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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Heathkit VF-7401 Help

Reviews Summary for Heathkit VF-7401
Heathkit VF-7401 Reviews: 3 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: 2 Meter Digital Scanning Tranceiver
Product is not in production.
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K7TXO Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2015 09:21 Send this review to a friend
HEATHS BEST VHF RIG  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I found a VF-7401 at a garage sale. Mild interest at that point but thought it would be fun to see if it worked and what it might be able to do. Dead in the water but easily found a blown diode. It is stunning how well this radio works in transmit and receive.

The only real limitation is the Tone function gives you only three choices and you have to set the frequency of these three internally. This has not been a problem for me but a modern rig will of course let you set individual tones for all repeaters that require them. There certainly are some other areas that are not as sophisticated as a modern rig. An example would be the scanning function; most modern radios will let you scan and hold or scan and move on after X seconds. Some radios will have a Priority or Call channel feature. Or direct keypad entry of a frequency. All nice features but I have found that this radio is more fun to use. Why? Because it has larger knobs, much larger buttons. And... it has a very large and EXTREMELY readable (contrast AND bright) frequency readout and mechanical S Meter. The all metal cabinet and front panel in I think HEATHKITS best ever color scheme just screams quality from stem to stern. On the down side it is rather large if you want to use mobile in most of todays vehicles. As a base station radio in my opinion it is right on, lacking only a few minor conveniences.

At first I imagined the 10 watt final would be a limitation. Not so. Using a homebrew version of an Arrow J-Pole antenna about 12 feet in the air, I was able to have a QSO with a friend through a repeater that is over 60 miles away. I am impressed! Ths well engineered kit radio stays very cool even with sustained transmitting sessions. This is impressive considering the combination of a fair number of older technology integrated circuits, LED's and other discrete components.

I do not like the Micoder microphone for t is a little bulky. To its credit, everybody thinks the transmit audio is just fine. In a few years I will likely have a digital radio if a single standard is settled on. Meanwhile for me this is the best VHF rig ever.
K8CNN Rating: 5/5 May 21, 2013 12:19 Send this review to a friend
Truly Innovative for its time  Time owned: more than 12 months
I first picked up my Heathkit VF-7401 about 10 years ago at a local hamfest, I just liked the way it looked! plus the price was right! $30.00 However after playing with the radio for a bit, I really loved the way it preformed and worked!

The following description depends on build quality to a degree, but i would rate mine as excellent build quality and alignment procedures, cuz mine works great!

The radio has "by todays standard" very basic scan features (But useful) and I have always gotten above average comments on the transmit audio. The radio is 20 watts (at least mine is) and has a nice sensitive and tight receiver, picking up weak signals, it seems much better than the earlier HW-2036 model.

I would say the receive is just as good as my Yaesu FT-8900 or Kenwood TM-732 and Transmit audio is better! I get reports its nice full sounding audio, not "tinny" or compressed like the typical rice box radios!

The controls are laid out nicely, it also has a GREAT nice sounding speaker in the radio, and has an adequate heat-sink on the back to dissipate heat from the PA deck for extended key-down periods, (not the $2.00 fan as found on the radios of today)

Its by no means a small radio by todays standards, and its not DC to Daylight, But for a good hunk of sturdy and reliable radio, made with some good USA steel, you cant go wrong!

My advice would be, if you can find one that was built correctly for the right price, grab one up! Its a keeper!!! Tom K8CNN 73
K5CPF Rating: 4/5 Aug 9, 2012 19:18 Send this review to a friend
Solid Heathkit Quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built this radio as part of a electronics course around 1980. My favorite memory of it was listening to the emergency communications with Hurricane Alicia until the power went out, leading to my obsession with battery and emergency powered everything. It performed well as a base unit and did not suffer from the pager intermod like the more modern radio which I traded it in for in the mid 80's while living in a RF-dense area.

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