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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FT-736R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-736R
Yaesu FT-736R Reviews: 40 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $FT 736R
Description: FT-736R
Product is not in production.
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K1ZJH Rating: 4/5 Dec 31, 2010 11:46 Send this review to a friend
A better mousetrap!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First, the 4 rating is solely based on the age of the radio, and common age related problems that are beginning to plaque these sets after many years of service. Otherwise, this radio would have rated five stars back fifteen or so years...

I own three FT-726Rs, two of which are restored parts units, and and recently became the owner of a fixer-upper FT-736R. Yaesu had addressed most of the concerns relating to the earlier FT-726R.

Mechanical improvements include modified covers that no longer bind the front panel; this problem often caused stress cracks on the panel edges when the covers were removed from the FT-726R. The decorative metal trim pieces on the handles are now cast metal, and not plastic.

The biggest improvements include internal VOX, more memories, a CW keyer board, a much improved tone encoder option, and the availability of optional modules for 220 MHz and 1296 MHz. 902 MHz coverage would have been nice, but it was probably too late to add it to the product lineup. Except for six meters, the modules are rated at 25 watts RF output. The 430 MHz offers full 20 MHz coverage from 430 to 450 MHz, eliminating the need for two modules as was needed for full UHF coverage in the FT-726R. The FT-736R will handle four bands, 144 and 430 MHz coverage is built in. These band modules are not discrete boxes, they are multisection board assemblies that are installed permanently on upper main chassis. Thus, they cannot be swapped or easily removed for service. That leaves two slots for the three remaining band mdoule options that were offered.

The optional CW filter is the same CF-455MC Yaesu filter used in the FT-726R and other rigs. Other vendors still offer improved replacement CW filters for these models. The styling and panel layout was well thought out. The FT-736R cabinet is slightly wider than the FT-726R and needs a few more inches of desktop.

Shortcomings are mostly age related. The internal switching power is a weak link. Failed units are usually repairable, but most owners opt to run the rig from a quieter external DC source or an improved, more modern OEM replacement switcher in place of the old, dated Yaesu design. Some folks have reported dimming FP displays, unfortunately there is little parts support for these units being so far out of production. Accidently applying 12 VDC to the external PTT lines will destroy the uP in the control board, another impossible to find part.

I wish the radio had fewer "whiskers," it must have been the cream of the crop in its day. Nothing today surpasses it. A pity. A FT-736R that has been well taken care of and free of problems remains one of the better solutions for all band VHF/UHF coverage in a single box.

I'd suggest looking for a unit that has every needed option in a single purchase. Bought seperately, the individual prices for the optional CW filter, CW keyer, and especially the 6 meter, 220 or 1296 band modules can quickly escalate the final expenditure to eye popping level. Paying 500 bucks for a stripped down FT-736, followed by another 700 hundred dollars--or more--for the missing accessories is often far more costly than finding a fully loaded unit to begin with. The 1296 modules are scarce, and are often priced between 600 and 700 dollars on the auction sites. Likewise, the CW filter, keyer board, tone encoder and remaining band modules are also highly sought after.

To summarize, Yaesu could have added a bit more to the radio, as noted in earlier reviews. Yet, it is light years ahead of the FT-726R in features and performance. Yaesu built and improved the tradition of the FT726R. It is a shame that newer models were never developed or marketed.
K6HOM Rating: 5/5 Aug 24, 2010 15:24 Send this review to a friend
My Favorite Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
For the past year, I have frequently used, admired and coveted my buddy's 736R. Finally got my own within the past month, but I count my experience with this rig as a full year. Mine is the 144/440/6M configuration, to which I hope to add 220 and 1.2GHz modules, someday (dropping 6M, which my HF rig covers). I love the full-size box, the layout of the controls, and the dedicated switches and knobs for all functions. The build quality is superb, much better than currently available VHF/UHF tranceivers.

This has become my favorite rig. It is a lot of fun to operate all of those controls, a joy that was missing with the mobile 2M rig that I had been using in my shack. The receiver is sensitive and yields readable weak signals significantly more often than my other rigs that tune the same frequencies. I want to get into satellite DX, so this rig is a natural.

Initially, I thought that the modest transmitter output would be a drawback. But I made a series of signficant antenna improvements in terms of type, setup and height and have been very pleased with the results. The more experienced guys are right, a great antenna really helps every radio.

I run my 736R with an external DC P.S., the result is that the radio runs cooler and the RX background is much more quiet.

