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Author Topic: Yaesu VX-6R  (Read 18872 times)

Geek

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Yaesu VX-6R
« on: March 22, 2013, 08:56:49 PM »
I bought a Yaesu VX-6R as my first radio.  I received it about a week ago and thought I'd post a few comments and add more as I learn more.  The unit is about the size of my fist, extremely small, and has a very rugged feel to it.  The rubber duck antenna appears to be 11.5".

It claims to be submersible in 3m of water for 30 minutes, but I have zero intention of testing this.  :-)  I bought my unit with a desk charger and the software to program it.  It was easy to get started, but I found myself referencing the manual frequently due to the many dual function keys needed to operate it.  My impression is the same is true for any competing models, so I don't think this is a real knock.  I set up the software without difficulty and programmed in some local repeaters.  The software was very easy to both set up and use.  I've been listening, not transmitting, and mostly paying attention to the 2m band.  I've picked up signals from much further away than I expected and the radio seems to at least function on all the bands it covers.

The unit did not come with a car lighter plug, so today I ordered one along with a battery pack that will take AA batteries instead of the custom battery that comes with the unit.  I also ordered a couple inexpensive 2m antennas to see what happens to the range when I swap them.  One is a tiny unit that replaces the rubber duck with something about an inch long.  The other is a long cable that I'll test by hanging it out the second story window.

I bought the radio from Gigaparts, who called because I did not supply a call sign to make sure I understood what I was getting.  I explained that I had just passed the exam and was waiting to get the call sign from the FCC and Gigaparts sent the unit right out, so I have a positive impression of them as well.  The radio is pricey compared to a Baofeng, but I decided to go with a solid brand name for my first purchase.  Overall I am quite please and would recommend this radio to someone looking for a solid HT.

madball13

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 09:01:36 PM »
Great HT. I have a 7 and a 8.

Geek

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 09:23:15 PM »
I chose the VX-6R because it appeared to be the smallest unit in the Yaesu line.  What caused you to choose the models you have?

gil

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 11:24:08 PM »
I have an FT-270R, because it is waterproof, cheap, and is a 2m band handheld.. If I had the money, I would have bought a VX-7R, for the 6m AM option. I still might get one some day, though I prefer operating on HF CW.

Gil.

RadioRay

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 02:50:11 PM »
You did well.  That entire line, from the VX-5 onward are just superb.  I like having a basic shortwave receiver in the handitalkie, though that is a side feature.  They're built like a tiny tank and a person would have to WORK to damage one.  That unit tied into a mag-mount antenna (5/8 wave) on the roof of a car will surprise you with it's capabilities.  With a house roof mounted gain antenna / beam, you have a powerful comms station.  With a simple - though delicate - modification, that rig is capable of transmitting almost anywhere that it can hear - except for the AM/Shortwave bands. This is a handy 'emergency' HT that is compatible with FRG,GMRS and MURS radio services.  Unfortunately, it's not type approved by FCC for that, but they might have more important things to deal with. YMMV. However, in an emergency , you do what is morally responsible - regardless of regulations.

You are quite correct in wanting to be able to charge it with the 12 volt charge plug.  In any emergency, you might not have AC power, but you probably are surrounded by car batteries. If this charge adaptor is regulated, you can probably use it with a solar panel as well but FIRST confirm that the charger can safely accept the higher voltage of a solar panel, otherwise when you reach the end of your battery recharge cycle, as the solar panel draw less current, it's voltage may rise high enough to fry the charger, so read the specs.

de RadioRay ..._ ._
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 06:27:57 PM by RadioRay »
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

White Tiger

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Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 04:19:13 PM »
I had heard that after their manufacturing contract ended - the Chinese company that built these for Yaesu put their own model out based on the VX platform...

I believe it's called Baofeng
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

Geek

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 04:24:10 PM »
That unit ties inot a mag-mount antenna (5/8 wave) on the roof of a car will surprise you with it's capabilities.  With a roof mounted gain antenna / beam, you have a powerful comms station.  Witha simple - though delecate - modification, that rig is capable of transmitting almost anywhere that it can hear - except for the AM/Shortwave bands. This is a handy 'emergency' HT that is compatible with FRG,GMRS and MURS radio services.  Unfortunately, it's not type approved by FCC for that, but they might have more important things to deal with. YMMV. However, in an emergency , you do what is morally responsible - regardless of regulations.

