This is a very simple little hardware hack for all those who dislike the method of releasing the Yaesu hand-held (HT) amateur radios from their rotating belt clip. This tutorial uses the VX-7R as an example, but should work for any radio belt clip of the same design, or for any belt clip of the same design for any product.
To remove the Yaesu VX-7R, and possibly other Yaesu HT radios from their belt clip, one has to rotate the radio completely upside-down before it will pop out. I personally find this awkward and annoying since there exists the possibility of dropping the radio after it’s released as you fumble with it to turn it right side up again. I’ve seen a number of forum posts from people who dislike the OEM belt clip because of this, so i decided to address the problem. I suspect one reason why Yaesu chose the rotating clip design might be to keep the radio antenna in a vertical position for better reception, regardless of how your body is oriented. Though it seems debatable how well this actually works for reception, the rotating clip might be desirable when seated in your vehicle or a chair.
What this hack will do is make it so that you can pop the radio out of its belt clip by rotating it 90 degrees, instead of 180 degrees, so that the antenna is pointing forward (see the last image) while still being unable to remove it in any other position, except if upside-down (the standard way), though you can prevent this as well. All you need to make this modification is something like a sharp razor knife, a steady hand, and a little patience.
The first thing to do is to determine which side of the belt clip stud — the part that is mounted to the back of the radio — to modify by referring to the image below. If you are right handed and carry the radio on your right side, then you will want to modify the top of the stud as shown in the image below. Likewise, if you are left handed and carry the radio on your left side, you will modify the bottom of the stud.
All we are going to do is scrape a very slight chamfer along a small portion of the belt clip stud. When the radio is tilted 90 degrees, this chamfer will align with the little catch in the belt clip. The chamfer will act as sort of a ramp, allowing you to remove the radio from the belt clip by depressing the tab on the clip when pressure is applied. You want the chamfer to be fairly narrow in width and here it is about 2/3 of the width of the screw. The image below is for right handed users so if you’re a lefty, you will want to chamfer the opposite side of the stud.
To make the chamfer, i used a razor (E-Xacto) knife and you want to be real careful here. I wanted to have to use some force to extract the radio from my belt clip and if you remove too much material, it will slip out too easily. As shown in the image above, you almost cannot see that any material was removed. To do this, place the point of the knife in the inside corner of the stud and tilt it as needed so the edge of the blade is touching all along the vertical part of the stud. In other words, you want the cutting edge of the knife perpendicular to the back of the radio. Then tilt the knife handle ever so slightly toward the cutting edge so that the blade is touching only the top of the inside edge of the stud. You don’t need to remove any material from the inside corner where the tip of the knife blade is, but we do need to remove a little from the top edge. Just scrape back and forth to do this, being careful not to make the chamfer too wide or deep. It really doesn’t take much to get it to work.
Continue removing very small amounts of material and testing until the radio releases from the belt clip with the desired amount of force. I place my thumb on top of the belt clip to make it easy to pop the radio out.
If you want to eliminate being able to remove the radio from its belt clip when it is upside-down, which is the default way of removing it, then you could remove the little tab on the inside of the belt clip stud (not the belt clip itself). Doing so will allow the radio to rotate 360 in the belt clip, so consider whether this might be an issue beforehand.