The Yaesu FT-4XR

I just got an FT-4XR to evaluate it as a Baofeng competitor. The final setup cost is about $119.85 for the radio, an SCU-35 programming cable, and the SSM-17B shoulder mic. You’ll also, as with any HT, probably want to replace the antenna which will cost another $20-$40; I had a spare Nagoya NA-771 so that’s what I’m using. Overall, I’m not a huge fan of this radio, but I’d probbaly pick it over the Baofeng F8HP1. I’d say you get what you pay for.

First things first… the radio feels cheap. It’s about half the cost of the FT-60R, which is usually the cheapest radio I will recommend to people. It does work with Chirp, although you get a warning that the developer has only tested it with one radio2.

The first thing I didn’t like about it is the connectors. I thought maybe it would have the same connectors as the VX-6R, but they’re not the same – it uses a Motorola M1 type connector; it’s like a closer-spaced version of the Kenwood connector common to Baofengs. This rules out one use I might have had for it: setting it up with the Mobilinkd3 and APRSDroid. I’ll probably use one of my Baofengs for this purpose instead.

The second thing is that it seems like it has an overly sensitive receiver. Based on local interference, I guess, I have the RF squelch set to S-5; it’s off on my VX-6R and I think S-3 on the F8HP.

It does seem to receive my local VHF/UHF repeaters pretty decently, with (subjectively) better audio quality than the Baofengs. I haven’t talked to anyone on them yet, so I can’t speak to the audio quality. I’ll update this review later once I get some feedback on the transmit quality and battery life.


I don’t like this radio. One of the biggest reasons is charging: it needs its own cradle, and you can’t charge it with USB. I’ve come to value this in my handhelds. I’ve also been trying to standardize on connectors, and for a radio to have a K-1 connector, it has to provide compelling reasons to choose it. This radio has no compelling reasons. For a cool walkie talkie to hit repeaters on the go, sure. That’s not really my use case anymore.

  1. Update: this is very not true. ↩︎
  2. I did run into a problem where the beep settings were reversed in Chirp. I’ve submitted a patch, so hopefully this gets fixed. ↩︎
  3. I don’t want to order a $15 cable for yet another radio. ↩︎