If you’re newer to the world of amateur radio, you may be wondering what mobile transceiver is the best choice if you want to explore features like APRS and GPS location sharing – without sacrificing overall UHF/VHC usability.
The answer is simple – the Yaesu FTM-300DR. It’s packed with features, and while it’s definitely more expensive than some comparable models from other manufacturers, it more than justifies its price tag.
- Excellent cooling – Cooling is sometimes an issue with Yaesu mobile transceivers, but the FTM-300DR uses a Funnel Air-Convection Conductor (FACC) heat sink design to enable extended operations, even at its full 50 watts of transmission power.
- Crisp color display – The two-inch QVGA (320×240) TFT screen is bright, bold, and clearly highlights important information like your current frequency and operation bands.
- Two audio output jacks – As a dual-receiver radio, you have the option to output from the VFO A or B band to separate speakers, or you can opt to mix the signals in a single speaker.
- Bluetooth support – The FTM-300DR is fully Bluetooth-compatible out of the box. Yaesu recommends their SSM-BT10 headset for obvious reasons, but it should work with all commercially available Bluetooth headsets for ham radios.
- Memory Channel Band Auto Grouping (MBAG) – MBAG allows you to automatically categorize memory channels based on their band, M-VHF, M-UHF, M-AIR, and M-GEN. This simplifies the process of recalling saved channels dramatically.
- Quiet, tinny built-in speaker – The 3W speaker is fine for stationary use in a quiet car or ham shack, but may not be loud enough to handle mobile use, or use in a noisy environment.
- Complex UI – This dual-receiver radio is jam-packed with features, but unlike its big brother the Yaesu FTM-400XDR, it has no touch screen. This makes it a bit more complex to operate, particularly if you’re trying to use it while driving. There’s definitely a learning curve to get used to.
The Yaesu FTM-300DR is perfectly usable for traditional UHF/VHF receiving and transmission. But it also lets you explore advanced features like digital C4FM, WIRES-X, GPS sharing, and so much more – all in one compact, easy-to-use package. For this reason, it’s an excellent mobile transceiver for most amateur radio operators. It lacks a few features compared to more expensive units like the Yaesu FTM-400XDR, but still packs a hefty punch in its price range.
|Rx: 108 – 137MHz (AIR Band)|
137 – 174MHz (144MHz HAM / VHF Band)
174 – 400MHz (GEN)
400 – 480MHz (430MHz HAM / UHF Band)
480 – 999.99MHz (GEN)*’
Tx: 144 – 148MHz or 144 – 146MHz
(Depends on the transceiver version)
|Channel Steps||5, 6.25, (8.33)**, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 50, l00kHz|
|Frequency Stability||-z2.5ppm -4°F tO +140°F (-20°C to +60°C)|
|Emission Type||FI D, F2D, F3E, F7W|
|Supply Voltage||Nominal 13.BV DC, Negative Ground|
|Current Consumption||0.SA (Receive)|
IIA (SOW TX, 144MHz)
11A (SOW TX, 430MHz)
|Operating Temperature||-4°F to +140°F (-20°C to +60°C)|
|Case Size||Radio Unit 5.47″(W) x 1.66″(H) x 5.2″(D) (139 x 42 x 132 mm) w/0 Fan|
Controller 5.47″(W} x 2.09″(H) x 0.7″(D) (139 x 53 x 18 mm) w/o Knob
|Weight (Approx.)||2.43 lbs (1.1kg) with Radio Unit, Controller, Control Cable|
|RF Power Output||SOW/25W/SW|
|Modulation Type||FI D, F2D, F3E : Variable Reamance Modulation|
F7W : 4FSK (C4FM)
|Spurious Emission||At least 60dB below|
|Microphone Impedance||2 kO|
|Data Jack Impedance||10 kO|
|Circuit Type||Double-Conversion Super Heterodyne|
|Frequencies||1st: ss.osuHz and: 4sokHz ‹x band)|
1st: 57.15MHz 2nd: 450kHz (B band)
|Sensitivity||0.8pV TYP for 10dB SN (108 – 137MHz, @ AM)|
0.2pV for 12dB SINAD (137 – 140MHz, # FM)
0.2pV for 12dB SINAD (140 – 150MHz, @ FM)
0.25|JV for 12dB SINAD (150 – 174MHz, @FM)
0.3pV TYP for 12dB SINAD (174 • 222MHz, @FM)
0.25pV TYP for 12dB SINAD (zzz – aooun•, eru›
0.8pV TYP for 10dB SN (300 – 336MHz, @AM)
0.25pV for 12dB SINAD (336 – 420MHz, @FM)
0.2|JV for 12dB SINAD (420 • 470MHz, @ FM)
0.2pV for 12dB SINAD (470 – 520MHz, @ FM)
0.4|JV TYP for 12dB SINAD (800 • g00MHz, @FM)
0.8|JV TYP for 12dB SINAD (g00 – gg9.9gMHz, @ FM)
0.19UV TYP for BER 1% (Digital Mode)
Cellular Blocked (USA only)
|Selectivity||NFM, AM 12kHz / 30kHz (-6 dB / -60 dB)|
|AF Output||3W(8Cl, THD10 %, 13.8V) Internal Speaker|
3W(8Ct, THD10 %, 13.BV) External Speaker
- In their review, HamFiles praised the “compact package” of the FTM-300DR, and also had good things to say about the simplicity of programming the radio with the free Windows software made available by Yaesu. However, they criticized the lack of an SCU-20 data cable, which costs up to $70 to purchase separately.
- In his review, Ham Radio 2.0 noted that the radio “works great” when mounted in a vehicle. He also had good things to say about the manual and overall usability of the Yaesu FTM-300DR, and called it a “great choice” for users who are upgrading from an HT (handheld transceiver). However, he did note that updating the firmware is a very complex process, though this is true of most Yaesu radios.
- Ham Radio Concepts also did a review and demo of this unit from Yaesu. He appreciated the simple user interface and color screen. Overall, he said the radio was “great” and that he “loved it.” He also recommended that users who wanted more functionality explore the pricier FTM-400XDR, while those on a budget who need a simpler radio could check out the Yaesu FTM-100DR.
- On DXEngineering, users have given the Yaesu FTM-300DR a rating of 4.52 out of 5 stars, across a total of 23 reviews. Users who had positive opinions of this mobile transceiver noted its ease of installation in vehicles, simple initial setup, and stellar send/receive capabilities. However, multiple users noted that firmware updates are difficult, and that the design of the unit means you’ll need a microphone extension if you want to mount the radio body in the trunk of your vehicle.
- Users on eHam.net have given this radio a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, with a review total of 12. On the positive side, users noted that the unit feels solid, durable, and robust, and is simple to set up. They also appreciated its C4FM/WIRES-X capabilities. However, a few users with negative experiences had difficulties with the user interface and the manual that came with the units. They also noted that updating the firmware is unnecessarily difficult.
- Currently, the Yaesu FTM-300DR has 3 reviews on Gigaparts, with an average rating of 5 stars out of 5. These users have noted the “loud and clear” audio, “user friendly interface” and “nice screen with great detail” as the most positive aspects of this mobile transceiver.