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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Yaesu VX-8DR -( APRS® / GPS / Bluetooth® Handheld ) Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu VX-8DR -( APRS® / GPS / Bluetooth® Handheld )
Yaesu VX-8DR -( APRS® / GPS / Bluetooth® Handheld ) Reviews: 14 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $499.00
Description: The Yaesu VX-8DR is an APRS® enhanced version of VX8R.
('has same appearance as VX-8R & uses same accessories)

Key additional features of VX-8DR include:
+ Smart Beaconing™ Function.
+ Station List memories increased from 40 to 50.
+ APRS® Message Memories increased from 20 to 30.
+ DIGI-PATH route indication function.
+ Heads up compass display to the GPS screen.
+ Message received LED flashing rate is selectable.
+ DIGI-PATH route settings increased from 1 to 7.

(Yaesu will have a VX-8R upgrade-program soon.)
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Yaesu VX-8DR -( APRS® / GPS / Bluetooth® Handheld ).

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AD0EY Rating: 4/5 May 21, 2014 11:50 Send this review to a friend
Amazing features, some flaws  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Starting with the bad - speaker is simply garbage. So quiet it's a constant pain trying to hear it. Stock battery is inadequate. Blue-tooth "capable", but needs a $150 kit to make it work.

Now the good - this unit can scan HF frequencies from 1.8 MHz all the way through to UHF. Menu system is easy to use. APRS/GPS functionality is incredibly simple to set up and use. Blue-tooth is actually worth having - it's a great addition and solves the speaker problem.

For functionality, I took this unit to Australia. It packs down small (but take the tip off the rubber duck to avoid TSA hassles). I had to use (for a USA ham) custom repeater offsets, custom APRS configuration and GPS configuration. It was all easy to set up.

Some of the repeaters here in CO use different tones on TX and RX. The Yaesu handles them just fine.

Memory setup and labeling is easy, though the software makes it much easier.

While I truly loved my VX-7R, and it has a better speaker and feels more rugged, this radio does so much that I am really enjoying it. You will need to spend some time playing with settings - attenuation, squelch etc. to overcome the bad speaker, but it will reward you well.
KD2FIP Rating: 1/5 Jan 11, 2014 16:52 Send this review to a friend
Tried to love it  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After the stellar performance of my FT-60, I was excited to upgrade to the VX-8DR. The radio is wonderful in the hand,and the menus were a littel daunting (small screen) but after a week, they were managable. The problem was that the radio flat out stunk. I couldn't hit my neighbor's house across the street. Reset, reconfigure, retry, nothing worked. I have to assume that I got a clunker, but for the money that Yaesu gets, there isn't any excuse. Returned to vendor and traded for an ICOM ID51A. Enough of Yaesu "High End" stuff. Very disappointing.

On the plus side, my FT-60 is like a broadcast station. Great audio, Super signal and it really reaches out and works. I am glad that I kept it.
KC0VOE Rating: 1/5 Apr 25, 2012 17:00 Send this review to a friend
Its OK  Time owned: more than 12 months
Speaker is really weak. Worse than an iPhone on speaker phone. and the battery sucks in a big way. Buy the extended life battery. Other than that its a pretty cool HT with 4 bands on it. And it does APRS. if you are into that.
KF7URE Rating: 4/5 Apr 17, 2012 23:24 Send this review to a friend
Works great, also consider the VX-8GR as a practical option  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned the Yaesu VX-8DR for three weeks. I wondered why I had to have this radio. I told my wife it was waterproof and super for hiking, biking, motorcycling, etc. She said, don't they make waterproof bags and she popped my bubble! She was right. So then I told her it looks cool to me. She agreed that was the real reason I wanted the VX-8DR HT.
Now that all said, this is what I learned. There is a lengthy learning curving on how to make all the functions work. Mastery requires reading & re-reading the manual and watching some demos on Youtube helps too. I had moments in the beginning, I just hated VX-8DR, because it was hard to recall the functions. I now understand why some people rated the 8DR poorly. The amateur tech test was easier to learn. However now at three weeks it is coming together. The APRS functions are easy to do and I really like the tracking and messaging I can do. My out of state family get a kick, watching my live tracking while I am biking on the APRS google map with street view. My area, we have only one 6 meter repeater, so limited use on 6 meters. Shortwave & HF are near impossible without a better antenna. I like the pre-loaded Marine, NOAA, and Shortwave bands. Yes, mods can be done to a resistor, however I am not into that and voids warrant. It does scan a ton of frequencies (New Yorkers, few other states, and countries be cautious, because of some regional laws prohibited scanning in certain bands &/or in vehciles, not just cells). I found that Bluetooth is okay and works with my motorcycle helmet Scala Rider Bluetooth. The GPS works great on a mic and and on CT-136, however the VX-8GR reports state internal GPS does a really good job too! I got the 1800 mAh battery which was wise and needed. To improve my APRS transmissions, I am deciding between the Comet SMA24 or the Diamond SRH77CA antenna for trail running, bicycling, motorcycling, etc.
So for those deciding between a VX-8DR and a VX-8GR, do you really need Bluetooth, 6 meters, and a weak HF / short wave scan capabilities? A Bluetooth alternative for the VX-8GR, there are mics that go with a plug in earphone. Otherwise the VX-8DR is a great choice.
N1ZZZ Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2012 20:18 Send this review to a friend
Great for APRS  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought this radio for the APRS capabilities and for a main H-t. It works quite well for both tasks plus has a great deal more to offer.

