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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: 310 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $369.00
Description: Quad band Hand held Xcvr
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Yaesu VX-7R.

<— Page 2 of 31 —>

MW1FJK Rating: 4/5 Jun 16, 2012 13:07 Send this review to a friend
As god a I need  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Does eveything I need without many if any of the described problems on here. So good I've got two, one for general out and about and dog walking. The other is i n the works van with a tiny mag mount on the roof, as we are not allowed radios. Both were bought secondhand and I'm happy enough. Thats the only reason for a 4 and not 5 as I did not buy brand new, so cannot comment on out the box performance.
 
KR0L Rating: 4/5 Apr 30, 2012 18:25 Send this review to a friend
Incredibly durable, but dated feature set for the price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I blogged about three HTs today at http://changelog.complete.org/archives/7501-review-amateur-radio-handhelds-hts-aprs-and-battery-tuning-tips - since this is very long already, I'm including only the VX-7R bits and skipping the comparisons.

Here's what I wrote...

This was the first HT I got as a ham, at the suggestion of Mike AE0MW. It truly does make a great first handheld for a ham. Radio-wise, one unique feature is a receive that’s wideband enough to cover both broadcast FM and broadcast AM, the various ham bands, and plenty of others besides. The battery life quoted in the manual is 6 hours on 2m and 5.5 hours on 440 (using standard 6s TX / 6s RX / 48s squelched metric), and in my experience it seems it must be even better in some cases.

The real piece of news about this unit, though, is just how rugged it is. It says “submersible” across the front and I absolutely believe it. I have personal experience with its ruggedness. I once was at an event and put the radio on my car roof while helping one of my children into the car. I then started driving home and forgot it there. When we got home, I realized what had happened, and also realized what that mysterious CLUNK along the busy county road was. So I drove 45 minutes back to where I heard the clunk, and found the VX-7R still lying in the roadway, where it had been for 1.5 hours on the 55 MPH road. The thing was really beat up. It had obviously been hit by numerous vehicles. The antenna was ripped off, taking the SMA mount with it. But wouldn’t you know it, the darn thing still powered up. I took it to a local amateur radio shop, and about $80 later it was repaired. Incredible. The only real problem was the antenna connector.

I took this radio with me on my bicycle many days, mounted on my handlebars. It got bounced around, but still worked great. Some days I listened to FM radio from it while riding my bike, monitoring a local repeater while I rode. Other days, I spent most of my ride (about an hour each way) chatting with people on the repeaters – I have a mobile antenna mounted on the bike, fed to the VX-7R, and a headset. It all worked fine – never a problem at all.

The ruggedness has its downside. All of the connectors on the radio, except for DC in, are screw-down — even the speaker/mic connector. This obviously helps keep water out, but means that it can take a lot longer than normal to do a simple thing like plug in a speaker/mic. It doesn’t need any tools, but can get a little annoying.

The radio physically is small (unless you install the belt clip, which has an odd peg-based mechanism that protrudes unnecessarily far and is surprisingly non-rugged). It can easily fit into a pocket.

The other downsides of the VX-7R mostly surround its interface. I’m not one of the Yaesu haters that seem to be so common. I find the interface usable if you read the manual; it seems a lot of people that complain about it don’t. But it is quirky.

The SET mode is one long menu in sort of a ring. You scroll with the knob, and when you get to the end, it repeats to the beginning. There are one or two shortcut keys to a specific setting, but overall either you use the thing so much you know exactly where you’re going, or you’re twisting the knob for awhile until the option you want rolls around. (I know of nobody that uses it so much they know exactly where they’re going.) They do have options grouped into categories, but it doesn’t help much because there’s no quick way to skip between categories.

The dual transceivers work less elegantly than on the TH-D72A or VX-8GR. Instead of being two equal transceivers A and B, they are “main” and “sub”. The sub transceiver is not broadband receive like the main receiver is. But there are also other limitations that have no apparent logic. For instance, you can program memory groups into the device – putting, say, all the local repeaters into a certain group, or all the public safety frequencies (to use as a scanner). You can go to the “special” set menu, select group, then activate SCAN, and it will scan only the memories in that group. But you can’t select the special group mode on the sub transceiver – for no apparent reason.

One other complaint is that the AC charger introduces so much noise to a transmission that you cannot really use the VX-7R to transmit while the charger is connected.

Yaesu sells a programming cable that plugs into the speaker/mic port on one end, and a DB-9 serial port on the other, and includes programming software. For an incredibly high price. For far less, I found a similar cable on eBay that has a USB port on the other end (with a built-in USB/serial converter), and used VX-7R Commander — though now that Chirp is available for Linux, I’ll probably switch to it.

