Brunswick – Last week, I ordered a Yaesu FTM-400XDR dual band transceiver and I installed it in the car on Wednesday, replacing the FT-8800 that has outlasted two other cars (I just decided that it was time for something a bit more up to date and more capable). I still need to clean up the wiring/cabling a bit, so I’ll wait until I do that to post some photos. My first impression is that it’s a very nice radio; the touch screen is intuitive and perfect for a mobile radio. If you can operate a smart phone or a touch screen GPS unit, you won’t have a problem with the FTM-400XDR. Likewise, if you’re familiar with any of the newer generation of menu driven radios or scanners, I doubt you’ll have a problem with the FTM-400XDR; it’s just a matter of getting used to what function is in which memory.
Yesterday I set up the FTM-400XDR’s B-band for APRS operation. It has a built in TNC and GPS, so it was just a matter for tuning the correct frequency and setting a few menu options before it was up and running. The first station I saw was KA4CID’s digipeater, KA4CID-1 in Midway, GA but I was just too far away to get into it. At one point, though, I did get through the W4NAS digipeater in Callahan, FL. 11 other APRS stations popped up on my screen while I took a test drive down I-95 down to Exit 29, across US 82 to GA 99, and back up to Exit 38. I didn’t see a digipeater in Brunswick yesterday, but I when I turned the radio on while en route to breakfast this morning, I picked up KK4JMW-1, which plots here in Brunswick.
I go back and forth between Brunswick at least once a week, so look for KF4LMT-9 on APRS on my travels. I’ll also post a more detailed review of the FTM-400XDR after I used it more (likely after my vacation in January).