Yaesu C4FM line-up and new affordable C4FM handheld

ORARC has embraced Yaesu’s System Fusion (aka C4FM) digital mode in a big way thanks to Yaesu’s generous rebates on their C4FM enabled DR-1X repeaters for radio clubs.  Like all digital modes (with the possible exclusion of DMR), however, the entry price for C4FM enabled transceivers remains high compared traditional FM-only rigs, for obvious reasons.

Thankfully, as time goes on, more and more C4FM enabled radios are popping up in Yaesu’s transceiver offerings.  The traditional C4FM line-up has been the (well represented at ORARC) FT-991 All-Band, Multi-Mode rig along with the high end FTM-400 Dual-Band Dual-Receiver mobile – both fantastic, touch-screen enabled radios.  Both of these radios represent quite the investment at $1400ish and $700ish respectively at the time of writing, despite being fantastic value for what you get.

FT-991 All-Band, Multi-Moder

FTM-400 Dual-Band Dual-Receiver mobile

More recently the FTM-100 C4FM enabled Dual-Band Single-Receiver mobile has popped onto the scene.  These are also well represented amongst ORARC members from a time when they were a mere $399 – a relative bargain to the current (less compelling) asking price of $550ish.  Reports from members indicate that this too is a solid performer.

FTM-100 Dual-Band Single-Receiver Mobile

At the low end of the mobile line, and of little interest to ORARC members, is the 2m only FTM-3200.  With our C4FM enabled repeaters being on 70cms, I can’t see too many of these being sold on the Mid North Coast – even if it represents good value with 65W output for $300ish.  Yaesu, make a Dual-Band version and we’ll talk….

FTM-3200DR 2M only C4FM/FM mobile

The mobile situation is largely echoed in the handheld line-up with the FT2D Dual-Band Dual-Receiver touch-screen handheld (left) at $670ish and the more traditional FT1D (with lacks the touch-screen but is otherwise remarkably similar to its bigger brother) at $500ish.

Like the FTM-100 mobile above, the FT1D (right) got as cheap at $399 at one point, so there’s a few of them floating around amongst ORARC members.  They’re still on Yaesu’s webpage, but they seem to have disappeared from local suppliers.

Irrespective, $400+ on a handheld is a serious investment (as Yaesu are no doubt aware), so now there’s the new $250ish FT-70DR Dual-Band Single-Receiver handheld to fill the void:

  • C4FM and FM TX and RX with Automatic Mode Selection (AMS)
  • 5 Watts of reliable RF power inside a compact body
  • 700 mW loud audio output
  • Rugged construction meets IP54 (dust / water protection)
  • Huge 1,105 channel memory
  • Wide-Band receive coverage 108 – 579.995 MHz
  • 7.4 V 1,800mAh Lithium Ion battery pack
  • Equipped with external DC jack for DC supply and battery charge
  • Equipped with Mini USB port for convenient memory management and software updates

Whilst not Baofeng money, $250 for a quality brand-name transceiver with C4FM capability undeniably represents good value, so if you’re in the market for a quality affordable hand-held this should definitely be on your shortlist.  It’s worth remembering too that C4FM will get you into one of our repeaters in situations where a conventional FM radio isn’t cutting the mustard thanks to the digital cliff.

2 replies on “Yaesu C4FM line-up and new affordable C4FM handheld”

  1. John McLean says:

    C4FM, what can it do that would make me rush out and buy a compatible transceiver?

    • Paul VK2ICQ says:

      I can think of one major thing John (but only whilst we have C4FM on RPM 2M) – I have a 100% noise free signal to RPM’s input, even when its input is being bombarded by QRN as is often the case. Without it I’d have been forced to abandon the net from my location behind Transit Hill on many occasions. Other than that, there’s better RX and TX audio quality, better range, auto ID on Transmissions, auto-position reporting and monitoring of up to 24 in-range stations, simultaneous voice and data transmission, text messaging and Wires-X Internet reflectors and chat rooms. Plus most Transceivers in this class with also offer stellar FM performance and integrated APRS functionality.

Leave a Reply