Who doesn't like a good gear review? Well, here's a good one if you've been considering a dual band ham radio for a base setup.
One of the most time consuming and frustrating parts of building your first station is what radio to buy. For dual band 2m/70cm work, the Yaesu FTM-7250DR has turned out to be an excellent rig. This is the radio I got a while back and have been running the KCAM nets with.
This radio is very easy to program manually, and there are several YouTube videos that help you learn how. I never even got the software or the programming cable, because it is really not needed.
Unlike most dual band radios which might be 50 watts on 2m and only 25-45 on 70cm, this radio is a true 50 watts output on both bands.
This radio not only sounds and operates perfectly on normal FM, such as we use on the KCAM repeater, but it also works with the Yaesu Fusion C4FM that a lot more repeaters are using around our AO. What does that mean? Digital voice, along with other capabilities. When you get into the digital parts, you use normal repeater frequencies, but on a Fusion repeater the radio can switch automatically between FM and Digital, or you can do it manually. The Fusion system works with the repeaters, as well as over an IP connection. Repeaters using this system are basically linked together over the internet. How is this handy? For example, with the Raytown 440 machine, it is linked to several others and I have had digital voice conversations with people all over Missouri and Kansas with really no extra work or special equipment outside of this radio. I've even been on some Nationwide nets on digital.
I highly recommend this radio if you are looking to set up a base station for 2m/70cm in your home. This would also work very well in an RV or field setup.
I do not recommend this radio for normal mobile use in a vehicle. The face plate is not detachable which is desired in most vehicle installations. The speaker is on the front and is "front firing" which makes it perfect for use on a desk or mounted under a shelf like I have mine.
The only downside to this radio is that is is not a dual watch radio. Meaning that you cannot listen to two frequencies at the same time. The frequency you are on is what you talk and transmit on. I will say that once you get all of your frequencies programmed, the scan function is lightning fast.
If you're looking for a radio for stationary base operations, this is it.
The price is around 199.99 - 250.00 depending on where you get it and if it is on sale or not. When I got mine, it was on sale for 199.99 on GigaParts but I ended up getting it at Associated Radio in Overland Park and they price matched it. I think their price was 220.00 at the time. Either way, for the price, even at full price, you cannot beat it for what it does, and the features it has.