Yaesu FT-1802M 2 Meter FM Transceiver
Reviewed by Rose-Anne Lawrence, KB1DMW, ARRL Club Assistant
The FT-1802M is a rugged, compact 2 meter FM transceiver that offers a lot of features and is a good value.
It's pretty exciting to have a radio delivered to your desk to review and test, even though you know you'll be returning it in a few weeks. In this case, it was the Yaesu FT-1802M, a 2 meter FM transceiver that packs 50 W on transmit, extended 136174 MHz receive coverage, and a wide range of standard features into a rugged package.
Learning the Radio
I found the FT-1802M easy to unpack from the secure box. Included were the microphone, power cord, mounting bracket, spare fuse and paperwork. I was immediately struck by its compact size and light weight. As a member of my local ARES Rapid Mobile Team and a past ARRL Emergency Coordinator, I immediately thought about what a great portable suitcase radio it would make for drills and emergency communications. It would be handy to carry along in the field to public service duty such as operating as a net control for a parade or a fixed checkpoint at a bike race.
My next step after admiring the radio was to sit down and carefully read the operating manual and familiarize myself with the radio's features. The manual highly recommends this, too. The booklet has 86 pages and covers installation, basic operation, advanced operation, memory programming, scanning and other important topics. The easy-to-read outline format and clearly drawn numbered diagrams with lines pointing to the knobs and keys made it simple to follow. The back of the manual has 14 pages with details of the various SET MODE (menu) options.
Memories and Scanning
The proof would be in the first task of programming local repeater channels into the radio. It was not complicated at all with keypad frequency entry through the microphone. You could also use the tuning dial to select your favorite repeaters.
There are 200 regular memory channels, and each can store frequency, repeater shift (including nonstandard splits), CTCSS/DCS tones and transmit power level. The memory channels can be arranged into eight "banks" to make them easier to find. You can assign a memory channel to more than one bank. For example, a local repeater may be included