Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Portable Ham Radios (2022 Update) (2023)

Here in the digital age, where children carry more computational power in their pockets than was used to send a man to the moon, it's easy to lose sight of the oldest forms of communication. Bookstores are on life support, newspapers are not far behind, and ham radio seems as relevant as the rotary telephone. But where other forms of communication have succumbed to the digital onslaught, amateur radio lives on.

Why? Because when a natural disaster leaves the local digital infrastructure in shambles, radio amateurs are there to compensate. Portable ham radios, while not as powerful as the one that takes up half of your neighbor's attic, can be just as useful in an emergency, and they're also a lot of fun. Below are the10 best portable hamsfor 2021.

table of contents

1. Radio Ham BaoFeng BF-F8HP 8 Watts

Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Portable Ham Radios (2022 Update) (1)

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There is no escaping BaoFeng in the portable radio world. And that's okay because they make some extraordinary products. The BF-F8HP is an 8 watt portable ham that gives you the extra power you need to send your signal over hills and valleys. The high gain antenna is also a big help in this regard.

But BaoFeng not only increased the transmission power of this portable ham radio, but also increased the battery charge by 30% to accommodate its growing power needs. It actually has 3 power settings (1, 4 and 8 watts), but most people want this device for those extra watts that you just can't get from most other portable hams. It comes with a comprehensive English user guide and strong support.

2. Tidradio TD-UV5R

Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Portable Ham Radios (2022 Update) (2)

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The TD-UV5R is a versatile, reliable and surprisingly powerful little ham radio. It's feature-rich, loads quickly, provides around 10 hours of use on a full charge, and is PC programmable. Use it to communicate during an emergency, listen to music, keep in touch with others at family camp or just talk to other hams late into the night.

With its high-gain antenna, it has an extraordinarily long range for a 5-watt radio, and with the 771 15-inch antenna you can extend that range even further. The scanning function allows you to find other people and open communication. And the built-in LED flashlight lets you find your way when the lights go out. You also have the option to define and store frequencies for easy recall. Finally, programming the TD-UV5R is relatively easy, either via the keyboard or by connecting it to your computer.

(Video) Best Handheld Ham Radio for 2022 - Top 16 HT Ham Radios WATCH THIS!

3. Radio Lover TYT MD-380 TRBO

Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Portable Ham Radios (2022 Update) (3)

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The TYT MD-380 TRBO amateur radio uses DMR technology to produce crystal-clear multi-band audio quality. It has a color display (rare for this type of radio), allows you to switch between an analog or digital signal, and (in digital mode) can be used to send text messages. This can be very useful in an emergency.

The menu system is intuitive and quite easy to understand. And if you take this pup out into the countryside, you don't have to worry about rain or snow as it is very water resistant. It comes with everything you need to get started, including a desktop charger, belt clip, programming cable and a pair of antennas to extend its already formidable range.

4. Yaesu FT-60R Dual Band Portátil 5W VHF

Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Portable Ham Radios (2022 Update) (4)

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With 1,000 memory channels and 3 power settings, the Yaesu FT-60R is an excellent all-purpose ham radio. Battery life is impressive, the die-cast aluminum body is extremely robust, and the 5 watts of power is right in line with more expensive high-end portable hams. The fact that it is waterproof makes it a great choice for your hunting or camping trips.

There's a low battery alarm, dual-band compatibility, a backlit keyboard, and multiple scanning modes. It also provides weather information from NOAA. The antenna that comes with it is nothing to write home about. But the FT-60R will work with a variety of aftermarket antennas. So there is no need to support limited reception.

5. BaoFeng UV-82HP Dual Band Amateur Radio

Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Portable Ham Radios (2022 Update) (5)

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BaoFeng is determined to conquer the portable radio market, and with products like the UV-82HP dual-band ham radio, they are well on their way to achieving their goal. With 3 power settings (8, 4 and 1 watt), it receives UHF and VHF and allows VFO/MR locking through the attached software. There's also an 80-page user guide that explains everything admirably.

