Yaesu FTDX10 firmware mess

In early April 2021 Yaesu issued a new firmware version 1.05 to address a few issues in V 1.04. This update turned out to be quite a disaster for some hams causing their radio all sorts of problems. Yaesu were quick to address this and released version 1.06 a few days later.

It turns out that the version 1.06 is more of a downgrade than upgrade over 1.04, and this is why.

 

Band selection

In V1.04 you could change the band by pressing the BAND key and selecting the band on the touch panel. You could also press the BAND key, turn the MPVD ring (multi purpose VFO outer dial) to the desired band then press the FUNC knob and your radio changes the band. Both of these functions still work in V1.06.

However, in V1.04 you could press the BAND key, turn the MPVD ring to the desired band and after 2 seconds the radio changes the band. This has been removed in V1.06.

Interestingly the same functionality for MODE selection has survived the cull and is still available in V1.06.

(Update: the MPVD band change functionality has been restored in V1.08 in May 2021)

 

Band stacks

Band stacks are three memories for each band, so if you select the same band multiple times you will cycle through three stacks. This is something you’ll find on most modern radios.

In V1.04 you could do this by pressing the BAND key, then selecting the same band from the touch pad or by pressing the FUNC knob.

However, there was a third way, in my opinion the best, which Yaesu has removed in V1.06 and that is to press the BAND key twice in quick succession (within 2 seconds) to go through stacks.

 

Why this is an issue? 

Yaesu’s user interface (UI) team seems to be lacking some common sense and general UI design principles knowledge. Out of all keys around the VFO dial the two that are most used by vast majority of operators are the BAND and MODE keys.

Yet, Yaesu engineers have placed these two keys in the tightest possible place on the entire front panel, between the main VFO dial and FUNC knob on one side and SHIFT/WIDTH knob on the other. I’m sure they could have placed them in a better spot, anywhere would be better than where they are now. Anywhere.

 

What about selection screen mess?

Yes, this is a complete mess and it’s not something I would have expected from Yaesu.

When you press certain keys, a pop-up selection screen shows up where you can select things like band or mode.

How long the panel remains visible is a bit of a gamble.

For BAND or MODE selection the panel disappears in about 2.5 seconds. There is not enough time to get your head (or eyes) around 12 band or 16 mode options, let alone click one unless you have it “pre-mapped” in your head. You also need to allow 0.5-1 second to bringing your finger from the BAND key to the selection panel. All that without bumping the VFO dial.

To make things more interesting, selecting ATT, IPO, R.FIL or AGC gives you the selection screen life of about 3.5 seconds.

Furthermore, try touching S-meter and its selection screen stays on for only 2 seconds.

If you try entering frequency manually and touch the last three digits of the frequency display, this panel will stay on for 10 seconds.

Finally, press SPEED and the selection screen stays open indefinitely, or until you either select a value or press SPEED again. Same goes for SPAN

What is the solution here?

It’s really simple – keep the selection panel active until the user selects one of the values, or presses the function key/button tagain. Make it same as the SPAN or SPEED selection.

Even a 10 seconds time-out would be fine for all of these. Users need time to find the value and to decide what they want to do. We have many hams in their 70s, 80s, 90s… these folks don’t have an eye-sight or reaction time of teenagers, they need time.

How hard it is to open a config file and look up the “time_out” values and change them all to 10 seconds or indefinite? Seriously, Yaesu!

 

 

Yaesu FT-DX10

Yaesu FT-DX10 is a new 100W HF transceiver with a hybrid SDR receiver. It is expected to be available in December 2020.

The FT-DX10 size (266x91x263 mm) is almost identical to Kenwood TS590SG and slightly larger than FT991A (229x80x253 mm) and weights 5.9 kg, compared to 4.3kg FT991A.

 

Considering its rumoured price of $2,000 (USD), this radio doesn’t look like a direct competition to Icom’s IC-7300 ($1,000) but rather a replacement for the Yaesu’s own FT-DX1200, albeit in a smaller body.

