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NEW - Yaesu FRG-7 REVIEW - By Judah Smith



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 31st 03, 11:01 PM
Judah Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default NEW - Yaesu FRG-7 REVIEW - By Judah Smith

I WANT MY F-R-G! -

*** THE YAESU MUSEN FRG-7 COMMUNICATION RECEIVER REVIEW ***

I finally dropped the big bank roll. The biggest in fact I had ever
dropped. Prior to this moment the most expensive SW unit in my
possession cost $69.95. Over time I parlayed that radio (a radio
shack boat anchor) into a Grundig YB-400 (via trade, I only ended up
spending an additional 15 or 20 bucks) Most of my other radios
consisted of shoddy analog portables made in some Chinese sweat shop.
But I'm not complaining. They were all FUN to varying degrees, and I
learned things. I learned most importantly that I loved this hobby,
even if I could all contribute the paltriest sums of time and money to
it.

But now comes the big investment. I can't spend thousands, or even
hundreds. I can spend exactly $150 MAX. I ask questions and see what
is out there, and I end up with an FRG-7. The best my money could
buy. (Sold to me by John McColman, who I think I still owe $5. Sorry
John – What was the paypal account again?) He was a great guy.
Anyway the radio was in great shape, and packaged very nicely for the
journey to my home.

With unbridled anticipation I tear into the box and pull out my new
receiver. Awwww, a thing of beauty. It's slightly smaller than my
DX-160. But it has the SW looks of a primitive DX-300. In a word,
NICE. Of course minus the digital readout. This is all analog baby….
This for me is not a problem. I love analog sets. Don't get me
wrong, I wouldn't turn my nose up at a good table top with a digital
readout, and an analog tuning knob….but those days shall probably
never come….TOO MUCH GREEN FOR ME.

Anyway, I feel I got a good deal. The $150 was with shipping
included….which probably ran in the ball park of 20 bucks…**it's
heavy** And EBAY has these beauties running upwards of 2 C notes. So
I have no complaints. Life is good.

I plug it in – The faceplate fills with the warm glow of an old
radio….then the glow is gone. The light behind the main tuning dial -
went dead. Judah's not happy. Hmmmm. I suppose it's not a big
deal, but since this is to become my pride and joy I'd like to able to
read the signal strength and main tuning gauge with the lights
out….which is how I do most of my listening. (Radio was meant to be
listened to in the dark, kind of like watching a movie is always
better in the dark.) So now I'm bummed. I grab my screwdriver and
get to work opening the lil sucker. Ignorant of all but the most
basic electronic concepts I'm leery of messing with anything….but I
figure I might as well take a look. And I do, and I figure out how to
remove the main tuning dial, and there hidden away are the little
bulbs. Tiny little suckers. So I snip them off and I head to RADIO
SHACK, and hour, and two hot solder burns later, the radio is back
together and the new bulbs are bright as can be.

Now to take a listen…. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Sweet. Very Sweet. Even
sweeter than my previous pride and joy….my YB-400. The sound is clear
and un-muffled, yet warm and rich.

Even weak signals are easily audible. It just sounds good. I'm
picking up stuff all over the place. Stuff overpowered with static on
my YB-400, comes poking through on the FRG-7. This radio is head and
shoulders over any of my previous radios. (DX-300, YB-400, DX-160,
etc…)

In the under $200.00 category it is a sweet ride. And when you
consider it's some 30+ years old…in its day it must have been the
BOMB! (That means very good for anyone over 40.

So let's break it all down for the homies in the cheap seats….

SENSITIVITY – VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT Taking into account my previous
radios, this baby is tops in sensitivity. Is it as sensitive as a
DRAKE or LOWE – send me one and I'll tell you. But I won't be holding
my breath….that being said, in relation to my previous radios. This
baby is king. If your on a budget and want a real performer.
**especially if your located in a poor reception area** bag this
puppy. Trust me when I say if your patient you can do some serious
DXing on this lil fella. It was born to snoop out signal!

