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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-7800R

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held)

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-7800R
Reviews: 197MSRP: 329.00
Dualband mobile
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KC0REY Rating: 2006-10-18
I love it! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is my 3rd or 4th Dual Band radio and it is by far the best. I've owned it for a year and I'll buy a couple more. I drive a very old and noisy 4X4 SUV and recieve audio is no problem with an extrnal speaker. I think the manufacturers assume you'll use a speaker in the mobile.

A seperation kit can be easily built with 6 conductor phone line (Wal*Mart) and a junction block. Hook it to the short cable, plug in the phone line to the head. Use a thick piece of plastic cut to size and heavy duty Velcro to hold the faceplate and your good to go for 7 bucks.

WIth 1000 memories I find that the programing software is a necessity.

You cant beat the price or the performance.
RICKSKY4000 Rating: 2006-08-21
Not too bad - a bit overcomplicated. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
The Yaesu FT-7800R seems like a good Starter radio for people who have just gotten into Ham radio. But, it's not. I will admit I have no experiance with any other Ham Radio's, but as someone who uses radios of all kinds and electronics very frequently, I can say this one is a bit retarded.
The Radio does have some good points:
1) 50 Watts on 2 meter, and 40 watts on 70 CM, not too shabby.
2) Exellent audio quality TX & RX, accoring to people I've talked to.
3) Nice big heatsink on back with an automatic fan, which runs whenever you transmitt.
4) Smaller than a Car stero, but longer out the back end. (That's single DIN size.)
5) Easy to read Liquid Crystal display with 4 dimm settings including unlit.
6) Detachable / remote mountable face, but the relocation kit is $60 to $80, and does not come with the radio (the relocation Kit does come with some Icom's)
7) Mic's DTMF keypad lit by red LED's from back, easy to see, and you can turn off the lights with a switch on the mic. But the 4 user programable buttons on the mic are not lit at all.
Now for the bad news:
1) The mic jack is located in the right side of the faceplate, when remote mounting the face plate, there aren't very many ways to do this exept velcro, and when your sitting in the driver's seat you're pulling on the mic cable, and this arrangement makes the mic cable try to pull the face plate off the velcro, dumb.
2) The instruction maual is practically useless, especially if your new to ham Radio and don't know anything about repeaters. Whoever wrote the maual simply doesn't grasp the english language. It's very vauge and confusing, especially about the important stuff.
3) The buttons on the faceplate are labeled by someone who, again, does not grasp the engligh language. The lables on the buttons are not logical and do not help at all with the radio's already complex menu driven system. (apparently you can buy a set of buttons that are supposed to be "in english", but who wants to take apart rhe faceplate and replace the buttons?)
4) The Menu: 48 different items you can select wit h the Frequency knob (VFO) or the UP/DOWN buttons on top of the microphone, but the menu items are not grouped together in the menu in any way. Item #1 is related to item 27, but not to anything inbetween, (as an example) it makes the radio difficult to use, just combersome.

I will say this, the firmware does appear stable, there don't seem to be any problems there. Not a bad radio, but I intend to try out some Kenwoods and Icom's as soon as money permits.
KC9HXM Rating: 2006-08-01
Nice Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Had the radio for about a yr. I Could do without alot of the features, but still easy to op. The only gripe I have is the SPEAKER....It's a mobil rig and I promise with the windows down, doin "55", you'll hear nothing but garble. My last hearing test(Recently)determined I have fantastic hearing!!! As a base, in the shack it's great!
KE5JKC Rating: 2006-07-25
Programming it is horrible Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have 2 FT-7800' for the car and one for the shack..I'v eonly had them a few days. I am new to Ham radio having been a tech about 3 weeks.

I have the external speaker kit for the car and its a great problem hearing anything even if you were deaf. I love the ability to change the power setting depending on what is necessary.

I have it hooked to a dual band MaxRad on the car and I've had good reports on it.

Programming the thing is absolutely horrible and I still don't have it figured out...I've been in data processing for 22 years..I could show Yaesu a thing or 2 on I've only had the radio a couple of days in the car but I still have not been able to program in more than one repeater yet...It really shouldn't be that difficult...for that reason I'm sorry to say that I'll give it a 3.

I have to go find a "cheat sheet" some where to help with programming...anyone know where to find one or maybe someone can set me straight on how to do it. Right now the score is Yaesu operator 1...I'm losing bad!

