Yaesu VX-7R handheld

I am wondering if anyone here owns the Yaesu VX-7R handheld. What are your thoughts on it?

I am new to the ham radio world, got my license back in Feb. I was looking at this radio and so far I am interested in it. There's no rush though, I won't be buying anything until after saving up for my chasecation. I just don't know what kind of handheld to get. I would like dual band at least with VHF and UHF. I was also thinking of getting some type of mag-mount antenna that will do okay for going mobile.
 
I am wondering if anyone here owns the Yaesu VX-7R handheld. What are your thoughts on it?

I am new to the ham radio world, got my license back in Feb. I was looking at this radio and so far I am interested in it. There's no rush though, I won't be buying anything until after saving up for my chasecation. I just don't know what kind of handheld to get. I would like dual band at least with VHF and UHF. I was also thinking of getting some type of mag-mount antenna that will do okay for going mobile.
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Hi Laura,

I don't own the VX-7R but I strongly considered it when I went to upgrade one of my handhelds. I actually settled on the FT-60R (dual band, 5W) which suited my needs a bit better and seemed to have a stronger opinion among hams I spoke to about it (not to mention a lot lower price). I'm not sure if the 6m coverage of the VX-7R is really worth the extra cost, especially for chasing use. If you like the small size of the VX series better than the FT's then you may want to look at the VX-6R - the same basic features but dual band(and cheaper).

Can I ask you a question in return? Why a handheld? If you're looking to use this for other non-chase related uses than I can see it being a good investment for you.. but a mobile radio might be a better option if you're only looking at this from a chaser's perspective. The difference in power (5W vs 50W+) will make quite a difference in many sitations on the plains. An external antenna will be a must if you decide to stay with a handheld; there's lots of options available from reputable brands like Comet, Diamond and Larsen.

A great site for comparing user experiences is www.eham.net; look for the reviews section.

Cheers,
 
I have the VX7R and it's a great little radio. It was in fact my first purchase after getting my ticket.

HOWEVER...

It's now in my basement gathering dust. I should have purchased a 50W mobile instead. I just don't ever use the HT. I now own the FT8800 for my car and one of the smaller 2m mobiles for playing at home.

In fact...if you really want a VX7...when you are ready to buy, drop me a PM and we can work out a good deal. I have some accessories and a longer antenna (must have) that you can have too.
 
Thanks for replies...

I knew someone sooner or later was going to ask why a handheld. One big reason is, I don't own my own car because of an eye condition I have (I chase with a partner and do navigating, etc) so I can't really drill any holes in someone else's car lol. I thought a handheld with external mag mount antenna would be easier given my case, but now I am just thinking, could I use a mobile radio without drilling any holes anywhere? I could take it anywhere with me then... I guess I could, hence why they call it mobile. I feel kinda silly asking these questions, but it's the only way to learn :blink:

Thanks for the site, I will check it out.
 
Sure you can. The problem is going to be how do you hook it up to the car battery. If you can figure that out you'll be all set.

If there is a limited number of people you usually ride with you could possibly talk them into running wires off the battery into the passenger side of the car. Then you could just put the radio on the floor, run a cable out your window to to a magmount and plug into the battery.

I use powerpoles myself to make it easy to plug/unplug to power.

http://www.powerwerx.com

You could do something like that and they could justleave the power cable tucked under the dashboard or something when you are not with them.
 
I'm very careful in suggesting this alternative, but it is a flexible option for your situation. I have a small mobile rig that I've set up for just such a situation where I may take it along in someone else's vehicle or one from the office. Radio Shack has a 12-volt "cigarette" outlet adapter that has a negative and a positive post (similar to Tyler's power poles) that you can attach the power cables from your radio. I have used this and a mag-mount antenna as a very "mobile" setup.

I've not ran it at the full 50 watts by any means, and wouldn't suggest anyone do this unless your absolutely sure your power outlet can handle that kind of output, but I've managed quite well with 10-25 watts. Depending on the type of radio you have, and the wiring to the power outlet, you can get some intermodulation or "engine whine" on your audio. I've not had this problem with the Yaesu FT1500m that I use for this setup, but I have heard other mention this in their discouraging of this arrangement.

