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WTB: HAM radio

Postby DamageWagon » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:10 pm

Hey guys, I would like to get a real radio before we start our trip through the West. We will be mostly off-road for 3 months and it would be nice to have a real radio with us. We have a strict budget and there are already multiple things on the list that would make life better, so I'm not going to drop a lot of coin into a radio - in fact I will happily take a donated radio so long as it works, I don't care if it is best to shit or older.

I'm looking for a standard 2M radio, but will take any added features of course. I've been watching eBay but it's cheaper for me to buy a radio new than from auction! Nuts. I have a shitty Baofeng HT which is what it is. I already have multiple holes and an NMO mount through the roof.

I've been looking specifically at Yaesu's:
FT-2800M
FT-2900R
FT-7800/7900/8800/8900

I'm open to other options, but no Kenwoods. Anybody got one they want to get rid of?


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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Colibri » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:56 pm

I got a little baofeng handheld 2m/70cm that has done really well for several years, bought off amazon for like $40. With an external antenna I bet it would be plenty radio for your trip.

Edit-somehow I missed that you already have an HT :doh:
I'll keep an eye out for a yaesu for you. Good luck!
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby DamageWagon » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:27 pm

Thanks brother. Yeah the little Baofengs are sweet for what they are. I just need something more than 4 watts lol


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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby thedriver21 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:55 pm

Why no on the kenwood? :shock:
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby DamageWagon » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:51 am

I ended up buying a Yaesu FT-2900R and a Larsen NMO-150BK antenna, per the recommendation of Radio over at Carli. He has a really good writeup on radios and there are a few good threads on them over there. I ended up paying less for the radio brand new with a warranty than buying a used beat one off eBay. Nuts. $159 with free shipping no tax.

@thedriver I've heard of too many issues with Kenwoods dying. Queeg on DTX had a pile of them, some almost brand new that just went dead. Yaesu's on the other hand tend to live about forever in my understanding.


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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby TankerZak » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:04 am

Which Boefeng did you guys get? I have a radio collection going... small one. I have a Midland frs/gmrs set we use while hunting and backing the RV. I also have a Midland 75-822 full setup for CB. I like removable setups because of where i live. I've been considering breaking into HAM and learning it but i wanted to start with an inexpensive mobile handset that is good quality. Something like the 75-822 is for a CB...

I also have a Weboost 4G-X that just flat out repeats cell signal when I'm far out... it can be wired into my travel trailer or the truck depending on needs.
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby DamageWagon » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:50 pm

TankerZak wrote:Which Boefeng did you guys get? I have a radio collection going... small one. I have a Midland frs/gmrs set we use while hunting and backing the RV. I also have a Midland 75-822 full setup for CB. I like removable setups because of where i live. I've been considering breaking into HAM and learning it but i wanted to start with an inexpensive mobile handset that is good quality. Something like the 75-822 is for a CB...

I also have a Weboost 4G-X that just flat out repeats cell signal when I'm far out... it can be wired into my travel trailer or the truck depending on needs.


I have a Baofeng U-V5R. It's a cheap little thing, but once you know some stuff about HAM radios you realize it's freaking capable. I'm still blown away at how advanced it is for being $25 on Amazon. Don't waste your money with the newer ones or the accessories, just get that little handheld and it will get you going. I love it for group runs or backing a vehicle up. It is a dual band radio with 2 meter and 70cm (440). Even has DCS for talking to newer repeaters. The brand new Yaesu FT-2900R I bought is only a single band and is missing several features this little Baofeng had, although the Yaesu is basically mil-spec and is the most powerful 2m out there. 75 watts vs the Baofengs 4 watts.

Also I got a Larsen NMO-150BK antenna per the recommendation of Radio at Carli. This is specifically for me to mount in ththe center of my roof through the sheet metal, for a 2m only radio. Depending on what you do you will need a different antenna.

If I did everything again with a bigger budget I would have bought a FT-7800 for dual-band like the Baofeng, but otherwise I picked 2m as it is the most common and reaches pretty dang far. I'm expecting 30-60 miles with my radio and 5-8 miles in canyons. I'll never touch a CB again.


