Yaesu FRG7700 short wave receiver

As I have mentioned elsewhere the Yaesu FRG7700 was for years on the wish list but I never managed to get one. That all changed early 2021 when I saw an ad for a tidy looking unit, being sold by an amateur in the uk who simply said ‘everything works as it should’. So the deal was done and the FRG7700 arrived, not terribly well packed and filthy dirty but once cleaned it has been something of a revelation! Also it comes fitted with the optional add on memory unit giving 12 memory channels with additional RIT clarifier control. The radio dates from the dawn of the 1980’s (this one is actually dated 1984) but has (I reckon) had some light modifications carried out. Reviews at the time were less than glowing unless it was a ‘Surrey Electronics’ modified radio but this one seems sensitive, selective and works really well even in town on a compromise antenna with a lot of local QRM! So as I say I think it’s had some subtle improvements carried out and some 39 years after wanting one and dreaming of getting one I am the proud owner of one at last. I mentioned elsewhere ‘the one that got away’ in about 2006 at Tavistock radio rally! They say it all comes to he who waits but this is getting ridiculous!

In 1982 I had 'discovered' radio in the form of the CB Radio boom of the time, starting off with the UK standard FM channels and later using the 'mid band' AM and SSB and finding it was possible to speak to people in far flung countries, something new and frankly amazing at the time.  An elderly friend was also on CB but was more into his short wave listening and loaned me his valve based Eddystone receiver. This was good fun for tuning around the short waves and listening not only to amateur radio transmissions but also bits of airband, slightly spooky eastern bloc 'numbers stations', and of course the Russian 'woodpecker' over the horizon radar wandering seemingly aimlessly up and down 40 metres and all sorts.  Well the receiver had to go back and I've mentioned elsewhere that I looked into getting one of my own but unfortunately it came to nothing.  At the time the FRG7700 was my ultimate and I had the brochure for this (above) as well as the Yaesu FT290r in the hope I'd get my amateur license.

Well real life took over and though I started the studying I never took my RAE (Radio Amateur Exam) which would have got me onto VHF/UHF and neither did I get my short wave receiver regrettably!  Years later (2006) I 'almost' bought an FRG7700 at Tavistock Radio Rally (the one that got away!) and it would be years before at last I'd get my FRG8800 (during Covid lockdown 1 in 2020).  Then in early 2021 I spotted the FRG7700 shown here.

Well as mentioned it seems some subtle improvements have been made to the radio and it certainly pulls in a nice clean signal and if anything has a nicer 'sound' than the newer FRG8800 and is certainly easier to listen to, especially with headphones the FRG8800 having a degree of 'harshness' to the received audio in my humble opinion!

Its funny as this is now one of my favourite radios notwithstanding the other radio equipment available but perhaps that's partly driven by it being a long term aspiration to have one and the reality has definitely not dissapointed.