Recommendations on mobile dual band radio

waveone

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
31
Hello again all,

I’m looking for a new dual band mobile radio and antenna recommendations.
Currently I have a Yaesu FT8800 with a standard magnetic antenna- which works fine both in my vehicle and in my house- believe it or not

My Yaesu performs well but I’m looking for another one w/ a bit more capability and versatility

Looked at the Yaesu FT 8900 but not sure it has what I’m looking for

Any advise or recommendation is welcome
 

jazzboypro

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
207
Location
Laval
The ID-5100A is dual band +D-STAR, i love mine but i don't use it in a mobile setup. I will be installing a comet GP-3 dual band antenna as soon as i receive my coax cable
 

tweiss3

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
329
Location
Ohio
What are you looking for as far as "more capability"?

If you want a mobile with DMR, look at Connect System CS800D (UHF+VHF+DMR).
If you want a mobile with FT8900 adds FM 6M+10M, but only FM (most 10M is SSB).
Look at DXEngineeing's mobile transceiver options to see what catches your eye: DXEngineering
 

cognetic

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2012
Messages
127
Location
Indianapolis
+3 on the ICOM ID-5100. The touchscreen, dual band receive are nice features when mobile. I tend to operate on left and scan area repeaters, simplex, APRS signals, AIR etc. on the right side depending on locale/operating parameters.

I have a few of these now in vehicles and at one fixed station. The display is a bit large and placement befuddled me on a particular small BMW sport car installation - but I did eventually succeed!! It replaced an ID-4100 because that larger screen, dual receive, and touchscreen where so desired.

-cognetic
 

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
1,952
Location
California
I would avoid the Yaesu 8900 unless you have 6m or 10m repeaters in your area, or you have people talking on 6 and 10 FM simplex. While I am doubtful, there just may be. You would want to "listen" first using a scanner/receiver on the 6 & 10 meter FM call frequencies to see if anyone is using it. There definitely are people using it, but whether or not you can hear and talk to them is key as they may be far away.

The 8800 is fine and you could improve TX/RX with an improved antenna above your roof line. A tram 1480 is under $60 shipped via Amazon. You will also need some LMR-400 coaxial cable and whatever mast/mounting system. Still, if the magnet mount is getting the job done you're already set.

As for radios with digital modes like DMR, D-Star, P25, Yaesu Fusion etc., I recommend first checking to see if there are any repeaters in your area that support one of those modes. If so, how busy is it, or does analog have more traffic? What capability and versatility do you need? Is it real or perceived? You stated that what you have now works fine, so why get a different radio?
 

KK4JUG

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 13, 2014
Messages
3,470
Location
GA
I have the Yaesu FT-8900 and while it's a great radio, Vagrant is right. There just isn't much on 6M and 10M. There never has been and I doubt there ever will be. Quad-band antennae are not the best in the world. For best results in the 4 bands, a multiple antenna setup would be best. Right now, I'm using a 2m/.70m antenna and the other two bands are wasted technology.
 

ladn

Explorer of the Frequency Spectrum
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
637
Location
Southern California and sometimes Owens Valley
I have the same issues with the 8900. Good radio, but it really should have had two sets of antenna connectors; one set for 2M/440 and the other for 6M/10M. I have an 8800 in one of my vehicles and an Icom 2730A in another. I also have a TYT-9800 which is a Chicom copy of the Yaesu 9800 that I use as a field day and travel radio. It, too, only has one antenna connector. I've never used it on 6M/10M.
 

k6cpo

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
926
Location
San Diego, CA
I would avoid the Yaesu 8900 unless you have 6m or 10m repeaters in your area, or you have people talking on 6 and 10 FM simplex. While I am doubtful, there just may be. You would want to "listen" first using a scanner/receiver on the 6 & 10 meter FM call frequencies to see if anyone is using it. There definitely are people using it, but whether or not you can hear and talk to them is key as they may be far away.

The 8800 is fine and you could improve TX/RX with an improved antenna above your roof line. A tram 1480 is under $60 shipped via Amazon. You will also need some LMR-400 coaxial cable and whatever mast/mounting system. Still, if the magnet mount is getting the job done you're already set.

As for radios with digital modes like DMR, D-Star, P25, Yaesu Fusion etc., I recommend first checking to see if there are any repeaters in your area that support one of those modes. If so, how busy is it, or does analog have more traffic? What capability and versatility do you need? Is it real or perceived? You stated that what you have now works fine, so why get a different radio?
If the OP is a Technician license holder, the FT-8900R is going to essentially be a tri-band radio (6M, 2M and 70CM.) Technicians have SSB privileges on a very small segment of 10 meters ONLY. No FM privileges at all on 10M.
 

