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Radio Recomendations

  • 05 Mar 2018 2:50 PM
    Message # 5891296

    I am new to HAM radio (~8 months). I bought a Baofeng UV-5 HT as my first radio (figured for $25 it was disposable). I'm currently running it with a Comet SBB-5 antenna in my truck- but I'm hoping to get a proper mobile rig in the truck before the Op later this month.

    I'm trying to keep it under $300 (under $250 would be better). 

    Any recommendations?

    Short of specific radio recommendations, are there specific features that I should be looking for? Anything Land Ops specific? (I don't think built in APRS is available at this price point...) 

    I'd love to get a Kenwood D710 or Icom ID5100- but those are just not in the budget.

  • 05 Mar 2018 3:10 PM
    Reply # 5891319 on 5891296
    Jim Biram (Administrator)


    There are so many options under $300 today, especially if you don't mind going to a Chinese radio.  Frankly, I believe even the big guys build in China today...

    I have an Anytone AT5888UV radio for about 4 years now and it still works really well.  Anytone Radio Link

    There are several other radios that are sub $300 depending on the power, etc.  Although APRS is great to have, I believe Cross-band is just as important, and is available on the Anytone, TYT and a few other radios.  Also, at least 50 watts will be useful.

    Most importantly, do not scrimp on an antenna!  I made that mistake at first and the antenna only lasted 6 months.  I now use a Diamond N770 Diamond Antenna Link with a trunk mount, and the antenna transmits well and reception is really good.

    Last modified: 05 Mar 2018 3:15 PM | Jim Biram (Administrator)
  • 05 Mar 2018 6:45 PM
    Reply # 5891536 on 5891296

    Thanks for the Rapid reply, Jim.

    Are you pretty happy with the Anytone? It looks right in the ballpark. I've heard numerous QSO's on the local repeaters from 'cheap chinese' radios. They seem to work just fine...

    My Comet SBB-5 looks almost identical to your Diamond and seems to work well. I think ill be Ok keeping it, so at least I don't have to include a new antenna in the budget :)

  • 05 Mar 2018 9:05 PM
    Reply # 5891682 on 5891296
    Jim Biram (Administrator)

    Yes, that antenna should work fine...depending on the mount and cabling.  Just avoid a mag mount for long term.  The only issue I have had was the mic went bad after 1 1/2 years which was easily replaced off Amazon.  I also split the head from the base unit to make it easier to install.  Programming is a little challenging but with Chirp or the Anytone software, it programs easily.  If budget gets bigger, the Yaesu FTM 400dx is a great radio, and the Kenwood D710G is too.

  • 06 Mar 2018 9:18 AM
    Reply # 5892500 on 5891296

    What are your thoughts about an  ICOM 2720H for $200?

    The only negative thing i can see is no alpha display...

  • 06 Mar 2018 9:42 AM
    Reply # 5892536 on 5891296
    Jim Biram (Administrator)


    There are many things reviewers don't like about the radio...

    There are lots of single bad radios below $200...including the big guys...but dual band will be more...

    Baofeng has a new dual band mobile that is 50 watts. Baofeng UV-50x2 $170...doesn't have cross-band repeat, though...

  • 07 Mar 2018 9:32 AM
    Reply # 5902460 on 5891296

    Ok, I'll pass n that particular Icom...

    I'm starting to think it might be better to just wait and up the budget to get the Kenwood 710... 

    So now the question is: Will my UV5 HT with the mobile antenna be adequate for this month's op? I've only been on one op, and I was not licensed at the time so I only had FRS... 

    I still had fun, so I think I just answered my own question...

  • 07 Mar 2018 9:55 AM
    Reply # 5902692 on 5891296
    Deleted user

    Short answer-Yes you will be fine.

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