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NEW HAM needs rig advice.

Jul 26, 2013
76
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I just showed up in the FCC database last night (y) But the test was the easy part, now i need a mobile rig lol.

I have a baofeng uv5r and i just got the tram mag mount dual band antenna off amazon and the adaptor cable so i can use it mobile for a little until i decide. My local repeater is less than 1mile from my house and in my normal driving range I'm less than 10mi from it at most times, so i should be able to use the HT in the mobile without much issue.

I have noticed in my area that most 70cm repeaters are also linked to a 2m or a network system. So i don't really think i need a dual bander. Any major benefits? As of now i really don't have anyone local to Simplex mobile with nor is there alot of traffic where the extra band would be a mobile/mobile benefit. Plus i have my CB still (for now, going 10m later this summer)

I do like the radios that have the extended RX, as i would like to be able to listen to the local EMS/FIRE, along with the WX band.

And i have seen a few china ones (anytone AT-588UV) i think mostly (dual banders) that also cover the AM air band. I think that could be pretty cool, but i'm not sure how much traffic i would be able to hear as i'm no where near any major airport. Thoughts?

So any thoughts, and pointers would be helpful. I have no problem using china or japan radios.

I also kinda like the idea of the remote mount. Since i already have a CB in the jeep and a wilson 5000 roof mount i would like to remove the cb later this summer and retune the wilson and us it for 10m, and remote mount the other rig.

So far i keep leaning towards the AT-588UV, as i have not found any other mobiles that do air, and cover the large RX, and have the remote mount.

KC3CJO
 

W5LZ

Crotchety Old Bastard
Apr 8, 2005
6,832
888
173
Oklahoma
Good on the call sign!
What brand/model radio you decide on is up to you and your preferences (and cost). Not knowing exactly what's near you, repeaters etc, I can only say that a dual band radio can certainly be handy. I have a dual band in the car and house. Don't particularly use both bands all the time, but do listen to both most of the time. The 70 cm part is listening to a 'linked' system in this state, it's interesting and I've made friends quite a distance away with that. There are a couple of 70 cm repeaters locally but they are mostly for linking. There are quite a number of 2 meter repeaters too. Try listening with your HT and see what's 'happening' before getting another radio.
As for the brand and model of radio, I definitely have preferences. That's from trying several 'other' brands/models and not being comfortable with them, you know? I also have one of the Chinese 'junk' HTs, odd, it does just dandy even if it isn't a 'big name'.
So, look around a lot, listen a lot, before buying anything. Doesn't seem like it but you got lots of time...
- 'Doc
 

medic18d

Active Member
Nov 23, 2013
176
32
38
Hello brother the Kenwood Tm v71a and tm 710D are awesome rigs
I like dual banders because (please look up ) these features

the two radios
PROS:
cross band repeat( this is amazing ) can be used with HT's as a repeater !!!
even use a regular walkie to hit your local repeater or plain increase the range of your ht to 50 watts .

remote controlled (by your baofeng if you like ) yes pretty cool


APRS ready (tactical tracking ) via GPS which opens up a whole new world and allows you to see other ham movemants and what channel they are on and where they are at and even their speed .
Echolink --Talk to any echolink repeater in the world !!!
can be hooked up to lap top
easy to program
Software programmable
Can dual receive on the same band !!
1000 memories
50 watts on vhf and uhf
easily modified to extended tx/rx
i could go on for days these are so user friendly .

Cons ? wish it had a yaesu mic
accessories are big $$

man look into these you wont be sorry ,
the new TYT th 9800 is also cool
 

2RT307

Sr. Member
Nov 22, 2011
2,326
799
223
Texas
I was looking at the Chinese dual banders just the other day. I have a Baofeng UV-5R HT and a Kenwood TM-V71A (ditto to what medic said about it). I read a lot of bad stuff about the Chinese mobile rigs, but sure like all the features they have (as you mentioned). I *think* the one from Powerwerx has a decent rep, but it's 300 bucks, and for 40-60 dollars more you can get a Yaesu or Kenwood. Doesn't seem worth it to me, but I'm still researching them, as I want to get a high power rig for the base station.

And CONGRATULATIONS on getting your ticket! (y)

73,
Brett
 
Jul 26, 2013
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The kenwoods are nice, but they are a little out of my budget. I'm looking to have it no more than $300 in it.

i have heard alot of guys recomend kenwoods, so there must be something to that, Maybe a year or 2 later if i decide i need a base, i could set up the cheaper mobile in the house and pick up a better for the mobile.

I have actually had my HT for about 8 months now or a little more. I picked it up not long after i found out how close i was to the local repeater so i could listen in since i have always been interested in CB's and such. I have had my HT programmed the last week or 2 for the local repeaters trying to see what i can hear. I have 3 that i have heard in the last day or 2. The local repeater less than 1 mile, a MD repeater that I'm unsure on its linkup, and a berkely springs WV repeater that is linked with my local repeater. I also was at my parents today and could hear the repeater that is owned by the ham group that tested me last saturday. They actually have a 70cm and a 2m that are both linked and i could hear the 2m better than the 70cm.

I'll have to keep listening but so far its pointing to a 2m only, But i hate to buy a 2m only and 2 months from now wish i got a dual band. SO i'll probably just get a dual bander and be done with it.
 

