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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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PE1RLN Rating: 4/5 Feb 5, 2009 04:52 Send this review to a friend
Quite good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Let's say sufficient for the job. I does what it has to do, with a lot of fancy features you'll probably never use, but it doesn't exceed expectations.

Little radios also mean: compromises. Otherwise they would make everything smaller, which they obviously don't. Smaller means less, less means not so good. However, in this case, the compromise it good enough.


- Wide receiver coverage
- Handy radio-button
- Pre-defined memorybanks with i.e. marine-radio, weather channels etc.
- Small
- Locking rotary knob
- Li-Ion battery
- Dualband


- Low power
- Too many functions so you have to learn the manual by heart
- Reception is not as good as one would want
- No volume-knob
- Low audio
- No belt clip
- SMA antenna that sucks big time

I bought the radio because of the small size, power is sufficient for my local repeater, it has a wide receiver-coverage, LiIon battery and ofcourse it has a cute design.
The price is very low: I bought it for Ä 145,- and that is quite cheap, given the price of other dualbanders and the receiving range.
I was surprised by the features however it didn't last very long because of the difficult procedures for some functions.

My advice: buy an SMA to BNC adapter (the good one that fits to the chassis), a better antenna and you're good to go for the money you paid.

Why do I give it a 4 instead of the usual 5? For G*d sake Yaesu, build a decent antenna for the amateur-range and I'm your man!

K2DER Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2009 13:22 Send this review to a friend
Great little Dual  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A nice little radio for the ham bands,receive audio quality is clear.
M3CNG Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2009 08:08 Send this review to a friend
Much better than the VX2  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My girlfriend brought me the VX3 because I love my VX2 so much but I have just about worn the pore little thing out! I thought the VX2 was good but "wow" the VX3 is so much better thatís why Iv given it a 5!
These little radio's go everywhere and do just about everything a VHF/UHF handy can do. yes, ok it only has a couple of watts output but donít let that fool you. I had a contact on 2mtrs simplex yesterday from my home (Daventry) to Southam, witch is a distance of about 15 miles over some fair size hills. I will say that the build quality is not AS good as the VX2 but still ok. there are 94 different menu functions, half of witch, most UK users wont ever need but the mores tutor is excellent for anyone who wants to learn. I havenít had any probs with the broadcast receive as some have mentioned. Yes you may want to invest in a better antenna for better receive when scanning but having said that, for local work and listening to your local town cctv, the stock antenna will do the biz! If you do want one, then go for it, you wont be disappointed, just donít expect to TX long distance. Good job Yeasu. 73's and enjoy.
ZOULAS Rating: 5/5 Dec 28, 2008 04:28 Send this review to a friend
Nice Little Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When critiquing any product or service, you have to look at the big picture and not zero in on one thing alone. Restaurants for example are rated on many things, one of which is the food. I paid $129 for this radio and its worth every penny. It has so many bells and whistles, you cannot imaging. You can really have a lot of fun with it. The reception is quite acceptable. Transmit is fine. I bought the Diamond SRH519 and the Maldol MH-511. Both work fine and are much better than the stock unit.The Maldol MH-511 is my preferred choice as its only 4 inches and works 98% as well as the dimaond which is twice as long.The battery charges in two hours and lasts very long time. Replacement batteries are CHEAP. The unit is made very well althogh its not metal, its tough plastic. I bought this radio for the price , the size, the performance. Its meets all the criteria with flying colors. Great Product, Great Quality, Way to go YAESU!!
KC7YCL Rating: 3/5 Dec 26, 2008 17:53 Send this review to a friend
Quality control nonexistent, every one is different  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had the pleasure of having 5 of these VX-3R radios side by side, and I noticed DRAMATIC variation in each receiver's sensitivity. Some of them could receive a distant repeater with full signal strength as indicated by the S meter. The worst performing unit was actually the most recently manufactured, and the same repeater barely moved the S meter 3 bars. Altogether, of the 5 radios, I considered two of them to be defective, and two of them to be good, with the others lying in between. But, unfortunately, one of the two good units had a mushy keypad, and one of the in between units had a knob that was so stiff I was worried I would break it trying to get it to unlock.

Additionally, the last good radio that I decided to keep for myself was the most deaf of the lot on the AM radio band, and it had a wobbly knob and a slightly mushy keypad - but at least it worked decent on the ham bands.

I ignore Yaesu's feature lists though, because they just give you the bare minimum to make it legal to advertise, but that's usually not necessarily enough to make their features useful. Yaesu spends big bucks packing features into their radios, but they don't bother to polish them to make sure they work well.

I have always known that Yaesu is the worst quality of the major amateur radio manufacturers, so I expected such unbelievably poor quality control.

I like the VX-3R because it's the best small radio on the market at the moment - it's a small market, no pun intended. If you can get a good one, you'll be amazed at what it can do, but based on my experienc, you should count on going through at least 5 of them before you find one that works well. Even then, you'll be disappointed if your expectations are high.

