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Thread: Quality HT with dual watch for SAR activity?

  1. #1

    Default Quality HT with dual watch for SAR activity?

    Apologies if I'm asking a question that's already been answered. I tried searching but I may be using the wrong terminology and not finding the answer.

    I'm on the local Search and Rescue team and currently use a UV-5R as my main radio. I find the dual-watch (not sure if this is the right term -- the ability to listen to two frequencies at once) feature on the Baofeng to be very beneficial in the field, as we're often using a local tactical channel in the 156 range in the field and monitoring repeaters in the background to communicate with HQ back in town.

    I posted another thread with a problem with the Baofengs, but that's only one of many reasons I'm considering upgrading to a better quality HT for SAR work.

    My hope is to find a radio that:
    - is reasonably weather proof (I'm on the mountain rescue team as well, and we operate in some pretty nasty conditions sometimes).
    - can monitor two channels at once.
    - is reasonably small and light weight.
    - Costs no more than $200.

    I've looked at the Yaesu FT-65R and love the price and weatherproofing, but it does not monitor dual frequencies, does it? I have not had much luck finding something that meets the above criteria, so any and all advice is very welcome.


  2. #2


    One of the things you're going to run into with looking at radios like the Yaesu FT-65R is that they won't operate on your SAR frequencies. They are locked to the amateur radio bands and for them to operate on other frequencies requires an illegal physical modification. There are other radios that could operate on your frequencies legally and have the features you desire. One radio that comes to mind are the AnyTone DMR HT radios. I believe these carry certification for your frequencies (Part 90) and are fairly robust radios. They will operate analog FM as well as DMR and are full dual band, dual receive.
    Last edited by K6CPO; Thu 30th Jan 2020 at 18:14.

  3. #3


    OK thanks; I've very thankful I asked on this forum! I did not catch the frequency limits on the Yaesu FTs - that rules out the radio for SAR use.

  4. #4


    Thanks again for the head's up on the commercial frequencies issue. So after doing some additional reading, here's what I'm after:

    A VHF/UHF handheld radio that:
    - has IP54 or better weather resistance.
    - can monitor two channels at once.
    - Is FCC Part 90 Compliant.
    - Doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

    Any ideas?

    The Anytone AT-D878 doesn't seem to be weather resistant? I may be missing the spec somewhere...

    I've looked at the Alinco DJ-VX50, but I'm seeing mixed information on whether it can tx above 148MHz, and I can find almost no information whatsoever on how I might go about programming the thing.

  5. #5


    Here's another radio you might consider. Even though it comes already programmed, you can change the programming with software and a cable. It's not as complicated as the AnyTone mentioned above, but is a good radio for the money. I have two of the predecessor model and they gave me good service for train operations at a rail museum. They may not be as robust as the AnyTone either, but with reasonable care will give good service.

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