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Handhelds: top of the line or nothing at all?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KI6MU, Nov 12, 2021.

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  1. KI6MU

    KI6MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, the trend for amateur handhelds has always been to strive to make a really robust and feature-filled device. The last five or ten years or so has seen some extraordinary offerings from the big three Japanese manufacturers.

    But what about those of us that don't want to carry a $500–700 rig on our belt when we're out and about? It's far more practical to carry something that's got some ruggedness to it and that offers powerful audio and drop, dust, and moisture resistance capabilities.

    For example, Icom does not have a "middle-of-the-range" dual band handheld right now, and hasn't for a few years. Does anyone think that they're working on a replacement for the IC-T70A?
  2. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yaesu has a bunch, the FT-65R dual band is $90. Even the VX-6R is only $250.
    AJ6LB, W5ESE, KA4DPO and 3 others like this.
  3. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Indeed - both ICOM and Kenwood seem to be rather losing interest in HTs and leaving it up to Yaesu. I guess that Baofeng has taken a big slice of the entry-level market so it is perhaps the case that there are not enough customers for the premium models to keep all of the big three in business...

    Martin (G8FXC)
    KI6MU likes this.
  4. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If I wanted to use a hand-held these days, it would be one of those cheap, disposables from China, no question.

    One of our ham club members was up on the club tower earlier this month and he dropped his "Baofungie" hand held 80 feet from the top of the tower to the ground. Not on a hard surface, but onto the grass.

    The silly thing survived the drop with a little minor surgery to the battery holder and it is still in use and working fine. After seeing that, who would want to try like that with an expensive radio?
    W4KYR, N3AWS, WS4JM and 1 other person like this.
  5. N1IPU

    N1IPU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sick of features. Give me something else like ssb. Handhelds should be simple stupid yet really who needs hundreds of memories, bluetooth and all the other crap. I just won't spend the money on something so impractical in the field.
    KA3CTQ, KI6MU, KG7LEA and 8 others like this.
  6. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    All I have ever heard on an every HT everywhere I have lived. "You're making it into the repeater but all we copied was static."
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
    N6HCM, WS9K and WG7X like this.
  7. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have fairly high end HTs from ICOM and Yaesu plus an Anytone 878 which, although it is Chinese, is quite expensive and very well made. But we still use a couple of Baofeng UV5Rs for short range communications round the marina and on the boat - they cost around £20 each and I will not be heartbroken if one falls overboard - unlike the other HTs which would be far more serious losses.

    Martin (G8FXC)
    KA0USE likes this.
  8. KE0GXN

    KE0GXN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don’t hardly ever carry a ham HT on my belt or my person anywhere. Just don’t feel the need. But that Yeasu FT-60R I have own is built like like a tank! I can’t think of a better more affordable powerful audio and drop, dust, and moisture resistance capable ham HT radio then that one.
    N1VAU, N1IPU, W5ESE and 2 others like this.
  9. K4MZR

    K4MZR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I’ve slowly developed the opinion that HTs are largely useless pieces of kit. First, most repeaters I’ve encountered are predominantly dead air and, second, HTs (in my case a FT-60R, a FT-2D and a Baofeng) lack the power to reliably make the trip. I find a cheap FRS to be a better tool when I need something other than a cell phone … like spotting for backing a 5th wheel or around the marina.
    N1IPU, WG7X and W5ESE like this.
  10. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Inexpensive is a good feature. I have friends who use the Wouxon HT models for the marina and near shore ship-to-ship comms when fishing, sailing, etc.
    KA0USE likes this.

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