The Yaesu FT-7800R Dual Band FM Transceiver
Reviewed by Joe Carcia, NJ1Q WlAW Station Manager
The Yaesu FT-7800R provides a solid 2 meter and 70 cm Fm mobile capability in a convenient package with all the features most amateurs need.
There are two categories of operators in the market for dual or multiband FM transceivers. Some want crossband, full duplex and all possible options and flexibility. Others just want to have access to
repeaters on multiple bands, and want a radio that is as straightforward as possible, so they don't have to reach for the manual every time they want to do something. To its credit, Yaesu has radios to satisfy both in their lineup. If you want the former, see the FT-8800R; for the
latter the FT-7800R, the subject of this review, provides the functions that most hams will want for successful 2 meter or 70 cm FM operation.
At First Glance
The '7800R is well sized for both mobile and base station use. If one is short on desktop space, its relatively small size makes setting it up on an operating desk an easy task. As with most mobile rigs, the '7800R comes prepackaged with a mounting bracket and complete hardware. If you wish to mount the front panel at the operating position and remote mount the body of the transceiver, this can be done with the optional YSK-7800 separation kit. As provided, the remote-head can be operated about 3 inches away with the short pigtail that separates the body and head, but most who want separate operation will opt for the separation kit.
The '7800R has receive capabilities from 108 to 520 MHz and 700 to 999.990 MHz, less cellular channels. Modes of operation are FM and AM—receive only. Although the receive mode selection is automatic, you can change this if desired.
It transmits from 144 to 148 MHz and 430 to 450 MHz. There are four power levels: 50, 20, 10 and 5 W on 2 meters, and 40, 20, 10 and 5 W on 70 cm. You don't see the actual power level on the display; rather you get the indication High, Midi, Mid2 and Low, respectively.
When you first see the radio, the myriad of buttons might be a bit intimidating, especially if you're "new" to this game. There's the standard fare of knobs: VOLUME, SQUELCH and DIAL (tuning/ selection). Thirteen backlit buttons on the bottom and sides of the display allow for selecting the HYPER MEMORIES, MHZ TUNING, CTCSS TONE, POWER LEVEL, BAND, VFO or MEMORY, SCANNING,
SMART SEARCH and WIRES. These buttons serve multiple functions and these labels are the default use of each button.
The Tuning (DIAL), VOLUME and SQUELCH knobs are non-rubber coated plastic and have a good feel to them. The DIAL knob is detented, but the feel is light for my touch. On a few occasions when I needed to use the DIAL for function or settings selection, I found I went right past my target. This may take some getting used to.
To the right of the DIAL knob you'll find four buttons. The top one controls the Internet connection feature, provided by their WIRES function. Next are two "Hyper Memories" and then the SMART SEARCH function. The POWER button is located above the DIAL. This button is not backlit, however, so in dim light you might find yourself feeling around for it.
What is Your Function?
The '7800R includes the standard fare of functions found in many transceivers of similar design: Time-Out-Timer, Automatic Power Off, Channel Skip, Dual Watch function, Priority Channel Scanning, regular band scanning, etc. In the menu department, this rig's got 48 of them. You can change nearly everything from the tuning step (5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 50 and 100 kHz) to the CTCSS tone scan and so on. The scanning function is.....
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Copyright © 2004 by the American Radio Relay League Inc.