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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FT-726 Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-726
Yaesu FT-726 Reviews: 24 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $1095.00
Description: All-mode transceiver for 50, 144, and 432 MHz
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.yaesu.com/
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2E0IJH Rating: 4/5 Jul 22, 2012 05:49 Send this review to a friend
Useful Contest Rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Very useful contest rig, could do with improvements, would like to know the mod for the if stage if anyone has details. I've replaced the fet in mine.
just about with help of bhi to retrofit a dsp module in mine, if works then club units will get one.
had several faults that i've fixed ie relays and caps, but what u expect with age of rig
 
W4ARZ Rating: 4/5 Nov 13, 2011 16:06 Send this review to a friend
Its Like My Timex  Time owned: more than 12 months
You guys are right. The 726R is 30+ years old now. So are most of our xyl's and we've adapted to those quirks also. I own 3 FT-726r's. One has the 10 M module and 1 has the 6M module. All have 2M & 440M.
I bought the Piex digital tone boards and they are a custom fit replacement and work great. I'm the Net Manager for my radio club's 2M net and I'm on either as net control or check in every day. Like I said, I have 3 of these and I'm using the same 726 on the air now since 1997. I'm still waiting for that one to fail. Sure it has the rolling parasitic oscillation that pops up after about a minute or two and it happens once and that all per night. I've run this rig for up to 3hrs a night.
I also own an icom 910H and others but I'm waiting for my old FT-726 to give up the ghost and then I'll chuck it in the landfill.. Now what can I say...except it's 7:05 and I have to go call the SVEN net in 10 minutes on the 726... Later guys
 
K1ZJH Rating: 3/5 Nov 24, 2010 10:05 Send this review to a friend
A good value for the tehnically inclined  Time owned: more than 12 months
Revisting the FT-726R

I must be a glutton for punishment. I am the fellow who penned the scathing earlier review. This review is for a second FT-726R. In the interim I picked up two additional FT-726R radios; both sets were being sold as not working or parts units. The first came fully loaded with both of the UHF modules, a 2-meter module as well as the satellite board. The biggest "problem" was a missing DC power jumper plug on the rear apron. The second radio was a parts set. It arrived with a dead display FIP panel, and a dead processor chip on the controller board. It is truly a parts mule radio. My goal was to end up with two working FT-726Rs, and to eventually have the third set back in operation at a future date.

I mentioned that these sets donít age well. My concerns were justified. But, after spending considerable time troubleshooting I now have two fully operational FT-726Rs that are working to my satisfaction. I am now a happier campier. I am giving the radios a ď3 plusĒ rating, with the understanding that anyone purchasing a 30-year radio should expect to find some age related issues with any FT-726R at this stage. The FT-736R, with its added bells and whistles, may be the better bargain. Yet, for someone with the technical skills to handle those issues, a used FT-726R can be coaxed into giving a few years of service. There are a few easy mods on the web to improve the SSB RX audio distortion problem, and I am also the ham who wrote up the IF stage gain modification for the 6 and 2 meter modules that appeared in HR Magazine many years ago.

Hereís what I discovered.

Rolling spurs on the receivers. The voltage regulators were breaking into parasitic HF oscillation. Replacing the bypass capacitors and adding a few 0.1uF SMD bypasses as close to the regulator leads as possible cured the problems in two units. While the problem in my units was the 7805 on the controller, the 8 volt regulator can cause the same problems.

Intermittent receive, transmit and erratic satellite duplex operation. Bad relays. Many of the small SPDT and DPDT DIP package relays have developed either bad contacts or will stick and not actuate. Spraying with a good cleaner will bring some back. Otherwise they need to be replaced. They are obsolete, although RF Parts still has the 12-volt DPDT relay in stock. A bad contact on one of the miniature relays on the TX board is the cause of loss of duplex when using the Satellite modes. For RF modules that transmit intermittently, or only work after a while, most likely the DPDT DIP relay is sticking. These are the ones still being carried by RF Parts.

Bad displays. They wear out, yet many have survived. No replacements are available; the only source is from a donor radio. But, if yours has the problem, before replacing the display with a used make sure the inverter is operating properly! My parts mule was running over 7 volts on the display filaments, and the Ė22 volt supply was over 67 volts! The panel burnt out prematurely. I traced the setís ownership back over a decade, and it had weak a display early on. Conversely, bad electrolytic caps in the inverter circuit can cause the voltages to drop that will also cause a weak or dead FIP display.

Erratic main tuning. You turn the radio on, and the VFOs donít respond for several minutes. Most folks assume it is the CMOS logic chips. Problem is most likely leaky 100pF ceramic disk capacitors in the shaft encoder RC debouncing circuits. Others have noted AGC problems on the RX due to leaky ceramic caps.

Front panel cosmetics. The plastic finish wears, especially on the outside corners. Apparently the gray tone is a finish coating that can wear off. The plastic is easily cracked, especially at the corners where the covers tend to bind and stress the front panel when being removed or replaced. The decorative handle end plastic pieces are also almost always cracked or missing.

