HTs with internal Repeater database?

radiochuck

Average Citizen
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
284
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I'm looking to purchase a new handheld dual/tri band (2m/1.25m/70cm) radio and I'm hoping I can find one that has some type of internal repeater database. Digital mode capability would nice, too, but not a requirement.

The one other thing I'm looking for is a nice, informative display that shows more than just the freq and some very limited information. I'm looking for something with naming capability beyond 6 or 8 characters. GPS would be cool, too, but that's also not a requirement.

I know these radios are out there somewhere, I just haven't been looking in the right place. I know that if there's anywhere I can find the info I seek, it's here.

Thank you in advance.
 

WB9YBM

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
1,294
Location
Niles, IL
I'm looking to purchase a new handheld dual/tri band (2m/1.25m/70cm) radio and I'm hoping I can find one that has some type of internal repeater database. Digital mode capability would nice, too, but not a requirement.

The one other thing I'm looking for is a nice, informative display that shows more than just the freq and some very limited information. I'm looking for something with naming capability beyond 6 or 8 characters. GPS would be cool, too, but that's also not a requirement.

I know these radios are out there somewhere, I just haven't been looking in the right place. I know that if there's anywhere I can find the info I seek, it's here.

Thank you in advance.
An internal repeater database, unless capable of at least manual (if not automatic) updating would probably get out-dated relatively quickly. As for the other items, yeah, I think I might've seen those options. You might like to check with some of the ham stores out there (Ham Radio Outlet, etc.)
 

radiochuck

Average Citizen
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
284
Location
Phoenix, AZ
An internal repeater database, unless capable of at least manual (if not automatic) updating would probably get out-dated relatively quickly.
Well, I was thinking along the lines of the SDS100. You hook it up to the PC as often as you feel necessary and download the latest copy of the database. The more frequently you update, the less you'd have to worry about old data.

Hard to imagine there's not an HT out there with that capability.
 

N8IAA

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
7,089
Location
Fortunately, GA
The discontinued Icom 51A has a SD card. The new, not approved 52A, also has a SD card.

Kenwood has the TH-72 and 74 that both use SD cards.

Not sure if any use a national database to program the HT's on the fly. Haven't bought a new HT since getting the IC-80A. ( I know it dates me :) )

The TH-74 has been out for a while, and is a proven handheld. But, the 52A display looks really nice.

Oh, Universal Radio's site is much easier to navigate and look at the specs for the radios. (y)

JMTCW
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Moderator
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
5,527
Location
Ohio
Well, I was thinking along the lines of the SDS100. You hook it up to the PC as often as you feel necessary and download the latest copy of the database. The more frequently you update, the less you'd have to worry about old data.

Hard to imagine there's not an HT out there with that capability.
Believe it or not, there isn't. RFinder offers an Android-based dual band FM/DMR handheld which does something similar based on the RFinder database and your GPS position, but at $1000 bucks a pop I can't see too many people beating a path to their door. On top of that, you need a subscription to their database to keep current, and need to have some sort of connectivity to update it.

As to your other feature wishes, the Kenwood TH-D74A comes pretty close, and has plenty of memory capacity which can be configured in several channel banks. I love mine.
 

radiochuck

Average Citizen
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
284
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I'm definitely liking what I'm seeing on the TH-D47A. Just surprised there aren't a ton of radios that can store a nationwide database like scanners can.

Thank you all for the replies.
 

jaspence

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
2,427
Location
Michigan
The latest rfinder dual band radio has this ability, but no 222 band and is also analog/DMR. Database uses wifi or cell phone wireless to retrive the data. Price is over $1,000. I don't think there is a complete database of US repeaters that is downloadable or a HT with actual storage memory other than normal individual repeaters. The closet radio I have is the FT-60R, which can hold 1000 entries. Using the RT Systems program and a radio like the FT-60 is the closest to your want at a reasonable cost.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Moderator
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
5,527
Location
Ohio
I'm definitely liking what I'm seeing on the TH-D47A. Just surprised there aren't a ton of radios that can store a nationwide database like scanners can.
I think it probably boils down to a difference in philosophy. Most hams program stuff for their local area, maybe some other areas they travel to occasionally (Hamvention, anyone?) and after that they're content; on the other hand, many scannists want to listen to all sorts of stuff and are constantly on the lookout for more, so a regularly updated internal database would actually get some regular use.

The one thing many of the newer ham radios with SD cards do offer (especially Icom) that's somewhat analogous is the capability to keep multiple codeplugs on the SD card; when you travel to a new area, simply load the proper codeplug and you're off to the races.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
15,515
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Someone, maybe it was the ARRL, used to sell a repeater guide on a CD. Kenwood radios would allow you to load parts of that file into the radio. That was as close as I ever came and that Kenwood TMD-710 was the last amateur only radio I purchased.

