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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FT-720R Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-720R
Yaesu FT-720R Reviews: 3 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: 2 meter (70 cm optional) 25 watt mobile radio.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
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K6RMR Rating: 4/5 Jul 8, 2004 23:26 Send this review to a friend
Good radio for its time.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had a 720 system since it was new about
1980. I have the 25 watt 2 meter module,the
10 watt 70CM module, the switich box for
selecting the band that I want and several
control cables. I have had the PTT Reley go
out several times on the 70CM Module,but
no trouble with the 2 meter module.I just have
a Com Spec on each one for tone.
The only down side on using th switch box is you
loose the Memory on one Module when you switch
to the other.Other than that it has been a great
radio system.
Stan
 
K7VO Rating: 4/5 Jul 8, 2004 22:46 Send this review to a friend
ONe of the first dual banders -- solid workhorse  Time owned: more than 12 months
The FT-720R was sold in three configurations. There was the monoband VHF version (FT-720RVH) which the previous reviewer described admirably. There was the monoband UHF version (FT-720RU), which is what I have. The best version is the dual band configuration with a remote head as shown in the picture above. This rig came out in the very early 80s and in many ways was way ahead of it's time.

I think the previous reviewer did a great job describing the features and limitations. One note: the plug for the tone encoder jack on the back is used nowadays for audio on CD-ROM drives so it's pretty easy to find. The outboard tone encoder (Yaesu FTE-64) was just an external ComSpec box with a Yaesu brand name. Those are still in production and easy to find used. CTCSS really isn't a problem, but with resale value for these rigs around $50 for a monoband version it does add quite a bit to the price.

I really like the old beast. It's got great receive audio and gets complimentary transmitted audio reports. Four memories total, even in dual band configuration, is, admittedly, a bit limited. The red LED display isn't the best in bright sunlight -- not brilliant for a mobile rig. The extra small five pin mic. plug is an oddity and hard to replace. So, while the rig may have been a "5" 20+ years ago it's probably a "4" at best today.

I bought my current one (the second I've owned) for all of $51 on eBay so you can't go wrong for the money. If you don't mind a rig with the limitations this one has I see no reason not to get one of these old workhorse rigs.
 
VE6BUD Rating: 5/5 May 6, 2002 17:40 Send this review to a friend
Built like a brick!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This radio is built like a brick and weighs just as much as one too! It is an excellent example of early 1980's technology and holds up well to the tests of time.

The metal knobs and buttons seem almost indestructable and the VFO/Memory knobs are rock solid with a stiff feel. They are not going to move unless you want them to!

The S/PO meter is visible from a great distance and is easy to look at. This radio does have an LED readout like all radios from this era had, so it will wash out in bright light.

This radio is very straightforward to use and very easy to program. Set your frequency via the dial or use the programmed memory, set your split and start talking!

The transmit audio is preamplified so one doesn't have to shout into the microphone to be heard. The transmit audio is very clean and clear. The receive audio is also quite clear but somewhat tinny due to a small speaker.

The front end on this radio is rock solid and almost immune to intermod in comparison to other radios I've used. I never have to put the squelch more than halfway even when I'm in downtown and it's quiet. (Almost eliminates the need for tone squelch!)

The supplied non-DTMF microphone is quite handy in that the PTT switch is easy to press and the up/down buttons come in quite handy for QSY'ing.

The frequency scan function is a big plus and it can scan either via VFO or via presets. Priority scan and adjustable split memory are very nice touches to a very nice user interface.

Unfortunately, when the "5 up" switch is turned on to select a frequency 50 khz up, the LED display does not show "5" at the end but shows "0" with a few extra dots added. Perhaps this is just a design quirk.

With the optional module cable and module switch it's quite possible to have a different antenna per band and hide the RF module somewhere while keeping the control head someplace else. This is a very unusual feature not found on anything but modern radios. (The radio can be used without the control cable and switch, a BIG plus!)

This radio is better suited as a base station radio or a backup radio rather than a primary radio for the following reasons:

1. 4 Memories, With manual split selection. You have to memorize the split. I suppose if you live in a rural area with few repeaters, this is ideal.
2. There are three switches that select the scan mode and 50 khz up. They are located on the underside of the radio, which can be quite tricky to operate if in a mobile installation.
3. I think there was probably an optional DTMF microphone for this radio but mine didn't come with one. Just keep this in mind if you want to buy one and make sure to see if it has one.
4. There's no tone squelch or tone encoding. There is a connector in the back of the radio for an optional tone board but due to the age of the radio, it would be hard to find one unless you enjoy homebrewing. :)
5. No Scanning delay. No preset scan pause either.
6. Wierd Microphone connector. They are a real pain to solder up, especially if you plan on using this radio with a TNC. Yaesu would have been better off using a DIN connector instead.
7. No Power Button. Again, this is just a quirk.
8. If you mount the radio with the control deck and RF module mated together, it is a BIG radio in comparison to newer radios. Make sure you have the dash space for it!

Overall? This radio makes an excellent backup or base station radio. If you can get it with the optional 70 cm module, switch and cables, it would make a great dual bander, especially for those who hate using a dual-band antenna.

Without the extra module, it still is an excellent 2 meter FM radio. I'd recommend it!
 


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