i need help picking a mobile radio...

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mparker

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I am researching mobile rigs to buy. There are just to many to pick and of course some have features others dont...

I would say i would like to be around 300-400 dollar range

Ive looked at the 2200h, 220h, 2820, 8800. They are all super nice.

I just can descide which one is for me. I like the simplicity of the 2200 and it look nice too. If it was dual band i would probably go with that one. But the price is right.

I just dont want to shoot myself in the foot for my first mobile rig purchase.

My plans are to use the mobile in the house until i get an HF radio, then the mobile will be in my car.

If any one can give me some pointers. Maybe experanced hams that can see over the bells and whistles.

I live in a big city so there is plenty of 2m traffic... thats why my first thought was the 2200 and maybe add the dstar later. But i think the 880 already has dstar installed, does the 2820 come with the dstar card?
 

JimNS3K

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No, the 2820 needs the UT 123 board installed for D-Star. If money is an object I would recommend the ID 880. I've heard good things about it and the price is okay. A D-Star enabled 2820 costs around $800
Good luck with your decision.

Jim, NS3K
 

mparker

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Thanks, the price for the 2820 doesnt make sence to me... the 880 is only like 60 more and is dstar out of the box.

If the 2200 was dual band i think it would be a killer rig. Bullet proof, great price, dstar ready.... what was icom thinking not making it 70cm
 

W9BU

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Add the Kenwood TM-V71A to your list. It's $350 to $375 at most on-line dealers. A very capable radio with lots of features. I have one that I'm happy with.

But don't buy a radio on features or specs alone. You really need to see how the user interface works. How easy is it for you to select frequencies, store and retrieve memories, set repeater off-sets and tones, etc? Since you are in the Columbus, Ohio, area, I suggest you visit Universal Radio on the east side of Columbus. They typically have lots of radios on display and are happy to let you play with them.
 

mparker

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i guess my problem is...

i really like the 2200, its price is EXCELLENT, should be bomb proof and its only 2m, so i would guess that since thats all it does i would think it should do it VERY well....

but i am worried that ill "grow out" of 2m... but i have a quad band HT now and i dont venture far from my 2 fav 2m repeats...

i just dont want to unnecessarily spend my hard earned money... :)
 

W9BU

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The true dual-band mobiles, like the Icom IC-2820, Kenwood TM-V71, and Yaesu FT-8800, allow you to set the radio for VHF/UHF, VHF/VHF, or UHF/UHF operation. So, even if you are stuck on 2m, you can monitor two 2m frequencies at the same time with these dual-band radios.

I think that if you bought a single-band 2m radio, you'd grow out of it. My first mobile was a Kenwood TM-241A (1990's vintage single-band 2m radio). It didn't take me long to realize that I really wanted dual-band.
 

mparker

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I think that if you bought a single-band 2m radio, you'd grow out of it. It didn't take me long to realize that I really wanted dual-band.
i wonder if i should save my pennies and just jump into a HF radio.... or maybe the 8900...

on the other hand, if i wanted to do work on 6m,70cm, or 220 i could always hook my HT to the antenna in the attic (although i plan on getting an arrow jpole 2m/70cm).

you can do SSB on the 2200 right?
 
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W9BU

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The Icom IC-2200? It will transmit in FM only, though it does receive AM in the aircraft band. No SSB.
 

SCPD

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i wonder if i should save my pennies and just jump into a HF radio.... or maybe the 8900...

on the other hand, if i wanted to do work on 6m,70cm, or 220 i could always hook my HT to the antenna in the attic (although i plan on getting an arrow jpole 2m/70cm).
Mike, you might want to look at the Icom 7000. It's pricey at ~$1200 but you can do HF thru 70cm. It's truly a do-it-all rig... with great performance. This rig CAN do SSB on all of the bands.
 

mparker

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Mike, you might want to look at the Icom 7000. It's pricey at ~$1200 but you can do HF thru 70cm. It's truly a do-it-all rig... with great performance. This rig CAN do SSB on all of the bands.
i thought about that.. thats actually the radio i would like to get when i get my general...

i am kind of worried about getting a HF rig right now... they do SOOO much, and i am still very new... thats another reason i was thinking the 2200 would be a good choice...
 

SCPD

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Well, don't be afraid to buy the 2200h. It'll be a good first radio and should last you a long time. Yes, it's only 2m but if you don't end up putting it in the car, then you can always use it for a base radio. :)
 

mparker

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Yes the 2200 looks really nice... if it was 70cm too I would deff not have any hesitations...

It looks good, has great features, the price certainly will make the XYL very happy... :)

maybe I can pick up a dstar board at a swap meet for cheap.
 

tmfok7

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Add the Kenwood TM-V71A to your list. It's $350 to $375 at most on-line dealers. A very capable radio with lots of features. I have one that I'm happy with.

But don't buy a radio on features or specs alone. You really need to see how the user interface works. How easy is it for you to select frequencies, store and retrieve memories, set repeater off-sets and tones, etc? Since you are in the Columbus, Ohio, area, I suggest you visit Universal Radio on the east side of Columbus. They typically have lots of radios on display and are happy to let you play with them.
I'm only quoting RXR because I have to agree with him! I also have a TM-V71A and for ease of operation, it is one of the simpliest. My first mobile was a Kenwood TM-G707 and really loved it. But I decided I wanted a dual watch radio and sold it to get a Yeasu FT8800. It was a good radio but had a few issues that I didn't care for. Anyway, I eventually bought an Icom IC-800 and it was a nice little radio but to much "Menu" driven for me. With the Kenwood, I can drive down the road and program it without hardly looking at it as programming is done thru "Func". And the memory is in banks so you can scan individual banks if you want. As for HF.... you might pick up a 706MkIIG for less than a 7000 to start!
 

SCPD

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First thing to ask yourself is what's active in your area?

Are there D-Star machines up and running that you can get into? No use buying a D-Star radio if there are no repeater up. Notice I said if there are no repeaters. There may be some simplex in your area, but to be realilistic, you're going to have to be running a good gain base antenna to really enjoy that.

Same with 10M and/or 6M FM. Many a 8900 gets bought, and then just as quickly sold, here in Metro Detroit, because the buyer finds out there's no activity on those two bands.

A radio that can TX from DC to daylight is no good to you if there's no one to talk to. Find out just what's active before you buy.
 

mparker

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i know there is a lot of 2m activity. i would imagine that there is the same amount of 70cm activity also, but being a newbie i havent ventured away from some busy 2m repeaters...
 

KD8JUV

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Mike,
A other option to add for Icom would be the IC-208H. This is a dual-band 2m/70cm rig, I run one and am very pleased with it, even recommended it to a friend of mine when he got his ticket. The price on Universal Radio is at $300 with the insta-coupon. The only downside is that the rig does not do crossband repeat like some other models.


Hope that helps!

Greg/KD8JUV
 
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