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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:30 am 
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HI all!
I'm looking for a decent 2 meter ham rig for the $100 range. I want something to start my SHTF communications to help reach out to others bunkered down.

what would be a good starting transceiver? Once I get the radio, I'll go for my license to operate, but I want to make sure I get something that is easy to use, and will operate on the common frequencies as well.

I was looking at perhaps an ADI AR-147 or a Radio Shack HTX-242

thanks all!
Mike B


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:31 am 
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I've got an ADI-AR146 that has worked reliably for years, and is easy to program. Your post just taught me that there is a newer model.
I have no experience with the RS models, most RS stores now are cellular outlets and not worth entering.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:26 am 
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I have had the RS HTX 242 in my farm truck forever and it works after taking tons of abuse. I bolted it to an l-bracket between the seats and treated like a $100 radio. It's been stomped, spilled on and the transmitter run into both no antenna and dead shorts. I think this has been discontinued for a while so if you buy one try to hunt up a spare mike which all of the reviews I read say are notoriously bad.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:21 pm 
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You should be able to get a more modern 2m mobile from one of the big 3 makers; Yaesu, ICOM, Kenwood for about $100 used. I just bought a Icom 2100 for $75 used (with some cable). Easy to use, does a lot, automatically selects repeater modes, scans, etc.
Try ham fests or ham websites like eham or QRZ. Study and get your ticket first. Hams are friendly to new hams, but unfriendly to non-hams buying ham gear. When you take the test ask every ham you meet about buying a 2m mobile and they will point you in the right direction.

New 2m mobiles start around $140 new. Don't forget you also need a power supply, a length of good cable, antenna and mount. You can build the antenna, improvise a mount and use a spare car battery as a power supply or build a new one from an old computer PS.

http://universal-radio.com/catalog/fm_txvrs/1900.html

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:37 am 
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I have a baofeng UV-5R, for 31$ its hard to beat...
it sounds too good to be true... but so far its done everything I've asked of it and more..
I've hit a repeater 14 miles away in heavy urban.. :shock:, and thats not even a proper quarter wave antenna
too be fair I have yet to make a proper contact on THAT repeater... can't seem to find anybody :gonk: need to find out when their net is.. the repeater DOES pop strongly for me, whenever I try to make contact

it is worth noting that the radio, comes from factory "capable" of transmitting and receiving FRS,GMRS,MURS
those would be "common frequencies" come SHTF, so I think its a plus for the radio...
however its not type accepted for the "extra bands" , so you can't technically transmit legally on them.... (unless life or dead\no other means yada yada)

its also not hard to program... idk what other people are doing, but I learned how to manually program it in less than 1 hour... 3 and I had it memorized...
only reason I'm NOW ordering a program cable is because you can't manually program alpha tags... thats it.

it also has a huge extended battery (I haz) it will run for at least 2 days... depending on TX time of course
there is also a AA battery case for it, (ordering one... unsure of quality\function)

it may be missing a few bells and whistles but its 10% of the price of other ham radios... its worth considering

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:32 am 
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If you can give just a tad more...
I recently bought a new 2m Yaesu mobile from Gigaparts for $119.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:10 pm 
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PrairieRat wrote:
If you can give just a tad more...
I recently bought a new 2m Yaesu mobile from Gigaparts for $119.


if I may ask, what do you consider better about it?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:51 pm 
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Rebel Pariah wrote:
PrairieRat wrote:
If you can give just a tad more...
I recently bought a new 2m Yaesu mobile from Gigaparts for $119.


if I may ask, what do you consider better about it?

Significantly improved receiver, automatic repeater setup, much easier to use, will out last a hand held by a decade or more, cleaner transmitter with more than 10 times the power out. This means a lot more contacts. Over all a huge leap in performance compared to any hand held. Still a very modest price for a new radio.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Exactly!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:49 pm 
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sorry nvm... I thought you were talking about a HT...
I was thinking yeasu HT vs beofeng HT...

HT VS Mobile is a whole different can of worms... but obviously a mobile is a lot better

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:04 pm 
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This thread is a year old so I thought I'd update it with my 2 cents-

At this point in time the under $50 Chinese HT's (and many under $40) are really an incredible value for what you get. My only suggestion is to get an extendable antenna for them at the same time, it really improves reception/transmission over longer distance. I have a Nagoya NA-773 but that was just what I picked and am happy with it. I have 2 different models and am quite happy with both.

For a mobile 2 meter rig right now the Yaesu FT 2900R 75 watt is being offered with a $30 rebate. I have had one of these for a couple years now and it has proven to be pretty solid. For a 2 meter only FM rig it would be hard to do better at this point. If you need a smaller rig the FT1900 has a detachable face plate and is pretty tiny.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:35 pm 
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My experience is of the Chinese radios the Wouxun is better than the Baofeng. In my group of friends everyone of the Baofengs failed with moderate use. The Wouxuns are also easier to program not that they are as easy as a Icom. One thing about the Wouxun is the speaker mike sucks. Our SAR group has only about half of them still working after less than an dozen exercises/deployments. We are going with the Powerwerx speaker mikes to replace them.

However when it comes to sound quality and ease of use these Chinese radios don't even come close to the Icom or Yaesu. When you pay 5 times more I guess you can expect that.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:21 pm 
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A Baofeng is a great value in hand talkies. IMO. You get a lot of radio for not much money, and they really make a great option to have as a spare in a BOB etc.

That said, the difference between a Chinese knock-off and a Japanese product is huge. I bought a pair of digital mechanical locks recently. One was a $35 China made, one was $100 Japanese. Build quality varied a lot.

The Japanese made one is on my front door, the china made one is awaiting replacement parts from the seller (one of the screws broke during install, because it was made from pot metal.)

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