Ham Radio Operators... Mobile, HT, or Both?

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What kind of transceiver is in your Overland Rig

  • Mobile (VHF and/or UHF)

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • Handheld (VHF and/or UHF)

    Votes: 6 15.8%
  • Both

    Votes: 29 76.3%
  • None of the above.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    38

Lars

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

2,093
Wyldwood, TX
Member #

0654

I'd like to get a feel for the Hams in the group. Do you Overland with a Mobile VHF/UHF radio, A handheld VHF/UHF Radio, or both?

Then, if you would be willing to explain the reasoning you've used for making the decision you have.
 
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Lars

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

2,093
Wyldwood, TX
Member #

0654

I'll start.... I have all of the above in the truck at all times.

My Mobile VHF/UHF is a cross band repeater, so it makes relaying through the truck from an HT possible dramatically improving the performance of my HT when I'm hiking away from the truck.
 
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jkxranger

Rank V
Member

Off-Road Ranger I

2,085
Oregon
First Name
Adrian
Last Name
Simms
Member #

844

Ham Callsign
KC7CJB
I normally carry both, the HT is my backup radio. I always want to be prepared in the case of one radio failing.

Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk
 

KD7WCD

Rank V
Founder 500
Member
Adventure
Investor

Member III

2,298
Tempe, AZ, USA
First Name
Jayson
Last Name
Adamsen
Member #

399

Ham Callsign
KD7WCD
I always have both so if when I get out of the truck I can still call out and talk back to the group. This can be a life saver in a recovery or scouting situation. And let's face it most of us start out with an HT first. Plus.... it is all about the toys right!
 

1Louder

Rank VI
Member

Member II

4,187
AZ
First Name
Chris
Last Name
K
Member #

1437

Ham Callsign
K1LDR
Another in the both category. I would like to figure out crossband repeater function on my Kenwood 710 to make the handheld even more useful.
 

Enthusiast I

231
Los Angeles
First Name
Pierson
Last Name
Jacquelin
Ham Callsign
K6JYC
I have both; although I started with an HT and mag mount, I upgraded to a built-in unit due to increased transmit power, better fixed antenna options and better ergonomics (I mounted the head unit on the dash, above the AC vents so it's "heads up" as I mess with the knobs). Surprisingly easy to install in my 2009 T4R. Took about an hour and a half, all in. Gamiviti.com has some great hood mounting brackets for antennas.

I always have an HT in the glovebox, however, so I can send my co-pilot outside the rig with a radio to guide the wheels or a quick scout up the trail.

Very happy with my Kenwood TM-V71; it can be modded to work with GMRS and functions as a cross-band repeater.

73
 

OTH Overland

Rank VI
Benefactor
Member
Expedition
Adventure
Investor

Pathfinder II

4,635
Camano Island, Camano, WA, USA
First Name
Dave
Last Name
Ballard
Member #

20527

Ham Callsign
N7XQP
Service Branch
Fire/EMS/SAR
Another in the mobile and HT club, All radios are dual band, have an Icom 5100 in one rig, and a Icom 2730 in the other vehicle. Both vehicles have a Yaesu FT470 HT (super solid old 1990 vintage radios that run on a battery pack or double AA batteries with excellent battery life.) Works well for crossband. Each vehicle also has a baofeng 'disposable' radio that can be used as a loaner or SHTF scenarios. Also, my name is Dave and I have a radio problem...
 

KD7WCD

Rank V
Founder 500
Member
Adventure
Investor

Member III

2,298
Tempe, AZ, USA
First Name
Jayson
Last Name
Adamsen
Member #

399

Ham Callsign
KD7WCD
I use both.

I started out with an HT and recommend that to any new ham. They are usually straightforward and hard to get into too much trouble with. When I first got my license I started with an HT. It didn't take long for me to start using it while out and about in the Southwestern Deserts. I got a hand mic, rigged up a mount and power source, and wala I hand a low power Mobil. A good mobile antenna was the next investment. This greatly improved the footprint of my radio and I ran with that for a few years. You can do a lot with a little bit of wattage and a good antenna setup. (Spend the time on your antenna setups!)

Then I finally got a good dual-band UHF/FHF radio. While the increase from 5w to 50w was cool and all, it was the convenience and additional features that I really liked about having a mobile radio. Things like a good external speaker, remote head, and even cross-band repeat are fun features to have. But operationally on the trail or helping out with public service events, I mostly use the Mobile the same as the HT when I had it in the vehicle.

Then I got my general license and ventured into the world of HF. My vehicle is my ham shack. I love getting up onto some high ground out away from the noise in town and reaching out to the world. My rig now is an all band all mode UHF/FHV/HF and that is my primary mobile radio. It lacks some of the features that the dual-band UHF/VHF have like the dual monitor and crossband repeating but I really don't need that anyhow and I still have my old one if I am going to need it. But unless I am doing Tail Com with a group I am usually only really using the HF side of the radio.

