ad: Alphaant-1

Need help choosing a mobile rig!

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KC3PPB, Jul 30, 2020.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: L-MFJ
ad: L-Geochron
ad: MessiPaoloni-1
ad: Left-2
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-3
ad: HRDLLC-2
  1. KC3PPB

    KC3PPB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am looking to purchase a mobile rig. I want to spend less then $300. I have been looking at the Icom 2730, the Yaesu 7250D, and the TYT TH9800. I am undecided between analog or digital. Any advice from anyone who has one of these radios would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. Mike, KC3PPB
  2. KD4UPL

    KD4UPL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I personally have heard so many horror stories about Chinese radios that I have never spent my money on one. I've owned lots of Icom and Yaesu rigs and they have given excellent service. I've owned a few Kenwoods and they have not given good service.
    I have 2 Icom 2720s, the predecessor to the 2730. They are great radios and have given me no problems. The main difference with the 2730 is that Icom deleted the 6 pin data jack for packet or APRS work. That's why I sought out the 2720s on the used market instead of getting new 2730s. If you have no interest in packet or APRS the Icom would be a great radio. Even if you do have interest in packet or APRS cables can be made to work with the 2730.
    I own a Yaesu 7250D. I bought it mainly for my wife to use (she is licensed too) because of it's simplicity. She is not very technical and gets overwhelmed by lots of buttons and things on the screen. The Yaesu 7250D has been trouble free. It only does one band at a time, unlike the Icom, so it won't do cross-band repeat if that's a concern for you. It does do Fusion digital audio. I'm not impressed by any digital audio modes. I don't like the robotic sound quality. I use Fusion when someone I want to talk to is using that mode but I much prefer analog.
    I use cross band repeat fairly often so for my money I would get the Icom. If you want another option the Kenwood TM-V71A looks like a fine radio. Despite my poor experience with Kenwood I almost bought one. The deal breaker for me is the un-defeatable 3 minute time-out-time when in cross band repeat mode. If you can live with that or don't use cross band repeat it would probably be a nice radio.
    Also, have bought lots of used radios over the years. Far more used than new and I've always had a good experience. Some have come from QRZ, some from QTH, some from Ebay, some from hamfests. On the used market I'd look at the Icom 2720 and Yaesu FT-8800 if you want a true dual band. Icom 207, 208, or Yaesu FT-7800/7900 if you are okay with a one-band-at-a-time dual bander.
    KC3PPB likes this.
  3. AI7PM

    AI7PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Icom, Kenwood, or Yaesu. Avoid the "cheap" brands. You get what you pay for.
    KC3PPB likes this.
  4. WB2LBV

    WB2LBV Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a 2730, it's a great radio if all you want is analog. I used it mobile for a while before swapping it for a 5100 because I needed D-Star. The 2730 is now part of my kitchen-table "shack", I'm looking at it as I type this.
    It has a nice display with large easy-to-read characters for frequency and channel names, and a full 50W output on both bands (many dual-banders only output 35W on UHF). You can plug the mic into either the panel or the radio body which makes mobile installation easier since you don't have to run a mic extension cable. Icom doesn't include a mounting bracket for the panel so you'll have to either improvise something on your own or purchase a bracket or mount.

    The TYT 9800 is a Chinese clone of the now-discontinued Yaesu 8900. The TYT mobile radios have had their share of quality issues, so if this radio interests you I'd suggest a used 8900 as they are available on the used market and can often be found for sale here on the QRZ classifieds. However chances are you would end up using only the 2M and 70CM bands and not 6M or 10M, there isn't much activity to be had on those bands these days especially with a mobile setup. I had an 8900 for many years and only used it on VHF/UHF. Hence I'd recommend sticking with a dual-band vs. the quad-band, again the Yaesu 8800 is an option (identical to the 8900 except for not having 6 and 10). I believe it's also discontinued but again there are plenty on the used market. The 8800/8900 are 50W on VHF and 35W on UHF.

    Digital is another matter altogether. The Yaesu digital radios are Fusion/C4FM (plus analog of course as are all the digital-capable radios) so you'd want to know if there are any Fusion repeaters in the areas where you will be operating. If there aren't then you would need to set up a mobile hotspot if you want to use the digital mode and communicate through reflectors.

    Hope this isn't too confusing, by all means keep asking questions and try to narrow down your priorities so we can more accurately point you towards the best option.
    KC3PPB likes this.
  5. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Guys, it appears that he lives fairly close to Washington, D.C. There may be a few restrictions on power, thus one that has variable RF levels could be in order. As others have said, installation can cost money also. This applies to both the hardware installation and if purchased, the software and cabling for PC programming. See if those digital repeaters have clubs associated that you would care to join... before choosing the radio.
    KC3PPB likes this.
  6. KC3PPB

    KC3PPB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for responding, I appreciate the information you gave. My main issue is I do not know what I want! I am leaning towards the Icom 2730 mainly because it is analog, and I just do not understand a lot about this hobby or the equipment yet. 73
  7. KC3PPB

    KC3PPB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am looking into joining a local club. Thank you for the advice. 73
  8. KC3PPB

    KC3PPB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for responding. I am liking the 2730. I do have a couple Fusion repeaters I can hit near me, but I think analog might be simple and straightforward enough for now. I am learning as I go so I want it to be simple, one step at a time. I like the crossband repeat feature as I plan to join a club and help with parades, running events, etc, and this may be handy. 73
  9. KC3PPB

    KC3PPB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the response. My father always said "buy it cheap you bye it twice". I could see cheap HT for vacations, hikes, etc. I am leaning towards the IC2730. 73
  10. KK4JW

    KK4JW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used to have an Icom 2730. Yeah, it's somewhat pricey, but you get a lot of radio. I honestly wish I hadn't sold it.

    Consider the Icom ID4100 if you'd like to explore DStar. It's pretty fun too.

    Buy once, cry once.

Share This Page