One of the most eagerly awaited products at Dayton Hamvention was the new Yaesu FT1D digital and FM handheld.
It has, for an Amateur Radio rig, a number of innovations:
- A microphone that uses a mini-USB plug and has a built-in camera for low resolution (320x240) pictures,
- An 80 character group short messaging facility
- 9600 bps data transfer
- Micro-SD card slot
- E-GPS facility
Although the optional extra microphone has a camera there appears to be no way to display the pictures on the radio which some may see as reducing it's usefulness.
The use of 9600 bps with 12.5 kHz channel spacing (is it 10 kHz in Japan?) was a surprise. Some had expected it to support 5 or 6.25 kHz channel spacing with a resultant data rate of 4800 bps (digital speech using an AMBE vocoder only requires a 3600 bps data rate).
The modulation used is what Yaesu describes as C4FM otherwise known as 4 level FSK or 4-FSK and is the same as that used for Digital PMR-446 equipment. 4-FSK has advantages over other types of digital modulation such as GMSK.
Both ICOM and Kenwood have been producing 4-FSK equipment for the PMR market since 2007 so in some ways it's surprising that Yaesu beat them both in releasing an amateur version of 4-FSK.
As yet Yaesu hasn't announced any mobiles, base stations or repeaters so it appears that FT1D's can only talk to other FT1D's in digital mode.
The FT1DR/E brochure can be seen - http://www.radioworld.ca/product_brochures/amateur/yaesu_brochures/ft1d_brochure_front.pdf and http://www.radioworld.ca/product_brochures/amateur/yaesu_brochures/ft1d_brochure_back.pdf
N9XLC Blog on FT1D - http://n9xlc.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/yeasu-ft-1d-redux.html