Troubleshooting APRS on the FTM-350AR

 December 2011

Please also see the APRS configuration and additional feature pages for the Yaesu FTM-350AR.
Over the past year, I have received a fair amount of questions regarding the FTM-350AR, so I thought it might be helpful to have those listed here to possibly answer future questions.  Some of the questions and answers also come from the FTM-350R Yahoo! group, which I would recommend joining.

Q: Is it the TNC built-in the Yaesu capable of packet transmission and reception (A.25)?

A: Yes, the FTM-350AR is capable of the regular AX.25 packet protocol. The AX.25 data modem will do 1200/9600bps.
Q: Is the Yaesu capable of an easy doppler shift handling for the LEO satellites?

A: On the LEO satellites, you will only need to allow for doppler on the downlink (70cm). The Yaesu does handle the doppler well, and you can adjust the frequency display by 5kHz and up. It does not go any smaller than 5kHz, but I do not know of a mobile rig that does.

Q: What is the digipeater capability the Kenwood has and the Yaesu doesn't?
A: The TH-D710 can be configured to work as a digipeater. I don’t know EXACTLY how it works, but I do know that you set the D710 (if you only want to digi yourself) to (eg) Event1-1, Wide1-2; Mine1-1,Wide1-2; and so on... You can substitute Event or Mine for anything you like, just make sure your HT is set to the same relay path.

Q: Is it possible to set up the Yaesu so data from any 2m or 70cm channel can be transfer to a PC through the rig provided packet port? What I want to do at the end is to download digital data (X.25) from digital satellites.
A: Per the Tech Support at Vertex Standard, you cannot download digital data (of any type/protocol) from digital satellites.
Q:  Does the internal FGPS-1 work well for you, or would you recommend based on your experience, an external (FGPS-2) antenna?

A: The FGPS-1 antenna seems to work really well! I have it mounted on the dash (as I am sure you saw), and it is generally accurate to 20ft or less (which is acceptable). I also have the Byonics GPS-2 for my TH-D7A, and it seems to be a bit more accurate; but, for the convenience of not having to run extra cables, etc., I would stick with the FGPS-1 module. I have even mounted it in the family van on a side window (vertical), so all the antenna had was the window - no windshield - and it worked just fine. The radio requires a minimum of 3 GPS satellites before it will transmit, and I have no issues getting 9, 10, sometimes 11 or 12. You can view the satellites on one of the display screens, but note that this screen is turned off my default.
Q:  Re: Beacon Alarms....
A:  The 350 can get rather annoying with all of the beeping that goes on. There are several options for muting the beeping. If you want to mute ALL beeping PLUS the packet noise on received signals, proceed to menu EO6 and select “ON” (“OFF” is default). If you only want to mute specific packets, proceed to menu EO9 and select “ON” or “OFF” for the different options depending on what you want to receive a beep for. Note that these selections are listed on pages 60-61 of the FTM-350AR APRS manual.
Q: I could use some steps on a more logical manor to control incoming messages so I can correct any settings I need to fix.
A: As far as sorting and filtering out certain packets that you do not want to receive, proceed to menu E35. You can either SORT or FILTER. Unless you are concerned with sorting, you will want to focus on filtering. “ALL” is default which means that all packets are received and displayed. If you do not want to receive ALL, select (ie.) MOBILE which will only display and receive mobile packets. There are several other different selections. Refer to page 29 of the APRS manual.
Q: I could use some steps on the dual display.
A: To change the display from mono to a dual display, press and hold either the FWD or BCK buttons for 2-3 seconds.
Q:  What happens when I switch the radio on, is that the GPS icon/sign comes up to the left of the PTT symbol for about one second and then disappears.......does that imply that my FGPS1 unit works but doesn't see the satellites or what?
A: The "GPS" icon appearing and then disappearing is a completely normal function of the radio.  The "GPS" icon will appear briefly as soon as you power the radio on, and then it will disappear unit you acquire at least 3 GPS satellites.  This does not mean that your FGPS-1 unit is bad.  The FGPS-1 module must be outdoors to acquire a signal, especially during the first start up.  If you have taken it outdoors and it still does not acquire any signals (after 5-10 minutes of sitting still under an open sky), try pulling out and re-inserting the FGPS-1 ribbon on the back of the FTM-350AR head - with care!  It may feel like it should go farther in, but do not push it hard

Q: Has the QSY function been fixed (or will be fixed) so that the radio does not have to be in VFO mode in order for it to work at all?

A: I have the AR version, and you must be in VFO mode for the QSY function to work.