A ham radio, also known as an amateur radio, or hobby radio, is a device used to communicate with services and other radio operators using the amateur radio bands. The best ham radios will have dual band support and support for data packets.
Ham radios can be used to receive emergency communications, talk to radio operators all around the world, and are even capable of bouncing a signal off the moon. They can be used to send and receive text messages and can also communicate with amateur radio satellites in space!
Dual band ham radios allow for communications in both the UHF (ultra high frequency) and VHF (very high frequency) bands.
The VHF band is called the 2 meter band, and ranges from 144 MHz to 148 MHz. The UHF band is called the 70 centimeter band, and ranges from 420 Mhz to 450 MHz (Source).
A ham radio can be used to talk with someone across a city just as easily as it can be used to talk to someone across the globe. It’s educational, social, and can be a lot of fun.
Prior to purchasing a ham radio, consider the price, durability, usage case, and reliability. You should also consider the output power, support for data packets, receiver gain, and other top aspects (Source).
In this round-up, we will review the top-rated dual band ham radios. All of the radios in this guide will be excellent choices, whether you’re just now getting into the field, or you are a seasoned ham radio operator.
Comparing The Best Dual Band Mobile Ham Radios
Table of Contents
- 1 Comparing The Best Dual Band Mobile Ham Radios
- 2 1. Kenwood TM-V71A – Best Overall
- 3 2. Yaesu FT-7900R – Most Advanced Device
- 4 3. Juentai JT-6188 – Best Dual Band 2 Way Radio
- 5 4. BTECH MINI UV-25X2 Dual Band Ham Radio – Best Adjustable Microphone
- 6 5. AnyTone AT-778UV – Best For Any Budget
- 7 How Does A Dual Band Radio Work?
- 8 Key Factors to Consider When Buying A Dual Band Mobile Ham Radio
- 9 Ready To Buy The Best Dual Band Mobile Ham Radio?
|BTECH MINI UV-25X2 Dual Band Ham Radio|
1. Kenwood TM-V71A – Best Overall
Moreover, it features an extensive list of radio display which shows the status of every function. You can set the screen to amber or green.
The general specification of this transceiver is RX frequency 118-524 MHZ band A. Band B contains 136-524 MHZ band and also 430-450 MHZ and TX frequency 144-148 MHZ. Additionally, it has an antenna impedance of 50 ohms and DC power requirement of 13.8 V. Alongside that, this device has a compact device and weighs 3.3 lbs.
Meanwhile, you can also change the appearance of the front panel. Irrespective of how you install this device, the front panel can be flipped in any position.
In addition to that, it boasts 1000 memory channels as well, and each of them can store up to 6 alphanumeric characters.
Unlike others, this transceiver can scan the weather through the weather alert feature, too. Likewise, it comes with 10 dedicated Echolink memory channels and Echolink operation modes.
2. Yaesu FT-7900R – Most Advanced Device
If you are searching for a top-rated mobile ham radio, Yaesu FT- 7900R might be what you are searching for. It has a power output of 40 watts on 430 MHZ and 50 watts on 144 MHZ. Alongside that, it also features three power levels which allow you to choose your preferred level.
Moreover, it uses different frequencies which ranges from 700-999 MHZ and 108-520 MHZ. This means that the device can be used in various areas such as AM aircraft, government organizations and business companies with ham radio communication. Plus, it also contains five front panel keys to allow one-touch recall.
Notably, it is easy to select the operating bands automatically using the synthesizer steps as well. Apart from that, it has the ability of cross band repeater, unlike others, too. Likewise, its LCD backlight provides excellent visibility.
Furthermore, it allows more than 1000 memory channels; each can store up to six alpha numeric characters. It also features 20 memory groups, and each channel can be stored in multiple groups.
Additionally, it contains a special memory bank which enables you to recall any of the ten NOAA weather frequencies. Plus, it has a severe weather alert which features an alarm of emergency broadcast.
3. Juentai JT-6188 – Best Dual Band 2 Way Radio
Moreover, this product contains two frequency bands: UH4-400-480 MHZ and VHF-136-174 MHZ. Notably, it is very reliable even in harsh climates as well.
Additionally, the device provides a multifunction activity to the operator, and it is also affordable. It has a robust design of UHF 20w and VHF 25w and contains a scrambler feature for conversation privacy, too.
Besides that, it boasts FM radio functions and PTT (push to talk). It also has 200-memory channel programming. Furthermore, it has three selective power levels which help reduce misuse of power.
Consequently, the best thing about this device is that it has a compact design and it lasts longer than other transceivers. It also comes with an unlimited warranty, unlike others.
Meanwhile, if you are not sure about how it works, you can check the easy to understand user manual. Plus, the whole package contains one keypad microphone, user manual, one radio, DC power cable, one hardware, and a mounting bracket set.
Other features include scan modes, DTMF dual tone multi-frequency, and the keypad locks.
4. BTECH MINI UV-25X2 Dual Band Ham Radio – Best Adjustable Microphone
Moreover, it also features an automatic power off feature, variable frequency scanning, automatic scanning, privacy mode randomization, and the memory channel-editing feature. Similarly, it has high and low output power settings of 25 w and 10 w. It also features a commercial radio frequency of VHF 136-174, 65-108 MHZ, and UHF 400-520 MHZ.
The full set of this device features 6 feet DC cable, microphone speaker, hardware, and mounting brackets. Plus, you can adjust the microphone to reduce road and background noise, too. Similarly, apart from the microphone gain, the DTMF can also be adjusted to access the IRLP network.
Likewise, you should use the PCO4 FTDI cable when you are programming the device in a computer.
