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


Reviews Summary for Yaesu VX-8DR
Yaesu VX-8DR Reviews: 22 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $540.00
Description: VX-8DR – A Devoted APRS Users Version of the VX-8R Series

The VX-8DR APRS®/GPS/Bluetooth® Handheld Transceiver is an additional version of the VX-8R that includes not only its solid features and specifications but also new expanded APRS® capabilities to meet the needs of even the most active APRS® user. The VX-8DR has the same appearance as the VX-8R and uses the very same accessories

The Yaesu VX-8R HT provides a full 5 watts FM on 50/144/430 MHz plus 1.5 watts on 222 MHz. It supports Bluetooth® hands-free operation with the optional BU-1 and BH-1 or BH-2 accessories. There is also an optional GPS unit and antenna with loads of features. This radio supports APRS 1200/9600 bps data communication (B band only). Like the VX7R, the VX8R is submersible and meets IPX57 specifications (3 feet for minimum of 30 minutes).
Product is in production.
More info: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yaesu_VX-8R/
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KB4MSZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2019 21:05 Send this review to a friend
Amazing HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the radio for just over a year and, now that I have had time to learn it's functions (those I use anyway) I find it to be quite the powerhouse. I was out of Ham radio for over 30 years and my how it's changed. I won't go into great detail as most of this unit's features are well known. But I do want to mention something I have found.

One of the main complaints I read about with the VX-8DR (and other newer Yaesu HT’s) is the lack of a dedicated volume control.

I don’t know if this would apply to other Yaesu HT’s, but with my VX-8DR I accidently found that the main knob can be assigned to control just volume. I did this by pressing the VOL button and then pressing the F button. The volume level indicator will blink as it usually does when adjusting the volume. But with the right combination of F key and VOL key the volume level indicators will continuously blink. Now the radio is in volume control mode with the main knob. Be sure to have the desired memory channel(s) already selected as the main knob no longer controls memory selection. I have managed to turn this feature on and off a number of times and while I still haven’t pinned down exactly what combination of F and VOL keys set it up, it does eventually work. I have never read of this feature in any of the Yaesu manuals. After powering down and restarting the radio this feature continues to function, so it isn’t just a temporary adjustment. We can have the best of both worlds with the multi-function knob. Pretty handy, I think.
 
PY2RAF Rating: 3/5 Nov 23, 2018 17:01 Send this review to a friend
A great radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Owned a VX-8DR for a year and a half. And here's what I think of it.

Generally speaking, this is a good radio: Been my 144/430 MHz radio in a almost daily use. Here's what I like in it:

GOOD:
1. Sturdy. Reliable. If it gets too hot, it cuts the transmission power to Level 2, in order to avoid major damage.

2. Feature-packed. Oh yea, you will have to read the fancy manual. Do yourself a favour and do read it.


BAD:
3. Radio goes bananas: It reboots when TXing using external antenna + external power supply and using L3 and HI power modes. Does not happen when using only the battery (not connected to wall wart).

4. Sensitivity/selectivity: It is very prone to strong signals/images. I would recommend getting yourself a RTL-SDR FM bandstop filter if you are in a FM broadcast polluted area.

5. Lacks remote control: While it supports the ADMS suite, it lacks something like the CAT interface.


UGLY:
6. Rubber antenna: Awful. Bad. BADDDD. Buy yourself some decent antenna.

7. Proprietary connector: A shameless vendor lock-in.
 
IU5JJA Rating: 4/5 Nov 28, 2017 10:02 Send this review to a friend
a very good, yet not perfect radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This radio is, on the average, very well built. Its quality is remarcable and has nothing to share with the poor substance of most of the chinese cheap products.

It is very modern, being managed by a rather complicate software, which is not so intuitive and obliges, having almost 100 menus, to often refer to the manual. A good solution is programming it via computer. Even if I am a rather conservative person and still like the old-fashoned radios, I am not willing to consider this as a minus in the radio evaluation, as technology goes on and we have to follow it.

