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Suggested radio for beginner

Jul 21st 2012, 21:16


Joined: Jul 21st 2012, 20:24
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I am looking to purchase my first radio. Someone suggested to start with a Yaesu handheld. Any suggestions?
Aug 2nd 2012, 04:24


Joined: Aug 1st 2012, 23:37
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Iam a newbie to Hamradio,after doing a bit of research, I found two radios, 1. Wouxum 4d and 2. Yaesu 8dr. Wouxum is a 2 m and 70 cm (dual band) pretty decent quality and very affordable, it might be a very good first rig if all you are looking for is operation in 2m & 70 cm. bands it also has a fm radio and a touch light built in it also transmits on out of band very good for public service. I own this and all I have is praises.
2. Yaesu 8dr - is a Swiss army of radio world - very good construction, APRS, AM-FM radio. Very wide rx range, tx on quad band... The down side is it's extensive and it's does require a bit of extra learning ... I have ordered one but did not yet use it extensively. If you have extra cash I would advice u to get the yaesu 8dr very worth the money.
Hope this helps.
Aug 3rd 2012, 19:22


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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This is a question that I see an awful lot on many forums. It's too hard to try to guess what's right for someone without any knowledge of their location or their interests.

You may have missed the part in your studies where it's explained that VHF and UHF are mostly 'local' in nature. And, VHF/UHF FM is particularly local. Mobile and handheld radios on VHF/UHF are pretty dependent on repeaters to make contacts more than a few miles away. I see FAR too many new hams rush out and buy a handheld, only to rapidly discover that there's nobody to talk to!

Handhelds are very useful if you live in an area with a lot of active repeaters, particularly on mountaintops nearby. In some big cities, there are repeaters atop skyscrapers with good coverage. And, if one or more of the local repeaters is linked to other distant repeaters, either by radio, the Internet, or phone line, a handheld can provide great fun.

For public service and SKYWARN, an HT is a great accessory, but a 50 watt mobile rig that you can use as a portable or a mobile will be much more useful.

In many parts of the country, a Technician license would be most useful on 6 and 10 meter SSB. In some places, you'd really need to learn CW and get on HF to have some real fun.

If you do live in a place like California, Utah, Colorado or Arizona, or in many parts of New Mexico, where there are many high level linked repeaters, an HT can be great to have.

I have two of the Wouxun UV series radios and they are OK. I think I'd get a Yaesu FT-60 before the Wouxun UV6, though - similar price and the Yaesu has many more functions.

A useful compromise that I don't think you'd ever regret would be the FT-817. As a 'packset' it's a great replacement for a triband VHF/UHF HT. It also works SSB on 10,6, 2 and 70 cm.. It runs low power on the HF bands, where even as a Tech you can listen wherever you want, and if you learn the code, you can really use it on the air. It's big brother, the FT-857 would be a better choice, most likely, but you would lose the portability. The FT-897 gives you the portability, but it's pricey with the batteries.

I advise you not to try to start with something 'cheap just to get started'. That ALWAYS ends up costing you a lot more money in the end, unless you get so discouraged you drop out of the hobby, which far too many newbies do, because they started off with a radio that wasn't going to give them much success.

If you want to gamble, get a cheap radio like the Wouxun or the Baofeng UV5, and the programming cable. But remember that the HT is an accessory, NOT your station.
Feb 15th 2014, 05:55


Joined: Jan 5th 2014, 18:27
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I have a BaoFeng UV5 and a cable but the disc that comes with it is for a PC only...I have a Mac. Any ideas when i can get Mac compatible program? Thanks.
Feb 16th 2014, 02:57


Joined: Aug 10th 2011, 09:34
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As stated above, it depends on what you want to do, the level of your interest, and the size of your pocket book. If you want to try talking all over the world, are fairly sure you want to stay in this hobby for a long time and have adequate funds, then I would buy a top of the line (or near top of the line) radio which includes many features you might not use for a long time or even never. Otherwise, just get something inexpensive that you can later discard or sell.

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