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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: 135 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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M0SSO Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2008 07:04 Send this review to a friend
A great little bit of kit, almost, but not quite perfect  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
More than any other type of radio, I prefer, by far handie talkies. I've owned numerous of them, 2 Kenwoods, 1 Alinco & Yaesu VX150, VX7, FT60, VX1, VX2 and now... a VX3.
The VX3 is a great little bit of kit! It's not perfect, but only because of a couple of minor niggles. The main one for me being the single dial set up. Its either volume OR channel/frequency adjustment. To swap from one function to the other, you need to either press two buttons and then dial, or use two hands, (button & dial together).
The other niggle, is that it's not the most user friendly of radios, but only because there's just so much stuff on it, it's quite amazing really. Though, once you get used to the radio, everything becomes much more natural. Its not that the niggles make it bad or dissappointing, just different, and I like that. (Oh and there's no 6.25 tuning step, come on Yaesu, thats an easy fix)!

The performance, for its size and power, is exceptional, even with the supplied antenna. I can hit most of my favorite repeaters, one of them being 30+ miles away.
I have no problems hearing my local broadcast stations either, as some users have reported. I've found the build quality to be very good, no loose battery cover or clicky switches on mine, althought the rubber covers over the accessory sockets feel as though they may part company if used frequently.
If you do have large hands or stubby fingers then you may find it hard to operate because it really is small, but thats another one of its best points. You can take it anywhere and hardly notice you're carrying it.

Remember... this is an ultra compact radio, with low power, (compared to full size handies) and with that taken in to consideration the performance and function of this radio is excellent.
If you want a radio to just slip in your pocket and use for short range TRX and have wide band receive, then I highly recommend the Yaesu VX-3. Currently costing around £120, (July 08, UK sourced, W&Splc), it represents very good value for money.
N2CYY Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2008 18:49 Send this review to a friend
It's Wonderful  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I love it. when I'm not at work I always wear shorts and the vx-3r slips comfortably and unobstrusively into the front pocket of my cargo shorts. You never even know it's there. When I go to work ( 1 1/2 hour commute each way via train & subway ) the featherweight vx-3r slips right into my attache case. Hits all the repeaters I need it to hit, plays well on AM, FM, and astonishingly even picks up some SW broadcast stations with the supplied rubber duck antenna. The ADAMS software makes programming a snap. This is an absolutely great niche product. You'll never have an excuse for not having an HT with you....... now if it only had 220 transmit..... Way to go Yaesu, the VX-3R is a real winner!
AB0RE Rating: 4/5 Jun 20, 2008 21:36 Send this review to a friend
Trps/Tricks (Looong Review)  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
WHY THE VX-3R? I swore Iíd never own an HT with less than 4-5W output. Now, I live in a small town with one repeater, an easy shot with 1W anywhere in town. The next closest repeaters are about 40 miles out and canít even be hit with a mobile in town (low elevation). So the VX3ís power output turns out to be more than adequate. It also works great for cross-banding to out of town repeaters. Add the ability to do 900MHz WFM so I can monitor my baby monitor all around the block and the VX3 looks even sweeter. Finally, the VX3ís ability to listen to one of the the three local radio stations in town, flip to scanner/ham frequencies when there is traffic, then revert back to the AM/FM radio station when the traffic ends, makes the VX3 a jack of all trades. Pack it all in the smallest HT package Iíve ever seen, along with a very forgiving LiON battery, and Iím in ham radio heaven!

Hereís a few tips & tricks for the VX-3R:

ANTENNA: Iíll try not to be a broken record with what others have said, but by all means DUMP the stock antenna. Iím using a Diamond SRH-519 and it literally makes my VX-3R seem like a different radio!

BELT CLIP: I used a Samsung cell-phone stick on belt clip, rated for 4.5oz (the VX-3R is 4.6oz and I have not had any trouble). The belt clip comes in a kit, available at the Wal-Mart electronics department (~$5) with cell phone accessories, or from All Electronics (P/N SLP-1 @ $1.50/each). The adhesive on the back of the button is quality 3M Adhesive. Make sure you use the LARGE adhesive-backed button on the VX-3R. Itíd also be a good idea to clean the back surface of your VX-3R before applying the button, then let the adhesive cure overnight before using. Note: I have yet to break one of my belt clips, but a friend in town has gone through two of them already, so this may not be the best solution if you man-handle your radio equipmentÖ itís simply one possible solution to not getting a belt clip with the VX3R.

COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: Programming is very easy with Bob Freethís software, FTBVX3, which can be found at: . Itís an absolute steal at $18.50. I made the home-brew programming cable found at: , with all parts purchased very reasonably from (The All Electronics ECS-4 Perf Board can be cut to make a total of 4 programmers, if desired. The 2N2222A transistors All Electronics carries are an acceptable substitute for the 2N2222 transistors the plans call for, just take note of the pinoutÖ the emitter is the leg closest to the little metal tab.) All Electronics CB-218 is an A/V cable that can be sacrificed to get the 4-pin connector thatís needed for the programming cable (Some trimming of the plastic around the connector may be needed to ensure the connector sits well on the VX-3Rís speaker/mic jack).

POWER SUPPLY: I have yet to purchase the Yaesu EDC-21 DC Adaptor. I happened to have a 3A variable voltage controller on hand that would allow me the 6V 2A max that the VX3R needs. If youíre interested in home-brewing your own power supply, follow the plans at: You can definitely skip the fancy case, knob, power pole outputs, and test jacks, in an effort to keep costs down. Simply follow the schematic on the bottom of page 2, but put a 1Kohm precision trimmer in place of the pot the plans call for (Radio Shack 271-342 or All Electronics MTPS-1K) and dial the voltage in right at 6.00VDC.

SCREEN PROTECTION: Get an inexpensive iPod or PalmPilot screen protector and cut it to the exact dimensions of the VX-3Rís LCD window. Cutting it with a sliding cutter, like the ones found in the hobby/craft aisles of Wal-Mart, seems to work best. Clean the screen and then carefully apply the screen protector. The screen protector will take all the abuse and keep your VX-3R screen looking new. The adhesive on the back of the screen protector is just enough to get the protector to stay on the screen Ė when the protector is peeled off no residue is left behind on the screen.

The VX-3R has a few downfalls: First, the pathetic stock antenna mentioned above. Why make a $180 rig only to severely compromise its performance by putting a dummy load in the box!?!? Next, the VX-3R always stops on 162.5500MHz to check for an alert signal in WX Alert Mode even when that frequency is locked out (a glitch). Finally, it has some quality control issues (I bought my first VX3R used and it had squelch issues even AFTER going to Yaesu/Vertex Service for not powering up, straight out of the box. Yaesu/Vertex shouldíve run the VX-3R through a complete test/calibration before sending it back to the original owner Ė shame on them for being lazy!!!)

Overall, Iíd recommend the VX-3R. Iím shaving off a point for the issues mentioned above (mainly the QC issue). Still, this is the best in class as itís the only in its class. Buy one and you wonít regret it!

Dan / ab0re
CAYTES Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2008 19:58 Send this review to a friend
very good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have two VX-3R and I've been using in Buenos Aires where I live. I have tested with three different antennas, in a totally urban area and making a zigzag trail, with the following results:
1) With antennas Diamond SRH805, 3 blocks
2) With the original Yaesu antennas, 8 blocks
3) With antennas Diamond SRH815, 9 blocks
These results seem to me to be very good for only 1 watt of power UHF, so I recommend to these very handy fervently. In addition to the antennas factory got very good coverage in an area largely built.
Greetings from Argentina
KJ4ECM Rating: 4/5 Jun 18, 2008 08:40 Send this review to a friend
A Nice Jewel  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I new to ham so have nothing to compare it with. But I can tell you I am impressed with the radio. Only having 1.5 watt output is fun. I try to see how far it will talk. It is kind of cool checking into a net running only 3 AA batteries. I have read a lot of the reviews and my battery case is not loose like all the reviews state. I carry it everywhere everyday and is smaller than my cell phone. The stock ďDuckĒ antenna is worthless but I do use it because of the size. If I were to need it for emergency work I would get a better antenna.. The radio does not receive AM Radio at all. Not sure why. FM Radio is fine. Only dislike is no DTMF tone buttons.
KA3SEI Rating: 4/5 Jun 16, 2008 17:26 Send this review to a friend
B+  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I like the radio, but mine has a problem receiving shortwave. As in - it doesn't. Zip. Zero. Bupkis. I know that propagation on SW is not good right now, but if I can't get anything but white noise on a 60 foot longwire at 30 feet high, it's definitely gotta be the radio.

