The Yaesu VR-120D radio scanner is this big manufacturers answer to filling the compact wide-band scanner slot that’s very popular with scanner users. If your familiar with the Icom IC-R6 this model has pretty much the same specs.
With frequency coverage stretching from long-wave right up into the microwave bands in a tiny package they both make a good all round handheld scanner, especially if your not looking to carry too much weight around.
VR-120D Quick Specs
Frequency Coverage : 100 kHz – 1299.995 MHz (Less Cellular)
640 Memories (Alphanumeric)
Internal Ferrite Antenna For Improved AM Reception
Band Scanning Function
Approx 20 Hours From 2 x AA Batteries
Setting Up The Scanner
There’s always a certain amount of time needed when setting up a new radio straight out of the box and the multi function keys on the VR-120D can add a fair amount if you want to whack in a bunch of frequencies. Fear not, there are some viable open source, cross platform pieces of software available that make this job a whole lot quicker.
These aren’t hard to find or get hold of with a quick search online bringing up everything you need.
Please note your going to need a computer to scanner cable for the programming, if your model doesn’t come with one they can be bought separately but do shop around as the prices range wildly between retailers.
Things to Note About the VR-120D
Even though the scanner has full coverage of the HF bands there is no sideband function fitted to this model. Adding SSB and trying to keep the radio compact is a big ask with the extra knobs and circuitry needed.
If your going to be making extensive use of the HF bands getting a second antenna more suited to these frequencies will make all the difference. These aren’t expensive and collapsible types can be picked up for about $10.
The compact case means more multifunction keys and unless your a veteran scanner user there will be a little bit of a learning curve as you get used to how the radio works.
Yaesu have given some thought to the button positioning though and all four front buttons can easily by thumbed while holding the scanner in the palm of your hand, making for one handed operation once you know your way around the menus.
If your bless with huge hands it may be wise to see if you can find a VR-120D to fiddle with before buying. This unit is small by design and may be a little difficult to work with with big fingers.