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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Yaesu VX-7R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu VX-7R
Yaesu VX-7R Reviews: 311 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $369.00
Description: Quad band Hand held Xcvr
Product is in production.
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VK4FIAT Rating: 5/5 Dec 8, 2014 19:50 Send this review to a friend
Wide coverage, good for emergency communication   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I know a lot of reviews negative about the VX7R, but on my expirience this HT saves the day.
I got this second hand, un moded, after I do the wideband mods, I started to use it at work. I am working on an Airline company as an Avionics Engineer, sometimes I do riding on brakes from hangar to the airport bay's.
One afternoon during tow From hangar to the allocated bay,, the Auxiliary power unit failed (APU supplying bleed air/ air conditioning and electricity to the aircraft), while we are on hold short taxi way H3, awaiting clearance from the tower to cross runway, since aircraft on tow is the last priority, I need to turn off my battery to prevent it from discharging. Prior to turn it off I call the tug that I'm turning off the battery, intercom won't work, so I advised him to standby on the company frequency.
Since Yaesu VX7R is dual receive, I can still monitor The Tower(awareness for aircraft movements on airside) while at the same time monitoring on the company frequency. My VX7 did its job, modulation was not a problem, receiving was loud and clear + I attached the Flight crew headset (using CT91) headset adaptor for David Clark headset and put to Vox on level 5. Thanks for the Yaesu company, VX7 saves the day. Yes it did transmit on airband as my company frequency is using airband. Highly recommended. I know from the start I had a lot of finger trouble(part of my learning curve). So far so good, loving it.
VK3FMJA Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2014 20:41 Send this review to a friend
MASTERPIECE  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is my FIRST handheld radio and I have no complains. The specs of this radio and capabilty is unbelievable. This radio is built to last... The price is a bit dear but its worth paying for.

N8ZEE Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2013 15:23 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have both the VX-7 and VX-6. This little hand held is a great little radio. It has good audio for a hand held, and being able to survive in the rain is a real plus. I take it with me when I go Backpacking and charge it with a solar charger. Have not babied it, and it has always come through. I will leave my callsign (N8ZEE), because I am not worried about feed back.
G3GJW Rating: 4/5 Jan 3, 2013 10:26 Send this review to a friend
It works!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used the VX-7R since it first available in G, regularly for emergency service use in bad weather. I agree that the stock ant is deaf and that the batteries run down quickly - but it does what it is meant to do. Do handheld perfectionists ever test competitive handhelds before chosing one?
DL7ISA Rating: 0/5 Jan 3, 2013 01:10 Send this review to a friend
rubbish  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
the receiver easily overloads and produces distortions. the modulation sounds muffled. an about 20 year old handheld transceiver i bought for 50 (about US$70) used, sounded much better than this. the rubber on the headset connector should be screwed, not plugged, that would hinder the rubber comming of accidently and water running into the device. the vx7r is supposed to be waterproof. there is lots of menues to play with but the most important is what this device has not: a good receiver and a good transmitter. what dissapointed me most is the receiver, a stronger signal nearby the frequency overloads the receiver and then the audio sounds somewhat fizling/hissy. if i buy a handheld transceiver again, it will be a made in china thing that costs 7 times less and does the same job better.
WA1SEO Rating: 3/5 Dec 23, 2012 06:07 Send this review to a friend
I want to like this radio but,..  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I really want to like this radio but I find that I use it to listen to the FM broadcast stations more than anything else. The receiver is as good as any other small HT. The audio is fine although not great. There are a lot of menus that don't operate the way other Yaesu HT's do so it is a bit confusing going between them. The display is small and hard to read at times due to it being a dot matrix. The battery life is lousy if you have the disply ON when the unit is OFF. The scanning operation is painfully slow! Would I buy one? Maybe. I received mine in a trade deal. I'm thinking that this may be a good radio for an emergency box since it runs on lithium batteries. You can keep them charged up and they exhibit very low discharge (with the LCD off). They also make an AA battery back.
KK6AIW Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2012 12:50 Send this review to a friend
Luv it : )  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Awesome radio, got for its water proof abilities and its ruggedness. Came from using a Wouxun and the difference in quality is very noticeable. I like the fact that you can open up the radio using the commander software for emergency transmitting.
KA3RCS Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2012 23:22 Send this review to a friend
Best. HT. Ever.  Time owned: more than 12 months
The VX-7 is the single most refined, rugged, versatile, and reliable handheld radio which I have ever encountered. It is a marvel of precision engineering and manufacturing, with a feel of quality which is difficult to describe. I have a lot of other radios, and have used many more yet, and there just isn't anything else out there which can touch this model. The VX-7 is the gold standard (OK, the magnesium standard ;) by which I judge all other HTs. I have a total of three of them now; two of which I bought new about 10 years ago, and the other which I picked up used but in mint condition at a hamfest a few years ago. I have never had a single failure of any sort with any of them; they are absolutely rock-solid reliable. The VX-7 is the one radio which accompanies me on every single trip, including low-profile international travel. I always have one along when hiking or geocaching in the woods, bicycling, off-roading in the desert, you name it. The knowledge that I have such reliable and versatile communications capability at my fingertips provides a great sense of preparedness.

