HT Suggestions

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evansrj

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I am looking for ideas on an HT under $250 that will allow me to use for gaining knowledge and experience before buying a good mobile unit. I am looking for one I can use while camping/hiking and for local Canwarn storm tracking as well as local events in the city.

I have a chance to buy a used Yaesu ft250r for about $100 with some accessories.

Any other suggestions on a newer handheld?

Thanks,
Ryan
 

W2NJS

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Beg or borrow a copy of QST magazine. Or see if your local library has it. Or go to the online websites of the various ham stores, such as HRO, AES, GigaParts, etc. If you can, and think you can use it, get a dualband HT. Prices are running from $100 to about $450 these days, a bit more for D-Star units, but the first thing to do is to get informed as to exactly what is out there compared to what you want and need.

If someone forced me to make a choice on the spot I would get a Yaesu FT-60R.
 

evansrj

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Thanks, i am certainly not looking to have the handheld capable of doing everything as that is what I will be investing in a good mobile unit for. Simply as an inexpensive "learning" device that can be used for the tasks stated in the original post. I don't need a HF capable handheld or anything that high end but dual band might be nice.

Thanks,
Ryan

I have subscribed to QST but there are soooo many, I find it a bit overwhelming.

I can also upgrade the handheld at some point at $100-$200 is not an enormous investment for me.
 
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KE5MC

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greenthumb

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Also check out the reviews section of eham.net. Very helpful information there!
 

SCPD

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HT suggestion

My standard answer to the "what should my first radio be?" is to get a Icom handheld with a BNC connector.
I suggest this because you can use it as a mobile with an antenna on your vehicle, and it's rather inexpensive to put up a little vertical on your house, and use it as a base radio.

The SMA connectors that come on many radios, like Yaesu, are a superior connector, but you can't connect and unconnect them too many times before the center contact spreads open. A BNC will take much more plugging and unplugging, and still maintain a good contact.
 

Rt169Radio

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My standard answer to the "what should my first radio be?" is to get a Icom handheld with a BNC connector.
I suggest this because you can use it as a mobile with an antenna on your vehicle, and it's rather inexpensive to put up a little vertical on your house, and use it as a base radio.

The SMA connectors that come on many radios, like Yaesu, are a superior connector, but you can't connect and unconnect them too many times before the center contact spreads open. A BNC will take much more plugging and unplugging, and still maintain a good contact.
What do you mean by "the center contact spreads open"? I have a yaesu HT with a SMA connection,is this going to be a problem?
 

RadioDaze

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Get a FT-60R, on sale and darn cheap for a dual band HT!
Thank you, Bender. Why buy a "learning" radio when you can get a keeper? Works great as a conventional scanner, too. I'm listening to LA County fire right now on it as they chase all the problems in our big windstorm.

P.S. R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen 11-28-2010. Time for a new avatar.
 
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KK4DAN

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My standard answer to the "what should my first radio be?" is to get a Icom handheld with a BNC connector.
I suggest this because you can use it as a mobile with an antenna on your vehicle, and it's rather inexpensive to put up a little vertical on your house, and use it as a base radio.

The SMA connectors that come on many radios, like Yaesu, are a superior connector, but you can't connect and unconnect them too many times before the center contact spreads open. A BNC will take much more plugging and unplugging, and still maintain a good contact.
I totally agree with you that screwing in and unscrewing an SMA is probably going to wear things out eventually if you do it enough, but why limit yourself to just Icom when a simple & small SMA to BNC connector can basically make any HT a BNC capable radio.

I put this adapter on my Yaesu VX-5 so that I can easily change from a portable antenna to other ones if needed. I think its small enough, it doesn't put extra stress on the connector either. Some of the connectors are a bit on the "tall" side. I also put one on my Scanner that has an SMA connector for the same reason.

 
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KK4DAN

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What do you mean by "the center contact spreads open"? I have a yaesu HT with a SMA connection,is this going to be a problem?
As I posted above, it certainly wouldn't hurt to get an SMA to BNC connector. You leave it on there and its much easier to swap BNC connectors. And if that connector ever wears out, its easy to replace it.
 

Tom_G

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I think Yaesu makes the best HAM HT's.
They are pretty easy to program from the keypad and have nice loud audio.
Most of the Icom radios I have tried have much weaker audio that are hard to hear when outside or in noisy envronments.

For mono-banders the FT-250 is great as well as the FT-270 and 277.
The FT-60 is probably the best dual-bander on the market. (Look at the eham reviews...)

Best of luck
 

evansrj

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FT-60r it is. Ordered yesterday with the lighter adapter and diamond antenna. Haven't really read a negative comment about it anywhere.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, look forward to next week when it arrives!
 

sdancy

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Did you receive the radio? Having read all the feedback, I'm thinking I may just purchase one myself. Curious to hear your review as well.
 

evansrj

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I have received it. First impressions seem to be that it is a well built radio with great audio. As I am not licenced yet, I can only receive right now. I haven't looked on a map for the location of the repeaters to get a good idea of the range I am getting but quite happy so far and looking forward to getting the licence out of the way.
 

sdancy

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So I managed to purchase the FT-60R. First day in playing with it. Haven't got on the air yet, but in the process of going through the manual etc. Radio seems pretty straight forward and durable too. Any feedback Evansrj thus far on your side? Anything about the radio a must know etc?
 
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