Features of the FT-DX10

  • HF/50 MHz Transceiver (incl. 60m)
  • Hybrid SDR receiver – Downconverter 9 MHz ZF + direct sampling SDR
  • 250 MHz HRDDS Synthesizer
  • 500 Hz 3 kHz and 15 kHz Roofing Filters (300 Hz optional)
  • 15 separate bandpass filters
  • Adjustable Shift & Width, Notch, Contour Filter Audio Peak Filter and more
  • Push-Pull MOSFET PA 5 – 100W transmit power (5 – 25W AM)
  • 5″ Touch Display with 3D Spectrum Stream display
  • Quick Memory Bank
  • Decoder for CW, RTTY and PSK-31
  • SD memory card slot
  • Remote operation with Yaesu SCU-10LAN

Icom IC-7610 review

After quite some time trying to decide between FTDX101D and IC-7610, I finally opted for the Icom. The radio has arrived and now that I had a chance to use it for a couple of weeks I must admit that I am quite impressed. I live in a very noisy suburban environment, but this receiver is incredibly quiet comparing to any radio I had before.

The noise blanker is spectacular. On 40m I have some power line noise that I was unable to find the sorce of so far, but the IC-7610 wipes it off just like that. Most importantly, it does it already at about 10% (level 10), while IC7300 needed to go to 80% and still not completely kill it off. The signal distortion at NR level 80 on IC-7300 is pretty bad..

The display is simply gorgeous. Many have written reviews and posted various videos about beauty of this display and all I can do is comletely agree. It’s perfect.

The ergonomics – also top notch, with maybe one or two very minor objections. I wish there was a MODE button that flips between CW and SSB, while other modes are selected by touchscreen. The other thing is that I still go for the SUB AF/RF gain knob almost every time, because it just feels natural for AF/RF Gain to be there. Because this radio has two receivers, the main receiver AF/RF Gain control is further up. It’a matter of getting used to, I guess.

Yaesu has done something funny on FTDX101D, they put the main receiver knobs and buttons on the bottom and the sub receiver stuff above it. It looks weird but it seems to be working better, at least it would for me.

APF on CW is heaven. In the current conditions where we can barely hear anyone here in Australia, picking up that tiny signal amongst all the local QRM is quite a task and APF comes to shine here. APF on FTDX3000 was great, but this one is better. One thing that is not as good is NR. IC-7610 has an excellent NR, but the one on FTDX3000 is extraordianry.

The problem with the universally hated (or loved) elec-key plug on the front of the radio is easily solved by using an L-shaped adapter from eBay, best spent $2.

 

Now, all we need is for the sun to wake up and give us some joy on the bands.

 

 

 

Yaesu FTDX101D announced

Yaesu has announced the new High-Class HF/50MHz 100W Transceiver – FTDX 101D and the radio has been displayed at Dayton Hamvention 2018.

A few of the remarkable features of the new FTDX101D are;

  • YAESU High-Class HF/ 50MHz 100W Transceiver
  • SDR Technology and Waterfall Display
  • Large Touch Panel precision color display
  • Active Band Monitor enables rapid band changes with LED illumination of the operating band
  • Independent control of the Main and Sub Bands allows effortless operation for the serious contester needing to move quickly between the amateur bands
  • High-Q VC Tuning Front-End
  • Main tuning dial for Main and Sub Band frequency control includes an Outer Dial for clarifier, VC tuning, fine tuning or custom settings.

The pricing and availability is likely to be announced in late 2018.

The baby brother has arrived

My FT-DX 3000 now has a little brother. The new Yaesu FT-891 has finally arrived after a long wait over the holiday season.

IMG_20180111_163608.jpg

The radio is really tiny and so light, when it was delivered today I wasn’t sure if it was the radio or the MFJ tuner that I have also ordered. It turned out to be the radio.

I don’t know why but I was expecting it to be somewhat bigger, probably because FT DX 3000 is so big and FT-891 looks like a mid-size book next to it. I guess it will take a few days to get used to it.

I had a quick play with it but since I don’t have any antennas here at home it will have to wait for the weekend to have it’s premiere on air from one of the WWFF listed parks here around Brisbane.

Today all I could do is throw 10m piece of wire from the 4th floor balcony and listen a bit. The DNR seems to be impressive, even comparing to my FT-DX 3000.