At the end of the day, I still carry my HT with me. If not just a backup in the bail-out bag, I also can rig it up for an APRS radio. I can use it as a loner for a spotter or new ham that is still getting started. And remember. in a legitimate emergency, anyone can use it for help.

Start with the HT and you won't regret it.
 

NJRadioGuy

Rank V
Member
Adventure

Influencer II

1,988
West Caldwell, NJ, USA
First Name
Peter
Last Name
Dougherty
Member #

28487

Ham Callsign
W2IRT
Mark me down for both as well. I have a Yaesu FTM400xdr in the Jeep, and I will always carry at least one HT with me on the trails. Usually it's an Anytone U/V 878UV, but I also have a couple of Baofengs kicking around, and some smaller GMRS HTs as well. When I'm out and about, I have one VFO beaconing on APRS, and the other on whichever frequency my group is using. I'm also set up for YSF Digital via a cellphone-connected hotspot.
 
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OBDave

Rank IV
Member
Adventure
Investor

Enthusiast I

904
Albertville, AL, USA
First Name
David
Last Name
Guthrie
Member #

24653

Ham Callsign
KN4OK
Service Branch
6 years in AL ANG
I run a FTM300DR with APRS KN4OK-9, monitor 146.52, FT-891 for HF. 2 HT's that cover 2,220, 430 and GMRS/FRS. Kenwood TH-72A and Satellite antenna. Separate IC-7000 to hook with the digital on HF. Midland CB radio and monitor ch 19. Hamstick antenna on the jeep and several portable antennas. Several power systems including solar and dual battery in jeep. I might should add that I play Parks on the Air all the time.
 
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JeepingMike

Rank V
Member
Adventure

Advocate I

1,545
Greencastle, PA, USA
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Stern
Member #

24021

Ham Callsign
KB7THL
Service Branch
USN Corpsman Veteran
Both. Mobile VHF/UHF ham radio, with crossband repeat function and mobile GMRS installed. 90+% of the time I have a go-bag or travel bag with me which has a portable VHF/UHF ham radio. If headed offroad, a portable GMRS radio joins the fun too, and if with others a pair or two of FRS radios for loaning out. All about options!
 

Clay B

Rank III
Member

Enthusiast III

676
McCall, ID, USA
First Name
Clay
Last Name
Bradfield
Member #

20389

Ham Callsign
KJ7TTA
Service Branch
US Army
Both - HF/VHF/UHF mobile (ICOM 7100) in the Jeep w/ a couple handhelds for getting away ( 1 Rugged VHF/UHF, 1 CB), plus I keep a satellite enabled nav device. It's probably a holdover from military days, but redundant communication in out-of-the-way places is necessary. KJ7TTA
 

TheBison

Rank IV
Member
Adventure

Pathfinder II

1,345
Hartsel, CO
First Name
Brian
Last Name
Foltz
Member #

27816

Ham Callsign
AA0BF
Service Branch
U.S. Army
Both - more range and features with a mobile and it's easy to just hang the mic and not have to go fumbling for a handheld when you need it. But, if I'm hiking or otherwise out of the vehicle, I have a full 5W handheld. I've set up my vehicle's mobile as a cross-band repeater a few times to support my HT too.
 

NJRadioGuy

Rank V
Member
Adventure

Influencer II

1,988
West Caldwell, NJ, USA
First Name
Peter
Last Name
Dougherty
Member #

28487

Ham Callsign
W2IRT
Both - more range and features with a mobile and it's easy to just hang the mic and not have to go fumbling for a handheld when you need it. But, if I'm hiking or otherwise out of the vehicle, I have a full 5W handheld. I've set up my vehicle's mobile as a cross-band repeater a few times to support my HT too.
I agree; a 50W mobile (ham and GMRS) with a gain antenna is such a good thing, but if I'm scouting ahead or spotting I use a portable.
 
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RockyMountaineer

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,033
Laramie, WY, USA
First Name
Mathew
Last Name
Threadgill
Member #

6445

Ham Callsign
N5MST
I travel with both. It is simply a matter of versatility and trying to have the right tool for the job at hand.
 

Ubiety

Rank VI
Member
Expedition

Explorer I

5,221
Sammamish, WA, USA
First Name
Ubi
Last Name
Ety
Member #

6193

Ham Callsign
Ribs
Both. Actually a couple or more HTs. It's nice to have a backup and have an extra to hand out (as appropriate).
 

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Mod Team
Benefactor
Member
Expedition

Advocate III

5,584
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
W7FSB
Service Branch
US ARMY Retired
Three mobile units and 3 to 4 HTs…

why Three mobiles? 1 is VHF/UHF set up to cross band, one HF, and one VHF set up for high power packet radio.
 
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