For everything else, it's great. Receive is an improvement over the VX-2R, the scan rate is faster, and the stereo FM broadcast reception is neat. I love having the memory banks that allow me to use it like a scanner. Battery life is nice.

The stock antenna is not bad at all, either. You're certainly going to do better with an aftermarket, but the supplied duck is adequate.

Even with the SW problem I think it's good buy.
VA3PKH Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2008 18:06 Send this review to a friend
Great Little Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my VX-3R about a month ago.
I have VX5 VX7 and two VX150's. The VX3 is great
for taking along to work and when walking the dog.
As others have said perhaps not best as an "only" hand held but very convenient. I managed to hit a repeater 43km away from a lookout tower using .1 watt and it is great for cross banding to the FT8800 in the car. No problem with FM broadcast use it every day on my early morning dog walk.
Cheap, thin, loose, back plate is the only part I don't like
N3KBS Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2008 20:39 Send this review to a friend
Truly Amazing Little Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I give this rig a 5. I owned a vx-1r previously and did not expect so much more out of this rig. I read the reviews before I bought it and I am still impressed. Some of the little things are really cool. I like to get out and walk. So I put my earbuds from my ipod in this thing and the sound quality is as good as any walkman. Neat thing is you can set the radio to use the headphone wire as the antenna, disconnect the rubber duck, and put the rig in your pocket. With the rig monitoring for ham activity it will automatically switch over when ham activity is heard. Then back to broadcast radio after a preset amount of time. If it could transmit on 6 and 220 like the vx-7r it would be my ideal radio. But it is a solid 5 anyway!
KC7UYE Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2008 17:17 Send this review to a friend
My EDC radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I borrowed a VX3 form a friend for a few weeks and fell in love with it. I did notice that it had poor FM broadcast reception. I and another friend each got VX3's in March 08 and ours booth seem to have decent FM broadcast reception. In fact I picked up a VX2 for caparison and both newer (March 2008) VX3's seem to have as good or better FM broadcast reception as th VX2 while the older VX3 is noticeably poorer. Perhaps Yaesu has done something to improve this design flaw in the VX3.

As I said I picked up a like new VX2 and a new VX3 to see which one I would like the best and I find I much prefer the VX3. The programing software is a must for any of these small radios. I purchased ($18.50) FTBVX3 software which I am very pleased with.

I carry the VX3 almost daily in my knee pocket and all of the memory banks make it very useful as a scanner. It is very low on transmit power but I prefer to use a mobile radio with a decent antenna whenever possible, the VX3 just helps fill in the gaps. Defiantly not a first of only radio but it is a very convenient piece of equipment that I would not be without.
M3VXJ Rating: 4/5 Apr 20, 2008 04:29 Send this review to a friend
Great - with a decent antenna  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've owned my VX-3E (European model) for over 6 months now. I originally used it for listening in on ham bands as I live miles from anywhere and didn't expect 1.5w to be much use. Everything seemed to work okay. Local broadcast reception was poor between 79 and 108mhz until I started using earphones and configured the unit to use these as antenna. Now reception is nearly perfect.

When I finally started using TX I found a big problem. Other radio users in my area reported a strong carrier signal with little or no audio. Originally I assumed this was due to battery problems. But problem remained with a full charge. I was about to send the unit back but thought I'd try an SRH805S antenna that I had lying around. The result was astonishing. The little VX-3E now works on TX perfectly. I even managed a QSO through a repeater 40 miles away on one occasion. I retested with the rubber duck aerial. Problem comes back. The original rubber duck has now been recycled as land fill after being dismantled to check for problems. The only odd thing was a significant amount of glue gumming up part of the copper coil towards the tip. Electrically the antenna was fine.

The rear battery cover is a little loose which is irritating, but other than that I am quite happy with the unit. Best of all, it can just be dropped in my pocket and be available whenever I want.

Soft case: Waste of money. Dust getting between the clear plastic and the LCD screen scratched the surface. And it's too loose with the standard battery in place. There's a belt loop as well, but do we really need a belt loop for something this small?

FBA-37 battery case: Great accessory for use with AA batteries. This also fills the soft case properly if you choose to use it. I tried some 2700mAh NMh batteries but for some reason they drained very quickly.

CN-3 sma to BNC adapter. Horrible thing. Looks and feels like it will result in a broken SMA connectors.

Overall a great little tranceiver, but Yaesu PLEASE sort your QA out. I expect a supplied antenna to work on TX to some extent.
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