Yaesu FTM-3100R Review

When you combine strong 2 meter performance, Yaesu’s reputation for quality, and a budget-friendly price, the result is the Yaesu FTM-3100R. Despite a low price, this mobile transceiver offers amazing performance on the two meter band. Just don’t expect too many bells and whistles!

Good

  • 65w, 30w, 5w transmission – The FTM-3100R has high, medium, and low transmit settings that correspond to 65w, 30w, and 5w transmission, giving you plenty of options for transmitting your signal.
  • Strong audio output – The built-in speakers are surprisingly loud, making this a good option for mobile use. Even in loud environments or with the windows rolled down, you’ll be able to hear clearly.
  • Solid transmission quality and range – Thanks to its high-quality design and 65w of transmission power, the FTM-3100R can easily reach a range of 150+ miles with the right antenna.
  • 220 memory channels – You get 199 standard memory channels, one “home” channel, and 10 sets of band-edge memories, so you’ll be able to save all your favorite frequencies without any issues.
  • Programmable microphone controls – The included mic is high-quality and has four programmable buttons so that you can assign your own most-used features, such as squelching or adjusting transmission power.

Bad

  • Loud fan often switches on and off – The fan in the Yaesu FTM-3100R is powerful and helps keep it cool even at 65w of transmission. But it’s loud and often cycles on and off, even during standby. This usually isn’t a problem for mobile use, but could be annoying in a ham shack.
  • You need a good power supply – The FTM-3100R tends to be power-hungry, and draws more current than comparable radios. You’ll need a high-quality power supply to keep it going, and the unit may power off if you try to use it without providing enough current.

Bottom line

It won’t blow your mind, but the Yaesu FTM-3100R is a rock-solid, dependable, and rugged 2 meter radio that’s budget-friendly and will provide excellent performance. It’s also a great option for newer hams, since its streamlined feature-set means you’ll be less likely to be overwhelmed as you learn.

Product Specs

Frequency RangeTx 144 – 148 MHz
Rx 136 – 174 MHz
Channel Step5/6.25/10/12.5/15/20/25/50/100 kHz
Standard Repeater Shift±600 kHz
Frequency Stability±10 ppm [-4 °F to +140 °F (-20 °C to +60 °C)]
Modes of EmissionF3E
Antenna Impedance50 Ohms, unbalanced
Supply voltage13.8 V DC ±15%, negative ground
Current Consumption (typical)Rx: less than 0.7 A, less than 0.5 A (squelched)
Tx: 15 A (65 W) /10 A (30 W) /5 A (5 W)
Operating Temperature Range-4° F to +140° F (-20° C to +60° C)
Case Size (WxHxD)6.1” x 1.7” x 6.1” (154 x 43 x 155 mm) (w/o knobs)
Weight (Approx.)2.86 lb (1.3 kg)
Output Power65/30/5 W
Modulation TypeVariable Reactance
Maximum Deviation±5 kHz (Wide)
±2.5 kHz (Narrow)
Spurious RadiationBetter than -60 dB
Microphone Impedance2k Ohms
Circuit Type
Ifs:
Double Conversion Superheterodyne
1st 47.25 MHz, 2nd 450 kHz
Sensitivity (for 12dB SINAD)0.20 µV (Ham band, wide)
0.22 µV (Ham band, narrow)
Selectivity (–6/–60dB)12 kHz/28 kHz
Maximum AF Output3 W @ 13.8 V, 10% THD

Expert reviews

  • In a comparison video, 3 Old Tech Dudes discussed the FTM-3100R. They liked the loud front speaker, and the fact that it has four programmable function buttons, as well as the quality of the included microphone, and the high-quality fan and cooling system. However, they had some critical feedback about the display quality and the menu interface, as well as the radio’s noise rejection in areas with high interference.

User reviews

  • On eHam.net, reviewers have given this Yaesu transceiver an average rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars, over a total of 11 reviews. Users had good things to say about this radio’s value, calling it a “very good radio” for the price. Several noted the excellent audio quality and long range of the FTM-3100R at its 65w high power transmission setting. On the critical side, one user said that the display burned out after several years of use, and several users noted the loud fans as a drawback of this radio.
  • DXEngineering users have given this radio a rating of 4.87 stars out of 5 across 15 total reviews. They had good things to say about its loud sound output, long transmission range, and rugged, compact design. One called it a “great radio at a great price.” However, several users noted that the radio runs hot at its maximum 65w transmission power, and that the loud fan can be annoying, particularly when the radio is not used in mobile installations.
  • At Gigaparts, this radio has only one review as of publication time. The reviewer noted that the radio had “good build quality” and “nice reception,” and compared it to several Baofeng radios that they had owned previously.

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