I should mention that all of mine are the black versions; I don't really care for the look of the silver model, particularly as so many of the accessories (such as batteries) are only available in black.

The performance of such a small radio with such wide frequency coverage in any given area cannot reasonably be expected to equal that of a large, single-band radio with massive helical filters and so on. Just the helicals in something like a Clegg FM-28 are about as large as the entire VX-7! However, the versatility of having the equivalent of literally six* separate radios back in the day, smaller and far more rugged than any one of them, and with significantly more features than all of them combined, is beyond compare. The attenuator also helps a lot in a high RF environment.

(* Six radios: 6 meter HT, 2 meter HT, 220 MHz HT, 440 MHz HT, AM/FM/SW portable receiver, and VHF low/VHF high/UHF scanner receiver)

And did I mention that it is WATERPROOF?!?

Speaking of which, there exists a very unfortunate tendency among some VX-7 owners to compromise the structural integrity of these artful masterpieces of industrial design in the name of alleged improvement in transmit audio. The radio incorporates a waterproof membrane over the condenser microphone element to keep water out. Sadly, some barbarians feel the need to mutilate the radio by puncturing said membrane, as they are led to believe that doing so is necessary to make the radio provide good transmit audio. I cringe whenever this topic comes up, as the waterproofing was one of the most important innovations introduced by this radio! The TX audio is actually not bad at all to start with, and if one really feels the need for better audio, it is trivial (and not damaging!) to use a non-waterproof speaker/mic.

Some people evaluate an HT based on its performance with the included stock rubber duck antenna. This is nearly always a recipe for disappointment, as stock HT antennas typically offer rather poor performance (the only real exceptions which come to mind at the moment are those included with the Standard C558A and, oddly enough, the Baofeng UV-3R Mark II). They are typically less flexible than superior aftermarket antennas, and are obviously especially poor on very low frequencies (such as 6 meters and AM/SW reception). They should be viewed as starter antennas, much like the reduced capacity ink or toner cartridges often supplied with printers. The likes of Diamond, Maldol, and Comet offer an array of antennas which augment the performance of the overall system very nicely. It is trivial to carry a small assortment of antennas optimized for specific band combinations and usage scenarios, along with the other necessary accessories such as spare batteries and ligher socket power cables, and still much more convenient than carrying multiple radios. I also carry a small coil of Teflon insulated wire (about 6 feet or so) attached to an SMA connector, which serves as an AM/SW wire antenna. I have even wrapped a few turns of it around the line cord of a table lamp to enhance SW reception by using the AC wiring as a makeshift SW antenna, which often works surprisingly well.

