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Whether you are looking for a new Part 90 radio or want to "upgrade" to a superhet radio may I introduce the Vertex (Yaesu) VX-231. It comes in 3 freq ranges so ensure you get the one that covers GMRS. And its like 40$ on ebay used.

The good

It has amazing sound properties for a 40$ ebay radio. Quality Yaesu earpieces are easy to find but pricier than K-type connectors. Very easy to use with 2 programmable buttons and 1 dial for channels. Programming cable is cheap and the program can be easily found CE99 is what you want. Can be narrowband or wideband (change system clock to 2010 to prevent issues). Programming software works on modern Windows systems. Comes with a good antenna and the radio is rated for 5W. Repeater capable and supports CTCSS and DCS tones.

The bad

Batteries are harder to find and the chargers can be annoying to match. Uses Standard SMA-F antenna connectors not SMA-M so your GMRS antennas likely wont fit.

The ugly

No on screen display so you gotta memorize each channel. No on the go programming but this is normal for a Part 90 radio.


These are very simple to use radios and Ive used them kayaking before without issues and have a 2M ham band one that has been through the ringer and still works well.

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One tidbit I'll add, when searching: frequency ranges.  From what I've seen:

  • models ending in -G7 are 450-512mhz range (great for GMRS, and some were dual certified for parts 90/95a).
  • models ending in -G6 are usually 400-470mhz, and good for both GMRS and 70cm ham.
  • models ending in -D0 are VHF, many cover 136-174mhz (so good for 2m ham, and cover MURS frequencies as well); i've seen a few with grants that covered 150-174mhz, so those would be no good for ham.

best thing to tell is from the FCC ID on the radio; researching that will tell the certifications it has, along with the frequency range.

(I have a handful of Vertex gear too, both mobiles and handhelds...good stuff)

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