Yaesu VX6-R Wideband Mod
The Yaesu VX6-R hand held transceiver is shipped in the UK with standard transmission capability on both the 2m (144-146MHZ) and 70cm (430-440MHz) bands. Depending on the country of sale, it can also transmit between 222-225Mhz.
This tiny transceiver also boasts a wide range receiver. In fact, the receive ranges from 0.5Mhz all the way up to 999.99Mhz, with just a couple of small gaps.
The modification to allow this radio to transmit outside it’s “shipped” ranges is amazingly quite simple.
To carry out the mod all you need is a soldering iron with a very small tip and a desoldering pump or desolder wick.
As with all modifications I accept no responsibility for any damage to you or your equipment through following, or attempting to follow, the information given here. This information is for reference purposes only.
If you don’t feel confident working inside your radio – find someone with enough experience to carry out any work for you.
One word of warning. This procedure WILL erase all memories and operating parameters of the radio as you need to perform a full reset after carrying out the mod. My advice here is to obtain a programming cable (if you don’t already have one) and a copy of Chirp. Using these together you can copy the memories from the radio to your PC before doing the mod.
Start by removing the battery from the radio, you may wish to remove the belt clip and hand strap if fitted. Removing these isn’t necessary but it may help by giving you a bit more access.
With the battery removed, prise up and remove the thin plastic panel that covers the connector for the optional barometer unit. Of course, if the optional unit is fitted, then this would need removal instead.
Looking inside you will see a row of eight pairs of solder pads. With the base of the radio towards you, count to the fourth pair of pads from the left. This pair should have a tiny blob of solder across them to form a jumper. Simply remove the solder jumper. This picture shows the pads AFTER the modification has been carried out.
Perform a full microprocessor reset by pressing and holding the [MODE(SP S)SQ TYP], [0(SET)], and [V/M(DW)MT] keys while turning the radio on. The display will say “ALL RESET PUSH F KEY”. Complete the reset by pushing the [F/W] key.
Your VX6-r should now be widebanded on transmit.
I haven’t measured the RF power levels but my radio will transmit from 40Mhz all the way through to 550Mhz. I have verified this using a frequency counter and also reception on a separate receiver. It must be noted that it is illegal in most countries to use any radio transmitter on frequencies for which you don’t hold a valid licence.
You can use Chirp to reload your saved memories back to the radio. If Chirp reports an error when trying to write to the radio you need to do the following.
Open a new tab/blank session in Chirp. Download the blank memories from the vx6-r – we’ll call this the blank session. This step is important as Chirp will “see” it as a different version of the radio and may not be able to upload your original backup correctly.
Go to your original VX6-r memories tab, select all and then copy. Switch to the blank session and paste your memory data into the blank session. You should now be able to upload your data to the radio.
This little trick works with some other Yaesu radios that have been widebanded. Although I’m unsure, I assume that widebanding the radio changes the data format in a very minor way and Chirp thinks of it as a different version of the radio.
Please leave any comments below if you have tried this mod and had success or otherwise…