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APRS Setup Page
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FTM-350R Yaesu notes:
***** EXTERNAL SPEAKER CONNECTION*****
The external speaker jack is a STEREO 3.5mm jack. There is stereo audio routed there from two internal audio amplifiers. The radio comes supplied with a Stereo "Y" harness which splits the dual audio signals into two 3.5mm mono jacks. One of the radios audio amplifiers is on the Red lead... the second audio amplifier is present on the White. This is splitting the two bands into seperate audio outputs (apparently meant for two external speakers... one for the left band - one for the right side band... or stereo audio when using the AUX line-in jack).
If you decide to connect only one external speaker - and want both bands to come out on that single speaker - purchase a stereo 3.5mm plug and connect the "+" and "-" leads from your external speaker to the stereo plugs "tip" and "ring" locations. NOTHING is connected to the ground terminal of the plug. DO NOT USE A MONO PLUG for a single speaker setup when directly connecting an external speaker into the radios external speaker jack - as it will short one of the audio amplifiers output to ground and could cause the radio to overheat.
NOTE: the Settings menu "Stereo/Mono" audio selection will not sum the two bands audio together at the external speaker jack.
Maybe it's just mine... but the supplied DTMF mic has a hair-trigger PTT switch. I took out the two screws and opened the case (clamshell style) and filed down a little bit of plastic from the plastic PTT levers "tang" that makes contact with the actual switch. It didn't require hardly any filing to make a difference; now requiring 50% travel before the TX is activated. I also noticed there is not a return spring on the PTT lever, instead a piece of foam rubber providing the return force. I hope it holds up well. I have some older microphones that use real springs to return the PTT lever. When I get time I'll see if any can be used in place of that foam rubber.
I bought the FGPS-1 internal GPS module and installed it in the back of the control head. I easily receive 7 sats, and one time I got 12 !!! This seems to be a sensitive GPS receiver. See my installation page for pics. I have not tried to transmit the APRS data yet; and may never get around to doing that. I can't seem to get any enthusiasm with this APRS faction of the hobby. GPS wasn't a requirement for my buying a new mobile - but since the option was inexpensive - I added it to the order.
UPDATE: I am now transmitting APRS-GPS data; details here on my APRS page
If my Avalanche sits overnight; it takes about 2.5 minutes after power-on for the radio to start displaying GPS info. But almost all other times it's instantaneous. If I spend an hour in a restaurant - GPS data is displayed within a couple seconds after power up.
RT Systems Programing Software
Makes this complicated & feature rich radio a lot easier to manage; I strongly suggest purchasing it. There was a minor bug in the first release - that had to do with setting the scan-SKIP flag. This has already been addressed, and is a part of the newer version 4.01.22 shown in the ABOUT screen. To update your version, just go under the HELP pulldown and select "Check for Updates" to get the update.
Serious Lockup Problem
Update at bottom
Although Yaesu already revised this radio soon after initial release (which was to stop instances where the radio would lockup & need factory repaired... called the "Blue Dot" upgrade)... I have encountered a specific instance (with the Blue Dot upgrade) where the radio still locks up; and seriously so.
It all involves activating the WEATHER ALERT function. Here is the exact scenario that caused my FTM-350R to lock solid
Settings - Radio Menu Settings - DTMF/Internet/Weather tab screen of the RT Systems program:
1. WX ALERT ON activated (checked)
2. all WX channels set to "off"; a value in the "Selected Channel" field... in my specific our local WX is channel 3... giving full S-Bar signal
3. go back to the main channel screen & invoke memory channel scan - on the specific half of the radio where you have the alert function set for.
Almost instantly the radio would lock on the WX channel; all buttons froze; my only recourse was to interrupt the voltage source to the radio
The regular reset is with the radio off... press & hold the button to the left of the orange button, and then also press the orange - holding them both in until the radio powers on (you'll get a unique screen with a couple of reset options).
On mine, the orange button also "froze". I couldn't shut the radio off using it; always hung at the VS logo. And as soon as I connected 12vdc to the radio, it would powerup on its own and stay stuck on the VS logo. So I had to hold in those two buttons while connecting 12vdc to the radio to get to the special (hidden) settings menu & reset the radio. Sadly this also cleared out all my memory channels and settings, but I was able to re-upload them via the RT Systems software... -WHEW-
So for now I am not checking the box that activates WX Channel Alerting. I contacted RT Systems and they duplicated the problem twice, one time it was by doing all the setup via the front panel and not using their software; so it seems to be a Yaesu problem.
UPDATE: I was just informed that in the latest version of the RT software, this lockup problem is mentioned... with this following suggestion:
"The software came with a warning about the Wx channel problem and said that one way to avoid it is to set 2 stations in memory".
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