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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-736R

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

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-736R
Reviews: 41MSRP: FT 736R
Product is not in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
NS3L Rating: 2021-07-25
Great rig, ahead of it's time and still a performer..!! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Update July 25, 2021. Reading recent reviews I see some think that because this rig is from the late 80's into the early 90's the FT-736R is relegated to just working repeaters and too hard to program. True it's not the easiest, but it's not a modern rig where a computer handles everything with a few touches. Old hard to use??? Nothing could be further from the truth.. I've had my FT-736R equipped with 2M/70CM in service for years and I can say this unit is well known to have a decent hot receiver, and because of the included CAT system, although limited compared to today's rigs works very well for one of the original purposes that this rig was produced.. Satellite work.. With modern software, and up-to-date dedicated CAT cables available, the FT-736R does exactly what I expected. I use mine with SatPC32 and a new type FTDI chipped CAT cable and have all the control I need. It's not a Icom IC-9100 (Which I also own), but for LEO satellites it produces a suitable power output and when in Sat mode the dual VFO 2M/70cm frequency tracking is great.

I've since added the 220 module and maybe a 23cm module at a later date. 25 watts is pretty good for most regional and satellite work. If I need more power, I can always get dedicated amps and better antenna's.

I'm fortunate to also have the fraternal twin of the FT-736R, the FT-767GX which is a virtual identical rig but for HF. Both are very complex to operate, but very capable transceivers..

I've spoken to many who still have the FT-736R in regular service doing all kinds of modes. The bottom line is, it holds it's own for a rig of it's age, but still has a life as a rig to work satellites, many other modes, and if really inclined it works repeaters just fine....

Steve NS3L
NO9B Rating: 2021-07-25
Hard to program and doesn't scan all the memory channels Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I gave this radio a 3 because it only puts out 25 watts, very hard to program and if you want to scan the memory channels, it only scans either VHF or UHF but not both.

For a HUGE radio I would have expected more than 25 watts.

Every time I want to change anything on the radio I need to get the manual out.

Just an FYI, not a dig on the radio, but you will need a duplexer or triplexer or independent antennas depending on how many modules you have installed. This radio has the 2m, 440 modules installed.

I am planning on selling it and look for an all mode VHF/UHF thats easier to program, will scan all the channels no matter if it's VHF or UHF and smaller.
N9QID Rating: 2021-05-02
Still holds its own. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The FT-736R that I have was well taken care of by the previous owner. I try do do the same, like leaving the display setting on "dim" to extend it's life. It has a 6 meter module installed, and it would be nice to have the 220 module. It has better reception on 2 than the two TS-2000's that I have used, and looks better too.
The reasons for the rating is:
Pro's, It is an excellent SSB radio when used with good preamps, and amps. It is overkill for FM repeater use, but still fun. The two VFO's are nice as well.
Con's, The mono receive, poor internal power supply that have already been mentioned, very slow scanning of memory banks, and the memory battery is not easy to get to when it needs to be replaced.
W1IDL Rating: 2016-08-26
Good old transceiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My particular 736 is about 26 years old and still does a fine job. The halcyon days of the sats are gone..when we could work half the world day or night.... Now this premier rig is largely relegated to local repeaters. Now need to install the tone encoder (PIEXX Co.) but how does one "fold the front panel down"...p 18 of manual??
VK3LBT Rating: 2016-03-29
Oldie but a goodie Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have just purchased an FT736R, fully kitted out, 6/2/70/23 with ctcss etc. as I am interested in 2m SSB and 23 cm this was offered at a great price and is in great condition for its age.

Having had an IC910H for these bands it would be unfair to compare these two against each other taking into account of age and technology. The occasional reviews I have read comment on sensitivity being a bit lacking however running some late night tests I did not find this and found the FT736R held its own very well especially on 6m and 23cm.

I have made some early morning, 30 March 2016, contacts
here on 2m SSB with very pleasing results with a 14 element yagi and 100w with 59+ some 420 kms north of my location.

