Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Good dual band HT for someone who rarely uses one  (Read 10721 times)
N4FBW
Member

Posts: 34




Ignore
« on: April 02, 2013, 11:41:39 AM »

Hi,

I've heard that most handhelds today suffer from complexity and feature-itis and so I'm looking for a handheld that just works without a ton of features on it. I don't use VHF/UHF FM and the only reason I want an HT is that I live in earthquake country. I'd prefer not to buy one of the Chinese radios and likely won't consider Kenwood for due to poor design/quality. Any ICOM or Yaesu recommendations? I don't mind spending some money, I just want something that actually works!

73,

N4FBW
Logged
N5TWB
Member

Posts: 36




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 12:54:15 PM »

Compared to my first HT, a Kenwood TH-215 brick, vintage ca. 1988, everything today has feature-itis, especially when considering the number of channels. From my observation of various ham friends and acquaintances' gear, I'd say the Yaesu FT-60 ought to be among the HTs you consider for being fairly basic and uncomplicated. Under the Icom brand, the T-70A would seem to fit your specs. You might also want to consider the Alinco brand DJ-V57T.
Logged
K4JJL
Member

Posts: 503




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 04:11:22 PM »

I'd go for one that takes AA batteries. I have so many handy scratchies with shot batteries that cost more than it's worth to begin with. Especially if you use it very infrequently.
Logged
K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6061




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 04:28:19 AM »

I'm another that uses my HT infrequently.  I use an Icon T7H, dual band 2m/440, but only one band at a time, no dual displays.  It used to be sold as a sport model with the AA battery holder as a T7H sport for around a hundred.  I've had it about ten years now and it's still going strong with one exception--the PTT let go a couple of years ago.  Bought a new one and replaced it and the HT is working fine now.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 04:34:33 AM by K1CJS » Logged
KD0NGX
Member

Posts: 6




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 08:45:00 PM »

Yaesu FT-60 is very easy to use, has a AA case available and very reasonably priced. I liked mine so much I got another to have to carry around.
Logged
N7DMA
Member

Posts: 18




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 06:34:09 PM »

+1 on the FT-60R. Like KD0NGX said, good radio, and plenty of available accessories. Get the AA battery holder, and a decent aftermarket antenna. I use a Diamond SRH329A as a good replacement for the stock antenna. Tough as nails!

My all time favorite single band HT is the venerable Yaesu VX-150. Found inexpensive on the used market. I've had mine for 10 or 12 years, and it's my go-to radio. It rides along in my pack on hikes, and backpacking trips. I use a MFJ "Long Ranger" antenna with that one. This morning I was on a hike in the Santa Catalina mountains, and with this setup, I made a 50 mile FM simplex contact. With 5 watts! It helped that I was at about 8500 feet above sea level. I've beat the snot out of that radio... takes a lickin', and keeps on tickin'. Best HT ever. Commercial quality. Also shares accessories with the FT-60.

My 2 pence worth.

Karl,
N7DMA
Tucson, AZ
Logged
G1HSM
Member

Posts: 2




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 02:03:26 AM »

Although I have a Yaesu/Vertex VX-2 (now replaced by the VX-3), I'd get one of the cheap Chinese Baofeng UV-5R HTs. A couple of our club members are happy with theirs, and it has received some good reviews:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/10755

73, Leon
G1HSM
Logged
VE5EIS
Member

Posts: 52


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 08:20:25 AM »

I've been using a Wouxun (don't have it handy, alas) but I picked up a Baofeng just because they are so cheap; I thought it could live in the car.  Turns out it's a pretty decent radio in its own right.  There are some things about its user interface that I prefer to the Wouxun.

