The Yaesu FT-7900r is the ideal ham radio for any user with the need for simplex, FM satellite operation, or repeater on both UHF and VHF bands. It outstands other models because it lacks the complications of those models. This radio has a high performance in receiving signals and messages. The producers didn’t betray the trust of consumers on this one.
The dual-band radio operates on both 2m and 70cm. It has a 50 watts high power output on 144 MHz and 40 watts power output on 430 MHz. CTCSS encode, or DCS decode, is built on the radio, and there are about a thousand available memories.
This device has a properly designed, ruggedly-built front panel for simple, easy and safe operation. It is the ideal amateur radio for users who do not need cross-band repeat complications for commercial radios.
Table of Contents
Considerations for Choosing Yaesu Ft-7900r Radio
This radio gives one of the best audios you can get on ham radio. With a wide range of frequency for receiving, you enjoy clear sounds on all frequencies. If you are close enough, you can even pick up an Airband reception from an airport with good audio. The radio picks up very weak signals and still gives clear communication either you are transmitting or receiving.
Ease of Use
This factor is an important consideration for every ham radio user, especially when used in a vehicle. This Yaesu ham radio has a large display to enhance visibility, which is important while you are driving, and you need to read alerts at a glance. The backlit display also contributes to this despite the lighting condition of the environment.
Programming and setting up this device are also made a lot easier with the programming software, which equally contributes to ease of use.
The channel storage also helps you to easily access any favorite channel of yours with a single touch. Initial programming of the 1000 available memory channels can be quite a process, but it provides fast and easy means of connecting to channels—the radio stores the mode and power output and frequencies.
The microphone has controls that make one-handed usage possible for the convenience of drivers.
Features of the Yaesu Ft-7900r Radio
High Power Output
Providing 50 watts power output on 144 MHz and 40 watts on 430 MHz is a big feat for amateur radio. This massive power output translates to high functionality and performance, which is evident in the radio’s receiving.
Its RD70HVF1 Power MOS FET amplifier generates the high-power output of the radio. With such high-power output, it is important to regulate temperature rise from heat generation. The radio uses a direct-flow heat sink and a thermostatically-controlled cooling fan that keeps the radio within a safe temperature range for the transceiver’s circuitry’s optimum performance to ensure temperature control.
The radio manufacturers did put energy consumption into consideration and, as such, provided options for three lower power levels. It means that you can always choose the power output that suits your need and situation without having to use more power than you need. The power levels are stored in regular and hyper memory registers.
The scan feature of this radio outperforms most radio in speed and efficiency. You do not experience total stops while scanning if there is an issue. In a situation where the squelch breaks, the radio momentarily stops scanning and resumes when the frequency it picks up de-keys without any external input. This mode of operation is better than stopping scanning completely until you push for scanning to resume. The radio also scans through your saved memories.
There are three options available for the scan-resume mode; Busy, Time and Hold.
When the scanner is in the Busy mode, it will halt on upon encountering an active channel. However, it will resume scanning in about two seconds after the carrier has dropped because the other station(s) lost transmission.
In the Time mode, the scanner will stop when it picks up a signal and wait for five seconds. In those five seconds, you have the option to disable the scanner, and scanning will stop; otherwise, it resumes scanning regardless of whether there is an active channel in use or not.
While in the hold mode, the scanner doesn’t automatically restart after it stops scanning because it has locked on to a signal. If you want to resume scanning, rotate the DIAL knob to re-initiate the process.
You can scan in both VFO and Memory mode.
The radio has a large backlit display that enhances visibility no matter the lighting in your environment. This display keeps you updated on the status of your radio.
You can adjust the brightness of your LC-display manually to avoid disruption of night vision while driving. The followings are the steps to adjust display brightness:
- Press and hold the BAND(SET) key to enter into the set mode.
- Rotate the DIAL knob to select the eleventh menu. You can follow up on the menu selection by using the display.
- Press the BAND(SET) key again, this time momentarily, and then rotate the DIAL knob to adjust the brightness to the desired level.
- Save the settings by pressing the BAND(SET) key momentarily and hold the key for 1/2 second to exit to normal operations.
Wide Receiver Frequency Coverage
You have a wide frequency coverage with this radio; hence you can enjoy a large expanse of communication. The ft-7900r covers 108 to 520 MHz and 700-900 MHz, which is cellular blocked. The frequency range allows you to monitor various stations, including public safety, AM aircraft, government, business, and amateur communications. You also enjoy the automatic selection of synthesizer steps that are appropriate for the operating band.
There are five-panel keys at the front of the radio that allows you to complete transceiver configuration status. After this configuration has been stored, you can conveniently recall them with just one touch. You have the luxury of recalling your favorite frequencies and channels in all the operating bands (including receive-only bands) in a single touch of a button so long as they have been previously set and stored.
