Later Impressions of the VX-8R

by Edward Z. Yang

Earlier in January, I blogged some first impressions about the VX-8R. It's now three months later, and I've used my radio on some more extensive field tests. I'm considering selling my VX-8R for a 7R, for the following reasons:

  • I generally need five hours of receive with medium transmission. I only get about 3.5 hours worth of receive with the standard VX-8R battery. This is not really acceptable. (At risk of being "get off my lawn", Karl Ramm comments that his old Icom W32 from the 90s got 12 hours of receive.)
  • The AA battery adapter is laughable, giving maybe 20min of receive time before flagging. The ability to run digital cameras on AA batteries had given me the false impression that I'd be able to do the same for a radio, really this adapter is only fit for emergency receive situations.
  • The remaining battery indicator unreliable, going from 8.5V to 7.5V, and then dropping straight to zero. This is the defect I sent mine back in for last time, but I saw this problem in the replacement, and a friend confirmed that he saw the same on his.
  • The radio gets quite hot during operation. I'd never noticed the temperature with the 7R.
  • Everyone else around here owns a 7R, which severely limits the swappability of various components (in particular, batteries).

I really am going to miss the dedicated stereo jack and slimmer (and, in my opinion, better) interface, but these really are deal breakers. C'├ęst la vie.