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Author Topic: Handheld My only option.  (Read 622 times)
KF7FTG
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Posts: 10




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« on: November 23, 2009, 02:46:09 PM »

Without getting into how crappy my situation is, let's just leave it at "My only option for a radio is a handheld." I'm studying for my General as we speak, so I'm serious about the hobby. My question to those far wiser than me is, Which one is the best long term purchase.We have no d-star in the area, and ARES is of small interest to me, but I would use it if it was in the radio in question. Thank you in advance,
Kf7ftg
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KQ6Q
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Posts: 968




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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2009, 03:33:43 PM »

Are you going to travel ? Are there 220 and 440 repeaters in your area ? How about 1.2 ghz repeaters ?
Pick a multiband hand-held that covers the repeaters you're likely to be able to reach (2 meters is a given). You'll also want an earphone or speaker-mike, and an AA battery case. Check the reviews here on eham about the models you're considering.
Good luck!

Fred, KQ6Q
(my first 2m hand held was a tube rig - 3A5 with a carbon mike and a tuning knob!)
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KE4ILG
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Posts: 150




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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 05:00:23 PM »

You know your money situation but I know that under some circumstances a used hf rig can be had for less than some vhf/uhf rigs.  My first hf rig was $50 and did cw only.  That was best for me because I wanted to learn cw and have contact with far away places.  My first rig was a 2 mtr hand held and it was fun but nothing compared to contacts on hf.  I hope you don't short yourself many years of enjoyment by ignoring the possibility of getting on hf.  

Find local hams and ham clubs, they will be able to help you much more than anyone here can.  They can show you how their rigs operate.  This will help you decide what's best for you. The answer might be vhf/uhf for now and hf later but with you hands on the equipment I think you will figure it out.  73,Mike.
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N1DVJ
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Posts: 418




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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 06:46:17 AM »

Well, without knowing your finances, it's tough to say.

But...  consider, or at least look at, something like an FT-817.  HF, 2M, 440, all in one.  it's not an HT, but it's surely portable.  And with the addition of a small antenna tuner, something you can really muck with and have fun on HF, as well as give you the functionality of an HT.

Mike
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N1LO
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 07:03:40 AM »

We need some more info for the best recommendation:

Budget?
which band?
Do you also want to receive weather?
How about local TV (audio) & FM broadcast
Ability to run off straight 12 volts DC?
HF receive?
Scanning capability?
Programming via PC?

Tell us what you want it to do.

--...MARK_N1LO...--
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KF7FTG
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 06:06:49 PM »

thanks to one and all for the friendly help. Here's some of that info that may help:
Budget: I could go $400
Band: Not sure about this one yet
Wx and computer programming: Not such a big deal. I read where programming is easier via a computer, but I would be ok without that feature.
12 volts, scanning: that would be preffrebal.
TV reception is not a big deal, but I do run a syndicated morning radio program in three states, so FM broadcast would be a nice perk!
Having looked at the FT 817 mentioned above, it looks like that might be a good choice. Thanks in advance again for all the great help.
73, kf7ftg
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KF7FTG
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2009, 06:09:46 PM »

we have 6,2, 220 and 440 repeaters all within reach.
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N1LO
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2009, 09:39:58 PM »

as far as HT's go, I recommend the Kenwood F6. It's a 'Swiss army knife', do-all wonderbox.

Good Luck,

Mark
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2416




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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2009, 11:47:06 PM »

The lowest cost hand held I would suggest is the fine little micro size Yaesu VX 3, Right around 150 bucks.  For a full power 5 watt, The Yaesu FT 60 is a dandy choice for well under 200 dollars. If you have money burning a hole in your pockets, The Yaesu VX 7 or the newer VX 8 are nice radios.

(As already mentioned, With some kind of external antenna, Even a little hand held can get out really good!)

DO get a dual band at least.
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WA3SKN
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Posts: 5457




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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2009, 04:30:48 AM »

$400 can get you used HF, Multiband VHF/UHF mobile, multiband CW kits, and just about any HT you could want.
So you will need to determine your interests.  And there are multiple repeaters in your area.
I recommend hanging out around the local club (yes, there is one) and getting advice about what is being used in the area.  Discussing your interests with them will give you a good idea of the direction to start.  They will also know about any used gear in the local area.  This will save you a lot in the long run!
73s.

-Mike.
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N4CR
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Posts: 1662




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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2009, 05:04:30 AM »

Watch eBay and find yourself a used FT-50r. It is in excellent little handheld, new batteries can be had for a song and it covers 2 and 440 as well as being a wideband receiver and scanner.

Then save your other $300 for some HF goodies when you get there.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
OLDFART13
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Posts: 242


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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2009, 09:46:35 PM »

If you want an HT to hit these repeaters then the VX7R may be a good choice.  It will work all those bands.  

The FT817 is a good choice if you want to expand out to HF or use the VHF/UHF bands on SSB also.


>>>we have 6,2, 220 and 440 repeaters all within reach.
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9913




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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2009, 10:14:21 PM »

A good start may be the Yaesu VX8R in its plainest form its three hundred and something.  it does 6m, 2m 440 mhz and 220 mhz.  it also has  the ability to add a gps gizmo and has built in aprs and gps.  and can  give you your  lat & lon  and even send it on aprs if you choose like every 5 minutes or what ever you set it too.  it also has a broad band recieve on it for am/fm  radio and such. you can also add bluetooth to mit later if you want.  one of the best rigs on the market today, not the cheepest, but will be the only HT you will probably ever need.  buy the good one first and be done with it.

another way to go is with a mobile rig in the car, every thing from a 2 meter only 50 watt mobile, used around a hundred bucks to a ft 857 d used around 500 bucks but works all bands and all modes am/fm/ssb/cw/ digital/ psk  and can be used both mobile with a ATAS screwdriver antenna, ( 100 watts on 2m/6m and all hf bands, 35w on 440) for not much more than a decent ht.  lots of options.

another thought, go to  ARRL.ORG and in the upper left click on exams, type in your zip code and hit enter. this will bring up a list of ham tests in your local area.  most of these are sponsered by a ham club. they all have a contact person and phone number. call and ask about  the next meeting, for an elmer , how do I ....
 
some one will take you under their wing. lots of local folks with perhaps used gear to play with to see what you like, or perhaps buy cheaply, I always have an extra 2 m rig or such with a mag mount antenna for around a hundred bucks or so, If I don't some one I know probably does.  good recources..  


have fun, enjoy, and welcome
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