Hand held question

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jimdana1942

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I'm new to HAM radio, KF5EUA, and am thinking to get started of going the hand held route in the 2M band,

Any recommendations? I want to use it to hit the local repeater, etc. Need to keep my initial costs as economical as I can.
 

N8IAA

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Hey, Jim. Welcome to ham radio:) I am going to go against my normal suggestion of Yaesu (believe me I love my Yaesu's) and suggest the new Icom V80. The main reason is it is under $100 for the radio. It has 207 memories, and I think the biggest plus is it uses a BNC antenna connector. You have more options to get antennas for the radio. It will be easier to get magmounts and ht antennas. Magmounts allow you to use the radio in the house and in the vehicle on lower power. Basic accessories should be: speaker mic(doesn't have to be Icom because they are very expensive), power cord for operating in the mobile, and if they have it, a AA battery case, or, extended use battery. If you go with a higher gain ht antenna, the RH77 is going to be one of the best.
HTH,
Larry
 

kb2vxa

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There are two schools of thought on the matter, the majority seem to agree that an HT makes a poor starter rig because of its limitations, most notably low power. I'm one of those who say a mobile rig having 10 times the power you'd do a lot better having much greater range. You can start small and build up like I did, a car battery and trickle charger (high current charging produces explosive gas and acid spatter) for "base" use and of course it is a mobile unit. You have a wide choice of antennas for each purpose but you'd need them anyway with an HT if you want to get out of your own back yard.

The other says an HT is the way to go but sorry if I just don't understand the reasoning behind it, an HT with its limitations is often discouraging so many lose interest and drop out of the hobby. The choice is yours and an HT is useful as a portable of course but most hams don't use portables that often if at all. For my 2c I'd think it over a little more and compare costs, you don't need the latest whiz bang rig with all the bells and whistles (and accompanying price) just to get your feet wet.

The bottom line here is most start out on the bottom rung of the ladder and work our way upward, you can always sell the low end unit(s) to the new kid on the block and defray the cost of your improvements. That reminds me, there is a lot of good used equipment out there at the right price, no sense breaking the bank when you can start out on the cheap. When it comes to specifics I would take suggestions under advisement rather than gospel, it's more important to buy something that fits your individual needs than someone else's desires. Bottom line like the song goes; "my mama told me, you better shop around".
(Smokey Robinson and the Miracles on Tamla/Motown 1960)
 

mparker

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Started with an HT (vx7r) because I didn't want to spend the money on "extras" ie antennas, power supplies... things like that.

What I found out... you can't use an HT inside your house using the duckie, and same goes for in your car. So your back at the radio store buying antennas...

If I where to do it over again, I thing the icom 2200h is a perfect starter rig, and paired to a jetstream 15A PS you would be under 200 bucks, then pick up an arrow jpole and your still under 250 and you would be very happy for a whille... then you can learn the ropes test for your gen, buy an all mode, and move the 2200 to your car with a mag mount. :)
 
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darg

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I'm also a starter and I agree with getting a HT for the beginning of all combined with a good external antenna for use at home and also in the car. I got the Yaesu VX-8DR mainly for it's features to get an idea what HAM is in the 2m and 70cm. I love this unit. I'm running a multi band antenna from home and my car together with an adapter and external power supply. If you live in an urban area the 5watts max is giving you plenty of power. The V8 features APRS so I experiment with that and all the other stuff it has. After having the HT as versatile unit for home and car I will experiment different HT antennas what can be fun to see what you can do. Get a radio which gives you more features so it's never getting boring :)
In regard to a car a mobile is the next step. I think it's in the nature of HAM to start small and go up the ladder.
 

W6KRU

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I've got plenty of experience with handhelds and mobiles and I use a handheld when I can't use a mobile. A handheld is a poor substitute for a mobile. An external antenna can help the HH a lot but it's still no contest. The mobile is superior in every way.
 

darg

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Sure, a mobile is better than a HT due to higher power output and maybe the better microphone but for a starter it's a good entry point.
 

DannB

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Ft 60

I'm new to HAM radio, KF5EUA, and am thinking to get started of going the hand held route in the 2M band,

Any recommendations? I want to use it to hit the local repeater, etc. Need to keep my initial costs as economical as I can.
Yaesu FT-60 , This is a great radio (2meter/440) Even with the antenna that comes with the unit works well, I have had GREAT results and dont have any complants, You can also get a adapter so you can plug in a external antenna(mag.mount for example) and put it in the car when needed. This radio is resonable in price also check out HAM CITY.COM
Check out some of the extras you can buy for it=

CBE-V57: Battery Eliminator for Yaesu & Vertex FT-60R, VX-110, VX-150, VX-170, VX-177, VX-210, VX-250, VXA-120, Aviator Pro II, etc.

