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HAM Radio
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GillT
Dusty Truck
Dusty Truck


Joined: Aug 05, 2016
Posts: 85
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 9:17 am    Post subject: HAM Radio Reply with quote

I was tired of CB radio and have been putting off getting a license. I now have a HAM license. I would like to know what HAM radios you guys recommend. Budget is not necessarily an issue, but I would like both handheld and mounted options.

Thanks,
Gilbert
KK7ERG

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Gilbert T. Gutierrez, Jr.
KK7WAT “Que Que What?”
A highly dangerous virus called "Weekly Overload Recreational Killer" (WORK) is currently going around. If you come in contact with this WORK virus, you should immediately go to the nearest BAR for "B
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mod_muscle
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Joined: May 15, 2009
Posts: 1336

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: HAM Radio Reply with quote

Congrats! HAM is so much better than CB. IMHO.

I am partial to Yaesu radios but that’s really all I’ve had except the bao feng handhelds.

I really like my FTM-400xdr mobile radio. It has APRS and GPS built in. You can send text messages and emails with it. (Limited to APRS repeater access)

Before that I had the FT-8800 which I think is an awesome radio too.

I have an older VX-7r hand held that I really like.

But I am sure there are other options just as good as these. Hopefully the HAM geniuses from AZFJ will chime in.
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GillT
Dusty Truck
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Joined: Aug 05, 2016
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 3:33 pm    Post subject: Re: HAM Radio Reply with quote

I spoke to an old retired radio guy that I work with and he uses the FT-8800 and likes the 400xdr and recommends FT-65 for the handheld.

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Gilbert T. Gutierrez, Jr.
KK7WAT “Que Que What?”
A highly dangerous virus called "Weekly Overload Recreational Killer" (WORK) is currently going around. If you come in contact with this WORK virus, you should immediately go to the nearest BAR for "B
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Jimbolio
Master Wheeler
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Joined: Oct 19, 2008
Posts: 12680
Location: Tucson

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 4:26 pm    Post subject: Re: HAM Radio Reply with quote

Second all that Aaron said. I have the same radio Yaesu FTM-400xdr - we have traveled together and being able to see each other on APRS is cool.

I had an FT8800 in the FJ that got burned. I haven't even plugged it in since I salvaged it from the Precious. (I should do that one day).

For hand helds I have a Yeasu FT-60 (Ebay special) but the FT-65 might be in my future. Get yourself a Baeofeng (ChingBow - no chit) as a cheap backup. Harder to program, but you can get free CHIRP software to program it. Ebay is a pretty good source for 1st radios. There's an FT8800 on there right now for $182!

ICOM stuff is good too, I have seen a lot of folks with the ICOM 8000. Whatever you are thinking about, be sure you spec the following

VHF -2M UHF 70cm capable.
50 watts at least
Able to be mobile. Remote head desirable.

I don't like that the Mike doesn't plug into the head unit on the FTM-400, so you have to have the body of the radio near where you'll be talking. Or get an extension.

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FatRat
Baja Champ
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Joined: Jan 10, 2011
Posts: 4426

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 10:19 pm    Post subject: Re: HAM Radio Reply with quote

I ran the FT8800 for years in my FJ and it was a great radio. Never failed me. I now run the Kenwood TM-710GA, it has gps and aprs build in, and I have to say that it is now my favorite mobile radio.

As for handhelds (HT), yeasu is a great choice, and the FT-60 is a bulletproof radio. More hams use that for HT than any other HT. Baeofeng is a solid backup. Don't let people tell you different.

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mod_muscle
Expeditioneer
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Joined: May 15, 2009
Posts: 1336

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 6:32 am    Post subject: Re: HAM Radio Reply with quote

Jimbolio wrote:

I don't like that the Mike doesn't plug into the head unit on the FTM-400, so you have to have the body of the radio near where you'll be talking. Or get an extension.

Good points Jim.
I did resolve this with a bulkhead and extension. The mic plugs in at the console now and radio is in back of FJ.

One other thing to consider is the external speaker. It includes an adapter for the typical mono speaker. However I found that the volume was too low for me (old man ears) and I bought the Yaesu speaker that is recommended for the 400. It is loud enough for me.

It could be my radio, (?) or a function of that stereo speaker requirement, but I originally had an audio interupt with my 8800 that I loved. But it would not work properly with my 400. Same as external speaker, volume was very low. Just wanted to put that out there in case anyone chooses the FTM-400xdr
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GillT
Dusty Truck
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Joined: Aug 05, 2016
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 8:47 am    Post subject: Re: HAM Radio Reply with quote

mod_muscle wrote:

Good points Jim.
I did resolve this with a bulkhead and extension. The mic plugs in at the console now and radio is in back of FJ.

