Why you need to buy a quality Handheld (Portable) radio. | Page 2 | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Why you need to buy a quality Handheld (Portable) radio.

Discussion in 'Overland Communications' started by Kent R, Nov 7, 2017.

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  1. HKLover

    HKLover Rank II
    Member

    Location:
    Ohio/Tenn
    Member #:

    7170

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    Well so far they aren't saying anything about my Jeep so I am happy with that.

    Back on topic. Since I am working for the next couple of weeks in Las Vegas I went to Gigaparts and bought an HT unit.

    I got a Kenwood TH-D74A tri-band. It was a lot of money up front, but at least I am not spending a lot on upgrading from one HT unit to another better one. I subscribe to the buy once, cry once theory on most things. I will probably still buy a Baofeng and keep it in with my emergency gear in the Jeep along with some fresh batteries as a back up should something happen to the Kenwood.

    Being a newb to the Ham-verse, this is a somewhat intimidating unit for a first HT, but I am sloooooooowly learning how to maneuver through the menu and what each button does. I have not been able to mess with the D-Star or APRS stuff yet since it wants you to program your call-sign first. Until I get one, I can't get any farther into it.

    Basically, I have turned it on and tuned it to a local repeater and am just kinda listening in on some of the convos trying to get the hang of the lingo and such.


    In addition to the Kenwood HT, I also bought a Diamond 14" 2/1.25/70 rubber duck antenna for it to replace the crummy one that came with it, and I got a coax cable and Diamond 2/1.25/70 37" antenna to mount on my Jeep along with a 6' SMA to PL259 adapter cable.

    Going to be taking my Ham test next Monday if I can sneak away from work for a couple of hours. Shouldn't have any problems with the Technicians test since I can get 100% on all the online practice exams. Not sure if I can pass the General though, but I will give it a shot.
     
    Desert Runner, TOMB and aearles like this.
  2. aearles

    aearles Rank V
    Member

    Location:
    USA
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    Nice, great choice!


    Sent from my iPhone using OB Talk
     
  3. TOMB

    TOMB Rank IV
    Member Supporter

    Location:
    Clovis Ca
    Member #:

    3129

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    Wow, glad I read this. I didn’t know they opened a store in Las Vegas. I’ll have to stop by next time I’m there. I used to go to AES before they closed. Good luck on your test!


    Sent from my iPhone using OB Talk
     
  4. Desert Runner

    Desert Runner Rank III
    Member

    Location:
    Southern Nevada
    Member #:

    14991

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    Thank You for putting this out there. I have never directly encountered this personally, BUT i have read about it in other forums, where the tone is like you mentioned above. There does seem to be some snobbishness out there, and from what i have heard, it comes from the old timers more often than not....sad
     
    Graeman and Kevin108 like this.
  5. 4L_Warrior

    4L_Warrior Rank II
    Member

    Location:
    East Bay Ca.
    Member #:

    14975

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    I've been trying to stay out of this one.....But

    It's funny if a friend asks which off road tires to buy we yell out Goodyear, BFG's and all the other top end high performance tires. The same goes with coolers, we buy Yeti's and other high end coolers. I usually don't hear "go to Walmart and but the cheapest Chinese cooler". We will spend over $400 on a cooler, $600-800 on a 12 volt fridge and how may times will someone say just go to Harbor Freight and get the cheapest little electric winch you can.... but we only want to spend 30 bucks on comms?

    I live in the Bay Area of California... heck a months worth of fancy coffee is about the same as a quality ham radio. Is a cheap assed wrench or screw driver better than nothing? You bet your ass it is, but buy a quality one and it won't let you down.

    I'm with you @Kent on this one. He is trying to tell you to spend your hard earned money wisely. I get it and totally agree!
     
    TerryD, noah.wass and Prerunner1982 like this.
  6. Prerunner1982

    Prerunner1982 Rank III

    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Ham Callsign:
    WX5SKY
    Map
    I have felt the same way when people don't want to spend the $70 for a GMRS license that's good for 10yrs and covers your whole family in order to improve convoy/trail comms.
     
    TerryD, RainGoat and 4L_Warrior like this.
  7. Jimswpa

    Jimswpa Rank I
    Member

    Location:
    Greensburg, PA, USA
    Member #:

    15243

    Ham Callsign:
    KB3MPZ
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    I have a couple of the baofeng radios they are ok but they are not the quality of my icom or yaesu hand held radios. They cost a lot more but you get what you pay for. Still over rough terrain nothing will beat a good radio that can put out 50 watts.
    Saving money is always nice but when off the beaten path that radio could save you life
     
    4L_Warrior likes this.
  8. Ernesto Huaco

    Ernesto Huaco Rank I
    Member

    Location:
    Concord, CA
    Member #:

    14594

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    Do you guys think of those radios for emergencies? We use baofengs and Other radios for trail communication and they do great, but for emergencies we think of Sat Phones.
     
