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Railfan Technology > Yaesu FT-70DR For Railfanning

Date: 02/17/21 12:29
Yaesu FT-70DR For Railfanning
Author: Amtrak288

I wondered if anyone here has purchased this radio for railfanning and what your thoughts are on it, please post here...

Date: 02/17/21 12:46
Re: Yaesu FT-70DR For Railfanning
Author: TCnR

Haven't looked at the specs yet but keep in mind this is not the Digital Modulation that is talked about for RR use. It appears to be a digital modulation that HAMs use. I'll check around, I like Yeasu's build and performance characteristics, but haven't been shopping for a radio.

from Amazon description:

...AMS detects the operating mode of the received signal as C4FM Digital or analog FM, and then automatically and instantly switches the receiver to the appropriate mode. Users do not need to manually change between modes.

But that does mean it has the circuits for ( a ) digital de-modulation, it would need the appropriate software to interprete the digital modulation.

Note that digital receiver's usually have a ' worse ' sensitivity because of the conversion to digital. It's usually compensated for by the ground station or system design, but the performance numbers are just not comparable to analog, unless tested as analog.

There has been posters with direct experience in this area and hopefully they will explain what's up. My work has been with receivers for other purposes.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/17/21 12:49 by TCnR.

Date: 02/17/21 15:21
Re: Yaesu FT-70DR For Railfanning
Author: K9AI

I have the FT-70. It's a great little radio that serves as Yaesu's entry level Fusion (C4FM digital) radio. It will TX/RX in VHF/UHF analog amateur frequencies. It will not transmit or receive NXDN and cannot be modified to do so.

It will receive the 160 MHz frequencies. It will scan - slowly.  

If you are a ham and can only afford one radio there are better choices. If you are not a ham I recommend buying a dedicated scanner.

73, K9AI

Date: 02/17/21 19:10
Re: Yaesu FT-70DR For Railfanning
Author: WW

Just to be crystal clear about this:  there is NO currently available amateur transceiver that will decode NXDN digital in the VHF band.  So, whatever other attributes the radio have, if a railroad (or railroads) cut over to NXDN, an amateur radio is useless for monitoring those NXDN transmissions.There are only a handful of (expensive) scanners that will decode NXDN and all of them have received only mixed or negative reviews about their reception capability or programming complexity.  So, things are pretty much the same as they have been for several years now with regard to NXDN digital.  If you want capability to receive NXDN, you will likely wind up buying a commercial two-way NXDN radio manufactured by either Icom or Kenwood.  As I have posted before, the timetable for railroad cutover to NXDN has been repeatedly delayed, but the railroads have been buying NXDN-capable radios for a decade now--I doubt that there are very many railroad radios in use today that aren't NXDN-capable.  So, a cutover, when it happens, can happen pretty quickly.  So, the railfan's choice is whether to buy a relatively inexpensive analog radio that may be "obsoleted" by the railroads converting to NXDN in the future or to buy a more expensive NXDN-capable two-way radio or NXDN-capable scanner that will continue to be useful after the railroads cut over to NXDN.

Date: 02/18/21 20:29
Re: Yaesu FT-70DR For Railfanning
Author: wa4umr

Both NXDN and Yaesu System Fusion use the C4FM modulation and they are digital forms of voice communications but that's about the only thing they have in common.  C4FM is the Continuous 4 level FM, meaning that it has 4 levels of signals to convey the digital information.  NXDN and System Fusion use different software to encode the voice into a digital signal and they are not compatible at all.  Just like you don't take the computer out of a Chevy and try to use it in a Ford. 


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