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Author Topic: New Ham... Any Handheld Reccomendations??  (Read 450 times)
KC8TTT
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Posts: 12




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« on: May 08, 2002, 08:03:00 PM »

Hi. I have just recently gotten my licence and was wondering what handheld radio you would reccomend. I am looking for a radio with adequate power, fairly low price, 2 meter is a must, but 440 would be nice, and be able to go into one of those cradles i saw in AES that you put it into to give it more power while you are at a base. Thank you for your time.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2002, 11:21:11 AM »

There's dozens of choices, and what anybody has is the "best."

I think a "best buy" currently is the Vertex-Standard (Yaesu) VX-150.  Small, very rugged, extremely easy to use, 5W output (and two lower power settings), long battery life, amazing performance including very strong, undistorted receive audio, rated highest of all 2m HT's in performance testing done by ARRL in 2000 issue of QST comparing 2m handies, and current street price is only $139.  Kinda hard to beat that.  I didn't need another 2m HT, but bought one a few months back simply because it seemed too good a deal to pass up.  I wasn't disappointed.

WB2WIK/6

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KG4OXP
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2002, 04:50:38 PM »

th-g71A by Kenwood is nice with good reviews here on eham. I tried this against an ICOM W32A (and I like ICOM's) and the TH-G71A was far better, for me anyway...

(better defined subjectively - I got better reports and heard stations better and the Kenwood doesn't get warm on tx or receive like the icom - also there is a [somewhat distant] repeater that I could get a perfect report thru with the kenwood and the icom could only hit the repeater 70% of the time.
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K7IHC
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2002, 02:38:10 AM »

I've had a Kenwood TH-G71A dual-band H/T for a short time.  It's a pretty good unit for what it is and the price.  I'd recommend the higher power battery.  There are also some aftermarket hi-capacity NiMH batteries available for it.  If you get into a lot of VHF/UHF ham communications, you'll probably want a few more radios (mobile/vehicle and a base setup or two).  A side note: Most ham rigs can't compare in quality to public safety radios, though
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KG4OXP
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2002, 10:33:43 AM »

re: the last post - I agree. I still have a couple of motorola handhelds (commercial) and they are substantially better in many respects than my kenwood amateur radio...but they are limited in that they must be programmed - I travel a bit and wanted the flexibility of programming via the radio, thus the kenwood. But if you do not travel, and do not mind having 1 radio for vhf only or uhf only, you can't beat the commercial radios for quality.
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KD7OED
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2002, 12:22:01 AM »

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KD7OED
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2002, 12:28:37 AM »

I quite agree with WB2WIK's assessment that the VX-150 is a great buy.  I have had mine for about six months and been very happy with it (it is so easy to program and rugged that I use it on a daily basis).  There have been some reports, however, of problems with the final's burning out (as a precaution, I normally keep mine set on only the medium power setting).  Would advise you to keep the conventional wisdom in mind however - and not choose a hand-held as your first rig.
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WB4QNG
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2003, 12:02:48 AM »

A hand held sounds good at first but I think you will find that you will soon find that it is a lot of trouble hooking up at the house then taking it to your car. If you are active at all I believe you will be wanting a mobile unit in your car as will as one for the house to use as a base station.  I think you will find that the handheld will be put in the drawer used only in the event the power goes out or the occasional use in the field. The best use for a handheld is to hang it on your belt when you go to hamfest. Saying this I would look for the cheapest thing I could find that puts out 5 watts. As for as 440 or 220 I think you will find that there is not enough activity on the 2 meter band to need something else for local communications.  Saying this I do believe every ham should have a HT so I have no objection to it being your first rig but I think you will soon want to upgrade. Just what I think.
Terry WB4QNG
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