There are two real negative points which, according to my opinion, deserve to be underlined:

- the audio output is very low;
- no level and squelch pots.

That means that one has to use a combination of keys to regulate the volume and the squelch level, a very annoying procedure if you are on the field and not on the couch at home.

Apart from that, it is very reliable and works fine, reports are very good.
 
W2GT Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2017 07:39 Send this review to a friend
My personal favorite handheld  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had a strange relationship with this model and have owned several of the "DR" version over the past few years. The appearance of it initially caught my eye, just something about the look is "all business", but when I got my first one, I was very disappointed with the audio - the speaker wasn't as loud as I was used to - it seemed to turn up all the way to "medium". I didn't use it much and sold it, but I still liked the "look" and decided it probably wasn't that bad and bought another. I actually went this "cycle" several times and finally gave up.

THEN, a couple of years later, I was looking for a handheld that supports Bluetooth to pair with a motorcycle helmet headset, so I bought yet another and the BU-2 module, to my total surprise, the one I bought (mid 2015 serial number) wasn't plagued by the low receive audio and the "muffled" reports I was getting with the previous units. I made a decision to build a small "go-bag" centered on this radio, batteries, mic-mounted GPS unit, roll-up slim jims for 2 and 6 meters, etc. I now own 3 of these with 2015 and 2016 serial numbers and they work perfectly - the analogy is tired, but these are truly the "Swiss Army knife" of handheld radios!

These are not a radio for a beginner, or someone not willing to sit down with the manual for a few hours. GPS and APRS works good and settings are in a separate menu, which is a good thing. I use the Bluetooth module with Oontz earbuds and a J&M helmet headset, but I have found some low-end BT devices that won't pair. Great radio, If I were able to only own 1 handheld, this would undoubtedly be it. de W2GT
 
WB2PDW Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2016 10:48 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT HANDHELD RADIO  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THE MANUAL BEFORE OPERATING THIS RADIO. 176 PAGES! THIS RADIO IS JUST LOADED WITH FEATURES THAT WILL KEEP YOU BUSY A LONG TIME LEARNING THEM ALL. AMAZING HOW SO MUCH CAN BE PUT INTO A SMALL BOX. SO MUCH BETTER THAN MY CRYSTAL SET I HAD WHEN I WAS A KID. 1953! THINGS SURE HAVE ADVANCED SINCE BACK THEN, AND IF I HAD THIS RADIO BACK THEN I GUESS IT WOULD ONLY RECEIVE AM AND FM,JUST THINK ABOUT THE NEXT 50 YEARS. THANK YOU YAESU FOR ALL THE TIME PUT INTO SUCH A GREAT HANDHELD RADIO, I'M COMPLETELY GRATEFUL FOR YOUR GIFT TO HAM RADIO! 73 WB2PDW
 
YELLOWLEMON Rating: 2/5 May 19, 2016 05:27 Send this review to a friend
The newer FT1DR is much better  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one of these used with all the accessories (GPS,Mic,High Capacity LiIon battery, Data cable) because I like it's rugged build. The low profile rotating knob for example is brilliant, as is the mic connector on the top.

However it has several cons that make the FT1D a better choice:

- When an APRS beacon is received there is no pop-up notification, even though it's set up in the settings.

- Many APRS packets are just not decoded, whereas the FT1D sitting right next to it decodes them all.

- The external GPS really is clumsy.

- The menu is just one long list of 120+ settings with no structure or categorisation. The FT1D does this much much better with the submenus.

- Battery life is terrible, and I tested this using the same brand new battery I got with my FT1D (the VX8DR and FT1DR both use the same batteries & charger cradle which is cool)

 
ZL1NJR Rating: 3/5 May 13, 2016 19:14 Send this review to a friend
Too expensive for what you get  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Overall, this is a great radio, but is it worth the money? That's debatable. It's a radio filled with features, most of which you'll probably never use.