Some might want more memory capacity, alpha tagging, and more output power, but I'll take it just as it is. If you like 144/220/440/1.2GHz, I don't believe that you can go wrong with a 736R. I smile every time that I use it, it is my dream VHF/UHF rig.
KE5WCE Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2010 14:25 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I own a Yaesu FT-736r it has the added 6m in it,SP-767 speaker,MD-1 mic and also the hand mic. This is one great radio I have used this radio everyday and like it more and more everytime I use it VHF/UHF SSB the receive it A+ also have a FT-857D but the 736R is the first choice in the shack. to bad they dont make them like this anymore would be very hard to replace with a new radio. Thanks and 73
DL1AIW Rating: 5/5 Sep 13, 2009 04:37 Send this review to a friend
great rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own the FT 736 R for more than a year now and nothing can be said against ist, maybe exept the big size, which is al little unusual compared to more recent transceivers. Being no satellite fan I use ist mainly for DX (SSB mode and CW with external keyer) and in contests from our clubstation am I am fully satisfied with the performance. It is much better on 2 m and 70 cm than any recent rig I know. Sensitivity, noise and also ergonomics are outstanding; modern manufacurers should take a look this transceiver to learn what seems to be forgotten in the field of VHF/UHF-rigs.
WA3LWR Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2008 05:34 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought it second hand with 2/220/440 and 6 meters installed. A little complicated at the programing, but it does a nice job on repeaters and satellites. Have not had any problems with the unit and it has enough bells and whistles to keep anyone happy.
DJ0ABR Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2008 15:57 Send this review to a friend
Best VHF/UHF rig of the world  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own the FT736R since 15 years. It did a wonderful job during all the time on satellites, repeaters, 6m and all other bands.
I cannot understand why it is not manufactured any more.
If you are looking for a VHF/UHF rig forget about the actual rigs like IC-910 or TS-2000. The FT736R is a much better rig with a much better quality and is still the first choice for satellite operation.
WA2QIC Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2008 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Great VHF/UHF base  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been looking for a dedicated VHF/UHF base for awhile and settled on the 736R. I already have a fine HF rig and didn't want to buy another new HF rig with the additional VHF/UHF bands. I didn't care for the Icom VHF/UHF base, so that left me in the use rig market, where the 736R seems to standout as best-in-class.

I am very happy with the operation/function of this radio. It is exactly what I was looking for to go beyond repeater ops and into weak signal SSB, and satellite work, and I think it's a shame that the VHF/UHF base niche is being largely ignored by the so-called 'Big Three' manufacturers.

One thing I would echo from others who have mentioned this: The FT-736R is a highly modular radio - the base radio is really very basic. CTCSS is an add-on module for example - and a must have, so is the internal keyer as well as the band add-ons, and others as well.

Most internet dealers, such as those on Ebay, realize that they can get more money for the individual modules sold separately than they can for the rig w/modules included. So they chop up the rig and sell off the parts. So, if you can find a fully loaded FT-735R, then it would be cheaper to buy it, rather than a base model rig and buy the modules separately.
IK0YKM Rating: 5/5 Aug 28, 2007 01:28 Send this review to a friend
Beautiful radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Great transceiver. My first VHF radio. Exceptional. Wonderful receiver and great sensibility in both the bands. If perhaps better advanced to the 50 watts for VHF and UHF. Beautiful and scratching modulation. The top for the traffic via satellite. I actually use for AO-15 and VO-52. He remains however the king of the VHF/UHF.
W6PMR Rating: 4/5 Aug 4, 2007 16:26 Send this review to a friend
All mode on 220 and four bands!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I picked up this rig because I'm setting up a contest station and needed 220mhz all mode. My
rig came with 6/2 and 440 and 1.2. I soon found out it's faster and cheaper to just buy another 736R with the bands you need and re-sell the spare radio.
Mine now has 2/220/440 and 1.2ghz and fulfills all my base contest needs. After using it for about six months these are my observations on this radio.
I live in a semi-rural area so intermod and selectivity do not seem to be any problem. Sensitivity as compared to my other all mode 2 meter radio, (Kenwood 751) is about the same switching antennas on the same signal. Not exactly lab testing but It's what I have to compare. No r.i.t. and no dial lock are my only complaints.
There are no other radios out that are multi band with 220 so if you have the space, (it's a big guy!) put it on your desk.
All-in-all it's a unique rig that seems to be a decent perfomer with the only downside being that it's getting long on the tooth and that age will factor in after a while.
WD9GJK Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2007 07:55 Send this review to a friend
Best for the buck  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my ft736R for a year now I Found it on Ebay and love it so much that when I found one at an estate sale I bought a second one... The receiver is very sensitive and excellent transmitter reports from all worked. I bought the first because my Ft-847 doesn’t have 220 SSB and wanted that band for VHF contesting. The rig came with 2-220-440 installed and the PLL board I got the second because it had 6 meter board in it freed up the 847 for serious Hf work the modules are real easy to take out and install my primary 736R now has 6-2-220-440 and the second one sits up by my computer for local fm repeater work in the Chicago area. All I am using is a short whip antenna off the back of the rig and can work repeaters 40 miles away no sweat. This rig has filled a void in my VHF-UHF station and I am very happy that I found it. I am currently looking for a 1296 module for the second one and will be able to work all of the bands it was designed for. It is truly the best VHF-UHF rig I have owned. If you get a chance to work on you wont be disappointed in the performance it put out.
Thanks for reading Mike WD9GJK
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