Yaesu: Anyone have an FTM-300DR?

Cognomen

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Wondering if anyone has purchased one of these, and what you thought of it, good or bad. If you ALSO own an FTM-400DR, which radio do you prefer, and why? Or if you considered buying a 300 but went with a 400 instead, why?

Any recommendations, such as "I should have ordered the xx with it"?

Any known issues/caveats?

I've already read the reviews on eham.

Thinking of getting one for base-station use. This would be my first Yaesu, other than an HF rig decades ago.
 

K4EET

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Hi @Cognomen, I am a Yaesu fan and have loved their equipment since I first saw the FT-101 series back in the early 1970s. I am now involved with Yaesu System Fusion / WIRES-X but with the FT3D HT. But if I were to get a base/mobile unit, I would choose the FTM-400DR. While they are similar, the FTM-400DR is still the flagship unit. The FTM-400DR does have the larger touchscreen display that the FTM-300DR does not. The FTM-300DR has C4FM capability on both VFOs whereas the FTM-400DR can only do it on one VFO. The FTM-300DR also has separate external speaker outputs for each VFO whereas the FTM-400DR does not. But I still rate the larger touchscreen display of the FTM-400DR more important from a user (as in me) viewpoint so I would get the FTM-400DR. The street price difference between the two units appears to be about $80. There may be other differences that are not quite so obvious. 73, Dave K4EET

<edit> P.S.: You'll have a lot of fun with Yaesu System Fusion / WIRES-X. With the right hotspot running PiStar, you will be able to also talk to DMR, NXDN and P25 radios since they use the same CODEC chip. The hotspot does the conversion of bits...
 
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vagrant

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I use two 400’s daily. The screen on the 300 is too small for me and probably for others. I honestly do not understand why Yaesu made the 300 when the 400 offers a larger screen with touch control. Bluetooth? Yeah, my 400 has that too.

If you don’t mind used, check the swapmeet on QRZ.com often. Amateurs selling all kinds of gear. Avoid the 400DR as the GPS has issues getting a lock, unless you’re going to use it at home/stationary. The 400XDR is the one to get for mobile.

I would not mind hearing if someone prefers the 300 and why, as I am unable to think of a reason.
 

AK9R

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I do not own an FTM-300D (R indicates that it's a North American version, E indicates European version). What I know about is limited to what I've read in various online watering holes. I do own two FTM-400DR radios (not the X version). I don't use them very often and one of them has never been out of the box.

I think Yaesu developed the FTM-300D for a couple of reasons. I suspect that there's a lot of FT-3D in the FTM-300D. Why not reduce your costs by sharing designs and components across two platforms?

I suspect that Yaesu is sees the end of the road for the FTM-400D. When electronic equipment is developed, the designers use the parts that are available to them at that time. However, as time passes, production of some of those parts may slow down and eventually stop. That puts the overall product in jeopardy. I'm not saying that the FTM-400D is going away soon, but the original design came on the market in 2012 which is more than a lifetime in the electronics industry.

One of the big selling points of the FTM-400D has been the display. It's big. It's colorful. That display is part of what made the FTM-400D Yaesu's flagship mobile radio. The FTM-300D has a much smaller display. Why is Yaesu seemingly taking a step backwards? OTOH, the smaller size of the FTM-300D's display may solve some in-vehicle mounting issues.

As for the FTM-400D GPS issues, I've not experienced that. I get a GPS lock with mine even when using it in the house (within 10 feet of a west-facing sliding patio door).

Maybe there's a replacement for the FTM-400D in the works. Only Yaesu knows.
 

mrweather

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I daily two FTM-400XDR's and have been very happy with them. IMO, the one big flaw is the faceplate can't been attached to the radio. The FTM-300D has fixed that, as well as having C4FM on both sides.

I'd really like to get my hands on an FTM-300D but my local candy store (Radioworld in Toronto) has had a difficult time getting stock due to Covid.
 

chief21

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Some differences -

> The 300 uses a shared group of memories; the 400 uses two discrete groups of memories (which I prefer).

> The 300 has a VERY small screen. Admittedly, it is very clear... but I was surprised by the small size. The 400 screen is MUCH larger and easier to read.

> The 300 allows saving of the digital mode (AMS/DN/etc) in each memory; the 400 has a global setting for digital mode.