The dual push to talk (PTT) button allows you to transmit on two frequencies. The newest BaoFeng chipset offers exceptional range. And slightly larger buttons make the radio easier to use in tricky situations than previous iterations. The LCD screen isn't the best you'll find. But the speaker is big and powerful, and the tough aluminum body can take a beating.

6. Hesenate HT-UV5R Dual Band Amateur Radio

Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Portable Ham Radios (2022 Update) (6)

(Video) The Top 5 Handheld Ham Radios for 2023!

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The Hesenate HT-UV5R features high and low power settings, customizable channel names, and wide and narrowband capability. It is one of the easiest portable hams to program using your PC. Although you still need to refer to the user guide in advance and often.

The package includes a dual-band antenna that greatly extends the range, a desktop charger, a belt clip and a headphone jack. And since it's made by BaoFeng, you can be sure it will withstand both the outdoors and the test of time. With low battery alert, automatic standby time and LED flashlight, it's a handy workhorse.

7. Yaesu VX-6R Subergible Amateur Radio

Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Portable Ham Radios (2022 Update) (7)

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The Yaesu VX-6R is a rugged, submersible handheld ham radio perfect for hunters, mountaineers, rescuers, homeowners or hobbyists. It was built with the outdoors in mind and features JIS7 ​​waterproofing and a tough-as-nails magnesium case. It's also compact and lightweight, so taking it miles out into the countryside won't wear it out.

The VX-6R is password protected, offers 900 memory channels and features a multi-color backlit LCD display. The Li-ion battery isn't the best on the market. But it's not bad either. I was just hoping for something a little better. That's the only real downside here. Except, of course, trying to program using those little buttons. It transmits in the amateur radio bands of 144, 220 and 430Mhz.

8. Tribanda Kenwood Original TH-D74A

Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Portable Ham Radios (2022 Update) (8)

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Kenwood makes a surprise appearance on our list with its excellent TH-D74A tri-band ham radio. This is a feature-rich radio transceiver that has APRS for sending and receiving text messages, GPS data and much more. Plus, there's an updatable list of repeaters, DSP voice processing, a micro USB port, IF filtering, and more.

That 'much more' includes 1,000 programmable channels, AM/FM radio, CB stations, a 32GB SD card and Bluetooth. The entire set is also IP54 rated. Which means it will withstand any weather, though you probably shouldn't submerge it. The only significant drawback is the small buttons. That and the sometimes baffling organization of the menu.

9. Radio amador BTECH UV-5X3 5 tri-band

Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Portable Ham Radios (2022 Update) (9)

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(Video) Best Handheld Ham Radios in 2022 - My Picks on the Radios You Should Consider

The BTech UV-5X3 Tri-Band Ham Radio is a compact powerhouse with real-time switchable frequency band scanning and a dual-band V-85 antenna that greatly extends the effective range. It's fully compatible with accessories from the company's older UV-5R model, and it's very affordable to boot.

There are many innovative features including screen sync which lets you see the name and frequency of the current channel simultaneously. There is also VOX busy channel blocking and alphanumeric channel storage. It's also PC programmable, or you can add and remove channels via the on-screen menus.

10. Amateur Radio TYT UV8000E 10W

Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Portable Ham Radios (2022 Update) (10)

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The last of our best portable ham radios is this one from TYT. It is a dual-band transceiver with dozens of programmable channels. There's a cross-band repeater, hands-free VOX activation, a backlit LCD screen, and two high-gain antennas that actually project the signal. And this signal has a very strong power of 10 watts.

Audio quality is generally excellent. The speaker doesn't muffle outdoors and the battery life is excellent. Plus, there's a low battery alarm and a very informative guide to walk you through setup and programming. (Although it should be noted that you can only program the UV8000E via your PC.) Overall, it's a great choice for anyone wanting a little more power from their portable ham radio.

common questions

What is Amateur Radio?

An amateur radio is operated by an ordinary citizen and not by a media company or government entity. Private citizens have the right to use designated radio frequencies (1) for non-commercial purposes and an amateur radio, in conjunction with the CB radio, allows this type of use. People use ham radio for a variety of purposes. But it really comes into its own during emergencies, natural disasters and the like. When common channels of communication often fail.

