Yaesu FT1D Digital
One of the most eagerly awaited products at Dayton Hamvention was the new Yaesu FT1D digital and FM handheld.
It has, for an Amateur Radio rig, a number of innovations:
- A microphone that uses a mini-USB plug and has a built-in camera for low resolution (320x240) pictures,
- An 80 character group short messaging facility
- 9600 bps data transfer
- Micro-SD card slot
- E-GPS facility
Although the optonal extra microphone has a camera there
appears to be no way to display the pictures on the radio which some may
see as reducing it's usefulness.
The use of 9600 bps with 12.5 kHz channel spacing (is it
10 kHz in Japan?) was a surprise. Some had expected it to support 5 or
6.25 kHz channel spacing with a resultant data rate of 4800 bps (digital
speech using an AMBE vocoder only requires a 3600 bps data rate).
The modulation used is what Yaesu describes as C4FM
otherwise known as 4 level FSK or 4-FSK and is the same as that used for
Digital PMR-446 equipment. 4-FSK has advantages over other types of
digital modulation such as GMSK.
Both ICOM and Kenwood have been producing 4-FSK equipment
for the PMR market since 2007 so in some ways it's surprising that
Yaesu beat them both in releasing an amateur version of 4-FSK.
As yet Yaesu hasn't announced any mobiles, base stations
or repeaters so it appears that FT1D's can only talk to other FT1D's in
After Dayton some questions remain:
- Does it have APRS? The website of at least one amateur
radio dealer had been saying the rig did APRS but the brochure makes no
mention of it only refering to E-GPS
- Which Vocoder does it use? The AMBE seems the obvious choice but the brochure doesn't say
- What will it cost? Yaesu currently sell the VXD-10 high
power digital handheld to the leisure market for 63,000 yen ($796)
hopefully the FT1D will be cheaper!
- When will the FT1D be available? Well one Japanese retailer indicates that it could be another six months, see
The FT1DR/E brochure can be seen at