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Rig Review: Yaesu FT3 with C4FM/Fusion

January 27, 2024 By: Chris G3YHF Category: Club, Fun, News

Wythall Radio Club member Kev G4XLO, based in sunny Torbay, Devon, recently splashed out on a new handy. Here’s his review…
I had thought about getting a new HT for a couple of months. I normally read reviews and get other hams’ opinions before I take the plunge. 
I’ve always been a Yaesu ham as I find these are the best quality (personal preference). I considered what options I had and what cash I had available. 
I took the plunge this week and found a Yaesu FT3 for sale from one of the main dealers here in the UK. On arrival the radio was in perfect showroom condition without a mark or blemish and came with everything that was with it when it was new. 
The first thing I noticed was the size.  It’s small, fits perfectly in the palm of my hand and feels ‘right’.
On power up it asks you to enter your callsign, essential for the Fusion network, then takes you to the main VFO screen. Swapping between VFO A and VFO B is a breeze.
I had a quick read of the manual and very soon had programmed the first repeater in.  I was hitting it on just the 2.5 Watts to the stock antenna, so getting into the Fusion network was flawless. 
The menus seem pretty easy and self explanatory but I find I refer to the book of words quite a bit still. I have the ADMS software which I am still populating with ham, marine as well as airband chanells. 
The screen has a lot of information cleverly organised and for once easy to use.
Cons – I think the main concern of the radio is the slight ‘tinny’ sound of the speaker especially compared to the FT70 that was a lot ‘fuller’.  I would say that’s the only fault!
I love this radio as a) it’s easy to use as well as b) I’ve had some good audio reports back on both Fusion as well as analogue. 
I had read online about the charge time for the radio. For a radio in this price bracket I would have expected a rapid charger as standard.  Also some people had commented that when the radio is charging, the status bar does not move from one or two bars, although not the case of the one I have. 
Yes, it takes about 9 hours to charge it but it does say ‘charge complete’ at the end of the cycle. Talking of the battery, I find it holds the charge really well and easily lasts 11 to 12 hours on rx with a bit of playing around and a few quick QSOs. 
I’m really impressed with this HT. 
I have read other reviews from people that say it’s one of the worst HTs out there but come on… I think this is a great little radio and is now my ‘go to’ HT and for the money I paid very well worth it. 
Well done Yaesu!
Kev is also a big fan of low power FT8 with basic antennas – he’s been very active during our Club’s QRP ‘How low can you go’ January – watch this space for a report!
All we need to do now is convince him to get back to some CW as a few years ago he won the Lew Williams Shield for most improved CW operator!
An earlier version of this review was published on eham.net