Yaesu Fusion Radio Comparison

There are often many questions on which radio is best if I want to work Fusion Digital C4FM mode?  It can be a complicated answer, depending on what you might want to do with it.

Disclaimer:  Don’t own or never used an FT2DR, FTM3200D, FT-991.  Only imparting info I have been able to glean from various sources about these radios.

Best to go to Yaesu website and study features in more detail after reading this.

A couple of assumptions:

  • Only comparing C4FM features or related
  • Only concerned with 2m and 440 where Fusion infrastructure might exist (repeaters and Wires-X nodes)
  • The FTM-400XDR is the gold standard – most features
  • Not mentioning basic features found on most FM radios these days
  • DN mode (digital narrow) includes advanced FEC (forward error correction) that increases range usuability


Image result for FTM-400XDR

Street Price – $549 as of 2/2017 (been creeping up)

Yaesu Info Page FTM-400XDR

Key Features
  • 3.5 inch TFT LCD Touch Screen display
  • GPS receiver built-in – Smart Navigation
  • APRS Modem
  • All C4FM modes, DN and VW (digital narrow and voice wide)
  • 2m and 440 bands, 2 VFOs (one digital)
  • Cross-band capable in analog mode
  • 3 watts audio on internal speaker
  • Can be used with camera mic to take and transmit photos
  • Can be used as Wires-X Node radio (not a cost effective option for this)
  • Callsign and  distance information displays during digital QSOs
  • Micro SD card slot
  • Only one VFO can be digital (one vocoder chip)
  • Not really a limitation, but display unit does not mount to main unit.  Designed to be separated


Street price Feb 2017 – $309

Yaesu Info Page FTM-100DR

Key Features
  • GPS receiver built-in
  • APRS Modem
  • All C4FM modes, DN and VW (digital narrow and voice wide)
  • 2m and 440 bands, only 1 VFO (not as convenient for APRS operation while using radio for listening/communicating)
  • 3 watts audio on internal speaker
  • Can be used as Wires-X Node radio
  • Can control a Wires-X node
  • Callsign and Distance info in digital QSOs
  • Micro SD card slot
Limitations vs. FTM-400XDR
  • Smaller display, no color, no touch screen
  • Menu driven with buttons
  • One VFO


Image result for FT-991 Yaesu

Street Price Feb 2017 – $1390

Yaesu Info Page FT-991A

Key Features

Obviously, not a great comparison, being a full HF radio, but will mention some features and limitations:

  • Covers 2m and 440 with C4FM
  • Wires-X capable (some early models may not, may be available with firmware update, not sure)


Street price Feb. 2017 – $149

Yaesu Info Page FTM-3200

  • 2 meters only
  • C4FM DN mode only (not really a problem.  Almost always DN recommended)
  • Can’t control Wires-X nodes via this radio.  Can still operate thru them if connected.
  • Can’t be used as a Wires-X node radio
  • No GPS – no distance during digital QSOs
  • No APRS
  • 3 watts audio
  • 220 memories



Street price Feb 2017 – $359

Yaesu Info Page FT2DR

Key Features
  • Dual Band 2m and 440
  • Micro SD card slot
  • Touch Screen display
  • GPS receiver
  • APRS
  • Wide band receive
  • Band scope
  • 5 watts
  • 700mW audio


Street Price Feb 2017 –  $299

Yaesu Website info – FT1XDR

Key Features
  • A Full featured HT – too many to list here
  • Dual Band 2m and 440 – 2 independant receivers
  • Micro SD card slot
  • GPS receiver
  • APRS
  • Wide band receive
  • Does have band scope – (limited display)
  • 5 watts
  • 200/400mW audio
  • Wires-X capable (not as a node)
  • Works with camera mic – can take and xmit photos.  Not view.

145.29 Coverage Profile

Seeing the predicted coverage of the 440 repeater, I decided to try our 2 meter machine.   A few variables I took the default, but this looks pretty close based on my living at the fringe area.  It might be slightly better than shown here, but this is not bad.  Definitely can see the problems going east and south, with higher ground in both directions.

Predicted 145.29 Mobile Coverage
Predicted 145.29 Mobile Coverage

Fusion Net

I have schedule another Fusion net on the W2XRX repeater – here is the info:

Fusion Net

Tuesday Feb. 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.

Misc News and Notes

A few items of 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.

Hope to see you on Thursday Feb 9,

Brian – K2AS


Reminder – The monthly meeting of the XARC will be held Thursday, January 12 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM at the Webster Recreation Center in Webster, NY. Check our Calendar for details and a map.