I got all of the options out of the box and will make the following comments:

1) the bluetooth works well but the Yaseu headset makes you look like a real dork. I'd avoid it

2) the speaker mike is the ideal place to give the GPS more view of the sky.

3) trying to enter a APRS message on the radio is really annoying. The input routine is very clumsy.

4) Get a cord to program it for the same reason. It makes life much easier.

5) get the bigger battery and desk charger.

Jeremy N1ZZZ
KB1OBG Rating: 3/5 Aug 30, 2011 11:31 Send this review to a friend
Could be better for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Let me start by saying I'm pretty much a die hard Yaesu fan. All of my equipment is Yaesu, but this radio is a bit disappointing for the price. From an APRS standpoint it works really well, but here are the things that bother me...

1) The low capacity battery. You really couldn't include the 1800 mah as the stock battery? For $400+ dollars, it should be!

2) The speaker flat out stinks. The audio output of my VX-3R puts this one to shame! The VX-3R is much smaller than this radio, yet the audio on it is much more powerful, robust and clear. If I could put the VX-3R speaker in this radio, I would. The audio level of my VX-3R at level 5 blows away the VX-8DR audio at a level of 10-15.

3) The soft rubbery and mushy keypad. What's up with that? Again, the VX-3R keypad is so much better! The VX-3R's keypad has harder plastic buttons and are much easier to to push. Why not use a similar keypad here? I find the buttons on this radio to be almost flush against the plastic and are not easy to push, whereas the VX-3R's keypad is more raised and easier to use.

4) Why is 915-944 MHz blocked? Did Yaesu forget that in the USA we have 902-928 MHz assigned to the ham bands?

5) Noise rejection on this radio is terrible. If I put it in the same room where a computer is, it gets nothing but noise when monitoring a repeater QSO. Turn off the the computer, the QSO is DFQ with no noise at all. Again, really sad for the price of this radio.

Other than the above I really like the radio and it's functionality. Maybe I'm being picky, but for the price and comparing it to my VX-3R which is about a third of the cost of this radio, I'm disappointed.
KJ4RME Rating: 4/5 Aug 1, 2011 09:45 Send this review to a friend
UPDATE  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having Put the Radio though it's paces, I have learned a few things.

1. Get the car Charger, EC-5b, this is a real battery saver. Since when in the car it will save the battery.

2. the cd41 charging cradle is not OPTIONAL, its a MUST

3. Some of these radios have boards in them that BLOCK revieve of the 900mhz 915-944, ham band and according to yaesu its random as in some do and some dont. this is a major issue with me as a product should be uniform in delivery and spec!!

4. the stock antenna works!!! i had a 130 mile 2 meter qso with a mobile station from the top of a mountian hiking. I think i will skip the aftermarket ducks..

5. the radio has a lot of features that are not documented fully, that will make you think!! for one if you have aprs on you will not get Tone on the b radio, so if you scan it will not open up on a signal other than APRS, and if your on simplex it will also not open up on a signal. Just FYI!!

