3 Best Portable Ham Radio's: A Quick Look-Up
7 Most Powerful Handheld Ham Radios
This is a dual-band display, dual frequency display, and dual-standby
An affordable option
128 channels with 50 CTCSS and 104 DCS
Features a built-in VOX function
Large LCD display with LED flashlight
Comes with a keypad lock
Output power: 4/1 Watts
Product dimensions: 8 x 4 x 5 inches
Weight: 8.8 ounces
The UV-5R is a compact dual band two-way radio that provides 4 watts in the frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHZ. This is a micro-miniature multiband FM transceiver that enables extensive receive frequency coverage, providing local-area two-way communication.
They offer the best amateur communications with unmatched monitoring capability. The BaoFeng UV-5R is an economical HT that includes a special VHF receive band from 65-108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. check out the first hand review by a real user.
This also supports dual watch and dual reception. Features such as large LCD display, tri-color background selectable light, with 0-9 grades VOX selectable make it more useful.
This Ham radio is a battery saver and shows communication over any 128 channels 50 CTCSS (Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System) with dual-band display, dual-standby and a/B band independent operation. Emergency alerts and keypad lock prove highly beneficial.
Good audio with a spectrum analyzer.
Warranty could be a bit better.
This is the next generation UV-5R
Supposed to be the most powerful handheld ham radio
Comes with a 30% larger battery
Features a new hardened durable radio shell
In-Depth documentation with concierge support
Backed up by the full USA warranty
Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2 x 2 inches
Weight: 10.1 ounces
This is another dual band handheld radio that improves on the UV-5R and remains more powerful as based on a new generation chipset. This boasts of a new 2000mAh battery along with three power levels (1, 4, 8 watt) and a high gain V-85 antenna.
Even while using high power the 30% larger battery provides long-lasting radio performance. This offers average battery life:
UV-5R High (4W): 18 Hours.
BF-F8HP High (8W): 20 Hours.
BF-F8HP Mid (5W): 24 Hours.
For using the built-in flash or the built-in FM radio the large battery gives you adequate peace of mind as you have the power to communicate whole day without going for a recharge.
This is a quality product from the United States and the company has designed it to provide ease to the user. With this you also get exclusive warranty support and concierge customer help.
Excellent one with no cons as such
Perfect For Beginners
An entry-level digital radio
Broadcasts at up to 5-watts of power
Inexpensive and easy to use
Broadcasts in analog mode also
Comes with two antennas
You can program it on the computer
These are the new comers and a good choice for the amateur radio operators.It could be the best handheld ham radio for beginners as it is extremely easy to use and is inexpensive too. Don’t forget to take a quick look at accessories that comes along with this package.
With broadcasting of up to 5 watts of power this band allows this handset to work as GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) also. The MD-380 has the ability to broadcast in analog mode as well, and you may miss the text messages then.
With two antennas, the smaller one gets in the way while the high-gain antenna gives you more range. Comes with good programming in the box. The plastic shell is not weatherproof and can’t withstand the rigors of the outdoors.
It is non-waterproof
Best For Survival
A dual band smallest ham radio
GPS-enabled and capable of sending APRS
Includes two batteries
Product dimensions: 2 x 1.5 x 5 inches
Weight: 1.8 pounds
Display offers multiple modes
Groups can easily be added
A dual-band digital ham radio that can broadcast up to 7 watts. Others can track you as this is GPS-enabled. One 2,100mAh and the other 3.100mAh battery is included with the radio. It is wise if you use a smaller battery as a backup and the larger one for most purposes.
With the multiple mode feature you can set for daytime/night time by making use of the vibrant blue or contrasting black settings. The display is pretty busy but usable too. Click here to know how many people recently bought this product.
It is the best ham radio for preppers as groups can be easily added and the quick replies can be done on the screen. It comes with a programming cable and you can program the radio on your computer. While you are on the swim don’t take it out and keep it intact in your jacket as this isn’t waterproof.
Does digital repeat but not analog
Best For Hiking
Includes wider receiver coverage
One thousand memory channels
Water-resistant portable ham radio
Durable with a good battery life
Inexpensive and easy to use
Product dimensions: 2.28 x 1.18 x 4.29 inches
Weight: 13.1 ounces
Unlike others the Yaesu FT-60R is a portable, water-resistant, and a good handheld radio model that features a plastic frame and comes with a robust aluminum case. The material isn’t flimsy and won’t crack if dropped. The most authentic user review by one Henrick, after using this product for 1 month.
This comes with a good battery life and can last for about 3-4 days with a single charge. This is inexpensive and one of the best hand-held ham radios available. This offers 5 watts of raw power, different modes of scanning , and has an audio-alarm that alerts you whenever the battery goes low.
The receiver has a wide coverage and along with this the Yaesu FT-60R impressively receives about 1000 memory channels. The password feature restricts unauthorized access and a backlit keypad comes with an alphanumeric display.