KC2OQG Rating: 2006-07-13
It's a keeper Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After sending my new ICOM 2720H back after 6 days (would not stop transmitting on high and medium power with control head mounted to the main unit with the optional MB-85 bracket), I took more time to read the reviews of the Yaesu FT-7800R because I plan to use the rig in the shack with the control head mounted directly on the main unit. Did not want to get burned again. The vendor refunded my money, but it was not something I wanted to repeat. The Yaesu FT-7800R comes standard with the radio connected to the main unit. The remote cable (YSK-7800 Separation Kit) is an option. I was concerned that the problem might be with something in the shack (antenna, coax, connectors, power supply, etc.) I verified all of those things with another radio before buying the FT-7800R. After owning the Yaesu FT-7800R for a few days, I can say the following things (some are in response to other comments made in this forum). The display can be adjusted to a comfortable level for use in the shack. The display is much nicer in life than in any of the online photos I saw. True, the view angle of the LCD is critical, but that is not unique to this rig. The default brightness of the display is a bit high for the shack, but again, adjust it down, and it’s fine. I also like the illuminated buttons on the rig. They are easy to see. The microphone buttons can also be illuminated via a switch on the side of the mic. I have been able to reach repeaters (both VHF and UHF) that I was not able to reach with the ICOM 2720H and an ICOM 2100H and my ICOM IC-W32A (the W32A “HT” may not be a fair comparison here). It sounds like I’m bashing ICOM, but that is not my intent. There was one UHF repeater in particular that I have been trying to get into from my QTH. It is located in a metro area, and my QTH is 30 miles away in a rural area. The FT-7800R reaches it with no problems, full quieting. I was beginning to suspect my antenna as the reason I could not reach the repeater before, but this shows that you need the right radio to do the job. Maybe it’s the extra 5-10 watts on UHF that the other rigs did not have. With the FT-7800R, the maximum power on UHF is 40W. Audio reports have all been favorable so far. Only strange thing is that the microphone cord snaps into the right side of the control head. It would be more ergonomic if it snapped into the left side. Very pleased with the ease programming so far, but I have not played with the labeling of repeaters or putting repeaters in various banks yet. The manual is easy to understand. Once you get into the rhythm of programming the frequencies, it's only a couple of button presses to program the next sequential memory slot. Regarding sensitivity, I had previously programmed many repeaters into my ICOM IC-W32A HT (my only VHF/UHF rig up until now) that seemed to be dead most of the time. I programmed the same repeaters into the Yaesu FT-7800R and am now hearing life where I thought there was none. To respond to the comments about the lightness of the detents of the tuning dial, it is on the light side, but not a problem for me. Finally, overall improvements would be to have the microphone cord come out the left side of the control head, provide some display color options, and to make the tuning dial a bit heavier to click through the detents. Otherwise: Nice job Yaesu!
W6NYC Rating: 2006-06-25
Priority Watch ?? Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Even with all the great features of this rig, I had to give it only a 3 because the only two negatives seem rather major to me.

The FT-7800 is really a nice unit. The features are too many to mention here and you can read about them anywhere, so I will tell you what I like and dislike about it. I really like the ease and accessibility of working with the menu. A push of one button and a spin of the knob and you can do anything you want with this set. A smarter move is, of course, to buy the usb2ttl unit from Rob and the Memory management software created by G R Freeth and playing with any setting and all 1,000 memories is a pleasure. The receiver seems very sensitive and the voice quality is great as are the reports on my audio being very clean and solid with no over-deviation. The scan mode moves through the channels very fast. I like the idea of 50 watts when I need it and the ability to step lower all the way to 5 watts. The fan on the heat sink is so quiet it seems it is not even there, and it only comes on when the heat sink gets hot or when you transmit on high power (Then it runs for 30 seconds).

Now for the bad part. As I mentioned there are only two that I have found to this date, three months after buying it. Both of my beefs involve the priority channel operation. Even though I scan 68 channels from my QTH, I have my club channel as my priority channel since this is where most of my activity takes place. Well, unless I am missing something (and I hope if I am you will tell me), you CANNOT scan and have the priority channel check on. You can operate on another frequency and the priority setting will check the priority channel every 5 seconds for activity, but you cannot set it to check the priority channel if you are in the scan mode. (not too smart especially since my VERY old Kenwood 2 meter rig would do that).