Nice radio, much much more expensive than the Kenwood Th-72A. Unless you need 6M and 220..

KF7OTU Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2011 07:24 Send this review to a friend
Yeasu VX-8DR  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had this handheld for about 3 months now. I do recommend replacing the stock battery with the 1800 and replacing the antennae with a diamond. I bought a diamond mag mount but soon realized how weak the SMA connectors can be. I will be repairing it here with some solder when I get some free time. I also purchased the blue tooth unit and tried it out with a jawbone. For some reason I was having compatibility issues so I will go ahead and purchase the bluetooth headset Yeasu makes. I have not had the chance to try out the APRS or GPS functions but this radio has more features than you can shake a stick at and it can take alot of wet weather. I bring it along on long hikes and has been a fun handheld to use. I suggest you get the alkaline battery pack and a headset. If you are going to be using it in your car get the speaker/mic for it and a gooseneck mount.
N2PAC Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2011 19:05 Send this review to a friend
Top of the food chain!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is an excellent radio in a very compact rugged package. The radio has great features like, Dual receive, APRS, GPS Capabilities, Sensors built in, Altimeter, volt meter, tempurature, Barometer, even has a bright LED light on it. Quad band Ham radio 50/144/222/440 bands. Completely submersible, with the ability to establish internet connection through radio repeaters. Can monitor frequencies to 1000 Mhz. Listen to AM/FM broadcasts while listening to dual VFO's at the same time.

I purchased the external speaker/mic, that is also waterproof, and has a lock down connection. Also a high capacity 1800mv battery (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) for prolonged operation, rapid charger, and a Diamond SRH77CA whip. All great accessories for the VX-8DR.

I've used the VX-8DR while Camping/Hiking during heavy rain, while Mobile, as a Base radio lol, Pulled APRS Data of the Space Station, Ect. Where this radio shines for me is portable FM Satellite work, I mount it on a tripod set up with an Elk 2M/440 L5 Antenna. Uplink to the Sat on 2M, while tuning for doppler effect on the downlink 70CM. Awesome!!!

I've have zero problems setting up the VX-8DR manually, without the help of Programming software. Setting tones, labeling, ect, ect. I suppose it would be nice to use software, but not necessary at all.

One of the best, most rugged HT's on the market in my opinion.
$399 at HRO is a great deal for a radio that will take a beating.
WW4CC Rating: 4/5 May 24, 2010 07:15 Send this review to a friend
Impressive Rig!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I previously owned the VX-8R and was quite satisfied overall as an every day radio. I recently purchased the VX-8DR version primarily for the APRS and GPS enhancements, and I am pleased with it so far. Aside from my normal use of this radio, I recently used it while serving as a volunteer for a 100 mile charity bike ride, and the following items are my thoughts:

1. Solid transmit and receive, but, as other have stated, get the FNB-102 battery with the radio if you plan on using the GPS and APRS funstions. The FNB-101 that comes with the radio is just not enough unless you use the cigar charger/power cord with the small battery.
2. I used the radio with a 1/4 wave mag mount antenna and an FNB-102 battery in a roving vehicle, on battery power only (I had the cigar charger/power cord with me but I didn't need it at all), running APRS, GPS, and transmitting at a full five watts for around 8 hours-(transmit approx. 1 minute-recieve approx. 5 minutes) on the same battery. It worked like a champ. This ride was held in the hills of eastern Alabama, and I experienced great transmit and receive all around the 100 mile course with no problems.
3. I wish it had a volume knob instead of a software volume adjustment. Two steps to turn the volume up or down is really annoying. Also, there are other items in the menu that could be knob controled that aren't, which, in my mind takes away from the enjoyment of using this radio.
4. You really have to know this radio inside and out to completely enjoy it. It is a beautiful Public Service scanner also, but linking banks to scan can be a chore if you don't know how to do it.

This is a great radio. It does a lot for what you pay for, but I find myself spending more time trying to navigate the menus to change radio functions than I do actually enjoying using the radio itself. A cheat sheet for it is almost a must! That's why I gave it a four, but as a previous poster stated, if you use APRS and GPS, this radio is the best in it's class. If you don't need or use all of it's other features, cheaper radios can be found that can be just as fun.
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