The stock antenna could be a bit better
Largest LCD Display
Gives the user a comfortable feel
Big screen LCD display
Can be stored and retrieved 20 sets of frequency
Power-on message editable
Backlight intensity can be adjusted
Weight: 2 pounds
The Wouxun KG-UV8D is an impressive dual band radio that fits well in the arms and provide you with optimum comfort. While in use the radio had the capacity to last for 12 hours as this top of line radio is powered by a 7.4V 2600mAH rechargeable battery, alternatively it can be power by a car battery as well otherwise used to power up electircals/car amplifiers.
The battery last6s longer and efficient with the battery saving feature of the radio. The model KG-UV8D is designed such by the Wouxun that it looks stylish, cool, and functions the same way. Also find out reasons why some users had negative reviews about this product.
As already mentioned, this comes with a big LCD display screen, high illumination flashlight, and a hands-free operation feature. So more catchy features such as the 999 programmable memory channels, a detachable antenna, a stopwatch make it more useful.
Manual could be a bit better
Annoying display during sunny days
Best Frequency Coverage
Exhibits a high-quality display where there is no source of light
Durable and sits firm in hands
Advanced auto-band detection
Provides better squelch (9-level)
Product dimensions: 2.36 x 1.18 x 4.71 inches
Weight: 1.15 pounds
The UV-5R EX 5W comes with a multiband FM transceiver and enables huge frequency coverage that supports two-way communications. A tough metallic casing is a part of it and this assures enough security for all the internal parts if accidentally dropped.
One great thing about the BaoFeng upgraded version is the new advanced auto-band detection feature that eliminates the need to use a band button. This allows easy change between the high and low transmit power.
High-quality Led display is offered by the two-color LEDC screen. This hand held ham radio comes with unmatched superiority and longevity due to its high-tech features as compared to its competitors. The private code allows you to do group calling with a party too.
Unable to access some stations without authorization
Only 2 frequency ranges
What Is Ham Radio?
There is a funny story behind this. Ham is the deception of the word amateur.
So, in other words Ham/amateur radio is used for non-commercial activities such as socializing, fun, communication experimenting, and emergency situations.
Ham radios are not only handheld but tabletop too. But most commonly the walkie-talkies commonly known as hand-held ham radios have gained more popularity due to their convenience.
Many of the users love it as a hobby and that has given birth to many amateur clubs out there.
You know these people are known as ‘hams’ and they range from young and amateur enthusiasts to the seasoned experts (with decades of experience in radio communications).
How To Get A Better Signal Out Of Your Hand-Held Radio?
You all including me must have confronted such a situation in the process of getting the best signal out of our handheld radio. Weird contortions, slowly swiveling around, and standing on our tippy toes…. we do all for best outcomes for getting the signal…. Isn’t it!
These portable gadgets have a limited range, but repeater systems are known to extend their range. Unluckily if you are on a bad spot it won’t help either.
For better reception and stronger signals, we have some tips for you:-
1. Get The Radio Off Your Belt
You are aware of the limitations, low transmission, quality, and other compromises done by this device.
The rule of the thumb is, holding it properly makes a difference and how well it transmits.
Your body doesn’t absorb the signal, and the antenna may be pressing against your body, and this may turn out to be a great disadvantage if you are not getting the signal.
So, waist mounted and indoors, this will prove useless.
2. Hold It Right And Tight
Holding your handheld ham radio in the right way is all that matters. You should hold it upright with the antenna away from your face. One should speak clearly and nicely by keeping your mouth positioned 3-6 inches away.
With more closeness with the mic you will be much heard and clear in noisy environments. Some people make a mistake by holding it horizontally and covering the mic with hands and this makes the signal horizontally polarized.
A good repeater may prove of help but not always. The punch line is hold it right and swivel your body in the right direction for best quality signal. You may get a scratchy signal sometimes, so try to get an S-meter on your display.
Even in the woods I have tried that position has helped a lot in those situations.
3. Aftermarket Accessories
Handie talkies (HT) come with the features that you may like but with time would like to change a bit or add any different accessory. Usually the antennas may be 3-inch or so and prove less useful with either 0 or a negative gain.
An aftermarket antenna can be opted by you for increasing range. A higher gain antenna will be the wisest thing to do. Even I prefer to carry adapters to connect to my HT. Even a fresh battery matters a lot as after discharging they lose their volts.
Keeping a spare battery also proves of immense use. changing of battery may lead to better signal reception and gain.
It could be unnerving sometimes to choose the best one out of so many models in the market while most of them appear similar. Along with the design, the frequency range, antennas, programmability, and many other things should be taken into consideration.
Get the handheld ham radio that satisfies you as a beginner, survivor, or if you are on a limited budget. Purchase the one that offers you the best features ever and pursue your hobby.