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Discussion in 'Ham Equipment' started by st1ngr4y, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. st1ngr4y

    st1ngr4y Member

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    First things first. This is my first post and I am looking at getting my first HT. I have not obtained my licences as of yet nor taken the exam(Next one is 11/6). I feel pretty confident that I will be able to pass the test as I have been passing the practice tests getting from 90-100%.

    I am currently looking at purchasing the Yaesu VX-8DR as my first radio. Yes, I know that it has a steep learning curve and again I feel confident, having read the manual. I want to get a full featured HT as my first, even if it may be more difficult making contacts. My main concern is that I'll purchase this radio and like a computer it will be outdate in 6 months to a year.

    I'm not a big fan of Kenwood (I thank my father for that, he sells commercial/government Motorola and until recently Icom radios). I guess at this point I'm looking for radios that can best the vx-8dr in everyway.



    Do I even have any options as far as a HT goes?
     

  2. Robb

    Robb Yup

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    #2 Robb, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  3. depark

    depark W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    You have alot of choices when it comes to HT's. Take your time and read reviews about as many as you can. The best thing to do is decide what features that you want and need. Also consider how much you want to spend. You can go with a good used one for cheap or go full out with a top end HT. When I took my licence course I asked the instructors what HT's and radios they had and what they liked or disliked. I was a wealth of information. That being said the VX-8DR is an excilent HT. It was my first radio and wow what a radio it is. The learning curve is not as bad as is seems. Once I had the radio in my hands it really started to make sence. I highly recommend it. Don't rush into one unless you want all the features. You may want to consider Robb's sugestion of the Wouxun to start with. You can't beat the $120 price with options. It will get you on the air. If you know that you want or need the VX-8DR features like being waterproof, APRS, bluetooth and more then go for it! (y)
    Cheers
     
    #3 depark, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  4. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    Go for the Yaesu...
     
  5. milkman21218

    milkman21218 W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    Iown several radios HT's & Mobile/Base. And I would say go with a Mobile/Base unit for your first because of the range. But for a HT it's the Wouxun hands down. It has great punch for getting into repeaters. And great little Dual Bander. Also it doesn't cost much and hits repeater that my Yaesu's can only dream about. It's truly the best bang for the buck. And GOOD LUCK on the test.
     
  6. st1ngr4y

    st1ngr4y Member

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    Thanks Robb, I have looked into the wouxun radios to be honest I'm a little scared, even with the glowing reviews I've read, that this radio will not be able to stand up to some of the harsh weather we have here in Wisconsin. For instance if it were to be dropped in the snow. Also the APRS peaked my interest quite a bit.

    Maybe at some point down the road I will buy the wouxun. I just wish they had more to offer, the wouxun seems so limited in what it can do in terms of features. The price, while tempting, is still not enough for me to make the purchase on the wouxun.

    Depark, what you said almost pushed me over to make the purchase last night but the wife said to wait :sad:. Also just a little back ground info regarding repeaters in my area, I believe I'm only a few blocks away.

    Milkman, I feel fairly confident that a mobile or base is not necessary at this time. If I did purchase purchase a one it would most likely be the yaesu ft-857D rather than a specific 2m or 70cm rig. I'm not scared of the prices that we pay for radios, my dad has told me what they charge for commercial and gov't radios and I find that to be high.
     
  7. eagle1911

    eagle1911 Active Member

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    I agree with Robbs suggestion.

    Been an active ham for over 10 years.

    It sounds to me like you already know what you want. That being the case, why waste people's time shooting down their suggestions? You've said you want a Yaesu VX-8 and FT-857. Go buy them, stop asking questions. You won't be happy with anything else.
     
  8. st1ngr4y

    st1ngr4y Member

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    I pretty much know what I want and I apologize if you feel that I have wasted your time or anyone else's. I was simply asking a question if I'm going in the right direction as I am new to this works.

    I guess people like you are the reason that I feel reluctant to even venture into this hobby or even join a club. I want to thank you all for your opinions regarding my future purchase and I will quit wasting EVERYONE'S time.

    Also if any mod's feel that this thread is a complete waste of everyone's time. Please do not hesitate to delete it.
     
  9. eagle1911

    eagle1911 Active Member

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    I didn't say your question was a waste of time, but when you shoot down every answer except the the one suggesting the same HT you already said you want, that, at least imo, is a waste of other people's time who might offer other good suggestions for naught. That's not your intention I'm sure, but that's the end result. If you know what you want, go buy it. Like I said, you won't be happy with anything else. When people are of a certain mindset, they're not going to be swayed, so it's pointless to offer other suggestions.
     
  10. Robb

    Robb Yup

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    Since 'mindset; might be his real question - no offense implied or inferred - then I will give mine. Since this is a forum that can discuss these issues without flaming.

    I don't own a HT. Several reasons to follow. The first, is that I use either a real mobile unit and a base unit. HT's are a compromise of power, money spent, and efficiency. Any HT is capable of getting destroyed by catastrophic use. Like dropping it in the snow or water, or just getting it dropped on the concrete. How much do you want to lose if it bounces off of the concrete? $300 or $100? Isn't that a fair question? Howabout getting nickeled and dimed by all of the Yaesu 'extras' that will run another $150? You can get the Wouxun - with all of the extras - for that $150.

