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Best GRMS Handheld under$150? Wouxoun 805G? or Your pick?


Guest Pete M
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Yeah, the two handhelds I got for $50 or less each. The sellers likely thought they were simple basic analog only radios. Couldn't pass up the opportunity for the price.

 

When the price is much above the $50 to $60 mark it gets really hard to pull out the credit card or click that "Buy Now" button. Not all the radio I've purchased have worked. I have a hand full that sort of work or not at all. Some I might be able to fix, otherwise they just get picked over for parts. Surprising how expensive buying replacement knobs and other crap like that is when you check out the factory recommended part suppliers.

 

As far as battery packs and antennas go, I consider them consumable items. Out of the huge pile of used battery packs from a while of buying used radios maybe 30 to 40 percent meet the minimum accepted spec of 80 percent of new capacity to qualify as usable. Antennas you can buy aftermarket packs of 5 to 10 for as little as 1 to 2 bucks each.

 

Antennas get busted because people grab the radio by the antenna, convenient handhold when yanking it off the belt or out of the pocket, or the top side knobs. That's why so many used hand held radios are missing the knobs too. 

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Yeah, the two handhelds I got for $50 or less each. The sellers likely thought they were simple basic analog only radios. Couldn't pass up the opportunity for the price.

 

When the price is much above the $50 to $60 mark it gets really hard to pull out the credit card or click that "Buy Now" button. Not all the radio I've purchased have worked. I have a hand full that sort of work or not at all. Some I might be able to fix, otherwise they just get picked over for parts. Surprising how expensive buying replacement knobs and other crap like that is when you check out the factory recommended part suppliers.

 

As far as battery packs and antennas go, I consider them consumable items. Out of the huge pile of used battery packs from a while of buying used radios maybe 30 to 40 percent meet the minimum accepted spec of 80 percent of new capacity to qualify as usable. Antennas you can buy aftermarket packs of 5 to 10 for as little as 1 to 2 bucks each.

 

Antennas get busted because people grab the radio by the antenna, convenient handhold when yanking it off the belt or out of the pocket, or the top side knobs. That's why so many used hand held radios are missing the knobs too.

Yeah, I'll admit that already having compatible batteries and borrowing an antenna from the 924 definitely played into going for it.

 

I keep telling myself that's enough used stuff.

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/1/2021 at 12:02 PM, Radioguy7268 said:

If you don't like to deal with Motorola software - then go for a used EVX or VX portable by Vertex. Look for an EVX-539 for a Digital capable keypad radio - or the VX-459 if you want an analog radio with keypad. Other Vertex models don't have keypads - which aren't really necessary for GMRS and I've snatched up VX-231 or 261's at less than $20 each in good shape. Vertex parts, batteries, and software are cheap and available. Their radios have decent specs and quality, and they're good performers with a low entry price.

I know this is older but I just wanted to 2nd this. I picked up a lot of used Vertex Standard VX231 radios on eBay for about 20 bucks each. A programming cable was 20 bucks and I downloaded CE99 programming software for them. I was able to download the International Version of the software which removes any forced narrowbanding.  I set up the radios to GMRS frequencies, including my repeater and sold them off at $35 each to family and friends in the area.  Instant GMRS network for emergency use (Think Earthquakes as we are in Alaska). These radios are FAR better than the UV5R that most, including myself had. The RX sensitivity of the VX231 vs the UV5R nearly doubles the range the radios can hear.

I found that the VX231 will run for 26 hours with the standard battery on RX only. I also found that parts for it are readily available still, both OEM and chinese knockoff parts such as PTT buttons, antennas, batteries, chargers and cases.

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Edited by WRFP399
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2 hours ago, SkylinesSuck said:

This gets me interested in these, especially the comments about the receive range.  I like the lack of ability for the kids to really mess them up.  I'm going to look in to them.  Repeater capable, right?

Yeah. They are commercial radios. They are fairly customizable.

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If you don’t mind the lack of FCC Part 95 certification then the Kenwood TK-3160 or the newer model TK-3360 16 channel radios might fit your usage. These radios are just about impossible to screw up the settings since they lack many user accessible features. In some ways they are easier to use than your common cheap FRS radio.

https://mra-raycom.com/wp-content/uploads/simple-file-list/Specifications/portables/TK-2160-3160-Product-Brochure.pdf
 

https://www.kenwood.com/usa/Support/pdf/TK-2360_3360.pdf

The TK-3360 has 5 watts output verses the 4 watts on the TK-3160. The power level can be changed from 5watts/1watt and between wide or narrow band FM. The programming software isn’t hard to find on the Internet to download. The programming cable and speaker/mics are the same you find for the cheap Chinese radios. I routinely use a Baofeng cable to program many of my Kenwood’s that use the two pin type connector.

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