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New Ham - Need Equip ideas for 2m/440

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iRescue

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Hi All,

My name is Joe. I am a new ham in New Jersey. I got my Tech, and I'm studying for my General (will be taking it later this month)

I want to start out on 2m and 70 cm bands. They seem the easiest and have a good amount of traffic around here in my time I've spent listening. My plans: Have a good radio for - emergency comms with friends/family/neighbors & having good conversations while on the road. Maybe later I would be interested in contesting and other things down the line.

I got a Baofeng UV-5R+ as a stocking stuffer this Christmas from my wife. It's an OK radio, but I think I want something a bit more reliable. I did get a Nagoya NA-701 antenna and it seems to work a bit better than the rubber duck it came with.


So here's what I'm asking:

What equipment would you recommend I get (transceiver and Antenna recommendations)

I want something that would be good at home but portable so I can take it on the road.

Any other advice for a new ham would be greatly appreciated!
 

KC9AXZ

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If your going for general don't limit yourself to VHF/UHF radio. Take a look at a Yaesu FT857D or similar. In fact HRO has the 857D on sale right now. Antennas can be as easy as a good dual band and "hamstick" for HF. If you have a little extra cash for an antenna right now there are a antennas such as the Yaesu ATAS series or Tarheel and High Serria.

If you can only do a VHF/UHF mobile then there are a lot of radios on the market. I always suggest a true dual band radio that is capable of crossband repeat.

Jon
 

w2xq

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Wirelessly posted (Moto Droid Bionic: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.1.2; en-us; DROID BIONIC Build/9.8.2O-72_VZW-22) AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/534.30)

Yaesu, Kenwood, ICOM are the big 3. You can't go wrong with the current crop of what's out there. Assuming you are a member of the ARRL, past issues of QST have detailed reviews of almost everything on the market. Your problem will be sorting out the features you want. :)

My choice is the Yaesu FT-8800R; dual band, dual receive with cross band capability, remote head capability. I've had it for 8+ years. But I don't want APRS, digital et al.

Be aware that you are going to get suggestions across the manufacturer and gamut. It's really a features vs cost decision.

And put a decent NMO mount and antenna on the vehicle. Larsen and Comet are among the most popular manufacturers.

Read the amateur radio threads here on RR, and look at eham.net when you have the time.

YMMV. Hope that helps.
 
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xtranaut

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YOU ARE GOING TO GET PLENTY OF VARIETY HERE! Different hams like different qualities in equipment. None are without like studying for a degree to operate and set up in their various functions but I go for as compact as possible with as many real useable features that I like. For that reason I chose the Kenwood v-71a for my mobile. It is fixed in my car but I would not hesitate to use this rig confidently for a base. A very nice feature of this radio is that it has a removable remote head which fits nicely on my steering column. The Mike has all the remote buttons so you can keep eyes on the road at all times. This dual band 2m/440. It is 50 watts with h/m/l selections. Now, as a tech, the MOST FUN you will have is on 10 METERS. That is something I would buy separately and put in the house to play ham and get jazzed up for your general ! There are lots of used HF rigs on EBAY that cover ten meters and will also make you ready for all of it when you get the Gen ticket. What you select is according to your budget and you desires in a radio, personally. I have TS-830s Kenwood..it is all pristine and I purchased every matching piece on EBAY, one by one. It isn't all digital but then, I LIKE IT BETTER THAT WAY. There are also the "outlaw" 10 meter radios that have such a bad reputation. RANGERS are supposed to be fairly good radios and offer base style rigs that you can use mobile as well. You just have to watch the FCC guidelines for these radio as some ARE illegal. I have a simple16' dipole with a balun and use a TS-50 Kenwood for 10 which is very compact. I have talked to Guam and the Philippines, Venezuela, and all over with that strung in my attic at one time. I have a very nice Kenwood TM-701a dual band that would serve you well mobile and base and it is very compact. GOOD LUCK AND GOOD HAMMING!
 

SCPD

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I myself would like a Kenwood TM-V71a for mobile use and preferably a Kenwood TS-2000 for Base use HF-6 meters-VHF-UHF,until I get rich I will have my dreams.
 

mikemey

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This is just my opinion.

I have a Yaesu FT-60R HT and it works great. I have it hooked up to a Diamond MR77 dual band mobile antenna and I have great reception in the car with it, much better than trying to use the rubber duck. You'd need an adapter for it to take it down to the radio, but it's well worth it.

I have a Yaesu FT-7800R mobile radio that I picked up 2nd hand on E-Bay. I tested it using my mobile antenna and it works great as well. I just have to get it installed in the car, when I have the time. (Yeah, that'll happen. lol) The 7800 is discontinued, but its replacement, the FT-7900R can be bought new from HRO or other outlets.

Your mileage may vary, batteries not included, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, etc etc.

Don't be afraid to look on E-Bay. There is plenty of stuff out there, and it's usually in decent shape.
 

TLF82

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You can't go wrong with anything from the big 3. I have two Yaesu HTs and I have a Icom ID-880 in the truck. With that said those three don't get a whole lot of use. I have not charged the HTs in months.
I am a commercial radio fan. The main radios I talk on and use every day are Motorolas and one Kenwood (which when funds permit I will replace with another Motorola).
I like the commercial gear over the dedicated Ham gear because it is build to superior specs. The received and transmitted audio is of higher quaility as well are the transmitter and receiver itself.

I was working a triathalon and was standing next to a guy with his chicom radio and I had my Moto XTS2500 listening to simplex. He could not hear the same station that I was listening to on my radio. With that said there is a small price difference in the cost of the radio.

Start with something from the big 3. If they leave you wanting something more then look at a commercial radio. I would also say find a local club and go check out what the guys around you are using.

As far as HF goes the big 3 all make great rigs.

Af far as antennas go. Laird, Antennex, Larsen, ect can't be beat
 
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