C4FM digital or analog FM, and then automatically and instantly switches the receiver to the appropriate mode. Users do not need to manually change between modes. The multi-colored LED Mode-Indicator displayed on the front allows the operator to easily see what mode the FT-70DR is in at any given moment. LED Mode-Indicator clearly and visibly shows the transmit/ receive mode by changing its color so that the operating mode of the transceiver is easily recognized at a glance. One of the other distinguishing features of the FT-70DR is Digital Group Monitor (GM) with DG-ID (Digital Group Identification) and DP-ID (Digital Personal Identification) now included in the FT-70DR, to simplify the GM operation. Simply put, the transceivers selecting the same DG-ID or DP-ID can communicate with each other. Between 00 and 99 DG-ID and DP-ID are selectable which provides loads of flexibility so that users can enjoy group communication with friends in GM mode in accordance to their individual operational needs.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N4MJG Rating: 2023-09-20
Sept 2023 updated Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Sept 2023

I brought this hit for reason our club has fusion repeater I learn to set it up what owner Manuel said !

Real easy to set it up I have quot set up works great so far

Just which battery last little long speaker not bad either which most complaining !





Just got this HT this month in Aug 2017 yesterday my ripid changer came in still need get others !

Anyway not bad little HT atfer my VX8R died diplay stop working ! So this is my replacement !

Still more test to do and will update later on and come let you know ! how well this this HT do !!!

VE7REN Rating: 2023-09-11
good,but need some options.. like AA PACK Time Owned: more than 12 months.
update sep 2023- radio does not power off external power port! useless incase battery goes dead. all my icoms will power from external power without battery power,but the ft-70 port is strictly for charging! it DOES NOT SUPPLY POWER TO THE RADIO! useless when im in the wilderness on my atv in the case of a emergency. the icom t-10 eats this ft-70 all day long!

ok,now ive owned this radio for over a year,and find it to be easy to program manually,like the lcd and its lighting for darker evenings,but the overall build quality is not like the ft170,270,ft60,etc. it is cheaper feeling,less heavy,most likely due to lion batteries,but it is not as well built as the forementioned and has a plasticky feeling. the price is appropriate for a digital dualband!

NOW,what i would have liked to have seen,is the option of having a extra AA pack for emergency purposes. i never purchase a handheld unless it has a external power input,as i use it from the vehicle or atv if need be,but,i hesitantly bought this radio knowing it did not have the AA pack,hoping somewhere somehow ,someone would eventually make one for it! well,that has not happened yet,and i constantly leave my radio plugged in via outside power port adapter to my atv when im in the bush,as i always want a full charge when need be. thats about my only 2 quirks with this radio......kind of cheapy feel,and no AA pack.. cmon yaesu,. ide only buy again on the used market if the price was other radios are the icom t70 dualband,which will eat this radio all day long with battery,loudness,and toughness feel.
KB9IQX Rating: 2023-08-27
More fragile than it seems Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought the radio as a job site HT so I could listen and talk on nets while outside in the field or in the jeep... also to dip toes into C4FM. Lasted about a week in the field before the speaker went kaput. Radio dropped about 4 feet from my hi-vis vest shoulder loop to the grass. Either the drop or a bead of sweat killed it. For a while, blowing on the speaker grille got sound to come out. Then it went fully dead.

Disassembled the radio to verify sound worked from the board itself. This one has an "interesting" design where the the speaker in the faceplate makes a press-fit, friction connection to the speaker contacts on the board. There is no wired, soldered connection.

Pros: Nice display, Easily field-programmable, Great hand feel, Fantastic gaskets for ingress protection.

Cons: the apparently fragile speaker. A friend who has the radio says she has replaced the speaker twice. Search KC5TGT FT70 Speaker Replacement for his informative teardown to replace his speaker.
K2SGT Rating: 2023-08-08
Low FM deviation Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I like the radio and did get an aftermarket battery from Batteries America 2200MAH Lion. However I am trying to lower the output power and increase the deviation. I need to get into the alignment mode but cannot seem to find that info anywhere. Can anyone assist me in getting into alignment mode?? Yes I have the needed test equipment to make the adjustments.

Thank you.
N4SAX Rating: 2023-06-29
Nice Radio - TERRIBLE BATTERY Implementation Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I initially loved this radio for many of the same reasons the more positive reviews mention. My initial impressions have soured terribly though due to the absolutely PATHETIC battery life of this radio. I have used it sparingly - maybe 4-5 times per week for 10-12 minutes a night to chat with a ham in another state (YSF chat room). Power was always set at the 1/2 watt setting. Sadly, the fully charged battery only lasts about 20 minutes between charges. Initially I thought perhaps I had left the radio on and that had caused the battery to die so quickly. I have since carefully monitored the status and have confirmed I am able to get about 20 minutes of use on a fresh charge. So, after two consecutive nightly (10 minute) chats, this radio will not power on. Another observation is that I have not seen the "low battery" indicator coming on despite the battery being dead the very next time I attempted to power it on. Since my battery lasts approximately 20 minutes after charging (at least 10 of which is on receive), I have to say that I have lost my admiration for this radio. I am now searching for a "reasonably priced" replacement battery. To those of you who are contemplating buying this radio, I can only say "best of luck" with your battery life as my luck has not been good at all.
WA4JC Rating: 2023-06-03
Perhaps the best choice Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Just bought my 2nd FT-70D. Perhaps the best dual-bander for under $200 - and maybe the best, period. But not for the faint of heart. There are two instruction books and you need to read both.