Can I take a look at your setup? I think I am going to get a handheld first (FT5DR) with all the bells and whistles and then get ones for my wife's FJ (I think I am selling mine and just keeping my wife's) and my other trucks. I need ideas on mounting. I hate putting holes everywhere and would like to see ideas before I make that start. I may have to have some mounts machined.

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Gilbert T. Gutierrez, Jr.
KK7WAT “Que Que What?”
A highly dangerous virus called "Weekly Overload Recreational Killer" (WORK) is currently going around. If you come in contact with this WORK virus, you should immediately go to the nearest BAR for "B
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GillT
Dusty Truck
Dusty Truck


Joined: Aug 05, 2016
Posts: 85
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 8:52 am    Post subject: Re: HAM Radio Reply with quote

FatRat wrote:
I ran the FT8800 for years in my FJ and it was a great radio. Never failed me. I now run the Kenwood TM-710GA, it has gps and aprs build in, and I have to say that it is now my favorite mobile radio.

As for handhelds (HT), yeasu is a great choice, and the FT-60 is a bulletproof radio. More hams use that for HT than any other HT. Baeofeng is a solid backup. Don't let people tell you different.

I like the look of that TM-710GA better than the Yaesu, but I am not seeing it for sale anywhere to compare.

_________________
Gilbert T. Gutierrez, Jr.
KK7WAT “Que Que What?”
A highly dangerous virus called "Weekly Overload Recreational Killer" (WORK) is currently going around. If you come in contact with this WORK virus, you should immediately go to the nearest BAR for "B
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mod_muscle
Expeditioneer
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Joined: May 15, 2009
Posts: 1336

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: HAM Radio Reply with quote

GillT wrote:
mod_muscle wrote:

Good points Jim.
I did resolve this with a bulkhead and extension. The mic plugs in at the console now and radio is in back of FJ.

Can I take a look at your setup? I think I am going to get a handheld first (FT5DR) with all the bells and whistles and then get ones for my wife's FJ (I think I am selling mine and just keeping my wife's) and my other trucks. I need ideas on mounting. I hate putting holes everywhere and would like to see ideas before I make that start. I may have to have some mounts machined.

Definitely! Send me your cell via PM and I will text you some pics this weekend.

Aaron
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toyo22r
Trail Runner
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Joined: Nov 07, 2009
Posts: 593
Location: Goodyear

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 11:21 am    Post subject: Re: HAM Radio Reply with quote

Ill have to echo what Bruce said. I too had the FT-8800 for many years, was a great radio. Now I have a Kenwood D710A that I absolutely love, intuitive menus, APRS capable, MARS/CAP mod very easy to do on this radio.

Looks like they discontinued the TM-D710GA last year. I see that Ham Radio Outlet bought up a bunch before hand. Their website doesn't show any stock in PHX but several other locations do.

Beofengs are 'ok' as a backup, i have several but their weak squelch will drive you nuts listening for any length of time while driving. Constantly opening and hearing static even with it set to the max of 9. I did come across an article explaining how to 're-map' the squelch settings using Chirp but I have not tried it yet. For a quality HT I perfect the Yaesu. FT-60R is an excellent decently priced one (~$150).

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GillT
Dusty Truck
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Joined: Aug 05, 2016
Posts: 85
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: HAM Radio Reply with quote

toyo22r wrote:
Ill have to echo what Bruce said. I too had the FT-8800 for many years, was a great radio. Now I have a Kenwood D710A that I absolutely love, intuitive menus, APRS capable, MARS/CAP mod very easy to do on this radio.

Looks like they discontinued the TM-D710GA last year. I see that Ham Radio Outlet bought up a bunch before hand. Their website doesn't show any stock in PHX but several other locations do.

Beofengs are 'ok' as a backup, i have several but their weak squelch will drive you nuts listening for any length of time while driving. Constantly opening and hearing static even with it set to the max of 9. I did come across an article explaining how to 're-map' the squelch settings using Chirp but I have not tried it yet. For a quality HT I perfect the Yaesu. FT-60R is an excellent decently priced one (~$150).

I am not seeing any of them on their site, maybe I am using the search wrong. I hate touch screen spectrum analyzers and other electronics and that is why when the Kenwood was mentioned my ears peaked.

_________________
Gilbert T. Gutierrez, Jr.
KK7WAT “Que Que What?”
A highly dangerous virus called "Weekly Overload Recreational Killer" (WORK) is currently going around. If you come in contact with this WORK virus, you should immediately go to the nearest BAR for "B
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