This unit also comes with one quad receiver and it can be used as multiple radios with 430 MHZ or 144 MHZ. You can also configure it for simultaneous UHF and VHF operation. You can choose both narrow and wideband, too.
5. AnyTone AT-778UV – Best For Any Budget
Additionally, it comes with LCD color display which you can rotate at 180 degrees TFT. It provides a frequency range of UHF- 400-480 MZ, VHF 136-174 MHZ.
However, if you are not sure about how it works, you can download the programming software and the user manual from the AnyTone website. Unlike others, it has DCS and CTCSS decoding and encoding features.
Meanwhile, another outstanding thing about this device is that it allows you to make a group call, a selective call, or a single call.
Other features in this device are the self-defining function pressing keys P1-P6, TX/RX main channel display, CTCSS/DCS which displays when the main channel is set, and main channel displays which show the strength of the field channel and also the strength of the signals.
How Does A Dual Band Radio Work?
Dual band radio allows communications on the Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) bands in the electromagnetic spectrum.
The VHF is also known as the 2-meter band, and it varies from 144 MHZ to 148 MHZ. Meanwhile, the UHF is also referred to as the 70-centimeter band and varies from 420-450 MHZ.
2. Amateur radio
A dual band radio is an important part of amateur radio operations. These radios provide long-range communications among individuals such as scientists, amateur radio enthusiasts, engineers, and emergency communicators.
The advantages of amateur radio are many. They come with high frequency and channels and can be used for long-range communication.
3. Transmission and reception
Dual band ham radios enable you to transmit on one band and receive on the other band. It is also able to receive and transmit on the same band. Besides that, the device is also able to receive and transmit on two different frequencies within the same band.
Key Factors to Consider When Buying A Dual Band Mobile Ham Radio
1. Frequency Range
The frequency of a ham radio is measured in megahertz. Dual mobile ham radios come with both VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency). Having access to both frequencies opens up more communication possibilities for the ham radio owner.
For one thing, a radio broadcasting in VHF can’t communicate with a UHF frequency, and vice versa. If you have both frequencies, you can choose which frequency to use based on who you are trying to reach.
VHF and UHF frequencies also have different strengths. UHF are better for use in buildings or other areas with obstacles. VHF is often preferred for use in open areas. Because dual band radios come with both frequencies, users can toggle between them as needed.
You must be very sure of the equipment you are purchasing to ensure it is made of high-quality materials. A good transceiver should be sturdy and long lasting. It should also have a compact design.
Dual band mobile ham radios come with different characteristics. Some of the features you should check include the ability of the device to receive and transmit signals, keypad locking feature, and a multifunction scanning feature. Also, memory channels, levels of power outputs, digital frequency modulations, and availability of dual-mode reception.
Here are some features to look for:
Radios with multifunctioning scanning scan for broadcasting radio signals.
Radios with multiple memory channels let you save your preferred channels, just like a playlist on your phone. You won’t have to reenter the channel information every time.
The squelch feature is aptly named. It “squelches” – that is, quiets – any unwanted background noise, such as static.
- Weather Alert
Ham radios are often used in emergency situations. For this reason, many feature a preprogrammed connection to NOOA’s weather Radio. NOOA, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is part of the National Weather Service umbrella.
- Microphone Audio Gain
You can use this feature to adjust how loud you sound to the people receiving your broadcasts.
Some radios come with backlit and LCD screens. These features make it easier to see, and therefore use the radio, particularly at night in the backwoods.
Some radios come with accessories such as cables. These cables allow you to hook your radio up to a digital device or computer.
4. Easy operation
Irrespective of whether you have used a dual-band mobile ham radio before or not, you must ensure that the device you select is easy to use. A device with a personal computer control may be the best. This is because you can still communicate with the transceiver even if there is no internet.
Consequently, if you’re looking for the best radio ham for beginners, prioritize this feature.
Whether you are a professional driver or not, it is good to go for the best device irrespective of its cost. Most high-quality products are costly, but they have advanced features that make them better than cheap products.
Smallest Dual Mobile Ham Radios
If having a mobile ham radio is important to you, size might be an issue as well. It’s a good bet that you want a unit that will fit nicely into your vehicle. You don’t want to be lugging around a radio the size of your toaster!
There’s no need for you to worry on the size score. You can easily find quality dual mobile ham radios weighing just over 2 pounds. Slightly heavier mobile ham radios can weigh a little over four pounds. Others fall neatly into the three-pound range.
Can a Dual Band Mobile Ham Radio Talk to a CB?
Ham radios and CB’s are not designed to be compatible. They use different frequencies and are regulated differently.
Ready To Buy The Best Dual Band Mobile Ham Radio?
There you have it! If you have been searching for the best dual band mobile ham radio, you can pick any from our list. Those who are searching for a quality product irrespective of price can consider Yaesu FT-7900R or Kenwood TM-V71A. These products have a higher frequency range as compared to others.
They are also long-lasting, and they have a large LCD. However, they are a bit expensive than others. However, if you are on a budget, you can consider AnyTone AT-778UV Mobile Ham Radio. This device is affordable and comes with advanced features such as three power outputs and DSC/CTSS feature. You can also set the LCD at 180 degrees to give you a clear view, and make different types of calls.
Using a ham radio is exactly the same as using a walkie talkie. They all are two-way transceivers. Regarding their uses, they are slightly different from each other. Dual-band ham radio is basically designed for long-range communications among individuals including engineers, scientists, emergency communications and amateur radio enthusiasts.
In case, you are using a ham radio, consider also buying the best walkie talkie watches which can make communication very easy when you’re hiking or playing with your kids. In case you are a pilot and looking for an aviation radio which makes the most important communication easier, consider buying a handheld aviation radio.