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Old 01-23-2019, 10:22 PM
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Default Best hand held 2 way radio for SHTF



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ho guys, I know almost nothing about this, but am hoping that some of you can give me some 411.

I'm looking for a hand held radio that will let me listen and talk to others.

Any idea where I can start researching this? Any advise or info?

Thanks
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyMutt View Post
ho guys, I know almost nothing about this, but am hoping that some of you can give me some 411.

I'm looking for a hand held radio that will let me listen and talk to others.

Any idea where I can start researching this? Any advise or info?

Thanks
Don't get a walkie talkie!!! No matter what the box says, they don't have a range of more than a few miles and that's when there's nothing like buildings or trees in their way. Get a HAM radio like a Boafeng UV-5R (4 - 8 watts), then get a mobile VHF/UHF unit (the kind that goes in a car) and use that as your base station at home (50 - 75 watts). You'll need a license to transmit on your HAM radio but don't let that alarm you. The lowest class of license, Technician, is only $15 for the test and consists of just 35 questions (all of the 420 possible questions AND answers are available online). Just take a week or two and memorize them all. I've been studying for a week and a half and know them all. There's an app that you can download that is awesome. I'm taking my test on 2/2.

You'll also need a better antenna for your UV5R since the one that comes with it sucks, an antenna for your house, a power supply for your base unit, and a few other minor accessories. That's the stuff that I'm buying to get started with my Preper Comms.
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Old 01-25-2019, 11:21 AM
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If you are a Walter Mitty mall ninja who is entirely happy trusting your life to a cheap HiPoint or Keltec firearm and you feel confident having no other, then go ahead and buy the Boefeng Chinese radio as your one and only and good luck with that.

If you want quality military or public safety grade, dependable equipment, be prepared to spend the $$ to get quality gear, GET A LICENCE and LEARN HOW TO USE IT!

Recommend a commercial or public safety grade, LMR equipment which Mil-Std-810CDE compliant, having a full-power, mobile radio set up as base at home, in each vehicle, and at each remote farm or ranch building. We carry portables as spares, loaners and for walk-about away from the vehicle only.

Around the place we have several former fire dept. ICOM F121 commercial LMR mobiles which still have the local EMS and volunteer fire talkaround simplex freqs, NOAA weather and EOC dispatch channels programmed to receive only. The 2-meter ham ARES, RACES and Skywarn repeaters and simplex channels are programmed with transmit options of either 2w low power for battery conserve, 10w mid-power for general mobile use around town and 50w full power for max simplex range or fringe area repeater use when needed.

The MURS simplex channels programmed to default at 2w low power, narrow-band only so as to be compliant.

Commercial-grade 5 dB gain vertical antennas mounted on the highest point of each building, 5/8 wave, base-loaded whip on each car, pickup or farm tractor. Four Icom F3 portables and gang charger at home, leave the house take a radio with you.

Base radios run all the time in programmed scan sequence using AC power supply with fail-to-battery and solar charging, not dependent on backup genset or AC mains. House has commercial grade HF-ALE SSB and digital radio with ham and MARS.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:14 PM
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If you are a Walter Mitty mall ninja who is entirely happy trusting your life to a cheap HiPoint or Keltec firearm and you feel confident having no other, then go ahead and buy the Boefeng Chinese radio as your one and only and good luck with that.
That's the stuff that I'm buying to get started with my Preper Comms.

For those of us that are just getting started, an inexpensive Chinese HT will do just fine. For just $25 you can get one an see if being a HAM is for you. If not, you're only out $25. If so, you'll be able to use your $25 worth of experience to inform your future purchases. Don't be that guy who runs out and buys $3000 worth of gear only to never use it because it's too complicated or worse yet just slaps a sticker on the box that says "Open after SHTF."
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyMutt View Post
ho guys, I know almost nothing about this, but am hoping that some of you can give me some 411.

I'm looking for a hand held radio that will let me listen and talk to others.

Any idea where I can start researching this? Any advise or info?

Thanks
Good question, thanks!
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:04 PM
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Ignore the snobs and get started with a couple Baofengs. They are good for what you pay, and you don't pay much.

