Looking for new dual band mobile radio

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KC9QAJ, Jul 23, 2009.

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  1. KC9QAJ

    KC9QAJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am interested in buying a new dual-band mobile radio.

    I like the Yaesu FT-8800r and the Kenwood TM-V71a

    I want to have the ability to do crossband repeat..

    The ability to do EchoLink on the Kenwood is a big plus for me (I want to try this).

    50w on both bands is a plus for the Kenwood

    Both of these radios are around $375..

    Opinions and comments are welcome.

    Please post away.

  2. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I vote for the Yaesu.
    I would want to see how fast they both scan.
    The power difference on 440 doesn't matter all that much.
    Echolink was interesting to me for about 20 minutes.
    Either radio is probably a very good radio. Just depends on what you want for features and price point.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  3. KC9QAJ

    KC9QAJ Ham Member QRZ Page


    Is the D-Link on the Icom models worth the extra money?

    I was looking at those also.

  4. N7RJD

    N7RJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you are interested in D-Star and there are D-Star enabled repeaters in your area it could be worth the extra. It would not be to me at this time due to the lack of interest in such and the lack of enabled repeaters in the area.

    As to the original question, don't let Echolink be your soul deciding factor. The truth of the matter is you can "do" Echolink with either radio mentioned. If you want to setup your own link you may need an extra interface but that's not likely what you are looking for given that you are asking about "Mobile" radios.

    I like a lot of the Yaesu radios and own a number of Yaesu units. I also like a lot of the Kenwood radios and own a number of them too. I think you will find that of the two mentioned you will have roughly an equal number of votes for each one and each with good reasons for their opinions. In the end you are talking about two radios, either one of which would be worth owning which brings you down to a personal preference decision.

    I have been known to walk into HRO knowing I am going to buy one of three radios but never know which one it will be until I go up to the counter and say "I think it's time to pickup a XXXXX." Funny part is of the three I picked the forth. :)
  5. K6ABZ

    K6ABZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm also torn between the same Kenwood and Yaesu rigs.

    In the end, I'll probably end up getting the FT-8900, since it also does 6 and 10 meters. I want to be able to crossband, so I'll pick a frequency on 6 meters as my home frequency for cross-banding. That way I'm always using the same local frequency...

    I recently had a conversation with an Official Observer, and he reminded me that we need to ID our cross-band repeaters on both sides. Your outbound traffic is okay for the high power side, but you need to ID the local side as well.

    I think the Yaesu will ID if you turn on ARTS and set a CW ID. You can also get an ID-O-Matic from hamgadgets.com. It can plug in to the data port with the right cable, key the radio, and send out a CW ID just like the big boys. It's even smart enough to only ID when there's been incoming traffic in the last 10 minutes. You can also use it as a CW keyer, an ID reminder, and a beacon for t-hunts...
  6. N7RJD

    N7RJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The name alone is enough to make you think Ghallager is running a ham shop. :p
  7. K6ABZ

    K6ABZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Yaesu 7800, 7900, 8800, and 8900 all have a standard 6-pin data port, but you have to add an external interface for around $60-100. You also need a programming cable (if you want to program the radio from the computer) at the cost of $15-30. So price-wise, the same features on the Yaesu end up being $100-150 more.

    However, I believe you can control the Kenwood via the serial port, so you could do cool things like make a frequency-agile Echolink remote station... can't do that with the Yaesu. There's even software out there to run the Kenwood rigs via chat commands in Echolink... or you can fire up Ham Radio Deluxe over the Internet and run it that way.

    Another important thing to consider is that Kenwood's programming software doesn't import or export to other formats. The Yaesu programs do. I actually sold my Kenwood HT and got a Yaesu for that very reason: I can keep all my frequencies in one spreadsheet and simply import that sheet to each radio's programming software. FTB8800 from G4HFQ is very easy to use in this respect, and his programs all have some way to move data between them.

    If you're going to put the radio in your car, then the Echolink thing is moot. ANY radio with a DTMF pad can control an Echolink node over the air.

    The Yaesus come with a removable faceplate and separation kit. I don't know if the Kenwood can be remote mounted.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  8. W9PSK

    W9PSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Echolink feature on the Kenwood is nice, but you need to knonw that all it will do is allow you to use the radio as a node radio without having to buy something like a Rigblaster. You will still have to have another radio to talk through your Kenwood. You also will not be able to use the radio on Echolink and as a regular old 2m/70cm radio at the same time.
  9. W9PSK

    W9PSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    That depends entirely upon whether or not a D-Link repeater is in your area.
  10. VK2FMJC

    VK2FMJC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love my FT-8800R, had it for about 4 months now & I can't fault it! I even bought the FTB8800 programming software but have found the front panel programming easy enough so I have not hooked it up to the pc yet.

    I will get around to pc programming once I do a bit of camping this coming Aussie Summer

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