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Yaesu VX-8r Review

L6E,

My day job is one that also involves technology. I usually get to play with all the good stuff, too. I have lamented many of the same concerns about this hobby's slow rate of technical advancement, too. However, comparing a hand held VHF/UHF radio to an iPhone is not an apples to apples comparison. It is the same type of comparison as buying a new car and then complaining that it can't take off vertically like a helicopter and fly you to work. A car and a helicopter are both forms of transportation, but the similarities end there. The same goes for VHF/UHF radios and iPhones. Yes, the radio industry needs to step up their technology game (no doubt!), but directly comparing the two platforms isn't an appropriate comparison.
 
L6E,

My day job is one that also involves technology. I usually get to play with all the good stuff, too. I have lamented many of the same concerns about this hobby's slow rate of technical advancement, too. However, comparing a hand held VHF/UHF radio to an iPhone is not an apples to apples comparison. It is the same type of comparison as buying a new car and then complaining that it can't take off vertically like a helicopter and fly you to work. A car and a helicopter are both forms of transportation, but the similarities end there. The same goes for VHF/UHF radios and iPhones. Yes, the radio industry needs to step up their technology game (no doubt!), but directly comparing the two platforms isn't an appropriate comparison.

I agree with above statement! It's a good comparison ( car vs helicopter)
My day job also involves advanced technologies (super high speed-high resolution cameras) most of which are still in developmental stages.


L6E, You must be the unluckiest VX-8R owner in the world.

I personally got into this hobby mainly because of features of VX-8R. I wanted small rugged multiband/wideband transceiver, and it seemed to be THE BEST choice at the time. Still is i think. So, I bought two right off. I realized i need to learn a lot, and i did. I got my amateur licence so i can use most of its features, and after year and a half, I only have one complaint. Battery indicator will surprise you and radio will turn off.

Everything else was very consistent with product description, and i feel like i got more than i expected from a "walkie talkie"

since then, i bought 5 different antenae to test tham on different bands, as well as 45W dual band Amplifier. More fun to come.
Neither unit ever gave me problems, nor did any physical wear and tear appear.

cheers
 
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I'm sorry, but I just can't agree with the car vs helicopter argument. This is why:

Camera: modern touch screen technology. Modern, easily navigated dynamic virtual controls. USB computer interface.

GPS: modern touch screen technology. Modern, easily navigated dynamic virtual controls. USB computer interface.

Cell phone: modern touch screen technology. Modern, easily navigated dynamic virtual controls.

Ipod: modern touch screen technology. Modern, easily navigated dynamic virtual controls. USB computer interface.

Printer/copier/fax: modern touch screen technology. Modern, easily navigated dynamic virtual controls. USB computer interface.

Home theater remote: modern touch screen technology. Modern, easily navigated dynamic virtual controls. USB computer interface.

Sonic fish finder: modern touch screen technology. Modern, easily navigated dynamic virtual controls. USB computer interface.

CNC milling machine: modern touch screen technology. Modern, easily navigated dynamic virtual controls. USB computer interface.



Latest Ham radio: 1980s technology



The Garmin Dakota GPS is a perfect example because it possesses some parallels with a hand held radio. For instance, it is hardened and waterproof for outdoor use. It has three radio receivers and one radio transmitter on board. It is small and battery powered. But it is different in that it has a modern smart looking case. It has a wonderful, easy to see in the sunlight color touch screen. It has an easy to navigate control interface. In fact I was able to access, understand and operate every one of its many functions without ever having to look at the manual. As a bonus the Dakota has joined the ever increasing list of next generation devices by replacing the USB interface with a wireless computer interface (where does that but Yeasu's latest tech). I've been considering buying a Dakota just to pull the guts out and use the case and touch screen for other projects.

I realize that the VX-8DR is the best hand-held out there (that's why I bought one) but just because something is the best available doesn't necessarily mean it is good.
 
I don't have any problem with your assessment of current radio technology as compared to other technologies. However, this thread is about assessing the VX-8 on it's own merits and as it relates to other radios. This thread really isn't the place to have this discussion, but if you want to start a new thread, by all means do so.
 
