IM looking to buy a new ham HT, what do you recommend???

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scannermanner1

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IM looking to buy a new or used HT ! There is a couple thing I look for: long battery life, MORE then 128 channels, dual band UHF/VHF, NOT CHINESE!!!!!!!! so what do yall recommend???? IM open to suggestions
 

pinballwiz86

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IM looking to buy a new or used HT ! There is a couple thing I look for: long battery life, MORE then 128 channels, dual band UHF/VHF, NOT CHINESE!!!!!!!! so what do yall recommend???? IM open to suggestions
You're not open to suggestions if you immediately start off with, "NOT CHINESE!!!!!!!"


Baofeng UV-5R's are great for the money. If you must have a Japanese radio, then a Yaesu FT-60R is your best bet.

73 to you.
 

pinballwiz86

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Thanks, IM looking at the FT60 really hard ! basically I mean I would like to buy a higher quality radio ! Is what I ment!
The Baofeng UV-5R can give you equal or surpassed performance over the FT-60R..just an observation. Look up the spec sheet for both models.

Not only that, the FT-60R will you eat you alive by the overpriced cost of accessories.

An imaginary conversation by a Yaesu sales rep:

"Want a drop in charger? Pay me."

"Want a speaker mic? Pay me."

"Want a spare battery? Pay me!!"
 

GrumpyGuard

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I own both Wouxun and Baofeng radios and would only suggest these if money is tight or you need a radio that will be used while doing extreme outdoor activities and there is a possibility the radio may be damaged of end up at the bottom of a lake or river. I have found that these radios are not quality equipment. My Wouxun took a fall from about 3 feet and landed in soft dirt and now it does not work. My Icom took a drop from about the same height and did not get damaged. When shopping for these inexpensive radios just remember your mileage may vary. I am not thrilled with my UV-5R as I had to change out the antenna that came with the radio with a high gain dual band antenna and I still have trouble hitting the local repeaters, with the radio on high power.
 

LtDoc

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Keep in mind that there are no ham HTs that are made for rough use. If you require something that's really going to take some abuse I think you'd be better off with a 'commercial' radio.
All HTs are for convenience only, they can not and will not 'replace' a 'full size' radio and can't perform like one. The first thing most people do with an HT is replace that 'ducky' antenna, they are not for more than very short distances. Finding a 'gain' antenna, meaning one that's at least a 1/2 wave length long, almost ruins the whole idea of that 'convenience' purpose an HT is made for. If it's shorter than a 1/2 wave length it will have NO gain at all (no matter what the advertisements say). That's just physics, no way around it, sorry 'bout that.
I have a couple of Wouxun HTs. They do exactly what they are supposed to do. Best things since sliced bread? Nope, they are not, and they are a PITA to program. I have to do that by computer, can't from the front of the radio. So why have'em? They are much cheaper than other HTs! They also are certified for Part-90, which is a biggy for me and the only reason I have an HT to begin with. They are pretty good about making a battery last a long time. The only time I ever had a 'flat' battery was when I forgot to turn the @#$ thing off.
Figure out what features you want, do some shopping around, and find the best deal you can... not much help, huh?
- 'Doc
 

bill4long

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I have six HTs:

1 Yaesu FT-60R
1 Icom ID-31A (for 70cm DStar)
2 Wouxun UV3A, one 2/440 and one 2/220
2 Baofeng UV5RA, one 2/440 and one 2/220

The FT-60R was my first HT in my modern ham career. It's an excellent radio and very easy to program manually. As would be expected, accessories are pricey. Compared to my other radios, it's a bit heavy. I bought a quick charger but it never worked. I never bothered to get the problem remedied because after I bought a Wouxun, I don't use the FT-60R that much.

The ID-31A is mainly for DStar use. Transmit audio sounds a bit muffled on analog. This is the 70cm only radio. (They make a ID-51A which is dual band.) I wouldn't recommend this radio unless you are looking to get into DStar on 70cm.

The Baofengs are tiny, inexpensive, and come with quick charger. I rarely use the 2/220 radio, but I actually tote around the 2/440 radio quite a bit because it's so small and recharges fast. I paid $37 for it and it comes with a quick charger. The Baofeng receive audio has a little bit of noise in it, and the receiver selectivity is on the low side so if you live in an RF congested area, the squelch is probably going to open more than you'll want. For the money you can't beat them.

The Wouxuns are my work-horse radios. I use them more than the other HTs. The transmit and receive audio are excellent and they weigh half as much as the FT-60R, they have good receiver selectivity, cost about $50 less than the FT-60R, good battery life, and come with a quick charger which I use everyday. I love my Wouxuns.

You say you don't want a Chinese radio, but I have news for you, the FT-60R is made in China.

(The Icom 31A is made in Japan.)

If I had to choose one radio out of all my HTs, I would choose the Wouxun UV3A 2/440. The only drawback is that Wouxuns and Baofengs are more difficult to program manually than the "Japanese" radios, but you can get free software to program them. I use RtSystems for all my radios, including my mobiles and TS-2000, which makes it easy to manage all the frequencies, so that's not a concern for me.

73
 
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PrimeNumber

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I have a UV-5R and an FT-60. They both have their pros and cons. So far I've got:

UV-5R
Pros:
- Cheap, brother, cheap!!! Cheap enough to give away, loan out, or to take risks with.
- Programs up easily using chirp.
- Comes unlocked on all frequencies. (Lots of potential for trouble there! Maybe more a con.)
- Cheap accessories.
Cons:
- Nearly impossible to program on the fly without a computer.
- Hideous RF spurs. Key it anywhere in the house and my SW radio jumps.
- Mostly a quality build, but some parts are flimsy. I don't trust it.

