Review Zastone ZT-2R

The Zastone ZT-2R was an interesting find. One question remained: was it a poorly constructed clone, or a genuine Yaesu VX-2R under another name? As it turns out, the latter is true. The Zastone is a Yaesu VX-2R from top to bottom. Even the manual is written in the typical Yaesu style, and programming examples use the word ‘VERTEX’ on a few occasions.

Zastone ZT-2R Box

First impressions
This will be a very short review; the Yaesu VX-2R has been out of production for quite a while, and there are more than enough reviews to be found online. I could still find the Yaesu VX-2R here and there for about € 175,00. The Zastone ZT-2R was € 80, which included shipping with DHL and one extra battery (Fuji NP-60 compatible).

Frequency Ranges
0.5-1.8 MHz (BC Band)
1.8-30 MHz (SW Band)
30-76 (59) MHz (50 MHz HAM)
76 (59)-108 MHz (FM)
108-137 MHz (Air Band)
137-174 MHz (144 MHz HAM)
174-222 MHz (VHF TV)
222-420 MHz (ACT1)
420-470 MHz (430 MHz HAM)
470-800 (729) MHz (UHF TV)
(757-774) MHz (UHF TV)
800-999 MHz (ACT2; USA Cellular Blocked)
TX 144-146 (148) MHz
430-440 (450) MHz

For more specifications, go here or to Yaesu.com.

Programming
Being a long time user of the Yaesu VX-170 and VX-177, I found it very easy to program this radio. That won’t be true for everyone, but once you know the logic behind Yaesu menus you’ll feel right at home.

If you don’t like manual programming, all Yaesu cables and software will work.

Harmonic suppression
I couldn’t help myself after the GT-3 and measured harmonic suppression. It was perfect.

Zastone ZT-2R VHF

VHF: second harmonic about 63 dBm down, no other harmonics visible

Zastone ZT-2R UHF

UHF: second harmonic about 60 dBm down, no other harmonics visible

Verdict:
If you love these small can-do-it-all radios, get one while you can. Don’t expect the radio to replace a quality LW/MW/SW receiver (you can overload the Yaesu/Zastone quickly), but it does the job.

On the amateur bands the radio performed as expected, no issues with RX or TX whatsoever. Well done, Yaesu Zastone.

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16 comments on “Review Zastone ZT-2R

    • It depends on the RX band. The same rules applying to other wide-band receivers apply here too.

      For RX at home I ended up using a Diamond Discone antenna, which already proved too much on Medium Wave thanks to a MW station close by.

      A bonus is that this discone has an excellent SWR on 2 meters and 70cm.

      If you want to stay portable, a Nagoya NA-701 or 771 will improve range, but longer antennas look funny on this radio and impair the portability.

    • Apart from the silk screening above and under the push buttons, which is more informative on the Yaesu, both radios are identical in every respect.

      • Hi Matt,

        Just checked for you. It seems to be the same scan speed as my VX-170/177 radios — covering about 1 MHz in just over 5 seconds (12.5 KHz spacing).

  1. Hi Hans, I’m surprised that there is such a small selection of TX frequencies compared to the RX available. Are there other versions of this model with a larger transmit range? Would really like to have some FRS/GMRS capabilities (462/467MHz). Thanks.

  2. That’s great news, how do I modify the TX band? Do I need to do it through a PC? Why do they list such a small TX range? Is it because of the capabilities of the stock antenna?

    • This is a ham radio transceiver — it is designed to transmit only within the amateur bands. You will have to look for MARS/CAP modifications for the Yaesu VX-2. The antenna is not designed to be used outside the legal bands.

      • If it was legal in my country, and I had the proper antenna, how easy is it to unlock the “freeband”? Can I do it through software, or do I have to physically modify the hardware? Thanks for your help Hans.

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