Dual Band VHF/UHF Radio Consideration

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KJ4TX, Nov 2, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Subscribe
ad: Left-3
ad: L-MFJ
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-2
  1. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been kicking around the idea of getting a radio that covers 220 or 440 MHz. I have plenty of 2 meter all mode coverage with my IC-746 Pro, so I don't really need that, although I see that most of the mobile radios are 2m/70cm unless you get up into the higher priced rigs. I'm not sure what I'm looking at yet, but I know I don't want an HT and I don't want to spend thousands. I would like to get something that is all mode, although I'm not really seeing a lot of choices for that and it may be that on 220/440 MHz SSB isn't used that much. I've not gotten that far yet.

    I know almost nothing about D-Star or any of the other digital modes so I don't feel one way or the other about a radio that has that built in. I'm partial to ICOM but not married to that brand, it's just the brand of radio I've bought for a long time, like and am familiar with. I have not seen a lot of choices in the ICOM brand though, so I've been looking at the Kenwood and Yaesu brands. Kenwood seems to have a little more brand loyalty based on a few of the reviews I've looked at but Yaesu seems to have a number of choices as well. The prices seem to be in the $300 to $600 range for most of the dual band mobiles I've looked at. I'm not interested in any of the off brand radios as I'd just rather stick with the 3 name brands. I'm also looking at new verses used, but wouldn't rule out getting a used one if I narrowed the choice down to one or two radios. I also don't plan on putting it in one of my vehicles although I wouldn't mind taking it along sometimes if I was heading someplace high that I could set it up and run it while I was there.

    I know asking for which is the best radio is like asking how high should the antenna be, so I won't ask that. :D But there must be a few that stand out over the others as being a good bang for the buck, with enough features to improve the enjoyment of the bands without being totally over whelming or buried so deep in sub menus that you can't find them without having a 100 page instruction manual in front of you every time you want to change something. I also know that some of the choices have been around for awhile and some are fairly new but I can't really tell with out looking at each one. I know older radios can still be very good (I have a ICOM IC-745 and ICOM 751A in my group of radios) but the newer models are going to have features that the ones that have been out for a few years do not have or aren't as good as the technology has matured and improved.

    So, do any of the dual or multi-band VHF/UHF radios seem to stand out over most of the others? If nothing else, maybe any suggestions/recommendations from people that have already gone through this search will help others looking at the same thing.

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  2. W5ARP

    W5ARP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm no expert, but from the big three, most (all?) of the VHF/UHF radios are FM only. If you want to do SSB on those bands it seems like the only choice is an all band (160-.7) rig. For FM only I have a FTM-400DR which I got because I wanted APRS. Its a good radio, but in retrospect, the Kenwood TM-D710GA would be my preferred choice now because it is a bit more flexible. If you have no interest in APRS or packet, I'd get the TM-V71A. As I understand it, it is the same radio with a different headpiece (without the APRS TNC in it.) It can be upgraded with the TNC head if you change your mind down the road.
     
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    440 MHz is included in lots of rigs.

    222 MHz isn't. One reason is the JA manufacturers don't pay much attention to the band, since it is not an amateur band in Japan (or about 2/3 of the world).

    There are some 222 MHz FM rigs out there for sure, but for weak signal work (SSB-CW) most use transverters with HF rigs. My old (1987 vintage) FT-736R covers 222 MHz "all modes," but not many do.

    The most important things are the antennas.
     
  4. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's interesting but reading the reviews on some of the dual band mobile radios available for the top 3 brands and none of them have what you call over all raving reviews. SSB probably isn't all that important but it seems funny having a radio without it. :D Yea, it's too bad that it seems most of the bands above 2 meters seem to be mostly used by US hams but there is a limited amount of equipment available. It's a given with the antenna and one thing I learned from 6 meters and 2 meters SSB is that it's all about the number of elements. So if I get a 440 MHz radio, I'll be sure and get an antenna with lots of elements. At least the antennas are small. :D

    Thanks

    Mike
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page