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
1,952
Location
California
Even if they put in a slight effort to upgrade their license to General, the more important part is whether or not there is any activity in their area for 6 and or 10 meters. I have a couple of 6m repeaters in my area, but I wouldn't purchase that 8900. I just use a regular HF mobile (480SAT) for 6 and lower.

Anyways, the biggest difference between Technician and General is the money one may will spend on gear with the improved privileges. ;)
If the OP is a Technician license holder, the FT-8900R is going to essentially be a tri-band radio (6M, 2M and 70CM.) Technicians have SSB privileges on a very small segment of 10 meters ONLY. No FM privileges at all on 10M.
 

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,488
I have a couple of Kenwood V71A radios. The model has been around for a while but it is a solid radio. It has dual receivers, is easy to program and view in the vehicles and has a wide receive range including commercial air. I also have a Connect System CS800D in another vehicle that si dual band and operates on both analog and DMR. It receives only one call at a time. The built in display is pretty small although a larger screen is available.
 

WB9YBM

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
1,304
Location
Niles, IL
Hello again all,

I’m looking for a new dual band mobile radio and antenna recommendations.
Currently I have a Yaesu FT8800 with a standard magnetic antenna- which works fine both in my vehicle and in my house- believe it or not

My Yaesu performs well but I’m looking for another one w/ a bit more capability and versatility

Looked at the Yaesu FT 8900 but not sure it has what I’m looking for

Any advise or recommendation is welcome
It's hard to recommend something without knowing the specifics of what you need, or expect, out of the radio. For example I've had good luck with Icom, but that's just me. The best I can offer is to stay with well-known name brand radios; I've had poor luck with the off-brand manufacturers...
 

jazzboypro

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
207
Location
Laval
For me it was between the ID-5100A or TM-D710G. I went with the Icom because it had D-STAR. The radio works well but i should have taken my time before buying. I never intended to use it as a mobile but the price was ok. I suddenly got very interested in the Icom IC-9700, it does the same thing as the 5100 plus a lot more. Not the same price point and it's not really a mobile rig per say but i have no intention of operating mobile or away from my home. I finally bite the bullet and bought it yesterday. I should get next week it all goes well.
 

jaspence

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
2,431
Location
Michigan
The DMR dual band mobile from Connect Systems is a good radio, and the version with detachable face is great for mounting in a cup holder mount or smaller mounting space. There is also a dual band radio out that can mount anywhere in the car and the microphone can connect with either a CAT 5 cable or an optional blue tooth microphone. Programming the radio is with an app on your phone or tablet.
 

mrweather

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,059
I'll add to the V71A pile too. For a solid analog dual-band radio, it can't be beat.

Since my area has a few Fusion repeaters I've since changed to the FTM-400XDR. It's quite a step up from the Kenwood both in features and price.

OP, we need to know more about what you want to do with the radio, what your area activity is like, etc.
 

chief21

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
1,469
Location
Summer - Western NC; Winter - Tampa Bay FL
Here's another vote for the Yaesu FTM-400xdr. I have several of these, both in-house and in-vehicle. Large, colorful screen (easy to read), big buttons (easy to use), separate head (easy to install), fast scan speed, separate memory groups for upper and lower VFOs, and C4FM digital (Fusion) as well. I put all my ham frequencies in the upper band and commercial, public safety, and aircraft frequencies in the lower band. Works well for me.
 

k7ng

Electronics professional
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
221
Location
CN73
If the interest is strictly analog, I too recommend the Kenwood TM-V71a. Good, rugged radio, does cross-band repeat (if that's important) and the remotable face piece, which I find very worthwhile. Newer radios might offer more bells & whistles, but the V71 isn't a bad choice, unless you need lots of alphanumeric space for your channel names.

I am interested in digital voice radio and if one is interested in that, for D-star I'd recommend the Icom ID-5100a - I have one and still love it after several years. For DMR, I got a CSI CS-800D. It is a well-made item, has all the 'usual' DMR features people like, and has a huge, extra-cost display option. I also have P25 radios but they aren't dual band so I'm leaving those out of the post. You won't (yet) find a mobile radio that handles more than one digital mode. All the digital-capable radios do analog just fine.
 

jazzboypro

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
207
Location
Laval
In a mobile setup there seems to have quite a few complaints for the ID-5100A about the diplay being hard to read and also not lasting because of the heat in the vehicules. I have the ID-5100A and an IC-R30 and i must admit that Icom's displays are ordinary at best on these 2 units.
 
Top