Yaesu VR-500

This ultra-compact receiver from Yaesu weighs in at just 220g (which is less than 1/2 lb.) …remarkable considering the range of features available. Like the VR-120d it has a highly durable polycarbonate case.

The Yaesu VR-500 has continuous frequency coverage from 100kHz through 1299.99995 MHz (cellular frequencies blocked) including reception of narrowband FM, wideband FM (for broadcast/TV), SSB (USB/LSB), CW and AM. It has a total of 1091 memories (1000 of which are regular memories), which can be scanned at a rate of 12 channels per second. The memories can be stored in 10 banks, each of which can hold 100 channels.

Within the memory system you can use 3 different scan options, preferential memory scan, bank scan and mode scan. The Yaesu VR-500 also has 10 search band memories (frequency pairs) which can be used for “VFO” scanning to search within a certain range (this occurs at a rate of 24 channels per second). There are 19 preset “starting point” channels and 10 weather channels. 10 dual watch channels allow you to rapidly monitor 2 channels and listen in when one of them becomes active. You can also set a priority memory that will be monitored when operating elsewhere with your Yaesu VR-500, as is the case with dual watch. This scanner also has a maximum of 41 smart search memories that can be automatically memorized when sweeping a band.

Weak signals can be easily monitored thanks to a manual squelch control and a pushbutton monitor key. Direct access to an operating frequency can be achieved using the illuminated 10-key keypad. Additionally the VR-500 provides one-touch access to its 60-channel band scope for monitoring band activity above and below your listening frequency.

Other features include:
Large 24 character + 7 x 60 dot matrix display – 1 MHz fast steps for quick frequency excursions – Front end 20dB attenuator – RF squelch control – Power on/off timers – Adjustable battery saver – Extensive menu customisation – Clone capability – Computer control

Accessories:

  • BNC antenna
  • Hand strap
  • Belt clip

Programming Software for Yaesu VR-500

Experimental open source software for the Yaesu VR-500 has been developed by Robert S. Parnass, MS. This software, tk500, was primarily developed for Linux, MacOS X, and BSD users, however it will also work on Microsoft Windows. The current version of this software can program USA, Japanese and export VR-500 models.