I first purchased this radio several years back when I first started getting into Ham Radio communications. My decisions were made based off of many of the advanced features it offers, as well as the weatherproofing which was very important to me since I would be using it in sometimes less than ideal conditions, and I also spoke with many other ham radio operators and by far the most recommended was the Yaesu VX-6R. Now while it can be a bit of a learning curve because of all the features packed into this small package, you will soon get the hang of it and find that 90% of the time you are normally using only a few of the features routinely anyway. I will give you some of my personal observations while using it in the field but first let’s jump right into the technical specs:
The VX-6R is an ultra-rugged 144-222-430 MHz FM Hand-Held featuring wide receiver coverage, JIS7 submersibility, the Yaesu-exclusive Emergency Automatic Identification (EAI) system, and ultra-simple keyboard access to important features.
New on the VX-6R is the One-Touch Direct Memory Recall feature, that allows you to recall ten favorite memories with a single button press, just like on your car stereo.
The VX-6R comes equipped with three powerful emergency features:
EAI Feature; Ideal for Outdoor Operation!: The EAI feature lets you and your support team configure your radios so that, in the event of a climbing or hiking accident that leaves one of you incapacitated, someone else can command your VX-6R/E to transmit without you pressing the PTT, allowing the others to use your signal to perform direction finding and effect a rescue.
Emergency Feature: An “Emergency” function is also provided that will transmit your Callsign on the UHF Home Channel, while simultaneously flashing the CW ID in bright white light on the transceiver’s LED and beeping the CW ID loudly from the speaker.
Ultra-Bright Emergency Flashing LED: In an emergency, the transceiver’s LED may be engaged continuously in its “Bright White” mode, instead of the usual red or green color, and may be used as a signal lamp or flashlight.
The VX-6R/E is rated to JIS7 specifications for submersion (up to 30 minutes at a depth of up to three feet), and because the microphone jack is sealed against water ingress, you can even use the MH-73A4B Speaker-Microphone while maintaining the submersibility of the VX-6R!
144/430 MHz: 5 Watts of Power
The supplied FNB-80LI (7.4 V/1400 mAh) provides up to 5 Watts of power output on both the 144 and 430 MHz bands (1.5W on 222 MHz). This high battery capacity provides a typical operating time of 7 hours, depending on operating conditions.
Wide-band Receiver Coverage
In addition to full operation on the 144, 222 and 430 MHz Amateur bands, the VX-6R provides a wide range of monitoring excitement, thanks to its receiver s incredible frequency coverage of 504 kHz to 998.99 MHz (cellular blocked). We recommend the use of an external antenna for best performance on particular bands of interest, such as Shortwave.
The Most Memories Ever
Each of the 900 available memory channels may be assigned an alpha-numeric “Tag” (label), for quick identification of the channel. The 24 memory banks may store up to 100 channels each, and a channel may be assigned into multiple banks, if desired. And you can assign an identification tag to each memory bank.
Weather Sensor Capability
The optional SU-1 Barometric Pressure Sensor unit permits monitoring of sudden weather changes by monitoring atmospheric pressure. Although not designed for precise pressure measurements, it can be a valuable tool for alerting you to possibly dangerous changes in weather conditions.
• FNB-80LI Battery, 7.4V/1400mAh
• NC-72 5-Hour battery charger
• YHA-67 Antenna
• Belt Clip
• Operating Manual
• Warranty Card
Dim: 2.3″w x 3.5″h x 1.1″d; 9.5 oz.
When I first purchased the Yaesu VX-6R I also purchased some other optional parts that I knew would be helpful to me, such as:
The Data Management System USB Kit is needed if you want to easily program your VX-6R from your computer desktop versus entering all the information via the small keypad on the device, plus it offered a way to easily upload a complete repeater lists for areas I would be operating in. The AA battery case is probably obvious, I don’t believe in relying in only one power source and AA batteries are easy to come by as a great backup power source. I chose the Diamond Antenna because of its superior capabilities as a tri-band HT antenna for 2 meters, 220 and 430 MHz. (It is 13.5 inches tall so no it is not a short antenna but I’ve found that because of the great flexibility of the antenna I can easily put it into just about any pack. I also purchased a Faraday Black Hole Bag which protects any device from a possible EMP, yes might be a bit overkill but I like to think ahead, plus it provides superior protection against harsh elements and for traveling.
Now personally I keep a copy of the operators manual tucked into the Faraday bag with the radio, because truth be told unless you are a regularly active ham radio operator, there is just no way you will remember how to perform some of the functions over a period of time with no use.
I would absolutely recommend this radio to anyone, I have thoroughly enjoyed mine and it has performed without any major problems. Now that being same I would recommend it as simply an emergency communication device that is stuffed into a bag and forgotten, for that I would recommend one of the Baofeng models (a review is coming up on those as well).
Yaesu VX-6R Ham Radio242.99
- Very readible display
- Good power range selection
- Wide receive range
- Emergency Automatic ID
- Only 1.5w on 222 mhz
- Difficult to program without cable and software
- Six letter alpha tags
- Stock antenna is mediocre
- Belt clip is of poor quality