I had a question that arises from the the fact that my old 2m handheld died. (Radio Shack HTX-202) I have to get a new one and was wondering what, if any, opinion you may have about the Yaesu tri-bander, VX-6R http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/0666.html I am asking because I thought that your posts on the Optoelectronics products (August 9, 2016) and the Motorola DTR 650s (August 9, 2016) were very worthwhile. I have been thinking about the VX-6R as a monitoring device as well as as a communication device and therefore any related considerations about its use in an "Optoelectronic environment". (Understanding that transmitting is distinctly different from receiving.) Thank you.
It has been my observation that Yaesu makes good products, and I've owned my fair share of them over the years. The VX-6R's eham reviews are about normal, with some people swearing by the radio, and other's swearing at it. With that said, at 4.4/5 with 127 reviews I'd say the radio probably doesn't suck from a technical, reliability, or performance standpoint. Now, from a down-grid standpoint, here's the scoop:
- Radio has a AA battery pack available and can also be run directly off 6-16V DC. It has very flexible power requirements. A good thing.
- Radio has wide-band .5-999 MHz. AM/FM/WFM receive capability. Despite no SSB, P25, or trunking reception capability, still a good thing.
- Standard SMA female antenna connector. Easy to add external antennas. A good thing.
- Standard 2m/440 FM ham-band transceiver capability, with the addition of 222 MHz. band. Easy freeband/outband modification with decent post-mod TX coverage (not that you should use it). Many police scanners, including low-end Close Call/Signal Stalker models, do not include the 220 ham band. (Optoelectronics gear does.) With 2 meters and 440 being the two most popular VHF/UHF FM bands, 222 MHz. is a nice, less-crowded, band for a small group of hams to operate on. Neither a good, nor a bad, thing, and that depends on your level of interception paranoia.
- The optional barometric pressure sensor is a nice addition, especially if you want to keep track of trending weather. A good thing.
Bottom Line: The wide monitoring range, easy freeband mod, barometer, flexible power requirements, and somewhat obscure band (222 MHz.) capability make the Yaesu VX-6 a very attractive handheld amateur radio transceiver for down-grid use.
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