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Author Topic: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio  (Read 3789 times)
JASIV3
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Posts: 6




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« on: December 19, 2012, 09:50:22 PM »

Hey all,

Just wants to know out of ham users' perspective, what do you guys expect out of a handheld amateur radios? (ex. light-weight, small, particular must-have features...etc.)

Thanks!
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5885




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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 04:04:57 AM »

In my view, not so much small--but not an old style brick like box either.  Twenty or a little more memory spaces--to hard to keep track of more.  Tone squelch operation--for transmitting but not necessarily receiving.  Good quality sound and simplicity of controls. 

I don't think there is any need for DTMF memory or any of the many bells and whistles that some new transceivers have.  Just the basics.  If I need a flashlight or a lightning detector, or any of the other bells and whistles that are used maybe once in a blue moon, I'll use a larger radio.  A good BASIC handheld is what I look for.
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KCJ9091
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 08:25:08 AM »

Everybody wants different things.  Trying to design the Perfect radio is an exercise in futility.

My opinions:
Size, at some point small gets to be too small where the controls are not easily manipulated.

Memories, I prefer as many as I can get.  I want to preprogram my entire trip before I go.

Scan,  Amateur hand helds make crappy scanners.  Give me a faster scan rate and the ability to easily, with having to go through six layers of menus, do a temporary nuisance delete of a busy channel.

Weather resistance.

Selectable power levels.

Good battery life.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 08:37:19 AM »

An instruction book written by an American but not an American engineer!  Good luck with that!!!
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G3RZP
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 08:47:54 AM »

Simple operation that I don't need a book to follow. As simple as the IC2, although with a CTCSS encoder and selector.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20547




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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 09:46:15 AM »

Having owned dozens (and dozens! -- maybe "scores") of handhelds since about 1970, my preferences would be:

NOT small!  Larger is better, it leaves more room for a larger battery pack and more functional controls without using the same control for multiple purposes.  Also allows for larger heatsink area for the power amplifier, so that will run cooler and last longer at the 5W level.

CONTROLS WITH FUNCTIONS PRINTED IN PLAIN ENGLISH on or adjacent to the control.

IDEALLY, a unit that can be operated the first time by a new user without reading any instructions from a manual.  This absolutely implies MORE controls (not less), with very clear functionality.

Those are very high on my list of "desirables."

Just down from that would be easy-to-use, relatively foolproof and very good programming from a common PC using a USB interface, and having that USB interface (not something unique or proprietary) right on the hand held transceiver, so that any $3 store-bought USB cable (such as used for a printer) may be used in the field to program the transceiver's memories.  The software for that should be provided on a USB flash memory stick that comes with the unit and not be an option.

These things will add cost to any product.  I'd gladly pay that cost.

I really DO NOT need (ever):

-Out of band coverage, beyond the authorized amateur radio frequency bands
-The ability to scan at a fast rate, like a professional scanner can -- just can't think of a single instance where that would help me

I'll pay extra for a hand-held that has NO ability to "receive" outside the ham radio bands, but instead has front-end helical resonators that severely limit the receiving bandwidth so sensitivity outside the ham bands would be terrible.  To me, that would be a "feature," and not a drawback. Smiley


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WB8VLC
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Posts: 116




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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2012, 04:16:23 PM »


Items included in the standard package which I would pay more for than what is presently available on the market today.
Include everything already mentioned plus:
1. An acurate battery gauge.
2. A clock.
3. A drop in charger that conditions the battery pack if it is non lithium instead of crappy wall chargers.
4. A alkaline battery pack included.
5. A keypad that is backlit.
6. A protective radio case.
7. LCD Display backlight adjustment.
8. RF sensed/switched antenna port for an optional convertacom/drop in mobile charger.
9. Touchscreen control of some features.
10. Individual squelch and volume controls not controled by the touchscreen.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2012, 04:31:50 PM »

..... and I want it to have the coffee made by 6AM every morning.  Grin

Oh, and it should cost less than $75.
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3679




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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2012, 10:23:48 PM »

The original poster brought up an interesting question, not only from a personal use viewpoint but in addition, what would a EOC (Emergency Operating Center) buy for their ham participants. 

Imagine, showing up to participate in an emergency and being handed an HT that requires about a week of reading just to turn the damn thing on!!
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KT0DD
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Posts: 277




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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2012, 05:41:05 AM »


Items included in the standard package which I would pay more for than what is presently available on the market today.
Include everything already mentioned plus:
1. An acurate battery gauge.
2. A clock.
3. A drop in charger that conditions the battery pack if it is non lithium instead of crappy wall chargers.
4. A alkaline battery pack included.
5. A keypad that is backlit.
6. A protective radio case.
7. LCD Display backlight adjustment.
8. RF sensed/switched antenna port for an optional convertacom/drop in mobile charger.
9. Touchscreen control of some features.
10. Individual squelch and volume controls not controled by the touchscreen.

All of the above, and I would also like to see swiss army knife capability with Part 90 and 95 certifications so that 1 radio can meet multiple needs of the owner. Of course, this will never happen because the commercial radio manufacturers couldn't ask between $1000 to $4000 for their radios anymore. The new inexpensive part 90 Wouxun rigs are selling like hotcakes... It will be interesting to see how long it takes for big Motorola / Kenwood commercial money to convince the FCC to ban them.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5885




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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012, 12:30:51 PM »

..... and I want it to have the coffee made by 6AM every morning.  Grin

Oh, and it should cost less than $75.

Don't forget an automatic butt wiper with all those other bells and whistles!   Roll Eyes  Geez, with all the extras that some people want on a handheld, that radio would be the size of a full feature desktop rig.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 12:41:25 PM by K1CJS » Logged
WB6DGN
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Posts: 590




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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2012, 07:55:09 PM »

Quote
What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio

A converted (simple software mod.) MTS2000 suits me just fine, thank you very much.
Tom
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9891




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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2012, 11:30:41 AM »

I like solid easy to use radios.  I have alinco, yaesu Icom and others. The little boafengs are cheep and I usually have one or two of them here  to give to young hams as they pass their  tech test in one of my va sessions , I also use motorolas and others. I think the best set is the 2 alincos that do 2m/440/1.2g on one and 220mhz/ 900 mhz on the other , 2 HT's 5 bands.  and nice solid radios, easy to hold, battery life is good and all in all, my favorites, I guess.
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KCJ9091
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2012, 01:29:51 PM »

DJ-G7 and DJ-G29 then add in the matching DG-X11 for monitoring everything else.  They could be better but I used much worse.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20547




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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2012, 07:48:03 PM »



Quote
All of the above, and I would also like to see swiss army knife capability with Part 90 and 95 certifications so that 1 radio can meet multiple needs of the owner. Of course, this will never happen because the commercial radio manufacturers couldn't ask between $1000 to $4000 for their radios anymore. The new inexpensive part 90 Wouxun rigs are selling like hotcakes... It will be interesting to see how long it takes for big Motorola / Kenwood commercial money to convince the FCC to ban them.


I don't know of any responsible public service authority using the Wouxun stuff.  They did go through the trouble to get it certified, which was pretty smart I think.  But comparing it to Motorola?  C'mon.

I ran one here on a "transmit" test, just to see what would happen.  Key-down, 30 minutes.  Oops, it completely failed and didn't come back to life after a cool-down.  So, I tried another new one: Same deal, failed after 42 minutes and would not come back after cooling off.  Real public service/commercial stuff doesn't do that.

Remember the FCC certifications are for frequency stability and spectral purity; they have nothing to do with reliability.
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