You are quite correct in wanting to be able to charge it with the 12 volt charge plug.  In any emergency, you might not have AC power, but you probably are surrounded by car batteries. If this charge adaptor is regulated, you can probably use it with a solar panel as well but FIRST confirm that the charger can safely accept the higher voltage of a solar panel, otherwise when you reach the end of your battery recharge cycle, as the solar panel draw less current, it's voltage may rise high enough to fry the charger, so read the specs.

de RadioRay ..._ ._

Can you recommend a specific antenna?

Re: FRS and GMRS, I have a GMRS license (one of 3 people in America I believe) is it illegal to use this radio for those frequencies since I have the license?

My thought on the charging is if the battery pack that takes AA batteries works okay, I'd just get lots of rechargeable batteries and a solar battery charger.

madball13

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 04:42:39 PM »
I chose the VX-6R because it appeared to be the smallest unit in the Yaesu line.  What caused you to choose the models you have?

I chose the vx7 because I wanted a HT that was waterproof. I had a ft60, which worked well, but the size and lack of waterproofing made the 7 a better choice for my activities. I picked up the vx8gr on a whim when I saw one listed on qrz for a great price. I has a built in GPS and the ability to do APRS which I found to be a great feature.

Geek

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 06:13:08 PM »
The VX-6R is also supposed to be waterproof, or to use their term "submersible".  As a scuba diver I don't take that seriously.  I can destroy anything underwater.  :-)

gil

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 10:35:07 PM »
Quote
The VX-6R is also supposed to be waterproof, or to use their term "submersible".

Only three feet down and for a short time...

Gil.

madball13

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 05:41:33 AM »
The VX-6R is also supposed to be waterproof, or to use their term "submersible".  As a scuba diver I don't take that seriously.  I can destroy anything underwater.  :-)

Exactly, I see it as "not gonna die if I'm caught in a down pour"

Geek

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2013, 08:55:10 AM »
Quote
The VX-6R is also supposed to be waterproof, or to use their term "submersible".

Only three feet down and for a short time...

Gil.

This actually raises an interesting prepping point.  We've talked about Faraday cages in other threads, but not about protection from everyday risks like water or impact.  What does everyone do about making their gear rugged enough to survive in a disaster?  This unit seems pretty rugged, but I am sure I'll accumulate some equipment over time that is not as solid, and even this will require some packaging if I want it to hold up in a natural disaster or simply primitive conditions.

Currently I have an FRS/GMRS unit and a crank AM/FM radio in each BOB.  The FRS/GMRS is in a mylar bag, inside a metal case, inside another mylar bag, then stored in a pocket of the BOB.  The crank AM/FM are in layered mylar bags.  If I find some metal boxes the right size I'll probably add those.  I'm going to have to do something similar with Ham and CB gear.

gil

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Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2013, 10:56:34 AM »
I use Pelican cases...

Gil.

Joe

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2013, 11:50:06 AM »
I am looking at picking up a VX-6R myself. I have a lead on a used one. I was doing some checking on them and found where some of them have a problem with a ceramic filter in the FM de-modulator. Where the radio will transmit, but will only receive FM radio stations.
The part is available from Yaesu and is around $3.00. Might not be a bad idea to have a extra one around just in case. This isn't going to stop me from buying one. Just wanted to pass it on. Link to the place I got the info from.

Part#CF2002 (Toko ALFYM450F=K) on page 29 of the service manual that you can download online

http://forums.radioreference.com/amateur-radio-general-discussion/222004-trouble-yaesu-vx-6-squelch.html

Geek

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Re: Yaesu VX-6R
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2013, 02:37:21 PM »
I use Pelican cases...

Gil.

Pelican cases are certainly waterproof and if you use the foam woul protect against impact.  Do you have a bunch of them or a few larger cases?  Do you have enough for everything?  You were on the Faraday cage thread, so do you simply drop your faraday caged items into a Pelican case or vice versa?

BTW:  I have used Pelican cases for scuba and they truly are waterproof.