Your OP on Handies

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KC0WVM, May 22, 2006.

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  1. KC0WVM

    KC0WVM Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, well I have passed my test, so now I am waiting on my ticket. While I am waiting, I have been looking at Handies,and im still trying to figure out what one to get for the BUDGET new buyer. Any suggs on what to get and where to get it from?

  2. N4AUD

    N4AUD Ham Member QRZ Page

    For economy, the Icom IC-T2H Sport is hard to beat for a 2 meter handheld. 6 watts of power and it's pretty rugged. I believe it currently sells for $99 at most of the dealers. The only difference between the Sport model and the regular is the Sport uses regular AA batteries while the regular model uses regular AA's or rechargable ni-cads (included) and comes with a charger. I had one and was pleased with it.
  3. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I do not recommend any portable as the first rig that a new amateur obtains. Frankly, the range is not very good and most users get real tired of working the same few repeaters day after day.

    You can buy a used mobile unit for what you are going to pay for a good portable and can use that radio both mobile and in your house with a MUCH better antenna. The radio will have considerably more power and definitely a better receiver.

    If you can afford an "all mode" unit (rather than an FM only radio) you will find that you will have MUCH more capabilities and therefore MUCH more enjoyment.

    The number of amateurs that have gotten their licenses and then gotten a portable as their only rig are numerous. Unfortunately, the number of those amateurs who gave up on amateur radio after just a very short period of time is staggering. They couldn't do much at all with their portable and got bored with talking with the same people day after day.

    Glen, K9STH
  4. WA7KKP

    WA7KKP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Go to any number of hamfests and pick up a used Icom IC2AT, or any of the earlier Kenwood HT's such as the TR2600.

    Quite often you'll be able to pick these up for well under $100 -- and if you're lucky, you get a fistfull of extra batteries, charger, speaker/mic, etc. My buddy recently picked up a dual band Icom HT with a fist full of batteries/charger for $85 at a hamfest.

    You don't need all the bells and whistles of the new handies right off the bat -- KISS is the rule here. When you get used to operating on 2 meters, and have seen other radios, THEN and only then get a radio with the features you need, at the price you want to pay.

    Beware of E-bay -- they tend to go for more than the market value (hamfest) because many people have more dollars than sense . . . .

    Gary WA7KKP
  5. W6TMI

    W6TMI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Check QTH for used rigs.
    And read Glen's (K9STH) advice - I second that.
  6. NO8M

    NO8M Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would definitely recommend getting a simple 2 meter mobile rig. You can find lots online or at your local ham swapmeets. A pretty good mag mount antenna can be had from for a very low price.

    If you decide to go with an HT, the Yaesu VX-150 is only $100, and has very good performance.
  7. KC0VUV

    KC0VUV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree with most of the posts here.  Ebay is evil except for "buy it now" from a dealer that has a decent return policy.  I got an ht as a first rig (ft-50)...which works fine but see the resposes above and in other topics about hts as first rigs...if I were to do it again I would have got a FT 7800 or 8800 definintly a dual band at the very least...with a mag mt.  Go to lots of ham fests and along with qrz find an "elmer" (a person that has vast multitudes of knowledge and experience) in a local club and not to plug another site but eham has some great reviews of current and older models

    Good luck

    Phil, KC0VUV
  8. WA2ZDY

    WA2ZDY Guest

    Agreed, you will be very limited by a hand held as your only rig. There's so much more out there available even to you as a Tech. Don't get trapped into yakking to the same four boring guys on the daily commute. That's NOT ham radio.

    I have to backtrack on KKP's advice on the older Icom and Kenwood hand helds. The rigs from before about 1990 or so (I bought my IC2AT in August 1981 - for $250 1981 dollars!) don't have CTCSS encode built in to them. And if it's been added, it's likely only one fixed tone (like mine) and that will deny you use of most of the repeaters out there.

    So while the 2AT and its cousins are venerable tough radios, the will just add more limitations that will serve to frustrate you. Of course if you want to be REALLY frustrated, buy a commercial land mobile radio, but that's another story.

    From all I've heard, the Yaesu 8800 and 8900 have excellent reputations. While they're a bit pricey I understand they're worth it.

    Good luck and welcome to the bands!
  9. AG3Y

    AG3Y Guest

    I'm going to throw in my "O.F.s" advice here, and strongly recommend that you spend as little time on the VHF FM bands as possible. Get an HT for emergency use while mobile, and keep studying for that upgrade! I would spend as little on an HT as possible and save some money toward a nice, older HF rig like a simple Kenwood or Icom setup. You should be able to pick up one in the $300 range that will let you work the world , or at least from coast to coast !

    Consider this as your first step in ham radio and keep studying. You will NOT regret it !

    73, and congrats. Now keep studying and upgrading as far as the F.C.C. will let you go! Jim
  10. KC0WVM

    KC0WVM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great Feed back, well, am actually getting a 2m Mobile, and a 2m/440 mobile from a buddy of my down in Texas. I am still pretty intrested in HT though. To be honest, I at first only got my ticket so I could talk to locals,and weather net basic communications round here. But actually the more I read the more I do want to try/do more just for the experience, and to stay I did it.

    I do appreciate the help, and I have looked up almost all of the models you guys have suggested.
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