Yaesu FTA550 Review

Yaesu Fta550 ReviewWhen airborne, on a vessel, or just lounging at your home, you’ll want a radio that can communicate effectively. The Yaesu FTA550 is designed for VHF frequencies and has enough storage for even the most experienced radio aficionado.

When getting the FTA550, you’ll have a radio that’s suited for individual and professional use. And this review, we’d like to highlight its features and its performance. This will give you a clear idea if this is the right radio for you. Without further adieu, let’s get started!

Yaesu FTA550 Features

The FTA550 has ILS and VOR navigation features and NOAA weather band monitoring. Which is a great emergency backup during lost communications and other failures. When the device receives a VOR signal, the FTA-550’s display will turn to the nav-band screen, that shows the CSI based on your signal.

Also, it comes equipped with 200 channel stations and they can be called up by the station name. With the ability to have 15 characters per name, it allows for full channel descriptions. The radio will be programmed on your computer with its USB cable.

When it comes down on how the device’s transceiver feels, we were surprised by the thick plastic shell that it’s covered in. It feels sturdy on your hand, giving you the feeling that this device will last for a long time.

The FTA550 has a removable antenna, but it feels like it comes off too easy. However, this is a minor issue; just don’t accidentally lose it.

On the left side, you’ll find the push to talk button. Sqeulch button, and Power button. You can control the squelch and volume with the dial located on top of the transceiver. It has an EXT DC port, MIC/SIC port that you can use for communication.

The radio has a large display, which you can easily read even in a busy cockpit and has a group of pre-programmed frequencies that you can enter. Under the display is a number pad to add in frequencies, a red button that gives you a one-press to an international distress frequency.

For users who want to dial in their frequencies directly, there is a knob that allows you to tune the device in 0.025 increments.

On the other side of the FTA 550 is are some useful ports. It has a DC input if you want a rechargeable battery, and a Mini USB port to program the radio from your computer. All of the ports are protected by a water-resistant and flexible cover that snaps in place.

Using the Yaesu FTA550 as a scanner is good, it picks up air transmission as well as an airplane radio can, which helps pilots grab the ATIS before turning on the engine and hear other aircraft in the area.


There is one thing that the Yaesu FTA550 does well: beacon tracking. The radio can decode and identify signals from localizer and VOR stations, which allows you to show your position and search for radials like the standard CDI NAV/COM radios.

Consumers who have used the device praised its display. It’s easy to read and clear enough to read and gives you a useful function if your radio stops operating. And with its high-quality audio, you can hear everything clearly.

Free computer software can be downloaded onto the device. This gives the user the ability to have their own customized settings and applications on the Yaesu FTA550. For pilots that are flying cross country, this is the right tool to have aboard.


The radio advertisers to have over 5 watts of power, which is twice the power of the standard FRS radio, but it’s hard to know when to get it. And the FTA550’s batteries don’t seem to give a sufficient amount of wattage under certain conditions.

Some users complained that the FTA550 stops working after extended use. For instance, the DC adapter would short circuit and would cause the AAA batteries to melt. If there are any malfunctions with your device, please speak to your manufacturer to get a replacement.


To conclude, the Yaesu FTA 550 is a radio that can help both beginners, and veteran radiologists can enjoy. Not only is it narrow band compliant, but it also has a bright display screen for easy viewing. For those who want a marine radio that can work under the toughest conditions, this is a great choice.

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