The Yaesu Receiver...

    The Yaesu FRG-9600 receiver was introduced around 1985, as a companion to amateur radio operators for their transmitters.  This receiver enjoys the distinction of being one of the (if not the) first receivers capable of computer control.  Even though this control was primitive (only simple commands could be sent, with no signal strength, squelch control, etc. being reported to the PC, and those commands had to pass through a Yeasu-supplied interface that was expensive) compared to today's receivers, it opened up another aspect of the hobby that has not been duplicated, at least not until the introduction of the Trunktracker scanners in 1997.

    From the manual:  "Providing features that have never been offered before, the FRG-9600 is an all-mode scanning receiver that covers 60 through 905 MHz continuously and comes complete with 100 keypad-programmable memory channels.

    "In addition to FM-Wide (for FM and Television broadcasts), FM-Narrow (for two-way police, military, business and amateur communications) and AM wide and narrow (for aeronautical and amateur communications), the FRG-9600 also provides SSB (single-sideband) reception up to 460 MHz, allowing reception of amateur and military SSB..."

    As you can see, not a lightweight.  Nevertheless, there has been some discussion regarding this receiver and its supposedly weak sensitivity.  The unit, to the contrary, is very sensitive to incoming signals, even distant ones.  The built-in attenuator assists greatly in keep the front end from overloading.  These units can still be located at the occasional hamfest, or offered for sale by a private party, but they are becoming scare:  Apparently the nostalgia factor is as high as the practical aspects.  I have owned one of these units for ten years and still enjoy it as much as ever now as I did then.

    My little receiver does contain some modifications over the years.  One of the first was the addition of the NTSC video unit, available (at that time) from EEB in Vienna, VA for about $25.  The instructions were simple and concise, and installation was a snap.  Definitely worth the time and money, if you can find one!

    There are other modifications available for those handy with a soldering iron and patience.  One of these (which I have tried as well) will increase the frequency range of the unit, from 20 MHz to 920 MHz, as well as fine tuning those frequencies above 900 MHz, once they are active.

    You can also tap the discriminator circuitry to decode POCSAG digital information used by many contemporary pagers.  This particular modification I haven't tried as yet.  would be interested in anyone who has and what the outcome was.

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