For $40-50, it's an amazing value.  It'd be particularly apt for a new ham, or one that doesn't use 2m/70cm very often.
Logged
K4JJL
Member

Posts: 503




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 08:27:41 AM »

One of my friends found a nasty birdie on one of the Chinese handhelds (Baofeng UV-5RA).  It made a repeater on 442.000 completely unusable.  The squelch stays open and it squeals with heterodynes.  I've heard of birdies on other frequencies with the other Chinese radios.  Do some research before buying to make sure it's not on top of a popular repeater freq you intend to use.
Logged
KD0PCG
Member

Posts: 4




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 02:44:46 PM »

If you can compromise on the UHF side of things, the Icom V80 Sport is a pretty good deal. While it is 2M only, it runs on AAs, it's simple, tough, and about $100.
Logged
BASSMAN12350
Member

Posts: 6




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2013, 10:18:17 AM »

If you can find one (they're hard to come by) check out the Icom W-31A or better yet, the W-32A dual band radio.  Aside from rather short battery "run times", remedied now with aftermarket NiMh or Li-ion replacements, these radios are straight forward, easy to operate rigs with nice features, true cross-band repeat capabilities, and are built like bricks.  I've had my W-31A for 18 years and it's still working just fine.  The only downside I can think of is the rather low volume output (200 mw max) of the audio.

Good luck and 73.

Steve
Logged
VE6FGN
Member

Posts: 20




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2013, 09:24:59 PM »

I have an FT-270 and love it- waterproof, tough, works great- but only VHF.

Bought an FT-60 for the dual band capability- it too is a great radio. Use the original rubber duck antenna on both, real happy with the propagation.

Good add-ons: get a cable that allows you to connect to a PL-259 connector- allows you to use a large remote antenna. Amazing what you can do with 5 watts and a gain antenna...!!! 12v charger is handy for the car.

Cheers!
Logged
K5UNX
Member

Posts: 329


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2013, 10:17:30 AM »

I have a FT-60R. Like it a lot. Price was good. I did get an adapter to a PL-259. I have connected it to a larger antenna and it works good. I would also get the software to program the memories with the computer.
Logged

W7AIT
Member

Posts: 491




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2013, 07:58:34 PM »

Sorry you don't like Kenwood, but I do have to say these facts:
1.   I own 2 Kenwood THF6A's and owned one older thumbwheel Kenwood TH-21AT HT back in the 80's; I broke the antenna connector off the TH-21AT and had to repair it; it was my fault, not Kenwood.
2.   The older of the two THF6A's is eight (Cool years old and had zero problems, no failures, no repairs, no knobs fall off, no antenna problems, no problems at all.
3.   I purchased the 2nd THF6A so I could donate the older one to a friend who has no HT's.
4.   The Kenwood THF6A's do EVERYTHING and do it well on 2, 220 and 440.  I even have use it to work AO51 satellite barefoot when AO51 was still operational.  I used a ARROW hand held antenna and programmed the radio for Doppler.  Successfully made many satellite FM contacts through AO51 with the THF6A HT.
5.   Batteries are a bit expensive and the MAHA after market don't work due to a mechanical design flaw, the finger stock isn't dimensioned properly and it won't contact correctly to allow enough current on transmit.  The Kenwood batteries on  the other hand work fine, no problems; they are pricey, but you get what you pay for.
6.   I would recommend the Kenwood THF6A HT to anyone.  Its an excellent HT, has lots of features, easy to use, reliable, and is still working fine after 8 years.
7.   I don't use my HT very much, maybe once a month, but then there are times I might use it every day.  Its always been dependable.
8.   All the Kenwood THF6A speaker mic's, battery chargers work well and are reliable.
9.   I had a brand new 1.2 ghz Alinco tri band HT here and it was impossible to use and program.  I think it was designed "in Martian" because I could never get the thing to work properly and it was impossible to program; I ended up selling it.
Those are my observed actual facts.
Again I'm sorry you had such a bad deal with Kenwood.
Logged
KO3D
Member

Posts: 49




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2013, 07:12:06 PM »

They are really incredible values. The cost has nothing to do with  their quality as the Chinese appear to be "dumping" them at the cheap price to get market share.

I've been using a Wouxun (don't have it handy, alas) but I picked up a Baofeng just because they are so cheap; I thought it could live in the car.  Turns out it's a pretty decent radio in its own right.  There are some things about its user interface that I prefer to the Wouxun.

For $40-50, it's an amazing value.  It'd be particularly apt for a new ham, or one that doesn't use 2m/70cm very often.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!