Saturday, September 7, 2013

Equipment Review: Yeasu VX8-DR Quad Band Handheld Transceiver

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I told you guys yesterday that I purchased a new handheld transceiver to replace the 10 year old Icom T7H dual band my wife bought me for Christmas back in the day.   I love the Icom but it is certainly showing it's age.

The radio I picked up is the Quad-Band Yaesu VX-8DR Submersible VHF/UHF Amateur Radio Transceiver and let me tell you...I absolutely am a Yaesu convert at this point.   I used to buy all Icom stuff but after I picked this thing up I went out and immediately bought the Yaesu FT-7900R Mobile Dual-Band Amateur Ham Radio 50W/45W VHF/UHF Transceiver for my car.

The first thing I really like about the Yaseu is the form factor, it is small...but it isn't too small if that makes any sense.   The radio feels well built although the move by radio manufacturers away from mil-spec stuff makes it seem like it would be less tolerant of abuse than my old Icom T7H.   This radio is SUBMERSIBLE though!   I personally am not going to test it that with mine :)

The second thing I really, really like about the Yaesu is that it is QUAD BAND!   For the money you just aren't going to find another quad band radio like this.   If you are a technician this radio is a perfect starter radio because it covers 6 meters/2 meters/1.25 meter aka 222 band/ and the 440cm band.

The radio has many, many features but some of the ones I like are:
- Memory stations may be displayed with 16 digit Alpha-numeric tags
- CW Training
- Emergency Automatic ID system
- Emergency Strobe/Beep and Busy strobe LED functions

The alpha-numeric tagging is great.  You can label both memory banks AND individual memory slots.   I personally have 1 bank for each band and than one unified bank for NE Ohio.   I have also programmed all the repeaters in memory with their assigned call signs, so those appear on the display along with the frequency and I can always tell what repeater system I am on.

Below are the frequency ranges for receive and transmit:

Frequency Range Receive:

0.5 - 1.8 MHz
1.8 - 30 MHz
 30 -  78 MHz
 76 - 108 MHz
108 - 137 MHz
137 - 174 MHz
174 - 222 MHz
222 - 225 MHz
225 - 420 MHz
420 - 470 MHz
470 - 800 MHz
800 - 999 MHz
Frequency Range Transmit:

 50 -   54 MHz
144 - 148 MHz
222 - 225 MHz
430 - 440 MHz

Overall the radio is put together well.   I think it is a really great piece of does have a few weaknesses that I feel I need to disclose to you.
My biggest gripe with the radio is the 7.4 volt 1100 mAh is OKAY but I bought the upgraded 7.4 volt 1800 mAh and that is WAY better.   The latter battery lasts twice as long and in my opinion is the battery Yaesu should INCLUDE with the radio not make you purchase separately.

The other gripe I have is the programming software is a necessity in my opinion because it makes the alpha-tagging thing way easier and it is not included with the radio.   To be fair, most radios do not come with programming software but Yaesu could really stand out here if they bucked the trend because let's face it...this ain't exactly a cheap radio.

Those are really the biggest gripes I have with the radio.  So to sum it up, I wholeheartedly can recommend the Quad-Band Yaesu VX-8DR Submersible VHF/UHF Amateur Radio Transceiver as a radio that I use and love.   I give it the BeASurvivor stamp of approval without hesitation.   As a side note if you haven't gotten your Ham ticket I really would urge you to do so, you will learn alot about communications and better prepare yourself for the shit hit the fan event that is inevitably right down the road.

That is all....


  1. Thanks for the review. My wife and I both just completed our technician exam and Im I planning to get two HT 's and a mobile. The consensus on radio reference is get the General license and operate HF, although there are few options in HT and mobile, if any.

  2. AWB

    There are plenty of HF options for mobile like the Icom IC-7000 or the Yaesu FT-857ND.

    There are no HF HT's they would be utterly useless as the antenna's are substandard for that kind of frequency transmission. They don't make HF HT's for that reason. The best you will do in HT's is 6 meters and that will be FM only, no SSB.


  3. We run mobile HF with a Yaesu FT 857d. there is no 857ND by the way... We can work stations all over the country and all over the world as a matter of fact. The radio also has 2 meter and 70 centimeter capabilities for local repeaters, etc.. Just a thought for a powerful mobile platform.