I haven't mentioned it because so many other people have, but all the battery covers are very loose on all the radios I tested. It doesn't bother me much, I just put a pad of double sided tape in the cover to firm it up against the battery, while leaving the wax paper on the side that faces the battery (so it won't stick to it).

One more gripe is that if I save an AM aircraft band frequency to memory, it changes all my FM ham band memories to AM also. Typical Yaesu bugs I guess.

So, at the end, you have bugs, quality control problems, and a difficult to use menu system with lots of nonsensical abbr's ("abbreviations"). It's hard to use, and hard to get around the menu system to get things done quickly. It has a lot of features, many of which do not work well, and it has many minor manufacturing defects in even the best units. But, despite all that, if you can get a good one, you'll probably like it.

My favorite thing about it is that it receives FM stereo of pretty good quality if you're using headphones. None of these micro radios have good audio out the speaker. I can't hear this one at all when I'm walking near a busy road with car noise, so I use headphones most of the time. It's compact and discreet, and I don't look like an outdoorsman, a gadget guy, a secret agent, a cop, or a soldier, when I'm in city slicker mode.

The stock antenna is decent for it's size, and I haven't found another antenna that works better that's any smaller on the ham bands. The Maldol MH-209SMA is smaller, and it works better outside the ham bands, but the stock antenna is usually better for most things, and you get it for free with the radio.

I haven't tried Icom's IC-P7A, but as I understand the reviews for that radio, the quality is better all around, and longer battery life, but it lacks programmable DTMF tones, and it has worse speaker audio. I might try one eventually, especially since I usually use headphones anyway.
KJ4EOZ Rating: 4/5 Dec 26, 2008 11:54 Send this review to a friend
Not too bad at all  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just got this rig today .
Have to say its not a bad little rig .
Love the size of it . same size as my cell phone .
I wish it had just a bit more power .
that is why i give this rig a 4 out of 5 .
WA1KBE Rating: 4/5 Dec 3, 2008 17:53 Send this review to a friend
Nifty little radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned the VX-3R for about 2 months now. It works well on 2M and 440 as a pocket sized HT. Sensitivity on 220 band is low. Not very useful on 2 - 30 mHz as a general coverage unit. Works OK on bradcast FM - weak AM band performance. Good transmit audio reports. Battery life better than expected especially in power saver mode. Recommend Diamond SRH519 antenna. Stock antenna is disappointing. Overall a remarkable compact dual bander with extended receive capability. Packed with lots of features. Good operating manual but a short cut card will come in handy! Truly a fun radio to own.
KE3JH Rating: 4/5 Nov 10, 2008 08:28 Send this review to a friend
nice rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
realy like this ht . dont like how you have to get the power output changed realy hate the belt loop clip. what ever happened to steal?? had this ht 2 weeks and i need to get a new belt loop clipp!! dont know if i should waste the money on it.
K0HPS Rating: 4/5 Sep 24, 2008 16:56 Send this review to a friend
Good radio/ disappointing AM  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The main thing keeping me from giving the VX-3R a 5-rating is the AM broadcast band performance. When I read about the "new" VX-3R one of the things Yaesu advertised was improved AM reception. Since I like to listen to AM radio on my morning walks I had high hopes for the VX-3R. Alas, its performance is far behind the AM receiver in the old Sony Walkman that I had been using. It's like if the Walkman were receiving 5x7, the VX-3R would be 3x3. This is on a broadcast station that every one of my radios at home receives with no problem. In some locations on my walk I cannot hear the station at all, in others I can only hear it if I carefully turn the radio to align the antenna. I went back to the Walkman.

That being said, it's a nice little HT. The battery life is excellent considering its size, the radio is fairly easy to program and the FM audio sounds good. Speaking of FM, the FM broadcast reception is better than the AM, and it sounds good through stereo ear buds. I have had no reliability issues and so far I've found only one "glitch" in the manual. (Unless my radio is unique: page 49, line 5 under "Changing a Memory Bank's Name" should read "Press the [V/M] key..." instead of "Press the [TXPO] key...").

Would I buy it again, given what I now know about the AM reception? Yes, I would.
G6IYS Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2008 04:00 Send this review to a friend
Great little Dual band  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased my VX-3R 4 months ago and find it to be a very good performer. It's a lot of radio for the money, here in the UK it sells for £122.
Easy to use, simple to programme and the battery has a good life.
The stock charger is a little slow.
The Yaesu mobile psu/charger is costly and there are generics that do a fine job at half the cost on eBay.
The receiver is sensitive on it's intended 2m and 70cm bands ,the general receive is adequate on the stock aerial but far better connected to a mobile or base antenna.
Receive audio quality is clear as is the transmit audio and when using the dedicates external speaker mic itís also excellent.
In conclusion,
Good value
Easily read screen
Good performer all round
Very compact
Great battery life
Worth a look against the competition , nothings perfect but for the money it represents a good buy.

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