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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Yaesu FRG-100B Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FRG-100B
Yaesu  FRG-100B Reviews: 18 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $599.95
Description: Receiver 50kHz to 30 MHz.
Product is in production.
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JIM1701 Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2003 11:38 Send this review to a friend
Good Unit, sound sux!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had a SW, CB years ago when I was 15, I got rid of everything back then, Now I bought a Yaesu FRG-100 with the FM unit on eBay for 399.99. It is a great unit but the sound sux, I have overcame this, I was going to go to radio shack and buy an external speaker but when I arrived there I saw 3inch replacement speaker with more wattage then the original so instead of getting the 15.00 EXT SPKR I bought the 5.00 replacement internal SPKR, Let me tell you it is 1000% better! I hear everything clearer!!! I've seend MODS that you have to install blah, blah.... This was so simple and cheap, the New spkr is a hair bigger than the original but it fits like the original, I just had to manuver some of the components out of the way of the magnet and I also put electrical tape on the magnet just in case, it doesn't contact anything but it just a bit of insurance... THIS UNIT IS EXCELLENT, NOW!
N5JOB Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2002 16:18 Send this review to a friend
Radio's best kept secret.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I must admit, the first day I had the FRG-100 I didn't care for it. Then I read the manual. This receiver has plenty of unique features that are very useful in reception if you LEARN HOW TO USE THEM.

Among the great features is the adjustable CW beat frequency. This enables you to adjust the tone of your incoming CW signal to 400, 500, 600, or 700 cycles. You can of course change the CW tone by de-tuning the main tuning dial, but the offset feature allows you to change the tone while keeping the received signal centered in the passband.

You also can select the sideband for receiving CW. Not only does this make for good convenience (for instance, if you only use one sideband and CW all the time) but it is a good interference reduction feature. It's similar to passband tuning in a way, except with a set position (USB or LSB for CW receive.) I have the optional 250 cycle CW filter and it is very sharp. I like it, but some operators will prefer the 500 cycle filter as signals don't sound so "closed up" as when the 250 cycle filter is used.

USB/LSB - I've heard complaints from operators who claim there is only one bandwidth available for SSB. Not true! Here again, YOU'VE GOT TO READ THE MANUAL! You can use ANY bandwidth of the receiver in ANY MODE. Just press the "SET" and "SELECT" switch, then use the MEMO knob to switch your IF filter! The main SSB filter is 2.4 kc/s wide and sounds very good - don't be fooled by the 2.7 display on the screen! It's 2.4 kc/s, at least on mine. (I verified this by opening the receiver and examining the filter.)

Sometimes when I don't have a lot of interference, I use the 4 kc/s filter on SSB. Those station with "big audio" sound fantastic at a wider bandwidth.

Another feature for SSB listening is the variable I.F frequency. With this, you can tailor the received audio to your liking. Here again we have a P.B.T. effect that is variable.

Attenuation Control - A lot of guys don't use this when they SHOULD. This receiver doesn't have a variable RF Gain control, and the selection of either 6 dB, 12 dB, or 18 dB is a good feature. This combined with using SLOW AGC knocks out a lot of interference from SSB and makes listening better.

SOUND - I will say that the "stock sound" is unsatisfactory. There is only a small speaker built into the FRG-100 and it's woefully inadequate. The sound being produced by the audio stage is nothing to brag about either. The solution? Take my advice... Get the KIWA Audio Modification Kit for the FRG-100! I installed mine and it did make a noticable difference. A great improvement! If you are not technically inclined, it would be worth it to get the mod and have someone competent install the mod for you. Kiwa can do it for an extra charge. The $15.00 for the mod kit was well worth it. You'll also want to use a good computer speaker to enhance you listening. Headphone audio is excellent with the mod. SWL's will enjoy the sound of the FRG-100 post-mod.

WHY NO KEYPAD ENTRY? I think this receiver was designed to be controlled by computer. It has the C.A.T. option standard. (Computer Aided Tuning.) I would guess that is why they did not equip the receiver with a front panel keypad. I have NOT tried running my FRG-100 with a computer yet. I've got the interface and will report on it when I finally get it going.

CONCLUSIONS - Even though the FRG-100 lacks P.B.T., Notch, and RF Gain control I would highly recommend it... ESPECIALLY since they're going for so darn cheap on e-Bay! This receiver has got to be the most under-rated unit on the Amateur/SWL scene today! The big problem is that the new operators who purchase this unit are JUST NOT STUDYING THE MANUAL. You will have to "study" it to fully understand it's operation.

