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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Yaesu VX-3R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu VX-3R
Yaesu VX-3R Reviews: 146 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $199
Description: A micro-sized dual band entry from vertex/standard...With 1.5 watts output on 2 meters, and 1 watt on 440... With 13.8 vdc power jumps to 3 watts on 144, and 2 on 440...Has wide band rx, and NEW ferrite bar antenna for AM broadcasts... 1000 ma/1 amp lithium -ion battery
Product is in production.
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AE9C Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2014 12:17 Send this review to a friend
Sweet ! AE9C  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got mine last week, NO regrets, fantastic tiny radio! NICE JOB Yaesu !!
AB0SF Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2014 00:10 Send this review to a friend
Great, little receiver that transmits, too!  Time owned: more than 12 months
My second one of these radios just arrived today. I lost the first one, either in a recent move, or while I was traveling for work. Nevertheless, I missed having this little radio enough to buy another one.

I've been genuinely disappointed in Yaesu's HT product line for quite some time, but the VX-2 (which I owned for several years), and the VX-3 have given me some hope with the brand.

The VX-3's AM/FM receive is quite good, and it's reasonably sensitive on most V/UHF bands of interest. It has come in handy for troubleshooting basic, low speed RF data issues (ie, is the data packet being sent by the remote terminal too quickly? It's also selective enough for very rudimentary frequency checks.), and general RF sniffing.

The radio did require a review of the operator's manual to remember how to program it, but with so many features and so few buttons, I believe that is understandable. I partially agree with a previous review regarding the radio's power on-off being a pain, but power button on the new radio I have seems to be easier-going than the one I purchased 4 years ago. Perhaps I'm used to it? I don't know.

I purchased a used Alinco DJ-580 a while back out of nostalgia (the first dual band HT I owned), and pressed it into similar service after I lost the first VX-3(Minus general coverage HF and BC bands RX, of course). I was quickly reminded how quickly time marches on. The 20 year-old 580 is more than twice as big and has half the features of the little, Yaesu radio. The VX-3 puts out a full 1W of RF with a 4 Volt battery, while the 580 can only transmit exciter-level (+20 dBm) levels with a stock 7.2 V battery (and heaven forbid you lunch the final modules on this radio. They're getting tougher to find as we speak.).

Battery life with the factory Lithium Ion battery is fantastic, and for those of you who have played with handhelds for a couple decades or more, a second battery is nice, but is not really needed. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have those big, old, detachable batteries as paper weights, rather than relying on them to run my handheld radio for just a few hours, if that.

All in all, the VX-3 is a great product for those of us who tend to listen a bit more than transmit, and who also like to venture outside of the ham bands from time to time. Thank you Yaesu, for making such an enjoyable product.
W1KJL Rating: 5/5 Jun 10, 2014 18:29 Send this review to a friend
Updated review  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned this radio a couple of years ago and regrettably sold it. I missed it so much, I just ordered a new one. It's simply a superb radio for what it is. I'm glad to have it back with me :)
K6XR Rating: 4/5 Apr 30, 2014 07:44 Send this review to a friend
side buttons not durable  Time owned: more than 12 months
works well but is the devil to turn on and off. the button is very hard to find a sweet spot to function.
GM3HNN Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2014 01:09 Send this review to a friend
VX-3R GM3 HNN  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just a quick 3 month review of this little beauty!, as I use Marine band communication, I got the handheld wide-banded for TX,

with only 1 watt out, it manages to hit the local repeaters, and all marina contacts with ease,