Seems like there's a market for this, and the technology is absolutely there.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Moderator
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
5,527
Location
Ohio
Someone, maybe it was the ARRL, used to sell a repeater guide on a CD. Kenwood radios would allow you to load parts of that file into the radio. That was as close as I ever came and that Kenwood TMD-710 was the last amateur only radio I purchased.

Seems like there's a market for this, and the technology is absolutely there.
That was the ARRL Repeater Directory on CD. Very handy. You could plan a trip and the program would generate a file (format of your choice) to be imported into your programming software and then loaded into your radio; worked great with my Yaesu handhelds and mobiles. ARRL got their info from all the repeater coordination councils around the country every year, so it was fairly accurate.

ARRL has since partnered with RFinder for their database. The problem I have with the RFinder database is that they (or their minions) comb the internet looking for repeater information and some of it isn't accurate anymore; for example, Repeater X is now running DMR instead of analog, Repeater Y has a different PL tone, and Repeater Z just flat isn't there any more, but because they've gleaned outdated info from some sites, RFinder is pushing some inaccurate info.

Back when the ARRL Repeater Directory was still a handy glovebox size I bought it at Hamvention every year; the last few years I did that, a free subscription to RFinder was included, but I never played around with it to see if I could export a trip plan like I could with the ARRL CD.
 

radiochuck

Average Citizen
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
284
Location
Phoenix, AZ
The one thing many of the newer ham radios with SD cards do offer (especially Icom) that's somewhat analogous is the capability to keep multiple codeplugs on the SD card; when you travel to a new area, simply load the proper codeplug and you're off to the races.
That's kind of where I am with this. I never know where I'm going to be headed, so I like to keep as many repeaters in my radio as possible. With that said, if I have a lot of storage, I don't mind doing a little pre-planning and just updating my codeplugs from time to time. The other thing for me, though, is being able to identify what's programmed in the radio by looking at the screen. The idea of needing a paper list or a phone app, etc., seems silly to me. I want a radio that can tell me what I'm listening to, just like my scanner can.

It sounds like there are quite a few options out there. I just have to do some research and compare. I appreciate the input.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Moderator
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
5,527
Location
Ohio
That's kind of where I am with this. I never know where I'm going to be headed, so I like to keep as many repeaters in my radio as possible. With that said, if I have a lot of storage, I don't mind doing a little pre-planning and just updating my codeplugs from time to time. The other thing for me, though, is being able to identify what's programmed in the radio by looking at the screen. The idea of needing a paper list or a phone app, etc., seems silly to me. I want a radio that can tell me what I'm listening to, just like my scanner can.

It sounds like there are quite a few options out there. I just have to do some research and compare. I appreciate the input.
Go with the Kenwood TH-D74A; you won't be sorry. The forthcoming Icom 52A looks somewhat similar, but it's not out yet so I'll reserve judgement.
 

WB9YBM

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
1,294
Location
Niles, IL
Hard to imagine there's not an HT out there with that capability.
Not sure--I haven't kept track of the latest 'n greatest. I have a Wouxon H.T. that's computer programmable (it's about 9 years old and I think the newer versions are at least somewhat the same), but that doesn't mean that the program used to program in frequencies is tied into any kind of database that would facilitate any kind of automatic updates...
 

jwt873

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
1,099
Location
Woodlands, MB
The TH-74 is a great radio.. Along with 2m 220 and 440 RX/TX, and general VHF/UHF receive, it covers the short wave bands as well. Connected to an outside antenna, it's a very good shortwave receiver. Covers AM, CW and SSB on the HF/MF bands. The built in APRS works well too. The big color screen shows a lot of info about other APRS stations in the area.

The only thing that might be a negative is the fact that the digital voice mode is D-Star. If there's a lot more DMR or C4FM in your area you'll be missing out unless you go with a hotspot and can link to other local digital stations via a service like Brandmeister.

Edit.. I meant to add that the D-Star portion comes with a repeater database in memory for D-Star repeaters only. You can keep the database relatively current by downloading updates from this site --> Repeater List Downloads for DR Mode Radios - D-STAR Info
 
Last edited:

Hit_Factor

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
2,018
Location
Saint Joseph, MI
DStar Info has repeater list you can download for specific radios.

The Icom 51/52 HTs have the ability to store a list of repeaters with their GPS coordinates. It will turn on and off repeaters in or out of range. The Dstar repeaters list is downloadable, you have to manual add the FM repeaters.
 

AK9R

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
6,807
Location
Central Indiana
Kenwood TH-D74A. 5 watts on the 144, 222, and 440 MHz bands. Analog or D-STAR. APRS. Updatable D-STAR repeater list.
 

kd0fx

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
88
Thread necromancy.

Y'all act like the Icom's can't download fm repeater info.


The fm info comes from repeater book.com, so the info is only as good as that, but it's mostly accurate. Just change the "percent fm" field to something higher than 20 to be useful.

The 5100 is a great road trip radio. Set it to scan nearby repeaters and it will use the gps info to change which repeaters it scans automatically as you drive from one area to another, fm and dr.
 
Top