Yaesu FTM-350r

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doctordave

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I'm curious if anyone on here has picked up a 350 yet. I got one the first week they were released, but it had significant audio problems on the right side of the radio and suffered some abrupt spontaneous power-downs / became unresponsive for periods of time. I sent the radio back to the vendor after the Yaesu techs were unable to come up with a solution short of just sending the radio in for repair. I've talked with others who have had similar issues and still others who've had good success with their 350s thus far.

Great looking radio display and it is loaded with nice features.
 

doctordave

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Yes - noted his comments. Also, there are some other discussions of issues with this radio on the worldwidedx forum. It appears that the firmware can only be upgraded (if ultimately necessary) at the Yaesu shop - from what I'm told. After chatting with a number of hams who've had nothing but great success with the radio so far, I've decided to try another one from my vendor....crossing my fingers that the second time is the charm.
 

W9BU

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It appears that the firmware can only be upgraded (if ultimately necessary) at the Yaesu shop - from what I'm told.
That's unfortunate.

I've owned Yaesu handhelds since before I was a ham and I've always gotten good service from them. I've never owned a Yaesu mobile, though. If your replacement doesn't work out, I'd suggest a Kenwood TM-D710. There are a few features the FT-350R has that the TM-D710 doesn't have, but I've been very happy with my TM-D710 and my TM-D700 before that. And, the firmware in the TM-D710 is user-upgradeable. About a year after the radio came out, Kenwood released a major firmware upgrade that added new features.
 

wise871

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doctordave
As you know from the other forum I'm on my second day with the 350R and noting to report so far. I just finished up a custom install in the vehicle and it works great.
Dan
 

doctordave

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Hello Dan.....glad your radio is doing well so far. I'm eager to receive my replacement 350 & give it a whirl. I tossed a Yaesu 7900 in the truck for now. Do you have any idea if the cable that connects the FTM-350r radio to the control panel is the same as is used for other Yaesu products, such as my 7900? Outwardly, they look the same....just curious if I can use the 7900 control cable I presently have run through the truck when the new 350 arrives.....would certainly be nice to not have to re-route a new cable.


W9RXR....yes, the 710 is a great radio! I had one for almost 4 yrs - until 1/2 of the radio died out a week ago...hence the purchase of the 350. If I get another Yaesu lemon, I'll probably just snag a new 710. It certainly served me well - never had one issue the whole time I had it installed...and it saw plenty of use.
 

doctordave

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W9RXR,

Thanks to a little UPS mixup, my replacement FTM350 was delayed in getting to me.....but I've now had the unit for a week - and have put it through the paces.

The 350 is clearly plagued with software glitches - I don't use the NAV/APRS features....but there are rather widespread reports of radio freezes & location errors when using those applications. As for the radio itself, I'm rather impressed. The display is beautiful - a huge advantage over the 710. The radio head feels far more solid that that of the 710. You can plug the mic into the radio head or radio body with the 350 - unlike the 710. Plenty of display format options with this radio. Sound is great on the L side - but sometimes gets scratchy on the R side....for me, this seems to be an infrequent problem. On my prior unit, it persisted. I think the audio on the internal speakers is clearly better vs the 710....and may be a bit better via external speakers when compared against the 710. Audio reports I've been getting back are superb on both 2m & 440. So far, no spontaneous power-down troubles on this replacement unit. As for the radio unit itself - absolutely rock solid - feels much heavier/well-constructed vs the 710 radio body.

Overall, I'm happy with this radio. I was pleased with the 710 until one side died out. For radio features alone - excluding the NAV/APRS features, I'd give the 350 a leg up on the 710.
 

darg

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I'm thinking about getting one next Saturday but I'm not sure if the unit which I will get is not a trouble some which was not "tuned" by Yaesu since it is in the sales shop since it was delivered to them. So how are chances that I get a unit which I have to send in to Yaesu for bug fixing immediatelly after purchasing?
Since I will buy mostly because of the APRS how are chances it will not work?
 

W9BU

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In the interest of full disclosure, I'll state that I'm happy with my D710 and that I had no issues with my D700, either. With one exception, every ham radio mobile I've owned has been a Kenwood. I'm a satisfied Kenwood customer. I'm also a satisfied Yaesu customer. With one exception, every ham radio handheld I've owned has been a Yaesu.