it is a delight to use, please read the manual, some will be put of with the programming of it, but once mastered, it is a very capable unit indeed, great reports on it, and the wide coverage is fantastic, size is incredible, palm of the hand stuff, and battery is good, the stock antenna is ok for local working, I also have a booster whip, which also works a treat... go get one!
KF6VTA Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2013 09:02 Send this review to a friend
Great, durable, pocket size, wide band performer!!!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Don't complain about the size...This is a great little radio. A real marvel of technology. I wouldn't even dream to use one of these few years ago. And now....Look at the size, it is almost a miracle to see it working. 1.5Watts, good power to hit repeaters and the reception is huge and great. Best of all...YOU CAN TAKE IT EVERYWHERE WITH YOU! So...Go buy one, you will love it...And then...Take around the world with you and have lots of contacts and fun!!! 73
K9XXX Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2013 12:54 Send this review to a friend
Looks like a single-digit-age kids toy.I love it!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Whether mistakenly or not, I tend to review items
according to how they serve my personal uses,and this is not my only ham radio nor even my only HT.
I was interested in this item,but held off because
dealer ads completely ignored the 100mW power split which I require because I'm FQ thru both the local club's RPT's with 100mW and the stock antenna. It was only when I got the manual that I learned of the 100mW setting.I can talk a lot taking little out of the battery, and I'm dedicated to energy conservation everywhere.
With 1.5W and my Diamond SHRF40A antenna I carry bent over in the same t-shirt pocket I can talk to anyone in RPT range from anywhere in town.

EB1CYY Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2013 11:33 Send this review to a friend
Small and wide coverage!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Hello everyone :
I recently purchased a VX -3E and would like to make a mini-review of it in case someone is thinking to buy it, maybe you can clarify something.
First I decided to catch it for the the size (slightly larger than a cigarette lighter ZIPPO ) and RX coverage ( 500kHz - 1000mhz ) .
If this will be your only device for HAM, really, it falls a bit short in the low power (1W ) and the damn keyboard that brings. Instead if you want it as a scanner , an option is quite nice.
It is quite fast scanning and supplied antenna is quite well for listen all public services in your city without problems. For air band antenna have to put a little more elegant (telescopic) . Very good thing too is that thong memories with alphanumeric characters tiing not as often. Another thing is how to enter a name in the memories , almost impossible task unless you buy a program and a cable (I use FTBVX3 , which costs 20 eur and is better than the original Yaesu ). The frequencies are introduced fairly easy , first because they are divided into band (VHF , UHF ... ) and second, because pressing different buttons you can move 10mhz , 1 mhz , 1khz ...
The range is pretty good , you can leave it overnight and the next day scanning even battery fits midmorning. We also bought a pair of Chinese batteries for 5 euros each ( must be compatible with any digital camera or with a mobile )
As for the memory scanning has an option that I think is very good and is that groups the memory you you do. In other radios I've had memories are groups of 10 or 20 channels in your city and if you have 21 reports recorded , you screw up and only hear 10 or 20 . However in the VX -E do the memory banks as hell you want ( 21 reports , 22 , 23 ... ) and depending on where you are or you want to hear put to scan a bank or another. You can also group several memory banks , for example if you have a bank on another flight frequencies and repeaters have HAM, can make you want to hear these two banks together. All this I am commenting is very easy to do with the computer program , but I do not want to imagine what it would take to do only with the buttons on the radio.
For opening freaks frequency , I have it with the " *** Export" which gives you a transmission range of 40 - 225MHz and 300 - 580MHz ( not bad for such a small device ... ) the issue is more difficult to open than the other models (VX - 5, VX -7 ... ) as being small looooong welds are smaller and are all much more together . I did a welder very little power and super - fine tip . As always , I must say I do not think a recommended walking all day broadcasting in these bands out if you want to shorten the life of the radio miserably.
Well needless to say anything, that performance below 30 MHz is pretty painful , apart from not having SSB. In HF emissions are mixed all and only get to hear any station which emit stronger ( or BBC type " Radio China International " )
It has a lot of other options , as often happens in the Yaesu , but I have not found much use (ARTS , password power , Internet access with repeated Yaesu, Wheather Channels USA ... ) so I will not mention them here mostly.
K6POW Rating: 4/5 Jun 26, 2013 20:38 Send this review to a friend
Great EDC HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
New (30 day) Ticket here.

My only experence with Amateur rigs is a pair of Kenwood TM-281 Mobiles (easy) and a pair of ICOM V80s (not as easy).

I picked this VX-3R up last week from HRO and have been learning the menus and functions slowly but surely. With 100 Menu items at only one layer deep, most of names of which are not all that easy to guess their function, it takes some patiance and diligence to navigate the menu for initial settings and programing repeaters (with the manual close at hand!).