Dial

Hi Everyone !

I am an owner of the VX-8R. I do like to ask a question to any owner regarding a mechanical thing (The tuning dial) on this radio.

I have noticed that when the dial is used quite a lot to tune frequencies or go through APRS menus and station lists, it becomes lighter to turn after some time of use.

Originally it is quite stiff to turn but with some use it becomes lighter and it is worrying me a little bit as this may be a sign of wear and tear.

I noticed that if the radio is left unused for a couple of days, the original stiffness returns.

I appreciate if any owners who may have noticed this same thing on their radio could confirm this.

Well done for the reviews Moleculo!!
 
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I have not had a problem with my tuning dial becoming worn out. I don't think you need to worry about it.
 
First time poster and new ham here.
Thank you very much for the review. Great info and it is much appreciated. I am looking to by my first radio and was looking at this radio as well as the VX-3R. Which one would be better for a completely new ham?
 
The VX-8R has been superseded by the VX-8DR now, and joined by the VX-8GR.

It's a very expensive radio. You are paying for quad band capability as well as a high level of water resistance. Do you need these? Very few people find 6m useful on an HT. I can't speak for 220MHz as that isn't a band we have over here.

You are also paying for APRS capability but for that to be useful you need to purchase a GPS which is another expensive add-on.

If you think you might be interested in APRS but aren't bothered about 6m or 220 then you could get the VX-8GR and save quite a bit of money. On the other hand if APRS seems of no interest right now (or you think that all you want to do to start off with is talk to people) just get the 3R.

HTH.
 
Thank you very much for that insight. At this time I am not really interested in any of the other stuff and I'm sure by the time I have the knowledge to be interested in it, the technology will more than likely have advanced and new equipment will have been released. I will go for the VX-3R
 
Thanks for this thread, I just read the whole thing in one go :)
I recently purchased a used VX8R, and I need to convert some headsets to work with it.

I got the pin-out stuff fromt the other thread, so that's great. I'm having issues with connecting microphones though. Some sound really really low, while others don't really work.

Does anybody know which impedance and type of mic i need to buy to get this to work?

Do any other components (like capacitors, resistors or diodes) need to be installed? A friend did a mod with a mic with what appears to be a diode acress the terminals, and that works?!

I also need to do the MARS mods to a couple of these radios. Since we bought them used, there are no extra grey seal pads with them. Can I get them somewhere else?
 
Does anybody know which impedance and type of mic i need to buy to get this to work?

Do any other components (like capacitors, resistors or diodes) need to be installed? A friend did a mod with a mic with what appears to be a diode acress the terminals, and that works?!

I also need to do the MARS mods to a couple of these radios. Since we bought them used, there are no extra grey seal pads with them. Can I get them somewhere else?

The manual has the spec on the mic - it's 2K Ohms impedance. That should at least help point you in the right direction?

For the grey seal pads, I'm sure you could get the directly from Yaesu. They also come with the bluetooth option. I suppose you could use something like aluminum foil tape also, which can be found at most hardware stores.
 
Thanks. I saw the 2K ohm info in the specs, I was just wondering if that's all there is to it. I took a cheap PTT apart, and i seems to have both a resistor and capacitor in parallel with the mic. I know about the resistor to disable the handset speaker, this is another one. I'll order some 2Kohm electret mics and see how they perform.

If you are an admin, please delete my posts on these topics in the Yaesu forum. I made them as it seemed a better place and planned to edit the post here afterwards, but couldn't. Sorry about the spamming.
 
As long as you are in there under the lid, you may as well install the bluetooth module, as others have suggested. My only concern was battery life, so I tested that...

I have two VX-8DR radios. After conditioning the standard batteries, I put the module in one radio but not the other; and let them both run with the same settings (back light, no TX, same RX, LED on, no BT device connected) until the battery died.

The one with the module died 5 minutes before the one without the module. So - yes, the BT module does suck some power, but the difference is negligible IMHO.

Moleculo - thanks again for such a great review and mod!
 

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