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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Retired BLM Rig » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:14 pm

Making good use of that government hole in your roof. Now you've got me thinkin. :idea:
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby DamageWagon » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:15 pm

Retired BLM Rig wrote:Making good use of that government hole in your roof. Now you've got me thinkin. :idea:


Both holes! They left me an NMO mount by the rear lights and a big open hole right in the center lol


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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Rodeoflyer » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:41 am

I got into HAM a many years ago and realized it's inhabited by a bunch of old retired guys complaining about most everything. I get by with my frs/grms for everything needed in a regular outing.
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Rodeoflyer » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:01 am

Damn now I've purchased a baofeng vf-f9 triband (8 watt)

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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Pit Slave » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:47 am

What color? lol

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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Rodeoflyer » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:56 am

I cancelled that order and went with the 8HP in black https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MA ... UTF8&psc=1
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby DamageWagon » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:26 pm

Lol that was fast. Are you one of those complaining old folks? haha


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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Rodeoflyer » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:43 pm

Not yet I suppose.

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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Pit Slave » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:47 pm

Well, I do most of my complaining on the radio when I pull the mic plug. There's no reason to be polluting the airwaves with rants of BS. You're going to kill the hobby of ham radio by doing that.

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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Mule » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:37 pm

That's why I got into digital.... less ham-sters on there.
Still get some of the weather/geriatrics discussion, but there's a lot more techical chatter on there than analog airwaves.
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby MikeKey » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:51 pm

I remember back in the day, I had a CB in my old Cutlass 442. Let me tell ya, I remember a bunch of old fart truckers talking about lot lizards and other things that my 19 yr old self wasn't sure of it.
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Pit Slave » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:58 pm

CB = corruption band

lol!

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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Rodeoflyer » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:35 pm

I got the Baofeng bf-f9v2 AND the 8HP. I didn't cancel the 8HP in time so I now have both. However, these radios are awesome! I'm having such a ball with them and am now a premium subscriber to radioreference.com. Got the local repeaters programmed in with the CHIRP software. I was listening to a conversation from CA/WA today on my local repeater here in Austin, TX. These things are a ton of fun.

My recommendation is to order from foscam.us or https://baofengradio.us/. The 8HP I ordered from the amazon link above is from Baofeng Tech (the supposed US dealer) and is a Pofung branded unit. Still works great but not an actual Baofeng radio.

Now I need to get the tech license sorry to clutter up your OP damagewagon.
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby DamageWagon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:11 pm

Sweet dude! Don't worry, this thread went form buying a HAM to bs'ing about cheap Chinese ht's lol


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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Rodeoflyer » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:51 pm

Well like another guy in a baofeng forum said... when I hit you over the head with my cheap Chinese baofeng it's going to make a nice dent :D

I know what you were getting at in the OP though...I'll probably be looking for the same thing very soon.
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Mule » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:40 pm

and when I hit you over the head with my Motorola, it'll not only make a nice dent, but it'll keep working afterwards :popcorn:

The chinese stuff's great in that it greatly lowered the cost of entry into the hobby... but once you start to get into it, you'll realize those radios are junk...
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Rodeoflyer » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:58 pm

Point taken and I will def be asking you guys what to upgrade to when the time comes. The baofeng's were really cheap you're right about that, like I don't have to worry about abusing them cheap so that's great.
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Re: WTB: HAM radio

Postby Mule » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:24 pm

Cheap and replaceable, yes... but what happens when one breaks and you don't have a spare with you.
Kinda why I want comm gear that I can grab by the antenna and use as a wheel chock, then pick it up and not worry about whether it's going to work or not. In the manual for my XPR, it says "if the unit gets dirty, wash it off under clean water." :rofl:

Belt clip missed the pocket of my pants a month or two after I got it. Dropped a couple feet onto granite, then skidded/bounced down that rock about 30 feet. Worked my way down to the bottom of that rock face to where the radio landed, and it didn't even reboot. Couple dings in the plastic, scuffed up antenna, but it was all cosmetic. XTS's get abused by LEO/FD/Med teams in similar fashion and they still just work.

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/loc ... 80491.html :doh:
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