After much long awaited arrival of the much anticipated Yaesu VX-8R, it turns out (in our opinion) to be the biggest blunder of any radio yet that contains the Yaesu label. We used to have a saying about MFJ. “The quality goes out before that name goes on”. I am beginning to wonder if that applies to Yaesu-Vertex-Motorola or whoever is producing this gear these days. After we purchased the radio (it’s already been returned to our Ham store) we found some rather serious issues with it.
After charging the radio for several hours, programming was next. We spent about 30 minutes doing some basic programming of local frequencies. While attempting to transmit to a local repeater with low power for the very first time, we received our first surprise. The charge indicator showed that the battery was 100% but the radio shut off immediately when the PTT talk key was pressed. Nice… Apparently the battery was stone dead!
While setting up 2 memory banks with standard vhf and uhf Ham frequencies, we assigned the A band to bank 1 and the B band to bank 2. Once the radio was shut off and powered back on, the A band could not be retrieved with bank 1 loaded as previously configured.
This apparently is only a taste of problems. Others in the Yahoo groups are rather steamed about the issues with the VX-8R and accessories. There were comments about the BU1 unit being recalled, messages about the APRS not working properly and how Yaesu sold a very expensive radio with a low powered 1100MAH battery. I guess they are trying to clear their warehouse of stale battery inventory simultaneously.
Obviously, in our opinion this is one radio you should stay FAR away from. Unless you have some strange desire to use Bluetooth and/or have the need for a GPS to hang from your HT, our recommendation is to stick with the VX-7R or the Kenwood TH-F6A.
After doing my share of work in the IT field for over 20 years, and experiencing similar “get it out the door” circumstances, my personal feeling with this product release is that it is a case of “classic marketing” tactics. That is, the radio was pushed hard by marketing to make year end sales quotas while engineering works around the clock to “make it so”. As a result, you end up with a half baked product and Yaesu ends up with a rather tarnished reputation.
- Yaesu = The Label We Recognize
- Vertex = The VX Designator in the Model Number
- Motorola = Elimination of Quality Control
Got one already? What’s your opinion of the radio?
How do you feel about Yaesu (or whoever the man behind the curtain is these days)?
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