The Handheld Ham Radio Range For 2023

William Shatner By, William Shatner
Updated
Ham Radio, BaoFeng UV-5R Pro 8W Walkie Talkies
Image credit: Amazon.com

Digital handheld ham radio has taken off over the past few years, and so have handheld ham radios. You can now get handheld ham radios with built-in digital modes and also special add-on sensors that allow you to interface your handheld ham radio with things like game controllers and even cell phones. One of the great things about digital handheld ham radio is that it opens up a whole new world of opportunities for hams.

The main advantage is simply that you can communicate far more easily than with analog handheld ham radios. Yes, they still have their uses, but they’re mostly limited to places where there are no repeaters or perhaps places far from established base stations. For example, most people wouldn’t be able to use handheld ham radio in a remote area because it’s just too hard to do reliably. But all of this means that it also opens up new ways for hams to participate in activities and events.

Our team spent about 14 hours researching, sifting, and selecting many high-quality models. Ham Radio, BaoFeng UV-5R Pro 8W Walkie Talkies is the product that receives the highest award from us. In addition to the other suggestions on this list, which are equally deserving of your consideration, we have also compiled a helpful buyer's guide to assist you in making your decision.

Our Top Picks

③Multi-function: The amateur ham radio is equipped with the programming cable for use with the CHIRP software to program, also supports computer and keyboard programming. It can receive standard FM broadcast band, and as a low band scanner as well as communicators.

②Long battery life&fast charging: Each hand held ham radio comes with 2pcs 1800mAh high-capacity rechargeable Li-ion batteries, ensures continuous use. Low battery warning reminds you of charging or replacing the battery. It takes about 3 hours to fully charge. Power adapter and car charger adapter included.

①BAOFENG uv 5r radio: High /medium /low power(8W/4W/1W)switchable, transmit on the VHF and UHF frequencies, VHF: 136-174 MHz(Rx/Tx), UHF: 400-520 MHz(Rx/Tx). 128 channels.

⑤Wide application: LED flashlight and alarm for emergencies. Suitable for hunting, driving, hiking, camping, ski and other outdoor activities, can also as home radio or work use.

④Long range communication: The Baofeng walkie talkie comes with an extended antenna to communicate in the distance. The reception to repeaters is crystal clear, strong and stable signal up.

Power Output: High /Medium /Low Power Switchable, Programmable Radio Supports Keyboard or PC programming (for Outdoor /Home /Workplace use, etc.)

Wide Compatibility: The Greaval UV5R Dual-band ham radio covers the most commonly used frequency range, compatible with many other radios such as the BF-F8HP/UV 82HP, etc. Bit-Trading is authorized by Baofeng officially through Amazon's Brand Registry. The Greaval UV5R is made by Baofeng on behalf of our trademark and compatible with other UV-5R models.

Power Source: Rechargeable 2100 mAh Li-ion Battery, Supports 12-20 Hours continual use, one more extra battery supports non-stop communication, car charger adapter also included.

Complete Set: Package contains a full set of accessories, no more worry about looking for compatible accessories. Best choice for your business. We provide 30-day hassle-free return, 18-month warranty, hardware and tech-support provided.

Dual-band standby, Enables you to monitor and transmit on two channels at the same time. 128 channel memory, fully in compliance with the FCC part 15B and part 90 regulations, you may need to apply for a radio license to use this device.

Large Battery & Crystal Sound: Come with a 3100mAh large battery, the Radioddity GD-AT10G support 14 hours of continuous working time and 90 hours of standby time. At the same time, it is with a crystal-clear audio sound when transmitting and receiving.

10W/5W/2.5W/1W Selectable: The Radioddity GD-AT10G is a powerful handheld radio with a compact design, featuring high-low quad-power selectable among 10W/5W/2.5W/1W and 20,0000 DMR contacts storage, allowing bulk import via software.

Talker Alias Function: This function, also known as In-band Caller Alias, will allow your pre-set text like your name or callsign displayed on all radios’ screen receiving the transmission, which is useful for radios which are shared between two or more users.

GPS Function: The GD-AT10G is with GPS function used for APRS, which is for real time digital communications of information of immediate value in the local area. This makes it a ‘must go’ for any outdoor and overland communities. Note the ARPS supports Analog & Digital TX, Digital RX.

