Yaesu Transceiver Voice Guides
for Blind and Vision-Impaired Hams
This article is for blind and vision-impaired amateur radio operators interested in the voice announcement feature in some Yaesu transceivers. Yaesu currently produces two models with this function: (1) the FT-450 is an HF + 50 MHz radio with built-in digital voice announcements. (2) The FTM-350 Series 2 m + 70 cm mobile transceivers can be fitted with an optional FVS-2 Voice Guide unit. This article describes the voice announcement features of these two models as described in user manuals on the Yaesu web site. The Yaesu company did not respond to my request for information.
The older Yaesu FVS-1 Voice Guide unit is an option for a few discontinued radios, including the FT-736R and VR-5000 models. To learn whether the FVS-1 will work with a particular radio you can check the list of options in the radio user manual. Also, an Internet search using the radio model number and the search term "FVS-1" can sometimes help identify whether the voice guide is an option.
For the FT DX 3000D transceiver, no voice announcement feature or voice guide accessory is listed in the user manual.
FT-450 Digital Voice Announcements
This standard feature of the FT-450 announces the operating frequency, mode, and S-meter reading. To trigger the announcement press the [F] button followed by the [Voice/C.S.] button in the upper right corner of the front panel. The [Voice/C.S.] button can be configured using a list of 52 options in the radio menu: The "Voice" option announces frequency and mode. The "Voice2" option announces frequency, mode, and S-meter reading.
M0AID's evaluation is that the FT-450 voicing feature is too slow, during which the receive audio is muted. He also notes that the precision of the spoken frequency is only 0.1 kHz (100 Hz).
FVS-2 Voice Guide Unit
The FVS-2 Voice Guide unit is an option for only one transceiver, the FTM-350. It plugs into a socket on the radio board and announces only the frequency. The following configuration options are available in the radio menu:
Announce: Off, Manual, Auto*
Language: Japanese, English*
Volume: Low, Mid,* High.
The default Auto setting announces the operating frequency when the band is changed.
There are three ways to call up a frequency announcement manually. For vision-impaired hams the most convenient option is to assign the "Voice" function to one of the four programmable keys on the microphone. The other two methods described in the user manual require you to press a sequence of buttons and read small labels on the LCD screen.
Yaesu Voice Guides can help blind and vision-impaired hams operate the FT-450 and FTM-350 Series transceivers. The FT-450 can announce the operating frequency, mode, and S-meter reading. The optional FVS-2 Voice Guide unit can announce the operating frequency of an FTM-350 transceiver. The older FVS-1 Voice Guide is an option for a few discontinued Yaesu radios.
Peter DeNeef, AE7PD, is an Extra Class amateur radio operator in the U.S. This web site has no ads or conflicts of interest.
Email: HamRadioAndVision "at" gmail "dot" com.