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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: First Radio, HT or Moblie?  (Read 788 times)

Posts: 1

« on: October 14, 2002, 09:25:16 PM »

I am a college stundent and I have just got my licence. I am triing to dicid what type of radio to buy. I am also in a co-op program so I move every 4 months and do a lot of outdoor sports.

I would like to know way I would pick one type of radio over the other.

                   Thank you for your help.
                   73 James VA3TNG

Posts: 4

« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2002, 10:05:13 PM »

Mobile for sure. You can get a nice new mobile
$100. It will have the extra powerthat the HT
does not have. HTs are nice for listening
but sometimes short on power for transmitting
plus most HTs the battery  last for about a year
maybe two and then thats $50.
 When I worked a marathon type race this summer
I mounted my FT1500 mobile to my bike with a small
battery on the back. I was able to talk to every staion in the race, whereas some of the HTs needed a relay just to hit net control.

Posts: 22

« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2002, 10:19:01 PM »

Good question!
James, I'm a volunteer examiner in Texas and get asked this question often at testing sessions and at one time asked it myself.  
My daughter, Allie, age 14, and I got our licenses together.  She was 11 then.  Back then we had to first get our Novice license, then our code Tech. We made the right choice!  By getting HF privleges right from the start, we were able to talk to the world on a cheap 10 meter radio, and a hunk of wire.  About $100 bucks.  We were getting qsl cards from all over the place.  Assuming you have a No-Code Tech license, an HT or mobile VHF/UHF radio will allow you to work local hams, maybe a sat. or two, and that's about it.  With HF privledges, you can work the world from where you happen to live, with a minimimum of equipment/costs/power, mobile or base.  Kits become an option.  What rig to buy?  Starting with HF, Allie (KD5IVO) and I were so excited about long distance radio, we didn't work or care about UHV/VHF until over a year after we got licensed.  Go HF won't be disapointed.  
If you're limited to only VHF/UHF, I'd say go with the mobile radio.  At least you'll start with 10 times the power of an HT and you can bring the thing in the house and work from there too.  Hope this helps.

Paul, KD5IVP, DeSoto, Texas

Posts: 3

« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2002, 10:36:26 PM »


A mobile is nice but if you have to lug it to and from the car, hook it up in your house to a power supply antenna it gets old.  As for a first radio, I would recommend a hand held radio.

Reasons - Pro
1. Easily portable between the car and house.
2. Several have wide receivers so you can listen to other frequencies outside the HAM bands (sometimes interesting).
3. Relatively inexpensive.
4. You can generally get an external antenna for the car.
5. Connect an external speaker Mike for Mobile Op
6. Connect to the cigar lighter plug.

Reasons - Con
1. Much less Power than most mobile radios
2. Small internal speaker
3. Can be more prone to intermod.

Good luck.. it is a matter needs that will drive your decision.  Review the features of both items.

John - AJ5TT

Posts: 78

« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2002, 10:33:22 AM »

I just got my license too, and I bought a HT as my first radio. I don't regret it- the one I bought is a 5 watt tribander. It has lots of features and a surprising amount of power for a radio that's no larger than a deck of cards.

Lots of hams told me to get a HT as my first radio, then wait for awhile and decide from there what kind of operating you want to concentrate on before you buy another rig. Sounds like a mobile rig will be best for you, since you are going to be on the move a lot. You can always take it in the house to use as a base rig too, and the mobiles tend to be less expensive than base-type rigs!


Posts: 14


« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2002, 01:46:24 PM »

HT almost require the presence of a repeater to extend their range.  As you are moving around, will you be in populated areas?  If not, then you may find it difficult to be heard.  I know from experience that is very frustrating.

I would recommend the mobile over the HT for other reasons as well. I bought a HT for my first radio and I wish I hadn't.  I am blessed to live in a populated area with many active repeaters, and my 5W HT can reach them just fine.  But the limitations of battery life and duty cycle have been very noticeable.

Howard AE0Z
1 Peter 4:10

Posts: 9930

« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2002, 07:31:10 PM »

I would reccommend a good 5 watt 2 meter Handie talkie rig buy one of the major companies, and get a new or really recent rig. then pick up a 30 watt linear for power and a mag mount antenna, a gel cell , and a 7 or 10 amp 12 volt power supply. you can carry it when you go out, plug it into the ciggrette lighter in the car with the amp and mag mount (you can use a speaker mike here for convience) and use the gel cell for remote applications and use the power supply, set the mag mount on the fridge or a metal desk or something and use the linear inside and have a base. this works pretty good and ain't to expensive if you buy the stuff used , on ebay , or at a ham fest.. ask a local ham for help on your choice.. 73 have fun tom N6AJR
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