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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: 17 Average rating: 3.8/5 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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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.
KE7WNB Rating: 4/5 Mar 26, 2010 10:28 Send this review to a friend
Not perfect, but a good HT.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an impressive little radio. I believe it is the only out-of-the-box APRS capable HT on the market. I purchased it primarily for the APRS function. The closest radio to it is one of the ICOMs, but the ICOM w/DSTAR and the GPS mike is even more expensive than the VX-8 and the ICOMs GPS is only for DSTAR, no APRS with their rig.

I'm only giving it a 4, as it should come with the big battery out of the box, and because of the low maximum audio volume it's capable of.

Overall I like the radio and am happy I bought it. It has a lot of nice features and isn't that hard to use. The menu system is typical Yaesu as is the manual.

As with all HTs it suffers from its small size and complexity. Like others have stated, software is needed to easily program this radio.
That being said, I hand programmed mine and am happy with the results. As I have a VX-6R as my primary HT, I don't need to put every repeater frequency in my area into my VX-8DR. But eventually software to program the radio will be a necessity.

I find the need to do two key presses for most functions to be annoying but not overly so. For example: you need to press the volume key on the side of the radio and at the same time turn the knob to adjust the volume. The knobs primary function is to change the frequency or memory you're monitoring. However I find the APRS portion of the menus very easy to use and well organized. I would also like to mention that there is a headphone jack on the side of the radio above the power jack that will accept most stereo headphones.

Others have already covered the battery issue. The battery this radio comes with has no other use than as a backup battery. Buy the big battery if you buy this radio.

My only other complaint is the low audio volume of the radio. It does not have enough audio gain in my opinion. In a noisy environment, I still have trouble hearing the QSO even with the volume maxed out at 32. By comparison Max volume on the VX-8DR seems comparable to 50% volume on my VX-6R. Maxing out the volume on the VX-6R overdrives the speaker, no such danger on the VX-8DR.

I closing, I bought the VX-8DR for it's APRS capability, and it fulfills that role very well. I needed it compactness and portability for use as a hiker and bicyclist. I would only recommend a radio in the VX-8 family to someone who wants it's GPS capability. For normal voice use, there are cheaper radios out there.

AA4HA Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2010 18:04 Send this review to a friend
Great little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been using the VX-8DR for around a week now and I am very pleased with the HT.

Rather than just singing the praises of this radio (and there are many) I want to focus on the other things you may want to consider;

1. Go with an external programming package unless you like programming by the multiple key press method. (RT Systems works great on this radio).

2. Buy the extended capacity batteries right away when you buy the radio. You will not be pleased with the limitations of the stock batteries.

3. Find a better carry-case than the Yaesu standard vinyl pouch. (I wrote an earlier review on one of those)

4. Consider a different antenna like the Diamond SRH320A. It will not get you up on 6 meters but it makes '220 nicer to use.

KJ6APX Rating: 5/5 Mar 8, 2010 21:29 Send this review to a friend
Packed full of fun  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Great little unit, I am not going to rehash the comments, rather add some of my questions before I purchased the radio.

On APRS you can automatically send your location while you are working voice on the "A" band. You don't have to switch between bands to send a beacon.

You can't transmit while it is charging from an AC source. You can transmit while charging from a DC source. You will need this with the stock battery.

The transmiter, from my reports is on the weak side. Dont know if it is the wateproof micrphone or a draining battery, maybe both.
KP4IP Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2010 13:56 Send this review to a friend
Excelent Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchase my VX-8DR few days before sale.

I have the GPS unit, excellent unit.

The Bluetooth work fine I tested with Motorola H9, Motorola 390 and work fine.

If you planning use the HT with GPS unit and Bluetooth module you will need to purchase the extended 1800 mha battery. I test first with the original battery but only bring 2hr of operation.

The only bug is that the radio not has way to turn off the GPS unit and if you are not using the APRS the GPS remaining consume battery.

In overall I recommend this HT excellent HT radio. Thanks Yaesu....
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