Handheld ham radio suggestions

This is a discussion on Handheld ham radio suggestions within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello everyone. *mods if this is in the wrong place I'm sorry feel free to move this* So I'm wanting to dive into the world ...

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Thread: Handheld ham radio suggestions

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array chrise2004's Avatar
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    Question Handheld ham radio suggestions

    Hello everyone.

    *mods if this is in the wrong place I'm sorry feel free to move this*

    So I'm wanting to dive into the world of amateur radio. I've always loved scanners and all that and want to start getting into transmitting and also build on my basic radio knowledge. I've found a few local clubs in a few neighboring cities, but haven't been to a meeting yet. So I'm sure I'll get this question answered there too, but I am wanting to some knowledge before hand.

    I'm wanting to know what the pro's/ol'timers in the amatuer radio/ham world would recommend for a first time handheld transciever?I've looked at some kenwood/Yaesu/cobra ect. I'd like to spend under $150 hopefully.

    So any suggestions/comments are welcome.

    Thanks everybody,
    -Chris
    Glock 27,Hi-Point .380, S&W 3913, RIA 5" Tactical

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  3. #2
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    Array MattInFla's Avatar
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    Well, for your first radio, you can't go far wrong with a solid 2 meter handheld.

    Icom, Kenwood, Yeasu and Alinco all make some nice entry level 2m handhelds. You should be able to get what you need for under $150 easily. Check out HRO (HRO Ham Radio Outlet Worldwide Supplier of Amateur Radio Electronics Equipment) or AES (AES Home page). Both carry a wide selection in the price range you're seeking.

    Matt
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    Senior Member Array canav844's Avatar
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    Well take a look at this link, Repeater Directory Listing and figure out what on that list is active in your area, there's some that are keyed up all the time there's some that just ID once and while with little use. Plug some into your scanner and listen, this will help you in studying for your test and when you get your call and a radio you'll be well versed in what the good etiquette is including what's expected with the locals.

    Hams are great for having tons of used gear, so you can take a look at QRZ and the like and usually find something lightly used and relative new for a great deal.

    I'd recommend Yaesu, as it's what I've learned on and I'd like to think I turned out ok. They tend to run a little on the low cost side without skimping on the quality. I just picked up a 270 a few weeks ago and the 250 is another solid 2 meter radio.

    One thing to consider is that the HTs generally top out at about 5 or 7 watts. With my 5 watts and a homemade J-pole I made it 27.3 miles into a nearby repeater last night. I say this because if you're not close you may not get the use out of an HT that you're looking for and that you might be better served by a similarly priced mobile station put into use as a base with a power adapter and antenna, then you'll be able to reach out 30miles with ease not a stretch and still be able get further than that to reach the repeaters.

    And while in times of emergency ham radio is a great tool and skill to have, it's probably more of an off topic discussion than self defense.

    Glock Certified Armorer

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    I think you need one of these.



    ham.jpg
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    I might incur the wrath of some of the old school folks but........
    on ehams the newer Puxing hand helds are getting pretty favorable reviews. The only complaints I recall are the older ones had a teeny hole for the mic and that resulted in low volume. If you opened the hole up the water resistance was compromised. Owners of newer models are not reporting this problem. The universal complaint is the "Chinglish" owners manual.
    They can be found on e-bay for under $100 in 2 meter or 70cm.
    A lot of bang for the buck.
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    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    First you need an amateur radio license.

    Personally, HTs make a lousy choice for a first radio, unless all you want to do is chat on a repeater. Without a repeater, the range is about 3-5 miles with the built-in antenna. External antennas up off the ground will improve this somewhat.

