LEGEND: For the sake of discussion for this BLOG, the word, transceiver, means hand-held transceiver.
My Yaesu Submersible VX-6R was my very first amateur HAM transceiver; and, it has been one of the best purchases I ever made with respect to Yaesu products.
For a HAM operator, this tri-band transceiver is reliable, durable, affordable, and has more than enough RF communications features an amateur HAM operator could ever want and use.
Whether I was deep in the woods, high on the mountains, or in the maze of the city, many operators, aviators, mariners, and HAM operators always described my TX as “loud and clear.” I never had any problems reaching fellow aviators in the air, mariners in the ocean, or HAM operators on repeaters; my VX-6R made the RF trip be it simplex or repeater modes.
Here is an aviation RX clip from Eagle’s Nest: VX-6R Aviation.
If I was in the air or on the ground in a emergency, I would be able to RX and TX with other aviators, ATCs, or air-ground crew to get help.
Here is a maritime RX clip from Eagle’s Nest: VX-6R Maritime.
If I was in the ocean sailing or SCUBA diving and experienced an emergency, I would be able to RX and TX with the US Coast Guard, other mariners, and Bay Traffic to get help.
So, although this little transceiver, Yaesu VX-6R, provides me with RX and TX in the aviation and maritime frequencies in times of emergencies, it’s not designed to function in these bands like a dedicated maritime or aviation transceiver; hence, it is not my aviation nor maritime communications transceiver.
Dedicated maritime and aviation transceivers have specific guidelines that meet the FCC guidelines, as well as aviation and maritime guidelines. For example, wattage. My Yaesu FTA-450L, is a transceiver built specifically for aviation communications; it’s designed to operate in the air and on the ground with only aviation frequencies. The FCC allows it to have the full wattage for this particular aviation band: 5 watts. The wattage in this particular frequency band is critical when communicating important flight information to ATCs and ground personnel at the FBO or commercial airports — the signal has to get out, which is the reason the FCC granted the 5 watts for aviation transceivers.
Although my Yaesu VX-6R can RX and TX in the aviation frequencies, the wattage is much lower in the aviation frequency band: 1.5 watts; and, the antenna is not designed specifically for the VHF AM aviation band; hence, RX and TX are not set at the optimum levels for aviation communication operations.
My Yaesu VX-6R was designed specifically for HAM operations in the UHF and VHF frequencies; hence, it has 5 watts to do the job in those bands and the antenna is coiled to RX and TX in those two bands. It meets the FCC guidelines for only HAM operations.
Because my Yaesu VX-6R was specifically designed for HAM operations, I have specific transceivers that I use for my maritime and aviation activities:
My Motorola XPR 7550e is used for land-based communications operations as a volunteer personnel with the fire and law enforcement departments. I also programmed some aviation and maritime frequencies into my Motorola XPR 7550e just in case of an emergency.
Motorola is a professional and commercial transceiver, which is much better than amateur transceivers; hence, they are more durable, reliable, tuned better for the frequencies assigned to it, and more powerful — full 5 watts.
Instead of purchasing a transceiver made by a company that specifically builds maritime transceivers, I used my Motorola Radius CP200, and I programmed the maritime frequencies into it. I’ve owned Motorola transceivers for over 10 years; and, nothing beats a Motorola — I’m glad Motorola made a transceiver that covers the maritime frequencies — I wish they made a transceiver for the aviation band.
The only reason I got the Yaesu FTA-450L for my aviation comm operations is because Motorola doesn’t make a transceiver in that VHF AM band, which is the band that is used by the aviation industry. So, the next best thing to a Motorola, in my opinion, is Yaesu.
I’ve owned Yaesu HAM transceivers, hand-held and mobile, for about a year or so; and, their transceivers are built well — better than other amateur products in my experiences. Hopefully, Motorola will build a VHF AM transceiver — if they do, I will surely purchase it, and it will be my primary aviation back-up transceiver; but, for now, my Yaesu FTA-450L, satisfies my aviation comm requirements.
So, while my Yaesu VX-6R is not designed for maritime and aviation RX and TX, if it was all I had to get help in an emergency, well, I would be perfectly happy with that.
/s/ Alfonso Faustino (K6ASF)