Many people confuse ham radio with CB radio. But aside from some superficial similarities, such as being the domain of the average person, the two are quite different. Amateur radio equipment can transmit up to 1.5 kW of power. Even portable devices can generate 10 watts or more. While the CB radio is limited to transmitting at 5 watts. The vast majority of radio amateurs are also licensed and have taken basic courses in radio operation and equipment. Radio amateurs also operate in a variety of frequency bands (2) while CB is restricted to the 27mhz band.

Why is it called 'ham' radio?

The 600-pound gorilla in the room whenever ham radio is talked about is why it got its name. If you really want to start a heated debate, just bring it in the company of a group of radio amateurs. But while there are numerous urban legends circulating on the subject, two explanations tend to have the most support.

The Badge of Honor Version: According to this story, the early days of radio were a time of chaos. The government did not assign frequencies, so in theory each station had all the available spectrum. As a result, everyone was stepping on each other's toes all the time. Business operators became angry with the amateur usurpers and began referring to them with the derogatory term "ham" (as in "ham actor"). Fans then adopted the term as a sort of badge of honor and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Harvard version: The other theory about the origins of the term "ham radio" is this: HAM was an anagram of the names "Hyman, Almy and Murray". They were three members of the Harvard Radio Club around the turn of the 20th century who had established their own wireless station. After trying several variations, they settled on HAM as their station's call letters. As cute as they all are, this version reeks of the same sort of frustrated efforts used by the British upper class to claim Shakespeare as their own (3). The end result is that the origins of the name remain a mystery and controversy.

What are the license requirements for an amateur radio?

If you want to stream on your new ham radio (instead of just listening), you'll need a license. This fact scares many people who either A) don't want Man to control their every move or B) just don't want to be bothered. If you're averse to inviting the long arm of government into your life, you should probably settle for the default.walkie-talkiesor a CB radio. However, if it's the licensing process that's keeping you away from ham radio, you might be surprised to learn that the process is much simpler now than it used to be (4).

There are three license levels. The Technician License involves answering 35 questions. If you pass, you can broadcast across the country. The General License also requires a 35-question test, but on different aspects of radio operation. Pass it along and you can stream nationally and internationally. And finally, the Additional License for Hobbyists, which consists of 50 questions. If you pass, you can operate on all bands with full operating privileges.

(Video) I count down the best ham radio videos of 2022 - top ten list #hamradioqa

Do I really need a license? In reality?

Agree, you can, from a purely technical point of view, operate an amateur radio without a license. But doing so will likely incur both the government's wrath (5) and other hams about you. The fine for operating without a license can be as high as $10,000. They will also confiscate your equipment. And you can spend a few days in jail.

But in all honesty, the government has other things to do besides tracking the radio renegades, unless of course you are interfering with some government operation. Then they'll be all over you like a stench on you-know-what. The biggest threat to your unlicensed shenanigans will be other operators who can easily determine where your signal is originating from and alert the authorities. Get a license. It costs around $15 and will make your life a lot easier.

What are some things to consider with a ham radio?

Here are some common considerations for anyone looking for radio amateurs.

Strength– When it comes to portable radios, you're looking for limited amounts of power. There's no way around it. Even those that claim to be "high powered" are limited to 5 or maybe 10 watts maximum. So don't go for the 1,500 watts or more that some amateur stations have at their disposal (6).

frequencies– The frequency you can stream will depend on the type of license you have (see above). When purchasing a ham radio (portable or otherwise), make sure it is designed to operate on the frequencies you have access to (7).

Bands– Dual band feature allows the operator to monitor two frequencies simultaneously. General coverage allows you to use your assigned ham radio bands and also receive AM, FM and some TV frequencies. You will likely spend a lot of time on the 440 MHz band (8) assigned by the government to radio amateurs.