    Before you buy ANYTHING, get with a local ham and talk over the situation. AE7Q's Amateur Radio Database Query Tools will let you locate hams in your ZIP code.
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    Senior Member Array chrise2004's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGP250 View Post
    I think you need one of these.



    ham.jpg

    Def. gonna order one, it will match my CCW Badge

    Thanks everyone for the help. I appreciate all the links and info. I've been looking at the Yaesu models and the Kenwood entry level handhelds. There are several repeaters in town and also i found out a few local HAM guys that have been very helpfull.
    Glock 27,Hi-Point .380, S&W 3913, RIA 5" Tactical

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    Distinguished Member Array Siafu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    I might incur the wrath of some of the old school folks but........
    on ehams the newer Puxing hand helds are getting pretty favorable reviews. The only complaints I recall are the older ones had a teeny hole for the mic and that resulted in low volume. If you opened the hole up the water resistance was compromised. Owners of newer models are not reporting this problem. The universal complaint is the "Chinglish" owners manual.
    They can be found on e-bay for under $100 in 2 meter or 70cm.
    A lot of bang for the buck.
    I think I may have to order a Puxing PX-888. For $80 shipped it's a hard deal to pass on. The reviews do look very favorable.

    I am near the Canadian border (NY), do I want the 2 meter or the 70cm?

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    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    Hands down...Yaesu FT-60R, the S&W M642 of the handi-talkie world.

    Honestly though, a HT is a niche radio. Without a repeater nearby, there's only so much you can do with one. RF output is limited, so is battery supply, and antenna is 90% of what separates white noise from a legible signal. Even the mighty Diamond RH77CA can only compensate so much. Pretty much ditto the opinion of canav844 earlier on in the thread.

    BTW, don't even think about getting anywhere near 28m of range with a HT ordinarily. I can't get that range with 250 PEP on 2m from my base, and my antenna is 30 feet up. Too much man-made and environmental interference where I live, dense urban area, tall buildings, trees, and all. Maybe if I had a 200' tower and a bunch of hard line, then perhaps?

    Man, HAM and Firearms go together like dry rub and smoked meat. Get your ticket and get busy. Good luck.
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    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moga View Post
    Hands down...Yaesu FT-60R, the S&W M642 of the handi-talkie world.
    I agree completely.

    Honestly though, a HT is a niche radio. Without a repeater nearby, there's only so much you can do with one. RF output is limited, so is battery supply, and antenna is 90% of what separates white noise from a legible signal. Even the mighty Diamond RH77CA can only compensate so much. Pretty much ditto the opinion of canav844 earlier on in the thread.
    Yup.

    BTW, don't even think about getting anywhere near 28m of range with a HT ordinarily. I can't get that range with 250 PEP on 2m from my base, and my antenna is 30 feet up. Too much man-made and environmental interference where I live, dense urban area, tall buildings, trees, and all. Maybe if I had a 200' tower and a bunch of hard line, then perhaps?
    Then you have an antenna problem. I have a Comet GP-9 at about 15' (on the corner of the second floor roof, 500' ASL)) and an old RS HTX-212 running 50w and I can hit (with reasonable quieting) repeaters from Westchester Co., NY, to Long Island, to Groton/New London, to Springfield, MA.

    Man, HAM and Firearms go together like dry rub and smoked meat. Get your ticket and get busy. Good luck.
    Agreed!
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siafu View Post
    I think I may have to order a Puxing PX-888. For $80 shipped it's a hard deal to pass on. The reviews do look very favorable.

    I am near the Canadian border (NY), do I want the 2 meter or the 70cm?
    Uh oh! You have some home work to do! Being in Texas I didn't concern myself too much with the restrictions up that way. There are certain frequencies that are verboten near the Canadian border as they are used for public safety/commercial use up there. The phrase "north of line 'A' and east of line 'C'" keeps popping into my head.

    First thing I would do is check the FCC page and find out if you are in the restricted zone or not. Then I would see what is available as far as repeaters in the area.

    As far as range with an HT my Motorola MT1000s can regularly hit a couple of repeaters over twenty miles away. Of course it helps that I have nice flat terrain and they are on 850 and 1400 foot towers.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

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