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Reviews For: Yaesu VX-150

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held

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Review Summary For : Yaesu VX-150
Reviews: 245MSRP: 170
2m Vertex / Yaesu 5W handheld.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KE6TDT Rating: 2018-10-18
Military quality * The best +5 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
It's now been about 15 years or so since I bought two VX-150s new from a local HRO. Never had a single problem, never needed repair. And the batteries? I am using the same exact same batteries that came with the radios and they still take a full charge and hold it very well. Easy to program once you are familiarized with the radio. Very sturdy and has a military quality feel to it. Simply a very impressive 2-meter hand held unit. I won't ever sell these VX-150s.

Earlier 5-star review posted by KE6TDT on 2000-09-07

This is absolutely the best hand held I ever owned. I love it because I can hit all the repeaters due to the 5-watts of power, yet its so small. The perfect radio for me.
UK1 Rating: 2016-12-31
The best Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I recently bought a VX-150 after owning a VX-170 for about 8 years. The '170 has been a great handheld and I was pretty sure from the high user ratings here that I would get on with the old VX-150 despite it being a 'backward step' as the '170 replaced it a long time ago. The '170 has also been superseded in the meantime though it would appear its replacement is identical but for minor cosmetic alterations.

Plenty has already been written about how good this radio is and I agree with most of the reviews. I'm very impressed with mine and in some ways I find the '150 to be better than its successor. It's more compact, lighter and fits the hand nicer than the '170. It's more sensitive -- hears signals which don't quite break the squelch on the newer radio. I think it also has nicer audio quality than the '170, which has a membrane over the speaker. Signals come in fully quieting a lot of the time without hiss, which I always think is a good measure of any receiver. The sensitivity is top notch and the Japanese build quality is great. I have very seldom encountered any breakthrough and signals are clean across the whole of VHF.

I also own a new FT-60 and it is not as sensitive on VHF as this set, so if you want the very best VHF performance then I'd recommend you go mono-band.

I use a Midland SRH-536 antenna -- I really rate them. It seems the best size vs performance compromise and offers quite an improvement over the supplied antenna right across the coverage range. While there's no problem using standard SMA flexis, they do leave an unsightly gap on the radio's connector. A couple of O-rings sorts it.

Nothing is quite perfect of course:

* Audio volume. Turned up beyond about half-way there is some clipping in the '150's speaker. The '170 goes louder and because of this is the radio I use in the car.

* I'd prefer the squelch as a menu setting since the top rotary dial is too easily caught by accident.

The '170 does offer a few moderately useful additional functions but overall I can forego them since I like fairly simple radios, not functions I forget are even there after a few weeks. This really is an easy to use radio.

I rarely use scanners much now for receive as their cheap plastic build / RF performance / audio quality is inferior. The RF performance and audio of this radio is at least as good or better than commercial sets -- and a radio without a VFO is of very limited use to me. I have found that radios built with a die-cast metal body out-perform those built without, and I can accept the compromise compared to a scanner's coverage and scan speed as my preference is to hear signals in good quality first and foremost. I enjoy narrow band FM's high fidelity compared to the digital voice modes -- it's easier on the ear and more intelligible more of the time. I own digital radios but dislike the artificial sounding over-compressed audio they all suffer.

In summary, whilst this is an old design it still probably works better than anything else out there and feels like it will give many more years service. I think it might well be the best VHF portable of all time.

K4MJV Rating: 2016-12-09
One tough rig! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I picked up my first VX-150 used shortly after passing my tech exam. I used it for a couple of years then made the mistake of selling it. I wanted to get something newer. Big mistake! I recently found a great deal on another one and will keep it forever.

The audio is great. The range is better than my other HT (TH-K20A) using stock antennas and I get excellent audio reports - like "I would have never guessed you were on a handheld ..."

It is a bit heavier but not so much that it's a problem. You could use the thing as a hammer if you needed to and it would probably survive!

If are looking at these reviews because you are thinking of picking one up, grab it. You can usually find these well below $100.
KG4NVV Rating: 2013-09-25
Still Plugging Along After 12 Years! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Well, my VX-150 is still chugging along merrily after 12 years of ownership! It has taken quite a beating and still keeps on ticking. It did yeoman work during the spring of 2011 after the massive tornado outbreak that devastated the north Alabama area, during which it spent a good bit of time on my belt while I was handling a chainsaw and doing other cleanup work during that rough episode of history. I had no problem reaching our local repeater (that was used to coordinate relief teams) at 12 miles or more with the supplied rubber duck antenna. This antenna is much better than the junky one that Yaesu supplies with the FT-60R! Yaesu has definitely come up with a winner in this rig, and it will probably go down as a legend in amateur radio history, along with the HTX-202.

Earlier 5-star review posted by KG4NVV on 2002-02-11

I've had my VX-150 for about 7 months now and have used it extensively as a mobile rig in my truck. I typically use it several times a week for 15 to 20 minutes each time and so far it has worked perfectly. I really appreciate the rugged, water resistant construction and the loads and loads of features that this rig has. I use it with a MFJ lightweight 2-M/440 magnetic mount antenna and have no problems reaching the local repeaters with medium (2 W) power. After reading some of the other reviews, I rarely if ever run it at the full 5 W output. Why take a chance in frying the final when 2 W is more than sufficient? I would guess that most of the people who've had problems have run their unit at full power. I really like the low/medium/high power setup on this radio. I wish my Kenwood TH-G71A had this feature; it would be a real battery saver!

The receiver functions almost perfectly, and I've never had intermod, even in the high tech Huntsville, AL area where I live. I also like the two VFO channels, one of which I keep on the local NOAA weather station and the other on simplex.

Programming this thing is easy and its 200 memories is more than sufficient to program local and selected out-of-town repeaters.