SELECTIVITY – GOOD TO VERY GOOD– For an analog unit. The fine tuning
button is really a plus here. There are times, when fine tuning is
the difference between weak signal and no signal…especially when it is
stuck in amidst high powered audio traffic. Is it as good my YB-400?
Frankly…NO. I don't know all the digital PLL – this and that – yada –
yada- which makes it so….But I can tell by my ears, the YB-400 filters
out adjacent signals much better. Modern technology has definitely
improved this element of SW listening. The Yacht Boy can grab a
signal and with a narrow filter setting, drop out almost all other
noise. The FRG-7 has filters too, but they just aren't up to snuff by
comparison. But it is still very good for the technology of its day.
Again realize this is 30 years old. If you look at it from that
perspective, it's pretty amazing how good a job it does.

QUALITY – EXCELLENT - The build quality is excellent….nothing flimsy
here. All solidly built. It might even survive a short drop onto a
carpeted floor. (Although I wouldn't try this at home).
It is a rock. Even the plastic parts feel very solid. However the
majority of the external housing is all metal. And pretty heavy metal
at that.

AUDIO – VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT- Out of the radios I have had this is
by far the best. Even better than the YB-400. At least to my ears.
I would love to find out what kind of speaker they used for this baby.
(Although I am sure it is more than just the speaker attributing to
such good sound) If you like a pleasing sound emanating from your
radio the FRG-7 delivers in spades.

STABILITY – GOOD TO VERY GOOD – Once this baby warms up it is nice and
stable. But I have to deduct points for the fact that it still takes
30 minutes to get there. I know it is an anomaly of the time when it
was made…but it is still frustrating having to wait till it is in its
sweet spot. I usually avoid this by turning it on well in advance of
my listening time. But once it is warm – it locks on to signals very
nicely. SSB/CW (Ham stuff for newbie's) is easy to tune as well….and
once you get it all locked in very little adjustments need to be made,
if any. You can listen to hams or broadcast, with out twiddling a
knob once you get it all honed in. As a side note – the tuning is
very accurate for an analog set. I compared it with my digital
YB-400, and the gauge is always right on the mark. Plus the
frequencies are very easy to read. You will always know just where
you are. You can actually find specific programs at specific times
with this radio. Rather difficult with the DX-160.

You may have noticed I didn't make much mention of the difference in
tuning shortwave broadcast stations and HAM related stuff. It's
because both are quite easy to receive, and a joy to listen to with
this guy. Of course SW broadcasts will sound better….duh. But Ham
stuff comes in load and clear and is very easy to tune in…

Did I also mention you can run it off batteries? Nice feature. If
the lights go out, you never lose a beat. It will switch to batteries
automatically. So while you wife is cursing the TV because she is
missing ‘FRIENDS' your still knee deep in BBC.

DISADVANTAGES – Still kind of pricy for a radio 30 years old. But it
seems worth the price, and it shows that it can hold its value if you
invest in one. Not as easy to get to everything inside as say the
DX-160, but still not a nightmare to work on. The Preselector tuning
style is not great – but was best of its day. The tuning is much
easier to master than say the DX-160.

ADVANTAGES – Sensitive! Great sound! Fun for knob twisting junkies
like me. I could go on….but its all in the review.

OVERALL – A great buy for someone in the under $200 market. If you
find a good one, don't let the age of this unit throw you off. It is
the best analog radio I have ever used. And, if you have one sitting
under a pile of old radio parts, take it out, dust it off, and start
playing with it again. You may have forgotten just how nice these old
sets are. Challenge yourself by doing some DXing the old fashioned
way…without all the bells and whistles of the modern era. You'll feel
like a kid again. And in the end – THAT IS what it's all about!
  #2  
Old August 1st 03, 04:41 AM
Pete KE9OA
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

If you run a 6 foot untuned loop into the high impedance input, this radio
is great for MW dxing. Gilfer used to have an upgrade for this radio, using
a narrower I.F. filter. If I am not mistaken, it is similar to a Murata
CFJ-XXXX filter,
an 11-element unit. Later units that had the fine tuning control had a
little bit more RF gain in the front end, but they were more susceptable to
I.M. products. Either model was decent; you find them at hamfests in the
150 dollar range. A much better unit than the FRG-7000. Besides the
FRG-100, this one was my favorite Yaesu unit. Have fun!

