Need Suggestions

twotoejoe

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I passed my Technician test this morning and I need suggestions for a mobile dual band setup. Some folks have suggested the Icom 5100 but it's a bit pricey for a beginner. I've seen them all over the board, from $70 on up. What would you suggest?
 

K4EET

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@twotoejoe, congratulations on passing your Technician test this morning and welcome to the wonderful world of Amateur Radio! Depending on how fast the VEC team gets your information submitted to the FCC, you could be licensed as early as tomorrow.

I've been using an Icom IC-208H Mobile rig as a base station since it was first released a gazillion years ago and it has been a rock-solid performer although now discontinued. Icom is a good brand though as is Yaesu (which I also have) and Kenwood (which I also have) and Alinco (which I also have). Those are all good brands. I also have a Baofeng but stay away from those!!! I bought the Baofeng to see how it compared to the other brands. They don't compare. Not even in the same league! Trust me on this... 73, Dave K4EET
 
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ladn

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mmckenna

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I passed my Technician test this morning and I need suggestions for a mobile dual band setup. Some folks have suggested the Icom 5100 but it's a bit pricey for a beginner. I've seen them all over the board, from $70 on up. What would you suggest?
Do you -really- need a dual band radio?
It depends entirely on where you are located. Being new to the hobby, you might want to take some time to figure out what actually gets used in your area. When I was a new ham, I had a 70cm radio, and I quickly discovered a couple of things:
-many 70cm repeaters were "private".
-many 70cm repeaters were linked to 2 meter repeaters.
-most traffic was on 2 meters.

I found that a 2 meter only radio worked just fine and saved me money.
I understand, as a new ham, you want the best bang for your buck, but I can promise you that you'll always be chasing the 'perfect' radio as long as you are in the hobby. There will always be something new. You may find that digital is popular in your area, and spending a bunch of money on an analog only radio won't make a bunch of sense down the road.

Step into the hobby slowly, jumping in with both feet and spending a bunch of money on radios may not be the best approach. Figure out what's popular in your area and get a basic radio that will do what you need. Hold back some of the money for what you figure out after that point. You may find your interests develop in other directions. You may find most of the people you want to talk to are on a DMR repeater.

You can get a Kenwood, Icom or Yaesu 2 meter only radio for a lot cheaper than a dual band. Put the money you save into doing a proper installation, permanent mount antenna, wire to the battery, etc. Put the rest of the money in the bank.
 

garys

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I just received my new 2730A on Friday. It was on back order from Universal Radio for about a week or so. I used the time to buy and download the RT Systems software and have them ship me the cable. I had the programming pretty much set up before the radio arrived. I'm very impressed with the radio as compared to me ancient FT-8800R.

I'm less than impressed with the Icom "free" software. It looks like something out of the mid 1990s. The RT software and cable were a better deal than the cable from Icom alone.

Icom accessory pricing is crazy. $72.00 for a microphone extension cable?

Enough about that. I lept onto this thread to ask a programming question. I've got everything figure out and working on my bench. Except for one thing. What is "Program Scan Linking." I thought it allowed me to link the various banks of Memory Scan, but it's clearly not that. What does it do?

Thanks.

I've had one for several years and generally have been pleased with it. RT Systems programming software is a must.
I'm annoyed that Icom nickel and dimes users by not supplying a mobile mounting bracket nor a head separation mounting bracket.
 

twotoejoe

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Clarkesville, Georgia
@twotoejoe, congratulations on passing your Technician test this morning and welcome to the wonderful world of Amateur Radio! Depending on how fast the VEC team gets your information submitted to the FCC, you could be licensed as early as tomorrow.

I've been using an Icom IC-208H Mobile rig as a base station since it was first released a gazillion years ago and it has been a rock-solid performer although now discontinued. Icom is a good brand though as is Yaesu (which I also have) and Kenwood (which I also have) and Alinco (which I also have). Those are all good brands. I also have a Baofeng but stay away from those!!! I bought the Baofeng to see how it compared to the other brands. They don't compare. Not even in the same league! Trust me on this... 73, Dave K4EET
I've owned a Baofeng RD-SR for a couple of years. Most of the time it's sat in my bottom drawer. I bought it to listen to local Fire & EMS, which it does an ok job. The last couple of months I've been listening to a local VHF repeater which it does ok. I have no idea of how it transmits. I'll try it when I get my license.
 

twotoejoe

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As being a newbie and not sure what radio I want (or need) what would be the downside of one of the cheap japanese radios I see on ebay. TYT brand and others?
 

mmckenna

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As being a newbie and not sure what radio I want (or need) what would be the downside of one of the cheap japanese radios I see on ebay. TYT brand and others?
The issue with the low buck radios is that while many of them work just fine, there are some that get past the limited quality control checks. Most of them cannot be fixed, so you have to replace them. If you buy one, make sure you purchase form a US based dealer that will provide some sort of warranty. If you buy from an overseas dealer, you'll likely have a very hard time getting the radio replaced.

And for what? You save a few bucks. If your budget is really tight and that's all you can do, then that's all you can do.

But if you can afford the name brand stuff, you'll get better support, not only from the manufacturer, but from the dealer and likely other hams.
 

twotoejoe

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Clarkesville, Georgia
The issue with the low buck radios is that while many of them work just fine, there are some that get past the limited quality control checks. Most of them cannot be fixed, so you have to replace them. If you buy one, make sure you purchase form a US based dealer that will provide some sort of warranty. If you buy from an overseas dealer, you'll likely have a very hard time getting the radio replaced.

And for what? You save a few bucks. If your budget is really tight and that's all you can do, then that's all you can do.

But if you can afford the name brand stuff, you'll get better support, not only from the manufacturer, but from the dealer and likely other hams.
Thanks for the advice. I can afford most anything I want, I just don't want to spend many hundreds of dollars to decide I don't really like the hobby and lose all that money.
 

mmckenna

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Thanks for the advice. I can afford most anything I want, I just don't want to spend many hundreds of dollars to decide I don't really like the hobby and lose all that money.
Well, then start small. If you want a mobile, get a single band mobile. If you want a portable, get a single band portable. You can always upgrade later.

And if you decide you really don't like it, then you can sell the radio. One thing that's really odd about amateurs is that they'll overpay for used gear on e-Bay. I sold a VX-170 Yaesu handheld about 10 years ago. I think I paid $120 for it new. For some odd reason I was able to sell it on eBay for around $170.00 + shipping.
I have no idea why, and I'm not the only one it's happened to.
 

jaspence

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The CS 800D is a good buy. Connect Systems I have used mine as a mobile and a base, and it has both analog FM and DMR at a reasonable price. The removable faceplate makes mobile mounting easier in modern vechicles. Connect systems has been very good with support. The 800D is the third radio I have purchased from them.
 
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