    Graeman likes this.
  9. RainGoat

    RainGoat Rank IV
    Member

    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    Member #:

    6791

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    HAM vs Satellite for emergencies is a complicated pro/con. Both is obviously best but a SPOT, InReach or PLB is irreplaceable for true emergencies.
     
  10. Richard Hernandez

    Location:
    Fontana, CA, USA
    Ham Callsign:
    KB6POE
    Map
    I’d go with the first one only because if it’s IP54 rating. One thing I was considering before was the FT-60R, even though it’s an older radio, can transmit the full 5 watts running off of the AA battery pack option. Most radios drop in wattage running that way. I have not been able to find if the FT-65R can do the same.
     
  11. 94Cruiser

    94Cruiser Rank IV
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    Location:
    Suisun City, California
    Member #:

    5588

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    Actually.... I bought a roto cooler at Walmart... It's not a yeti, but it kept our stuff cold for 6 days without adding ice in 100+ degree days at Lake Castaic last summer.... For well less than half the cost of that same size yeti...

    But I digress lol
     
    Drifterman likes this.
  12. oretaco

    oretaco Rank I
    Member

    Location:
    Oregon City, OR, USA
    Member #:

    16149

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    I have been debating in getting my HAM license and an in-car radio. Would it be wise to add the in-car radio before I do my test? I've been hearing conflicting arguements that you can listen on them without a license, you just can't speak. Is that true?
     
    Drifterman likes this.
  13. TerryD

    TerryD Rank IV
    Member

    Location:
    Covington, Virginia
    Member #:

    3710

    Ham Callsign:
    KT4OZ
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    Yes, you can listen without a license. You are not allowed to speak unless you are with a licensed ham and using their call sign with them in "control" of the station. IE physically present at the radio to ensure proper use.
     
    Drifterman and oretaco like this.
  14. Graeman

    Graeman Rank III
    Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona 85053
    Member #:

    4284

    Ham Callsign:
    KJ7CRJ
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    Exactly... Everyone wants us to jump on the Ham train for communication that is above CB. Then when we do, they jump on us because we didn't go all out and spend hundreds of dollars and buy the prima donna of all radios. I love that I switched over to the Baofengs for trail comms and eventually when I have the extra money I will move up the comm ladder to a Kenwood. It's called baby steps to see if I really like this idea with out spending a load of green just to find out that the people who use them are not the kind that I want to associate with.
    I am also not on the "Jeeps or Toyotas only" bandwagon. Just putting that out there :)
     
    Drifterman and oretaco like this.
  15. Drifterman

    Drifterman Rank II
    Member

    Location:
    East Patchogue, NY, USA
    Member #:

    14708

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    Going for gmrs this week and still working on ham have a baofang i got as a present so goingbwith that for now think its a vs92 in camo
     
    Graeman likes this.
  16. TerryD

    TerryD Rank IV
    Member

    Location:
    Covington, Virginia
    Member #:

    3710

    Ham Callsign:
    KT4OZ
    Map
    The Baofeng type radios are OK radios. They are cheap, which is nice. Heck, it was one of them bought for trail use that's largely responsible for me being an active ham now. I think they are good (mostly, they have some faults and I urge you to buy the most reliable versions of them as there are several copies that can cause many issues on the bands) and make good trail com radios. The power levels are rarely as advertised and they are a little fragile.

    The more expensive radios offer features that the cheaper ones don't. That's even true among the "Big Three" of amateur radio. But the case materials are generally better than the cheap radios meaning they will take an impact better. The better radios are also constructed with better components which will improve the lifetime of the radio. There's always going to be a "My Kenwood burnt up in a week but my Baofeng is 3 years old!" stories, but that's just a good reason to go out and make use of your equipment. You'll find way more stories of the cheap radios being bricked out of the box or frying themselves in short order.

    I have a Baofeng myself and it's served me reasonably well. But the time has come that I'm wanting the more advanced features of a better radio and I'm willing to spend the extra money to have the capability and durability of the better equipment.

    The point being, if you are getting good use from your cheap radio, look at upgrading. You'll be happy you got the better radio with it's improve noise rejection and sensitivity. It makes a difference! Keep the Baofeng charged and ready to go too! It'll make a nice trail spare or loaner. Many folks start out buying the cheaper option to see if it will work for them to avoid lots of wasted money. The radio is just another tool in your box on the trail.
     

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