Bad electrolytic caps. An ESR meter really helps here.

My biggest beef is the 10-watt RF power output; 25 watts would have been nicer. Also, the lack of programmable CTCSS tones for each repeater pair is another problem that needs to be addressed, I will be outfitting an outboard CommSpec TE-32 on the FT-726R that will be used for FM work. Letís face it. The FT-736R is what the FT-726R should have been. On board CTCSS, higher power, more band module options, CW keyer option, and VOX operation.

I paid less than $250 for last two non-working FT-726R radios--an absolute bargain, compared to the $1000 dollars I paid for a used FT-726R twenty five years ago. Here's my current lineup of working FT-726Rs. My original unit has the 6. 2 and 430 MHz modules, Satellite board, and the CW filter. The second unit has the 2 meter, 430 and 440MHz modules, satellite board, and an outboard CommSpec TE-32 CTCSS encoder.
 
G8DZC Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2010 05:55 Send this review to a friend
It's a keeper  Time owned: more than 12 months
The first one I bought from new many years ago. It was fully loaded with 6/2 & 70 including the satellite card. Along with that I got the MD1 desk mic. What can I say? When it first came out, there was little to touch it. I did have one fault occur within the first month when the display driver decided to go faulty. I sold this in 1991 after many years of service. I have always regretted doing that.

A couple of years a chance came up to get my hands on another one at a reasonable price. I jumped at it. It had the same set up as the original one. I have done some work on it to improve certain things. The first move was to replace the meter incandescent lights (which have caused some charring) with LED's I fitted a new memory backup battery.

In the UK most repeaters are on CTCSS, and that happens to be something that the FT 726 isn't good at. Trying to find and original CTCSS tone card is hard, and they go for stupid money. The idea of getting one, and having to go in through the slot each time to play with the DIP switches if I want to use a different (another region) repeater, wasn't something I wanted to do. So I bought a PIEXX FT-726T tone card for the rig. What a great addition! Love it! I would suggest to anyone wanting CTCSS to go that route.

I have read what the last two people have said, and I cannot really agree with the remarks about the power supply. It runs cool and it does the job. Sure it is a simple design. I would love to see internal power supplies fitted with crowbar protection in case the series pass transistor fails.

I would recommend this rig to anyone that is looking at coming into amateur radio. It is simple to operate and tolerant of abuse. If I had a wish list. It would be for someone to come up with modifications to the 6 Meter module, so that it could be used on 4 Meters.

If I had to come up with some bad point. It would be its size. It is big by modern standards for what it does, but it is ideal for people with big fingers and eyesight that isn't that good.

Trish G8DZC
 
G4IPZ Rating: 1/5 Oct 23, 2010 08:07 Send this review to a friend
Rubbish and unreliable  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought one of these second hand (probably over priced too) going on previous reviews and opinions and because it was fully loaded with 50/144/432, ctcss and satellite board.
Oh how I wish I hadn't bothered.
As others have said this rig hasn't aged well. The intermittent problems on this thing are horrendous. Soon after I got it it completely failed on 2M TX. Opening it up it became obvious that the previous owner(s) had had this problem as the PA block had been replaced and there were obvious signs of "technical tapping" with a screwdriver on the module can.
This intermittent continued for a while and then vanished instead it developed an all band problem where on SSB the thing started to put out a blank full power carrier as soon as the PTT is pressed. This problem is so intermittent it's maddening since as soon as I try to work on it, it starts working again until the next contest or when 50MHz is wide open.
The PSU is total rubbish. I've seen better ones aimed at the low cost CB market. If you're going to run it on it's own PSU then you'll need a fan as the thing runs so damn hot even on receive it's stupid.
It's very poorly made, the controls are completely doolally as none of them are where you'd expect to be. You have to change the VFO step control between FM and SSB since rapid change on one mode is slow on the other.
It weighs a ton for what it does and certainly isn't a rig you'd want to move about too often.
When it's working it's an OK sort of rig but most of the time now I've resurrected my old FT690/290/790 set up because at least they always work straight off.
If you're offered one cheap then it's possibly worth it but why they seem to continue to fetch the silly money that they seem to command is beyond me.
 
K1ZJH Rating: 2/5 Aug 9, 2010 22:00 Send this review to a friend
Horrid piece of junk!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm the second owner; and I've owned this radio for over 18 years. It worked fine for the first several years, then the intermittents started. Sticking relays, receiver or transmitter will not work unless the set is left on for at least 30 minutes, and the VFO tuning is erratic I need to scope out digital shaft encoder signals on the front panel logic board. A real PITA to get into. There is a rolling spur that rolls through the receiver for about 3 minutes after turn on. By the time I try to trace the source of the problem, it clears up on its own.

