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Need recommendations for some Amateur Radios for EmComm use..

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CommShrek

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A local business owner (who's also an amateur licensee) has stepped up to the plate and said that he is willing to buy 6 handheld radio's for use by licensed amateur's for emergency communications needs.

Which radio's would you buy and why? What features would you look for and why? Cost of the radio's is not an issue at this time. I've already done an extensive evalution on the Yaesu VX-7R and it's out. Basically, I don't want to just blindly specify the most expensive radio on the market just because cost is not an issue.

Dual band handheld's are a possibility but 2 meter handhelds would cover the needs of the group in most situations.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your input.
 

gewecke

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One of the most versatile and rugged amateur portables on the market
is the kenwood TH/F6.
this is a tri band radio capable of a full 5watts on 2,220,and 440bands.
As well as extremely wide banded for public safety reception as well as
shortwave with sideband mode.
This thing is the BOMB,for emergency comms!!!
Give it a look and see what you think!
Good luck!
73's.
N9ZAS
 

jrplmil

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Be sure and think bout battery life or get something that you ccan also have backup batteries for it. There is nothing more frustrating then picking one up and 5 minutes later the battery is dead and no backup. Just my thoughts.
 
N

N_Jay

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CommShrek said:
A local business owner (who's also an amateur licensee) has stepped up to the plate and said that he is willing to buy 6 handheld radio's for use by licensed amateur's for emergency communications needs.

Which radio's would you buy and why? What features would you look for and why? Cost of the radio's is not an issue at this time. I've already done an extensive evalution on the Yaesu VX-7R and it's out. Basically, I don't want to just blindly specify the most expensive radio on the market just because cost is not an issue.

Dual band handheld's are a possibility but 2 meter handhelds would cover the needs of the group in most situations.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your input.
Define the operational scenarios first, then pick equipment to match.

It might be best to use commercial equipment if it will fit the channel needs.
 

n4voxgill

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The Icom IC-T2H is a 6 watts 2 meter handheld. It uses 8 AA batteries. I bought mine from Giga Parts for 99.95, so the price is right. It is a great 2 meter radio. I program it with computer. One of these with the new MAHA 8 battery chargers with 2500 MAH batteries gives you a full 2 AMPs of power.

It is the best bang for the buck I have seen.

Gill
 

electricsheep

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For emergency use (ARES etc), I would definitely suggest a ruggedized radio (waterproof) like the Yaesu Vx-170. They are cheap too. There is a VHF and UHF version, and you can simplify things by choosing to forego the dtmf pad. There's even a waterproof speaker mic available for it.

For a dual band, the FT-60 is a good choice.
 

MarkWestin

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I may be the only one in the world, but I didn't like my Kenwood TH-F6 and promptly sold it at a loss so that I could but a Yaesu VX-7R. I like the VX-7R a lot better. I would also recommend the Yaesu VX-170 2m transceiver for emergency use. The VX-177 440 mhz is the same as the VX-170 except for the frequency band. Either of these would be a great choice.

Mark
 

Signal3and2

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I was going to put the vx-7r but you already had it, so +1 vote for that bad boy.
 
N

N_Jay

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N_Jay said:
Define the operational scenarios first, then pick equipment to match.

It might be best to use commercial equipment if it will fit the channel needs.

LOL:
If you don't know what you want to do, anything will work!:roll: :roll: :roll:
 

kingpin

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I too like the VX-7 r. It does allot so to give it to them on the fly won't be such a great idea. THey will need to sit down and learn what it can do but it's my favorite one in my shack. It's warerproof and you can even get a waterproof mic for it. I love it.
 

DaveNF2G

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I have a VX-7R and I like it a lot for casual use. I do not recommend it for emergency service. Radios that will be used primarily during an emergency, probably by people who do not regularly use that kind of radio, must be rugged, simple to operate, and allow sufficient battery life. Except for being waterproof, the VX-7R does not fit the criteria.

Something like the old Icom IC-24AT would be ideal. Having more than one band (most commonly 2 meters and 70 centimeters) is essential in large-scale operations.

For emergency service, if it has menus, it's the wrong radio!
 

CommShrek

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Good suggestions (except from N Jay but I always expect that from him) so keep them coming. Just to clarify, the Yaesu VX-7R is NOT an option. Keep your eyes peeled for one with all of the accesories to show up on the For Sale section of this board shortly. The whole package will be priced less than what a new one costs. I'm giving the VX-170 a harder look now. I still have about 3 weeks before a decision will be made.
 

ReceiverBeaver

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Why doesn't your ham businessman benefactor know which radio to select? Is he an HF-only guy or something?

Who are these 6 users going to be and what sort of ham emcomm group do ya'll have going?

just wondering, TNX
 

rescuecomm

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HandHeld radio

I have an Icom V82 which has good audio compared with some amatuer handhelds. It has the "solid" feel of some commercial stuff. It actually seems sturdier than the Icom F43GS I have. You can get an alkaline case to use with them if the radios are going to be placed in an EOC or somewhere the batteries won't get cycled. One of the reasons commercial gear can be more useful is that some of these ham radios are not user friendly if you have to pick it up and change channels without having used it previously.
 

N2MWE

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Call me crazy, but if it's emergency comms only, and you can do it in 16 channels, why not a six pack of Motorola HT1000s? There is an abundance of them on ebay, along with gang chargers. Battery life is excellent on a Motorola as well.
 

MarkWestin

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Since these are for emergency use, make sure that you get AA battery holders for these radios. Also make sure that the holder will hold six AA batteries so that you will have full power available. Some battery holders (VX-7R for one example) have only 2 batteries, and others (TH-F6A for one example) have only 4. In either case, full power output is not possible.

Mark
 
N

N_Jay

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ReceiverBeaver said:
. . Who are these 6 users going to be and what sort of ham emcomm group do ya'll have going?
. . . ..

What a great question!:confused:

Why didn't I think of asking that?:roll:
 

CommShrek

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ReceiverBeaver said:
Why doesn't your ham businessman benefactor know which radio to select? Is he an HF-only guy or something?

Who are these 6 users going to be and what sort of ham emcomm group do ya'll have going?

just wondering, TNX
I don't know. Why does the police chief ask the officers of the department what kind of handgun they'd like to carry? I don't think it has anything to do with not knowing which radio to select, as much as it does with he doesn't have the time or desire to do the research. He's not the most active amateur operator either. A lot of folks aren't.

These 6 users are going to be some people I know that have a desire to help the community but are not really able or interested to be on the front lines like a Firefighter or EMT might be. The stuff they do will mirror what other similar groups do. Helping out during a disaster, maybe some storm spotting (no, not chasing) and various other little things around town.

I hope that helps. Thanks for all of the comments guys and keep them coming.
 

OpSec

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Stick to the basics:

Something rugged, something VHF and something that can handle a heavy duty cycle
 

kingpin

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Yeah, basics are good. I personally recommend the Vertex VX-150. I used to use mine for fire service for a few years (before I found out about type acceptance) and It's one tough radio. Mine's seen allot of heat and smoke and it still works like new. Milspec for shock, dust, & vibration and it has loud audio. Plus VHF reception from 118 to 174 MHz. Alpha tags and 5 watt output. Plus, you can get them for CHEAP. Had mine for 6 years now and still going strong! Has a sturdy psring clip. Not a cheap plastic clip.
 
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