Yaesu VX-2R

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  • FM transmit on 2 Meters (1.5 watts) and 70 centimeters (1 watt) on battery power
  • FM transmit on 2 Meters (3 watts) and 70 centimeters (2 watt) using external DC power
  • Wide-band receive coverage, from 500 kHz through 999 MHz in AM, NFM and WFM modes
  • Approximately 900 memory channels, with up to 20 banks


The standard battery will last about two days (single frequency receive) if not scanning. If scanning, the receive time falls to a few hours. At 1.5 Watts out, talk time is only about 20 minutes with a fully charged battery.

Replacement batteries are inexpensive, especially as they are based on the Fuji NP60 camera battery. The lower (100 mW) power setting is adequate for repeaters out to 20 miles or so, and allows longer talk time. This is a highly regarded HT based on its performance-to-size ratio. Modification

The VX-2 is not difficult to modify. Because the radio uses software-based jumpers, it is not necessary to open the radio up to perform most modification. A MARS/CAP modification can be performed, expanding transmit coverage outside of ham bands slightly; it is also possible to perform a "freeband" modification to the radio, enabling transmission outside the authorized amateur radio bands, without any hardware modifications. Although in most cases illegal based on Federal Communications Commission rules, the "freeband" modification opens transmit coverage significantly, allowing use on business band and FRS bands, along with several lesser-used frequency bands.

This radio has a wide-coverage receiver, which makes its small size even more impressive:
Frequency Range Receive:
0.5 - 1.8 MHz (“BC BAND”)
1.8 - 30 MHz (“SW BAND”)
76 - 108 MHz (“FM”)
108 - 137 MHz (“AIR”)
137 - 174 MHz (“V-HAM”)
174 - 222 MHz (“VHF TV”)
222 - 420 MHz (“ACT 1” Action Band 1)
420 - 470 MHz (“U-HAM”)
470 - 800 MHz (“UHF-TV”)
800 - 999 MHz (“ACT 2” Cellular Blocked)
Frequency Range Transmit:
144 - 148 MHz
430 - 450 MHz</tbody>
RF Power Output:
1.5W (@ 3.7 V FNB-82LI 144 MHz)
3.0W (@ 6 V EXT DC Input 144 MHz)
1.0W (@ 3.7 V FNB-82LI 430 MHz)
2.0W (@ 6 V EXT DC Input 430 MHz)</tbody>

basic usage


To lock

  1. Press and hold in the [H/L] key for one second to enter the Set mode.
  2. Rotate the DIAL knob to select Set Mode Item 25: LOCK.
  3. Press the [H/L] key momentarily to enable adjustment of this Item.
  4. Rotate the DIAL knob to choose between one of the locking schemes as outlined above.
  5. When you have made your selection, press the PTT key to save the new setting and

return to normal operation.

To activate the locking feature, press the [F/W] key, then press and hold in the [BAND] key for one second. The " " icon will appear on the LCD. To cancel locking, repeat this process.



Coverage across a broad range of frequencies including the HF band are a plus on this little HT. However, the non-intuitive controls make it a headache to carry with you if you don't also have a copy of the manual in your pocket. Even locking the controls is not intuitive. Bumping a control such as the ARTS button, something many hams don't even use, places the unit in a nondescriptive mode that can baffle those not intimately familiar with the HT controls. If you like to memorize different control combinations that involve poorly labeled buttons and unnecessary steps then this is the HT for you. Another problem is the battery life is ridiculously limited. Although it does use a very common camcorder battery so replacement is simple and inexpensive, the battery life is appalling if you plan on doing any talking.

Memorize the control locking button combination so you can carry it in your pocket, use it to listen rather than talk, because it can listen to nearly anything including the AM aircraft band -- and in AM, then you will enjoy the VX-2R. If you plan on picking it up and using it without studying the guide and doing a lot of talking on it, then it will likely end up being tossed out your car window out of frustration. It is a clever little transceiver with its top mount VFO knob and receive capabilities, however, the controls were designed by idiot engineers that obviously never carry HTs and something needs to be offered aftermarket in the form of a big fat extended battery.


from ht

Memory Storage

  1. Select the desired frequency, while operating in the VFO mode. Be sure to set up any desired CTCSS or DCS tones, as well as any desired repeater offset. The power level may also be set at this time, if you wish to store it.
  2. Press and hold in the [F/W] key for one second.
  3. Within five seconds of releasing the [F/W] key, you need to make a decision regarding channel storage. The microprocessor will automatically select the next-available "free" channel (a memory register on which no data has been stored), so you may not wish to make any change; if this is the case, proceed to step 4. If you wish to select a different channel number into which to store the data, rotate the DIAL knob to select the desired memory channel. You may jump 100 memory channels by pressing the H/L key. Any channel that you see with a blinking channel number currently has no data written on it (i.e. the channel is "free").
  4. Press the [F/W] key once more to store the frequency into memory.
  5. You still will be operating in the "VFO" mode, so you may now enter other frequencies, and store them into additional memory locations, by repeating the above process.

from PC

Cable needed: a four-pin TRRS connector and a TTL voltage converter in the 9-pin housing.

CHIRP free, open-source tool for programming your amateur radio.

VX-2 Commander - Programming software for the Yaesu VX-2 and VX-2R.

In the user manual the process of programming is under the heading "Cloning" which is meant for transfer of channels and settings from identical units via cable. We can use CHIRP to program with the radio in cloning mode.



  1. With radio off connect cable TRRS to VX-2R and USB to computer.
  2. Open CHIRP
  3. Press and hold in the [F/W] key while turning the radio: "CLONE" will appear on the display

proceed to either (B) or (C) depending on activity


  1. Do Step A
  2. In CHIRP go to Radio -> Download from Radio and Vender: Yaesu, Model: VX-2
  3. Click OK and start the download from CHIRP before you start it from the radio!
  4. On radio Press the [BAND] key. "TX" will appear on the radio, and the data from this radio will be transferred to CHIRP.

From the CHIRP FAQ: Yaesu radios do not respond to commands over the serial port and must be manually manipulated. Start CHIRP with the cable plugged in and the radio in the intermediate clone mode (usually entered by powering the radio on with one or more buttons pressed). When downloading from the radio, put CHIRP into download mode (where it is waiting on the radio) before initiating the clone out from the radio. When uploading, put the radio into clone receive (or clone wait) mode before initiating the upload from CHIRP.


  1. Do Step A
  2. On the Destination radio, press the [V/M] key (“WAIT” will appear on the LCD).
  3. In CHIRP go to Radio -> Upload to Radio




Uses a Lithium-ion battery that's 3.7v.

model: KLIC-5000
This is a common Rechargeable Digital Camera Battery. The common price is $5.50 including shipping.