I do not do much Amateur Radio stuff. But I do listen sometimes via my scanner to the local repeaters. Rare for me to transmit on any of the repeaters. Rare for me to carry my radio with me.
I do not own a car so all I have is a handheld transceiver.
I have done APRS in the past. It is interesting. But does not work as well if you don’t have a radio in a car. With a 5 watt handheld a little harder to stay connected to APRS.
I been interested in digital. I was looking in the past at getting a DStar HT.
I am glad that I did not get one. I have decided to get a Yaesu FT-2DR. I am not sure I will get it this month. I am thinking next month.
Here is some information on the Yaesu FT-2DR:
FT2DR C4FM 144/430 MHz Dual Band Digital Handheld Transceiver with 1.7″ Touch Screen Display
This exciting leading edge Transceiver is designed with ease of use in mind now packing an oversized back-lit touch panel display. At 1.7-inches the high resolution touch screen display provides loads of information through an easily navigable interface, providing stress-free operability and a high level of on-screen visibility for the FT2DR operator.
The advanced FT2DR is loaded with various new features including: 700 mW of clear loud audio, Built-in High Sensitivity 66 ch GPS with antenna, 1200 bps / 9600 bps APRS® function, Dual watch (V/V, U/U/, V/U), Dual Monitor (C4FM Digital/C4FM Digital), GPS Logging/Recording capabilities, Water resistant (IPX5 Rating), microSD Card Slot, 2200mAh high capacity Li-Ion battery and Battery charger included as a standard supplied accessory.
Analog/C4FM Dual Monitor (V+V/U+U/V+U)
With two independent receivers for both Analog and digital, you can listen to either the same or different bands simultaneously.
Loud Vibrant Audio
with 700mW of Loud, Crisp and Clear audio the FT2-DR is the perfect choice for noisy and crowded environments.
Wide Band Receiver
Covers from 500kHz to 999.990MHz, continuous reception for Short-wave, FM/AM broadcasts, analog TV stations, audio aircraft, public service channels, etc. (Cellular band blocked)
1200/9600bps APRS® Data Communication
The built-in worldwide standard AX.25 Data TNC Modem permits uncomplicated APRS® (Automatic Packet Reporting System) operation. You will be able to display the information, station list; and use the message, SmartBeaconing TM function . You will be able to track your APRS® movement on the Internet websites.
Digital Group Monitor Function
The digital GM function automatically checks whether members registered in a group are within communication range, and displays information such as distance and direction for each call sign on the screen. This convenient function makes it possible not only to see whether any friends are in communication range, but also to instantaneously determines the location and relationship between all members of the group.
This function can also be used to send messages and data such as images between members of a group, permitting convenient and fun communication between friends when out for a drive or hike. Sent and received messages and images can be checked on the LOG List screen, with icons making them easy to distinguish.
Backtrack Function to Return to Departure Point
This function allows navigation back to the departure point, or a point previously added to the memory. When hiking or camping, just register the starting point or the position of your tent and then you can constantly check the direction and distance from your current position. The arrow of the compass display constantly shows the direction to the registered point, making it extremely convenient in finding your way back to the registered place – just move in the direction so that the arrow in the heading-up display
points straight upward.
Snapshot Picture Taking Capability
When using the handy speaker microphone camera (optional MH-85A11U), press the shutter button to capture a snapshot, then press the image transmit button to easily transmit the image data.
The snapshot image or received data is stored in a high capacity micro SD card that is installed in the radio. You can recall and send that image data from the SD card anytime. The image data size is 320 x 240 dots or 160 x 120 dots. Image quality can set from 3 types, and you can choose a format that is suitable for the image and purpose.
This image data also retains a time record and the GPS location data of the snapshot. It is easy to view and edit the data file after taking the pictures by using a personal computer.
A snapshot aids in navigating and returning to the pictured location; other various uses are possible.
Automatic Mode Selection (AMS)
The Automatic Mode Select function detects the receive signal mode
The transceiver automatically selects one of the four communication modes according to the signal received. This is extremely convenient when listening for communications, as you do not need to be aware of the other party’s communication mode. The transceiver can also be operated in a fixed communication mode.
