Your suggestions for a good hand-hled dual bander...

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by ZL1VSF, Feb 3, 2015.

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  1. ZL1VSF

    ZL1VSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok, Just lately I have seen thew error of my ways and need to get back on track.

    I have learned a hard lesson or two lately on which brands to stay away from and I am now going to get back into the realm. Although I found it relatively easy to choose a brand and model of desktop/mobile dual band radio (basically just as long as you stick to Icom, Kenwood or Yaseu, you are more or less covering your bases), I have completely lost touch with handheld's. I was wondering if you could give me a few makes and models to think over. Criteria is roughly as follows...

    1). Must be Icom, Yaesu or Kenwood.
    2). I only want/need straight voice to repeater ops. Nothing more.
    3). Dual receive etc.
    4). Good battery life (at least relatively good anyway).

    Although money is not a critical factor (no I don't have unlimited funds - I am budget driven like most others), I don't want to over spend on it. I don't need or want the fanciest radio on the block,, just a good reliable performer for voice only...

    Anything you can recommend would be appreciated...

  2. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Kenwood has the best audio quality of the 3. My old Yaesu FT-60 has the best battery life of all time, at the cost of having a 1980s cell phone user interface.
  3. ZL1VSF

    ZL1VSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    You mean like my old Motorola 9690, which I still have - it's still like brand new. I just can't part with it. Had it since those 80's you spoke of - hahahaha...
  4. ZL1UZM

    ZL1UZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi mate, I had heaps of trouble with my Kenwood gear. When it comes to purchasing a new rig (I only buy new) I don't even consider Kenwood. I had bad experiences with Icom too. Poor design and quality. I had an IC7000 that got so hot you could almost fry your bacon with that thing. Put out only 50 watts running off a 12V car battery.
    I'm a Yaesu man now. Never, ever had the slightest problem with Yaesu.
    My handheld is a FT470 bought new 25 years ago. I only had to replace it's batteries with NiMhs. I dropped that thing countless times and keeps going like the Energizer Bunny.
    You asked for opinions....the answer is buy Yaesu.

    Btw what happened to our 6m repeater on Klondyke?
  5. KD4UPL

    KD4UPL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wouldn't rule out Alinco in your search.
    I too have had nothing but bad experiences with Kenwood products.
    However, to answer your question. If buying new, I think a Yaesu Ft-60 is hard to beat for a tough, inexpensive dual band HT. The Icom T7H is nice too but doesn't have an illuminated keypad. The Alinco DJ-V57T should be considered I think.
    If you want a really nice used radio: Yaesu FT-470, FT-530, Icom W32A, W31A, Alinco DJ-580 should all be considered.
  6. SV2EVS

    SV2EVS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Used to work the TH-D7....i believe that the TH-D72 must be of the few still working full duplex.
  7. ZL1VSF

    ZL1VSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    You know,,
    I think I have owned more Kenwood equipment than any other brand over the past years since getting licensed (and maybe even before that - SHHHHH, who said that..??), and I have never had one ounce, or whatever the metric equivalent is, of trouble with any of them. Then again, I have also owned plenty of Icom and Yaesu rigs as well and neither of those brands has given me any trouble either. I've had my Icom IC-706 MKIIG for nearly 10 yrs now and an IC-207H even longer I think - no problems here,, but the "owned the longest" title goes to my Yaesu FT-411E 2m handy, which is as good as the day I bought it. Like you, I have now got that running on NiMH's as the original battery died some time ago... Over the years I have owned, at a guess, between 30 and 35 radios of all denominations - HF, 2m, 70cm,, dual banders, hand held, mobile, base... I guess I just had it either good or lucky. Mind you, I don't thrash my gear like some, so maybe that's not a true measure of their durability, but they all got switched on just about every single day for many hours at a time and TX'd when and where necessary... I think they all make good gear now but I also think that outsourcing to China for some brands may see some quality suffer. Yaesu get some of their range done there lately. Maybe others do too... I was looking at the FT-60 today. It seems to be an honest reliable dual band H/H but only has one band readout at a time. It might end up as my 1st choice,, maybe,, but I like twin receive, so who knows.. I've heard some not so nice things about other Yaesu H/H's lately though... I'll think it over for a while... Thanks for the interest to all of you...

    Our Klondyke 6m repeater - Hmmmmm... I heard about one 6m repeater - somewhere, but never knew just where it was and I have no antenna for 6m so I never used it... So that's where it is/was... I don't know what happened to it...

    Al (ZL1-VSF)
  8. ZL1VSF

    ZL1VSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm now looking at the FT-60 (as per what K6CLS and KD4UPL said above) as being the number 1 choice. I have been reading up large about this radio, and it may just be what the doctor ordered, for me... It only has one readout at a time (as opposed to dual receive) but I can handle that. I was speaking to a seller about my choices yesterday and even though he originally suggested a few more elaborate units, he was under the impression that I wanted a mix of - dual receive, late model, bells and whistles etc. When I later mentioned the FT-60, he said I might actually find it hard to beat this radio and that in his opinion it was a good honest, reliable workhorse that doesn't give trouble and it's quite cheap. That really tipped the scales in favour of it...

    K6CLS, I was impressed about the battery life comment you made but I was wondering if the FT-60 can beat this. I have a Baofeng UV-5R and on the standard 1800ma battery I can get on average, 19+ hours of life from it (receive only mind you). On the replacement Baofeng 3800ma battery, I get 42 hours and with 6x Sanyo 2700ma NiMH's I get well over 30 hours life... If that FT-60 gets as good or, lord forbid, even better, I will be all in favour of actually getting one...

  9. K4ISR

    K4ISR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hardly any of the big name radios will be able to match time between charges of the extended Baofeng batteries, and if they do it is because they have lower power draw which usually means lower power output (typically 1-2W out). I can talk on my Baofengs at 1W, and with that 3800 battery it will last a week including talk time. Even talking randomly on my 8W BF-F8HP with 3800 battery, it still lasts minimum 4 days between charges (essentially on for 12 hours, off for 12 hours each day in all above examples).
    As much as people do not like these chinese radios, the only way to get anything better is spend $200 for a radio that has a lot more options like DMR, Dstar, C4FM, APRS, etc. Otherwise the normal dual band HTs with no extra options are the same regardless if it has Yaesu, Baofeng, Alinco or Kenwood on the outside.
  10. ZL1VSF

    ZL1VSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, I guess that makes sense. I was quite shocked at how long the UV-5R hung in there on that big 3800ma battery. Actually it is a great little radio,, far better than the Wouxun KG-UV8D I also have, although maybe not as good in the build quality, but using the UV-5R proved to be a lot better. I'd even consider having the UV-5R as the main hand held but, well, I have to admit that it's a bit cheaply made. The accessory battery holder (6x AA NiMH's) wont even stay closed once the batteries are in, so I have a plastic tie around the bottom of it, brand new too (NO not the plastic tie - hahahaha), and some of the clips and parts that poke out look like they could break very easily and some of the antennas can break internally etc. Functionality though, I'd give the UV-5R a good 8 or 9 out of 10. At the moment though I don't mind getting a good top dollar radio, but then again the FT-60 is a lot cheaper than some of them and if it proves to be the work horse that many say it is, I will smile at the end of the day...

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