  • December Minutes
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Repeater Update
  • Science Exploration Days Discussion
  • XARC Club 2M Net Report
  • ARRL – RTTY Roundup Contest Report
  • Hamfests, Contents, other Events Review
  • Show and tell
  • What have you done the past month, re: ham radio
  • Presentation – Drumlins ARC to report on their Fusion Repeater Activities

~ Rich, K2RAH

Election Results & December General Meeting

Reminder – The monthly meeting of the XARC will be held December 8 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM at the Webster Recreation Center in Webster, NY. Check our Calendar for details and a map.

Election Results (term of office commences on January 1, 2017) –

  • President (one-year term) – Brian Donovan (K2AS)
  • Vice-president (one-year term) – Harry Ramos (W2HRY)
  • Secretary (one-year term) – Rich Hull (K2RAH)
  • Treasurer (one-year term) – Rick LaDonna (N2IJI)
  • Director (three-year term) – Fred Donahue (W3MUD)

Agenda for the December General Meeting –

  • Acceptance of November’s Meeting Minutes
  • Acceptance of Treasurer’s Report
  • Membership Report/Status
  • Old/New Business
  • MakerFaire Report and Lessons Learned
  • Fusion Net & XARC Net Reports
  • 2017 XARC Event Calendar Review
  • Repeater Status/Workparty
  • Show and Tell, What have you done lately, re: ham radio?
  • Presentation – Overview & Prep for January ARRL RTTY (Digital) Contest

~ Rich, K2RAH

November General Meeting Agenda

Date – Thursday: Nov. 10, 2016
Location – Webster Rec Center at 6:00pm

REMINDER – Dues are Due!

–  Meeting Agenda –

  • XARC will be holding elections for Club Officers and one Director’s position. Nominations are still welcome.
  • Nominations received so far –
    President (one-year term) – Brian Donovan (K2AS)
    Vice-president (one-year term) – Harry Ramos (W2HRY)
    Secretary (one-year term) – Rich Hull (K2RAH)
    Treasurer (one-year term) – Rick LaDonna (N2IJI)
    Director (three-year term) – Fred Donahue (W3MUD)
  • October Minutes approval
  • Treasurer Report approval
  • Old/New Business
  • Repeater Status, Work Party
  • 2017 Club Calendar/Events
  • Status and last minute prep for Maker Faire (Morse Code Key)
  • December Presentation options
  • What have you done in Amateur Radio Lately?

~ Rich, K2RAH

XARC Elections, November General Meeting

The following names have been received as interested candidates for the below listed positions. Other interested XARC members should announce their candidacy ASAP. Formal nominations will be solicited from the floor at the November General Meeting with voting to follow.  XARC Full (voting) Members in good standing are eligible to hold office and/or vote. Full Members shall be 21 years of age, hold a valid FCC amateur license, and be current, re: dues.

  • President (one-year term) – Brian Donovan (K2AS)
  • Vice-president (one-year term) – Harry Ramos (W2HRY)
  • Secretary (one-year term) – Rich Hull (K2RAH)
  • Treasurer (one-year term) – Rick LaDonna (N2IJI)
  • Director (three-year term) – Fred Donahue (W3MUD)

Elections will be held at the November General Meeting (November 10) with the newly elected taking office on January 1, 2017.

In addition to elections, other planned business related agenda items include: a discussion and scheduling of club events for 2017; the re-occurring monthly items such as minutes and treasurers report/approval, repeater status, etc.

A complete agenda for the November General Meeting will be posted shortly.

~ Rich, K2RAH

2016 Fall Fox Hunt Results

The XARC Fall Fox Hunt was held Saturday, October 15 – starting in cool weather but finishing to a perfect warm and sunny fall day. Contestants met at the Penn Fair Plaza parking lot in Penfield and left promptly at 9:30 in search for the first of three hidden radio transmitters. The relatively easy first fox was located in nearby Fellows Road Park. The second fox was located in the little known Howell Road Park with the last fox located near the Canal Trail near Wayneport  Road bridge. The third fox presented a challenge since it was located in a depression behind the High Acres Landfill which just happens to be one of the highest points in Monroe County. The landfill is also surrounded by a high mesh metal fence that created reflections and shielding when contestants were in route from the Howell Road to Wayneport Road areas.

The scoring was 10 through 1 points per fox with 10 points awarded to the first contestant to locate each fox. Brian (K2AS) finished first with a perfect 30/30 score with Paul (KC2GTO) a close second at 26/30. Bob (K2OID) finished third at 17/30.

At noon, with some contestants still in field, the call went out to meet at the Macedon Hills Restaurant for lunch. Scores were tallied and awards handed out. A good time was had by all. The next hunt is planned for spring 2017. Stayed tuned!

Rich – Huntmaster, K2RAH


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