Review -- Yaesu FT-1802M Two-meter Mobile FM Transceiver
by Don Keith N4KC
I hate to be one of those guys who buys a new piece of gear then rushes onto eHam the day it's installed to post a glowing review...usually just to stave off buyer's remorse. But here I am, two days after opening the box and installing the 1802M in my vehicle, giving a glowing review. For $135, how could you go wrong? Well, I'm a tight wad and I can think of plenty of ways, but this ain't one of them! At least not yet.
I'm impressed with the heft in such a small package (it seems to be a tough little son of a gun), and with the ease of programming. I have a Yaesu HT that takes eight button punches and three dial twists just to program in a tone, but this rig is a snap. 'Course, I'll keep the manual handy in the vehicle, just in case. Love the weather station option with just one button push. That alone almost won the XYL's blessing. Thank goodness somebody still puts a squelch KNOB on a radio! And multiple transmit power options, all programmable as part of the radio's memory channels.
When I made the first contact on a local repeater, the other station commented positively on my audio immediately, even before I told him it was a new radio. Another ham familiar with my voice broke in to make similar comments.
(Later addition: I am aware of all the comments about how hot the radio gets. I'm in Alabama and yes, in the summertime it does get mucho caliente inside the vehicle. And the FT1802 does get pretty warm, too, even in winter when it is not hot. The entire case is a heatsink, after all. So far, it has not been a problem. After 18 months, the radio is still doing quite well, and I use it almost every day.)
The mic buttons and on/off button are hard to hit with my fat fingers (and it's hard getting used to talking into the side of the mic with the buttons on it, but I do like being able to turn the backlighting on the mic buttons on or off), I'd like bigger guage DC cable for 10 amps (I'll use something else when I install it correctly, all the way to the battery), and I can't seem to find anywhere that I can order the little mobile mount to easily move the rig from car to car. Other than those picked nits...
Great value! Need a second or third 2-meter rig for other vehicles? Or something for the desk at home?
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