11 July, 2023

Upgrade! Yaesu FTM-400XDR Review - KB3KAI

Upgrade! Yaesu FTM-400XDR Review - KB3KAI

I recently purchased the Yaesu FTM-400XDR VHF/UHF C4FM transceiver while on sale for Christmas 2018.  I’ve been wanting this radio for a couple years, and finally the moon and stars aligned just right so I made the purchase.  So far this has been a great decision, I definitely recommend this radio!

Here’s what I like:

  • Super sexy 3.5″ full color screen with remote mount and cable included.
  • Touch screen operation!!
  • Dual band VHF/UHF, cross-band capable.
  • Dual receivers – scan and monitor two banks at the same time.
  • GPS position reporting – APRS and C4FM.
  • Built-in APRS modem – see distance and location of other reporting stations.
  • Altitude, clock and timer.
  • Program and back up using SD card and/or included USB cable.
  • Excellent quality audio, both transmit and receive.
  • C4FM digital, automatic mode select (AMS) or fixed analog, wide or narrow digital.

Annoying quirks:

  • The display is mounted separate from the radio body, no way to mount to the body.
  • The display may be mounted several feet away from the radio body.  The display is where the action is!  But the speaker is built into the body, a problem if you mount it under a seat or in the trunk of your car.
  • The microphone is plugged into the radio body, not in the display.
  • Depending on your installation, you may need to buy extension cables for your microphone and external speaker.
  • WIRES-X digital C4FM only works on Band “A”.
  • APRS only works on band “B”.
  • If you forget to turn off the APRS modem, band “B” will not receive regular analog transmissions.  You may see signals received on the display, but no audio comes through.
  • (April 2019) I recently started using a digital MMDVM hotspot (generic china “JumboSpot”).  Tuned band “A” to the hotspot frequency and it seemed to connect okay.  But I heard an annoying beep noise at the beginning of each received transmission.  I was able to remove the noise by setting the radio in fixed Digital Narrow mode.  Perhaps I was hearing a bit of digital noise while the Automatic Mode Select figured out what I was receiving then switched to digital mode.