Again, it's not an optimal setup, but it is definitely something you could use in a pinch that would have more punch than that 5W hand-held ;)
 
I'm very careful in suggesting this alternative, but it is a flexible option for your situation. I have a small mobile rig that I've set up for just such a situation where I may take it along in someone else's vehicle or one from the office. Radio Shack has a 12-volt "cigarette" outlet adapter that has a negative and a positive post (similar to Tyler's power poles) that you can attach the power cables from your radio. I have used this and a mag-mount antenna as a very "mobile" setup. [/b]
I've done this with my Kenwood V7A rig before. I only ran it on the medium - 10 watt setting and it worked just fine. I'd definitely not recommend running full power from the cigarette plug as it'd most likely blow the fuse. I now have my rig wired directly to the battery, so I don't have to use this method anymore. But it should work fine for your needs.

Stan
 
Actually could I just hook up a mobile to a separate battery instead that has similar power to a car battery and just leave it on the car floor? The thought of hooking to a car battery sounds like too much of a pain. I'd like to make my "setup" simple as possible.
 
Actually could I just hook up a mobile to a separate battery instead that has similar power to a car battery and just leave it on the car floor? The thought of hooking to a car battery sounds like too much of a pain. I'd like to make my "setup" simple as possible.
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If you're prepared to lug around the extra battery, that will work reasonably well if you can keep the battery topped-off once in a while. Do NOT use a regular car battery though due to several risks (acid spills, explosion hazard - requires venting). You CAN use an AGM type car battery (look for the Optima or Orbital brand). I would suggest using a "battery box" for this application and have some means to tie it down (flying batteries in accidents are very bad!). Don't bother with those emergency starting pack type thingys.. they won't provide the same kind of capacity for this application.
 
Ok I have a question to add to all of this. I am wanting to use my mobile radio in two different vehicles. Basically I want to make it mobile (as in I can pull it from on etruck and place it into the other).I want to be able to take it out of one truck and hook it up to another. I have a clamp antenna. Anyways....what would be the best option to do this?

I bought the radio yesterday. Here is the one I purchased http://www.texastowers.com/tmd700a.htm

What do you guys recommend as to how I can do this as well and the best mounting etc. of the radio. I am also new to the HAM world so "dummy it down" for me. :p I also got a pretty big antenna but will probably add a smaller "in town" set up one later. I have a couple external scanner antennas that are magnat mount but I am not sure if these can beused as transmitting type antennas and the conectors may also not be the same.
I also have a telescoping scanner antenna. Can I use this as a better antenna for my hand held radio or is this not an antenna I can transmitt with?

I apologize for what may be very simple type questions to most longtime HAMS but again I am very new HAM. My call sign wont even be in the database until Friday :p.

I REALLY appreciate the info tho guys.

I am VERY interested in getting this whole APRS thing down as well. I found that on another thread. Hopefully I can figure this all out lol
 
Ok I have a question to add to all of this. I am wanting to use my mobile radio in two different vehicles. Basically I want to make it mobile (as in I can pull it from on etruck and place it into the other).[/b]

Hi Jason;

This topic probably should have had it's own thread, but here's a reply anyways. That's a great radio you have there! The dual-band setup and built-in APRS functionality are easy to use once set up.

I would recommend making a "semi-permanent" installation in each vehicle. As a bare minimum, run dedicated wires (with fuses) directly to the battery and into the drivers compartment. To make things neat, you can use the popular Anderson PowerPole connectors to make the connection between radio and car. For an antenna, that will depend on what you're willing to do with your trucks. An NMO or other permanent installation is best, but if you're not willing to drill than you can look at other mounting options such as lip mounts, stake-hole mounts (for pickups), mag mounts or as a last resort glass-mounts. You'll have to decide whether the antenna stays with the vehicle or not when you remove the radio. Mounting the radio itself will entirely depend on your setup, however the TMD-700a gives you a lot of flexibility on that since you can place the "head" in all kinds of positions on the dash etc. You can get extra mounts for it so that you can easilly swap it between vehicles. Make sure the actual radio itself isn't just tossed around though, and it needs to be located somewhere with adequate ventilation.

Obviously there's a lot of ways this can be done; however I would urge that the power considerations are the most important in any mobile installation.
 
Thanks for help guys... I think that setup is something I will do (get a separate Optima battery). Now I just need to look at mobile radios and mag mount antennas and figure out which one I want! :eek:
 
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