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Thread: Hi Y'all - I'm so confused!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Planet Earth

    Question Hi Y'all - I'm so confused!

    Hi Y'all, I'm new here.

    I'm so confused on which handheld radio I should get for my location.

    I know that most police, fire, ems, utilities have gone digital, yet some remain analog.

    So, do I need to get a handheld ham radio that's both digital and analog?

    I'm on a budget so I cannot spend a fortune.

    Can anyone suggest a decent handheld radio (tell me if I need digital/analog or just analog?) and that also has Weather alerts and covers the Ham range, Fire/Police/EMS 140's mHz range, (Weather) 162's mHz range, and utilities 800's mHz range?

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2


    Quote Originally Posted by Fluttrbye View Post
    Hi Y'all, I'm new here. I'm so confused on which handheld radio I should get for my location.
    It might just help if you gave a location, then! "Planet Earth" isn't going to help much.
    Current radios: VHF/UHF: 2 x Baofeng 2/70 Handhelds. VHF: Kenwood TR9130 2m multimode. HF: Kenwood TS930S-AT
    Home antennas planned: G5RV / G7FEK / end fed wire. 1/2 wave vertical for 10m. 6 element beam for 2m. Vertical collinear for 2/70
    Website for the 'day job':

  3. #3


    From you question, it is obvious that your knowledge of the hobby and band usage is limited. Normal for a newbie.
    What radio you should get can be quite confusing and the correct answer varies depending on exactly what it is you want to do and where you intend to operate within the hobby.
    My first suggestion is that you get with members of your local ham radio club and learn more about how things work, what you want to do... see what the guys use in your area.
    good luck.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator pmh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Bury, Lancashire


    It is unlikely that you’ll find a single radio that satisfies all your needs.

    I have 7 handhelds, though I have 2 which I use mostly: 1 for 2m/70cm/D-Star, and 1 for DMR/70cm. The others are cheaper variants, which I use instead, depending upon the location, climate, etc.

    As Andy mentioned, a location would assist in members being able to give advice.

    As Obed mentioned, a club often helps, as the members will give you their experience, and probably be able to bring radios to demo.

    Kind regards,


  5. #5


    I have two hand helds, spare batteries for one of them. Before I bought the radios I found out what frequencies my local repeaters use. Keeping track of the chargers is a good idea as well.

    My Baofeng UV-5RA and my Wouxun KG-UV2D have held up rather well. I bought a Nagoya NA-771 to have a better antenna than the 'rubber duck' one that came with these radios.

    The Yaesu FT-60r I bought new just a couple of years ago, has a problem with staying on frequency. The readout wobbles constantly. I suggest not getting one.

    For my 2m base station/portable, I bought a Baofeng Tech UV-25X4, with a separate power supply suggested by Baofeng Tech support. Pyramid PS9KX. The radio came with a magmount antenna and coax. Also a nice microphone. I bought this particular model because it has 3 bands; 2m, 220 MHz, and 440MHz. A 222 MHz repeater was added in my area last year. Otherwise the 2m and 70cm bands would have been all I needed.

    What you spend your money on is up to you. The repeaters nears you may not have 1.25m and 70cm.
    73, Jim/N4AAB got my Extra class license on Aug 10, 2017. Vanity call in Oct, 2014.
    My Ham radio site has no popups, no music, no banners.
    'Through the thorns to the stars' from Ghost-in-the-Shell anime.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    With my wife


    It sounds more like he needs a scanning receiver, digitally enabled, so all those variables can be heard.

    You aren't going to find a transmitting radio that will do all that, for good reason. Most people have no business transmitting on public service bands anyway. When the term "handheld" gets used in a forum like this one, most automatically go to the transceiver notion, but it seems to me you want to hear all this stuff instead. It's all in the nomenclature.

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