> As noted by others, the 300 allows C4FM in either VFO (upper or lower), but NOT simultaneously... it will receive only the selected one if both are active.

> The 300 has some new/unusual memory and scanning features... different from the 400. (not sure yet if I like them).

> The mic supplied with the 300 is larger than the traditional Yaesu mic. I like the larger size, but I'm not yet sure about the buttons - some are programmable, some are not.

> Both radios avoid a pet peeve of mine by allowing the volume to slowly fade to nothing when adjusting minimum volume. Some other radios cut the audio off sharply at some pre-determined level, which is usually too loud for a quiet room.

That's all I can think of at the moment.
 

Cognomen

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Thanks everyone for taking the time to post all that.

Dave, I'm happy to spend the extra $80 to get a much better radio, if that is indeed the case. I do have radios for the other digital modes, so no hotspot needed. Hotspots are also something I haven't investigated yet, and I really don't know much about them. More reading for me.

Vagrant, now I remember reading about the X model being newer/better (I had read the 400 reviews a year ago). I prefer buying new in this case, for warranty purposes.

W9BU, I hadn't really thought about the 400 potentially being near EOL (good point), but rather was thinking that since the 300 was shiny and new, maybe it was using more modern tech.

Mrweather, that's likely where mine would come from (or from their Calgary location). Unfortunately my local store is not a Yaesu dealer, as I prefer shopping local. Stock difficulties just means more time to research the two units, plus I'm not in a hurry (I don't "need" another radio).

Chief, I too have experienced the annoying "minimum volume" issue, especially with LMR and during late-night sessions. Glad that's not the case with either unit.

I actually prefer a non touch screen generally; I'm one of those people who think that radio displays are meant to be seen and not touched (I hate fingerprints and micro-scratches on displays). I've always thought the 400 screen appeared to look overly big in the photos, but I've never seen either radio in person. I would really like to compare them though, before discovering too late that the 300 display is indeed too small for me.

I know I didn't ask, but nobody mentioned anything about packet capabilities, which is another thing I've not investigated yet, but was hoping to with this radio, rather than having to buy a modem and interface it to one of my existing radios.
 

N1AGH

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I have the FT-3D and the FTM-300D and use both. I use the 300 primarily at home, but occasionally run it mobile. The display size is more than adequate. The deciding factors for me where receiving C4FM on both VFO’s and the slightly smaller size for mobile use. YSF is a whole new world of the hobby. Regardless of which you decide to purchase, I think you will be happy and enjoy it.
 

dlwtrunked

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...

As for the FTM-400D GPS issues, I've not experienced that. I get a GPS lock with mine even when using it in the house (within 10 feet of a west-facing sliding patio door).
...
My FTM400D never had such a problem either. I think it must have something to do with where some people are mounding the head in their vehicle.
 

AK9R

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I know I didn't ask, but nobody mentioned anything about packet capabilities, which is another thing I've not investigated yet, but was hoping to with this radio, rather than having to buy a modem and interface it to one of my existing radios.
If only Yaesu understood what Kenwood was doing in this regard and saw the value of including full access to their TNCs.

With all of the Kenwood APRS radios, clear back to the TH-D7 handheld, users had full access to the TNC and could use it for general purpose packet radio. I have used my TM-D710 and TH-D72 for AX.25 packet to connect to local PBBSs and BPQ32 nodes and for making Winlink connections. I've also made Winlink connections using my TH-D74. You can also use the Kenwood radios with full featured APRS client programs like UI-View, APRSIS/32, or PinPointAPRS for two-way data connections between radio/TNC and external software. Since the Kenwood radios provide a KISS interface to the TNC, it's possible to use external clients for full-featured digipeaters.

Sadly, you can't do this with any Yaesu APRS radio. Yaesu does not provide full access to the internal TNC. The best you can do is route received APRS packets to an external program so you can view the packets on a map.
 

W8HF

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Can someone who actually owns an FTM-300DR confirm if mode is saved in a memory channel? I have the 400 and absolutely hate the AMS feature. There are repeaters I use only in digital yet they will occasionally ID in FM flipping me back to analog in middle of QSO. I want to store those machines in memory as mode DN and not mess with AMS. It seems such a simple thing yet appears impossible on the FTM-400. This feature would move me to the 300 if it works.