Really, with its low price ($125 at the time of this writing at Gigaparts), you can't beat this rig! It far outclasses any other monoband handheld on the market in its price range due to its combination of ruggedness, power, and features. Based on some of the other reviews, I would recommend to anyone VX-150 owner to never run the TX at 5 W except in an emergency.

73 to all,
N7DMA Rating: 2013-05-13
Tough Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Ok. I've had mine for the better part of 12 years, so I guess I can make a fair reviewer now.

Tough little rig! I gotta say, this thing has been through the wringer, and still performs like a champ! I use it for special events, hiking, camping, and a bunch of stuff I don't even remember!

It's been dropped, kicked, rained and snowed on. This is my go-to rig for all my outdoor activities. I beat the crap out of this thing... takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin"!

I bought an FT-60 a few months back, because I wanted a dual-band HT.... and because the accessories fit the VX-150.

So, now, I have an FT-60, and the VX-150. The FT-60 sits at home (afraid to scratch the display face!), and the '150 goes with me, sporting a new Ni-Mh battery pack, along with a dry-cell battery pack as well. All accessories between the two are interchangeable.

They don't make 'em like this anymore. I expect my VX-150 to last many years into the future!

If you can find one used, GET IT! Best HT ever!

The only down side is the SMA antenna connector. Bad move (IMHO), but it still works FB. I use an sma to bnc adapter for my antenna connection.

Get the programming software to make life a bit easier... but it took me more than a decade to make that move!

KE7SZC Rating: 2012-01-24
Incerdibly tough little radio!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This radio is really hard to kill!!! The menus are straightforward, the menu system is easy to learn, and all of the features you need are right at your fingertips, the keypad is backlit and very well labeled for both dtmf and alternate functions.

The output of this rig is incredible, 5-watts from the battery pack, the metal case and famous Yaesu waterproofing are all there, the radio doesn't weigh too much to carry comfortably, and has quite the lifespan on the supplied NiCd battery pack, the only upgrade I could suggest is to upgrade to the NiMh battery pack for the VX-170, short of that, this is one bad boy HT!!!

The only complaint I have about the radio is that the rubber cover for the microphone and charger jacks finally gave up after four years of abuse including sweltering heat, rain, sand and mud!

For a monoband HT, this is a very good investment, and one that is without regret, well done Yaesu.....
KJ7GI Rating: 2011-12-03
One tough little radio! Time Owned: more than 12 months.

I've had two of these since they first came out (12 - 15 years or so). They were both modified for MARS and I use them every summer while working for the Forest Service. Can't imagine how many hows on these rigs but it's a lot(got to be 8k - 10k hrs easy!) Never had a lick of trouble.
They now run all day. One at home on the charger, for my wife, and the other stays with me. 12 hours a day every day.
If there's a tougher hand held VHF rig out there (amatuer or commercial) i'd like to see it. Mine get tossed into a pack-back, the glove box, back seat, floor, tool name it. I don't know why they still work!
I did order the Smiley antenna for Govn't freq's but keep the stock stubby antenna for back-up.
This has been the most reliable device of any kind that I've ever owned and they're still going strong. Too bad they don't make them any more.
KD0JWY Rating: 2011-07-20
My favorite single band HT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
this is KD0JWY and this little radio I bought as a scanner radio before I even knew what amateur radio was. I used it to monitor the RR band and slowly scanned all of the bands it was able to receive and discovered Amateur radio. I used it to listen to severe weather net's in the area as regular club nets every week. I got curious and got my license. I owe a lot to this radio. It's very easy to program on the spot, very good battery, great audio both in and out of the radio. I don't have anything negative to say about it. I wished I didn't sell it but needed to upgrade to a multi band HT. If you are looking for a single band HT definitely grab this one. 73's from KD0JWY
KI6ADA Rating: 2011-05-09
5 years and still great! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My first ham radio. A fathers Day present when I got my Tech in June 2005. The only thing I suggest is a higher gain antenna. I am using a Diamond ht antenna. I kept the stock antenna to show comparison.. If you find one get it!! The replacement model is just fine, too.

Earlier 5-star review posted by KI6ADA on 2006-01-18

My first radio. I have it in-line with dual ground plane Hy-Gain Vertical. I have the Yaesu speaker Mic. I need to get my antenna about 10 more feet in the air. I live in townhouse community and have restrictions. I can reach most of the repeaters within 20 miles of my QTH. The Vertex product is very reliable and takes a beating. I can be hard on my electronics and so far I have not abused it beyond normal operation.
The rubber duck antenna with the speaker mic, makes walking the dog or reading a book under a tree allot more fun.
I do not own any other equipment so I cannot say I favor one manufacture. I am shopping for a mobile rig and have decided upon simplicity and practical use for my Ham shack.
The vx-150 is a radio I hope to keep for my battery backup. I am looking toward the day I respond to a volonteer needed crisis and really drill the performance of the HT. Too bad it doesn't work as a dual-bander, but hey thats why I am getting a radio for the Ham Shack.
The VX-150 is still available from Vertex and will probably be around until the last one is sold.
Try it, you'll like it!
KD7OQC Rating: 2011-05-09
10 years, lots of use. No problems Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had a pair of VX-150's for almost 10 years now. When we had the tornadoes come through northern Alabama two weeks ago, I was supporting relief operations 12 hours a day for 3 days, then intermittently thereafter. Sometimes I was transmitting so much that one of the radios would get hot, so I would switch to the other. I would use a set of alkalines all day, and monitor the voltage level of the batteries with two key strokes (we didn't have power to recharge the battery packs.) Mine are early Japanese made radios.

Durable, easy to learn, excellent audio. If the FT-250 is this good, I would highly recommend it.