Friday, 31 July 2020


Why can't manufacturers give you what you want? In the shack I have an ICOM IC-7610 for HF and for 2M/70cm/Fusion I have Yaesu's flagship C4FM 'shack-in-a-box' the FT-991A. That should be everything I need surely??  
Well apparently not, because the FT-991A is not really equipped to be considered as Yaesu's 'flagship' C4FM radio despite its £1300 price tag!

If you want to connect your radio to a PC and use the Wires-X software (which I often do), then you'd better look elsewhere, because the firmware architecture of the FT-991A doesn't really permit this. 

The only way that I can use the Wires-X software on my PC is by connecting my Yaesu FT3D to the PC in PDN Access Point mode and then using the 991A to  transmit and receive.

So in that configuration, my expensive handheld Fusion radio is tied up in the shack (literally, by cables connecting it to the computer). And it's not just one cable, it's the SCU-19 and a twin audio cable (collectively called the SCU-39 at the princely sum of £70)!!

It's obvious (now) that it's not possible to simply update the firmware in the 991A to allow it to be used in PDN Mode, so what do I do? Well I could buy an FTM-100 or similar and use that as a node in the shack which would free up the FT3D for what it was intended for.

But the FTM-100's are still around £300 which make no sense at all when you can get the all-singing, all-dancing FTM-300D for 30% more. Okay, so if I buy one of those, not only would it free up my FT3D, it would also give me DUAL BAND reception on 2M and 70cm, C4FM via RF or PDN, plus AirBand and general RX from 108MHz-1GHz and a BandScope!

So now we have a situation where a £399 radio is outshining the £1300 flagship's capabilities in all areas except, of course, it has no HF. Well the truth is, I don't use the 991A for HF - it's not even got an HF antenna connected. So why not sell it??

Well this is where we reach the awkward bit. SSB! If the FTM300D included 2M SSB it would be the perfect solution (for me at least). And does it really cost that much to implement sideband? My little 30yr old FT-290 does 2M SSB and so do plenty other radios. I'd have happily have paid another £100 for it. 

Oh dammit, I've just thought of another reason not to sell the 991A - 6M. I do use that - not a lot- but I'd miss it if it wasn't there. It works through my triband Diamond V2000 and it works well. This is a real PIA!!

Is it just me or does anyone else think the radio manufacturing world needs a right good shake up??

Looking around at products on the market, you can buy everything you need - as long as you're willing to go to different manufacturers and multiple radios. Having invested in a superb HF radio which satisfies all my HF needs (IC-7610), it would seem natural to match it with an equally superb VHF/UHF/DIGITAL radio such as the IC-9700, but oh my god that thing is £1800 and still leaves me with no C4FM although it provides DSTAR (which I use regularly).

So, to provide me with everything I need, I hereby announce the launch of the Yaecom TM1 VHF/UHF true multi-mode radio with touch-screen (23cm module available as an optional extra)...

IN THE END, I bought an IC-7300 and an FTM300.  For good measure I threw in an IC-9700 too 😂😂😂

Thanks for popping by. Leave a comment below, 73, Tom, M7MCQ.


  1. Very well said Tom spot on on all points.

    1. Thanks John. Hope you're keeping well mate.

  2. Couldn't agree more! When's that Yaecom unit out? 😁

    1. The 12th of Never, Paul :-D Thanks for the visit.

  3. Good write up Tom shame about the 991a as it ticks all the boxes mainly because it will work through my Gateway (MB6HW) I did get the FTM-300 for the car but not fitted yet.