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Ham Radio Handheld Question- what to get?

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I figure it's time for a new one, and I am not sure which one. Gosh, these things have a lot of features. Anyone have experience with the Yaesu FT-2DR? Icom ID-51A? Kenwood DH-72A

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D-star or Fusion? Fusion is specific to Yaesu, and I would hate to see it end up like Betamax.

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I have just gotten into the hobby recently and am amazed by it. I'm a po-boy and am using an often scoffed at Baofeng UV5R V2+ handheld ($30) with a dual band NMO Larsen mobile antenna while I save up the cheddar for a good mobile rig. Thinking of either the Yaesu FT7900r for now, or holding off until I can save for the 3-band FT857d.

 

I was blown away by the tech these last couple of days when I was listening to stations out of Rockport and Corpus talking about conditions on the hurricane net on 70cm via VoIP repeaters. The net controller was out of Massachusetts (How cool is that)!

 

I'm sorry I don't have the knowledge to answer your question, but it sure is cool to see this topic on the forum. I'm heading down to get my tech license on the 21st and can already see I'll be snowballing in this hobby for sure.

 

Mike

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We should probably look at getting one too. I'm in for the conversation.

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The last time I bought a handheld was back in '96. Still have it. It's a Kenwood TH22AT. Haven't used it in years and the battery is no good. I put it on the charger last week and let it sit there till the next day and it worked ok but just checked it when I seen this post and it's dead again. Needs a new battery. So I'm not much help with the handhelds. But if I bought a new one, I would look at the Yaesu handhelds. A lot of these new radios have gotten so complicated these days that you almost have to carry the manual around with you to figure out how to do anything with them.

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No kidding. I was looking at the Yaesu FT-2xdr.

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I wasn't sure about the touch screen though. I've been wanting a Yaesu though.

 

I went with a Yaesu FT-1-xdr.

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Dual band. Same innards, but buttons instead of touch screen. It was discontinued a few months back when the touch screen version came out. Has built in GPS, digital coms, APRS (as if I'll ever use packet :laugh: ) but you can take and send photos as well, get GPS locks on others you are talking too, and switches between analog and digital modes depending on the TX of the person or repeater you are talking too. You can monitor the bands while listening to FM or AM broadcast radio. Radio scope as well.

 

What made me go with this was all the issues in Texas- people had no cell service or phone service.

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I would be leery of the touch screen too and would prefer the button one. I wouldn't really care if I can send pictures or not with it or do packet and all that other stuff. I would just want it to talk or listen with and that's about it.

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As for the brands, I have an Icom IC-02AT that I bought nearly 30 years ago, and it still works. Every Yaesu I've bought over the past 30 years has given me good service. You can't go far wrong with any of the major brands. I would not trust a touch screen radio (been butt dialed too many times by cell phones). Packet can come in handy for file transfers when Internet is not available. Bao Feng quality is hit-and-miss. One's great, the next has problems. Mainly you can't do much with programming, even with the manual in front of you, unless you have a computer and programming cable. I wouldn't want something that's not field programmable. Just pick which bells and whistles you can't live without and buy whichever you decide on.

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I have an Icom W32A , but it won't hold a charge. It's 15 years old, and so time to upgrade. If I can find a battery pack for cheap though, I'd get it. I think the radio has some electrical problem though, because I've changed batteries and it still drains quickly.

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I don't have any of the specific ones you ask about but I have a Yeasu VX-170. About 15 0r 16 years old. Works flawlessly..

I don't use it a whole lot but it does travel with me a lot. One of my criteria was it must be waterproof. It works from -20F to 100f so I can't complain. I did buy a new battery a couple years ago.

So I do like the Yaesu HT's.

 

Darrell

Edited by ScoutnUSA

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Quansheng TG-UV2

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Quansheng-TG-UV2-Dual-Band-Dual-Display-Two-way-radio-VHF136-174Mhz-UHF400-470-/221262852669

 

(Extra 8% off everything over $50 on Fleabay for most peeps today & tomorrow, check emails)

 

Crazy cheap and to the point where everyone in the family can have one. The TG-UV2 has a much better receive section than the Baofengs*. Programming and charger connections were a bit fiddly, so I bought a PC programming cable, spare batteries and keep charged.

 

*most say better, one says opposite YMMV

 

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8931

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I can see I'm late, but when in doubt, buy Yaesu. Always good value for money, and I've never had a lick of trouble with ANY of their gear. I have a handheld in the other room that is going to need a new battery, it's a Yaesu that's around 30 years old. I'm thinking of trying to build a lithium-ion battery pack for it with a couple of new 18650's. I'm betting it could be done pretty easily, just maybe not by me. My last HT was a VX-5R, and it was stolen out of my car several years back when I left it in plain sight like an idiot. I should probably think about something new and cool besides the knockaround Baofeng POS that's in my gear bag.

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I'm on a forum with lots of military com guys & quite a few ham radio guys & they are breaking it down to 2 recommended "bargain" hand held radios and if you want the best, it's a Yaesu but I forget what model, not the touch screen one, but it's a 8 watt radio.

 

They are also putting together batter recommendations and 3 different antennas, from the short one to something you string out and set at specific heights and such to get examine range out of the hand held.

 

Waiting to see what they come up with for battery packages and antennas & pricing....want one, but would need 2 as a minimum and the cash just ain't there right now......

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So what are we talking price wise on these things?

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