Yaesu FT-2980R HAM Radio Review

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The Yaesu FT-2980R is a highly-rated HAM radio that offers a lot in terms of functionality and performance at a great price.

80 watts of RF Power is great at this price, with the FT-2980R offering a completely quiet operation thanks to there being no cooling fan. Then there’s 3 watts of audio output, great receiver performance, large LCD display, and incredibly easy to program with the software and also to operate.

The FT-2980R is also built like a tank and we wouldn’t be surprised if you’re still using it after a decade.

Yaesu FT-2980R Features

Now it’s time for some details.


We would be surprised if you can find this level of performance with any other HAM radio out there in this price range. 80 watts of RF power is a great offering here, and coupled with the wide band receive, it manages to offer exceptional performance for the price.

The sensitivity is impressive than many comparable HAM radios, and the FT-2980R is quite flexible thanks to the four different power output options.

At mid power settings the radio performs extremely well and easily hits local repeaters. The sound is loud and powerful.

Finally, however, the FT-2980R can only be used on the VHF band and not UHF, as it’s a single band radio. But most users looking to buy this radio would be beginners and wouldn’t need dual band performance anyway. If you do though you may want to check out the TYT TH-7800 which is a dual band radio but available at pretty much the same price as the FT-2980R though it doesn’t offer as many features.

Yaesu Ft 2980rFunctionality

When we mention functionality, we mean the features other than the ones that form the core performance aspect of the radio.

And the FT-2980R is pretty functional by that definition, as it comes with a long list of useful features. They include a smart search operation, programming menu with dual watch FT, large LCD display, great memory and scanning features and an easy, interactive menu system.

Many customers say that the FT-2980R is the best 2m rig, and rightly so. The programming is surprisingly easy as well, and the ergos are impressive too.

The RT Systems software works great for programming, and particularly recommended for beginners as it’s super easy to use it. You would also have the option of using the DTMF microphone for programming, but using a software is easier and more convenient.

It does not work with CHIRP though.


The FT-2980R is built like a tank. It’s one of the most rugged mobile HAM radios you will find out there, and amateur radio forums are full of users that have been using the FT-2980R for years with a lot of regular, rough use and it still refuses to show any signs of damage.

The small knobs can feel a little wobbly with a long time of use but you don’t need to worry about they coming off as the unit is pretty well constructed all-round.


  • 80 watts power output is incredible at this price point
  • Great sensitivity and flexibility with four different power output options
  • Incredibly loud and clear sound
  • Amazingly quiet operation with no cooling fan
  • Tons of great features like a large LCD display, super easy programming, impressive memory and scanning features, interactive menu system, and a high-quality mic
  • Amazing durability with the FT-2980R being a solid, rugged radio
  • The instruction manual is much better and well-written than most other radios in this price range


  • Doesn’t support CHIRP for programming
  • The LCD display isn’t as high-quality and durable as the rest of the radio

Yaesu FT-2980R Review Conclusion

There are few radios that compete with the FT-2980R when it comes to being a complete HAM radio in this price range. The performance is solid with 80 watts power output and four power output options, the functionality is impressive with tons of useful features, and the durability doesn’t leave anything to be desired at all.

The FT-2980R doesn’t support CHIRP but it’s super easy to program using different programs and can also be programmed using the DTMF microphone.

If you’re in the market for a great single band 2m rig, this is it. Go ahead and hit the button below and order it on Amazon right away.

Check Price on Amazon