Four (4) Communication Modes
The FT-2DR operates in one traditional analog mode and three digital modes! Enjoy communication in the mode that best suits your needs. purpose.
1. V/D Mode (Simultaneous Voice/Data Communication Mode)
Half of the bandwidth is used for voice signal with error correction. The transceiver uses powerful error correction technology developed for professional communication devices. The very effective error correction code provides benefits such as minimal interruption of communication. The basic digital C4FM FDMA mode provides a good balance between sound quality and error correction.
2. Voice FR Mode (Voice Full Rate Mode)
This mode uses the entire 12.5 kHz bandwidth to transmit digital voice data. The larger voice data size allows voice communication with high sound quality. Use this mode for pleasing sound quality communication between amateur radio friends.
3. Data FR Mode (High-speed Data Communication Mode)
A high-speed data communication mode that uses the entire 12.5 kHz bandwidth for data communication. The transceiver automatically switches to this mode when sending and receiving images, allowing a large amount of data to be transmitted quickly.
4. Analog FM Mode
Analog FM is effective for communication with a weak signal that causes voices to break up in the digital modes. The analog mode allows communication even at distances where noise and weak signals make communication almost impossible. The tried-and-trusted low-power circuit design uses less battery power than the digital modes.
5 Watts Solid RF Power
The FT-2DR outputs a maximum of 5 Watts of clean RF power, with selectable power-saving choices of 2 Watts, and ½ Watt also being available with a simple touch of the screen.
High Capacity Lithium-Ion Battery
With a high capacity 7.2v 2200 mAh battery pack (SBR-14LI) every operator can enjoy reduced charge time, and extended periods of talk time in between charging cycles.
Integrated 66ch High Sensativity GPS
Integral GPS receiver and antenna (located on top of the radio) provides location, time, direction and APRS® information. The FT2DR has a very useful GPS data transmission capability.
Smart Navigation Function
This is a real-time navigation function that records the location and direction of Group Monitor (GM) stations. Digital V/D Mode communicates information such as position data at the same time as the voice signal, allowing you to view the distance and direction of the other party in real time while communicating. This makes it possible to confirm your position and the other party’s in situations such as hiking and driving where your positions are constantly changing, providing an easy way to meet up or join routes.
RX : 76 – 108 MHz (FM Broadcast) 108 – 137 MHz (Air Band)
RX : 0.5 – 1.8 MHz (AM Broadcast)
TX: 144 – 148 MHz, 430 – 450 MHz
1.8 – 30 MHz (SW Band) 30 – 76 MHz (50 MHz HAM)
137 – 174 MHz (144 MHz HAM) 174 – 222 MHz (VHF Band)
222 – 420 MHz (GEN1) 420 – 470 MHz (430 MHz HAM)
470 – 774 MHz (UHF Band) 774 – 999.90 MHz (GEN2)
RX: 108 – 137 MHz (Air Band)
TX: 144 – 148 MHz, 430 – 450 MHz
137 – 174 MHz (144 MHz HAM)
174 – 222 MHz (VHF Band)
222 – 420 MHz (GEN1)
420 – 470 MHz (430 MHz HAM)
470 – 580 MHz (UHF Band)
Circuit Type: NFM/ AM:Double-Conversion Superheterodyne
FM /AM Radio: Direct-Conversion
Modulation Type: F1D, F2D, F3E, F7W
RF Power Output: 5 W (@ 7.4 V or EXT DC)
Waterproof Rating: IPX5
Case Size(W x H x D): 62 x 110 x 32.5 mm (w/ SBR-14LI, w/o Knob and Antenna)
62 x 110 x 27 mm (w/o SBR-14LI, Knob and Antenna)
Weight: 310 g With SBR-14LI and Antenna
Warranty: 1 Year
You can get it at Amazon. But it cost $454.00 with free shipping.
You can get it at ham radio outlets for $319.00 right now!