Now in the shack: A Yaesu Musen FRG-7

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Photo sent by Shawn.

In late May, as I was packing for two months of travel in Canada, I received a message from long-time SWLing Post reader, Shawn Aiken.  Shawn was seeking the right home for his Yaesu FRG-7 and Hallicrafters S-38 receivers.

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I was very interested–especially in the FRG-7. Many SWL friends (Robert Gulley and Mike Hansgen, to name just a couple) love their FRG-7s. I’d been waiting for the right opportunity to snag one at a local hamfest. I’m also a Hallicrafters fan and love the front panel design of the S-38 series: so classy.

I asked Shawn how much he’d like for the receivers–I was very much interested.

Not only would he not accept payment, but he insisted on paying the shipping as well. I felt apprehensive about accepting such a generous gift. Shawn replied:

“Although I understand your reticence, Thomas, just count this as one of the perks of the job that you’ve undertaken and, from what I can tell from a distance, taken on and done well.”

That statement made my day. Thanks, Shawn!

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The FRG-7 now sits in my shack and I’m learning my way around its unique tuning mechanism. It’s a beauty, too: I love the utilitarian front panel and dials/controls.

Other than needing a little DeOxit on some of the pots and switches, it works beautifully!

I’ve been so busy since returning from Canada, I haven’t had the FRG-7 on the air much. That’ll all change, though, as my Fall/Winter listening season kicks in. I’m already looking forward to it.

Thanks again, Shawn! I’ll make sure both of these radios have a good home here in my shack!

Readers: Do you have a Yaesu FRG-7? Any tips/tricks? Please comment!

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21 thoughts on “Now in the shack: A Yaesu Musen FRG-7

  1. Jef Heuvelmans

    Had an FRG-7 and just now bought one again. The first one i had fitted some better filtering and a tuning knob with coarse and fine speed. Also the lights i changed to led’s. Great radio

    Reply
  2. Larry

    I’ve had mine for 40 years. Still works and I am listening to my FRG-7 (without fine tuning) this second.

    Reply
  3. Chris

    Took a chance and scored one on the goodwill auction site. Looks very nice in the pics. Arrives this Friday, can’t wait!

    Reply
  4. Travis

    Just upgraded from a grundig g6 portable to a yaesu frg 7. I’m looking into different indoor antennas, I still have my sangean ant-60 reel type, is there an adapter out there that’ll work with this radio and a 3.5 mm plug? I’m giving myself a headache trying to find one. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Michael Black

    Someone locally is trying to sell the Radio Shack receiver with the Wadley loop, originally $100 but it’s beeen $85 for weeks. I’m almost tempted, it’s not often that desktop receivers appear locally, portables having taken over. Though later in a different venue, someone has n FRG-7 for $200. That’s ä better deal than the Radio Shack DX-150 or 160 for $150.

    Michael

    Reply
  6. CECIL WEINSTEIN

    Thomas, get a 3N211 MOSFET from Dans small parts and kits for the front end in case yours goes out and also a 455 filter for it from UNIVERSAL RADIO. I got mine FRG-7 from universal radio just a few months ago will keep it for a while. CECIL N0EHP

    Reply
  7. John Mosman

    Lent mine to a woman friend’s son and after breaking up did not get it back. The radio has the digital readout, which if I remember correctly did not show the megahertz, just the last three digits of the frequency. I still have great memories and you are fortunate you found one.

    Reply
  8. DanH

    Good luck on the FRG-7, Thomas. I’m sure you will enjoy getting accustomed to this fine receiver. I never used one but have read plenty about them

    Here in Northern California on the 106 ft. random/longwire the fall propagation is definitely coming into play. I’m just beginning to hear Radio Thailand, Voice of Greece and Vatican Radio again during early evenings, but not quite good copy from them. These will no doubt get stronger during the next few weeks. VO Turkey and R Romania are good during evenings, especially when the solar flux index is over 90 with a quiet magnetic field: as happened last Friday and Saturday. My mornings are a shortwave zoo for a few hours after dawn. Stations all over the 31 and 25 meter bands. BBC still strong on 11890 kHz and also on 31 meters. RNZI and R Australia are still easy catches mornings and evenings. I use two receivers for SWLing: Hammarlund SP-600 JX-21 and Sangean ATS-909X. Most of time the SP-600 wins but the 909X will sometimes provide best reception with DSP cutting through the noise. Guess that’s why I use two radios.

