VR-500 | Yaesu

Yaesu » VR-500

High RF sensitivity handheld scanner, receiving frequency range 0.1-1300 MHz all-mode. It features a band scope function and a easy user interface. Ideated in Japan, year of introduction 199x.

Reference market : ham-radio

General :
Frequency coverage 0.1000 ~ 1299.9995 MHz
Modulation mode CW / LSB / USB / AM / NFM / WFM
Tuning step 0.05 / 0.1 / 1 / 5 / 6.25 / 9 / 10 / 12.5 / 15 / 20 / 30 / 50 / 100 KHz
Receiver :
Sensitivity SSB / CW 0.6 uV (0.1~5 MHz, 10dB S/N)
0.5 uV (5~520 MHz, 10dB S/N)
0.8 uV (520~1300 MHz, 10dB S/N)
AM 1.5 uV (0.1~5 MHz, 10dB S/N)
1.0 uV (5~370 MHz, 10dB S/N)
NFM 0.5 uV (5~520 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
1.2 uV (520~1300 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
WFM 1.5 uV (5~370 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
1.8 uV (370~520 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
3.0 uV (520~1300 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
Selectivity [1] SSB 7 KHz (-6dB)
NFM 18 KHz (-6dB)
WFM 260 KHz (-6dB)
RF attenuator 20 dB
Features :
Memory 1000 regular memories in 10 banks
100 for skip in scan
10 for dual-watch
10 for programmed scan limits
1 priority channel
Display 100 Hz frequency resolution
10-segments signal meter bar
60-segments bandscope bar
Antenna BNC 50Ω connector
Power supply 2.2 ~ 3.5V battery, 3V nominal (2 x AA)
9 ~ 16 VDC external, center positive
Power consumption 115 mA typ
55 mA squelch on, battery save function off
15 mA squelch on, battery save function on
Audio power 125 mW with external power supply
90 mW with battery
Audio output Jack 3.5 mm
Mechanical and environmental data :
Operating temperature from -10°C to +50°C
Dimensions 58 (W) x 95 (H) x 24 (D) mm, without projections
Weight 220g with battery and antenna

[1] This parameter, not in official data, was obtained with direct tests

Description :

The VR-500 is a compact portable scanner with many useful functions and at the same time easy to operate. Allows the tuning to be set via rotary control, 20 steps per revolution, or with direct input from the keyboard. Coaxial to the tuning command is the squelch adjustment. Different search options: between band limits also with automatic storage of active channels, within the memories according to mode / preferences, free from VFO to rise / lower than the starting frequency. The latter requiring no programming, is as simple as it is effective. To facilitate the recognition of the individual memory locations, an alphanumeric label up to 8 characters long can be associated with the frequency. Alternate (non simultaneous) dual-watch listening and monitoring of a priority channel give flexibility to listening needs. The spectral panoramic analyzer instead allows to visualize the radio activity in two operative forms: In the "A" mode a fixed interval of 300 KHz (± 150) or 600 KHz (± 300) is covered independent of the tuning step. In "B" mode 60 adjacent channels (± 30 CH) are covered with total interval according to the tuning step as in the following table.

Step Frequecy range Step Frequecy range
50 Hz 3 KHz 12.5 KHz 750 KHz
100 Hz 6 KHz 15 KHz 900 KHz
1 KHz 60 KHz 20 KHz 1.2 MHz
5 KHz 300 KHz 25 KHz 1.5 MHz
6.25 KHz 375 KHz 30 KHz 1.8 MHz
9 KHz 540 KHz 50 KHz 3 MHz
10 KHz 600 KHz 100 KHz 6 MHz

The indication that appears on the display is proportional to the intensity of the signals, a marker manageable with the rotary control can be moved to one of the displayed emissions so that by disabling the analyzer the receiver automatically tunes this frequency. When the analyzer is active, normal reception is disabled. Given the wide range of memories, their structure and the many settings, programming is also possible using a PC, the programming kit (ADMS-3) with software and interface cable meets this requirement.

Performance and practical notes :

The behavior in SSB mode on bands below 30 MHz is appropriate for an device of this category. Emitters not interfered by adjacent signals are demodulated with clear audio making it possible to follow the utility radio traffic both in voice and in digital encodings. The bandwidth is determined by the IF filter dedicated to AM listening, for practical purposes this implies that the receiver is not able to really distinguish between LSB / USB. This limitation is intrinsic to the circuit configuration adopted and is also typical of portable scanners basically made for AM and FM listening.

The sensitivity with the supplied antenna is good both in VHF (low-band around 70 MHz, high-band around 160 MHz) as in UHF, since the same antenna has a poor performance on VHF the front-end of the receiver is correctly sized on a wide range of frequencies. The generation of intermodulations due to saturation in the RF stage is manifestly evident when there are strong signals, but this susceptibility is similar if not less than that found in other portable receivers. A similar consideration is given to the rejection of the image frequencies which, however, in ordinary use rarely give rise to real inconveniences.

The presence of spurious, that is signals generated by the same radio that appear as fixed carriers, is rather reduced. This aspect is relevant as it would degrade the scanning functions. We performed a test to measure the frequencies and amplitude of spurs that fall in the bands between 108-174 MHz and 430-440 MHz, the most important for the user. With the scanner in narrow-band FM mode and with 12.5 KHz steps, the entire frequency range has been tuned manually. The squelch has been left open so as to check the presence of even the weakest components. Following the complete list of channels where spurious appear:

125.1375 only increase background noise
125.2000 only increase background noise
130.5500 only increase background noise
130.7500 only increase background noise
132.3500 only increase background noise
453.9500 signal at level 4 on S-meter
453.9875 signal at level 7 on S-meter
454.0500 signal at level 3 on S-meter
454.0875 signal at level 7 on S-meter
459.3625 only increase background noise
459.4625 only increase background noise
461.1750 only increase background noise
461.2750 only increase background noise
462.5500 only increase background noise
463.3000 only increase background noise
466.1375 only increase background noise
466.9375 only increase background noise
467.0375 only increase background noise
468.3500 signal at level 3 on S-meter
468.3625 signal at level 7 on S-meter
468.4000 only increase background noise
468.4250 only increase background noise

Overall, the result is certainly better than the average of handheld scanner. For completeness we specify that the tests were performed first by connecting a small 50 Ω load to the input and then with the supplied antenna. The double test was used to check the origin of the signals by removing all the uncertainties.

Valuation :

Dynamic range
Spurious response
Signal functions
Control functions
User friendly

Stars: 1=insufficient, 2=just sufficient, 3=mediocre, 4=good, 5=excellent

Review :

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