W5LZ

Crotchety Old Bastard
Apr 8, 2005
6,832
888
173
Oklahoma
The TM-281A is a really nice, and simple 2 meter radio. It does exactly what it's supposed to do and has a very nice receiver. I have one by the way. I first thought that tiny front facing speaker wouldn't be 'enough', but it is. Depending on where you buy it, it's certainly not expensive at all (cheaper than most HTs).
And just for grins. That TM-V71a is the same radio as the TM-D710. The only difference is that the 710's control head has a TNC built into it (and the newer version also has a GPS). If you don't need a built in TNC then the '71 is the 'better' buy.
- 'Doc
 

KD4UPL

Member
Aug 5, 2012
51
9
18
46
I think the Kenwood 281 only has 2 power settings, the lowest being about 25 watts. Where I live 5 watts or at the most 10 is plenty for most repeater work. I wouldn't like to have to run 25 all the time.
My experience with Kenwood products has been terrible. I know lots of people like them but they've been junk for my. I've gotten great service from Yaesu, Icom, and Alinco over the years.
If you want a basic 2 meter rig you can get a used one for about $125. Dual banders go used for about $175 to $200. To me, if you're on a budget, it makes sense to get basically 2 radios in one for much less than twice the price.
 

K2GRG

New Member
Apr 14, 2014
2
1
3
I'm doing similar research as I'm making the same buying decision. As far as the cheap dual banders go, the Anytone seems to have fewer problems than the Wouxun according to one dealer that used to carry both, and now only carries Anytone. So for me, it's now Anytone vs. conventional ham equipment manufacturer. With my Baofeng, the manual was unusable, so I used the internet to figure out what I need to do to make it work. For the Anytone, I downloaded the manual and saw that it was going to give me similar issues, but not as bad. And there's a discussion board for it as well.

I then looked at Yaesu and Kenwood, especially with the aggressive pricing on the Yaesu dual bander. For overall quality and ease of use, including ease of programming and operating, the Kenwood TM-V71A is the consensus leader. It also has Echolink capabilities, and has built-in ID, which is important to keep you legal for cross band repeater operation. Kenwood also occasionally offers firmware updates, according to what I've read, that you can do yourself, while the competition does not. It's also easiest to program of the three. it also has backlit buttons, so I can see it at night in the recess I plan on mounting it in in the car. The many advantages outweighed the cheaper price.

My final decision criteria for spending more for the best of the three is resale price. I tend to take care of my stuff, so in 5-10 years when I want to upgrade, which will hold its value better, the Anytone or the Kenwood. Winner, Kenwood. Yes, I'm going to be paying more, but I'll also be getting more for it when I sell it (how many people are going to be in a bidding war on Ebay for a 10 year old Anytone vs. a classic Kenwood). I'm also going to be looking at it every day in my car, and the last thing I want to say to myself is "I should have got the Kenwood" for the next 10 years (or sooner after Ebaying the Anytone).

So I'm biting the bullet and getting something that I know I won't be disappointed in.

If you're looking to save money, you may want to look for used gear. I highly recommend that you don't buy a TM-V71A used off of Ebay in the next month, as that's what I'm looking for and I don't want anyone to bid against me. Also, it's Hamfest time, and some people may be selling off stuff to upgrade (Dayton, may 15,16,17.)

If it's a disposable radio, get something cheap, used, or if you hate used gear, get the Anytone if you don't mind messing around with the manual and the web to find out how to use it. If you want something that will work for you for years, that you'll have plenty of support on, that you'll be able to find plenty of accessories (overpriced as they may be) for, that you'll be able to get fixed if you break something, that has good manufacturer support, for upgrades, etc. get the Kenwood.

You'll also be able to show it to your ham buddies and not always feel like the guy on the Suzuki at the biker bar. This from a closet Baofeng operator (best $40 I've ever spent.)
 

w9cll

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Jan 19, 2013
4,469
4,002
273
Chicago, IL
www.flickr.com
I am going to take this a different direction. Why not just keep using the Boafeng HT in the car? Here is my reason, I have had just about everything in my car at one time or another. Now I just use my Boafeng as my mobile radio; why because it does everything I need. I have a small dual band amp that provides 30 watts out on both 2 and 440. Even though I live in a large metro area I am not in the city so IMD is not really a problem. I can hit all the repeaters and more importantly I can hear them. Oh and I use a kenwood speaker mic on the radio with really nice audio reports.

Give some thought to what you want, couldn’t that $300 be better spent getting a station set-up at home?
 
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Jul 26, 2013
76
7
18
Both very good points. So i ordered a battery adaptor to run the uv5r on the cig lighter, and i will see how well it works with that. I haven't tried it in the car with the external antenna yet.

I'm going to wait a while and decide for sure what i want. I would like to have a decent radio for the house and a good antenna. So i'll have to think about it for a while. I don't really care what kind, as I'm the guy that shows up on a honda cbr at a biker bar :) lol
 

2RT307

Sr. Member
Nov 22, 2011
2,326
799
223
Texas
I originally purchased a Larsen 2/70 B and used an adapter to take my Wilson UHF mount to NMO. I ran the adapter cable to the UV5R in my truck and also in some rental cars. It worked surprisingly well. I wanted to improve my simplex capabilities "just in case", so I went with the Kenwood V-71A and a Comet SBB-7. I have since purchased a nice mag mount with good coax at a Ham Fest, and it only set me back 10 bucks. I got a steal on the Larsen at 36 dollars (new), so I have less than 50 bucks in the dual band mobile antenna setup.

I think the biggest mistake a lot of new guys make is in their antenna selection when running the HT in a vehicle. Those dinky little mag mount antennas aren't really good for anything other than lining manufacturer's pockets with money.

And I'm STILL considering a Chinese made dual band mobile for the house. But, right now since I can hit the repeaters just fine with the Baofeng UV-5R, I'm saving my money until I decide to bite the bullet! Let us know what you decide on, and I may base my decision off of that. (y)

73,
Brett
 

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