The Yaesu FTA-750L is the most feature-packed and arguably best aviation handheld radio available, coming with everything from a built-in WAAS GPS receiver and VOR Navigation to ILS Navigation and a Course Deviation Indicator.
But does it have more going for it than just its generous number of features? How does it compare to other models?
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The Yaesu FTA-750L features a built-in 1800 mAh battery that provides 12 hours of operation, which is in line with the company’s other models.
What we really like about the FTA-750L, though, is its Battery Saver feature. This is designed to maximize battery life, as you can set the transceiver to wake up at user-selected intervals at which point it will sample for radio activity. If no activity is detected, the FTA-750L goes back to sleep.
GPS, Navigation & Weather
The FTA-750L is the only handheld transceiver that provides GPS through its 66 channel WAAS GPS receiver, in addition to VOR Navigation, ILS Navigation (Glide Slope and Localizer), and a Course Indication Indicator.
You are able to quickly store current position information as well as manually enter in waypoints. When a waypoint is activated, the navigation screen features a compass display with Bearing, Course over ground, distance and speed information. There is also a GPS Logging feature that allows you to store your position information at preset intervals.
When a VOR signal is received, the FTA-750L automatically switches to the Navigation band screen, with CDI (Course Deviation Indicator) based on the received VOR signal.
Safe to say that when it comes to navigation, you are fully covered.
Channels & Ease of Use
You are able to store up to 200 memory channels, which is fairly standard for most radios. The channel recall feature, however, is a very welcome addition, as it allows you to access frequently used channels very quickly either through an operating frequency display, an alpha-numeric channel name display, or a channel number assignment.
Due to the FTA-750L’s range of features, it can take a bit of time to set everything up and get up and going, but once you spend some time with the device you will appreciate just how intuitive the radio is to use.
Dot Matrix Display
The FTA-750L features a 1.7″ x 1.7″ dot matrix display with a full backlight and dimmer. This makes everything easy to read at just a glance, even in low-light conditions.
Yaesu has always been generous with the accessories they provide – and the FTA-750L is no exception. An AC charger, charger cradle, cigarette lighter adapter, headset adapter, alkaline battery tray, quick draw belt clip, and USB cable are all included.
Some aviation handheld radios are let down by their poor audio. Thankfully, this isn’t an issue with the FTA-750L. Its 800 mW audio amplifier makes it almost as loud as any other handheld transceiver and can easily be heard in the cockpit.
Yaesu FTA-750L vs. FTA-550L vs Icom AC-25N
The main reason to choose the FTA-750L over the FTA-550L is if you want built-in GPS and ILS glide slope. Besides this, the two are practically identical with both weighing the same and featuring the same battery life, dot matrix display, and number of memory channels.
Compared to the slightly more expensive Icom AC-16B, the FTA-750L doesn’t have Bluetooth functionality, has fewer memory channels (200 vs 300), is slightly heavier (14.5 oz. vs. 13.6 oz.), and uses a dot matrix instead of LCD display.
However, the FTA-750L features ILS Navigation (localizer and glide slope), has a better battery life (12 hours vs. 10.5 hours) and comes with an alkaline battery case and cigarette light adapter – both of which must be purchased separately for the AC-25N.
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