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Discussion Starter #1
I have a feeling that I'm opening up a can of worms, but here it goes: my background is that I have my tech license (rarely use it) and I have a GMRS license for the family. Having said that I'm trying to build out my radio cache so that I have radios for my family and friends and folks that i might end up working with should things get interesting. I have dual band mobiles in two of my vehicles and for handhelds I have the following:
- 1 Yaesu VX6R
- 2 Baofeng 888 (for the technology averse folks that just should turn a knob to select a channel and have no keypad to mess things up)
- 3 Baofeng UV5r


Appart from my Yaesu, none of the radios are dust or weather proof. I am looking to pickup 2 more HT's that don't cost me an arm and a leg, that will not die should they end up being submerged. I'm half tempted with Baofeng UV9r (got a pair from Amazon with a programming cable for under a $100). They claim 8W, knowing realities, I'll be happy with 5W :D

I'm looking to test drive a Retevis RT82 this week as well. Here one radio costs me the same as two of the UV9r's though I end up picking up some extra features. A downside for me though here is a bigger display - should the radio get dropped, bigger display is easier to crack.

What else is out there? I would love to pickup a box of Yaesu's or Kenwoods but the price of them is a bit out there. On the other hand, I don't want to pickup a radio that will stop working 2 months into the end of the world ;)

Thoughts?
 

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I have 5 Wouxun UV-3D, neat HT. I bet my life on an Icom V-80, mil spec splash proof and shock proof. Give me a HT I can program in the field, without a computer. Give me a HT with a strong BNC antenna connector, the SMA connectors are OK for lab work but too mechanically weak for field work. Be sure and buy the AA battery case as those are hard to find after the radio model stops production. After working 41 years in electronics I have repaired hundreds of radios. de KA5SIW
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks! That's a great writeup! Now you got me scratching my head as I'm trying to figure out the difference between RT6 and UV9R. The shell looks identical, the display color schemes seem identical. Further looking what's mega confusing is that some other Retevis radios look identical to Baofeng radios - now the casing/shell similarity might not mean much as the software inside and some components difference could mean a world of difference, but there seems to be nothing else out there providing any details as to what are the differences.

Btw, even the charger is similar - 10V.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I have 5 Wouxun UV-3D, neat HT. I bet my life on an Icom V-80, mil spec splash proof and shock proof. Give me a HT I can program in the field, without a computer. Give me a HT with a strong BNC antenna connector, the SMA connectors are OK for lab work but too mechanically weak for field work. Be sure and buy the AA battery case as those are hard to find after the radio model stops production. After working 41 years in electronics I have repaired hundreds of radios. de KA5SIW
That's a nice radio - thought a bit more then what I'm looking to spend at the moment.

Regarding the BNC vs SMA - I had my share of Yaesu's and Icom's throughout the years and now Baofengs and I don't recall having any issues with the SMA connector..... Of course now that I said it ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
so thanks to Amazon I get to put my hands on and see various models. I just got today the Retevis RT82 and RT6. Here's my thoughts:

Retevis RT82 - really nicely made case, not happy with the little joystick. Anyways, installed the software and ...... damn I figured out some, but damn, it's more complicated then it should be.

Retevis RT6 - looks identical to Baofeng UV9r BUT the plastic seems to be a bit "heavier". Not sure how to describe it even, but it seems to be better made then the UV9R. And of course it works with Chirp :D

While I like the idea of having DMR, for the price of one RT82 (more or less) I can have two RT6 units......

Now I need to play with transmission quality/range.
 

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so thanks to Amazon I get to put my hands on and see various models. I just got today the Retevis RT82 and RT6. Here's my thoughts:

Retevis RT82 - really nicely made case, not happy with the little joystick. Anyways, installed the software and ...... damn I figured out some, but damn, it's more complicated then it should be.

