review - Yaesu VX-150
Scott Rutledge firstname.lastname@example.org
Radios, love 'em when they work, hate 'em when they don't.
Well, I've been operating on some hand-me-down 4 channel Maxons, with the
crystals for the USHGA channels. Big thank you to Dan Uchytil, who couldn't
stand to see me fly another season using a big brick sized CB walkie talkie, for
those. Well itís probably been over 8 years since then, and the sturdy Maxons
served their communication purpose admirably until a couple of weeks ago, when I
had to cut a Chelan XC flight short due to a nagging intermittent problem with
I did some further research, and found reviews from real
users of this radio at www.eham.com, and most
rated the radio 5 out of 5. I ordered 2 radios, which were in stock, and shipped
with UPS tracking numbers the next day.
The only slightly negative review, 4 out of 5, was
concerning the shorter than desired battery life from the standard 7.2 V, 700
mAh Nickel Cadmium, that come with the radio. The reviewer had ordered a 7.2v
1650mAh Nickel Metal Hydride (Nickel Metal Hydride is a newer technology) from
BATTERIES AMERICA at www.mrnicd-ehyostco.com,
for $39.95, and raved about this addition making all the difference.
After just experiencing some battery caused XC flight
interruption, I ordered the extra battery, and just for good measure a model
BC-601i rapid charger.
I have a Flight Connections finger switch and full face
helmet speaker and mic installed, with two phono jacks, one for mic and the
other for speaker. The radio, however, has a single phono jack for both mic and
speaker. The solution is to order an adapter to convert the single jack into a
dual, and the option for this is a CT-44 microphone adapter for $12.00.
I have a 1/4 wave mag mount roof antenna with a BNC
connector that I use for the other hand held, in place of a truck mounted radio,
so my wife doesn't have to be tied to the truck during retrieval. The problem
here is that the radio comes with an SMA, screw-in type antenna jack. The RF
adapter to connect a BNC type antenna to the SMA antenna jack from www.universal-radio.com
is part #0531, and costs $5.89.
The VX-150 comes with lots of features, and is capable of
transmission in 3 power levels, 0.5, 2, and 5 watts. Stock receive range is
140-174 MHz, and transmit range is 144-148 MHz. The standard verbiage for
modifying a radio is: "All the modifications are not verified by myself, so
if you try the mods on your own equipment, it is at your own risk. Performing
modifications and then use of modified equipment may be a violation of laws. If
you have any doubts, do not perform any modifications". www.mods.dk
was the best site I found describing the radio modifications, complete with step
by step instructions, and detailed pictures. After dismantling the radio, I used
a magnifying glass to guide an Exacto knife to remove a speck-size resistor, and
the deed was done, quickly and easily.
The VX-150 also has CTCSS (Continuous Tone Coded Squelch
System) with 39 tone frequencies, and DCS (Digital Code Squelch) with 104 tone
frequencies. Tone squelch is handy for filtering out other users of the same
frequency, and only hearing those using the same squelch tone. A radio without
tone squelch on a frequency can hear everyone's transmissions, which sometimes
can become quite distracting, so much so, that for my old Maxon radios, I was
used to powering off when not transmitting. Hopefully, those days are over.
For foreign pilots flying in the States this summer for the
worlds, please be prepared to respect the airwaves, as the local ham radio club
will be acting as communications volunteers on top of the
For more information, call 972-390-9090 or email to email@example.com Dave Broyles.