Pete

Judah Smith wrote in message
om...
I WANT MY F-R-G! -

*** THE YAESU MUSEN FRG-7 COMMUNICATION RECEIVER REVIEW ***

I finally dropped the big bank roll. The biggest in fact I had ever
dropped. Prior to this moment the most expensive SW unit in my
possession cost $69.95. Over time I parlayed that radio (a radio
shack boat anchor) into a Grundig YB-400 (via trade, I only ended up
spending an additional 15 or 20 bucks) Most of my other radios
consisted of shoddy analog portables made in some Chinese sweat shop.
But I'm not complaining. They were all FUN to varying degrees, and I
learned things. I learned most importantly that I loved this hobby,
even if I could all contribute the paltriest sums of time and money to
it.

But now comes the big investment. I can't spend thousands, or even
hundreds. I can spend exactly $150 MAX. I ask questions and see what
is out there, and I end up with an FRG-7. The best my money could
buy. (Sold to me by John McColman, who I think I still owe $5. Sorry
John - What was the paypal account again?) He was a great guy.
Anyway the radio was in great shape, and packaged very nicely for the
journey to my home.

With unbridled anticipation I tear into the box and pull out my new
receiver. Awwww, a thing of beauty. It's slightly smaller than my
DX-160. But it has the SW looks of a primitive DX-300. In a word,
NICE. Of course minus the digital readout. This is all analog baby..
This for me is not a problem. I love analog sets. Don't get me
wrong, I wouldn't turn my nose up at a good table top with a digital
readout, and an analog tuning knob..but those days shall probably
never come..TOO MUCH GREEN FOR ME.

Anyway, I feel I got a good deal. The $150 was with shipping
included..which probably ran in the ball park of 20 bucks.**it's
heavy** And EBAY has these beauties running upwards of 2 C notes. So
I have no complaints. Life is good.

I plug it in - The faceplate fills with the warm glow of an old
radio..then the glow is gone. The light behind the main tuning dial -
went dead. Judah's not happy. Hmmmm. I suppose it's not a big
deal, but since this is to become my pride and joy I'd like to able to
read the signal strength and main tuning gauge with the lights
out..which is how I do most of my listening. (Radio was meant to be
listened to in the dark, kind of like watching a movie is always
better in the dark.) So now I'm bummed. I grab my screwdriver and
get to work opening the lil sucker. Ignorant of all but the most
basic electronic concepts I'm leery of messing with anything..but I
figure I might as well take a look. And I do, and I figure out how to
remove the main tuning dial, and there hidden away are the little
bulbs. Tiny little suckers. So I snip them off and I head to RADIO
SHACK, and hour, and two hot solder burns later, the radio is back
together and the new bulbs are bright as can be.

Now to take a listen.. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Sweet. Very Sweet. Even
sweeter than my previous pride and joy..my YB-400. The sound is clear
and un-muffled, yet warm and rich.

Even weak signals are easily audible. It just sounds good. I'm
picking up stuff all over the place. Stuff overpowered with static on
my YB-400, comes poking through on the FRG-7. This radio is head and
shoulders over any of my previous radios. (DX-300, YB-400, DX-160,
etc.)

In the under $200.00 category it is a sweet ride. And when you
consider it's some 30+ years old.in its day it must have been the
BOMB! (That means very good for anyone over 40.

So let's break it all down for the homies in the cheap seats..

SENSITIVITY - VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT Taking into account my previous
radios, this baby is tops in sensitivity. Is it as sensitive as a
DRAKE or LOWE - send me one and I'll tell you. But I won't be holding
my breath..that being said, in relation to my previous radios. This
baby is king. If your on a budget and want a real performer.
**especially if your located in a poor reception area** bag this
puppy. Trust me when I say if your patient you can do some serious
DXing on this lil fella. It was born to snoop out signal!

