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Sunday, 12 July 2009

Yaesu VX8R first view

Another new and long awaited hand portable rig is the Yaesu VX8R. This one is also waterproofed and puts out 5 watts on 6m/2m/70cms. For our friends over the pond it also does 1.5 watts on 220mHz. It has Blue-tooth connectivity, APRS and optional GPS. It has dual band receive which includes VHF/VHF and UHF/UHF which can be handy for monitoring both the calling frequency and your local repeater at the same time or because you have wide band rx you could listen to Am or FM broadcast while you waiting for a contact. It also has a built in spectrum analyser which allows you to scan around 60 channels at once for activity.

I got to play with one of these at the Mold and District Radio Club the other day and first impression is of a rugged little transceiver that might go down well with those who grew up on GI Joe (Action Man in the UK). It has that semi-military look of toys for boys like a Jeep or HumVee. It is small enough to fit in to the top pocket of a shirt and a 7.4 V 1100 mAh Lithium Ion battery is enough for a reasonable stretch, providing you don't use the GPS. Both the receive and transmitted audio are of sufficient quality for me to have no complaints in that area but, it's feel unfortunately lets it down as it seems very square and is uncomfortable to hold. Having said that I might buy one if the price was right as I could pair it with the Bluetooth on the Land Rover Discovery and have the sound coming through all 16 speakers. The price unfortunately is just as OTT as the Alinco below at £359.95 so I will not be splashing out on one of these either.

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