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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | Yaesu VR 500 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu VR 500
Yaesu VR 500 Reviews: 20 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $239
Description: All mode scanner 100khz to 1300 mhz
pocket sized. Band scope, 1000 memories
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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KC2PJL Rating: 2/5 May 14, 2008 11:54 Send this review to a friend
Not So Happy.....  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought my VR-500 2-3 months ago. I was looking for more than just what scanners cover in a hand-held package. I liked what I read regarding the features and coverages of the radio. My only negative (at the time) was the lack of CTCSS/DCS squelch. Read the reviews here and all in all thought I was making a good purchase. Bought the radio and software and am less than happy with the performance of this radio.

I live just outside of NYC and there is a lot of radio activity on all the bands. The VR-500, regardless of whether it's connected to its rubber duck antenna, the Radio Shack 9-section antenna, or my roof-mounted discone antenna so overloads on any band that I have to jack the squelch all the way up, whether in manual or automatic squelch mode. Because of that, whatever I'm listening to had better be very close to my residence or I won't hear them at all while all the other radios in my shack will hear everything with the squelch set at a minimum level.

Outside of my house, which is where the radio would normally be used yielded little, if any, improvement in reception.

I just bought an Icom R5 and in the less than 24 hours I've had it I'm totally amazed at the difference in performance. I have the squelch set at the minimum and this radio hears everything that all my base scanners and ham transceivers hear. Again, that's regardless of which of the 3 antennas I have it on. I even had it at work on last night's overnight shift and was listening to some of the factory-programmed shortwave stations. They all sounded like they were local broadcast stations! What was really unique about this is that the radio room I dispatch from is in the basement of the building, I'm surrounded by 5 computers, and the radio was sitting right in the middle all of that. By the way...reception was via the rubber duck antenna! I do miss the full keypad and SSB capability that the VR-500 has but the R5's performance so outshines the VR-500 that I can live with those 2 'negatives'.

I don't know if all VR-500's are as sensitive as mine is or if mine is just a fluke but if you're considering this radio of course read the reviews here, but also try to find someone who owns one. Maybe you can spend some time with the radio and its owner to see if all VR-500's are like mine.

I own 3 other pieces of Yaesu equipment, 2 FT-7800 transceivers and an FT-60 hand-held transceiver and I've had nothing but good things to say about them. I'm really surprised that the VR-500 seems to have fallen so short on performance.
ZS5J Rating: 0/5 Feb 23, 2006 00:19 Send this review to a friend
probably my worst ham purchase  Time owned: more than 12 months
I would love to give this receiver a glowing report, but then I wouldnt be giving an accurate impression. My previous all in one hanheld scanner was a Yupiteru mvt-7100 - I loved it, but was stolen from my office. On my next trip to London the ham dealer suggested a VR-500, as he was out of Yupiteru's. I have hated this receiver, its display scratches EXTREMELY easily, even something gentle rubbing on it, like its protective case, makes the display all fouled up. Like a previous post, it is prone to breaking very easily, my case broke, just while trying to remove the battery compartment lid. It is prone to intermod. The tiny speaker yields terrible audio....i could go on, suffice to say, mine has been sitting broken, in a closet for the past 3 years. I wont go to the effort of getting the broken case replaced, its not worth it. I since bought another Yupiteru, on another trip to London, which I am very happy with - a bigger unit, but exceptional audio, and sensitivity.....and selectivity. On my very last trip to London I bought an Icom R-3 with the tv screen - nice, way better than the yaesu, but for sensitivity and audio, still not as good as the Yupiteru. This Yaesu VR-500, has got to be my worst radio purchase, and most regretted one, since i was licenced 23 years ago, and after around 100 plus, new radio purchases.
73, John ZS5J.
KE7MU Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2005 09:27 Send this review to a friend
Great for what it is  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this little receiver for several years now and my only complaint is that the battery life is a little short. I use the Free programing software that works great. I implimented the narrow AM filter that works great. Yes it overloads when I hook it to my 265ft loop, but it's a hand held! I have found it to be very reliable, and feature rich. It is better than it's relitives, ie VX2, VX5. The 0 rating it was given because it was dropped and broken is in MHO a sham. You can break anything! The rating should be based on the radio's performance not on it's abilitiy to withstand a beating.
PMCN500 Rating: 4/5 Oct 22, 2005 14:21 Send this review to a friend
Tiny size is a huge bonus  Time owned: more than 12 months
My introduction to scanning was a VR500 bought from ebay approx 2 years ago, and i loved it.... yes its fiddly to use.... needs two hands to enter 2nd function options etc, but its size more than makes up for any foiboles in its functionality. After about 1 year, i thought i would 'upgrade' and traded up to an AOR 8000.... which in itself was a good radio..... but fine if you dont mind carrying a brick around with you !! Needless to say it lasted about 6 months, and i sold it to buy another VR500. Although i find it struggles a little with some of the ssb and lower frequencies, and as previously described by other users the stock aerial is U/S..... I have a roof mounted aerial at home which it is normally connected to, and this provides a very good catcher for all frequencies (sometimes too good..... bleedthrough can be pain in the ass...)All in all, I dont think i'll be parting with this radio ever again.... its size makes it ideal for slipping into your pocket, and a flush mounted earpiece has you disreetly looking like some sort of undercover cop...!!.. anyway.... out of ten...I give it 7.
SWLABN Rating: 3/5 Oct 9, 2004 10:47 Send this review to a friend
Yeah it's ok  Time owned: more than 12 months
I want to feel like i love this scanner because it's small, friendly and has character like a little kitten but i sometimes find it fiddly and annoying like a kitten constantly needing to be fed.

