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Amateur Radio Equipment - For general and technical discussion of Amateur Radio equipment such as transceivers, repeaters, controllers and receivers.

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Old 06-05-2017, 7:16 PM
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Default VX-3r: Opinions

Going to study for my HAM license, and I am thinking about the Yaesu VX-3R as a starter radio, what are your guys's thoughts on it? Its small, I am going with small so I dont have to lug around a bigger HT, and I dont really need a 300+ dollar HT (looking at you VX-8DR), and I also saw it has wideband recieve, input on that would be appreciated so I have something else to listen to (and leave my scanners at home) while im out and about.

Is it a good buy for 150? (on universal radio anyway it's 149)
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Old 06-05-2017, 7:48 PM
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They are outstanding radios. When they first came out I got a VX1 then a VX2, then a VX3, and the cheap chinese copy (I don't recommend that trash). Still have all of them.

They are not beginner radios. The power is too low unless you are in a repeater rich environment. There is no keypad so you program by turning the dial. It is slow and cumbersome. You will need the programming software and cable unless you are going to operate frequently on just a few common repeaters. Simplex, forget about it unless you stay within a few blocks.

As I said they are great radios and a very good price. I would suggest you start with a full keypad 5 watt handheld like the VX-6 for your first. then later get the VX-3. The VX-6 is still a compact radio, it gives you an extra band (220) and is on special at Universal Radio for $240.

Yaesu VX-6R VX6R Amateur HT
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Old 06-05-2017, 8:06 PM
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I have a VX-3R. It's a great radio and everything jhooten said is true. As with almost all portables, transmission success is iffy. I'm not sure it would make much of a "first" radio, however. For very little more money, you can get a mobile radio that will be inherently more reliable.
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Old 06-05-2017, 8:10 PM
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Hmm, I looked at the VX-6R, I'll look on YouTube and see what I can find out about this radio and if I should get it, yes jhooten full keypad would be helpful for DTMF on repeaters and such, so I'll look into the VX-6R for my "first" radio
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Old 06-05-2017, 8:25 PM
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The Yaesu FT-1XD is currently on sale at The Ham Radio Outlet for only $240. That's about the same price as a VX-6R, and you get many more features including true dual band receive. YAESU FT-1XD Transceivers HT Dual Band 2m-70cm, FT1XD
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Old 06-05-2017, 8:29 PM
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I dont really need DualBand recieve, single band recieve is just fine, and I dont really need DV either, analog is just fine to start out with
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Old 06-05-2017, 8:31 PM
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I have had all of this series. They were convenient, but not great radios. Right now, the FT-60R is possibly the best choice for a first radio. The receive coverage is excellent, and it is one of the easiest to program from the keyboard. The VX-3R has been discontinued, and the FT-60R will also be unavailable soon due to new models. The FT-65R, which replaces the 60R, seems to be a step backward in features and possibly quality. https://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/13257 Another plus for the FT-60R is that there is good free programming software (FT60 Commander) or you can use CHIRP, which is also free.
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Old 06-05-2017, 8:53 PM
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I think I'll just get the VX-6R.
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Old 06-05-2017, 9:02 PM
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The FT-60R is a solid radio, but it has several cons. The VX-3R is almost 1/3 of the weight of the FT-60! This is partially due to the FT-60 using a NI-CD battery instead of lithium ion. Another possible problem is if you have VHF lo-band that you monitor. The FT-60R receive coverage only starts at VHF air-band. Like many posters mentioned, the VX-3R has a low power output, but even at one watt a good antenna can do wonders!
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Old 06-05-2017, 9:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonScannerGuy View Post
I think I'll just get the VX-6R.
I love my VX-6R but given that it is the same price, the Yaesu FT-1XD looks like a better radio.
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Old 06-05-2017, 9:27 PM
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I think i'll start out with the VX-6. I dont think I'll need the WIRES or DV capabilities of the 1XD.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:08 PM
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The VX-3R is a great little radio as others have mentioned but they do have a chronic problem that will probably affect all of them at some point. The mic element on the front panel has two conductive rubber contacts on the back that makes contact with the circuit board behind it. The mic element is connected to the rest of the radio simply by the pressure of the circuit board sitting behind it and that connection can fail.

