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HAM Radio Recommendation

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by Ossaris, May 31, 2018.

?

Which Radio?

  1. Motorola MCS2000

    50.0%
  2. Wouxun KG-UV950P

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Other

    50.0%
  1. May 31, 2018 at 9:28 AM
    #1
    Ossaris

    Ossaris [OP] A Bad Person Doing Good Things

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    Hey all! Looking for opinions, reviews, etc.

    Backstory - my SAR team uses a combination of Wouxun and Motorola UHF/VHF radios for both the trucks and hand-helds. I have the UV6X as a field device, which I have had great experiences with. I'm now looking to install a stronger radio in the truck for when I deploy POV and for general purpose use.

    The team has been using the Motorola MCS2000 and the Wouxun KG-UV950P. I'm hearing strong opinions on either side and looking for more intel. What experiences/feedback do ya'll have with either/or setup to help with a decision! (for the record, I know the antenna is significant - I'm just looking for radio-specific performance, quality, usability, etc.)

    If you are using another one, would love to hear more about it! These are just the two I've had experience using.

    Thanks for the time!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  2. Jun 1, 2018 at 2:03 AM
    #2
    k8md

    k8md Well-Known Member

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    What are your wants and needs? You really don't spell that out. Most mobile radios are 40w - 65w power. A power difference which is negligible. When you say "stronger" do you mean more watts? Most people think they want more power, but that rarely solves any RF problems, and more often creates other problems.

    Some mcs2000 can do smartnet. Do you need smartnet or any type of trunking? Any type of signaling needs, such as mdc1200? Do you need digital, such as DMR, p25, Fusion? Will the radio strictly be used in the ham allocation? Or does it need to transmit into Part 90 LMRS as well?
     
  3. Jun 1, 2018 at 3:58 AM
    #3
    inthebed

    inthebed Well-Known Member

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    Your going to need a license to Ham, so be prepared for this and I would go ahead and have the license in hand before buying one so you don't get in trouble.
     
    k8md likes this.
  4. Jun 1, 2018 at 1:26 PM
    #4
    Ossaris

    Ossaris [OP] A Bad Person Doing Good Things

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    Already squaring away on the license - been using the team's for a while, but getting individual would offer a lot more flexibility. In terms of "power" looking for better transmission (possibly wattage but not sure) so that I'm able to send/receive a fair distance while being up in the mountains and in isolated areas where we usually get calls. Don't need smartnet or trunking at this point, don't really care about digital. LMRS is irrelevant for me.
     
  5. Jun 1, 2018 at 1:33 PM
    #5
    Doogz

    Doogz Well-Known Member

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    yep..
    The Motorola would be the more reliable choice. I'd also look into Yaesu (ft-8900r, I believe Wouxun modeled the 950p after this) Kenwood and ICOM make great radios as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
    Ossaris[OP] likes this.
  6. Jun 1, 2018 at 2:43 PM
    #6
    Ossaris

    Ossaris [OP] A Bad Person Doing Good Things

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    Ya, I had a buddy on the team reference the Yaesu but didn't give a specific model. Worth looking into!
     
    Doogz[QUOTED] likes this.
  7. Jun 1, 2018 at 2:48 PM
    #7
    ericd

    ericd Stuff

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    Seems like government agencies like Motorola as a default while most people prefer the icom, kenwood and yaesu.
    Reading the responses remind me of how little I know about HAM. Mostly just use it for truck to truck and occasionally hit a repeater. With a license of course.
     
  8. Jun 1, 2018 at 2:50 PM
    #8
    Ossaris

    Ossaris [OP] A Bad Person Doing Good Things

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    That is certainly true. Most of the tech we use is ancient, heavy, and hard to find but damn is it reliable - especially the radios we use for the sherriff/county fire department
     
  9. Jun 1, 2018 at 7:30 PM
    #9
    vssman

    vssman Rocket Engineer

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    Sub'd. I recently got my technicians license and am looking for a transceiver as well
     
  10. Jun 1, 2018 at 7:46 PM
    #10
    k8md

    k8md Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that opening up a ham radio to work outside the ham allocation is illegal, and not necessarily a great idea. Power drops off sharply as you get outside the range of the filters. Spurious emissions can also develop from the PA. Many ham radios are barely putting out 1/3 power on GMRS channels.

    If you need to talk on both ham and part 90 channels, then just buy a part 90 radio and you will have to give up FPP. Many part 90 radios also have tunable filters. While a radio might be rated 136-174 MHz, it's not necessarily going to perform well across that entire range if the filters are tuned for one particular band segment. Ymmv

    For ham radio, I recommend the TM-V71A and FT-8900. You can add APRS to either with an external TNC (such as mobilinkd) and an inexpensive Android device running APRSdroid. The TM-D710 is a fantastic radio that makes APRS simple.

    For part 90 radios: the Motorola radius and CDM are a good value. It's relatively simple to hook data (APRS / FLdigi) into the rear connector. I really like Icom mobiles as well.
     
  11. Aug 15, 2022 at 2:35 AM
    #11
    michaelclark

    michaelclark New Member

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  12. Aug 15, 2022 at 9:09 PM
    #12
    RDW59565

    RDW59565 Well-Known Member

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    I've got an Icom IC-2730A waiting to go in mine. Supposed to be picking up the new ride this weekend. I use it for back country comm.
     

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