The display on the VX-7 is a masterpiece. It shows a wide array of very useful information, and puts the radio in a totally different league than most HTs. Seeing the frequency, memory channel number, alpha tag, battery voltage, signal strength, TX power level, preferential scan tag, receive mode, squelch mode, and more, all at once, is superb. I cannot comprehend the mindset of those who actually prefer the display on the VX-6, which is an evolutionary throwback to the era of the FT-50 (not that the '50 is a bad radio, but I am quite glad for the advancements made since the '90s and don't want to go backwards).

The menu system on the VX-7 may have a few quirks, but overall I like it better than that of any other HT as well. Here again, I am mystified by the VX-6 proponents who prefer having fewer capabilities, and having features tied to buttons rather than being located logically in a menu.

Computer programming is essential to really take advantage of the memory capabilities of this radio, and thankfully, there exist multiple free options as well as the official commercial software. My favorite has been VX-7 Commander, with OpenOffice or LibreOffice Calc used to do the actual editing, then exported to CSV, though I've recently begun using Chirp as well for other radios. The programming interface is compatible electrically with that of many other radios (including the VX-5, VR-500, FT-50, Icom IC-2720H, and Alinco DJ-G29T as far as my collection), requiring at most a connector adapter. The most versatile has been the old RT Systems cable which I originally got for the VR-500, with a small Dremel tool modification to the 3-pin to 4-pin adapter so that it plugs into the waterproof connector on the VX-7. That cable and adapter will program all of the above radios (and more). I should also mention that I use those cables with FTDI US232R USB to serial adapters, which work flawlessly on any computer and OS combination which I have tried. Also, cloning from one radio to another works very well and is quite handy when one has more than one of the same model. I just turn the receive volume all the way down on both radios and use a 3-pin male to male cable with two of the appropriate adapters.

I'm not sure why I've seen comments about the key legends wearing off, as all three of mine look nearly perfect, and two of them have been around for a decade. Then again, I suppose that some people don't keep them in cases...each of mine lives in a CSC-88, and I naturally try to take good care of them.

In summary, if I could only have one piece of radio equipment, I think this would have to be it. A rating of 5 doesn't do it justice.
KC2SYK Rating: 3/5 Oct 16, 2012 10:08 Send this review to a friend
Has issues  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my VX-7R since 2008. It is my first and only HT. In using it I have some observations. YMMV.

The transceiver works pretty well for 2m and 440. 6m is near-useless. 6m requires a loading coil on the included rubber duck, or aftermarket antenna. Even with the loading coil, the 6m range is limited due to the inefficient antenna. 220 is QRP, but functional.

The microphone is very insensitive due to waterproofing. I got bad reports on the air and I've had to switch to an external mic.

Frequency coverage on the VX-7R is pretty good, but the receiver in AM mode is terrible. It seems to be lack of AGC or something, since I have to crank the volume. The 900 MHz (USA) ham band is partially blocked although you are able to tune to frequencies above it.

Regarding the physical controls, I dislike the knobs. The volume control is in big steps. The frequency control knob is very easy to hit accidentally while walking or in a bag, and it does not lock.

The 2x AA battery adapter has a circuit to boost the output voltage to 4.5V. This drains the AAs if left in the adapter.

Otherwise, features work and it is pretty solidly built. My toddler even dropped it in the water, so the waterproofing has worked for me.

In hindsight, I think I might have preferred the Kenwood TH-F6A instead.
M0TWA Rating: 1/5 Oct 14, 2012 21:31 Send this review to a friend
worst radio I have ever owned  Time owned: more than 12 months
Poor to navigate, menus are not intuitive at all, rx is wide open to all manner local rf..probably the reason why the supplied antenna is like a dummy load by design, to desensitize the front end..then you put a good antenna on it and can hear everything! and I mean everything!!.. battery life is terrible even on low the u.k the cost of a spare battery is rediculous..wont even sell this on to another ham...would feel too guilty! AVOID!!
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