Recommendations Handheld

KO4IPV

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I know this question has ben asked many times but here goes 1more time: What is the best handheld ham radio available? New to the hobby and would like a radio that is capable of all things possible, money is not a issue just want a radio that I can grow into and as my level of amateur radio expands my radio will be capable.
 

chief21

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Before you start thinking of which handheld radio is best, think about the practicality of a handheld radio for you. Do you have one or more repeaters nearby? The range of a handheld radio may not be as much as you're thinking. 4 or 5 watts and a small antenna may not be the best match for a first radio. Many new hams quickly purchase a handheld model, only to find out that they are not able to reach a repeater (or anyone else via simplex).
Would you be using the handheld in your vehicle? Handheld radios do not work well in vehicles. Sure, you could add an external antenna and connect to vehicle power, but now you've got a rats nest of wires to deal with. Do you really want to connect/disconnect all those cables several times a day?
If you don't have a lot of nearby repeaters, or if you spend a lot of time indoors, or a lot of time in your vehicle, perhaps you should consider a more-powerful base/mobile rig instead.
So... handheld or mobile - give it some serious thought before you give in to the latest and greatest bells and whistles.
 

KO4IPV

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Before you start thinking of which handheld radio is best, think about the practicality of a handheld radio for you. Do you have one or more repeaters nearby? The range of a handheld radio may not be as much as you're thinking. 4 or 5 watts and a small antenna may not be the best match for a first radio. Many new hams quickly purchase a handheld model, only to find out that they are not able to reach a repeater (or anyone else via simplex).
Would you be using the handheld in your vehicle? Handheld radios do not work well in vehicles. Sure, you could add an external antenna and connect to vehicle power, but now you've got a rats nest of wires to deal with. Do you really want to connect/disconnect all those cables several times a day?
If you don't have a lot of nearby repeaters, or if you spend a lot of time indoors, or a lot of time in your vehicle, perhaps you should consider a more-powerful base/mobile rig instead.
So... handheld or mobile - give it some serious thought before you give in to the latest and greatest bells and whistles.
There are several repeaters nearby I am able to listen in on at least 3 of them with my SDS100 scanner, with my outside antenna and my handheld small antenna signals all excellent and I already have a mobile antenna previously installed on my car rooftop . I will be taking my Technician test in 2 weeks, and am very confident will pass , I study every day and am now passing all practice test continuously. I have gotten some advice on ham handhelds but need some more examples of a good quality handheld that is capable of all things so that as my level of license increases I won’t need to be buying a new handheld.
 

K4EET

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Hi @Canelo56, it would help us to know where you are. There are basically 3 types of repeaters. The first is Analog FM. The other two types of repeaters are digital. There is System Fusion for Yaesu HTs. There is D-STAR for Icom and Kenwood HTs. Depending on what type of repeaters are in your area and what the local ham clubs are using, depends on the HT brand that we would recommend. Sooooooo, can you give us an idea of where you are located? 73, Dave K4EET
 

AK9R

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There are basically 3 types of repeaters. The first is Analog FM. The other two types of repeaters are digital. There is System Fusion for Yaesu HTs. There is D-STAR for Icom and Kenwood HTs.
This reminds me of the story about General Patton speaking to a group of British citizens and implying that Europe would be left to the British and Americans after World War II. Of course, the political leaders were upset that a prominent military leader left out the Russians who were allied with the British and Americans at the time.

Don't forget DMR which is very popular in amateur radio right now.
 

jwt873

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New to the hobby and would like a radio that is capable of all things possible.
There is no handheld that is capable of all things possible.

Consider digital modes mentioned above.. Yeasu uses Fusion, Icom (and one Kenwood) use D-Star. Then there's DMR and P25. They are popular modes. None of the big three Amateur suppliers offer this. You need commercial radios (ie Motorola) or one of the flock of Chinese radios (ie Anytone) to access one or more of these modes.

Bands? Most are dual band 144/440, but some, (Like the Kenwood TH-D74) cover the 220 Mhz band as well.

You'll need to purchase several handhelds according to your needs.
 

K4EET

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Yes, there is DMR, P25 and NXDN that some hams use. Of course, that means having a belt-full of HTs on your hip. Suspenders on the pants will also be necessary... LOL! :ROFLMAO:

73, Dave K4EET
 

jwt873

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Yep, any ham worth their salt will have a serious collecton of handhelds. (I'm not there yet, I've only got six) :) .
 

eaf1956

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Well darn guess I fall short. Only have a MD380 love it, a MD 2017 hate it, and a Vertex Standard Iffy. Along with a few analog HTs which I never use.
 

KO4IPV

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Hi @Canelo56, it would help us to know where you are. There are basically 3 types of repeaters. The first is Analog FM. The other two types of repeaters are digital. There is System Fusion for Yaesu HTs. There is D-STAR for Icom and Kenwood HTs. Depending on what type of repeaters are in your area and what the local ham clubs are using, depends on the HT brand that we would recommend. Sooooooo, can you give us an idea of where you are located? 73, Dave K4EET
Ok I am located in the Villages Florida surrounded by 3 county’s Lake, Marion, Sumter
 

n5ims

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Ham radio is similar to other technology in that it keeps progressing. Even if you could find a single radio that will do everything at this point in time, in a few short years, there'll be something new that takes hold and you'll be left behind with that expensive do-everything radio. You'll probably be better off getting a starter radio that you can use while you learn and see what's popular in YOUR area and later upgrade to something that will include that. Your old starter radio will become your backup so when the new one fails (battery runs out for example), you can still talk.