    I was going to buy the Wouxun. Still might. Three local friends that I told about this unit did buy it. Each one of them expressed the fact that they were glad that they didn't need to spend more for a high quality HT. One of the reasons I never bought an HT is the cost/use factor. The Wouxun will also use the same Kenwood speaker mic. Kinda makes one wonder if they were going to sell this to Kenwood in the first place. It sure sounds like a Kenwood to me. I prefer Kenwood over Yaesu or Icom any day of the week. That is my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

    I have examined the performance from the listening end several times. The audio quality is excellent, and from what I could tell it had no problem with opening a repeater with the stock antenna and output. Under some pretty extreme circumstances at that. Seems to sound MUCH better than the higher-priced HT's. If I can get a used Wouxun for $70 and it gets eaten by my dog, I won't really cry much. You can't say that about the Yaesu.

    Here's a thought: The money you save with the Wouxun can be put twards that HF you want.
    The day of the overpriced HT is over; this myth has been successfully exploded by Wouxun.
    If APRS is so vital to you; then you are stuck to make that purchase.
    End of my mindset from this end.

    So....how much money do you want to bet?
    Its your money.
     
    #10 Robb, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  11. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    It's only money...

    Spend it on what tickles your goat.

    Some people know what they want... They just feel better having 20 other people agreeing with them.
     
  12. WR0220

    WR0220 Active Member

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    I really don't think the OP was shooting down any suggestions. IMO he offered logical reasons for not wanting to purchase the Wouxun. He said he wanted an HT, so a mobile unit is also not a logical choice. I guess it just depends on how you interpret what was said.

    I have two of the VX7 HTs and they do everything I want them to do. I bought one prior to the introduction of the VX8 and one afterwords. If I wanted the APRS and Bluetooth features I would have purchased the VX8. IMO it is a very good full featured HT and I'm not aware of any HT on the market that will 'top' it considering the features you are looking for. Go for it and have fun.

    One a side note, when you take your Tech exam give the General a shot also. As long as you pass the Tech you can take it at the same time and it won't cost you anything more other than a little time. Then you'll have those privileges under your belt for if/when you decide to explore the HF bands. Good luck...
     
  13. fortyfiver

    fortyfiver Member

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    first H/T

    I must explain right up front I am an unashamed and unrepentant fan and advocate of Wouxun H/Ts. I use them and abuse them and not only have I never had a problem, they exceed most of my expectations and needs, and all of my skills and knowledge.

    Really neat just H/T but they hook up well with mobile, base, or "emergemcy" antennas. Funky antenna adapter but widely available. They DO "hit" hard. Great battery life. Tough too. I've done the sudden vertical deceleration tests accidentally on mine and the only damage was one time one crimped over rubber ducky with a $10 replacement cost.

    Now, I don't use or really even want APRS so that's a consideration if you want it. Wouxun won't help you there. Waterproof? Well, ziploc bags have kept my electronic gear and cameras pretty safe for years while camping, hunting, fishing and prowling the beach. Leave a little air in them and they float most of your lightweight stuff. (I confess the Wouxun is heavy and I haven't tested the "floating bag" on that yet.)

    All said, for $160 with all the do-dads you'd ever need with it, it's a heck of a deal. But if the others are what you will feel comfortable with, then buy the other. After all, in life, a lot of satisfaction comes from comfort and meeting desires.

    The only time I question what sometimes drives a purchase is when someone, especially someone new to a field, "has" to buy a brand or type because all the old timers insist it is the only thing to have and you're a dumb ass if you don't. Or if you do buy something new and different you're a dumb ass too.

    Sometimes when I hear the "I wouldn't buy no cheap crap made in China!" exclamation I like to take some of the "old guys'" big-name rigs and turn them or remove the battery to show them the "made in China" label. Even made in Japan has little sway with me. I'm a retired mechanical engineer and I've dealt with Asian suppliers. China and Korea, even Vietnam and certainly Singapore surpass Japan on many products.

    I caution to not let other people make your choices for you just to be like them.

    Plastic is plastic, components are components, circuits are circuits and there really is very little variation in theme and performance. Assembly of electronic gadgets is human-intensive and one of the reasons the Asian products cost so much less is the low cost of labor even for a zillion little people putting together a gazillion little parts. In fact, most Asian governments SUBSIDIZE manual assembly because keeping millions of their people working is a political imperative.

    Still, comfort is the key here, so do what is comfortable for you and have a ball! Let us know when you get your ticket and we'll welcome you in with open arms no matter what you'll talk on.

    (BTW - I am certifiably and "old guy" myself! I do not, though, close my eyes to a bargain. I also buy my power tools and hand tools at places like Harbor Freight because I appreciate seeing the "Made in China" in BIG letters on the box, rather than the attempts to hide the origin in tiny little letters on the box like Dewalt and Rigid and Husky.)
     

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