Looking to “invest” in a new radio?

We recommend that most new amateur’s first equipment purchase is a 2 Meter / 70 cm Dual Band FM Transceiver “mobile radio” with 25-50W of output power, a 25Asupply or a gel cell battery, and an outside “dual band” antenna.  2m/70cm mobile radios have the power to reach out to our repeaters from a much greater distance. In an emergency or even everyday use, a 25 watt or greater mobile radio will be must more useful compared to a handheld radio.

If you can afford it, please consider a digital rig – highly recommended for ARES operation:  Icom ID-5100A or the Icom IC-7100A.


Be sure to use Anderson Powerpole connectors.  They make it easy to move your mobile radio back-and-forth from the house to the car.  


What not to buy for a first radio

We do not recommend that you purchase a “cheapie handheld radio” for your primary mobile or handheld radio.  ARES members’ experiences have proven that “cheapie, handheld radios” are far too unreliable, especially for EMCOMM.

Why we may recommend handheld/walkie-talkies only for 2nd radios

If you must buy a handheld radio, we recommend an Icom or Kenwood handheld walkie-talkie

    1. Reliable companies with 99% reliable radio
    2. Icom and Kenwood handi-talkies are compatible with all analog repeaters.
    3. Kenwood’s analog FM handhelds are top quality and some are even waterproof.
    4. Using the Kenwood or Icom DSTAR handhelds on local repeaters MAY work using the rubber duckie antenna – check the range out before buying a DSTAR handheld.