hand leld raido

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by thepick, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. thepick

    thepick Filing Flight Plan

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    I need...I want a hand held. any recommendations on witch of the 50 or so to get?
     
  2. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Icom, Vertex (Yaesu?), and Sporty's are pretty much the ones to look at.

    Don't spend the extra on the NAV functions. All are good and solid, but they all have different user interfaces - some are easer to use than others and it's personal preference.

    If you want to get really picky, compare their speaker loudness and water resistance ratings.

    I've used all 3, and have the Icom.
     
  3. WingNut42

    WingNut42 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Matthew summed it up well. I too have an icom and like it. They all work well and all have shortcomings.
     
  4. MSPAviator

    MSPAviator Cleared for Takeoff

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  5. zwaustin

    zwaustin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have the sportys 400 model.... Works well for getting clearances and listening to local weather and tower before departure. Has ILS GS which I used once to test and it works well enough. Good radio for 315 bucks.
     
  6. hotprops

    hotprops Line Up and Wait

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    yaesu and i have owned them all the 230 is the best
     
  7. CT4ME

    CT4ME Cleared for Takeoff

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  8. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

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    I also have a Yaesu 230. I like it , small, light weight, battery life seems good. I have only transmitted with it at the airport talking to RCO. Live 10 miles from airport and pick up tower and ATIS fine. I must say I need a cheat sheet in order to program frequencies and such. Just don't use it enough and have not committed everything to memory. I carry as a back up in the plane but do not know the range. Someday I plan on installing a separate external antenna specifically for the handheld.
     
  9. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Lol!!
     
  10. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The cheapest one you can find.

    They are all limited by the dinky antenna.

    My $150 used Sportys has had some interesting uses, like locating ELTs on the ground.
     
  11. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Re: hand held radio

    I would look for one that has a nickel metal hydride battery instead of nickel cadmium, because the need to periodically completely discharge the latter is incompatible with having the radio be ready for use when you need it.

    I would look for one that uses a BNC connector for the antenna, to facilitate using a suction-cup mounted antenna in a window.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  12. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I have the yaeso 230 find it to be a good radio for the money
     
  13. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Been happy with my small vertex, it's a navcom, fm radio, business radio, NOAA, made in Japan, rechargable batteries, not made out of cheap plastic, even submersible
     
  14. SPAJC

    SPAJC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You just about cant go wrong with a Yaesu (Vertex) radio. They are very user friendly compared to anything Icom, Kenwood, or otherwise. I use one and love it. Cheaper as well. You can find them used on ebay for around $100-$150. I'm not a big fan of the Sporty's stuff personally. I think mine is the Yaesu/Vertex Pilot III.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. mkosmo

    mkosmo Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Does anybody else smell ramp again?
     
  16. Sac Arrow

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    I have an Icom A22 with an aftermarket metal hydride battery. I thought the nav capability was pretty cool when I got it, but I've used it exactly... Well I played around with it for a while on the ground anyway.

    Good radio. Works fine. I use it mostly for ground ops, and CTAF monitoring for the occasional fly in.
     
  17. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Re: hand held radio

    That's what I have too. The original nickel cadmium battery eventually deteriorated to the point that it wouldn't hold a charge for very long. Now that I have the nickel metal hydride battery in it, it's nice that it's ready to use when I need it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  18. ettsn

    ettsn Pre-takeoff checklist

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  19. CT4ME

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    Whatever radio you buy, the interfaces are pretty un-intuitive and you'll never remember how to access many of the functions. I found that hiding a small printed cheat sheet in the battery compartment helps a lot.
     
  20. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    :lol::lol:..

    Wonder witch he/ she buys ..:dunno::dunno:;)
     
  21. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    I have an Icom A22. I'm on my 3rd battery in 18 years. It gets used every weekend at the glider club, normally on for 6 hours or more, being used, not just on receive. Back up radio for my airplane flying. Currently running a 1500mAhr NiMH battery
     
  22. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

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    That's why I love the Yaesu because I can just type in the frequency without any special buttons. Can't get any more intuitive for me. The developers did a good job on that spec. All for less than $200. I was sold instantly.

    I also have an expensive scanner that is so un-intuitive that I practically never use it and am considering just getting rid of it for that very reason.
     
  23. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Re: hand held radio

    Let me guess: Uniden?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  24. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  25. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  26. MikeS

    MikeS Pre-takeoff checklist

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    > "That's why I love the Yaesu because I can just type in the frequency without any special buttons."

    Before it was Yaesu it was Vertex Standard and yes, it's a nice strong radio, very well built and conveniently sized. The lighted keyboard on mine could be better. It's a reddish color and doesn't illuminate the numerals on the keypad buttons very well. Also requires an adapter to go from their native SMA to BNC. No biggie. Easy to find.

    It's rated at 5 watts if on ship's power, 3 watts if on batteries.

