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Author Topic: What are the 3 best handhelds for the $ in 2017  (Read 3970 times)
WR1R
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« on: November 21, 2017, 11:41:47 AM »

Hello all this is an old ham who’s been inactive since the early 90’s but got the bug again and trying to get good advise on the top three handhelds for the $ the best bang for the buck . Way more “ stuff”out there then when I first got started . Any suggestions would be awesome thanks in advance , Frank
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K4JJL
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 12:07:34 PM »

Motorola Saber, Motorola MTS2000, and GE MPA.
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WR1R
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 12:26:13 PM »

Motorola Saber, Motorola MTS2000, and GE MPA.
thank you for your input . I was thinking the big three and again the price point for an HT as “ bang for the buck” . I swear I have watched 1,000,001 videos on YouTube expounding the virtues of this or that and a bunch of HT’s  from the cheap Chinese all the way up to Motorola. I would like to try to stay with the big three if I could which is why I am here looking for advise .  I will say I’m shellshocked at how cheap everything is and I hope that doesn’t equate to cheaply made but I was paying 3 to 400 bucks back in the early 90s when I got my ticket. So in closing thank you for your input and help and I hopemore people pile on ( espically with Xmas coming it might give other people Xmas gift ideas ) and give me some good ideas as to the big three ICOM Kenwood and Yaesu. Thanks again and 73 ,Frank
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 12:30:27 PM by WR1R » Logged
K5LXP
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2017, 04:24:57 PM »

"Best" of course is subjective and since you haven't put any constraints other than "big 3" you could probably make a case for each model from each brand.  Two that come immediately to mind for "value" though is the Yaesu FT-60 and VX-150.  Look over the feature set for these and see how close they align to your expectation.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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WR1R
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2017, 05:14:09 PM »

You are 100% correct sir ! What I’m hoping for here is what is the general consensus of the DUAL BAND  HT’s of the big three, example (1) what is the one “ best “ of each brand (2) what is the one “ best “ of all three of them (3) what are most hams today using ,the most popular “ bang for the buck “ features /price point . I ask because I’m shellschocked by the price compared to when I first got my ticket back in the 90’s so inexpencive and with SMT they do so much more and just the sheer amount of brands it’s mind boggling and I want to buy the “ best “ before moving on to a mobile rig and then an HF rig to complete everything lol ! I will look at both of those models ! Thanks for the input and 73 Frank
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 05:23:28 PM by WR1R » Logged
N8EKT
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2017, 06:12:12 PM »

For analog, my top choice is still the Yaesu VX6


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WR1R
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2017, 06:21:57 PM »

Thanks but I never worked 220 when I was active but perhaps I’m missing something ? I just got done reviewing this Yaesu that K5LXP suggested and thought it was a good deal ,again hoping for a lot of input from my fellow hams and so close to Christmas I’m sure it will help Santa too ! https://www.amazon.com/gp/cart/view.html/ref=nav_cart  thanks for for taking the time to respond and if you know of any other decent HT’s that would be great ! 73 Frank
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 06:27:28 PM by WR1R » Logged
K5LXP
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2017, 08:13:07 PM »

I had a VX-6 for a while and it brings some useful features to the table but at an additional cost.  If you're interested in that, then suddenly your scope expands quite a bit and you have more research to do as multiple models are in the VX-6 category.  If I had it to do again it'd be toss up between the kenwood F6A and the VX-6, though my experience with the VX-6 would probably tip the scales that way based on my usage model.  The Icom T90 would be in that same class.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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WB8VLC
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2017, 09:49:57 PM »

If were sticking to ham stuff then the VX-6R is on top of the list, I have 2 of them and no problems whatsoever.

If you widen it up to commercial offerings then first place goes to the MOTOROLA XTS5K with FPP, 2nd is a tie for the HAMFLASHED GE M-PA and the VX-6R then the Moto Saber.

Sorry JJL, I still prefer the Hamflashed M-PA to the Saber but only by a small margin and since I picked up 2 more FPP XTS5'K FOR $350  each, the xts5k is still my top choice.