https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=619

https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=10&idproduct=908
 

reedeb

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I don't know about HT being a bad starter. I have always used HTs and used them in my house and mobile with rubber ducky. YES a mobile and outside ant. works better BUT you still can make contact with an HT. Maybe you're in the wrong area to hit a repeater with a rubber ducky or maybe you're trying to get way off with it but for local repeaters it works good. Later on get a mobile and magmount antenna for your mobile and work up to a base with roof mounted ant later.
 

georgew0819

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Salisbury, NC
HT vs Mobile

First welcome to the Ham community. I think one bit of advise would be don't rush out to by the first thing that comes along just to get on the air. There is so much the amateur radio hobby has to offer that it would be good to look at several things to help in making your first radio purchase.

1) Look at what areas of the hobby are you interested in, such as just phone (voice), working satellites, CW, or other data modes, PSK31, RTTY and such, then see what others are using for those modes.

2) Look at the repeater guides on the net to see how many repeaters are in you area for the different bands.

3) Based on info learned about area repeaters you can determine wether or not a dual band unit would be a good buy.

4) When and where would you like to have a radio with you, at home, in the car, on hikes, ect.

For me, after considering the the above I purchased a 2m/70cm HT for my first rig as well as a spare battery and mobile antenna's for the apartment and car, all for under $250. And on a final note, the hardest part of this hobby isn't the cost of the radio's or related equipment.

It's getting the wife to understand why one radio, antenna, meter and so on isn't enough! That just like scanners each radio does a different job and that compared to the high end high priced rigs, the one you want really is a bargin!
 

prcguy

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I think the key to handheld happiness was brought up in the previous post, find out where your local repeaters are and if they can be accessed from wherever you want to use the handheld. Many of the local repeaters around here are on tall mountains and I can use them from inside my house from 75mi to over 100mi with a handheld.

I think a handheld is a good thing for a new ham, it allows you to immerse yourself in the hobby anytime or any place.
prcguy
 

pdfdems286

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2 excellent hh rig's.

yaesu vx-6r.
yaesu ft-60r.

i've heard some bad thing's about icom & kenwood amateur hh's. also both yaesu's are pretty easy to setup & use. i would stay away from the yaesu vx-7r. i was not very impressed with the finicky programming and terrible intermod/overload. plus it's like $70.00 more then the vx-6r.
 

W2NJS

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Two very good sources for radio ads and information:
1. The internet; all the ham manufacturers have comprehensive websites.
2. Any library that maintains a subscription to QST magazine, the ham magazine that's published every month and has up-to-date advertising from all the manufacturers, in color, with tons of tech details in the ads plus reviews every month on new ham radios.
 

RADIOUSER5

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It would be good if you can find a near by ham to bring over an HT and be sure you can reach the repeater that you want to work through. Or maybe a local amateur radio club could be a big help in explaining repeater coverage. I like the low cost but rugged new single band HTs and also often carry a Yaesu FT-60R dual band which is also a great public safety VHF/UHF scanner for under $200. Check out our national organization web site: American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources -- / W5DTR
 

Cochran_rick

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Feb 10, 2005
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Prattville, Alabama
As you see you have many different opinion and there is truth in all of them. It gets back to deciding what is best for you. As for me, I was pinched for cash also, and decided to go with an HT. It worked out great for me, as I had a wide band discone antenna already up in the air for my scanner, and it is a great match for 2m, 1 1/4, 70cm. At home I run it on 1/2 watt and all my locals can't believe my clear signal. I am in a good location so it worked out great. You may not have it so good. I can reach my local repeaters from home with my rubber duck, but not near as good as the outdoor antenna. I also bought a $20.00 1/4 wave magnet mount to put on my car, and it too does a good job reaching the repeaters. If I venture out of town, I am sure I would appreciate a few more watts. For about $90.00 you can buy a Mirage amp that will take your 5 watt HT and give you 35 watts which will give you a little more range on Simplex. Look at where most of your use will be and try to decide if the HT is more trouble the what it is worth, or if it would fit the bill temorairly. Worked a chairity bike ride sitting 10 feet behind my car using the 1/4 wave sitting on the trunk and the coax running to my chair. I had no problem reaching the repeater and it was probably 40 to 50 miles North of where I was. It works for me, but certainly wouldn't be the best for some. I take pride in getting out with my 5 watts knowing people around me have rigs costing much more. I am planning on getting a tripod and making me a extendable mast to hold a light J pole that I can erect in minutes for Em Com work. Batteries last longer on 2 1/2 to 5 watts and most radios can be bought with alkaline battery pack to use for back up. Good luck in finding what is best for you. You have a lot of good advise in the previous posts to consider. 73's
 
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