Backlight– If you plan to use your ham radio at night while camping in the woods, for example, it is important that the display is illuminated. Plus, if you're at home and the power goes out during a natural disaster, you'll be glad your screen has backlighting. Also, look for the ability to turn the backlight on and off to save power.

What are the benefits of an amateur radio?

People buy hams for many different reasons, but mainly because:

it's an interesting hobby– Operating a ham radio, even a relatively low powered portable radio, is a good hobby for anyone who enjoys bird watching or stamp collecting a bit boring.

Help expand your world.– There are currently about 2 million radio amateurs worldwide (9). And although portable radio amateurs have limited power, they allow you to tune in to this hitherto unknown segment of society. You will definitely make new friends and expand your worldview.

They are useful in an emergency.– When SHTF people need a reliable way to communicate. Amateur radio is one of the best. Ham radio operators are often forced to coordinate rescues and help direct emergency services to where they are needed.

It doesn't cost an arm and a leg– Aside from the initial cost of the radio itself, it's a hobby you can pursue for a lifetime at very low cost.

I have a cellphone. Why do I need a radio amateur?

You don't. On the other hand, you don't "need" a cell phone either. People have done without them for about a million years. But beyond that, the case of ham radio can best be illustrated using the example of a natural disaster. Let's say a hurricane hits the coast where you live. It destroys everything, leaving thousands of people without running water, electricity or food, and bringing down cell phone towers for hundreds of miles. How exactly are you going to call for help on your cell phone if you can't get a signal? The short answer is that you won't (10). However, if you have a ham radio, you can stay in touch with other carriers and even FEMA, which advocates the use of ham radios in emergencies (11).


My emergency radio not good enough?

There's nothing wrong with having an emergency radio handy. In fact, every home should have one. But its usefulness, while real, remains limited. They just don't offer the kind of practicality that hams do in emergency situations. Think about it. While an emergency radio might offer AM/FM, NOAA radio, and perhaps a few other news channels, many of these stations stop broadcasting when things get really bad.

Ham radio, on the other hand, often comes to life during and after a disaster. It doesn't depend on dozens of employees showing up to keep the station running. You don't depend on cell phone towers to stay upright and can connect you to others in your immediate area who might need your help or might be able to help you.

the bottom line

Portable ham radios are essential emergency equipment for anyone living in a high-risk area. They provide communication when cell phones, the Internet, standard television and radio fail and allow for the coordination of rescue and relief efforts. But beyond the important role they play in disaster relief, they're also a first-class hobbyist, can provide the gateway to a bigger world, and make a great gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your family. The portable hams on our list represent the cream of the crop. They are all well built, reliable, easy to use and affordable. Whatever you're looking for in a portable ham radio, you'll find it in one of our top 10 radios for 2020.


What is the best mobile ham radio for SHTF? ›

GMRS – Our Choice For SHTF Walkie Talkies For Emergency Use. When it comes to choosing a radio to keep on hand in case disaster strikes we chose GMRS for a number of reasons, including its long range and versatility. GMRS walkie talkies are as affordable as FRS or MURS units, but can do so much more.

Are handheld ham radios worth it? ›

The ham radio is worth buying for survival situations. Ailunce HD1 DMR allows transmission in both VHF (136-174 MHz) and UHF (400-480 MHz) frequencies. It worked quite well in both frequencies when I tested it. I love the GPS accuracy of Ailunce HD1.

What is the longest range ham radio? ›

Extending your range with Repeaters & Digital
HandheldFM Simplex~ 5 Miles
MobileFM Simplex~ 50 Miles line of site
Handheld or MobileFM Repeater~ 50 miles from the repeater
Handheld or MobileLinked Repeater~ 500 miles when available

How do I choose a portable radio? ›

New Guide: Choosing a Portable Radio
  1. Audio Quality. Important calls must be loud and clear, so that the message can be heard first-time. ...
  2. Connectivity. ...
  3. Worker Safety Features. ...
  4. User Experience. ...
  5. Build Quality. ...
  6. Accessories. ...
  7. Personalization. ...
  8. Future Proof.
Jun 10, 2020

What is the range of an 8 watt handheld ham radio? ›

Most airband radios are 5 - 8 watts and typically have a range of around 200 miles.

