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2m/70cm Handheld recommendations (1 reply)

2 weeks ago
M7DJX 2 weeks ago

Hi all, I recently passed foundation and practiced with a UV-5R+. This has now died but it served its purpose. I was looking at a FT5-D but horrified by the add-on prices, charger, software etc. To get kitted out to the same level it is an extra £100, over a price I was already unsettled by.

So I was wondering what people here would recommed ? Analogue and digital repeaters are high on my list of wants, as is the ability to program it using software.





George M0URB
6 days ago
George M0URB 6 days ago

Hi Chris,

I have an Alinco DJ-500, which has given me good service. I bought it when I was first licensed, on the strength of the good reviews I had read. It's an analog-only dual band HT. I have received good modulation reports using it. It costs about £110. It's IP54 certified (not that I have tested that out!) and has a solid feel to it. It is computer programmable, but only with Alinco's own software - unfortunately it is not supported by Chirp. The Alinco programming software can be downloaded for free, but you will need to buy a programming cable (which isn't cheap). It can also be programmed using the keypad, which is not too difficult.

For DMR, there are a few options - e.g. Retevis RT83, Retevis RT3S, Ailunce HD1, TYT MD-UV380, but I don't know them first-hand and therefore cannot recommend any particular radio. Anytone have a handheld called AT-D878, which seems to be very popular. It's very similar (both in terms of features, operation and codeplugs/software etc) to Anytone's mobile radio, the AT-D578. It's more expensive than the Retevis/TYT radios, but cheaper than the Yaesu FT-5.

I've not used D-Star yet and therefore can't recommend any radios.

For C4FM (Yaesu System Fusion) your choice is pretty much limited to the Yaesu FT-5, its predecessor FT-3 (which I believe has been discontinued but you may still get them new in some places) and the Yaesu FT-70 (about £170).
Waters & Stanton currrently have a used FT-3DE for £300. I've not used one myself, but from what I gather there is not a lot of difference between the FT-3 and the FT-5.

The Chirp programming software supports a lot of handhelds (and mobile radios as well), for a list of supported radios see this page:

You can get relatively inexpensive programming cables from Ebay or Amazon, but there is a risk that they may use fake chips and don't work. I bought some programming cables from this place: https://shop.technofix.uk/cables/programming-cables
They were more expensive than Ebay, but they were delivered quickly and they do work.

Whether you go for a Fusion, D-Star or DMR radio will probably depend on which system is available on repeaters in your local area (although the Brighton area seems to be well served by analogue and all three flavours of digital repeaters), and also which system the people you want to talk to are using.

Nevada and Waters & Stanton are based in Portsmouth, not too far from where you are - it may be worth giving them a call to find out what they have and what they can recommend. They may even let you have a play with a radio to get a feel for it before buying it.

Hope this helps.
George M0URB


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