FT-60
Pros:
- Not too expensive.
- Fairly easy to program on the fly.
- Solid prosumer-grade construction.
- Clean RF output.
Cons:
- 4x the cost of a Baofeng.
- Still having trouble getting it to talk to chirp (YMMV)
- $$$ accessories.

There are probably other points to make here, but those are the ones that stick in my mind after a year's use.

They're such different radios, but in the end they do the same thing, and I can't really pin down one as being better for everybody. If I had to choose just one, it would be the FT-60, but that's just me. If I had to go buy something that works right now and had a really tight budget, a Baofeng would be the hands-down winner. Truly a case of "pick your poison."
 

jaspence

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What HT

I have owned every major brand except a Bendix King and lesser known makes. The early Chinese were a pain to program without software but have improved a great amount. The old standards (Yaesu, Icom, Alinco, Kenwood) all have had good and not so good versions. I have a FT-60, and third party accessories are available and so is free programming software. My Baofeng UV-B5 is easy to program without software, very inexpensive and works well. Every radio has quirks and something someone would like to change. If you want great quality, get a Motorola APX after you arrange financing. The real answer is nobody can decide for you, especially when you put a limit on choices.
 

bill4long

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Kenwood TH-F6A.. Dual VFOs, 400 Memories, 2M , 220 , and 440 capability, small, bullet proof..
My buddy has one. They are great. I would buy one ($300~) but I've already got the bases covered 2/220/440.

Excellent transmit and receive audio. It transmits with full 5 watt output on all three bands. Plus it receives general coverage HF receiver, aircraft, EVERYTHING, 0.01 to 1300 MHz, AM/FM/SSB! Dual channel receive. It's a heck of an HT.
 
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krokus

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Kenwood TH-F6 is a good option. I bought one in Dayton a couple years ago, along with a Kenwood TH-D72. I use them both, for different things.

For programming, the D72 is with a standard mini USB cable, whereas the F6 needs a common specialized cable. (I use one of the Wouxon cables for my F6.)

The software for either radio is free on Kenwood website.

If you want a drop-in charger capability, the D72 uses the same battery as one of the commercial series, and can be charged with a KSC-32. (Going by memory.)

Both radios have the option to run off of AA or AAA batteries, using an accessory battery holder. (I do not remember which model uses which battery type.)

Sent via Tapatalk
 

Dale12

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I have a FT 60 also, my first and only ham radio. Bought an adapter cable so I could go to a PL259 and a outside home brew antenna. Does anyone know what size female 12 volt connector to order to make a 12 volt cable for same? Thanks Dale12.
 

robertmac

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And of the Yaesu, Kenwoods, or Icoms. I have a few Yaesu and the only problem is with the one pin mic. connector. Has to be held in with elastic band or tie clip. Have dropped the FT-60 so many times I have lost count. No dents, just some scrapes. Are easy to program in the field, unlike the CCR. Has a good scan rate, couple of ways to scan. Accessories and batteries work on a number of other HT, ie VX-150, 170, etc.. All CCR including Wouxun are ok, but a pain to program in the field. Scan is horrible. Not true dual band receive the 8D might be. If you don't want to pay expensive accessories, mics, adaptors can be had for next to nothing from China. And a lot fit Kenwood radios as well.
 

ve3fnd

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i have a FT-60 very good radio but for the money the uv5r is the best deal out there and the build quality is just as good but if you want a slightly better radio cant beat the ft-60r but an ht is an ht so thats why i use my beofeng most of the time it was very cheep and has tons of accessory's that come with it out of the box and the rest are so cheep its crazy so you dont worry about it getting bumped around in the feld and it can serve as a FRS, GMRS and a MURS radio in a pinch.
 

SCPD

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Kenwood th-f6a

Kenwood th-f6a,easy as pie to program in many ways,can be programmed with Chirp or its own software,great receive,LOUD audio transmit and receive,a 4000mah battery available.You can do U/U V/V,its 5 watts on
144/220/440 mhz what else do you want?It gets shortwave,HF,Am and FM rado when you are bored,whats not to like?The stock battery is now 2000Mah.
 

wbswetnam

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I have both a Baofeng UV5R and a Yaesu FT60. I have replaced the stock antennas on both with 19" after market antennas. The FT60 has a bit better reach than the Baofeng UV50. So for the money, I'd go for the Baofeng... similar performance to a Yaesu FT60 for a fraction of the price.
 

Muskratt

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Recently bought a new icom t70a-hd ht. The HD version comes with a 1900 mAh li-on battery and desktop charger which takes about 2.5 hours to charge. It's advertised as having 300 memory channels, but 50 of those are band edge scanning frequency pairs. So it really has 250 normal memory channels. Box says it was made in Japan.

The other radio I was considering was the FT-60r. Ended up choosing the t70a because when I wasn't using the radio as a ham radio, I wanted to use it as a scanner. The T70a had better overall specs/sensitivity and a faster scanning speed. I've been quite impressed with the radio so far. It has the sensitivity of my pro-197 scanners combined with the filtering of the Uniden 346/996xt.
 
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Kenwood TH-F6, Icom IC-92AD, and Motorola XPR7550 are my present stash of HTs. I love the Kenwood for it's broad frequency capabilities, compact size, and true dual band dual watch.

Icom IC-92AD was bought because I got into D-STAR. Great radio, nearly commercial grade feel. The one issue I really hate, and I mean HATE, it there is no warning that the battery is about drained. The icon shows a good battery until about 2 minutes before it goes. The Kenwood and Moto have much better battery indicators.
If I wasn't interested in D-STAR, I would just stay with the Kenwood TH-F6. They are priced decently, have a good track record, and parts and accessories are easy to get.
 
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