Help with choosing radio/radios

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kelltara

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Ok since I earned my general, I have a couple of questions etc... Fire away with suggestions please :)


I camp and I travel quite a bit.

I hike occasionally in the woods where there is no cell access.

2m and 70cm --Are there areas where repeaters do not cover? Or is there coverage pretty much everywhere?

Is there a good hand held for long distance. Even if I have to buy two and leave one at the campsite, just for emergencies. Or would shelling out the cost of a gmrs license be the best solution for that and buying a couple of cheaper 2 watt radios? I wonder why they don't include the GMRS area with a ham license.


Next question. Someone mentioned for me to give a shout on a freq in the 80m band if I ever get a radio that will do that. Is that band a good "starter" for me to get into?
I am trying to figure out what to get in order to get my feet wet :)

Radio model suggestions that don't cost a fortune would be very welcome. At least till I have a better understanding of what I want.
 
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gewecke

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When I go camping (rarely due to work) I like to take my dual band ft7100, a marine battery & my mfj roll up j pole for an antenna. Depending on terrain and altitude, 40-50 miles is possible if you're creative and don't mind climbing a tree. :wink:
As far as hf goes, I don't use it but many claim a icom 706 while camping works great.
73,
n9zas
 

kelltara

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I am looking at one of these:
YAESU FT-857D
It seems to do most everything I'd need to start off with. Are there any other really good multi mode units?
 

W2NJS

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2m and 70cm --Are there areas where repeaters do not cover? Or is there coverage pretty much everywhere?
No easy answer to this; depends on where you are. Get a Repeater Directory from ARRL and find out where the repeaters are based.
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Is there a good hand held for long distance. Even if I have to buy two and leave one at the campsite, just for emergencies. Or would shelling out the cost of a gmrs license be the best solution for that and buying a couple of cheaper 2 watt radios? I wonder why they don't include the GMRS area with a ham license.
No easy answer to this question, either. Most HTs do five watts. If you're camping the more power the better. GMRS is governed by a separate set of FCC regulations and has nothing to do with Part 97 amateur radio licensing. GMRS licensing requires no radio theory exam.
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Next question. Someone mentioned for me to give a shout on a freq in the 80m band if I ever get a radio that will do that. Is that band a good "starter" for me to get into?
Not for camping, but perhaps for base operations. For 75 meters (the phone portion of the 80M band),
you'll need a horizontal antenna that about 117 feet long, somewhat shorter if it's a vertical but still on the long side.

Best overall answer to your questions: Find a local ham or hams with whom you can exchange information and learn how things work. That's the way most of us got going. Doing it all on your own will waste a lot of your time.
 

zz0468

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2m and 70cm --Are there areas where repeaters do not cover? Or is there coverage pretty much everywhere?
Depends on where you are. In more populated areas, it can be difficult to find places where there isn't something to talk to. In more rural areas, finding holes in repeater coverage is much easier. But to answer your question, no, there is not coverage "pretty much everywhere".

Is there a good hand held for long distance.
Not really. Hand held radios aren't really meant to talk long distance. Repeaters help, but otherwise you're mostly limited by your surroundings. If you're at the top of a 10,000 foot mountain, you'll talk a long way. If you're at the base of that 10,000 foot mountain, deep in a canyon, you won't be able to talk to anyone outside that canyon unless there's a repeater nearby.

Even if I have to buy two and leave one at the campsite, just for emergencies. Or would shelling out the cost of a gmrs license be the best solution for that and buying a couple of cheaper 2 watt radios?
I guess that depends on who you want to talk to. If you're camping with another ham, then ham radios would be fine. If not, you need to leave the other person with a radio that they're actually allowed to use.

I wonder why they don't include the GMRS area with a ham license.
Because they're two separate services with different purposes, and different rules.

Next question. Someone mentioned for me to give a shout on a freq in the 80m band if I ever get a radio that will do that. Is that band a good "starter" for me to get into?
80 meters can be a good starter, depending on what your interests are. It's not real compatible with hiking in the woods, though. Antennas are rather large, and unless you go for a general or extra class license, you'll be limited to Morse code on a small sliver of the band.

I am looking at one of these:
YAESU FT-857D
It seems to do most everything I'd need to start off with. Are there any other really good multi mode units?
I have two of them, installed in vehicles. I like 'em.
 

kelltara

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Thanks
Most of the time I'll be in a campground lol I guess they might get upset with me if I strung a 117 foot piece of metal up in the campground lol
 
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