Suggestions for a cheap grab and go 2m handie

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by G7MRV, Nov 21, 2008.

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  1. G7MRV

    G7MRV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi All,

    Im looking for peoples suggestions for a 2m FM handheld. What i want is something that will be dirt cheap second hand, solid built but basic. The only features i need are - 12.5kHz steps, CTCSS built in or very easily fitted, 600Khz repeater shift, output power wise im not overly bothered, 2-3W will be fine. A DTMF pad would be usefull to do IRLP as well but not essential.

    basically, i want something to leave permanently in the car to just grab and use while walking about on my work breaks. I work on top of a hill at a major UK tv tx site, so can hit most local repeaters, but they all need ctcss now!

    looks, ergonomics etc are no concern, it just needs to work and cost next to nothing!
  2. W2FCP

    W2FCP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Yaesu VX-170. So far it has served me well. Battery life is acceptable, it is very rugged, and waterproof down to 3 feet. I dropped it on the driveway once and there was no mark whatsoever on the case. You can buy it new from a dealer for around $130 right now. There is also one for sale in the market place NIB for $100.
  3. WA7KKP

    WA7KKP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep, you want as many features possible for less than what it costs for lunch at McDonalds . . . !!!

    Cheap? Get a Motorola handie that is synthesized/programmable. With the upcoming conversion to sliver-band FM, they should be a dime a dozen. Nice accessories too, if you can find them.

    Or just get a rockbound rig like a Drake TR22, put a com-spec encoder in it, and you're off to the races.

    Handies have all the bells and whistles, simply because that's what sells radios. Every simple, basic radio I've seen offered on the market had few if any takers.

    Same reason you can't hardly buy a car these days without:
    Air conditioning
    Power Steering & Brakes
    fancy radio & sound system
    Automatic transmission

    Gary WA7KKP
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  4. ZL3GSL

    ZL3GSL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some of the cheap Chinese units are surprisingly good. ;) I've got a Weierwei vev-3288s (70cm, but there's a 2m version) which has DTMF as well as CTSS which behaves quite well. There's another Chinese unit sold in NZ as "Zares", again single band, with CTSS, but not DTMF. These have been very popular in NZ. (give Google "zares" and you'll find information.)
  5. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also have a VX-170, FB radio. The FDC 150A is a good China made radio also.

  6. KD8JFO

    KD8JFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    the radioshack htx202 is AMAZING just ask anyone who has owned one
  7. KC8TBY

    KC8TBY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also own the Yaesu VX-170 and it is a well built, very reliable 2 meter rig. Someone else mentioned that the battery life with this radio is also excellent and, I too agree with that as well! My only warning about this radio is that I find the programming instructions to be a bit difficult to understand as written in the user's manual. Often I have had to go on-line to the Yaesu VX-170 user group to find out, in simpler terms, how to do something with the radio that I need it to do. (i.e. memory/bank storage, etc.) To be honest, however, in my case this might be more of a deficiency in the operator's abilities rather than in the manufacturer's engineering! :)
    Anyway, the VX-170 is a GREAT 2 meter rig for a very reasonable price. Go for it!
  8. N8MME

    N8MME XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have to agree 100%. :)
  9. W4DMO

    W4DMO Ham Member QRZ Page

    A solid radio that is easy to work on.
  10. K4JC

    K4JC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also agree. I found a used VX-170 in very good condition for $50 because it was missing the antenna. Yaesu parts supplied me with a stock antenna for $7. But I have also seen complete used VX-170s for as little as $65.

    You may also want to look at the new Alinco DJ175T 2-meter HT. Here in the States, R&L Electronics has them new for $99.95. I don't know much about them, but the price is right!
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