SELECTIVITY - GOOD TO VERY GOOD- For an analog unit. The fine tuning
button is really a plus here. There are times, when fine tuning is
the difference between weak signal and no signal.especially when it is
stuck in amidst high powered audio traffic. Is it as good my YB-400?
Frankly.NO. I don't know all the digital PLL - this and that - yada -
yada- which makes it so..But I can tell by my ears, the YB-400 filters
out adjacent signals much better. Modern technology has definitely
improved this element of SW listening. The Yacht Boy can grab a
signal and with a narrow filter setting, drop out almost all other
noise. The FRG-7 has filters too, but they just aren't up to snuff by
comparison. But it is still very good for the technology of its day.
Again realize this is 30 years old. If you look at it from that
perspective, it's pretty amazing how good a job it does.

QUALITY - EXCELLENT - The build quality is excellent..nothing flimsy
here. All solidly built. It might even survive a short drop onto a
carpeted floor. (Although I wouldn't try this at home).
It is a rock. Even the plastic parts feel very solid. However the
majority of the external housing is all metal. And pretty heavy metal
at that.

AUDIO - VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT- Out of the radios I have had this is
by far the best. Even better than the YB-400. At least to my ears.
I would love to find out what kind of speaker they used for this baby.
(Although I am sure it is more than just the speaker attributing to
such good sound) If you like a pleasing sound emanating from your
radio the FRG-7 delivers in spades.

STABILITY - GOOD TO VERY GOOD - Once this baby warms up it is nice and
stable. But I have to deduct points for the fact that it still takes
30 minutes to get there. I know it is an anomaly of the time when it
was made.but it is still frustrating having to wait till it is in its
sweet spot. I usually avoid this by turning it on well in advance of
my listening time. But once it is warm - it locks on to signals very
nicely. SSB/CW (Ham stuff for newbie's) is easy to tune as well..and
once you get it all locked in very little adjustments need to be made,
if any. You can listen to hams or broadcast, with out twiddling a
knob once you get it all honed in. As a side note - the tuning is
very accurate for an analog set. I compared it with my digital
YB-400, and the gauge is always right on the mark. Plus the
frequencies are very easy to read. You will always know just where
you are. You can actually find specific programs at specific times
with this radio. Rather difficult with the DX-160.

You may have noticed I didn't make much mention of the difference in
tuning shortwave broadcast stations and HAM related stuff. It's
because both are quite easy to receive, and a joy to listen to with
this guy. Of course SW broadcasts will sound better..duh. But Ham
stuff comes in load and clear and is very easy to tune in.

Did I also mention you can run it off batteries? Nice feature. If
the lights go out, you never lose a beat. It will switch to batteries
automatically. So while you wife is cursing the TV because she is
missing 'FRIENDS' your still knee deep in BBC.

DISADVANTAGES - Still kind of pricy for a radio 30 years old. But it
seems worth the price, and it shows that it can hold its value if you
invest in one. Not as easy to get to everything inside as say the
DX-160, but still not a nightmare to work on. The Preselector tuning
style is not great - but was best of its day. The tuning is much
easier to master than say the DX-160.

ADVANTAGES - Sensitive! Great sound! Fun for knob twisting junkies
like me. I could go on..but its all in the review.

OVERALL - A great buy for someone in the under $200 market. If you
find a good one, don't let the age of this unit throw you off. It is
the best analog radio I have ever used. And, if you have one sitting
under a pile of old radio parts, take it out, dust it off, and start
playing with it again. You may have forgotten just how nice these old
sets are. Challenge yourself by doing some DXing the old fashioned
way.without all the bells and whistles of the modern era. You'll feel
like a kid again. And in the end - THAT IS what it's all about!



  #3  
Old August 1st 03, 06:47 PM
Judah Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks, I'm sure I will.
  #4  
Old August 8th 03, 04:54 AM
dxlover
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

********great review snipped***********

Judah,
Great post, that's what it's all about IMO. If you can ever get say
$230.00 smackers you really should invest in an old boatanchor like a
Hammarlund, really. :-)

A Hammarlund would be perfect for you, you'd flip...lol. If I didn't love
mine sooooo much, I'd send you one of mine to play around with for a couple
months so you'd know what I mean.
Great post, made me smile. Congrats on your new piece, now get at it!!
:-)

