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Recommend me a good 2m radio

Discussion in 'Ham Equipment' started by RustDemon, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. RustDemon

    RustDemon Active Member

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    like the title says, I am (hopefully) getting my ham ticket over this winter, and need to know what are some good 2meter mobiles and base units. not sure yet which I want. mayhap you guys can recommend mobile or base while your at it.

    unfortunately as far as antenna goes I am limited on height to about 35 feet which makes it tough due to local ordinances, and location in proximity to power lines.



    such is life, feel free to recomend away.
     

  2. Robb

    Robb Yup

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    http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?action=profile&sku=ZIC-2200H

    For 2m only, this one is hard to beat for price and usable features. Can be used with a power supply for use as a base station. Or unplug it from the base and plug it into your car. Plenty of power (65 watts). Repeater functions too.
    Less than $200!

    Just get a power supply, a base antenna (must use quality coax), and a mobile antenna.
    That should cover all bases nicely.
     

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    #2 Robb, Oct 11, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  3. RatsoW8

    RatsoW8 Supporting Member, W9WDX ARC Member - WD8T

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    I agree with Robb. You can't go wrong with Icom 2 meter rigs. I love Yaseu HF radios but have had a few new Yaesu 2 meter rigs go dead just after the warranty expired. Never had problems with Kenwood VHF gear either.
     
  4. kd-5-bgt

    kd-5-bgt W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    The IC 2200 is a great little radio,I have had one for 4 years that I bought used and so far it is still working great.....I also have a Yeasu FT 2900 in my mobile and love it !! another great little rig

    For a base antenna give the Jetstream VHF/UHF antennas a hard look..

    I am using one of their antennas for my base setup and it does a good job for me

    Mobile antenna I would recomend a Larson NMO-150

    Hard to beat antenna for mobile use
     
  5. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    FT-2900...how can you beat $150 New from R&L at Christmas time
    (Thanks to my better half):wub:
    Good RX and 80+ watts(y) right out of the box!....
    Been running since then with No issues!
    All the Best
    BJ
     
  6. binrat

    binrat WDX Club Coordinator
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    Icom IC 2200H. awesome little rigs that can take the abuse if you so wish.
     
  7. KW4HKY

    KW4HKY Active Member

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    Plus one on that. My 2900 has a better signal than my 8800 or IC 7000.

    75 watts there if needed.
     
  8. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

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    Lots of choices, just depends on what you like the looks of, and the abilities you want. At this point I don't think you really have a fair idea of your options, so, get catalogs from all the dealers you can think of. Go through those catalogs and see what the things look like and get an idea of prices. Then take a look at a couple of the places that do reviews, see what others think about particular radios (eHam and QRZ are two of those).
    There aren't as many 'base' radios around as there used to be, most are powered with 12 vdc, usually double as both base and mobile. So, start looking at ways to power a mobile radio in the house (power supplies).
    There's always the used market too, don't rule that out, there are some good bargains. There are also a few 'not so good' bargains too.
    One thing to keep in mind is that a 'tone' (PL-tone) isn't really an 'option' anymore, it's a requirement. Most repeaters use those PL tones for an access 'key'.
    Something else to think about is that depending on where you live, a dual band, 2 meter and 70 cm radio can be a very good idea.

    So do a lot of looking and question asking. Don't try to decide at this point, you just don't have enough information to make a wise choice.
    Good luck.
    - 'Doc


    and because I can't resist... If you ain't got Kenwood, you really do have squat! :)
     
  9. binrat

    binrat WDX Club Coordinator
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    Ok, who invited the Kenwood guy into the great Yaesu / Icom debate.

    Doc is right about the rest BTW.
     
  10. Happy_Hamer

    Happy_Hamer Administrator
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  11. 6meter

    6meter Well-Known Member

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    If you start researching models now you'll be ready to jump on one of the specials that are usually offered in December.

    (A few years back I scored a great deal on my FT-950 when they knocked the price off for a Christmas special. I was able to get the Yaesu desk mike for the difference in price).

    A side note, if you haven't already, program your scanner with the local repeaters and start listening to the locals. That will let you get a feel for the various "personalities" and activity patterns. Also it can help keep you motivated for preparing for the exam.

    Also don't sell yourself short take the general exam. In my opinion HF is way more interesting then the local repeater scene.
     
  12. kd-5-bgt

    kd-5-bgt W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    All of the big 3 ( Icom,Yeasu,Kenwood) make very good radios.Some will better in certain area than the others will be.

    And all 3 of them have been mentioned in this thread....bottom line is to do your homework and pick the radio that will best suit your needs...

    I have heard or talked on all of the radios mentioned in this thread and I have to say they all are good solid rigs.What it boils down to is what your pocket can stand,even though their prices are fairly close to each other.

    Best of luck in your choice and most of all have fun with the hobby that is ham radio!!
     
  13. eagle1911

    eagle1911 Active Member

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    I use a Kenwood TM-271A. I love it.. hands down my favorite 2 meter rig, and it cost me right at $150 which is a good price considering what you get. It's uber-rugged, and more like a commercial radio than a ham radio in terms of appearance and build. It's since been replaced by the TM-281A, which offers the same basic features at the same price point.

    Link: Ham Radio Outlet | KENWOOD TM-281A | 2M 65W 200 MEMS W WX ALERT
     
  14. eagle1911

    eagle1911 Active Member

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    I also have an FT-2900 and my only issue with it is that it runs too hot if you're using it to ragchew on high power. I highly recommend mounting a fan on the heatsink fins if you plan on using high-power often. My unit will shut itself off due to overheating after about 10-15 minutes of conversation on high power.
     
  15. wa4gch

    wa4gch Active Member

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    how do you like the 950 ?
     

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