Retevis RT6 - looks identical to Baofeng UV9r BUT the plastic seems to be a bit "heavier". Not sure how to describe it even, but it seems to be better made then the UV9R. And of course it works with Chirp :D

While I like the idea of having DMR, for the price of one RT82 (more or less) I can have two RT6 units......

Now I need to play with transmission quality/range.
What kind of range are you getting with the rt6?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I haven't done any range testing yet

As a side note, I got a chance to play a bit more with the DMR radio and I think I'm starting to like it. Problem is that it might be a bit complicated to hand to my wife in case of emergency.......
 

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Thanks! That's a great writeup! Now you got me scratching my head as I'm trying to figure out the difference between RT6 and UV9R. The shell looks identical, the display color schemes seem identical. Further looking what's mega confusing is that some other Retevis radios look identical to Baofeng radios - now the casing/shell similarity might not mean much as the software inside and some components difference could mean a world of difference, but there seems to be nothing else out there providing any details as to what are the differences.

Btw, even the charger is similar - 10V.
They might be made on the same assembly line and just rebranded. The menu system is identical IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So while I didnt do a range test I did a dunk test - pot full of water for 5 minutes. Both radios work, after the speakers dried up they sound better, BUT one of the RT6s lost a top line of text on the bottom channel row.... gonna have to reach out to Retevis and find out what's up....
 

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Hey guys sorry to briefly butt in but can I just ask for your recomendations for a good small portable walkie-talkie that every member of my hypothetical 'Doomsday Hall' survival group can keep in their pockets at all times while they're out doing jobs around the place?
Here's a pic of our setup, I think we'd only need a radio range of a few miles so we can all keep in touch with each other wherever we are-

 

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There are a million options.

If you don't care about being heard easily and want cheap,,,
An analog HAM HT like the radios mentioned in this thread will work. You can use them on the MURS freq if you have no license.

If you want 90% secured comms.... a DMR, or other digital mode HT.

My ultimate SHTF radio is the Yeasu FT-70DR which I will be buying a set of this Monday. I will detail why I feel this way on offgridcomms.com after I've had time to program and play with them. But the long and short is 12V onboard charger, Digital/Analog reception with light color indication to let a non-HAM know by color code if they are talking on a Digital "secured" channel. MARS modifiable, good scanner and easy to program by faceplate.
 

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Thanks, and a follow-up question would be how do we power our walkie-talkies in a future post-apoc world when all the batteries have run out?
Even if we have rechargeable batteries, how do we recharge them after the national electricity grid has gone dead?
 

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Thanks, and a follow-up question would be how do we power our walkie-talkies in a future post-apoc world when all the batteries have run out?
Even if we have rechargeable batteries, how do we recharge them after the national electricity grid has gone dead?
Why are you asking a basic question that's been covered here on this forum and probably on every survivalist bored and even every gaming forum?
I figured poor old Spike would know basic crap like that. Interesting. Just kidding
 

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I have a UV5r as the "master", and a 5 pack of 888 radios to hand out to my "tech averse" family/friends.
All are programmed with FRS, GMRS, and a few local repeaters using Chirp.
They can talk to each other and to the repeaters, assuming they are operational and it's an emergency situation (SHTF).
Cheap redundancy was my goal.
 

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Why are you asking a basic question that's been covered here on this forum and probably on every survivalist bored and even every gaming forum?
I figured poor old Spike would know basic crap like that. Interesting. Just kidding
Why would Eyeball give a rodent's rectum about radios when, after the grid goes down, his entire world implodes due to lack of electricity to play his games?
 

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Why are you asking a basic question that's been covered here on this forum and probably on every survivalist bored and even every gaming forum?
I figured poor old Spike would know basic crap like that. Interesting. Just kidding
I was asking you guys for advice because forums provide answers that are bang up-to-date (take it as a compliment), whereas web hits might be old and therefore invalid.
If you guys can't answer my questions I suppose I could always google it, but if everybody used google, forums would die out..:)
 
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