--
~*~*~Monitoring the Spectrum~*~*~
***GO BEARCATS***
~*~*~Oct.15th Payback Begins~*~*~*~
~~~Hammarlund129X/140X~~~
**Heathkit Q Multiplier**
GE P-780


  #5  
Old August 9th 03, 08:15 AM
Judah Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hi Dxlover,

Thanks for the compliments. I read an older post by you (at least I
think it was you) about a kenwood r-300 your had aquired, and how you
seemed to be enjoying it. I just ordered one too....should be here in
a few days. I plan on writing an offical review on it as
well....should be fun. Think PASSPORT magainze might hire me as a
reviewer...(yeah right) I really wanted this one because they are
kind of rare...and they were one of the last totally analog table top
receivers ever made...and I have a thing for knobs as you've probably
noticed. For now (and a long time to come) that will complete my SW
listening shack...(My wife agreed to let me buy a black bedside
cabinet, so all three radios and my grundig can be neatly displayed
and I can easily listen to them at night, while lying in bed) after
our ussual shagging has been completed. SW listening can never
curcumvent a good shagging. Anyway....I just wondered what your
feelings were on the kenwood now that you've probably had it a
while....I'm excited to get mine. I have a 100 ft random wire I'm
using right now....with the FRG-7 and DX-160....works like a dream...

I am getting all kinds of stuff....and not ghost signals. I'm logging
some really serious DX....especially considering my location...which
is one of the worst in the world for DXing....acording to
PASSWORD....midwest/southwestern United States. (I have been hearing
quite a bit from the middle east, which I never use to even come close
to receiving.)


"dxlover" wrote in message et...
********great review snipped***********

Judah,
Great post, that's what it's all about IMO. If you can ever get say
$230.00 smackers you really should invest in an old boatanchor like a
Hammarlund, really. :-)

A Hammarlund would be perfect for you, you'd flip...lol. If I didn't love
mine sooooo much, I'd send you one of mine to play around with for a couple
months so you'd know what I mean.
Great post, made me smile. Congrats on your new piece, now get at it!!
:-)

  #6  
Old August 9th 03, 07:58 PM
dxlover
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Thanks for the compliments


No problem, you deserved it.

.. I read an older post by you (at least I
think it was you) about a kenwood r-300 your had aquired, and how you
seemed to be enjoying it.


Nope. Not I Judah, I know DXZoner has one and absolutely loves it, he's a
great guy, we 'talk' all the time. Hey Zoner, if you're out there, get
in on this. ;-)

....(My wife agreed to let me buy a black bedside
cabinet, so all three radios and my grundig can be neatly displayed
and I can easily listen to them at night, while lying in bed)


Yep, that's perfect. I have an RCA Victor 'Strato-World' next to my bed
along with a scanner and my Midland weather radio, the RCA is hooked to
about five hundred foot of wire. It is just amazing what those older tube
radios and a sh*t load of wire can hear, it cracks me up. :-D


I am getting all kinds of stuff....and not ghost signals. I'm logging
some really serious DX....


Oh, there's no doubt Judah. It's like the lottery "you can't win if you
don't play"......if you don't have your receiver on you're not going to
hear. I hear quite alot, I just don't post em' much, I guess I should
though. I have many a qsls and buttloads of micro-cassettes filled with the
some good memories. I dub in my voice as to the day and the time on the
tape, it's pretty neat.

I remember on 9/11 I had just happened to be trying to log something in New
York on the BCB that I had been managing to miss and then all h*ll broke
loose. I think I got the first post in that morning to this group, it was
truly an amazing and kind of scary day. I had just about EVERY receiver and
a couple of scanners going and taped everything from the BCB to shortwave to
the police and fire that day.

I'm glad that I have all the recorders I do and adapters labeled for each
one, I am pretty organized and it 'really' came in handy that day.

FWIW, my first receiver was a Realistic DX100, I had two and swapped one
with Zoner. The one I have is in absolutely mint condition with the box and
papers, I really need to break her out again...lol.

Keep the good posts coming Judah, welcome back, you're were missed. :-)

--
~*~*~Monitoring the Spectrum~*~*~
***GO BEARCATS***
~*~*~Oct.15th Payback Begins~*~*~*~
~~~Hammarlund129X/140X~~~
**Heathkit Q Multiplier**
GE P-780


 




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