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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Yaesu VX-8R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu VX-8R
Yaesu VX-8R Reviews: 73 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $~$350.00
Description: Tri-band hand held transceiver by Yaesu
Product is in production.
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AA8GK Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2011 05:18 Send this review to a friend
WOW!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Reading the previous reviews, it seems the old axiom holds true: Hams either swear at their equipment, or by it. I fall into the latter group in the case of the VX-8R.

I have owned the VX-5 and VX-7, and have been very happy with the Yaesu HTs. I bought the VX-8R to get into APRS. I must also admit, this is the coolest looking HT I've ever seen!

A very compact radio, it does more than I ever thought would have been possible 10-15 years ago. The APRS is a lot of fun to use; it alone has gotten me interested in this activity.

The frequencies you program into the VX-8R can be organized into 'folders' or 'banks'. For example, I have one bank labeled 'HOME'; these are all the repeaters in SE Michigan that I use. Another bank are those repeaters along the I-75 corridor that I use when going up north. This is a great feature.

It is only about the size of a couple of decks of cards. In some ways, it's too small. The eyes aren't what they used to be, and my fingers sometimes seem a little too big for the buttons. I really wouldn't have minded if Yaesu made this radio, the buttons, and the labels on them a little larger.

The VX-8R appears to be very ruggedly built, but I'll never know how ruggedly as I baby it greatly.

When the APRS is activated, the battery really doesn't last very long, especially if transmitting and there is a lot of active listening. For this reason, the larger capacity battery is NOT an option, but a necessity.

If you'll be using the APRS feature, you'll also NEED to buy the GPS antenna and, in my opinion, the speaker mic. The GPS antenna mounted on the radio itself is a little bulky and unwieldy, but when the GPS antenna is mounted on the speaker mic, you don't even notice that it's there.

The drop in charger is also a must, in my opinion.

Okay, this is not a cheap radio. If you don't want to get into APRS, there are some less expensive - and equally capable - radios on the market. For instance, I'd recommend the VX-7 to anyone in a heartbeat (GREAT radio!). With the accessories I've mentioned, you'll be looking at spending over $500. However, I found my complete package on e-Bay for a little more than $315.
W0FEN Rating: 3/5 Dec 24, 2010 07:35 Send this review to a friend
more disappointed  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got it in Feb 09 almost 2years ago. Within the first year it broke twice. Both time I sent it in for warranty service. Both times it came back working fine. No problem with the repairs, BUT twice within a YEAR??? I never dropped or mishandled the radio. It is now doing incomprehensible things. I never use it anymore. I am back to using my reliable IC-2AT and IC-02AT. I think I am different than most Amateurs in that a single frequency HT works fine for me. I do use the WX receive capability if it is available.
K8GMG Rating: 0/5 Nov 11, 2010 06:52 Send this review to a friend
Poor RX and TX  Time owned: more than 12 months
After owning this radio for 18 months I have to report that it fails to measure up to other HT models from Yaesu and other manufacturers. Transmit audio reports have been terrible. The audio is very narrow...high pitched and tinny. The receive audio is extremely low in volume from both the internal speaker and worse from the speaker mic. I sent the radio back to Yeasu factory service to have these issues checked. I also asked them to check the transmited bandwidth. The radio was returned to me with a new internal speaker. I tested the radio and found no improvment. Sadly this radio sits as only a back-up ht. It is certainly not my favorite. I would never sell this HT to another ham, knowing how it performs. I conclude that the VX-8 series of radios has not been one of Yeasu's shinnig products.
EA4AZZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2010 09:47 Send this review to a friend
SMALL BEAST  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
One of the best wt I have.
Small and rugged.Nice and clear display.
The rx in amateur band is similar to others no big diferents.
I make the rx test with my others wt.. vx5. vx7, ft470,th77, th55,ic w32 and thf7 and is very similar.
But the rx in 88-107 is stereo much better than the thf7.
Works very fine in aprs and is easy to use.
Big output power in a small box.
Tx test: bird 43p into a 50 omh dummy load
144- 5w 435- 5,75w.
Very good grip in your hands.
About the bad....the original rubber duck antenna is horrible. I use a icom Fa1443b and is like the night and day.
More than 3 s-meters signals better with icom antena in 144 and 1s-meter signal better in 435.
The belt cilp is a fragile plastic clip.
I have my vx5r and use a metal and rugged clip but in this expensive wt you only can found a plastic clip.
In general the best wt ever I had
NL7PW Rating: 4/5 Sep 7, 2010 01:02 Send this review to a friend
I like it  Time owned: more than 12 months
I really like the improvements to the menu system. The book is an improvement over the VX-7r too. Haven't had any heat or TX problems although it does get warm with the car charger. Just had the low/distorted speaker problem after car charging while driving over mountains; apparently the air inside the radio expands and drives the speaker out to where it pops out of position and stays there with limited range of motion and resulting bad audio... solution is to open rubber covers for DC-in and earphones and then cover the speaker with your mouth and blow it back into position which restores the volume to normal. Took me a day to figure that out.