Pros
Once you get used to it, the menu system and setup isn't so bad. Having to press a button while turning the VFO to adjust volume I actually think is a really good idea, that way you don't accidentally turn the volume way up or down. You also wont accidentally press any of the buttons because they are recessed into the radio. Audio reports for tx are excellent and RX audio quality is excellent. No complaints there. The radio itself is small and fits in your hand well. The spectrum analyzer and frequency counter are also pretty cool features.

Cons
The menu system and setup is fine once you get used to it, but is initially very complicated and intimidating. Battery life is utterly abysmal compared to my chinese HTs. The LCD window is easily scratched. For a "heavy duty" HT, it doesn't make sense that they used SMA for the antenna, except maybe so it could be compatible with common antennas. While the radio has a very wide receive, reception on HF and commercial AM is completely useless without a suitable antenna. Audio quality is excellent, but in some situations, the audio is not loud enough, even when it's as loud as it can go. Recessed buttons make it harder to press buttons on accident or snag buttons, but it also makes them harder to press. Lastly, accessories for this radio are way too expensive, and some other radios in this price range include the accessories that this one does not, such as GPS.
 
KI4TCX Rating: 3/5 Oct 3, 2015 18:58 Send this review to a friend
This radio is ok except for one problem  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought the VX-8DR because it did so many things. I thought in an emergency I could use the ham radio side and also listen to AM/FM broadcast stations. However the battery on mine will not stay in place. I don't use mine that much and take really good care of my stuff. I have read that others are having this battery problem too. Not sure if it's something with the battery or the radio. The radio isn't much good if it doesn't work because the battery won't stay in place. Other than the battery problem I'm having I really like this radio.

Pros
Fits well in the hand

I have vision problems but the buttons are still easy to read.

Backlit keypad

Receives and transmits on a lot of frequencies AM / FM broadcast, 2m,440,6m, 220 with 1.5w, SWL broadcast band and more.

Cons
The standard battery is 1100 ma should come with a bigger battery like the Yaesu Ft1dr

The price isn't bad until you start to add on accessories then the thing can get pretty pricey.

The Squelch and volume controls. I like the ones on the Ft-60r
 
YO3ITD Rating: 5/5 Sep 19, 2015 23:17 Send this review to a friend
Great ht with a lot of functions and also rugged  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Recently I purchased this radio SH at a very low price (180 EUR), with all accessories you can get (excepting the blue-tooth). This was a real bargain here, first because it worth more than 400 EUR SH. :)

Anyway, I have to give a 5 for this radio.

So, what I like:
- it has more useful functions than TH-D72 has
- much smaller and fit well in pocket/palm
- it has too small Li-Ion 1100mA battery and exceptional (optional) Li-Ion 1800mA battery and also a (optional) AAA battery case, just in case... :)
- external optional GPS Atennna and very precise (not so good design with antenna adapter mounted on it, but it does a very good job after downloading Almanac data)
- nice (optional) external SK/MIC with possibility to mount the GPS antenna on it.
- with (optional) intelligent drop in desktop Charger, charges the battery in 2.5 hours (or 4 hours) depending on capacity
- sensitive and selective (not greater than the old FT-530 or DJ-G5)
- great AM/FM broadcast and airband RX with predefined memory banks for: AM broadcast channels, NOAA freq, marine channels
- memory banks can be defined and named for multiple VHF/UHF/HF stored channels
- stores 50 APRS beacons packets and 30 APRS messages
- the display is nicely designed that you can read multiple lines at once with "reddish" back-light (good for night view)
- optional blue-tooth adapter (only for audio, maybe).

What I don't like:
- ugly design of external GPS antenna (but that's life...) :)
- no access for TNC (but let's not make a drama about this)

This is my opinion.
 
KI6GOT Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2015 15:37 Send this review to a friend
Great HT with APRS  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is an awesome HT that has tons of functionality. the 4 band coverage is excellent, and APRS features seem to work well. I've even used this HT to hit the ISS and Ham Sats on in FM and APRS modes... An excellent buy now that you can get them new for $350.
 
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