UHF Dual Mode Radio: The Radioddity GD-AT10G is a dual-mode UHF radio. You can switch between analog and digital (DMR Tier I & Tier II) operation modes at any time. Works well with hotspot, allows your radio to connect to a digital network like Brandmeister or DMR-MARC

✔️Functions of UV5R radio: Dual PTT button, Auto Keypad Lock, Dual Band, FM radio, radio scanner, portable cb ham radio, goes with baofeng programming cable and suitable for flashing with chirp!

✔️Full 100% USA Warranty Coverage from MIRKIT Radio! No Need for Spending Time and Sending Your Baofeng Uv5r Mk4 Max Power MP Radios to China! As Well as Programming Cable Has Full USA Warranty too!

✔️Lot is a pack of Two Baofeng radios: UV-5R MK4 Max Power Double Black Max Power with Programming Cable for flashing portable ham radios! Extra: A link for a special firmware MIRKIT- provided on request!

✔️Sold by authorized Baofeng Distributor - Mirkit Radio, Top seller of the long range Baofeng and cb radios, programming cable and other Baofeng uv 5r accessories in USA!

✔️FCC Part 15 Part 97 Certified. VHF/UHF 144-148 mhz / 420-450mhz. Max Power Radio: High/Medium/Low Power Settings!

【Battery Life】Each Radio is Equipped with 2 Batteries,Longer Battery Life, Each Radio Stand By Time Up to 3 Days. Two Batteries Alternately Charge,the TD-F9GP Radio Can Be Used Continuously.

【TD-771 Long Antenna】VHF and UHF Dual-band handheld have High Gain TD-771 Antenna,make it more longer communicate range on your radio.

【Tri-Power:】TD-F9GP Ham Radio: High /Medium /Low Power (8W/4W/1W) Switchable; It can save power in low power mode,long-distance communication in high power mode.

【FCC Certified】Part 15 and Part 97 Certified; FCC ID: 2AWL3-UV5RPRO; Frequency Range:VHF:144-148MHz;UHF:420-450MHz (Can not transmit with frs radio and gmrs radio);FCC certification and in-depth programming guide under the listing product guides and documents.

【Driver Free Programming USB Cable Support CHIRP】 Works with Windows 7/10 and Mac System,you can program your Ham portable radio using this durable programming cable;No Driver Issues - No old drivers needed - Plug and Play.

【Speaker Mic:】 Remote Directional Microphone & Speaker transmits high quality sound even in loud environments and helps to provide a really perfect long range distance communication.

✔ Tri-Power & Long Range: A further and more impressive communication range comes from the 10W high power feature. The Radioddity GA-510 can be set in 3 power modes (high/medium/low) (10W, 5W, 1W) to give you the best talking quality under different circumstances.

✔ Easy Programming: More convenient to manual programming most of settings via the keypad, as well as PC programming with the cable in the box. SUPPORT CHIRP.

✔ What's in the Box: GA-510 Radio, 2 x 2200 mAh rechargeable batteries, programming cable, dual band antenna, charger, adapter, belt clip, wrist strap, earpiece and user manual.

✔ 96 Hours Battery Life: Come with two 2200mAh high-capacity batteries this radio has a continuous working time of 12 hours under 10W (high) power mode, 24 hours life under 5W/1W (med/low) power mode and 96 hours on standby. Supports you longer, especially in emergency situation.

✔ Dual Band, Dual Watch, Dual Display. Completed with a hard case outside, supports using for years, especially for business and outdoor using, like at the construction field, security work, survival rescue.

Improved Display: This radio has a much-improved display that features a full color screen, a signal strength meter, and other features. With the inverted dark background, the display is easy on the eyes, even in daylight.

More Features: Micro-USB charging, VOX delay, dual PTT, channel name edit, SOS function, DTMF function, 211 CTCSS and 51 DCS tones, 1750Hz tone, encryption and VOX for hands-free operation are all standard on this radio.

Professional Ham Radio: Dual band, dual watch, dual standby, up to 128 channels. Equipped with an 8.9-inch long antenna, this solid 5W radio can reach further and receives strong signals.