Having said that, I think that the introduction of the Yaesu FTM-350 is good for the ham radio mobile market. It has a few features, like the sexy display and provisions for a built-in GPS receiver, that may push Kenwood to improve their product. You will have to decide whether or not the features of FTM-350 are worth the slightly higher price compared to the TM-D710.

However, it does seem like the FTM-350 is not quite ready for prime time. The part that really bothers me, though, is that apparently the firmware in the FTM-350 is not user upgradeable. Even if Yaesu does come out with revised firmware for the radio, you will probably have to send it back to Yaesu for the upgrade. On the other hand, the firmware in the Kenwood TM-D710 is user upgradeable and Kenwood has put out a few firmware upgrades since the radio was released. Yaesu has already released an upgraded VX-8R handheld, but even Yaesu's U.S. office doesn't know if the older radios can be upgraded to the new spec.

Bottom line...I think Yaesu missed the boat by not making the VX-8R and FTM-350 firmware user upgradeable. It makes whatever bugs that might come to light even more of a problem because you know it will take a trip back to the manufacturer to get it fixed.
 

darg

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I like the FTM-350 cause of it's APRS and that is the main reason I want to buy it. Yaesu has a good line of options which are either fully intergrated into the original device so that no extra cable are lying around or they are with the body unit and not around the remote head.

Unfortunately more and more features in electronic devices today are software intergrated and not having a user firmware upgrade is a set-back.On the other hand firmware upgrades are risky, especially when the firmware/software is getting larger and more complex, the risk of transfer failure is getting bigger. This is not just a small BIOS update it is more like putting a complete new operation system on a device and that might be the reason why they wanted to have here new risk of killed devices by transfer failure. Some developements are coming with a set-back, I'm afraid of buying a new car today :)
 

darg

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So, coming directly home from my HRO shop (left my complete tax return for some toys!) here in Sunnyvale the don't sell any FTM-350R at the moment since they are sending their stock back to Yaesu for a firmware update. They recommend to everybody who bought one to do the same but you will need a RMA#.
Good news is that Yaesu is fixing the rigs, so every sale after that should work fine :)
 

doctordave

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Nice to see that Yaesu has, at least, promptly figured a fix for the 350 errors. It is still unclear if Yaesu is applying fixes for Nav/APRS troubles only....or if the techs were able to identify any issues specific to simple radio operation that are correctable. If anyone learns from Yaesu what precise errors they are fixing, please post the info. Someone on worldwidedx.com just got a radio back from Yaesu repair & is awaiting an answer from Yaesu as to what difficulities they were able to replicate/intervene on inside the lab.
 

MikeMercury

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So, coming directly home from my HRO shop (left my complete tax return for some toys!) here in Sunnyvale the don't sell any FTM-350R at the moment since they are sending their stock back to Yaesu for a firmware update.

yep; I work for a commercial 2-way shop and was able to talk with Vertex (Yaesu amateur) this past week. They are busy updating all the stock-unit FTM-350R's sent in by their dealers. I was told that they will be start shipping them back this Friday - which is now TODAY !!!

I have a standing order with HRO to get one of the updated models as soon as they get their stock back.

Can't wait !!!
 

doctordave

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Mike,

When you spoke with Yaesu, did they specify the extent of the updates they were applying? Anything beyond APRS/NAV glitches?
 

MikeMercury

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Nothing specific (and I didn't really ask in detail)... all the tech mentioned was a "locking up" problem that required the radios to be reflashed.
 

jayt555

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So does anyone know if they are going to contact current owners to send them back in or should I just call HRO? Love the radio btw.
 

doctordave

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Mike,

You will be very pleased with this radio. I've had my replacement rig for roughly 2 weeks and am thoroughly enjoying it. I'm only using it for the radio portion, so I cannot comment on the APRS/NAV option/fix......but in terms of the radio's audio, features and display - it is fantastic. So far, so good. It almost has the feel of a true commerical radio.
 

darg

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I was Thursday at HRO in Sunnyvale and they were shipping customers rigs back to Yaesu. They had 5 rigs in stock with a green sticker on it which marks them as updated. Will get mine in a couple of weekends and see how it works out.
 
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