Recovered SSB audio quality is about the worst I have ever experienced. AGC action is extremely poor. The product detector design is flawed--the IF signal overdrives the PD which is the main cause of the poor audio quality. Audio is mushy and not crisp. There are mods on the net that show how to improve this problem, but the final result is a very noticable drop in recovered audio level. The gain distribution feels wrong. AGC action does not take place until a signal is fairly strong, leaving the operator to ride the gain controls to hear weaker signals. A bit more IF gain might have helped. One of the cascaded monolithic IF filters failed in the six meter module, but a replacement was available from the factory.

The radio's mechanical construction is cheap and flimsy. Unfortunately my FT-726R seems to fail or act up whenever I decide to fire it up for a bit of VHF or UHF activity. This radio did not age gracefully.

When it works, it is a means to an end. I'd like better, but unfortunately the manufacturers seemed to have abandoned the dedicated VHF/UHF operators.

Right now I looking for a nice HA-6 and HA-2 Hallicrafters transverter pair to replace this lemon. At least boatanchors are repairable, and reliable.
 
K7SZ Rating: 5/5 May 22, 2010 21:53 Send this review to a friend
An OUTSTANDING Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned 2 of these rigs. The first one I got from K3TOW back in the early 1992 and used it with the 10M/2M and SAT board to work the LEOs like RS-10/11, 12/13, etc..... Worked great and never had a problem. It came with the 600Hz CW filter and I used it for 2M and 70CMs weak signal work until I stupidly sold it in 2000. In mid-2008 I found another 726 on an auction site and bought it. It had only the 2M and the 70CMs modules in it, plus the SAT board. I have been looking for a 6M module for over 18 months, now with no joy. This rig has a couple of minor aggrivations: when the shack is cold, the main tuning knob will not tune the radio. Soon as things warm up, it works fine. Several of the controls are "scratchy" so on with the DeOxit!! Sensitivity is a bit low on the 435MHz sat sub-band. Since I have the service manual I will get busy and fix/tune things up. I really love this old rig. It is very well designed, runs forever, easy to operate, entirely analog except for the PLL/digi readout, no nested/complex menues. I found a 600Hz CW filter on line and installed it, increasing it's CW performance. I have an OLD 2M 80W amp, so I can make some medium power on VHF. If you find one in good/excellent condx, by all means, I seriously doubt you'll be disappointed.
 
W3RXO Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2010 20:45 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Rig!!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I got mine a while back, from the original owner, and absolutely love the rig. I did not use it much on 430, but used it a bunch on 144 and 50 mhz. Receive sensitivity is SUPERB, and it does what it should do on transmit. It was the perfect driver for my TE Systems 1452G. Unfortunately, I am moving my shack, and need to downsize the number and physical size of the rigs in the shack, and am in process of selling my 726R. I hate to let it go. It is, by far my all-time favorite 2M All-Mode rig. If I had room for a larger antenna array, the TE would have not been necessary. This is a good talking, and good hearing radio. No problems with mine, as others described. It has been flawless.
 
F1HKN Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2010 13:38 Send this review to a friend
A very good fellow!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Licensed as F1 in 1983, i bought my FT 726R in 1985 with satellite and 70cm modules. A few years ago, i found a 6m module to complete the rig. His 10w power is perfect to enter 100w amplifiers. At home, i use this rig with a 17 yagi on 2m and 21 yagi on 70cm. Have also a 5 yagi for 6m but only 10w allowed on this band. During several years i used to work in field condition during holidays with a 9 portable yagi on 2m and 19 yagi on 70 cms, a telescopic mast and a 100w linear on each band with a 60A car battery on a small table(and a small chair for the guy behind the mic!). Today, the 726 is always there! It never let me down. I have good memories with oscar 10 in 80's! It was, and is always a great rig. I have just changed the memory battery yesterday after 24 years! His neighbour on my shack table is another legend, a FT902DM (bought second handed in 1985)as i began to work on decametric bands since a few months. The oldies go on! Two nice fellows indeed... Years have gone away, but i've always the same pleasure when i press the PTT! 73's and hope you on air......
 
G4SOX Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2010 04:01 Send this review to a friend
Great Reliability (Agreed)  Time owned: more than 12 months
Now 27 years old and still going. A few problems over the years... 1 relay, 2 disc ceramics. One of the failed capacitors caused the AGC circuit to shut down on switch on with a verrrrrrry slowwwwwww recovery and the other capacitor failure caused the the ALC meter to gradually climb the scale. The FT-726R has been superceded many times but still has adequate performance but, ok, with only 10 watts out on TX. The 2M/6M modules lack gain but not in the RF section, the best modification I ever did was documented in the July 1987 edition of Ham Radio by K1ZJH where he added a new IF stage to the 2M/6M modules. This really did work. The 70CM module is ok as it already has an addtional IF stage.
The rig is easy to operate has jacks on each module for RELAY switching amplifiers and it has a QUIET linear mains PSU. If you want CTCSS this can be added as well. I used an SS-64 module.
I think I may keep my old friend!
 
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