View Full Version : Which portable for a beginner?
Given my pending move to AZ, I would like to get a portable 2m radio for all those open spaces where cell phones are ineffective and for hiking/camping. I have a little radio experience from my firefighting background, but no ham experience. I bought Ham Radios for Dummies and read it already. Is there anything on the tech test that you can not get from that book or the internet?
What portable radio would you recommend for me? I would like a 2m radio w/ the ability to set some channels, all that stuff you need to use repeaters (tone-coding or whatever it was called), a half decent amount of wattage available, the ability to hook it into a larger antenna when at home, and cost effective. Being able to hook a hand mike to it would be nice too, but not necessary.
Thanks in advance.
That's pretty much any radio. I have an Icom T2H sport that has a 8 AA battery pack. I use nimh all the time, but I have the option to use regular AAs in an emergency.
Let me look at http://www.aesham.com & http://www.hamradio.com
I'd say Yaesu, then Icom, then Kenwood. Forget any other brand HT. For just as little bit more, you could go with a 2mtr/440 HT. Even if you don't see yourself using 440, the extra bandwidth is good for monitoring public saftey, among other things.
$129.99 at AES
$149.00 at AES.
I'm not recommending AES over any others, but I've only used AES & HRO for my needs. Either one is fine to deal with.
I recently purchased the Yaesu vx-7r (in black) and am very happy with it. I can and have used it in the car, connected to mobile antenna, at home connected to base antenna and with the "rubber duck" that came with it. Purchased from gigaparts - they are great to deal with. Have no experience with any other companies so I can't say one way or the other about them. The vx-7 is a quad band and I've found it very useful. It also has a wide range rcv range and can pick standard am/fm/weather and local law enforcement/service agencies. Very handy. Good luck.
I recommend the Yaesu VX-150 for a mono-bander. It is one solid radio. The FT-60 is a nice dual bander.
Icom T-90A..Hands Down..;f ..
I'd reccomend the Yaesu VX-5R if you want an HT (Handy Talky). It's got 5 watts (par for the course with handheld units) and it's a tri-bander (2m, 70cm [440 MHz], and 6m [50-54 MHz]). It's also about the size of a pack of cigarettes and is made of high-quality steel (only things plastic on it are the two knobs and the battery latch). Best of all it usually runs about $200 at HRO. However, the black version appears to be sold out, but the silver version is still in stock, albeit limited stock.
Welcome to the hobby, the test is pretty easy. I second the VX5R, I have one and love it. btw your one radio will turn into many radios. I thought the same thing when I got into the hobby. I saw how much fun aprs/packet was so then I needed another radio and a tnc. Then I wanted to talk around the world so I got my extra and then an HF radio. Now there are radios everywhere in my house. You can't walk from room to room and not find a radio lying somewhere.
I think one of the very best single band HTs is the Yaesu/Vertex VX-150. They can be had for a good price and are very robust and simple to operate. I recently picked up a VX-6 and it is also a great radio. The VX-5 is discontinued so you would need to find one of those used, however, there are a ton of them out there.
The Radioshack HTX-202 is a part of many hams' collections. It was discontinued quite a while back, but it is very tough and has all the features a beginner needs. Also, they are available cheap at places like Ebay.
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