I would probably continue to recommend this transceiver for a new ham. The ruggedness, plus the broadband RX, are features that should make it appealing. It is an excellent emergency preparedness/response radio due to those properties; having TX and RX on ham bands, plus RX on broadcast and public safety could be quite the asset.

However, for someone that has any interest in APRS, one of the other two radios I mention is probably a better choice. At only $10 more, the VX-8GR sacrifices ruggedness and broadband receive for APRS functionality and could make a compelling alternative to the VX-7R at the same price point. The very low-power transmit at 50MHz and 220MHz on the VX-7R strikes me as a gimmick feature at best that has very little actual use.
 
IZ2PTX Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2012 10:17 Send this review to a friend
Very good for ham and emergencies  Time owned: more than 12 months
i bought my first VX7 5 years ago in 2007

A very good radio on may aspects
1- Wide RX
2- good power output
3- very rugged and waterproof IP-X7
4- metal case is really protective
5- very small
6- very good batteries with good capacity even really really small in size

This is a good radio for an ham to go outdoor and in "wild" as someone says... but it's really a must for emergency workers! i use it for EMS purposes also in SAR mission where i can be pulled in water (even salt water) and i'm always capable to communicate with other EMS rescue stations when i need.
tested in severe weather:
- lake water
- salt water (washed with normal water after)
- blood and then disinfection
- high temperatures
- snow and very low temperature
- rubled down houses
- hits, vibrations...
a normal radio should turn off and reject to work again after one of these tests...
mine survived after all of them repeating them often!
i bought another 6 mothts ago and i'll buy a third soon.
the best radio i have.
not excellent as RF radio itself (very good anyway, i can give 8/10 as RF itself) but the best combinig all the requirements i have to ask to a radio!!!
 
KD0NRC Rating: 4/5 Feb 15, 2012 07:36 Send this review to a friend
A great first radio for the beginner  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my VX-7R used from a friend right before I got my ticket. He supplied a homebrew programming cable and I downloaded VX-7 Commander, which helps get things up and running quickly. The menu system seemed daunting at first, but after a few weeks, I was quite comfortable doing all the things I need to know how to do in the field without referencing the manual.

I have put the radio's IPX7 water ingress protection to the test in several storms while fishing, camping or operating bicycle mobile. While this radio lacks a few whistles and bells found on the VX-8 series, The VX-7's wide receive ability and quad-band transmit functionality are excellent features for a beginner as they start to look beyond 2m and 440 FM Voice. With a good external antenna, the scant 300mW transmit on the 220MHz band still works well enough to surprise me and make contacts on local repeaters.

Although its electronics are complex, this radio is easy to take apart and re-assemble if you need to replace hardware parts. If you find an authorized Yaesu dealer locally, replacement parts such as the dust caps, power jack, rubber feet, gaskets, knobs, belt clips and buttons are easy to come by. I have only needed to replace the dust cap for the speaker/mic port so far, as it was slightly torn when I got the radio from the previous owner.
 
KJ6EPE Rating: 3/5 Dec 7, 2011 10:42 Send this review to a friend
Cannot transmit when in dual receive mode  Time owned: more than 12 months
When using DCS(DPL) in dual band receive mode, audio drops in and out when transmitting. The DCS or PL tone from the inactive band appears to interfere with proper operation of the active band. This is demonstrated by video at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FO3Ohmf1vU
 
KJ6EPE Rating: 3/5 Dec 6, 2011 09:41 Send this review to a friend
Correcting previous post  Time owned: more than 12 months
Further testing indicates the dual recieve transmit bug only applies to DCS (DPL). CTCSS functions as it should when transmitting from the dual band receive mode.
 
KF7IYQ Rating: 0/5 Aug 29, 2011 15:32 Send this review to a friend
The worst excuse for a HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received this radio from Gigaparts (Gigaparts was fantastic, recommend them in every way) about a week and a half ago. I thought it was broken because the squelch was opening constantly at 6/15 no matter where I went, and 250-350 was 100% dead, no receive what so ever. 250-350 is an advertised range that it receives. So I thought it was broken, paid the shipping and return shipping to get another one exchanged.

Received the new radio today, turned it on and placed it next to my little Sporty's air band radio with both on 284.75. Sports opens up, full quieting but not even a peep on the VX7R. So I open the squelch on the VX7R and hear the Sportys go full quieting again, nothing even in the noise on the VX7R. That band isn't there. Quite deceptive advertising that band as a working band. I am an aviation enthusiast, and I bought it because they said it had that receive range and I wanted to only need to carry one radio, instead of a scanner as well. This isn't the case, now I have to carry a 2m/440 brick in my pocket, with a radio that actually receives well in the other.

