Yaesu FRG8800 short wave receiver

So I’ve written before about my long term ‘flirtations’ with getting a short wave receiver here but ultimately having become licensed many years ago and part of the radio shack including transceiver(s) with general coverage receive (FT747, FT1000mpV, FT857d etc.) this remained very much a side issue. 

I’ve mentioned before that back in my CB days I wanted an FRG7 or (preferably) an FRG7700, later on looked at getting an FRG8800 and ultimately ended up with none of them! 

Well the global curse of Coronavirus or Covid-19 changed all that. We ended up being unable to travel back to France from Jersey from March 2020 for months so I got in touch with the amateur radio club there (as a long since lapsed member) and was able to borrow a Yaesu FRG8800 from Steve GJ6WRI and ultimately purchased an FRG8800 from the club to use as SWL in the flat using a random wire strung along the front dormer roof eaves of our top floor flat. 

And all in all it’s been a good thing to have. Transmission on HF from the flat is a non-starter but ‘short wave listening’ has been fun though very noticeable how high levels of QRN and QRM are in town with low bands (7MHz and below) giving a consistent s7-9 of ‘mush’!

Traveling home to France for Christmas 2020 allowed some testing in the relative quiet of western Brittany with different aerials and this proves the FRG8800 can really sing. It has a receiver that is both sensitive and selective and the various reviews I previously read of it prove that the attenuator is your friend on a noisy band or when listening to broadcast stations. 

So in short it’s taken me a lot of years to actually obtain a decent short wave receiver (about 40 years!) but now I’ve got one I’m pleased with it and wouldn’t be without it. 

The FRG8800 sits well in the roll top desk (alongside the IC251E and FT290R at present) but a tidy FRG7 or an FRG7700 would sit rather well alongside it in my humble opinion!

Getting the ‘new to me’ FRG7700 showed up the FRG8800 to be a bit deaf, certainly I was hearing stuff better and clearer than I had done on the newer and supposedly better radio so a trip to the UK in June 2021 called for some assistance from James M1APC who came up trumps and has serviced and fettled the FRG8800 (it had apparently suffered a front end overload at some stage prior to my tenure!) and given it a new lease of life!