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eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: JASIV3 on December 19, 2012, 09:50:22 PM



Title: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: JASIV3 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!


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: K1CJS 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.


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: KCJ9091 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.


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: K8AXW on December 20, 2012, 08:37:19 AM
An instruction book written by an American but not an American engineer!  Good luck with that!!!


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: G3RZP 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.


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: WB2WIK 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. :)




Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: WB8VLC 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.


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: AA4PB on December 21, 2012, 04:31:50 PM
..... and I want it to have the coffee made by 6AM every morning.  ;D

Oh, and it should cost less than $75.


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: K8AXW 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!!


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: KT0DD 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.


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: K1CJS on December 24, 2012, 12:30:51 PM
..... and I want it to have the coffee made by 6AM every morning.  ;D

Oh, and it should cost less than $75.

Don't forget an automatic butt wiper with all those other bells and whistles!   ::)  Geez, with all the extras that some people want on a handheld, that radio would be the size of a full feature desktop rig.


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: WB6DGN 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


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: N6AJR 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.


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: KCJ9091 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.


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: WB2WIK 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.


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: N6AJR on January 05, 2013, 03:38:06 PM
But for 50 bucks as a small knock around radio, cheap enough to give away, they do have a spot.  When I use mine on the mobility scooter ( stuck in my shirt pocket) I use a 1 inch tall 2m / 440 antenna so it does not poke me, and lets me talk to my friends in a place like Visalia or Pacificon, but for 50 dollars, such a deal, and to be able to give it to a 10 or 11 year old young lady or man when they pass their Tech  test, yea, just fine. Not a super HT, but it has its uses.

Ya know whats funny Steve, I have radios in the shack, radios in the car, radios ( lots of radios) in the truck, and almost never carry a HT, but looking around the shack I have 6 multi banders and 4 monobanders, and can't remember the last time a actually used one.  Go figure.

:)


Title: RE: What do ham users expects for an handheld amateur radio
Post by: WB6DGN on January 06, 2013, 02:15:53 PM
WB6WIK said;
Quote
I really DO NOT need (ever):  -Out of band coverage, beyond the authorized amateur radio frequency bands...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.

For the most part, I wholeheartedly agree, with one exception; that is the weather channels.  Not willing to give up that tight front end for them but a simple "dual front end" design could solve that problem.  Will definitely add to cost, though.
Tom