    Reply
    1. DanH

      I must admit, 24 hours makes a huge difference in SW reception. Last evening ( a day after posting) VO Greece, R Romania and VO Turkey were booming in on the West Coast. This was a huge improvement over 24 hours earlier. I opened up the 8 kHz filter on the SP-600 for all three of them and rocked out a bit. Strange thing was: conditions were forecast to be only slightly better on these bands. Tuning in means more than propagation forecasts. 🙂

      Reply
      1. DanH

        Right now at 1528 UTC I’m rocking BBC from Kranji on 11890kHz. using the 8 kHz filter on the SP-600. The warm sun is beaning onto the garage workbench.

        Reply
  9. Rob

    I have one, my first real SW (actually my first SW was the S38–the mother of all junk!). Nice radio (mine had a Collins mechanical filter), still have it (35 years later). Have my Drake R8A for everyday listening of empty bands. 🙁

    Reply
  10. Neil Goldstein

    I picked up the Sears version of the FRG-7 at a flea market a few years ago. Very clean, except also needing the deoxit. This one had the GILFER mods performed, and came with the documentation for the mods, and the original manual. It sits on my workbench (shack #2) in the garage, and is my go-to radio for listening to RHC, R. Australia, BCB, and for quick scans of the Ham bands to check conditions.

    The main reason for wanting it was that it was my “rosebud” radio when I was a kid. I saved my dollars up for a radio when I was 12, and the FRG was way out of my reach. I ended up with a Panasonic RF-2200, which was no disappointment, but still NOT the Yaesu.

    I recently wrote about the Yaesu, and the flea market I acquired it from here: http://fofio.blogspot.com/2016/09/stormville-finds.html

    Reply
  11. ULIS FLEMING @UlisK3LU

    Congrats Thomas on the FRG7! Lucky you it has the FINE TUNING. The radio was revolutionary for it’s time with the revolutionary Wadley Loop tuning system. Indeed the FRG7 is a knob twisters dream radio. The FRoG Seven was one of the serious benchmark SWL receivers when I was a kid that all the many of the top DXers had on their desks in the 1970s and I swore one day I would get one. As many of your readers will remember Sears even came out with their own SEARS branded version of this iconic Yaesu radio. No it’s not a DX machine anymore compared to the computer based SDRs and more modern general coverage receivers with sync detectors, digital readout and better filtering but it sure does sound nice. The FRG7 reliable and just flat out fun to use. My advise is don’t be afraid to use it once in a while. Have fun and take care of it! 73 de Ulis K3LU

    PS: By the way, you are better off with the FRG7 than the S38. While an entirely different radio from a different era that gave many SWLs and kid Novice hams their start in radio, it can be a real death trap without an isolation transformer.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Thanks for the comment, Ulis (and everyone)!

      Yes, I do feel lucky indeed and I’ve moved the FRG-7 on top of my Scott Marine SLR-M–which means, it’s very easy to operate on a daily basis.

      I’m having a lot of fun with the Frog!

      And good point about the S-38: I’ll put the Hallicrafters on an isolation transformer and GFCI outlet once it’s restored.

      Reply
  12. Michael McShan

    Enjoy your FROG – I really like mine, and it’s my default receiver for relaxed listening. Although I’m doing a lot of downsizing these days, the FRG-7 stays on my “keeper”list.

    Reply
  13. Jim handcock

    I bought one of the very first Frog Sevens, before the fine tune was added. I shipped it off to Gilfer and then to Radio West to have the the fine tune knob added and also an SSB filter and the outboard digital readout unit.

    I still use and value that radio today.

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Now in the shack: A Yaesu Musen FRG-7 – dxradio.de

  15. Rob

    As I mentioned in another thread I really miss my “FROG”. It was my first real SW receiver and I had fun experimenting with antennas on it. I was SWLing with it in the late 70s and early 80s which was a fun time to be listening. There are some aftermarket filters available for this radio. Would love to get a deal like you did! I would have given it a great, loving home. 😉

    Reply
  16. Paul Campbell

    I have had my FRG7 for 30 odd years and it’s given great service. The only real drawback is that the filtering is a little wide for SSB. I use the ATU from the later FRG7700 and its a good combination. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have! 73s Paul in UK.

    Reply

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