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Author Topic: What are the BEST HT's ?  (Read 1222 times)
KC9DUF
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« on: May 27, 2003, 09:25:16 AM »

I am new and looking for my first HT. I would appreciate everyons opinions on what are the best options out there.
Thanks,
KC9DUF
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KE4SKY
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2003, 03:53:07 PM »

I wouldn't recommend an HT for a first rig if you are of driving age. However, if you live in the city and your area has great repeater coverage, or if you use mostly public transportation or have limited mobility and need something to supplement a cellular phone, an HT makes sense.

I'd recommend that you read some of the comments in the Emergency Communications Forum on recommended equipment for new operators. Virginia RACES has several articles on this subject which I can send you if you want to drop me an email.
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KG4NZR
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2003, 10:48:45 AM »

The HT is an extremely versitile piece of equipment. I use mine mobile and base with an antenna adapter and a DC power cord. The model/band coverage depends on your particular area. If there is 6-meter FM activity in the area, consider Yaesu. If there is 135cm activity, consider the Kenwood TH-F6A. If it's just 2-meter and 70cm, the field is open. Your desires and budget are the controlling factors.

73 and happy shopping.
Bill KG4NZR
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2003, 06:50:20 PM »

Opinions are about all you'll get, and unfortunately most aren't worth much (including mine!) because we're not in your situation.

What band?

What do you want to do with it?

Do you already have other equipment, and now just want to supplement your arsenal with an HT, or will this be your "only" rig?

Also, when trying to pre-judge gear you haven't tried out yet (and we all do that, too!) it's often difficult to tell what is most suited for your specific operating situation, and what the most important things might be, for you:

Battery life?
Multiple bands?
A rugged antenna connector that won't fall apart if you change antennas a lot?
Waterproof/weatherproof/rugged?
Loud, powerful receive audio that you can hear in a noisy environment?
Immunity to desense and IMD from local paging systems?

There are a great number of parameters to think about, and no single HT has them all covered well.  To enhance one feature, you often sacrifice another.

It's best to try out a number of products at the local "candy store," and see what most suits you.

WB2WIK/6
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N0MUD
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2003, 01:45:39 AM »

For an HT I have the Kenwood - THF-6A tri-band.  It is so nice that you can monitor two freqs at one time. It is very nice, easy to use, easy to program It transmits on 2mtr, 440 and 223.  It's not my only rig tho I do have mobiles also.

Good luck and welcome to ham radio.

73's Mike, N0mud
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N6AJR
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2003, 07:58:14 PM »

My favorite ( I have 3 of these) is the yaesu VX5r.  5 watts 3 bands and around $200 brand new.  Just remember that any of the ht's you buy will need to be programmed.

 this will be like this.  go to vfo and enter the freq. (usually) hit function and something and enter the type of squelch(tone auto etc). then usually function and something to put in CTCSS tone , then function and something to set the ofset ( + - or simplex) then you usually hold something doiwn for longer than 2 seconds and it writes to memory.

all rigs can be programed manually and you can also buy a cable and a program to do them on the computer. I prefer to do it by hand ..

I have owned probably 30 dofferent HT's and I prefer the VX5R.  easy to use, good battery life, and small and easy to carry, and really tough, so when you drop it it doesn't break, ( and you will drop it sooner or later...hi hi. )

hope this helps  tom N6AJR
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KC1MK
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2003, 10:41:52 PM »

I have used a number of HTs over the years, and so far my favorite 2-meter HT is the ICOM IC-02AT. They're no longer made (haven't been for quite a few years), and in comparison to newer HTs, they're large, heavy, don't have any bells and whistles, only 10 memories, and don't offer wideband receive. However, they're very resistant to intermod, sensitive, and rugged. Given their limitations, they're definitely not the HT for many people, but I just wanted to mention them as a reference point.
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KB9YKY
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2003, 04:45:48 PM »

The Yaesu FT-817 is probably the best walkie-talkie on the market. 160m-432mhz (except new 60). All modes. The 817 is a good way to avoid the FM and/or repeater rut. Some should really consider why they want to fool around with walkie-talkies in the first place. It usually makes more sense to put an antenna up, some good feedline, and use a "real" radio with enough power to reach the antenna.
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KD5VHF
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2003, 09:02:50 PM »

For a feature packed HT my vote goes for the Yaesu FT-530. Does everything but talk by itself. Not too big, not too small.I think Yaesu really dropped the ball when the discontinued this radio. Do a search for the FT-530,Check the reviews here then start checking the classifieds. :-)
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KG4ZUD
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2003, 09:38:14 AM »

If you are just looking for a good, cheap "beginner" 2M HT, then the Yaesu VX-150 is hard to beat.  The price is good, 5W output power, rugged, inexpensive, and every bell and whistle you could think of.  I would recommend adding a spare battery to this one, though.

I would also recommend having an HT as a backup.  Even if you get a "deluxe" model like a Kenwood TH-F6A, you might want a spare in case your primary HT gives up the ghost.  Warranty service can take weeks!!!
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AC7WL
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2003, 09:32:36 PM »

Definately agree the 817 is the way to go.  You don't need much power to enjoy Ham radio and the low power requirements plus multi-mode capabilities of the FT-817 will make your operating that much more enjoyable.  Furthermore it will enable you avoid "Repeater Burnout".  It's amazing what a simple J-pole can do when operating VHF CW.  Or work SSB on VHF.  Plus, when you upgrade, you have PSK31 and a whole plethora of possibilities, and 5 watts is more than adequate for making contacts.  Good luck.
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KD2E
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2003, 08:14:48 AM »

I agree with KD5VHF.
The Yaesu 530 is the nicest I've come across.
But.. it all depends on what you want to do with it.
I live down the road from the local repeater, so I often use that little Alinco credit card sized job.
Other than that....I most often grab the Motorola HT-600.
That HT has NO bells, NO whistles...but the best sounding audio of ANY handheld....bar none!!!
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