I paid $300.00 for mine WITH the Computer Interface Unit (A $90.00 value) so in effect I paid $210.00 for my FRG-100. (I've seen Radio Shack DX-394's go for that, and the FRG-100 is head and shoulders above ANY R.S. model!) If you consider the $15.00 Kiwa mod I paid $225.00 for it.

I bought my FRG-100 off of e-Bay from a guy who bought it new for $600.00+ and didn't like it... WHAT A DEAL! This radio was like new, in the original box will all accessories, used maybe for a month or so! I've seen these fantastic radios sell for as low as $250.00 on e-Bay. There are so many nice ones out there, with low milage that it's a "buyer's market" for these FRG-100's. In this horrible economy today there are great deals to be had by those who want a high-quality radio dirt cheap.
AB1 Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2002 05:54 Send this review to a friend
A great performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Previously, I'd only used Sony portables (7600D, 7600G and SW100E) plus a Sangean 909 and my old FRG-7700. This radio is far better and I'm delighted with it.

Bought it new, and immediately added the Kiwa 6Hz and 3.7Khz filter upgrade. Kept the stock wide filter (about 9Khz according to Passport, but with a good shape factor), removed the stock narrow and replaced it with the Kiwa wide, and hooked the Kiwa narrow up to the vacant CW/narrow pins. Also did the Kiwa audio upgrade. Now this radio is an excellent performer for both DXing and SWL.



N2MWE Rating: 5/5 Feb 11, 2002 19:01 Send this review to a friend
A Winner in My Book  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have read other reviews, and seemingly, a lot of complaints about the receive audio from the internal speaker. Personally, I like the bass tone of the audio. The receiver is very sensitive, up there with the receiver on my Icom 746. As far as sync detection, use USB or LSB on an AM signal...I thought the audio quality, while not super, was more than adequate. A great little receiver for those on a smaller budget; lots of features for the price. No interest in CW, therefore I can't comment on its selectivity on CW. I am waiting for the FM module...more to come...
SIGNALGRABBER Rating: 4/5 Dec 22, 2000 14:11 Send this review to a friend
Nice receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have 3 receivers, the FRG-100B, a Icom R71A, and a Kenwood R-1000. The Icom "feels" best of the 3,and has by far the most options. The Kenwood shows it's age on specs, but is still a nice little radio. I got the Yeasu on a whim, and was not impressed right away with it's selectivity. I added a Kiwa filter set (, and now this little box is nothing short of incredible! Radio Moscow sounds next door (without the overloading of course), Voice of Taiwan the same! I agree with the knob gripe, but it didn't cost $1300 like the Icom did. I use computer control software anyway, so don't have to touch it while it's in my shack. I rate it a 4 out of the box, with the good filters, it's a 5 in my book!
W8KQE Rating: 3/5 Nov 22, 2000 13:02 Send this review to a friend
Good in many respects, but lacking in others.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This radio has a very good receiver, but the internal speaker is mediocre at best. Of course, not a problem if you attach an external speaker. But some of us travel with our radios, and can't lug around external speaks all the time. Another shortcoming for some with this radio is the tuning knob. Yaesu most definitely cut corners in this area. The knob is a bit too lightweight and plastic, and should have been weighted more and a bit larger with a rubber grip (like on many transceivers). I feel like i'm playing with a cheap receiver when using this very compromised cheap knob. To me, they should have included a better one. All in all, a great little receiver though, all things considered.
W5XTC Rating: 4/5 Jul 27, 2000 13:12 Send this review to a friend
Very good general coverage receiver.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just bought a used FRG-100 off ebay. The unit is a small, well-designed product with the kind of finished look to it that one expects of consumer electronics, not the mininalist look of receivers from small specialty makers. I have the accessory keypad, which works quite simply. I give 4 stars rather than 5 because the audio quality, while fair-to-good, is surpassed by a few other models. A good buy on the used market if you're not looking for absolute top-notch audio. I was surprised to hear how CW mode, which until now I associated only with morse code, is able to clean up a distant signal and make it quite listenable.
VE3EFJ Rating: 4/5 Feb 27, 2000 10:33 Send this review to a friend
What a Sweetie!  Time owned: unknown months
This SW receiver is a very nice SW RX for the SW Listener or for use by a Ham. No sync detector, but the radio does ECSS very well. No drift, good manners, easy to use. Some may think the audio is 'muddy', but thats about it. The front end is STRONNG and very difficult to overload. I have a local ham 3 blocks away. 10 kHz off and all I get is some buckshot. A very useable (aka 'user friendly') radio. For $600 US new, you will be hard pressed to do better.
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