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What comes to your mind for the sole purpose of communication in an emergency situation? A mobile phone seems like an aid during the emergency times but it cannot be relied on during hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis when the cell phone services are out, ham radio will work in such a situation and beyond. The handheld ham radio or the amateur radio dates back to the early and middle 21st century, when the cell phones were not in use.

Things to be considered when buying ham radio

  • Range
  • LED light
  • Water resistance
  • Battery endurance
  • Backlit display

Best Handheld Ham Radios

 Yaesu FT-60R

  • The Yaesu FT ham radio tops the list and comes in a solid aluminum outer casing.
  • It is perfect for the beginners and for taking to the camping trips.
  • It has additional water resistance feature to alleviate the worry of falling in water.
  • The ham radio supports up to 1000 channels and has a maximum power of 5W.
  • You can tune the radio for a less power output during close range conversations. It also has a frequency lock feature which prevents accidental switching of frequencies.
  • The backlit display helps you during the dark. 
  • The radio has NOAA weather alert and emergency channels in 800-900 MHz.
  • There is an audio alarm that tells you when the battery is low.
  • Cons: The antenna is not powerful and the volume knob might be hard to rotate. 


BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio Includes Full Kit with Large Battery


  • Baofeng Company has a lot of ham products and the UV-82HP is one of them. It has been upgraded from the previous generation. 
  • It is an expensive product that comes in a new hardened and durable radio shell along with 30% larger battery.
  • It operates with dual band VHF (8W) and UHF (7W) and High / Med / Low power settings (8W, 4W, 1W) and frequency range of 65-108.
  • The product is offered in multicolored options and has maximum of 128 memory channels. 
  • The frequency lock feature locks o a particular channel as per choice.
  • The users are provided with easy experience through the detailed manual for the guide of working and customization of the product.
  • Cons: It is not water resistant. 



TYT MD-380     


  • The TYTMD-380 is a ham radio that is known for the audio performance through the microphones and the built in wind reduction system.
  • It comes along with a battery, a belt clip, a desktop charger, a programming cable and two different antennas.
  • It works in the analogue as well as the digital mode.
  • Digital mode helps send text messages, private call and group calls. 
  • It has a frequency band of 400-480MHz and supports up to 1000 channels.
  • The water resistance, color display system and good menu system help user to use the product.


 Kenwood TH-D74A: A Tri-Band Amateur Radio

  • The Kenwood TH-D74A is a tri-band handheld receiver that supports the APRS as well as the D-STAR transceiver.
  • APRS allows you to send as well as receive the real-time data like texts.
  • The D-STAR helps in global communications.
  • The product might be expensive but is known for its functionality and provides various functions like: DV fast data mode, compatibility for multimode and wideband reception, DSP voice processing, dual frequency reception, information on weather stations, a GPS logger mode, voice recording, a micro USB port, and etc. 
  • The radio is weather proofed and meets the IEC 529 IP-54055 standards.
  • Cons: The manual is not in English and does not provide the information needed to get started with APRS or D-STAR.


Yaesu VX-6R

  • The VX-6R relates to the FT-60R and is a waterproof triband radio.
  • It transmits the 144, 220 & 430 MHz a ham radio bands, & receives 0.5-999Mhz.
  • The Auto Range Transponder System beeps when you move out of the communication range.


  • The output power is 5 Watts on 2 meter & 70cm, & 1.5W on 222 MHz, with multiple lower power settings.
  • It has an automatic power timeout to save battery.
  • The product is waterproof and comes along with the wall charger, belt clip, manual and the warranty card.
  • Cons: 
  • Cons: It is heavy and the 1400 mAh battery dies soon.

We hope the article will help you to choose the right product for the right purpose.

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