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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | YAESU FRG-8800 Help

Reviews Summary for YAESU FRG-8800
YAESU FRG-8800 Reviews: 13 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $429-699
Description: Yaesu's previous FRG series with microprocessor technology.
Product is not in production.
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SIERRAHOTEL Rating: 3/5 Aug 3, 2002 03:07 Send this review to a friend
OK, but could have been better  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought an FRG-8800 back in late 1986, it was my first decent digital reciever. It had very nice audio, especially through an external speaker, but the filters were just too wide most of the time. Stabilty was fine, it was dead on from the day I got it. In addition to the too wide filters, the 8800 was very easy to overload, and with any fairly good antenna, local AM stations were heard in the background as high as the CB band! I got a decent pre-selector, and this helped, but I usually needed to attenuate it by 20 DB, and use he pre-selector to keep from hearing the nearby country station in the background of everything I listened to.

As the 8800 aged, I got many CPU lockups, and the rubber ring that went around the tuning dial started to disintegrate. I got a replacement knog from Yaesu, and getting the old knob off was a major struggle. Yaesu service advised me to just pry it off, but the front panel would have been damaged if I had, instead I drilled holes in he knob, and cracked it in half to get it off. The replacement knob also rotted about a year later.
The 8800 is a better performer than a Kenwood R2000, but barely, and the Kenwood seems to have been built much better.
W3DBB Rating: 4/5 Jun 5, 2002 11:49 Send this review to a friend
Balanced Design.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I took delivery on my (then) brand new FRG-8800 in
January of 1987. It was purchased from the now
defunct Electronic Equipment Bank (E.E.B.) of
Vienna, Virginia. This receiver was used daily for
15 years, generally for several hours each day. So
I'm guessing the thing has had roughly 20000 hours
of use! A very impressive offering and probably the main reason I could never justify a FRG-100,
which seemed like a step backward to me. Finally
in 2001 I replaced it with a FT-920. The FRG-8800
doesn't lack for much; probably my only complaint
would be the lack of a notch filter. I love the built-in filters for SSB, wide and narrow AM, NBFM, and wide & narrow CW, all of which were
standard equipment (I think we've regressed). The
audio from the built-in speaker ain't bad. And in
all those hours of use, the thing has never been
back to the repair shop. Still cosmetically excellent (non-smoker), the thing has developed
various small problems over the years. They are:
1. Backlight for display is out.
2. LSB filter sometimes is intermittent.
3. The rotary encoder for Main Tuning has a bad
spot in it so the tuning is not so smooth as
when it was new.
I used the receiver almost exclusively for monitoring ham radio QSOs and rarely listen to
I heard the horror stories about defective
microprocessors with this receiver but never had
that happen.
VK2XMD Rating: 4/5 Apr 22, 2000 15:35 Send this review to a friend
FRG-8800 - Quality radio, awkward in use.  Time owned: unknown months
The FRG-8800 is a beautifully finished product, dating from around 1992. It comes complete with a large and rather garish green backlit LCD display
(dimmable) showing frequency, mode, memory channel (1-12) and a "ramp" type signal strength meter. It has to be said that the radio is a good performer
for its price-point, and just oozes quality of construction; but while Yaesu products are typically un-intuitive to operate, this radio goes one better- some functions are downright tricky to use! Tuning is via direct keypad frequency entry, MHz locked in first, then kHz; by the VFO knob (two speeds and lock); or by memory switch (12 positions). Operating mode is selected by
simple pushbuttons, as is agc-fast, narrow/wide, noise blanker (which actually works!) and display dimming. There is a small fine tuning control which is great for SSB. There is also an RF attenuator, volume, tone and squelch control, all of which work as expected. and an ugly switch for the memory channels. Why didn't they use the same knob as all the others...? So far so good. Now for the tricky bits. There are two clocks, an on-off timer, (which can control external devices such as a tape recorder) and a "sleep" control (59
minutes), which are operated by a complicated set of buttons. You need the manual for these! And there is also a complicated set of buttons for
switching between VFO and memory operation, storing memory channels, and scanning. You need the manual for these, too! The manual itself is an enigma. Printed on high-quality glossy paper, it is more helpful than some Yaesu manuals, but is printed in a monospaced font which appears incongruous. (Maybe the typesetter was on strike, who knows?) In use, the radio's sensitivity and selectivity are okay, but there is a harshness to the audio which I suspect comes from a fairly casual approach to filtering the DC supply to the audio stages. When I purchased mine second-hand, the tuning range was 2MHz-30MHz. Opening the receive down to 150kHz involved removing a solder
bridge between two pins. Mine also has the optional FRV-8800 VHF converter fitted, which covers 118-174MHz. This is useful for aircraft band, amateur band, and some specialised community broadcast frequencies. There is a backup battery system for the memories, etc, which uses standard alkaline batteries, easily replaced from the back panel. (Good move, Yaesu!) This radio teams
well with the FRT-7700 antenna tuner and FRA-7700 active antenna. One last point. Encouraged by my success realigning my Kenwood receiver, I considered a realignment of the 8800. Forget it! Yaesu specifies a small mountain of equipment, and it's not for the faint-hearted. If you are looking at one, and it appears to need alignment, keep looking. Overall, a nice radio to own if you can find a good one, but awkward to use until you get used to it.
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