There are over 1000 memory channels on this radio. With this incredible memory capacity, you can store a 6-character alpha-numeric text to label or register each channel. This labeling helps identify each stored channel as it is stressful to register each channel frequency by heart, especially when they are up to a thousand. The memories may be stored in groups since the radio has about 20 memory groups. It is also possible to store a particular memory channel in multiple groups.
The FT-7900r Yaesu radio has a dedicated special memory bank that recalls the ten NOAA weather frequencies instantly. The weather alert feature allows you to connect to the NOAA weather channel to update weather conditions around you.
You also have a special feature on this radio called the Severe Weather Alert that notifies you via an alarm when the NOAA channel broadcasts an alert during a severe weather live broadcast. The Severe Weather Alert helps you stay safe and away from regions with severe or upcoming severe weather conditions. This weather alert feature is only available on the US version of the radio.
Remote Mounting Kit
Manufacturers of this radio have made available an optional YSK-7800 separation kit, comprising a cable and bracket for the front panel with which you can mouth your radio’s front panel on surfaces like your vehicle’s dashboard. You can then stow the radio’s body in a not obstructive location, probably under your car seat or between the driver and passenger’s seat.
The radio has provision for remote head mounting by using separation kits, allowing users to install their radio even in the most compact of cars.
The mounting kit allows convenience in the use of the radio. The cables are about 20 feet in length, so this gives you enough room to find a perfect position for your radio away from the front panel while you mount it (the front panel) in a visible spot.
You can lock the major switches and panels on this radio to prevent accidental frequency change or input of functions. You can lock the panel switches, microphone switches (excluding the PTT switch), and the DIAL knob.
To activate this feature, long-press the Lock key, and the display will show the lock icon to indicate that your radio is in lock mode. Repeat this procedure to unlock your radio.
The radio has access to the Yaesu’s Wide-coverage Internet Repeater Enhancement System (WiRES). This access is provided by the radio’s DTMF signaling capability. The implication of this is that you can link internet nodes and other linking systems that require a DTMF string for access with your radio.
Control and Switches
The controls and switches of this radio are for fast function selections. There are front, side, and rear panel controls on this radio.
- Front Panel Control
- VOL Knob is used to adjust the volume of the receiver’s audio. Turn clockwise to increase volume and anti-clockwise to decrease audio levels.
- The SQL Knob is used to set the thresh hold level for noise or incoming signals at which squelch will be opened. In setting this, turn the knob clockwise up until the point where you can no longer hear any noise, and the “busy” indicator on your display goes off. Setting this properly helps to provide sensitivity to weak incoming signals.
- Hyper Memory Buttons: With these buttons, you can store total radio configuration into a particular memory bank to recall any time desired. Long-press this button for 2 seconds to store configurations.
- MHz (PRI) Key: This key allows you to tune in one MHz step on the VFO frequency while your radio is in the VFO mode. If the radio is in memory mode, press this key momentarily to allow tuning in 10 channel steps on the memory channel.
You can also use this key to activate priority channel scanning by pressing the key for half a second.
- TONE(HM/RV) Key: Momentarily pressing the key changes the tone squelch mode. When you press and hold for half a second, you reverse the transmit and receive frequencies during repeater operation.
- LOW(ACC) Key can be used to select power output levels. You can also use this to recall weather broadcast channels by pressing and holding for half a second.
- BAND(SET) Key, which helps to toggle bands while the radio is in VFO mode. In the memory mode, momentarily pressing this key will activate the “memory Tune” function. You can also long-press the key for half a second to enter into the “menu” mode.
- V/M(MW) Key, which can be used to momentarily change the radio frequency mode from VFO to memory mode or even home channel; you can transfer the VFO contents of the radio to a memory bank by pressing and holding this key for 1/2 second.
- SCAN(SEL) Key is used to activate the scanner and select scan modes.
- S.SCH(ARTS) Key is used to activate Smart Search Feature. To use this key to activate ARTS, press and hold for 1/2 second.
- DIAL Knob: this is the tuning dial for the receiver. The 20-position rotary switch is used mostly for tuning, memory selection, and function setting tasks on the receiver.
- PWR Switch, which you use to power on or off the system by pressing and holding down.
- L Key used to activate internet connection. It can also be used to toggle the Lockout feature.
- Side Panel Connection and Knob
- MIC Jack: this is located on the right side of the radio, and it is the port where you can connect your microphone.
- Front Panel Release Knob: This knob can be found on the left side of the radio. Pressing the knob will unlock the front panel from the transceiver’s body for remote head operations.
- Back/Rear panel Connection
- ANT jack: This is where you will connect your antenna using either a type-M plug or type-N plug and a coaxial cable, depending on what version of radio you have according to your location.
- Cooling fan: The cooling fan is located at the rear part of the radio. It rotates during transmission and every 30seconds after the radio returns to receive mode. The fan rotates to maintain a stable and optimum temperature for the radio system.
