HF / low band VHF handhelds?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KE7RUX, Mar 31, 2020.

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  1. KE7RUX

    KE7RUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    What is your experience and/or opinion about HF/low band VHF handhelds?

    Having run across these types of radios (and seeing that there has been many manufactured;
    Ex: Codan Sentry-V https://tinyurl.com/codan-sentry-v, 6m Yaesu VX-7, CB's, a local 40MHz government system pre-700MHz P25, or the old 10m handhelds,) this has peaked my interest.

    I can't help but wonder, how effective are these handhelds? If you're in a metropolitan area, and you're in a building, would your rubber duck be able to QSO out of the building? or are they only for field work? Could you QSO your next door neighbor, as as well as 5 miles down the road?
  2. N3AWS

    N3AWS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tokyo Hi Power used to sell a 40, 15, and 6 meter HT. I never owned one (or even saw one) but they were a popular topic. SSB and I believe CW ; not sure about other modes.
  3. WC5P

    WC5P Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Friend of mine in Hawaii (Now SK) used to have a 15 meter HT. I don’t remember what brand it was, but it was a Japanese domestic model not sold here. Could well have been THP. I don’t know if he was ever able to make a contact on it.
  4. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a QSO once while driving home from work with someone standing on a hotel balcony with a 10 meter SSB handheld. I had 100 watts in the car and I think we held it for about 5 miles past his exit.
    IMHO below 2 meters you really start losing ERP from the very short antennas.
  5. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    American States Electronics and Mizuho made HF HT:s well into the 1990s.

    Sometimes a Mizuho surfaces, but they are very scarce.

    Have seen one of each, the ASE at work in the early 80s, and the Mizuho MX-15 for 21 MHz


    at a club auction about 10 years ago.

    KK4CUL likes this.
  6. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. W0FS

    W0FS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Look up AEA DX Handy, made in the 1980's.
  8. KJ5T

    KJ5T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My old roommate and colleague now over a decade ago (wow!) had the VX-7R, don't think he ever worked or heard anything on 6 meters with it. Perhaps in a big city you might catch someone but we were rural. Perhaps when there were more sunspots who knows what you might have worked on handheld on 10 or 15 meters.

    I know not the same thing but in theory the KX2 can be used "handheld" with the internal microphone, or attached keyer and the AX1 or other whip antenna.

    For listening I do see a number of SWL types using the handheld wideband receivers, it doesn't take much though to pick up loud broadcast stations.
  9. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    My VX5R has done well on 6 meters, but that was a while back when there were repeaters. I did have many simplex QSOs on it, but that is when many had surplus VHF-LO band rigs. I worked across the Atlantic from MA to England, but that is back when there were amazing conditions.

    N3AWS likes this.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mixing HF and VHF isn't so easy since almost nothing is the same.

    But I have a new HF "handheld" (sort of), the Xiegu G90 which is about 2x the size of a higher-powered VHF handheld and covers 160-10 meters, 20W PEP, all modes (except FM). However it does not contain a battery, so that has to be outboard. Some of the new LiFePo batteries are small enough that one could fit in a pocket and be wired to it, but I haven't done that.

    It does contain a built-in automatic antenna tuner that works well. It's an SDR and has typical SDR features.

    For penetrating walls, buildings, trees and such: HF works better than VHF or UHF. Wavelength matters.:p

    I also have a Yaesu FT-817ND which covers HF/2m/70cm and does have internal batteries. 5W PEP max, but on battery power it's better to use 2.5W PEP max for any kind of battery life. I don't use it much, but it's easy to see, walking around inside a building, that 40m is almost unaffected by the building and you can walk around and hear signals fine without being bound to a "hot spot." Not so on VHF or UHF, where taking one step matters -- a lot.

    The problem with HF is antennas get too big to be "walk around" in most cases, especially once you get to frequencies below about 20 MHz.

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