Yaesu FT-2980R Review

If you’re looking for a reliable, sturdy, and powerful ham radio for use on the 2-meter band, the Yaesu FT-2980R is an excellent choice. It combines 80 watts of transmitting power with an ergonomic, durable design, and convenient features like NOAA weather alerts and over 200 memory slots.

Good

  • Durable design – The Yaesu FT-2980R meets MIL-STD 810 standards for toughness, ensuring it lasts a long time even in demanding conditions.
  • Powerful transmission – You can choose between 5, 10, 30, and 80W transmission modes depending on your needs.
  • Fanless design – Despite its 80W of power, the Yaesu FT-2980R has a fanless design thanks to its large heatsink, eliminating a point of failure and keeping the unit quiet during operation.
  • Great on-board audio – The built-in 3W speaker provides loud audio, making this a great choice for mobile use in a truck or trailer, or other noisy environments.
  • Large, clear display – The 1” display is brightly lit and easy to view in any environment.

Bad

  • No CHIRP support– This radio doesn’t support CHIRP, one of the most widely-used programming tools for ham radio, so you may need to purchase paid software to program it using a computer.
  • Audio quirks – The volume knob is extremely sensitive, and it’s not possible to mute the unit entirely. This is fine in a loud environment like a vehicle, but may be an issue in a ham shack.

Bottom line

It may be a bit limited due to only supporting the 2 meter FM band, but thanks to its combination of low cost, 80W of transmission power, and nearly-indestructible build quality, the Yaesu FT-2980R is an excellent addition to your ham shack or vehicle.

Product Specs

Frequency RangeTx 136 – 174 MHz (Asian version)
144 – 148 MHz (USA version)
Rx 136 – 174 MHz
Channel Step5/10/12.5/15/20/25/50/100 kHz
Standard Repeater Shift±600 kHz
Frequency StabilityBetter than ±10 ppm
[–4 °F to +140 °F (–20 °C to +60 °C)]
Modes of EmissionF2D/F3E
Antenna Impedance50 Ohms, unbalanced
Supply voltage13.8 V DC ±15 %, negative ground
Current Consumption (typical)Rx: less than 0.7 A, less than 0.3 A (squelched)
Tx: 15 A (80 W) / 9 A (30 W) / 5 A (10 W) / 4 A (5 W)
Operating Temperature Range–4° F to +140° F (–20° C to +60° C)
Case Size (WxHxD)6.3” x 2” x 7.3” (160 x 50 x 185 mm) (w/o knobs)
Weight (Approx.)4.2 lb (1.9 kg)
Output Power80 W / 30 W / 10 W / 5 W
Modulation TypeVariable Reactance
Maximum Deviation±5 kHz (Wide)
±2.5 kHz (Narrow)
Spurious RadiationBetter than –60 dB
Microphone Impedance2 k-Ohms
Circuit TypeDouble Conversion Superheterodyne
Ifs21.7 MHz & 450 kHz
Sensitivity (for 12dB SINAD)Better than 0.4 µV
Selectivity (–6/–60dB)12 kHz/28 kHz (Wide)
9 kHz/22 kHz (Narrow)
IF RejectionBetter than 70 dB
Image RejectionBetter than 70 dB
Maximum AF Output3 W into 4 Ohms @10 % THD

Expert reviews

  • According to YouTuber Everything Ham Radio, the Yaesu FT-2980R is a sleek unit that packs a big punch in a small package. In particular, he was impressed by the unit’s powerful 80W of transmission power. He also liked the unit’s fanless design.
  • MØYKS – Ham Radio called the Yaesu FT-2980R a “great radio” and also praised its fanless design, which was the primary reason he chose this unit over other units with louder fans.

User reviews

  • On DXengineering, the Yaesu FT-2980R has an average rating of 4.92, which is extremely high. Users praised its robust design, easy installation, and powerful 80W of transmission power.
  • Eham.net users were similarly glowing in their review of this radio from Yaesu, giving it an overall rating of 4.3 stars. Users noted the great overall build quality and simple operation, with one user calling the FT-2980R “the best radio out there” for 2-meter mono band mobile FM use.

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