View Full Version : HT as a scanner?
For a while I've been wanting to get a handheld radio. It would be nice to have in case of emergiencies and travelling and such, and I want a handheld so I can take it where ever I want. But I admit that most likely I would rarely (never?) transmit on it. For me it would basically be a scanner. So how does a handheld, like the Yaesu vx-7r for example, compare to a regular scanner. Are there any negatives, like significantly slower scanning, or worse reception, or anything like that? I like them because they appear to have a much wider scanning range, and they really aren't that much more expensive than a good scanner, especially if I buy a used one. If I do buy one, I can and would get at least a technician class license. (In KY, having an amateur radio license is also the only way to legally have any kind of scanner in a car.) So overall, how do the they compare? Would it be terribly dumb to buy one knowing that it would mostly be a scanner?
I use my Kenwood THF6A as a scanner occasionally with good results. Plus, when the spirit moves me, I can listen to standard broadcast, FM broadcast, TV sound, shortwave broadcast, and transmit on 2, 1 1/4 and .7 meters. When I'm in Europe, I can listen to longwave broadcast.
And it fits in my shirt pocket.
And the new technology battery runs it for hours and hours.
I like it.
I use my VX-5R to RX from time to time. It has some bands blocked, which sucks because I can't pick up 10 meter and the like. However, it's very easy to use and works pretty well, especially with an aftermarket antenna. However, HTs are designed firstly for Ham bands and the others are basically bells and whistles. A dedicated scanner is, obviously, going to perform better. However, the VX-5R holds it's own and would probably shine if I had an outdoor antenna.
I am a long time ham and scanner user. Frankly, I think the modern amateur HT can hold its own against any scanner within the VHF/UHF public service and aviation freqs. I no longer user a separate scanner at all, but find my VX5R and VX2R do the job very well. If you don't plan to do much transmitting, take a look at the VX2R which is tiny and very wide band.
Thanks for the opinions. It sounds like the HTs would be good enough to satisfy me. I'll probably go ahead and get one whenever I can spare the money. I like the VX-7R (and THF6A) because of the dual and wide receive capabilities. I wouldn't plan on transmitting much, but I think I would need the extra power of the 7R over the 2R if I ever did. There are only a handful of hams in the area, and the only repeater anywhere nearby is about 11 miles away. Any chance of hitting it with 3 watts? Or 5 even?
Glock Bob, I was kind of surprised to see how much of the receive was blocked on the 5R. That doesn't make sense.
I use my Yaesu FT-60R for scanning often. It gets better reception on all the federal VHF law enforcement agencies around here than my Radio Shack Pro-96. If I need digital that DC & some of the Maryland counties use then I still have to lug the Pro-96 - but the smaller size & better reception of the FT-60R make it the every day carry of radios for me.
Eleven miles shouldn't be a problem, but terrain may interfere. However, I have transmitted to repeaters many many many miles away with just 5 watts.
The 5R is restricted alot. However, it is a great little radio and only about $200. It's hard to beat.
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