I've seen a bunch of them brand new with intermittent mic problems right out of the box including my first one and my replacement developed the problem a few years later as did all the ones my friends have purchased over the years. Yaesu was inundated with bad VX-3Rs at one time and supposedly found a solution, but I still run across people with newer radios that developed the problem.

You can dissemble the radio, clean the contacts and it will work for awhile but the problem will continue until you solder wires from the mic element to the circuit board behind it, which is not easy. If you get a VX-3R just be aware of when your warranty is out and keep checking for scratchy or intermittent transmit audio.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:28 PM
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Does the VX-6R suffer from this issue too?
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonScannerGuy View Post
Does the VX-6R suffer from this issue too?
I don't know about that issue but one of my two VX-6Rs developed a failure in its narrow FM crystal filter after about 7 years.
Yaesu VX-series sensitivity issue repair
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Old 06-06-2017, 7:32 AM
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I've had the VX-3R for about 8 months now and I love it. I am a sucker for small radios. I've used it for repeater and simplex work; satellite is next on my list. The battery life is great, and it's an excellent scanner for VHF airband and UHF public safety.

I can't say anything about the mic issue yet. Downside: AM and shortwave reception leaves a lot to be desired, but knowing that it's nice the feature is there anyway.

The FT-60 was my first modern HT, and I would highly recommend it for a first HT. Solid performance and easy to use, and built tough.

I also own a VX-8R which I primarily use for APRS and satellite. There's almost too many features in that radio. Nothing wrong with it, but, you could probably make a more practical choice nowadays.
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Old 06-06-2017, 9:37 AM
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I started amateur radio with a VX-2R, which I still find useful many years later. Then I bought a VX-3R once that VX-2R started to wear out its keypad buttons. I like the 3's locking volume and selection knob, however, I find myself always going backto the VX-2R since it can easily be free-banded.

I used the VX-2R to assist me in maintaining the radio racks of large ships. I could be my own distant end on VHF, UHF as well as very low power HF. AM and FM transmission was also needed as these vessels had aviation radios installed as well. If you need HF/VHF/UHF and AM/FM, even at low power both the VX-2R and VX-3R are great radios.

I tried using an Icom IC-T7H for the same purpose later on, as the full keypad was thought to be needed. With Chirp and Vertex Commander software, the Yaesu's can be programmed easily. For my use, the keypad was not needed. And the very small size was great when lugging around a bunch of test equipment everywhere. Being able to put a radio in your pocket was an advantage. Just be ready to charge it often as that battery does not hold a charge very long with use.
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:54 AM
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I've gone with the VX-6R. I will post an update when I get the radio...
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Old 06-12-2017, 9:15 AM
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You may not see s current need for dual band or digital or APRS , However you should try and future proof your radio, the vx3 is not honnsalloe long rag chews or higher power that something liken the FT 1 will offer , not to mention s full fledged dual bander holds its value s lot more than the entry rigs, people spend little money on limited capability radios and have to upgrade to a better radio to gain features or talk time and that's expensive, I didn't want an FT 1 but at $229 new i bought one , and I don't regret it , yaesu also for many years had the simple and advanced modes on there radio ,, so a novice would have access to the basics and could then enable the advanced features at will , with the FT 1 you will be able to do both c4fm and DMR along with APRS , ther is no real down side to buying more radio than you currently need , especialy for a a sub $250 radio that will bting msny yesrs of enjoyment , one of my radio is 27 years old and still going strong and it's a yaesu.

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Old 06-12-2017, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrath View Post
with the FT 1 you will be able to do both c4fm and DMR along with APRS
The FT-1XDR does analog voice, System Fusion (aka C4FM) digital voice, and APRS. It does not do DMR.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:39 AM
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With an open spot decide or most 9f the hotsot options it will transcode, the one drawback to openspot is that because it hss no AMBE chip it will not trtasnscode dstar , it lets you havd four modes dstar, C4FM, DMR, and trans , so you can user a DMR or C4FM radio to provide both.

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