Don't like having to stop scanning while switching between A and B and it's a 50/50 chance the AM/FM reciever will work when I ask it to. It'll work when I turn it off and back on but I can't use AM/FM as a wake up alarm... Has to be a NOAA WX broadcast to be a good alarm clock. Minor gripes.

I like the belt clip better than the VX-7r because it doesn't have the button sticking out. Gave up on the VX-7r beltclip completely. 73s
KC9IWE Rating: 5/5 Aug 30, 2010 15:08 Send this review to a friend
Nice, complicated rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The VX-8R is my second HT and my second Yaesu, my first a nice FT-60R. I carefully read the reviews before buying it and, to no one’s surprise, found them to be right-on regarding the complexity of this rig. You are not going to open the box, turn it on and be happy!

Having read (and reread and reread) the manual and tried and tried, I think I have the radio doing what I would like. Still, keep the Nifty Mini-Manual with you.

The radio is rugged and does very well ‘hearing’ and ‘talking.’ It is much more capable than this operator and a lot of fun.
VA3JBO Rating: 4/5 Jul 13, 2010 19:09 Send this review to a friend
Other accessories  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I am happy with my first hand held. As I was going to be around sailboats, I decided to buy the submersible version. Thus far I have not dropped it in the drink.

Shortly I will hook it up to an external antenna, a Cushcraft tri-band mounted on a 54' tower. See how that will turn out.

Does anybody know if this radio can be connected directly to an external DC power supply? The battery charger and home charger are not powerful enough to allow transmitting while charging.

I also noticed as everybody else did, the car power supply is for charging only. Not even leaving the hand held on, it heats up too much.

Lastly, any suggestions as far as connecting it to a amplifier?

it may sound silly to add all these things, but for now I only want to work with a hand held.

Johan VA3JBO
N2PPV Rating: 4/5 Jun 7, 2010 08:29 Send this review to a friend
quad bander fm STEREO  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the vx-8r for a little over a year now and it has been reliable so far.I went with this because it has 4 bands 50/144/220 and 440 all in one!It has a great sounding speaker thats LOUD.
I takes em in the shower sometimes to make sure its still waterproof,and yes the guys think Im silly.The APRS is kind of complex,but if you dont like complex then you aint buying this radio!Its just as complex as a 92ad without the hollow-sound and nutty menu navigation .My Vx-8 has very good receive sensitivity (better than the 92ad)with the diamond antenna on it.Odd thing I found is with the GPS antenna attached to the radio,not the GPS mike as I have both mounts,it interferes with itself when on the radio....Kinda odd. Whatever,so you get the GPS mike instead,no biggie.I find the 220 gets out pretty well here even with its 1 and a half watts of POWER.Dont get the case,its a worthless.
Why cant any radio maker make a dam nice case for these expensive HTs?I want the thing totally encased,but their cheesy case allows the radio too many ways to get hurt.Why would I want Vx-8r to fall or be hurt?Come on now! Did I mention this thing has FM STEREO,I can run 2m and 440 while rocking out to q-104.Can you do that with your ht?NO!The shortwave works ok,but I would have to say you need a long wire to get shortwave.
Anyways thats Vx-8 in a nutshell by a nitpicker.
KD7VRU Rating: 4/5 May 29, 2010 16:47 Send this review to a friend
Overheats but nice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received this radio as an anniversary gift from my wife...I always wanted one of these gems. The problem I found was that the radio overheats (especially when using the car charger). The radio would beep and "-HEAT-" would come across the screen. I called Yaesu about this and they told me to send it back to the dealer for a replacement...which I did. However, the replacement also overheated and had a new problem...the AM/FM radio worked intermittently. So, I sent this one back for another replacement...this time I thought I would try the VX-8DR model to see if the problem would be solved with the newer model (payed more $$$ of course). too overheats even when using battery power and with only 30 sec long transmissions max. My only assumption is that this is a problem with these radios and that the only thing I could do is to avoid using high power. Other than this, I really enjoy the features and especially the APRS enhancements of the VX-8DR. If it did not overheat I would definitely give it a 5.
KB1QHE Rating: 4/5 May 13, 2010 20:13 Send this review to a friend
Great but GPS is awful  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In general Yaesu improved the VX8 over the VX7 but this is what I just send their tech dept:
I am extremely disappointed in the quality of the GPS unit on my new VX8_DR. It is by far the worst performing GPS of all the five that I have owned. It can take 10 or 15 minutes to pick up the satellites and that is driving around. I cannot walk around for under 20 minutes and have it work it all. de W1DBS, 73
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