    I also have two Icoms, A5 and A24. Both keypads have buttons easy to read when illuminated at night. Both come with BNC antenna connectors, no adapters necessary. The A24 alkaline battery holder holds 8 batteries so really has a lot of power reserve plus puts out 5 watts when using batteries or the rechargable nicad pack. When entering a frequency from the keypad the Icoms require that you finish entering the frequency by hitting "enter". No biggie.

    If on a desert island with only one of these three radios I'd have to choose the A24 with the alkaline battery pack filled with AA lithiums.

    I'm lusting after the Sporty's SP-400 because of the ILS feature. I've read lots of complaints about this radio, not the least of which is how Sporty's nickle and dimes you to death for the necessary accessories. Also has numerous quality control complaints but supposedly all these issues have been improved. I had their SP-200 for years and it held up well to being drug around Africa. Finally got stolen in Tulsa along with my car. Their SP-400 doesn't sound as durable as their SP-200 was but just going on what I read . . . I've never even seen one in real life. They advertise the SP-400 for $315 but by the time you're done you've got almost 5 bills in it. Might be worth it though to have an ILS so handy.*

    Yeasu has one with an ILS and a GPS but has such an arcane interface it's reportedly really hard to use.


    * It's just a matter of time . . . hopefully soon . . . that one of the portable GPS makers is going to come out with the capacity to, with the push of a button, designate a glideslope & localizer to any runway in their database. AnywhereMap did this years ago and it worked beautifully - until they screwed it up royally. Somebody else is going to do it some day soon . . . I'm just waiting. It must be liability concerns that have held them off from doing it up to this point . . .

    . . . yes, one can do a workaround using currently available vertical navigation features but the real reason for having this one-button ILS feature - suffering a sudden engine-out at night or in marginal conditions - one doesn't have time for time-consuming "workarounds".
     
  27. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Re: hand held radio


    Better get, find one of the third party aftermarket Lithium Ion packs for any of the modern radios, and appropriate charger for same.

    NiMh and NiCd are a pain in the ass.

    If the LIon pack ever catches fire, just throw it out the window. Haha.
     
  28. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Re: hand held radio

    In what way is that true of NiMH?
     
  29. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Re: hand held radio


    Higher rate of self-discharge. Top off the Li pack and it'll be sitting there ready to do work, months later, with only a slight discharge. Way better tech for a handheld that's infrequently used.
     
  30. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Re: hand held radio

    Good to know, thanks.

    I do feel that NiMH is vastly superior to NiCd, though, because I can top it off before a flight without worrying that I'm degrading the battery by doing so.
     
  31. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Re: hand held radio


    Technically that has more to do with poor charging technique by charger manufacturers and impatience by users than the battery tech itself.

    Plenty of NiCd batteries running satellites off of solar charge controllers that do it correctly, which have been on-orbit for a decade or more.

    Look up the recommended way to charge any of them from a battery manufacturer and it won't say "plug them into a wall wort with fixed voltage and no current limiting". But that's what the product makers do.

    The benefit of Li batteries in consumer devices is technically that since they actually need a specific charge regimen to not do dangerous things, like catch on fire, there aren't any "bad" chargers for them.

    NiCd and NiMh, there's piles of horrible charge circuits out there for them that don't follow any of the manufacturer's recommendations for the care and feeding of the cells. Cheap crap.
     
  32. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Re: hand held radio

    Is the "memory" effect of NiCd, i.e., the need to completely discharge them before recharging, just a product of poor charge circuits? (Not arguing, just wondering.)
     
  33. MikeS

    MikeS Pre-takeoff checklist

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    > "I also have two Icoms, A5 and A24. Both keypads have buttons easy to read when illuminated at night. Both come with BNC antenna connectors, no adapters necessary. The A24 alkaline battery holder holds 8 batteries so really has a lot of power reserve plus puts out 5 watts when using batteries or the rechargable nicad pack. When entering a frequency from the keypad the Icoms require that you finish entering the frequency by hitting "enter"."

    I was wrong regarding the "A24" in the paragraph above. It's an A22 and it has ten double A cells in the battery pack, not eight. I use lithium AA non-rechargable cells and boy they have a really good shelf life. Also definitely superior discharge capacity.

    Despite the fact I don't seem to know which model it's called, it is the one I would keep if I had to keep just one of the three I have. The A5 is "neater" for it's smaller size and really intuitive operation. Has all the features one could want and I especially like the visual clarity of the lighted keypad. The A22 has those ten lithiums though so for a desert island situation it would be the one to have. The A5 is the one I actually use in the plane. The A22 is for back-up. Antenna line on the mounted A5 runs through an amplifier so it truly does produce 5 watts. Very nice little radio, the A5.
     

