Answer: Yaesu C4FM. Now what was the Question?

Drag me kicking and screaming into the post-AX.25 world so I can be on the cutting edge for once in Amateur Radio. You know the justifications by heart: Let's give Icom D-Star some competition. Don't get suckered into the inexpensive, mass produced Chinese radio that plays "The East is Red" when it's powered up. If we don't buy stuff from the manufacturers they'll just ride into the sunset like Drake, Swan, Hallicrafters. So I figured, yeah, what the hell, there's repeaters being installed, and I need a good dual band rig anyway. Here's my $700.

There are now 3 clubs with Fusion repeaters, received with the blessings of Yaesu as part of a program to catch up to Icom's D-Star - which is already so entrenched that I don't see how Yaesu's (albeit allegedly superior) proprietary system will ever catch up. There's DMR and P25, and these two open-standard modes may supplant both C4FM and D-Star anyway, since they're open. Amateurs (like me) just don't really want to spend all that cash for proprietary systems and - let's be honest here - don't want to be beta testers and pay for the privilege.

Don't get me wrong, the Yaesu FTM-400 is a good unit (though with some bugs - i.e. the blanking of audio when in mixed mode and listening to analog FM, no configuration software like Kenwood) and the ever-present intermod in downtown Minneapolis. I use a duplexer and two quarter wave trunk mount antennas, one for 2 meters and one for 70 cm. Don't even think of using a gain-type dual band antenna. The intermod will be fierce, remedied by use of tone coded squelch.

I have had one - that's right - ONE QSO with a Ham who bought a FT-1DR HT. The digital mode worked - watch out, though, if some packets drop. It's not a pleasant experience. As for repeaters, there are three, all on 70cm: 444.100, 444.300, 444.525 Mhz.

I'll keep the rig for now. If the lack of interest and participation persists in the Metro, I'll just sell the unit to a ham lives in an area with a more active C4FM base.