If you're on a budget and want something better, I like the old Motorola HT1000 radios for UHF or VHF handhelds. They are a bitch to program (and I can do it) but if you can get someone to program the frequencies you want, they are built like tanks and work well. And you can find lots of accessories for them.

For mobile, I can recommend the Vertex 2011. Plain but nice, and again, programming them is a bitch.

.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:09 PM
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the baofengs are cheaper than the battery packs for the better radios. we have a saying around here: "good enough for the girls we go with"
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:39 PM
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I think that the oft-maligned walkie-talkies have a few advantages that should be considered.

1) Short range. This is typically seen as a disadvantage, but it also means you're less likely to have your transmissions intercepted. If you're worried about being found by radio, GMRS/FRS might be worth a look.

2) Ubiquity. These things are everywhere. Why not have the option to at least listen to what's out there? Having the ability to talk back isn't to be despised either.

3) There are vehicle versions that can transmit at higher power, and repeaters are available. This negates some of the range and transmission power concerns.

I think that GMRS/FRS is under-appreciated and is a good option for an inexpensive comms system for a small group that will maintain cohesion within the actual transmission range. Add the fact that most can operate off of AA batteries (simplifying logistics) and that a HAM radio or two can also be incorporated into the plan, it's at least worth considering.
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:09 PM
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Clearly we will all never agree. Therefore this thread is likely to be shutdown.
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:45 PM
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I think CB will be your best bet. everyone has or knows someone that has a CB.
The licensed bands are great and should be considered but CB is the the most prolific and IMO would be the most used in SHTF regardless of what these guys say.
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:04 PM
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Do the research, find the right tool for you, then save some money and buy it once.

I've gotten to the age where I like to make a purchase only one time. If I buy it, I make sure it's a quality item. Goes across the board. Chainsaws, cookware, houses, cars, and even radios.

So relax and take it easy. Put in some time looking things over. You could even find some used radios that haven't been put through the wringer and have many years of service life left.

https://www.universal-radio.com/alert.html

Good luck however you go!
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:11 PM
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I use a Yaesu FT-60R handheld and it meets my needs well. It has a solid history and not too pricey.

https://www.amazon.com/Yaesu-FT-60R-...83101720&psc=1
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:12 PM
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Thank you all for the info. I will look into the ones mentioned


Anyone have any info or experience with the Tera tr-590? Been reading a bit and they keep coming up as great all around radios.

Thanks again
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:31 PM
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i own one of these; Tri-Band Yaesu VX-6R Submersible Amateur Ham Radio Transceiver (144/222/440)

awesome HT...perfect for local comms and simple receiving...

https://www.amazon.com/Tri-Band-Yaes...SIN=B004ESEW6C
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyMutt View Post
Thank you all for the info. I will look into the ones mentioned


Anyone have any info or experience with the Tera tr-590? Been reading a bit and they keep coming up as great all around radios.

Thanks again
based on specs and price, buy the vx-6...way better rig...more rx options too...
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyMutt View Post
Thank you all for the info. I will look into the ones mentioned


Anyone have any info or experience with the Tera tr-590? Been reading a bit and they keep coming up as great all around radios.

Thanks again
For the money you'd spend on the Tera tr-590 you might as well buy a Kenwood, Icom, or Yaesu.
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Old 03-08-2019, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Explainist View Post
the baofengs are cheaper than the battery packs for the better radios.
True enough. BUT, when the original battery on the CCRs die it will be cheaper to throw them away and buy a new one than to replace their batteries.


(For the record, in the interest of full disclosure, yes I do own a couple CCR hand helds. They are pressed into service in situations where the risk of loss or damage to my real radios is present. And yes I have used the UV5R enough to kill the first battery.)
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Old 03-09-2019, 01:55 PM
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while on the subject of cheap chinese radios:

chump change quad band with an odd name:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Radioddity-...0AAOSwVNxaCeiF

the whole lineup:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...LH_TitleDesc=0
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Old 03-09-2019, 03:27 PM
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I have a HAM tech license. I have had two Baofengs for going on 4 years now, the batteries are still perfect and hold a charge for days. I am currently working in a marine environment at a dock, the company I am working for does ship repair and uses marine radios. I can monitor and talk on the marine frequencies on my UV-5R, works out perfect for me, I also monitor the weather on it as weather can come in fast. I'm serving as a Health and Safety Manager.
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