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Railfan Technology > Yaesu FT-270 question


Date: 12/20/16 16:45
Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: suvart

Today I got the FT-270 and have been spending the past few hours trying to figure it out (I have 0 radio knowledge), and I'm just as confused as I was when I started. Just to see if it works, I selected channel 161.250, which is the Closest rail line to me (nearest control point is about 6 miles from me), but after about an hour I still haven't heard anything. Do I have to set the radio up to scan somehow, is there something I'm doing wrong? Keep in mind I'm just trying to understand the absolute basic functions of it right now (scanning individual channels), I'll try using banks and sqeultch when I understand the radio a little more.
Thanks, 
Travus 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/20/16 16:48 by suvart.



Date: 12/20/16 17:00
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: kgmontreal

Provided you are set to a channel that is active in your area you should hear something (if there is something to be heard).  You do not have to be scanning.

I have the same scanner and set my squelch to either 2 or 3.  Six miles might be beyond the range of the scanner's stock antenna.  Try getting closer to the tracks.

KG



Date: 12/20/16 17:04
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: suvart

Alright, I figured I may just be out of range but couldn't find a range in the manual. 



Date: 12/20/16 17:06
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: WW

Well, squelch is the FIRST thing you need to understand.  Where is the squelch level set?  If it's at 9, you won't hear anything, at 0, the radio will be making noise all the time.  Did you inadvertently set a Tone Squelch?  How about CT tones?  My advice:  Read the manual.  Read it two or three times, if necessary.  Yaesu manuals are actually pretty well written and the FT-270 is one of the less complicated amatuer radios to operate.  That said, the FT-270 is a very good radio, but it's not a simple scanner.  

There is no such thing as "range," per se.  How far away the radio can receive something is dependent on a ton of variables--strength of the transmitting signal, distance away, physical barrers (hills, buildings, etc.), other radio interference, antenna type and location--just to name a few.  Inside a buidling with a rubber ducky antenna severely comprises any radio's receive capability.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/20/16 17:10 by WW.



Date: 12/20/16 17:25
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: 4451Puff

Best way to check if it's properly receiving, as well as where to set the squelch is to dial up one of the weather broadcast channels. You can find this on page 35 of the manual. From my own personal experience, setting the squelch at 3-4 seems to work for me. I've had my FT-270R for about two years now and am very happy with it. 

Desmond Praetzel, "4451 Puff"



Date: 12/20/16 17:34
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: TCnR

The FT-270 uses an 'auto-squelch', there is no knob for squelch. I believe it is programmable though.
The stock antenna I had was horrible for RR band, so 'Range' becomes difficult to estimate.
To check functionality, suggest using the local NOAA Weather broadcast. That will allow a comparison of range, or whether it is simply working. There are instructions to access the pre-programmed Weather channels (if in the correct mode push the '1' button, iirc). Or try that as the test frequency to use for a functional checkout.

Suggest getting the programming s/w package and connector, unless you have a lot of spare time. Also note that a battery charging cradle is needed to charge the (rechargeable) battery, if that's what you have. They changed the woring so that the cradle has something to do with preventing an overcharge and causing the battery to 'explode'. We've had lots of discussion about antennas in the archives, try a search word like Yeasu, the SMA anntenna connector is a bit unique. Be careful not to damage the center pin/clasp.

There's quite a few Videos on YouTube about programming the FT-270. It's easier to just buy the S/W and connector and use a PC (not a Mac product btw). HAM Outlet usually has them in stock if you have one in town. They are very common to be in stock for the FT-270. Enjoy.



Date: 12/21/16 05:44
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: ChessieSystem

This is one reason I would recommend a scanner to the average novice. At six miles with a somewhat clear line of sight and you 'should' be able to receive the CP from outdoors and aught to pick up the dispatcher.
<Suggest getting the programming s/w package and connector, unless you have a lot of spare time. Also note that a battery charging cradle is needed to charge the (rechargeable) battery, if that's what you have.>
* FWIW - Newer FT-270s come with a cradle. If all you plan to do is add local AAR channels, program them manually. This will help you learn your radio and the software is not necessary for basic use. 


- If you are using the supplied antenna your range will be somewhat limited.
- If you are not trackside outside with the radio off your belt clip and in hand your range will be limited. 

Is the line 76/76 or in other words road and dispatch on the same frequency?
The FT270 is a rugged little HT, I have one myself. 
JW



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/21/16 05:47 by ChessieSystem.



Date: 12/21/16 05:55
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: NKP715

Agree with comments - the antenna that comes with the
radio is extremely poor.  I purchased a Diamond SRH77CA,
​which provides great results.

​The programming software is HIGHLY recommended to simplify
that process.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/21/16 05:57 by NKP715.



Date: 12/21/16 06:34
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: WW

The squelch is easily adjustable from the menu.  Read the manual!



Date: 12/21/16 10:03
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: TCnR

Yep, I spend all my hobby time reading manuals and detailed posts on TrainOrders. Saves my gas money that way.
Good info, Merry Christmas everybody.



Date: 12/21/16 10:25
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: suvart

Thanks for the help, I'm still trying to understand all the terms in the manual, but I'm getting it slowly but surely. I have a diamond antenna I put on it. I figured out sqeultch and set it for 5 out of 15. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/21/16 10:34 by suvart.



Date: 12/30/16 19:30
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: DocJohn

I have VX-170, FT-250, and FT-270 scanners.  I found that the FT-270 is very sensitive to interference from fluorescent lights and modern automobile electronics.  If I set the squelch out in the backyard, sensitivity is fine.  I can use the same setting for my 1984 VW Vanagon.  I use a FT-250 for my real car and in the kitchen.  The FT-270 is useless in my kitchen with numerous fluorescent lights.

JL



Date: 12/31/16 06:19
Re: Yaesu FT-270 question
Author: WW

Unfortunately, modern electronics and the radio interference that they can emit are the nemesis of just about all radios--that is why rejection of unwanted RF has become an item of major importance in selecting a radio.  Generally, scanners are the worst at rejecting unwanted RF, amateur radios (like the Yaesu's mentioned above) quite a bit better, and commercial radios the best.  That said, even the commercial radios can have issues with unwanted RF.  I fight it with the radios that I work with on a fairly regular basis.  All electronic devices are supposed to comply with FCC Part 15, which is the mandate to prevent unwanted RF emissions, but few do and the FCC apparently has no resources to police the regulation.  This is one of the big issues that makes me nervous about things like PTC, crewless trains, and driverless vehicles.  All of that relies on radio communications that may be susceptible to the ever-increasing amount of RF interference out there.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/16 06:19 by WW.



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