What handheld radio does the military use? ›

The AN/PRC-148 Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR) is the most widely fielded handheld multiband, tactical software-defined radio, used by NATO forces around the world. The radio is built by Thales Communications, a subsidiary of the France-based Thales Group.

How far will a 50 watt ham radio transmit? ›

They assume a 5 watt handheld, 50 watt mobile, 5/8 wave mobile antenna with 6 dB gain and 5/8 wave, 6dB gain omnidirectional base antenna at 50′. Urban Environment – Around 1/2 – 1 mile from handheld to handheld, up to 2 miles mobile to handheld, and up to 5 miles or more, base to mobile, with base antenna at 50′.

Are there any American made ham radios? ›

Elecraft KX3

They're also the only standalone HF radios still made in the United States.

Who make the best radios? ›

Best DAB radio 2023: the finest digital radios to buy today
  • Ruark R1. ...
  • Roberts Stream 94L. ...
  • Pure Siesta Charge. ...
  • Roberts Rambler Mini. ...
  • Roberts Revival iStream 3. ...
  • Pure Evoke Play. ...
  • Ruark R2. ...
  • Roberts Sports DAB 5.
Feb 17, 2023

What frequency is best for ham radio? ›

For ham radio operators, you'll use the frequency range from 420 – 450MHz. Unlike the reliability of VHF radio waves, UHF has a much shorter wavelength and is prone to interference from basically any solid object, whether that's a building blocking your signal or even your body.

How long do handheld radios last? ›

The newer forms of digital two way radios, like those of the MotoTRBO line, are expected to last up to seven years on the job. Older two way radio models (such as the CP200 and the GP300, P110, and SP50 radios are usually a three to five year timeline.

Why do preppers use ham radios? ›

Preppers generally agree Ham is the best choice because: Ham is the only option where you can listen and talk to your local emergency services. Ham radio has a much wider range of frequencies than the others.

Is there a ham radio that covers all bands? ›

The Sky's No Limit!

The IC-9100 contains years of advanced Icom technology in a compact, all-in-one HF/VHF/UHF transceiver. This radio covers most ham bands and modes, and provides a wide variety of operating styles.

How far will 100 watt CB reach? ›

about 50-60 miles with a 60 foot antenna.

Can ham radio reach the space station? ›

They're usually free most of the weekend, as well. The crew can operate the Kenwood radio in the crossband repeater mode, and hams can make contacts with the ISS station when the crew members are working.

How many people still use ham radios? ›

CountryNumber of amateur radio operators% population
United States779,5450.233
31 more rows

How many watt radio do I need? ›

If you'll be talking between buildings or for up to 2 miles outdoors, then you'll want to buy 2-watt radios. Four and five watt radios cover still greater distances outdoors and between 350,000 square feet or 30 floors indoors.

Can a portable radio be traced? ›

The networks rely on radio frequency, not an internet connection and radio frequencies can be hard to trace through GPS but it's not impossible. Two-way radios traceability can be seen as a negative, but it also can be used to a company's advantage to allow you to trace your employees whereabouts.

What power output the most portable radios have? ›

Handheld radios usually operate in the 1 to 2 watt range and sometimes up to as much as 5 watts output (but note that higher power levels will more quickly drain your batteries).

How do I extend the range of my handheld ham radio? ›

Three Tips for Extending Two Way Radio Range
  1. Improve the antenna - Larger antennas can boost the range of a two way radio. ...
  2. Use a repeater – Signal repeaters can help extend range. ...
  3. Make sure your batteries are good – Low battery strength can impact the strength of your radio signal.

How far will a 4 watt CB transmit? ›

Transmitter power is limited to 4 watts in the US and the EU. CB radios have a range of about 3 miles (4.8 km) to 20 miles (32 km) depending on terrain, for line of sight communication; however, various radio propagation conditions may intermittently allow communication over much greater distances.

