The definitive dual band mobile thread
I am looking for a second mobile rig. I am pretty much committed to a true dual band radio again, just don't see how I can have anything else now that I've tasted the good life... so before I just get another FT8800, curious what else is out there and if anyone has experience or knows someone with something better. Here is what I've found:
Alinco DR-635T ~$390.
ALINCO 144/440 MHz Dual-Band Mobile Transceiver, 50/35 Watts, RX: 87.5 ~ 107.995, 108 ~ 173.995, 335 ~ 479.995 MHz, 200 Memory, Cross-Band Repeat, AM Aircraft Band Reception, Dual Receive
Yaesu FT-8800. ~$360
YAESU 144/440 MHz. Dual-Band Mobile Transceiver, 50/35 Watts, RX: 108~520 MHz, 700~999.995 MHz (Cell Blocked), 1000 Memory, Dual Receive
Wide Frequency Coverage
The FT-8800R provides extended receiver coverage beyond the Amateur bands, so you can keep informed of communication activities in the public safety, commercial, aircraft, and government communications ranges.
Independent Two-Channel Operation
The FT-8800R operates as two radios in one, with either 144 MHz or 430 MHz as the “Main” TX/RX band, while simultaneously monitoring the other band. Each band has its own Volume and Squelch controls. And, if you like, you can configure your FT-8800R for VHF-VHF or UHF-UHF operation, too!
High Power Output
To get your message through when it counts, the FT-8800R puts out a full 50 Watts of power on the 144 MHz band, and 35 Watts on 430 MHz. A thermal sensor monitors heat sink temperature, engaging the rear panel’s cooling fan only when needed.
Over 1000 Memory Channels
The FT-8800R provides a wide variety of memory resources, including 512 "regular" memories on each band, five "Home" channels for favorite frequencies, ten sets of band-edge memories on each band, and six "Hyper Memories" that store complete sets of transceiver operating status configuration.
Large, Easy-to-Read Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
Affording easy viewing from a wide range of viewing angles, the LCD of the FT-8800R features Yaesu’s renowned Omni-Glow™ display illumination, with four illumination levels available for different environments. You’ll marvel at the crystal-clear frequency display and status indicators, whether you’re operating night or day!
Cross-Band Repeat Capability
For emergency work, or to extend the range of a hand-held unit, the FT-8800R includes Cross-Band Repeat capability, similar to that pioneered on our popular FT-8100R Dual Band FM Mobile!
To save valuable time while operating a transceiver with the capability of the FT-8800R, the “Hyper Memory” feature allows you to store a complete set of configuration data for the two bands on which you’re operating. Besides the usual storage of frequency and tone data, Hyper Memory will store such setup parameters as Automatic Repeater Shift status, Packet parameters, Scanning mode, and VFO tracking configuration.
50-Tone CTCSS/104-Tone DCS (Digital Code Squelch) Tone Systems
Providing excellent performance even under difficult link conditions, Yaesu’s 50-tone sub-audible CTCSS and 104-tone DCS signaling systems ensure that you have full access to repeater and remote-base inputs, and the built-in CTCSS/DCS decoders allow silent listening on busy channels. Plus you get Tone Search Scanning, which will scan for the tone being received on an incoming signal, allowing you to match tones quickly when operating on a new repeater system.
User-Programmable Microphone Keys
Four programmable keys on the microphone allow you one-touch access to your favorite command functions. The commands available from the microphone replicate the corresponding front panel key functions, and include Band Change, VFO/Memory switching, Home Channel access, 1 MHz frequency steps, Power Output selection, Repeater Reverse, and CTCSS/DCS setup. Customize your microphone for your personal operating style!
Convenient Remote-Head Mounting Capability
With the FT-8800R and its optional YSK-8900 Separation Kit, mounting your radio is a breeze even in the tightest locations. The YSK-8900 includes a 20-foot (6 m) remote cable and mounting bracket for the front panel.
Kenwood TM-V71A ~$360
KENWOOD 144/440 MHz. Dual-Band Mobile Transceiver, 50 Watts1000 Memory, EchoLink Sysop-Mode Operation, Dual Receive
High RF Power Output (50w)
1,000 Multifunction Memory Channels
Dual Receive on Same Band (VxV, UxU)
EchoLink MEMORY (Automatic Dialer)
EchoLink Sysop Mode For Node Terminal Operation
Inverible Front Panel
Choice of 2 Backlight Colors (AMBER/GREEN) For The LCD Panel
104-Code Digital Code Squelch
"FIVE-IN-ONE" Programmable Memory
ARRL TrablePlus Compatible Yes
Cross Band Repeat Yes
Dual Band Receive Yes
Dual Receive on Same Band (VxV, UxU) Yes
EchoLink Memory Automatic Dialer Yes
EchoLink Sysop Mode For Node Terminal Operation Yes
Extended Receive VHF Band, UHF Band 118-524MHz
VHF Band, UHF Band 118-524MHz 800-1300MHz
excluding cellular band
Memory Channels 1000
Number of Bands 2
Output Power 50W VHF
Packet Cluster Tune No
PC Programmable Yes
Receiver Operating Mode FM-W/FM-N/AM
Transmit Frequency Range 144-148MHz
Voice Sunthesizer (Optional) Yes VGS-1
weather Alert Yes
Wide/Narrow FM Yes
Wireless Remote Yes
So I like the three color options of the Alinco, but I don't trust that one as much as the others for some reason. Also it doesn't look like I can do 2m on both channels, right? So I think that one is out..
I know what I'm doing with the 8800, and that may actually weigh a little here... however the Kenwood seems pretty solid, and the buttons are backlit according to this thread http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?t=198342 so I'm tempted to go with the Kenwood... anyone have any experience with that one? :confused:
I still don't see the big deal with the dual radio radio setup. Why not just scan two channels on a single radio? If you actually set it to do a cross band repeat, that'd be cool but then you need a repeater license if you leave it unattended.
Since you already have Yaesu I would stick with it due to familiarity. I bought a Kenwood HT (which I think is great), but wish I would have purchased the Yaesu since so many club members have this brand and I could leverage the programming of others (Dave's for example). I can certainly program my radio but don't spend as much time doing it as others. Personally, my life is so complicated that I don't need to add another UI and something else to program...:rolleyes:
The FT8800 is on sale at HRO right now. I think I paid ~$330.
I think the Kenwood is easier to program than the Yaesu, so I'm not as intimidated by that as I may have been a few years ago. Actually still leaning towards the Kenwood, will try to get down to HRO in the next couple weekends to play with one.
Having the mic come from the base unit may not be that bad actually- if I'm going to mount that under the driver's seat, and clip it to the middle hump somewhere, maybe the center of the dash, then that actually could be pretty clean. Again, I need to see one first.
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