That First Radio


VX-8DR – APRS Version of the VX-8R

That first radio should do everything. Many hams get involved in emergency communications activities only to find out that what they had selected when they entered into the hobby is inadequate. Remembering such a decision myself, I recalled times when receiving other services would had been handy. This radio does it and so much more.

The VX-8DR APRS®/GPS/Bluetooth® Handheld Transceiver is an additional version of the VX-8R that includes not only its solid features and specifications but also new expanded APRS® capabilities to meet the needs of even the most active APRS® user. The VX-8DR has the same appearance as the VX-8R and uses the very same accessories.

The Yaesu VX-8R HT provides a full 5 watts FM on 50/144/430 MHz plus 1.5 watts on 222 MHz. It supports Bluetooth® hands-free operation with the optional BU-1 and BH-1 or BH-2 accessories. There is also an optional GPS unit and antenna with lots of features. This radio supports APRS 1200/9600 bps data communication (B band only). Like the VX7R, the VX8R is submersible and meets IPX57 specifications (3 feet for minimum of 30 minutes).

I am a fan of rugged mil-spec radios, especially those which are rated as submersible. The reason is, many times, emergency work is due to weather. Having equipment failures due to moisture is very common. Keep this in mind for everything that you purchase. Your equipment cannot be just as good as theirs… But better!


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