What frequency travels the farthest? ›

Because low frequency sounds travel farther than high frequency ones, infrasound is ideal for communicating over long distances. This figure illustrates the concepts of frequency and amplitude.

What radio do the Marines use? ›

What is a "Marine VHF Radio"? Although not required in recreational boats under 65.5 feet long, a Very High Frequency (VHF) Marine Radio allows instant communication between your boat and other boats, marinas, bridges, and the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

What radios do civil patrol use? ›

Airborne Repeaters 40. VHF Radio (Fixed) 25. VHF Radio (Mobile) 3,820. VHF Radio (Portable) 654.

What radio Does the FBI use? ›

The FBI moved to APCO P25 digital mode. The FBI can also access state police radio and regional mutual Aid systems in many states.

How far can a 1000 watt radio transmit? ›

If an ERP of 1000 Watt is used, it is very probable that the signal will reach 20 kilometers, and it will also penetrate eventual obstacles.

How far can a 5 watt ham radio transmit? ›

The 5 watt radio can reach up to 12 miles or more. Some handheld radios have 6 watts which can reach up to 20 miles in the right conditions.

What is the maximum wattage for ham radio? ›

US Amateur Transmitter Power Limits

Unless otherwise noted, the maximum power output is 1500 watts PEP. Novice/Technicians are limited to 200 watts PEP on HF bands.

What is the most popular radio in USA? ›

Top radio stations in USA
  • 101.1 The Beat - BigR.
  • 104.3 Jamz - Bates FM.
  • 108.1 JAMZ - BigR.
  • 100.7 The Mix - BigR.
  • 100.9 Star Country! - BigR.
  • 100.8 The Hawk!! - BigR.
  • 100.5 Classic Rock - BigR.

What brand is Japanese ham radio? ›

The Yaesu brand is well known among ham radio aficionados and is synonymous with premium quality ham radios.

Is Yaesu coming out with a new radio? ›

JULY 6, 2022 – Social media awash with news today that YAESU is about to introduce a new transceiver – the FT-710. It will cover 160-6m with 100w output. Note: The FT-710M and FT-710S are the 50 and 10 watt versions of this new radio.

Where are Sangean radios made? ›

Sangean Electronics, Inc.

(Chinese: 山進電子; pinyin: Shān Jìn diànzi) is a Taiwanese electronics company headquartered in Zhonghe District, New Taipei, Taiwan, with a factory located in Dongguan, China.

Is Sangean any good? ›

Top positive review

The analogue(ness) of the radio is particularly enjoyable. It has a some heft - doesn't feel light and cheap. Reception is excellent, finish is top-notch, but it is the sound-quality which really makes this radio shine. Kudos to Sangean!

Is Sangean a good brand? ›

Sangean has established a reputation for manufacturing the highest quality standards and performance radios for 40 years.

What is a good first ham radio? ›

We recommend a handheld transceiver (HT) for the newly licensed Technician that: is a dual-band VHF/UHF transceiver, usually with 2-meter and 70-centimeter bands.

How high does a ham radio antenna need to be? ›

1. Antennas and related support structures which have a height of not more than 15 feet. 2. Vertical or whip antennas, that are not otherwise mounted on antenna support structures, provided such antennas are no higher than 25 feet above the height of the main building.

How can I boost my ham radio signal? ›

How can I expand the range?
  1. Elevate your antenna. Antennas are a vital solution to achieve clear communication not only within base stations, but in temporary and mobile situations as well. ...
  2. Invest in a rebroadcast system. ...
  3. Increase power.
Mar 15, 2019

Will radio ever go away? ›

Still, although radio isn't going away any time soon, there's little question that streaming has gone a long way toward leveling the playing field. “Things are a lot different these days,” Kovac concludes. “Being on a major label or played on the radio aren't the only ways to succeed.”

What does 5 5 90 duty cycle mean? ›

The 5-5-90% cycle

In the radio communications industry, we talk about radios being on a specific cycle. It is called the 5-5-90% cycle time assumption. This means that when you use a radio, 5% of your time is spent transmitting, 5% receiving, and 90% on standby.