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  34. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Re: hand held radio


    From what I've read, NASA and other space agencies have all but negated that effect with proper charging, yes. Most times (but not always) "memory" in NiCd is actually cell damage via out gassing from too high a charge rate, leading to a hot battery that will lose capacity for every charge cycle thereafter after it has to vent. Really really good chargers have a thermal sensor you slap to the pack when charging it, or better, a thermal sensor buried in the pack.

    NiCd also suffers from problems from different charge and discharge rates from individual cells inside a pack, and circuits designed to charge them singly work best, or "matching" cells before assembling them into a pack, are a couple of ways to negate some of the unwanted effects. NiMh also suffers those problems but is a bit more forgiving on overcharge and damage to the individual cells.

    It's been a while but NASA has some nice studies on NiCd floating around the net somewhere. They were debunking the "memory" thing and proving they could keep cells alive and happy for a very long time, on orbit.

    Li has the disadvantage that every charge cycle lowers the lifespan and charge capability of the pack/cells. Eventually they die. They usually exhibit a better "knee" where they'll put out reasonable power for longer and then drop off the end of a cliff, but the embedded charge controllers in the pack or in the charger/device handle all of that detail for you. Many will even tell you when the pack is getting close to turning into a useless pumpkin.

    One way to alleviate the "bad charger" syndrome of NiCd or NiMh is to use the AA cell versions of the things, if the radio is happy with the slight voltage differences, and then charge them with a good smart charger. I haven't bought a smart charger in years but if Maha brand is still around, they've always been "good enough" universal chargers for me. There's probably something better and cheaper by now.

    My Maha measures battery voltage resting and under load for a minute or two and figures out cell type and capacity from there and has a switch for what chemistry the cell or pack is made up of. If the cell or pack is completely flat (not good for any of them really) it'll do a couple minute (starter charge) that's current limited and then read voltage to see what it's charging.

    Magnetic temperature sensor sticks to any cell/pack due to the metals involved and it'll keep an eye on temps and use the temp/current methods of charging along with times and whatnot.

    It's easily a decade old now or more and was "top of the line" back when I got it.

    It'll also do a load test of a charged cell to "depletion" voltage and tell you how the cell is doing compared to the ratings on the cells.

    I'm sure there are even better toys for this nowadays. When we used our cordless phones hot and heavy, I just kept extra NiMh AA cells around (they fit the phones) and never plugged in the charger to the base they sat in. Just swapped a fresh set of NiMh in after the battery indicator said they were low, and popped the removed ones on the Maha. Those batteries ran great for years.
     
  35. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Re: hand held radio

    Very good summary...I've been involved in the operation or development of satellites for about 38 years now, and it's been NiCd almost all the way.

    NiCd has its drawbacks...they're heavy, compared to Lithium-based batteries... but they're rugged and extremely tolerant of abuse. We've used consumer-grade NiCd C and D cells on small satellites with very good success, after the matching process referred to above. You can launch a satellite with completely discharged NiCd batteries, and they'll pop back up, fresh as a daisy, once they've charged on-orbit. We've had satellites last 10+ years on NiCds.

    But...as mentioned, they were professionally managed.

    My first job out of college was operating a set of USAF satellites in Geostationary orbits. This application was VERY similar to battery use on a typical handheld: The satellites were in continuous sunlight (charge) most of the year, but around the equinoxes they would be eclipsed by the Earth. So in the month prior to the start of eclipse season, we'd run a "Reconditioning" process on each battery, individually. Disconnect the battery from the power bus, connect it to a set of resistors, draw down its power to a set value, and return it to the main bus for recharging.

    Most Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites enter eclipses on every orbit, so we never bothered to recondition them.

    The key for NiCd life is occasional *controlled* reconditioning. One can draw down the battery to zero, but that eventually affects the life of the battery. We drew down the batteries to a given voltage that represented the point where they still had "N" percentage of their energy left... called "Depth of Discharge". If I remember correctly, our target was 60% DoD.

    We're looking at various Lithium-based combo batteries on some other projects, and they're a pain. Nice energy density (lotsa power for light weight) but it means more hoops to jump through with Range Safety.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  36. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

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    Re: hand held radio

    Very good question, I rally don't know, haven't seen that thing in months. But it rings a bell, it could be Uniden (thieving bastards stealing other designs and selling them as their own :D ).
     
  37. Palmpilot

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    Re: hand held radio

    I have a couple of Unidens, and their main value is as doorstops, because whenever I pick one up to use it, I can never figure out how to do it.
     
  38. MikeS

    MikeS Pre-takeoff checklist

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  39. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Re: hand held radio

    Very interesting. I did not know this. So, what you are saying, is that properly charged, Nicad batteries will last a long time, where, Lithium Ions have a defined life span no matter what you do?
     
  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Re: hand held radio


    They all eventually wear our but there's ways to extend the lifespan of all of them. Li benefit from not being deeply cycled from what I've read. The more they're charged the sooner they're done.