The Yeasu FTA-450L is Yaesu’s COMM-only top-range handheld aviation radio. It is a step-up to the FTA-250L in some ways, but arguably a downgrade in a couple of other areas.
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The Yaesu FTA-450L uses an 1800 mAH Lithium-Ion battery that provides 13.5 hours of operation before having to be recharged.
While this is a few hours less than the FTA-250L, the FTA-450L features a battery-saver option that can maximize the battery’s life. The ability to put the transceiver on standby and wake it up at user-selected intervals is definitely a useful feature, so you don’t have to worry about running out of charge.
Furthermore, compared to the more expensive COMM-only Icom IC-A25C, the battery life of the FTA-450L at 13.5 hours is 3 hours greater.
Channels & Ease of Use
You are able to program up to 200 channels, which are easy to access thanks to the radio’s quick and easy channel recall function. Each channel can be labeled with an alpha-numeric channel name display, operating frequency display, or channel number assignment.
Setup and navigating through all the various features is quick and easy due to the FTA-450L’s intuitive design and included PC programming software and cable. The same applies if you ever need to reprogram anything.
With many handheld radios, squelch adjustment can be a bit hit and miss. Thankfully, the FTA-450L gets it right, especially compared to the FTA-250L.
Due to its IPX5 weatherproof design and meeting MIL-STD 810 Standards, the Yaesu FTA-450L is definitely built to last. It can handle extreme temperatures, shock, vibration, water, and dust and rain.
The FTA-450L’s dot matrix display is generously sized at 1.7″ x 1.7″, making everything easy to read, even in low-light conditions due to the display’s full backlight and dimmer.
At 14.5 ounces, and measuring 2.4″ x 5.2″ x 1.3″, the radio is compact and light enough to fit in your pocket too.
The FTA-450L may only be a COMM-only model, but it excels when it comes to weather alerts. All NOAA weather broadcast frequencies can be received, and the Automatic Active Weather Channel Locator automatically scans for active NOAA weather stations.
Yaesu has always been generous with the accessories they include with their transceivers – and the FTA-450L is no exception either.
You get all you need without having to purchase anything separately, including an AC wall charger, cigarette lighter adapter, alkaline battery tray, quick draw belt clip, and headset adapter.
Yaesu FTA-450L vs FTA-250L
It can be hard choosing between the FTA-250L and FTA-250L because there are tradeoffs with each.
Compared to the cheaper FTA-250L, the FTA-450L comes with a larger screen, an alkaline battery case, a battery saver feature, and a louder speaker (800 mW vs 700 mW). Most importantly, and the main reason why you might prefer the FTA-450L, is its squelch adjustment.
On the FTA-250L you have to navigate through several options on the keypad to adjust squelch. With the FTA-450L, adjustment is much easier thanks to its adjustment knob on the side of the radio.
The FTA-250L has a longer battery life (16 hours vs 13.5 hours), more memory channels (250 vs 250), and is also lighter (10.6 oz. vs 14.5 oz.), though.
Depending on which features you value more from a transceiver, either the FTA-250L or FTA-450L should now stand out more.
The Icom IC-A16 is another model to consider.
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