I have looked at all the online manuals and find nothing documenting what is actually saved in a memory.

Thanks!

73,

Steve W8HF
 

N4DJC

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Can someone who actually owns an FTM-300DR confirm if mode is saved in a memory channel? I have the 400 and absolutely hate the AMS feature. There are repeaters I use only in digital yet they will occasionally ID in FM flipping me back to analog in middle of QSO. I want to store those machines in memory as mode DN and not mess with AMS. It seems such a simple thing yet appears impossible on the FTM-400. This feature would move me to the 300 if it works.

I have looked at all the online manuals and find nothing documenting what is actually saved in a memory.

Thanks!

73,

Steve W8HF
Steve,

In the TX/RX menu, the AMS TX MODE can be stored as AUTO/ TX FM FIXED/TX DN FIXED. I’m not sure if that’s a global setting or not. But it can be programmed via the software for each memory.
 

W8HF

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Steve,

In the TX/RX menu, the AMS TX MODE can be stored as AUTO/ TX FM FIXED/TX DN FIXED. I’m not sure if that’s a global setting or not. But it can be programmed via the software for each memory.
Cool thanks! I should see if I can persuade my FTM-400 to store that using the software. I could find no way to do it from the front panel. I was holding out for the replacement for the 400 but I may “upgrade” to the 300 now.
 

chief21

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The FTM400 has no ability to store the TX mode in a memory channel. The TX mode is a global setting on the FTM400 - regardless of which software is used. The only exception is aircraft frequencies (receive-only AM).
 

W8HF

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The FTM400 has no ability to store the TX mode in a memory channel. The TX mode is a global setting on the FTM400 - regardless of which software is used. The only exception is aircraft frequencies (receive-only AM).
I did another deep dive on the online manuals and got the confirmation to N4DJC’s reply before seeing yours.

FTM-400XDR Manual:
The operating frequency and other operational information can be registered to each regular memory channel, home channel, or PMS memory channel: • Operating frequency • Memory tag • Repeater information • Tone information • DCS information • Transmission power • Memory skip information (The operating mode information is not registered to the memory channels)

FTM-300DR Manual:
The operating frequency and other operational information can be registered to each regular memory channel, home channel, or PMS memory channel: • Operating frequency • Communication Mode • Frequency Step • Transmitter output • Memory tag • Repeater Shift • TX/RX DG-ID • Tone information • DCS information • Memory channel skip information

I just placed an order for the FTM-300DR. I’ll sell my 400 or put it to service as a dedicated Wires-X box. It may seem like a small thing but not being able to force some memories to digital and others to always be analog was driving me nuts.

Thanks for the prompt feedback! I joined the forum to specifically ask that question and will definitely be sticking around. Hopefully I can help someone down the road.

73,

Steve - W8HF
 

W8HF

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Received the FTM-300DR. So far I’m loving it. For my use case it’s an upgrade from the FTM-400XDR

Of course my purchase now guarantees Yaesu coming out with an FTM-500 next week! :D
 

N4DJC

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Received the FTM-300DR. So far I’m loving it. For my use case it’s an upgrade from the FTM-400XDR

Of course my purchase now guarantees Yaesu coming out with an FTM-500 next week! :D
Not yet, give it another year....:cool:

I like the smaller non touch screen 300 form factor. The heat sink design is unique, but it seems to work well and the fan is pretty quiet.
 

mrweather

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Just picked up a new FTM-300D and I'm liking it so far. Did the firmware upgrades (Main, Sub and DSP) with no issues.

One bug (feature?) I've found is when I'm rotating the knob clockwise through the memory channels and I reach the last one, eg. channel 200, it doesn't "roll over" to channel 1. It just stops and I have to turn the knob counterclockwise to go down in channel number. Anyone else experience this? Is it a setting I'm missing? RTFM error?

The only other radio I own that does this are my Kenwood TK x90's and this behaviour is swichable in the programming software from "dead" to "rollover".
 

chief21

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when I'm rotating the knob clockwise through the memory channels and I reach the last one, eg. channel 200, it doesn't "roll over" to channel 1. It just stops and I have to turn the knob counterclockwise to go down in channel number. Anyone else experience this?
I'm afraid that that's the way it is. There are so many fundamental differences between the FTM400 and the FTM300, it's like the FTM300 firmware was developed in a vacuum.
 
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