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Thread: first 2 meter radio

  1. #1

    Default first 2 meter radio

    Yaesu FT-2980R or ICOM IC-2300H

    Which would you choose for a base as a first radio?

    2 cent are welcome.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Yaesu is a lot easier to program than the ICOM. But I would spend my money on a Kenwood not either of the above..

    Do you have a need for 70cm? Maybe a decent dual bander would be a better option..

  3. #3
    Super Moderator m0bov's Avatar
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    Both would work, I'd try them out, or have a look on eHam for the reviews. Also check Youtube for reviews.
    73
    James
    http://www.m0bov.co.uk
    HamRadioForum founding member and moderator

  4. #4

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    I agree with R2D2 on this one. Kenwood will put both Icom and Yaesu to shame. No sense limiting yourself to those two options. My first 2m radio was a repurposed commercial Kenwood TK-705D for VHF 2m (and a TK-805D for UHF 70cm). Both have mind-blowing audio quality and signal reports. To this day, still my favorite for analog FM. The only name out there that can give Kenwood a run for its money (signal quality wise) is commercial Motorola gear, and they are a pain to re-program as their programming software is proprietary, not backwards-compatible, and hard to get a hold of. That said, my first dual-band ham radio was the Yaesu FT-7800R, and I wish someone hadn't stole it from me.

    Edit: In fact, the TK-705D (that came out of a school bus 15 years ago) is sitting on my desk right now ~ up and running. I have it monitoring 4 local repeaters and the simplex channel. And although the technical specifications suggest this particular serial number is not capable of 2m use, she puts out a full 50w on 144MHz and I've yet to make her shut down or cut back. If you find one of the TK-705D (make sure its a "D") commercial radios that have the face plate board capable of field programming (some don't), you will have a gem that will never let you down. Once, I hooked her up backwards to the battery with no fuse and the protection diode inside (that normally shorts out reverse polarity to blow the fuse - which was absent) kept the rig alive. Long story short, I bypassed the fuse and accidentally connected it to an 800CCA car battery. For the 4 seconds it took me to realize my error, that little round diode took the abuse. When I took the diode out, it fell apart - mostly ash. For a while I ran it without a reverse-polarity protection diode or fuse, but I've wised up since and replaced both safety features that once protected me from my own stupidity. That radio is ROCK SOLID! You gotta be dumber than me to kill it, that means something!
    Last edited by brandon lind; Wed 17th Jun 2020 at 03:05.

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