Secondly, and this too irritates me. If you do have the priority check on and there is a QSO on the other band that you are listening to, you will receive a squelch-tail sound each time the FT-7800 checks the priority channel. Again my very old Kenwood would check the priority channel silently and then lock on that channel if it had activity, but it would never make a sound if there were nothing on the priority channel.

So, even though I have my problems, I still like the rig a lot. The size, the sound, the ease of operation and the tone are great along with the ability to connect to a computer or to a digital unit for packet. Just too bad that something as simple (and important) as this priority channel thing is such a letdown.
KC9JJS Rating: 2006-06-20
Great Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought one of these 5 weeks ago and used it in my shack and loved it from day one. Easy to use and great display. Sound quality is good but as explained below an external speaker is suggested for vehicle use. Even with that this unit has plenty of volume for window down, freeway listening. Can't ask for much more from a simple 2M/70cm radio. I loved it so much I bought a second one and put it in my truck.

Programing it takes a little work to do but nothing bad, just time consuming. If you want to make it easy get yourself some software. I bought the ADMS-2k package and couldn't be happier. And memory, 1000 channels is plenty for me!!

I run my truck radio with the Comet B-10NMO and the one in my shack with a Diamond NR73BNMO and both work awesome!! Once I win the wife over I will be able to put a real antenna on the house, till then the NR73BNMO works just great!
W0EKS Rating: 2006-06-12
Great Rig (except for speaker) Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This rig is great to use for essential purposes. I've had no reliability issues whatsoever.
One unexpected bonus is the ability to receive the 222 Mhz band.
I also highly recommend G4HFQ's FTB-7800 memory management software -- great support from Mr. Freeth!

There's only one negative point I've encountered. While the internal speaker is adaquate for indoor use, the FT-7800R almost certainly needs an external speaker for mobile use.

Jack - N0NV
KC2PJL Rating: 2006-05-16
Good Radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Bought my 7800R a day or so after I passed my Tech test several months ago. I mounted it up in my truck and am very happy with it. It gets used daily and is a joy to operate.

My gripes:

1) It's a minor point but a negative nonetheless...a display color that can't be changed. That Yaesu orange is a little too much for my taste. The rest of my dashboard is green, most Icom's and Kenwood's can be switched to match your dash.

2) I'm not sure I want a ton of information on the display like I've seen on some mobile radios, especially while I'm driving. I would like to see the frequency, the PL/DCS tone, the PL/DCS tone mode, the channel number, and the bank number on the display, though. That's what my Yaesu FT-60R display shows. Don't know why they didn't do that with the 7800R.

3) One more display issue.....I don't care for the 'heavy' LCD characters used on the 7800R display. It reminds of when LCD's first came out. I prefer the 'thin' characters used on my FT-60R. If they used them on the 7800R they probably could have put that additional information I listed above.

I can't comment on the remote-head kit as I was able to mount my radio without having to remote the head. Some here have complained about the mic plugging into the right side of the head. For me that not an issue either.

My cheers:

It's a great radio to operate with every day. Excellent audio, both in and out. I've had many compliments on my audio from other operators. The primary functions are all right at your fingertips. In my day-to-day operation of the radio I haven't needed to use the programmable function buttons on the mic, or needed to change them from the factory defaults, but it is nice knowing the capability is there. It is an easy radio to program, it's even easier with the software. My favorite feature is the Hyper memories. At the touch of a button I can switch between my favorite repeaters, simplex frequencies, public safety frequencies, and railroad frequencies.

I definitely recommend this radio, especially if you're new to amateur radio. Even with my display gripes I'm seriously considering an FT-8900R quad-band to replace the 7800R when I upgrade to General.
N6ILS Rating: 2006-05-08
Nice Layout Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have had my new 7800 now a month. It is really laid out nice for mobile work. I use the scanning and multiple channel banks extensively. I use and external speaker to boost the audio on receive so I can't comment on that. The mic P1 and P2 buttons are programmable like on my FT2800 but, on my 2800 I could put the skip and only function there. This was really handy when scanning repeaters in memory, but the 7800 does not allow that function to be programmed into those mic buttons. The radion is a real nice worker though and am glad I got it. The seperation kit is a little pricey but it made for a very nice install.