Is radio becoming obsolete? ›

In the era of digital media, radio continues to thrive even as the newer generations alter listening trends and habits. And there's no better day to honor this and the other accomplishments of this media form than World Radio Day!

What are the disadvantages of ham radio? ›

Ham radio operations can be affected due to weather and terrain conditions as it operates using radio frequency waves. ➨Ham radio requires skilled operators. ➨Ham radio requires power source for its operations which is required to be carried along with radio equipments and laptop.

What is the best ham radio for survival? ›

Yaesu VX-6R is the best handheld ham radio for survival for its emergency preparedness, durability, and reliability. If your priority is battery life, you won't find a better handheld ham radio than BaoFeng BF-F8HP.

How hard is the ham radio test? ›

The entry level Technician License Exam requires around 10 hours of study for most people. The Technician and General License exams each have 35 questions, and the Amateur Extra has 50. In order to pass the each test, you must get at least a 74%.

What is the most used ham band? ›

20 metres – 14.000–14.350 MHz – Considered the most popular DX band; usually most popular during daytime.

Why are there GMRS over ham? ›

GMRS radios are simpler and reduce the risk of operator error, like transmitting on a ham frequency when you meant to transmit on a GMRS frequency or transmitting with too much power. Since GMRS radios are simpler, they're less intimidating for family members who might have to operate one in an emergency.

What is the best ham radio for preppers? ›

Most preppers and survivalists with radios are familiar with its predecessor the UV5R. The F8HP is 8 watts, so a little more powerful than either the FT-60R or the IC-V86. And it will receive FM broadcast stations.

What radio frequency do Preppers use? ›


151.940 MHz FM is the MURS Prepper channel, known as MURS Channel 3. Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) is an unlicensed two-way radio service similar to CB but on VHF FM. It is in wide use by preppers and survivalists.

What is the most used ham radio frequency? ›

The most popular is the 144-MHz (2-meter) band. That's where you'll find a lot of ham radio operators as well as local public safety calls. If you want to hear the civilian aircraft frequencies, you'll want to look for a radio that has the 118 to 136 MHz air band.

What communication do preppers use? ›

During an emergency, you may need to rely on alternative forms of communication such as amateur radio, family band radios, satellite phones, landlines, voice over internet protocol (VOIP), social media, or old fashioned hand-written notes.

What is the most popular ham radio digital mode? ›

The most popular digital modes in ham radio are conversational modes (keyboard-to-keyboard). Best way to describe these is the instant messaging or text messaging of ham radio digital modes. One station sends a message to another station. The other station does the same in return.

What radios do Navy Seals use? ›

The AN/PRC-148 Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR) is the most widely fielded handheld multiband, tactical software-defined radio, used by NATO forces around the world. The radio is built by Thales Communications, a subsidiary of the France-based Thales Group.

What radios do first responders use? ›

  • Ritron Radios. VHF Mobile Radios. POC Mobile Radios (Push-to-Talk Over Cellular) Push-to-Talk Over Cellular.
  • Radio Accessories. Kenwood Two Way Radio Antennas. Ritron Two Way Radio Antennas. Motorola RDU2020 Antennas. Motorola RDV2020 Antennas. Motorola RDU2080D Antennas. Motorola RDV2080D Antennas. Motorola CP110 Antennas.

What radio frequency has the best range? ›

For most users who want their radios to be "good all-rounders", UHF is the best choice. But if you plan to use your radios only in open countryside (or at sea - maritime radio is VHF) then VHF is better for absolute range.

What radio frequency does the FBI use? ›

FBI - Data From the States Database
173.15000FBI - Mobile Office
167.56250FBI common channel D4
173.10000164.01250FBI repeater, Channel "Alpha 1"(Encryption Probable)
Jan 5, 2023

What radio frequency does the US military use? ›

Band Usage

The military services use the 138-144 MHz band to support air-to-ground, air-to-air, and air-ground-air (AGA) tactical communications; air traffic control operations; LMR nets for sustaining base and installation infrastructure support; and for tactical training and test range support.


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