View Full Version : What type of HAM radio
I am looking to get my first HAM radio and I can't decide if I should get a HT or a Mobile for my truck.
I am looking at these 2 models >> Icom IC32A (http://www.icomamerica.com/amateur/dualhand/icw32amain.html) and Icom IC2720 (http://www.icomamerica.com/amateur/dualmobile/ic2720main.html)
Do you guys have any Pros and Cons as to what to consider before buying a new radio?
T F Coyote
08-17-2003, 10:57 PM
I'm also new to this, but here is my two cents worth.
I recently got an Icom T90A handheld. I also bought a mobile antenna and a cigarette lighter adapter. So I sort of have both a mobile and a HT. 5 watts seems to be plenty of power to hit all the local repeaters and even some distant ones. Plus, when I use the moblie antenna, the gain really boosts my tx.
If I can afford it later, I might look into a mobile, but for now I want a radio I can carry with me when hunting, etc.
Thanks TF, I was thinking of getting the HT then I can get a car kit antenna to use as a mobile. I think that will give me enough flexability with one unit.
I take my test Oct 12th. Wish me luck.
08-19-2003, 10:17 AM
Good Luck on your testing session!!!
You might find that a mobile works better, just because of the power difference. But you need a handheld anyway, so I'd go with Coyote's advice and get that first.
You can always add a docking station booster to your vehicle at a later date if you need it. A Handie Talkie is so much better than any of the FRS stuff, you'll be amazed. If you're located close, maybe we can all hook up on the air after you get your ticket.
TwoMoon, Welcome to JHO, http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-wavin-yel.gif :JHP rocks:
And thanks for the advise, I am planning on getting a mobile in the future.
I am just looking forward to getting back into commo. We'll definately hook up after I get my ticket..
09-20-2003, 07:41 PM
Well I went and got the same model as Hook did the Icom ICW32A. I like it, i need to spend time a read and figure out how all the features on it. I am as greene as they get with the whole HAM deal but, this should be fun.
09-25-2003, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by Thonzberry@Sep 20 2003, 06:41 PM
Well I went and got the same model as Hook did the Icom ICW32A. I like it, i need to spend time a read and figure out how all the features on it.### I am as greene as they get with the whole HAM deal but, this should be fun.
Congrats on the new radio.....I'm a Yaesu fan myself, so don't know much about the Icom's...but I've got buddies who swear by them!!! Goodluck with the book, that thing's probably got more bells and whistles on it, than you will ever need...but it's fun figuring them all out.
09-25-2003, 10:26 PM
I know the Yaesu's come with pc software for programing. Does Icom offer any software?
I used to work with a guy who had the newer Yaesu HT. The pc program made it super easy to switch between repeater zones (he travelled a lot). The only problem he had was with the heat coming off the higher power battery.
So many toys, not enough time...
T F Coyote
09-26-2003, 07:46 AM
Icom does offer programming software and either a USB or parallel cable to connect with. However, these two items together cost almost $100.
The computer setup would have made it much easier, but I manually programmed my Icom T90A with about 100+ stations. Because it has wideband receive, I included CB, FRS, and some AM radio stations in addition to 40 or so repeaters. I still need to program the marine channels. Very time consuming.
It will take one of you guys who actually understands computers to see if it is worth doing [and that excludes me] but there is free programming software for both yaesu and Icom at
http://www.qsl.net/civ_commander/. If anyone figures it out, please post.
That one is for PC's. There is a site for Mac's, too. blackcatsystems.com. Even more of a mystery to me.
Also maybe of interest: a web site with all the mods for all the radios. if I read it correctly, some mods can be done with a computer and some take a soldering iron or wire cutters.
I have an IC-W32A, too. After months of study, on a good day, I can press the power switch to turn it on.
Jej, thanks fo the links. I will try the software and let you know it works on my Icom 32A.
Well I was able to install the program, but it does not list my radio (Icom 32A) as being able to configure with it.
It looks simple enough to use, The only question I have is where do you get the cable to plug it into the radio?
Icom sells a cable. I will look at Eham and see where to find a diagram to make your own. The Icom cable , packaged with the Icom software, at gigaparts:
WCSHH -- Windows Programming software for the IC-T2H, IC-T7H, IC-T8, IC-T81A and IC-W32A handheld radios with computer interface cable. (for Windows 3.1 or better)
Icom accessory prices include 10% promotional discount 8/1/03 through 9/30/03.
Do not know if anybody sells the cable withou the other junk.
Of course, that does not get you the mods you may be after. Some of those mods may be of interest - open up Tx and Rx on FRS open up Tx on aircraft bands. For some 10 meter mobiles, you can open up 11 meters [CB]. With the right unit, you can get all the bands you might care to have. Depending on jurisdiction and usage, some of this might pose regulatory issues.
I found a number of cables reviewed at
for computer cables for all types of handhelds.
I think I an just going to order the software from Gigaparts. I dont want to go through all the hassle and not be able to get it to work. At least there software is tested
I am leaning the same way - and I am leaning toward doing some mods as well. Sure wish I could find software to use on my Mac. I am either going to dust off an old PC, or figure out how to make the Blackcat software function.
If you try the Gigaparts/Icom kit, please post the results.
10-13-2003, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by Hook@Aug 18 2003, 01:11 PM
I take my test Oct 12th. Wish me luck.
So how did it go? Hope you aced your exam!!
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