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Newbie needs help with hand-held choice!

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bluenoser2

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Halifax, Nova Scotia
Hello, this is my 1st post here, hopefully it's in the correct place!

I'm about to do my ham exams, and become "officially" a ham operator, but in the mean time, I'm considering purchasing one of those Chinese cheap hand-held radios for sale on ebay.

I'm overwhelmed by the amount of different brands and features available, so I'm not sure which are the best choice to make.

Currently I'm looking at Baofeng, Tonfa, Pofung, TYT, Zastone, Puxing, and a few other brands on ebay.

Most of them are 136-174 / 400-480MHz but some are 136-174MHz&400-520MHz.

I'm actually not sure what is even on these frequencies to listen to, but as a newbie I'm learning all I can. I'm hoping this can at the very least be good for use in an emergency, I'm in Nova Scotia Canada BTW

I actually already purchased a radio on ebay, but it hasn't arrived yet, and I realize that my choice may have been too hasty after seeing many other radios with more/better features. The one I bought is a Zastone 136-174MHz&400-520MHz ZT-V8A.

I do plan on buying more handhelds, but first I need to know what are recommended, and which are not. I've read some reviews online, but the one I bought does not seem to have any.

So of these cheap Chinese hand-helds, are some better than others? I will buy better name brands when i can afford them, but for now, I just want to try this out and see how it goes.
Thanks!
 

AK9R

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Two points:

1. New users are moderated until they make 10 or so posts in the forum (excluding posts in The Tavern). While moderated, your posts have to be approved by a moderator before they "go live". Posting your message a second time just because a moderator hasn't approved your first post is not a good idea.

2. Since you seem to be focusing on the no-name Chinese radios that do more than ham radio frequencies, I've moved your thread to the Budget and Entry-level Transceiver forum.
 

bluenoser2

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
5
Location
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Two points:

1. New users are moderated until they make 10 or so posts in the forum (excluding posts in The Tavern). While moderated, your posts have to be approved by a moderator before they "go live". Posting your message a second time just because a moderator hasn't approved your first post is not a good idea.

Sorry about that, I am new here, and I thought maybe since my post didn't show up that maybe my PC malfunctioned or something when I tried to post it.

2. Since you seem to be focusing on the no-name Chinese radios that do more than ham radio frequencies, I've moved your thread to the Budget and Entry-level Transceiver forum.
Thank you for moving it to the appropriate place:)
 

robertmac

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Because you mentioned about taking the amateur tests, I would strongly encourage you to attend a local club if they offer the course. During that time, the amateurs will fill you in on the radios that they are experienced with. A hand held radio is only as good as your location, the repeater location, and your location related to the location of the repeater [location, location, location]. Hand helds are generally good for monitoring, do not expect them to be good at transmitting for wide area coverage. The CCR are a bear to program. Because Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood and Alinco have been around for years, their programming and any software programming has had the kinks largely worked out of them. I do find the Wouxuns to be of higher quality and higher price. But they are close to the hand helds from the commong amateur radio suppliers. A CCR is OK if monitoring 1 frequency at a time and you don't care if it gets wet or dirty. But I wouldn't rely on them in an emergency. If D-Star is in your area, the Icom D-star hand held could be looked at. If Yaesu Fusion repeaters are in your area, Yaesu hand held could be considered. But for general use start with a FM hand held from one of the big 4.
 
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