But for a great do everything analog ht the yaesu vx-6r is it.

It may have been easier to list the not recommended radios first, on the top of the junk turd don't waste your money on ht list is any Wouxen or Boefeng with the Wouxen uv5 series and the boefeng uv-82 series taking top honors for Turd handhelds to stay away from.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 09:55:06 PM by WB8VLC » Logged
WR1R
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2017, 04:32:26 AM »

https://www.gigaparts.com/yaesu-vx-6r-2.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI156PnpTS1wIVWrnACh1lYQ5PEAQYASABEgJbMvD_BwE . Thanks WB8VLC for the tip ,help and advise . I am surprised that you recommend a tri bander but don’t get me wrong, I’ve been out of the loop for close to 20 years so back in the early 90s when I got my ticket hardly anyone was on 220 ,everybody just bought 2 meter/440 band handheld and mobile rigs and that was it ,I rarely heard of anyone that would operate on 220 so am I missing something or is that band now active when it wasn’t back in the 90s? I should also mention that I would like to have an HT that is also a dual band receive . I really hope more people pile on as it’s the end of the year any new models from this year should have shown their “ bugs”and it’s also time for Santa to show up so this Thread might help Santa’s helpers know what to buy . Thanks for your input and help , have a great Thanksgivings 73 Frank
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K4JJL
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2017, 07:11:30 AM »

Sorry JJL, I still prefer the Hamflashed M-PA to the Saber but only by a small margin and since I picked up 2 more FPP XTS5'K FOR $350  each, the xts5k is still my top choice.

The only reason I don't use the MPA anymore is the batteries are so expensive.  Have you found a cheap source?
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WR1R
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2017, 09:00:31 AM »

So what do you think is the best HT dual bander for the money ? 73 Frank
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SWMAN
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2017, 09:07:17 AM »

I am going to say the Yaesu FT-60r. Great radio for the money and for reliability
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WR1R
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2017, 09:16:31 AM »

https://www.gigaparts.com/yaesu-ft-60r.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhc2g3tbS1wIVWZ7ACh1t0A19EAQYASABEgKp8_D_BwE

Thanks short wave man I see it is in fact a dual bander but looking at the spec I didn’t see “ dualband receive “ and I’m hoping to find a rig with that feature ,again with a good price point that’s a very good price for that radio and thank you for sharing your information. The reason I want dual band receive is because if you’re talking say for example on 2 meters with someone but you know you’re going to meet somebody on a 440 repeator or you’re listening for a person waiting for them to come on a 440 repeator or some simplex freq ,if you have the dual band receive you can be alerted when a channel becomes active ,so hoping to get that. Thanks again for your help and input hope you have a nice holiday 73 Frank
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 09:24:19 AM by WR1R » Logged
K7RBW
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2017, 03:31:10 AM »

I've collected quite a few handhelds over the years, and I'm going to say the best "value" is the Baofeng UV-82, as far as features for the price. It helps to program them with a computer and it helps if you don't want to do a lot of manual entry of freqs and tones, etc. But, for $30-35, you can't beat it (well, you can, but if you do, you're still only out $30). I've had good luck with mine, but I've had to send a couple back (for free) and the company has always been very helpful and quick to replace them when they didn't work (for whatever reason). Buy three, keep two and you have a backup rig and you're still only out $60.

That being said, I think the Yeasu radios mentioned are better choices for all-around use. I don't know if you get 5x the value for 5x the price, but they are solid rigs. For me, what sets rigs like the FT-60R apart from the $30 crowd is the wideband RX and AM receive (for the aircraft band). That feature isn't available on the Baofeng rigs.

Then you can add digital features and start shopping in the $400+ price range. Whether digital radio is important to you, depends on your circumstances and interests. If it is, none of the other choices are an option.

The good news is there are many options and I would imagine that at any ham club or hamfest you could find someone who has one and would be happy to tell you all about it.
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