The lower cost single band UHF 440 transceiver is now available. The FTM-3207 should be order-able from most retailers.
The interesting news is they have made this radio capable of controlling a Wires-X node. That is, from the front panel and microphone keypad, you can connect to a Wires-X node and connect to other nodes and rooms. This feature was not previously available on the lowest cost C4FM radios, the 2 meter FTM-3200 and FT-70 HT. But as of today, both of those radios are now upgrade-able with a firmware update.
All of these radios are under $200, and the FTM-3200 was going for $135 earlier this year.
The link below has a video on how it works on the UHF FTM-3207.
Put one of these on your gift to yourself list
I have schedule another Fusion net on the W2XRX repeater – here is the info:
Tuesday Mar 28 at 8PM, there will be a Fusion net on the 145.29 W2XRX repeater (Canadice, NY). The mode will be digital narrow DN. It will be on Wires-X room #21704. The purpose will be to discuss Fusion news, equipment, Wires-X, tips, etc. Check-ins are encouraged from all CNY/WNY Fusion stations. Initially we would follow-on with a net every 4th Tuesday of the month. More frequent nets could be added if enough interest.
Next meeting – more details forthcoming but the main topic will be whether the club supports the possibility of re-establishing our 440 repeater. We have a possibility of a site, not in an ideal location for most XARC members (the west side is NOT the best side ;-), and it looks like we might be able to do this rather economically. So we plan on discussing further at the next meeting and probably taking a vote as to whether we move forward. Please plan to attend if you are interested. That’s Feb 9 at 6 PM.
Also at next meeting – possibility of a couple club projects – 6 Meter halo antenna and/or all band 300 watt amplifier might be discussed.
I purchased a FTM-100DR to have as a full-time (or almost) Wires-X node to free up one of my FTM-400’s for a base radio. Now I need to put up a second antenna.
By the way, I paid under $300 for the FTM-100DR. I think I paid over $500 for a Kenwood TM-733 at the Rochester Hamfest in the early-mid 90’s. It was a nice radio and could receive two bands at once, but it didn’t have a GPS receiver, APRS, or digital.
Looks like Yaesu has a lower cost C4FM fusion handheld on the way. The FT-70DR was seen on the FCC website for testing. I’m guessing under $200 and somewhat de-featured from the FT1D. Maybe no GPS. Probably hear in a couple months.
Heard a couple new guys in the area on Fusion. A couple had FTM-3200’s they got for Christmas and a couple with FT-991. Don’t have their callsigns handy – but if you have Fusion, listen for these guys and please answer if you hear them call. One reason why I got another rig, so I can answer them easier.
Heard a talk about Fusion from a Yaesu guy who indicated Fusion C4FM was nearly identical to APCO P25 Phase 1, but the FCC asked them to make a small change (one bit) to make them incompatible.
XARC will be hosting 2-meter Nets on the first and fourth Thursdays of each month starting at 8:30PM. The net will use the club’s Yaesu – Fusion repeater set to analog mode so that all can participate. The repeater (callsign W2XRX) frequency is 145.290Mhz with a PL tone of 110.9. All check-ins are welcome.
FYI – The cheapest way to get on Fusion. Now $134.95 at HRO.-
Probably similar prices elsewhere.
Drawbacks compared to the FTM-100DR ($309):
Only 2 meters
No APRS support
Can’t control Wires-X digital nodes
Can’t be used as a Wires-X node
Will work Fusion C4FM / thru Fusion repeaters with Auto Mode Select
Analog FM also
Can work distant stations via Wires-X if repeater is already connected or someone else connects.
I would definitely recommend the FTM-100DR or FTM-400XR, but if the advantages of it don’t interest you, the FTM-3200 is still a good radio to work through our repeater with and at least take advantage of the digital mode.