- DATA jack: this provides interfacing to a packet Terminal Node Controller for 1200 bps or 9600 bps operation.
- EXT SP Jack: This provides audio output for an optional speaker.
- DC Cable Pigtails: The 13.8V DC power supplies connection for the transceiver from the vehicle’s battery. You should make sure that the red lead connects with the power source’s positive terminal while the black lead connects with the negative terminal.
Accessories and Components
With time due to wear and tear, you may have to replace some radio accessories or parts. To ensure continuity of function and performance, you have to use the right components or accessories. Below are the recommended accessories and components for the Yaesu ft-7900r radio.
- DC Power Cables
Use only the Yaesu DC power cord is suitable for VHF and UHF mobiles. It has a two-pin style connector and 15A in-line fuses that make it suitable for a wide range of brands, including this radio.
- Hand Microphones
When choosing a hand microphone, go for the DTMF 6-pin modular RJ-11 hand microphone. The hand microphone allows a user to transmit even while driving because of its one-handed use.
- Separation Cables
The separation kit contains the separation cables and mounting hardware. This accessory helps to mount your device front panel in a convenient location while you put away the main radio in a less conspicuous location.
If there is the need to replace any component of the kit, choose the YSU-YSK-7800 Yaesu separation cables.
Replaceable parts of the ft-7900r radio include the cooling fan, vertical antennas, communication speakers, antenna magnet mount, transceiver mounting brackets, power supplies, mobile speakers, microphone adapter cables, mobile antenna mounts, and packet cables.
The Yaesu ft-7900r possesses additional features that improve usage. The radio has a convenient access key WiRES connection, a transmit Time-out Turner (TOT), an automatic Power-Off (APO) feature that helps to conserve energy, and an Automatic Repeater shift (ARS) and an exclusive Yaesu Auto-Range Transponder System (ARTS). The ARTS alerts the user when the radio is out of communication range with another ARTS equipped station.
The radio also has an RF squelch circuit that allows users to program the squelch to open at a programmable S-meter setting, hence reducing trial by error setting of the squelch threshold.
You must install your radio properly if you expect optimum performance. The first step after purchasing your radio is to determine that the radio is not faulty in any form. Check for controls and switches and test to see that they all functioning well. Also, shake the transceiver gently to ascertain that no internal screw or part is loosened or damaged as all of that might cause malfunctioning of the device.
You should carefully select a position to install your transceiver. Do not install the radio near a heat-generating device or in a non-ventilated area. Try not to place things like books or equipment on the radio. Proper handling of the radio is important for good use.
The recommended antenna for this radio should have an impedance in the neighborhood of 50 ohms at all the operating frequencies. Please do not allow a transmission without an antenna because this will not only impair connection; it can also damage the device. The antenna in use must also handle the maximum 50 watts power output of this device.
A broadband antenna is also advisable to accommodate the wide frequency range of the device. You may want to use a vertical antenna, but if you have a directional antenna, try to orient it to produce vertical polarization when installing.
Ensure your vehicle has a 13.8 volts negative ground electrical system before installing and connecting your radio. Once you have ascertained that the vehicle has a negative system, choose a suitable location for installation, where you can easily access the radio’s front panel and buttons even while you are driving.
How to Program your Yaesu FT-7900r
You can program this radio manually. Manual programming is, however, very tiresome because the ft-7900r is heavily menu-driven. Programming about 1000 channels can take quite some time. The programming software, however, makes the programming process a lot easier and faster.
The programming software doesn’t come free with the radio; hence you have to purchase separately. There are a few programs made by radio enthusiasts that come at relatively low prices, which you can use to program your radio.
Using the software, you have the opportunity to back up your ham radio. The back-up will come in handy whenever you need to reset your radio for any reason.
The menu guide or manual helps through the programming process b, and you may want to have it within reach while you are trying to program your radio.
You can also transfer all the data and settings stored in one FT-7900r to another through cloning. For this, you will need the recommended cloning table that connects the DATA jacks of both radios. The Yaesu FT-7900r manual gives a detailed step by step procedure on how to clone your radio.
The FT-7900r has been in the market for a while and has managed to remain top-ranked and popular among both new and experienced radio operators who desire a quality dual-band radio for their vehicles.
Covering both 2 meters and 70 centimeters on VHF and UHF band with very generous power output has been one of the radio’s unbeatable features that stands it out among other ham radio.
While you may need a license to use this radio, at least a technician class license, its use and handling are pretty much easy and direct. Programming this radio is simple with the software, and you also have the advantage of manual programming, though more tedious and requiring some level of technical expertise.
The radio isn’t limited to its transmit dual-band (2m and 70cm). It also receives on a wide range of frequencies, which allows users to connect to key stations. This coverage contributes to making the radio a good all-rounder that serves any driver or vehicle owner. It can also be used at home with a suitable power supply.