6m operates well and although only 10w a small 50w amp does the trick. The only drawback is the power supply in these units has an inherent fault but I would rather run the unit of 13.8v.
Only having this radio from 1 day I am more than happy with its performance, yes it's old technology but built like a battleship and if looked after should go for years to come.

Monoband receive.
Low power on 6m
Poor internal mains supply.


Big and easy to see control panel.
Receiver sensitivity is very good, mine is excellent.
Great audio with the hand microphone even better with desk microphone.
Once mastered easy to navigate around set up.

If you see one at a good price and fully kitted out grab it these were a benchmark in their day and still hold their own 25 years on, at this period Yaesu got it right.

The 5 rating reflects my opinion and pleasure with the unit and not based on comparisons of units some 25 years younger and different technology.

Finally which do I prefer the 910 or the 736....the winner in my book is the 736, just an old fashioned gear type of guy !

Barry VK3LBT
W1DVZ Rating: 2015-07-04
Old School Perfection Time Owned: N.A.
I have had my FT-736R for a couple of years, purchased primarily for 2m SSB. It also gets near daily use on 2m FM for local Simplex and repeater work. I have the 2m, 70cm, and 220 modules installed, fourth bay is open still.

I feed it with a Heil PR-40, and get near broadcast quality on both SSB and FM. It stays on 25w output which feeds into a Tokyo Hy Power HL-350Vdx with exceptional results.

It's the perfect V/U shack radio, good value for the dollars.
IK1XPB Rating: 2015-02-05
Love it Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I owned an FT726 in 1992, worked Oscar 13 and I loved it.
These days FT736 was unaffordable for me.
Now I found a bargain for FT 736, perfect, boxed, papers, and 1,2Ghz module.
Same feeling, same look as ft 726. I will never sell it !!!!
W1PDG Rating: 2014-02-23
Still The Best! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Having been using the ft736r for a month now I find it a very nice upgrade to my shack. It is on all the time scanning the local repeaters. Only have the 2 meter and 70 cm modules installed, but hope to find a nice 220 also. Antenna only up about 15' and can hit the repeater 35 Miles to the south easy. It's a keeper for sure!
ON6ZK Rating: 2013-06-11
Fabulous radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought my FT736R in 1993 ...yes 20 years ago and I used it on Satelitte AO13 and AO10. Great time 70 cm uplink and 2 meter down. Since those birds died ( burned ... :-(...) and the failure of Phase 3 Sat. I only use it on 2 , 70 cm and 6 meters I have the 23 cm module installed but no antenna :-( on my tower , could think about that sometime. Now mainly use it on 144 Mhz DX ,combined with a 500 watts amp and a 9 element yagi. Great contacts all over Europe. On 70 cm I use it QRP and I already had contacts reaching 1700 km. Use it mainly in CW on 6 meters as a QRP rig and have wonderfull contacts with it on my 5 element Optibeam for 6. It is a keepr ande I will never sell it. Never failed , keeps running all the time ! One of the best radio's Yaesu ever produced. Great old fashion desgign , no hidden menu's ! Just love it.
VA7VO Rating: 2013-05-25
Excellent and still stong Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is my fourth one in 11 years. Now would be a good time to get one because most operators are not using them since there are not the sat's to work and one with three modules will set you back about $600-$700 with ALL the accessories.
To those that think it's deaf, 1, either your unit has issues or in most cases BAD antennas or operator.
The receiver is hot and performs and hears as well as TS-570s on 6 meters i have found.
I have the infinity power supply upgrade and works great.
On satellites i have used several years ago with my crossed yagis there was no need for a preamp, switching from left to right polarization helped as i found linear yagis don't have the necessary receive capability.
Using helix antennas for the downlink the issue wasn't there.

At the time with my temporry setup i am only using a ta-33jr on 6 meters, 1.3:1 and measured gain through an eznec model shows about 4.0dbd. Not great but this works out to be a very wide spaced 3 element on 6.

Glenn, VA7VO