The Yaesu VX5R story

Hello Operators.

Many of you wouldn’t know about my little Yaesu vx-5r. It’s a 3 band handheld radio offered by Yaesu about 15 years ago. Like many operators at the time, I grabbed one to augment my Yaesu ft-817, Yaesu ft-897, and carry as my EDC radio.

Honestly speaking, I’m not a repeater guy, but I do see the necessity of having a dual band or Tri-band HT in my backpack. I also understand the importance of an HT, and knowing how to use it with our local repeaters. This all became apparent when our Subaru Legacy became the innocent backstop between a Volvo and a garbage truck. Mobile phones were not so common back in those days, so I called for help on the local repeater using that Yaesu vx-5r. Help came, and the day was saved.

That little Yaesu vx5r traveled with me across the globe. Like my ft-817, that little rig was with me almost every step of nearly 1.5 decades of journeys. So in addition to being hit by trucks and volvos, the vx-5r has also survived two motorcycle accidents. Thankfully those accidents were pretty far apart, with both of us coming out of the other side having relatively minor injuries or damage. So the little Yaesu vx-5r and I have seen our share of being bashed, sliding down highways, and getting clipped by Dutch caravan drivers. Nevermind falling into a river during a river Crossing, falling out of my pocket into the sea while playing with my dogs, submerged, yet operating flawlessly. Nevermind surviving endless torrential downpours through Enduro trips in the Swiss Alps. The radio was designed to last, to survive, to always be ready.

Lots of people always compare the baofeng and it’s low price to the more expensive Yaesu VX series of radios. It may come as some surprise, but I’m not a baofeng hater. However, I am a baofeng “fanboy hater”. The concept of buying a cheap chinese radio, so that we don’t destroy a good one is ridiculous. I have by todays count six baofeng radios sitting on my desk. Only two of them remain functional, because I’ve used them like I have used the little Yaesu vx-5r. The idea that you can take a 25 or $30 radio, expecting the same quality performance and durability as a radio designed to last through practically anything, is also ridiculous. Certainly if you live in a dry warm climate, never getting hit by trucks, never sliding down the highway with your motorcycle, never dropping it in salt water, or submerging it your local river very often, that baofeng radio will do just fine as a first radio. But if you live life like I do, or perhaps I should say “if you live life”, your radio is going to take just as bad of a beating as I have.

I’m not a fan boy. In fact, in one of my recent videos I called out Yaesu for the “marketing BS” it called an updated radio. The ft-818. In contrast, you need to give credit where credit is due. Yaesu did a magnificent job on the VX series. The rigs are not perfect, but the damn things are nearly indestructible.

That is all.


julian oh8stn

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