I might suggest that you get a handheld (if that's what you want) knowing that you'll have connection issues with it (get used to hearing "sorry, you're noisy and we're unable to copy, please increase your power or improve your location"). You can go from perfect copy to nothing but noise by simply tilting the radio just a bit. A better choice might be a mobile radio with a power supply and base antenna where you'll have good copy over a much larger area. If you get both, and select well, you might be able to use that base to help increase your handheld coverage by using the base's cross-band repeat functionality.
 

KO4IPV

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Ham radio is similar to other technology in that it keeps progressing. Even if you could find a single radio that will do everything at this point in time, in a few short years, there'll be something new that takes hold and you'll be left behind with that expensive do-everything radio. You'll probably be better off getting a starter radio that you can use while you learn and see what's popular in YOUR area and later upgrade to something that will include that. Your old starter radio will become your backup so when the new one fails (battery runs out for example), you can still talk.

I might suggest that you get a handheld (if that's what you want) knowing that you'll have connection issues with it (get used to hearing "sorry, you're noisy and we're unable to copy, please increase your power or improve your location"). You can go from perfect copy to nothing but noise by simply tilting the radio just a bit. A better choice might be a mobile radio with a power supply and base antenna where you'll have good copy over a much larger area. If you get both, and select well, you might be able to use that base to help increase your handheld coverage by using the base's cross-band repeat functionality.
Thankyou so much for that respectful reply to my question, I am learning thanks to people like you, everyone starts from not knowing much of this hobby, I am a very fast learner and am always open for new suggestions , have a great day.
 

devicelab

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If money is no object then I'd probably buy a Kenwood D74 for now but I'd keep an eye on the soon-to-be-released ICOM ID-52A. The ICOM will probably set you back $600+ but the Kenwood is on sale for $500 from HRO. The D74 is kind of a shack-in-the-box as it has HF/SSB and VHF/UHF capabilities. On top of that it has DSTAR too -- normally reserved for ICOM radios. The ID-52A will be the flagship model for ICOM in its DSTAR line-up but it won't have HF/SSB coverage. Both radios have GPS and Bluetooth included.

ICOM ID-52A == Icom releases the ID-52A/E Amateur Handheld Transceiver with Color Display and Bluetooth® Communication | News Release | Icom Inc.

The Kenwood is a good place to start: https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-015269

These are the 'top-end' radios at the moment. There are other radios that support digital modes such as DMR & Fusion but I'd to start out, I'd stick with analog FM. If you buy one of the above radios then play with DSTAR and if you can figure out DSTAR then you'd probably do fine with DMR -- but you'll need another radio for that.
 

KK4JUG

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Your best bet is to do your homework. Find radios that do what you want then look at reviews, prices, etc. What works for one person might be a complete failure for the next person.
 

KK2DOG

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I've had a few over the last 20 years and currently, I would vote for a Yaesu FT-70D.
It's an analog/digital (C4FM) handy that will also allow you to use a hotspot if you desire
to cross-mode over to 5-6 other digital protocols.
 

KO4IPV

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If money is no object then I'd probably buy a Kenwood D74 for now but I'd keep an eye on the soon-to-be-released ICOM ID-52A. The ICOM will probably set you back $600+ but the Kenwood is on sale for $500 from HRO. The D74 is kind of a shack-in-the-box as it has HF/SSB and VHF/UHF capabilities. On top of that it has DSTAR too -- normally reserved for ICOM radios. The ID-52A will be the flagship model for ICOM in its DSTAR line-up but it won't have HF/SSB coverage. Both radios have GPS and Bluetooth included.

ICOM ID-52A == Icom releases the ID-52A/E Amateur Handheld Transceiver with Color Display and Bluetooth® Communication | News Release | Icom Inc.

The Kenwood is a good place to start: https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-015269

These are the 'top-end' radios at the moment. There are other radios that support digital modes such as DMR & Fusion but I'd to start out, I'd stick with analog FM. If you buy one of the above radios then play with DSTAR and if you can figure out DSTAR then you'd probably do fine with DMR -- but you'll need another radio for that.
I am interested in the Kenwood , Do you own this ? And if you do what is your opinion? The ICOM looks like August it will be released will order that when it’s available. Again this is great info much appreciated your help .
 

popnokick

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Ok I am located in the Villages Florida surrounded by 3 county’s Lake, Marion, Sumter
Looking at RepeaterBook.com the closest repeaters to you... and that means repeaters that you'll be more likely to use with a handheld radio... are all Yaesu System Fusion / C4FM (YSF). You won't be able to hear those on your scanner, or the D-Star repeater which is a bit more distant (other than the digital buzzing sound). But it makes the suggestion to get a Yaesu FT-70D a good one for your local repeaters.
A little more distant, but probably not out of range, are a couple DMR repeaters. You should be able to receive those on your SDS100. Program them in, give a listen, and see if DMR is your cup of tea (assuming you can hear those repeaters as listed in repeaterbook.com).
 

KO4IPV

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Looking at RepeaterBook.com the closest repeaters to you... and that means repeaters that you'll be more likely to use with a handheld radio... are all Yaesu System Fusion / C4FM (YSF). You won't be able to hear those on your scanner, or the D-Star repeater which is a bit more distant (other than the digital buzzing sound). But it makes the suggestion to get a Yaesu FT-70D a good one for your local repeaters.
A little more distant, but probably not out of range, are a couple DMR repeaters. You should be able to receive those on your SDS100. Program them in, give a listen, and see if DMR is your cup of tea (assuming you can hear those repeaters as listed in repeaterbook.com).
Thankyou , alright then yes my scanner (SDS100) receives any and all repeaters I am sure I am operating it with a Omni-x outside antenna 30 feet off the ground can hear a lot , will take your recommendation on a ham radio theYaesu-FT-70D
 
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