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Old 09-06-2015, 10:47 PM   #1
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HAM Radio

Passed the technician license exam today. Now need to figure out what radio to purchase. The only thing I know is that I want a hand held so that I can move it between my SMB and 4Runner. Do any of you have suggestions on which radio to get?

"A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points but it is by no means the most interesting". Jon Pertwee as Dr. Who, The Time Warrior.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:36 PM   #2
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Re: HAM Radio

Still digging my Yaesu FTM-400dr


Baofeng UV-5R v2+ for handheld comms. Cheap and works well. You can extend the range of the handheld with crossband repeat on the mobile transceiver in the van.


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Old 09-07-2015, 06:07 AM   #3
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Re: HAM Radio

Congratulations on passing your Technician exam. You want a handheld. I use a Yaesu FT-60R Dual Band Handheld 5W VHF / UHF Amateur Radio Transceiver. It works great with a 18" antenna for handheld and with the four foot antenna I installed on the roof of my Sportsmobile. It is easy to use and very easy to program in repeater frequencies. And it is inexpensive! Here is some info from Amazon: ... B004P4PDAO
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:01 PM   #4
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Re: HAM Radio

Congrats on passing the exam. It is always nice to see new people take up the hobby. It is also a must have for anyone traveling in the back country. I have a Yaesu VX8-DR and really like it. It is very durable. You mention that you want a handheld so you can transfer it between different vehicles. Keep in mind that a handheld will only transmit at 5 watts and has limited range. I would suggest you consider getting a mobile. You can get an antenna for each vehicle, 2 mounts and connect power to the radio with Anderson Power pole connectors. That way you could swap the radio quickly. Mobiles have considerable more power at 50 watts.

With whatever radio you choose it really comes down to what you are comfortable with using. Cost is also a factor. You can spend $500 plus for a big name (Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood) or less than $100 for a Chinese brand. A really good place to start is going to your local radio club and see what everyone there is using. They have the knowledge about what works best in your area. Also you can look and try their gear to get a feel for what you like and want.

Just for reference, my first radio was the Yaesu VX8-DR with all the accessories (GPG, Bluetooth, Hand mike, quick charger, and more). After using it for a month I quickly realized I needed more transmitting power in my van so I got a FTM-350 which is a awesome radio. I have since added a TYT TH-9000 VHF mobile and as a back-up handheld a Wouxun UDV1P.

Have fun!
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Old 09-07-2015, 03:30 PM   #5
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Re: HAM Radio

Welcome to Ham Radio. You might want to consider a radio with APRS so we can all have fun watching your travels in your SportsMobile.
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:19 PM   #6
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Re: HAM Radio

I have my Yaesu 7800R on a RAM mount in my Bronco. Aside from power and antenna cables, it's easy to swap between vehicles.

Check for radio reviews, and Classified Ads for used gear.

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Old 09-09-2015, 12:20 AM   #7
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Re: HAM Radio

Congrats on passing!

I use a Yaesu VX-7R with a mag mount antennae for my vehicles I don't want a permanent mount for. I have a Yaesu 8800 in the van.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:54 AM   #8
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Re: HAM Radio

Thanks everyone. This has been helpful in narrowing the search. Will probably be November before I am on the air. Lots going on between now and then.
"A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points but it is by no means the most interesting". Jon Pertwee as Dr. Who, The Time Warrior.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:11 PM   #9
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Re: HAM Radio

Baofeng UV5R. They're so cheap you can buy a couple. Just add a decent antenna.

I've got a new Kenwood mobile unit for my van, just need to get around to installing it and the new antenna.
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:00 PM   #10
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Re: HAM Radio

Another vote for the baofeng.

My brother and I both carry a pair of them in our vehicles. We can lend them out to others who join our convoy.

It's nice because it's a handheld unit... We take them with us when we go on hikes or even just split up at the lake. If I'm in the boat or up the creek fishing, my wife can still get ahold of me easily and call me back to camp in case of an emergency or something.

I have a mag mount antenna for when we're in the vehicle and I use a smaller whip when we're using them as handheld.

They're cheap, they work well, and the programming is super simple with the USB cable and there's a ton of accessories and battery packs and chargers and whatever else you can imagine available for them.

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