Without the benifit of a keypad full of FUNC/key short cuts, using the remaining 7 keys, which have been tripled-up for functions (Press, Press & Hold & FUNC-Press), it takes some painful brain use to learn to navigate the shortcuts. Oh, one gripe: three of those precious key functions have been all but wasted on little used Yaesu WIRES/ARTS/Emergency options, though you can re-purpose the WIRES key (Press) to your choice of a menu function (I chose keypad lock).

The other negitive is regarding the menu layout and use; Out of 100 flat menu items, it feels like 1/3 are dedicated to the configuration of those three Yaesu-specific little-used features mentioned above, and they are strewn all thoughout the menu in no logical order. The critical setup menu functions are also strewn all thoughout the menu numbering system (e.g.: Channel Name is #52, Menu Bank Name is #11, Tone/SQL Type is #79, PL Tone is #86... ARG! It's almost like they just chose the menu item locations by random assignment!) It would have taken Yaesu product managers only a few hours with a group of HAMS to come up with a far better menu layout; with all the important settings in the first 20 menu items~! /rant off

So, all that said, I still rate the VX-3R a solid 4 points; It's Ultra light/compact, broad scanning capability in useful preset bands, great Memory/Bank configuration (with learning curve, of course) and scan features, Great FM Stereo, passable AM Radio, Cheap third party accessoriies including batteries, a decent enough stock antenna and good RX/TX: I can hit 5 repeaters from my backyard, with the furthest being 8 miles away... not bad with 1.5 watts on the stock antenna! When I add a cheap NA771 antenna, I get full queiting on those repeaters and can hit a couple more out to 10 miles. With a little rollup Slim Jim antenna 10ft up in a tree, I can hit repeaters 30 miles away, full quieting. When plugged into my 2-meter 7/8 wave base antenna (Diamond F-22A), I can hit repeaters 90+ miles away with survivable audio quality. My first practical lesson as a new HAM is: it's all about the antenna!

This is a GREAT feature rich EDC radio. While perhaps not a great choice for a new/non-techy type HAM due to the learning curve for both settings and memory bank functions/scanning, I think anyone who has enough patiance to spend maybe 16 hours learning all the setting, will be rewarded with a great 5oz HT.

Alternatives? Chinese UV3X? no thanks; from what I've read, their setup/use is even tougher, and their durablity is no where near the Yaesu. It seems like the only other dual-band HT that comes close to this price-point/feature-set is the VX6R, which will cost you and extra 3oz of carry weight (and an extra $50), but will likely reward you with a better all-arounder HT... but for me, I need the smaller and lighter features of the 3R, over the easier use and durability of the 6R... you use model may be different, and hey, it's legal to own more than one HT!

73's to all, and 88's to the single ladies out there!
N7WR Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2013 15:33 Send this review to a friend
Indestructable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I rated this radio highly in a prior review, but after I tell this story you'll understand why I say it is indestructable. I carry this radio in a pocket in my ranch jacket as I work around our ranch. It allows me, through the cross band repeater in my house, to access the local repeater. Over the few years I've owned the radio it has fallen from a saddlebag while I've been riding a horse and bounced off a rock or two. No damage other than a scuff mark. It's fallen in the snow numerous times and once took a tumble into the creek.

About 3 weeks ago I came into the house after a couple hours of working in the barn and pasture. The radio was missing from my pocket. I looked and looked but with nearly 10 acres to search I could not find it. This morning I went out to the pile of old hay that I had lit on fire yesterday and using a pitch fork moved some of the partially burnt hay onto the pile that was still burning well. The pitchfork dug up a very very dirty VX3R handheld. It must have fallen into the "poop pile" 3 weeks ago. Naturally the battery was discharged when I found it, it was hot from having been in the midst of some smoldering hay, was wet from overnight rain, and was just filty with mud and dirt.

Brought it into the house, cleaned it up as best I could and put it on the charger. After 1.5 hours the red charge light turned to green, I unplugged the charger, turned the radio on and it still works. Now that is pretty indestructable if you ask me.
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