You can't take risks with it like adding a 50ft longwire because it can't handle it and will badly overload and I mean badly!.

But I guess this isn't what it's made for. It is an 'out and about' type of scanner which you'd take on a hike or something and have the ability to listen to everything from 100khz to 1300mhz.

I find that the audio is too quiet(this is a better con isn't it?) It's just too quiet and I found I had to use headphones to listen to hf and then made a small improvement.

But then I would find something else annoying about it like the scan speed! so so slow compared to the likes of the pro 26 but then that's a different keetle of fish.

This just seems to be a scanner that's trying too hard to do too many things for the user but I like it because it is small and querky. It has a sense of humour if you like.

It has the capability of hooking up to a computer and decoding some modes - so this gives it some credability but its performance is just too erratic for me to really love.

I just seem to have a love hate relationship with this radio; sorry to disappoint guys!

WT3844 Rating: 4/5 Mar 28, 2004 02:31 Send this review to a friend
GOOD LITTLE RECEIVER  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
M3PKR Rating: 5/5 Feb 1, 2004 11:46 Send this review to a friend
great hand held  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This one of the best hand held scanner i have owned, and i have had quite a few. even better when used with the progaming software. Someone commented on breakthrough, i tested this scanner on 144-146 Mhz and i get no local pager interferance, and i get it on my Icom ic-746 Transceiver ( had to use a bandpass filter ).
So all in all it,s a great hand held scanner.
buy one you won't regret it
SWL3 Rating: 5/5 Mar 9, 2003 17:26 Send this review to a friend
Gets everything including SSB.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this receiver because it has a direct-entry keypad, the buttons light up and it receives SSB. Unlike the VR-120D or the Icom IC-R5, this receiver does not come with any shortwave frequencies stored in memory. No problem; I just programmed in the frequencies the other two receivers come with preprogrammed. You can download the lists from Icom and Yaesu. I had to program in the frequencies for the used VHF and UHF channels in my area because those do not come preprogrammed in a memory bank like in the other small receivers of this type. However, unlike the VR-120D, this receiver is capable of tuning to every USA TV channel from 2-69. (See my VR-120D review for more about this. The VR-120D will not receive every TV channel by design because of poor image rejection.) Sometimes the auto tuning step function does not allow tuning to the exact frequency and skips over some when dialing it in. This is remedied by either changing the tuning step frequency manually or by just entering the frequency manually. I don't think it's big problem. As far as performance goes, I think it picks up signals very well for a handheld receiver. After all, it's a very compact handheld receiver, not a desktop model connected to an outside antenna. The ones that complain about deafness, should realize this. You have to have an outside large antenna and a good ground to pick up very weak signals. The portability of the VR-500 more than makes up for this. It picks up a ton of stuff on every band. I love it.
TEMPEST Rating: 4/5 Jan 22, 2003 16:23 Send this review to a friend
I like it!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Ok so I'm no technical wizard but I know what I like!
Threw the original antenna away,it was useless.I tend to use a telescopic one instead when I use it away from home.I do find that I constantly have to revert to the manual in order to undertake any function but that is no detriment of the scanner,more because I have so many other scanners that I keep forgetting how to use it! But then that does suggest that it is rather fiddly to use all the functions.I use it mainly for the aircraft frequencies and have dabbled with HF which I found quite acceptable.Overall, I find it very tactile and this is one scanner I will never part with!
NE2I Rating: 4/5 Jul 25, 2002 13:25 Send this review to a friend
small price small size  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This radio seems to be ok but the antenna is lacking on some vhf bands (w32a antenna works great on vhf) Dont expect much on SW on usb and lsb. The small antenna fails there and a large one makes it overload. Almost no selectivity
and all sorts of imd products on strong signals.
The good news is that its small lightweight and
rugged. Its fairly easy to operate and sensitive
when you run the right antenna. Band scope is a
nice feature. Also a good value as its the cheapest radio of this sort.
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