View Full Version : Yay or Nay? Inexpensive Handheld

07-13-2013, 04:28 PM
Hi friends-

I am looking at these two radios for an entry level/beat on it/see if I enjoy this hobbie... handheld. The guys over on ExPo seem to like both of these radio's for their cost to value ratio.



I figure for sub $40 to my door, one of these might be a good first go?

Thanks for helping a noob.


07-14-2013, 04:20 AM
You will be so much better off with a mobile unit than a handheld. The Yeasu FT1900R (https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/FT-1900R-p1804.htm) is a fine entry level radio and there's a $30 rebate going right now. That puts you at $128 -- which is 3X the amount of the handheld, but it's 10X better. I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but it's the truth.

07-14-2013, 06:23 AM
Yeah, if you're intention is to use ham for runs you'll want a solid, installed mobile. If you want a HT, there is nothing wrong with the Chinese radios but I'm not sure I'd trust them to be my only radio.

07-14-2013, 08:39 AM
I have the 5R cuz I just got my license and money is super tight with my SO just finishing grad school... I really wish I had a mobile unit and hopefully will in the next couple months. I think I've finally gotten my Baofeng to work, but its been a pain in the rear end.

07-14-2013, 10:50 PM
I have a hard mount radio, looking for a HH.

07-15-2013, 12:11 AM
They are ok. not as nice as a yaesu but cost wise they do the job.

There are other threads on Boefangs

07-15-2013, 10:39 AM
I have a hard mount radio, looking for a HH.

If that's the case, then go for it. I hardly ever use my handheld. Might as well go cheap for equipment that will see less use.

07-15-2013, 10:55 AM
If you're just getting one to have one, sure, why spend more than you have to. A lot of hams are successful getting them programmed eventually and using them.

07-15-2013, 04:17 PM
I've had the UV-3R and I have a couple UV-5Rs, but I haven't really touched them since I picked up my Kenwood TH-D72A! I know that's kind of apples to oranges, but if you don't have an HT they are good, however you'll most likely be buying something else (i.e. better) soon after. They make a hell of a backup though, so for $40 you really can't lose. The 5R is a great backup to my Kenwood since I can use some of the same accessories with it. The Baofengs ARE quirky with programming, etc, but once you get used to it they are fine. Have your manual/cheat sheet with you though...from the sites you'll find on the internet, not the factory one which sucks.

I'd probably cry if my ($400, used) Kenwood got run over. If the ($40) Baofeng got run over I'd just order another off Amazon.

07-15-2013, 04:54 PM
Harumph! If you already have a solid mobile rig, and maybe even another good HT, then yeah get a cheapo HT for another toy. I don't touch mine much either, but do have one tossed in the truck as a backup.

Only mistake IMO is buying one as your first Ham radio.. would be like buying a cheap sleeping bag & at Walmart then go camping for the first time, freeze all night, and conclude that camping is an awful experience. A cheap HT could ruin your first impressions of Ham radio.