Trying it on 2m, squelch set at 6/15 again and it opens the squelch every second or so. When I turn the 2nd VFO on, it gets twice as bad.

The Good:
(note, all of these still have problems)
- Waterproof (Or at least, that's what it says, but I don't believe it and I'm not going to take the chance)
- Good looking screen
- Seems like good output power

^Notice there are few goods

The Bad:
- The screen pulses in and out, on both of the 7R's I have.
- The backlight turns off in like 3 seconds after hitting a button, and there's no setting to change that. It's either continuous, or no time at all.
- Sub par receiver, deceptive with it's receive range advertising, and even deceptive in the manual. Does not receive from 250-350 at all.
- Two VFO's interact with each other and open the squelch every second or so even with a high squelch setting.
- Battery lasts maybe 15 hours on just receive
- Takes FOREVER to charge, sometimes more than 10 hours.
- Accessories are overpriced.
The list goes on and on

I don't know if this is poor quality control due to the earthquake in Japan earlier in the year, but this is unacceptable for a $350 radio. I sold my Wouxun for money to buy this VX-7R and boy do I regret it now. I have also tried a VX-8R, and in the features the Wouxun and 8R share, the Wouxun trumps it with ease.

If anyone wants a proper radio, I would never recommend this paperweight. Get yourself a nice Wouxun for $250 less.
 
AE5WT Rating: 4/5 Aug 11, 2011 06:43 Send this review to a friend
Good Rugged HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this unit for over a year. It has provided really reliable service as a base station, mobile, and field HT. The transmit power is really strong with a full 5 watts all the time. There are two issues with this radio that I will address.

First the radio gets really hot for some folks. I never had this issue since I always use an external microphone. One night during a really long rag chew on a local net I noticed the display contrast start to go black. I knew right away what was happening. I added a small external heat sink by using the screw hole for the belt clip and placing a small thermal insulator between the sink and radio. I could feel the heat sink getting warm, so I knew it was working. This really helped dissipate the heat generated by the little rig. Again I never really held the radio, but I was concerned with the heat that was being generated.

Second this radio has an issue with sometimes locking up and having to be turned off. Then have the battery removed. Then reinserted and turned back on. While this happens on rare occasions, and there is a disclaimer in the owner’s manual for this. I have isolated the event to scanning VFO-B while messing with VFO-A. I have a VX-8DR, and I have noticed that Yaesu has now made it to where you cannot perform this operation on VFO-A while scanning VFO-B. I can't help but wonder if they know that this is causing an issue with their radios, and so have blocked it on the VX-8R series.

Other than these very minor issues I would recommend this radio to anybody. I know a few people that have had horrible accidents happen to their radio including being dropped from a tower and lost in the ocean until low tide. Both said the radio emerged working, and other than a busted display in the tower incident they were still running.
 
K6NJ Rating: 5/5 Jul 5, 2011 10:03 Send this review to a friend
Very Happy  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This has been a great radio for me. I've owned it about 3 months and it has been working great. I like the features, it is relatively easy to use (as far as HTs go) and I get great signal reports. I believe it is a hard rig to beat for the price.
 
SHMCLENDON Rating: 4/5 Jun 29, 2011 23:24 Send this review to a friend
it needs a lil more tweaking by Yaesu to make it a 5  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had my VX-7 for about a month now, I sprung for the CDrom and cable to program it with, was money well spent as I have fat fingers I also put a MFJ speaker Mic on it again my hands do not work so well and again worth the money spent for the Mic. The audio is nice to listen too with out the mic.
TX and RX on 2m and 440 work well have not tried it on 6m yet. The OEM duck needs an upgrade
It is not the end all be all, rig will get hot if you are on air for a long time enough you can Feel
It, when running the Dbl A batteries the out put is cut WAY back the Dbl A’s are just to listen to
On the Nicad pack if your going to really use the rig on and off all day bring two, not sure if you can run the lil rig of 12v in the car so I’ll get back to you on that as the manual is not clear on if you can or not it will only RX when it is plugged in to it’s charger, I’M guessing it wont TX if plugged in to the cig lighter in my car but I’ll see. Can’t get the belt clip off it to save my life. I think Yaesu is trying to do too many things at one time with the lil rig, I don’t like the fact you can’t get full power out of a Dbl A pack cause at some point when they drop it from the line the Nicad packs for it will go away as well and cost on them is about $70.00 a pop. Over all I’d give it a 4 maybe a 3 ˝ and that’s based on the batteries the rest of the rig is good the OEM duck is like most hand held’s I would like to see it with a BNC in place of the SMA.
I do like that I can listen to over the air AM FM and still work ham bands but it needs a lil more tweaking by Yaesu to make it a 5

 
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