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Yaesu VX-8GR vs. Kenwood TH-D72

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  #1  
Old 11-20-2011, 07:55 PM
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Question Yaesu VX-8GR vs. Kenwood TH-D72


I need help choosing my next radio. Here's what I want:

1. Use radio for backwood emergencies and communicating with group.

2. Freeband on FRS and Aviation (for emergency only). Rather re-program the radio than de-solder. Frequencies need to be accurate so I get good communication on the FRS/Aviation channels.

3. Scan frequencies for activity. In an emergency, I want to find out where someone is in the spectrum.

4. APRS satellite.

5. Durability.

6. Long battery life and easy charging. Don't limit the battery comparison to only what comes with the radio.

7. Good UI, as I don't like carrying a manual with me.

8. Another feature I wish the radios had is I don't like giving up my voice TX band when using APRS.

For reference I have a Kenwood TH-D7. I have Standard Horizon/Yaesu HX-470 for my marine VHF. Prefer the Yaesu solid quality. Like the TH-D7 size and form factor.

I like the Yaesu GPS screen better, as it shows me the number of satellites. Not sure how Kenwood notifies a lost/poor GPS signal.

What is going to be the deciding feature between the two?

Thanks. Jake.

Last edited by snakyjake; 11-20-2011 at 09:17 PM.


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Old 11-20-2011, 09:17 PM
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Let me be the first to take a stab at this. There is not one handheld radio that can can do everything that you are asking for. There are limitations to what they can do. That being said I would recommend the Yaesu VX-8DR.

1. Use radio for backwood emergencies and communicating with group.

The VX-8DR works excellent for that. There several guys in mjy Search & Rescue group that use them including myself.

2. Freeband on FRS and Aviation (for emergency only). Rather re-program the radio than de-solder. Frequencies need to be accurate so I get good communication on the FRS/Aviation channels.

You can do the mod on the VX-8DR and use the FRS frequencies. Don't be too against the de-soldering, it is easy to do. You can only listen to the Aviation channels. To transmit on them you will need a different radio.

3. Scan frequencies for activity. In an emergency, I want to find out where someone is in the spectrum.

Does it very well.

4. APRS satellite.

You bet it can do it and it dose it very well.

5. Durability.

IPX8

6. Long battery life and easy charging. Don't limit the battery comparison to only what comes with the radio.

With the larger battery 8 hours easy

7. Good UI, as I don't like carrying a manual with me.

If you have any Yaesu radios then you will do fine with it.

8. Another feature I wish the radios had is I don't like giving up my voice TX band when using APRS.

The VX-8DR is a quad band radio. You can use 2 seperate frequencies at a time. One can be used for APRS and one for voice.


I hope this helps a bit.
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Portable: Yaesu VX-8DR
Mobile: Yaesu FTM-350R & Comet CA-2x4SR
Base: Icom 746Pro & Chameleon V22L Multiband antenna
MFJ-993B Auto Tuner / RigExpert Ti-5

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Old 11-20-2011, 11:52 PM
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I agree with Depark's assessment. The VX-8DR is like the swiss army knife of HT's. It's frequency range is far greater than most other HTs and is a tough little radio. Note that we're both recommending the VX-8DR over the VX-8GR.

FWIW, I have both the VX-8r and the TH-D72. There are things that I prefer about each radio, but I believe your requirements are better served by the Yaesu.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:02 AM
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Is the trade off between VX-8DR and VX-8GR:
  • DR's ruggedness vs. built-in GPS.
  • DR has the 6m band.

Not sure how useful 6 meter is. Ideally there would be a reliable 6m APRS network in WA state.

I'm also liking the idea of being able to use the GPS with my laptop. Can this be done with Yaesu?

Any problems using Yaesu's TNC with a laptop?

Also like to program my radio's via software like Kenwood. How's the software for Yaesu.

What are you finding the trade-offs to be between VX-8DR, VX-8GR, and TH-D72?

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Old 11-21-2011, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
Is the trade off between VX-8DR and VX-8GR:
  • DR's ruggedness vs. built-in GPS.
  • DR has the 6m band.

Not sure how useful 6 meter is. Ideally there would be a reliable 6m APRS network in WA state.

I'm also liking the idea of being able to use the GPS with my laptop. Can this be done with Yaesu?

Any problems using Yaesu's TNC with a laptop?

Also like to program my radio's via software like Kenwood. How's the software for Yaesu.

What are you finding the trade-offs to be between VX-8DR, VX-8GR, and TH-D72?

The 8DR also has 220Mhz and a host of other features not present in the 8GR. The catch with the Yaesu product is that the TNC is not accessible from a PC like the Kenwood is. The VX-8G does output the APRS info to the PC, but you can't actually control or use the TNC in the VX-8 radios from the PC. If you want a full TNC, then the Kenwood is the only choice.

BTW, both radios have good programming software although the VX-8 software doesn't come from Yaesu; you have to purchase 3rd party software.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:12 AM
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Does that mean the Yaesu's lack of PC TNC does not work with UI-View or APRSPoint?

Or does the lack of TNC control mean you can't control the radio from the PC, using the PC as the radio's user interface?

I really enjoy looking at a map of all the APRS units in the area.

I also would like to use the radio's GPS to connect to my PC for navigation.

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Old 11-21-2011, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moleculo View Post
Note that we're both recommending the VX-8DR over the VX-8GR.
Why the distaste for the GR?

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Old 11-21-2011, 12:25 PM
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I read the Yaesu 8GR GPS is not as good as Kenwood's. Kenwood is using SiRFstarIII, not sure what Yaesu uses.

Received a response from Kenwood regarding the device being powered by the USB port. Kenwood: "The TH-D72A may not be power by the USB connection."

My Delorme PN-40 can be powered and recharged via USB. This is especially convenient when travelling, as I don't need to bring a charger or special USB cable.

Jake

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