For anybody that operates in their vehicle (where I do about 75% of mine) on repeaters or even FM Simplex on 2m or 440, and is in the market for a new radio, I’ll give you a heads up about a sale from Yaesu right now. The FTM-400XDR, what is their top of the line mobile, is currently on sale for $400 – I just placed my order for one this week, and am excited to see how it’s going to mount in the Patriot. For anyone that doesn’t know, this mobile is (as stated above) a dual band 2m/70cm radio with touch screen, runs FM/C4FM for voice, APRS capability with built in GPS. This radio will be a nice complement to the Icom ID-5100 that is mounted in the car at the moment, allowing operation of two digital modes, as well as APRS capability.
I’m trying to learn the ins and outs of all the different digital modes, at least when it comes to the day to day usage of them, and this will be a bigger step with fusion than the FT-70 HT that I currently use. The FT-70, while it is a durable HT (which has been my experience with Yaesu Radio’s as a whole), reminds me of the early days of D-Star. Each individual function that you would like to perform has to be programmed as a specific memory channel if you want to be able to perform different actions on the radio such as node linking, and not just use a repeater as is. So far from what I’ve gathered in using these modes is that Fusion is about the least capable of the modes, while it’s being pushed the most with cheaper repeater systems to get involved. Direct Callsign linking and talking is something that it lacks that the other modes possess in some form or another – and if it is there, it isn’t anywhere near as simple to use (in true Yaesu fashion) as D-Star and DMR both.
All modes are able of transmitting Location data over their signal, while Fusion and DMR admittedly COULD do more, given that the bandwidth is twice that of D-Star, what more could you really want to do? You have the ability to send GPS data, images even, as well as compressed digital voice in a transmission. That’s enough for the every day user, in fact that’s more than enough.. Even in an emergency scenario, unless you’re going to build a transporter off of that mode, really GPS data, and an image is about all you need.
What are your thoughts on the never ending battle of the modes? What do you use? I’m really excited to delve more into Fusion and DMR over the next few weeks, and see what these all really have to offer!