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Hand held
So what type of hand held comm do you use, and why? 

What do you think would be good for a beginner?
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
The chinese baofeng hh ham radios are a good deal,they have a decent assortment of freq ranges and most can be used as scanners.Excluding digital sigs,that's a hole nuther kettle of fish.I'm learning how to use a bc396 dig/trunking scanner,this ain't easy.'08.
If you look like food,you will be eaten.

I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
I see several Baofeng models, but to be honest it's all Chinese to me (pun intended Big Grin )

Recommendations on various models would be appreciated.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
uv-5r is a good start,dual band.Or a uv-5r v2,dual band 136-174/400-480mhz.The 1st is on amazon for $27.10 and the 2nd for 33.99 w/US warranty.'08.

ETA,get the usb programing cable for $3.77 w/cd driver disc.
If you look like food,you will be eaten.

I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
I started off as a HAM about 5 years ago, before the cheap Chinese stuff came onto the market really strongly. I'm a yaesu guy. I have a y7r, specifically because you can wide band it, and it's a multi frequency. They are built very ruggedly and have a ton of accessories. Having said that, for over $200, it's really, really hard to compare against a UV-2... UNLESS you want something that will operate on something other than 2m or 440. The Y7R will do 6m and 220...... which is why I got it. 6m has always fascinated me. Also, it's got a much wider band receive than the Chinese radios do, so it's taken the place of my scanner.

Keep those things in mind. IF all you want to do is 2m/440, then do a Chinese radio, but if you want to mess around outside of those areas, check out the others. (also if wide band receive is important to you

another plus side to the Chinese radios.. since they are so cheap, you can leave them in the car. My SUV has been broken into 4 times. I'd be really pissed to lose a Yaesu, but I'd be less pissed to lose a radio under $100
I have a couple of Cobra walkie-talkie CB band radios that work good for about 2-5 miles depending on terrain. I also have a quick install under dash CB with a 6' whip for the car/truck. In my BOL I have an old Heathkit ham radio with a quick deploy antennae. I was trained in ground radio by the military so I know how to maintain and get optimum performance out of the under dash CB and ham radio setup.
In another site, I went thru the options of radios...
Please add to or rebuttal , whatever .
Just adding poop to the pot for stirring. Smile

( hold and extra class lic with code ( not that code matters to much these days, I just like it ) currently run from 160m to 440mhz with up to 1500w on the hf bands and 500w on the upper bands, but also build qrp radios that'll fit in your pocket for travel that operate on a few batteries for a week )

how a newbie may want to start out with comms and the OP wanted to know what radio to buy.... person was asking about frs/gmrs/ china handhelds.
But asking someone to pick out a radio for you can be like asking someone to pick out a vehicle. You may end up with a bike or tractor trailer rig.
You wouldn't buy a reloading press without knowing what caliper you were going to use or how much ammo you wanted to make either.

First, need to know WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY  info ...what you want with it.
How much money you want to spend.
Also how much knowledge you have in the radio field.

So far I've seen you may want a Handheld or a base unit or maybe both with or without external antennas for SHTF.

So here's my recommendations;
1) start off with a pair of FRS handhelds... Motorolas, midland, etc.  A pair will usu run under $50. Play with them see how far they work, either put them away or go to step #2.
If you stop here, you lost a case of beer money only....If you find they suit yr needs, buy a second set.

2) (since u have a gmrs lic ) get a pair of GMRS handhelds, spare battery for each...I happen to like (Yeasu) Vertex Standard VX-231 ( or other high end GMRS/ commercial radios ) ... high quality mil spec radio with up to 5w out. These will runs about$170 each + extra and programming usu is done free by the selling company. Most of the mil spec radios will be in this range. Some can be real GMRS handhelds( no progm needed but usu 1-2w) or Commerial radios in the right frequency band.
This only require $ and then you learn the basics on the radio, no theory needed... they are  pick channel, ( one of 16 ) then push and talk once set up.
Nice thing is they will work with the el-cheapo one in #1 as GMRS and FRS share 7 of 15 frequencies. ( lower end GMRS handheld can be $100 each)

3)Get a basic book on ham radio for a TECH license... they can be found for free online... A Tech lic primer will teach most of what you need to know to move on past #1 and #2 without a lot sweat... its fairly easy reading. Or check out some web site on Ham radio and read the basic FAQS for a lot of info esp on 2 meter/440  radios.

4) after #3, You may want to look into a GMRS base station setup up to 50w... The range can be about $300-$600 for radio, antenna, cables, power supply ( most base stations are 12v mobile units repackaged so need an AC to 12v supply) Extra is that usu the same radio can be moved between a home and a car if wanted. From #3 the info from on 2 meter/440  radio there will apply same to GMRS as the freqs used are close/similar enough. This radio will also work with #1 and #2 . Remember at a distance #1 and 2 may hear you, but not be able to be heard.

As far as the Beofung thingy radios... They are fairly good radios for a great price. Tho one should prob have a ham lic for them for transmitting, I'm not yr dad and don't care what you do... I do believe they cover the GMRS freqs and setup isn't to hard . Some of them also have FM radio receive. But I don't think they'll hold up to the same abuse as a higher price mil spec radio.

There's enough knowlege base here on the site to prob answer all yr questions, but remember to move above an appliance type operator ( which most only need ) will require some reading/learning.... it's not a totally free lunch.
I started with the Yaesu when I got into ham and have a couple of other types as well including Kenwood etc. In my opinion they are overly complicated for the average person who is simple looking for getting into it or just basic comms. Frankly for all around general comms and emergency radios I use the Baofeng UV5s.. They are cheap and once programmed, fairly simply to use. Download the CHIRP software, find some kid to load it and program your radios and you're good to go. Everybody in my family now has them and they are all programmed the same. I am on the only one who uses mine on ham freqs but FCC regs not withstanding, they can be used on GMRS, MURS, business class VHF and UHF bands as well. My wife and I carried them in Alaska and they were pretty handy.

I used to use the bubblepack Motorola GMRS/FRS radios but the Baofengs are so much clearer and easier to hear than those.

Another alternative that I have is a couple Horizon Standard HX370 which is a waterproof marine radio that can be programmed to 2 meter ham, business class VHF, MURS etc. Since they are already programmed for marine and weather programming them for land use (ham, business class and MURS) makes them pretty versatile. They are heavy duty quality radios and we primarily use them in bad weather and for kayaking, canoeing (put one at the front and back of the group) and boating. I always take one when I go out on someone's boat just in case.

Just a note...Horizon Standard (marine) Vertex Standard (commercial and public safety) and Yaesu (ham) are all made by the same company. It's pretty good stuff.

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