Short Range Handhelds: My thoughts.
September 9, 2019 at 9:55 pm #118657Joe (G.W.N.S.)Moderator
As it comes up frequently and particularly when I shoot down the Boafeng crowd here are my thoughts on handhelds.
Finally depending on actual use; particularly the so called “boogaloo” type event, too many put far too much emphasis on communications use!
In many scenarios there will be many who are killed because they didn’t appreciate the vulnerabilities to themselves such use creates!
Against a modern OPFOR; which includes those with experienced HAM’s, will be found and fixed quickly. A modern military can fix you in seconds accurately enough to immediately engage you should they wish.
Think about that!
Sure you want to be the cool guy just like your favorite SOCOM dude, but remember he’s got an almost unlimited budget and is fighting a relatively low tech insurgent.
Without out some significant review and training that SOCOM dude is going to die in a peer to peer conflict!
There is off the shelf low cost equipment to DF your position and the Government is ready to do this accurately enough to engage with standoff weaponry in seconds.
We would be dealing thousands of more terrorists if they never touched cellphones and radios.
Hopefully the point is made!
Handhelds, first I am looking for a IP68 rating, though I maybe able to deal with a IP67 rating depending on my expected missions.
IP67 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP68 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.
Maybe your mission can be supported by something else?
So for the most part this excludes all Amateur Radios, yes all those expensive HAM radios don’t make my cut.
Basically I am looking at commercial grade radios built to withstand military and first responders use.
So there are two routes to take, surplus/used and new.
Due to shifting availability as older systems are replaced I can’t really give you hard data on surplus/used. What frequencies you need and what support equipment is available at a affordable price will guide you.
A big factor for both new and used is programming these radios. The software maybe beyond your price range for say your own Motorola programing setup. So you need to identify “how” long before you purchase anything.
Some of the older systems could be found with even the keying equipment for encrypting your own radios. Yes, encryption is illegal for most now, but there could be a time when that doesn’t matter to you.
For new radios here a few examples of radios I would use. Again what are your requirements?
In no particular order…
Icom F4400D for around $650.
Motorola XPR7550e for around $680.
If I could make do with IP67 rating to save a few bucks…
Icom IC-V86 or IC-U86 $130. (only amateur radio to make my list)
Midland MB400 $250.
Motorola XPR3000e $300.
Again sort out your programming before you buy. Ideally you want to be able to program them yourself and remember some that you pay to program won’t be flexible to your needs.
Hypothetically I would lean towards using GMRS and MURS frequencies if I wasn’t a HAM, keep to the restrictions of those bands and you most likely won’t be caught unless stupid.
Again this is an overview of my thoughts. I can point you in my version of the correct direction, but you really need to consider what you truly need and research. If your going to put that much effort in it kind of makes sense to become a HAM.
If you won’t put the effort in to learning them I would buy IP67/68 rated GMRS handhelds, two GMRS mobiles, and two SSB CB mobiles with amplifers (emergency use). These would put you way above most with little effort.
- This topic was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Joe (G.W.N.S.).
September 9, 2019 at 10:48 pm #118666CivilianresponderParticipant
Thanks for the great info!
September 10, 2019 at 12:29 am #118678Joe (G.W.N.S.)Moderator
I just became aware of a version of the Baofeng that may be worth looking at.
It’s the Baofeng UV-9R Plus and it is IP67 rated. There seems to be little written about them in US, but many European write ups.
The biggest problem with these Baofeng radios is there are many model numbers for what are essentially the same radio. There are also counterfeit versions, though I suspect these are radios that don’t pass quality control and are sold and distributed through other channels, possibly with Baofengs knowledge as a cost savings measure.
Remember essentially all business in China is run by Military regardless if they wear suits or uniforms.
The multiple model designations also seems to help them ignore our rules and regulations by obscurity. Don’t blame them, why not if you can get away with it?
Lastly remember China is capable of building high quality products, but will provide adequate products if you wish. The price will reflect the level of quality.
I will order one for me to review, I suspect they won’t meet Icom quality standards, but in theory should be better for our purposes than something like the UV-5RTP which is an adequate hobby radio.
September 10, 2019 at 3:42 pm #118781
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