I've owned tons of HTs. Upon the recommendation of another Ham, I did buy a BayFung. Horrible. Sold it on Ebay asap. The FT-70 is still made in Japan; battery: China.

Dunno about you, but I buy a radio to communicate. They all will do that. It's just that the FT-70D, adds a lot of features, aside from its digital mode.

Cons: Maybe just make one instruction book.

Antenna: Not planning on buying one of those "cat whisker: after market antennas until I see some polar charts or erp gain metrics. I know some will say, "6 db gain." 6db over what? Worthless metric, IMO.

Programming: The supplied cable *is* the programming cable. The freebie ADMS you can download is buggy. I once had to do one global reset of the HT b/c the software locked up the cpu. No worries, just started all over again from my saved file.

--Banks - how to program using ADMS freeware (if you can get it to work):


1. Create memories listing in software with all memory data but DO NOT check off any bank; do not add memory to a bank.
2. Upload (send) the file to radio.
3. Manually (using the keys on the radio), add the first memory to a bank of choice (cf. advance manual).
4. Download (get) the data to populate in ADMS freeware.
5. The bank you manually added should now show a check mark in software. Add remaining check marks to add other memories to the bank(s) of choice.
6. Upload (send) the file to radio.
Press "band." Should now see memories in your banks.

Battery life: It's 1,800 mah. Your smartphone is probably around 4,000 mah. So there you go. Just don't use 5 watts when you don't need to. 1,800 mah, in theory, at 5 watts, is about a 90 min. rag chew with 1:1 tx/rx. For the past 30 years, I've done most QSOs using .5 watts when using an HT. 5 watts is nice, b/c it's 10 db gain over .5 watts, but costs battery life. You can get spare batteries pretty cheap..

Volume control: Push button, turn dial. Easy. Yes, might be nice to have a clicky hard off switch and volume control as many of us are used to. I get it.

Conclusion: Yup. could be improved - bigger display, bigger battery, but probably at bigger cost. I'm not hard to please. It works. It communicates. Seems well-made.
SAPPHIRE Rating: 2023-05-29
Good radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The powers are individually adjustable to optimize battery consumption. Adjustment is possible with the service manual with password AH051M. I recommend reducing the maximum power to 4 watts to reduce consumption and heating. Also from the service manual it is possible to adjust the squelch for very weak signals Good radio great receiver, solid radio with good basic performance
To optimize the battery life, set:
Menu 48 rx save 0,8 second
Menu 14 dimmer level 2
Menu 28 lamp 2 sec
Menu 56 Tot 1.0 M
Menu 10 Bsy Led off
To improve the sensitivity of the microphone, set menu 31 Mic gain level 9
WA0TZM Rating: 2023-05-28
Poor transmit audio and customer support Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
The transmit audio is low. Everybody complains about it. Another local ham bought one recently and he's also getting the same complaint. I've got the mic gains set as high as it will go but, it isn't enough. Multiple emails, messages via their website, and calls to Yaesu have resulted in zero response about this. In fact, with over a half dozen attempts, Yaesu hasn't responded once. Good little radio but extremely poor customer service and marginal audio quality bring the rating down consicerably. I'll consider other brands in the future.
AB4KA Rating: 2023-05-14
I've tried to like it...I really have Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought this for myself on black Friday because I decided I needed a Fusion radio and our club repeater has Fusion. Turns out I could have lived without it as the only Fusion action on the repeater is a weekly net.

The volume control isn't very well thought out. Having to use two hands to adjust the volume is just stupid. At a minimum they could have done it as other manufacturers have and make it to where you can switch between buttons and the knob.

Battery life isn't very good. Even if you don't transmit much it doesn't seem to last as long as it should.

Overall the radio feels cheap. I can't put my finger on what it is and I know my feeling is very subjective, but it just doesn't "feel" as good as other radios I have.

My final rating is "OK". There's nothing really wrong with the radio, but there's nothing that jumps out at me and makes me say "Wow! This is a great radio!"

The best words I can use to describe it would be "average" and "functional". YMMV.
W4XR Rating: 2023-02-17
Poor design & Awful battery life Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I'm severely disappointed in this radio. First, there is no way the design engineers ever tried to use this HT in any real-life scenario where the volume needs to be adjusted in a hurry (takes two hands)! Stupid! REALLY stupid design! And the battery life is totally unacceptable -- seems I have to recharge after only a few minutes use, even if only on receive. How did this ever pass peer review in the design stage?