Bluetooth Programming: In addition to the traditional PC programming, the GS-5B can be programmed with the dedicated APP via Bluetooth. Compatible with both Android and IOS systems. There also is keypad programming for all settings and functions. It’s cool to program your radio anywhere anytime especially when you are traveling.

Rugged and Rainproof: Made of high-strength materials in the body and softer TPU material at the bottom, this radio is specially designed to be safe from drops. Rated IP56 waterproof is also a plus for outdoors, especially in harsh environments. Finally, the radio is orange, making it easier to locate and spot in low light scenarios.

Two Ways Radio Rechargeable: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery packs (Original 1800mAh + Extra 3800 mAh), Supports 17~24 Hours continual use, the extra battery has 3800 mAh capacity to support non-stop communication.

Bit Trading is the authorized BaoFeng US Distributor, all Baofeng ham radio walkie talkies we sell qualify Baofeng's warranty, we also provide our own 30-day hassle-free return, 18-month warranty on the main unit, and 12-month on the parts as well as 6-month free replacement on the battery pack.

Frequency Range: VHF: 150-174 MHz(Rx/Tx). UHF: 400-480 MHz(Rx/Tx), 128 channel memory, in compliance with the FCC part 15B and part 90 regulations.

Stronger Power Output: High /Medium /Low Power Switchable, Programmable 2-way Radio Supports Keyboard or PC programming (for Outdoor /Home /Workplace, etc.)

Wide Compatibility: Baofeng UV5R Pro Dual Band Ham Two Way Radio covers the most commonly used frequency range, makes it compatible with many other radios such as the BF-F8HP/UV 82HP, etc.

✔️Wide compatibility: 128 memory channels, covering the most commonly used frequency range, making it compatible with many other baofeng radios, such as baofeng uv-5r, baofeng bf-f8hp and baofeng uv-82 series.

✔️Upgraded version from baofeng uv-5r: double output power, truly higher power and TD-771 high gain antenna (twice the antenna performance), greatly expands the signal transmission distance and enhances the signal reception.

✔️With 3800mAh battery, working time is 2.5 times of 1800mAh battery, power saving function can extend battery life; support you for longer time in outdoor activity, home, workplace, etc.

✔️Baofeng bf-f8td are authorized by baofeng company; VITAHUI shop is an authorized US baofeng distributor.

✔️According to FCC rules, baofeng bf-f8td ham radio has passed part 15B tests and part 97 tests; FCC ID: 2AJGM-UV5RPRO; Transmit frequency range: VHF 144-148MHz and UHF 420-450MHz; Receive frequency range: VHF 136-174 MHz and UHF 400-480 MHz.

✔️Similar function to the most popular baofeng uv-5r series;built-in LED flashlight; vox; scan; monitor; voice prompt; emergency alarm; easy to learn and operate.

✔️Baofeng bf-f8td ham radio is compatible with CHIRP; more convenient to manually program most of the settings through the keyboard, as well as PC programming with the ch340 programming cable in the box; only work with windows; In-depth programming guide make it easy to begin.

✔️Tri-power switch, allow you to choose between high power to maximize range or low power to conserve battery life.

✔️Upgrades from Baofeng UV-5R: 128 Memory Channel; 50 CTCSS/105 DCS; VOX Mode for Hands-Free; A/B band independent operation; Busy channel lock-out; Auto Keypad Lock. FCC ID:2AWL3TIDRADIOTDUV5R. Frequency Range:144-148 /420-450Mhz

✔️TD-5R radio is compatible with CHIRP; More convenient to manual programming most of settings via the keypad

✔️All you need is in one box: TD5R comes with programming cable, two 1800 mAh batteries, charger, earphones, hand microphone,car charger and TD-771 long antenna, no need to purchase additional accessories, more cost-effective!

✔️ TD-771 high gain antenna: greatly expands the signal transmission distance and enhances signal reception.

✔️ Keypad setting and clearly LCD display will offer you more convenience when you need to change some functions

✔️ Built-in high brightness LED that can be used as a flashlight or alert system for emergency situations

✔️Equipped with speaker mic; giving you clear and high quality sound communications in the noisy environment without holding your radio

Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look For in a handheld ham radio range?

A valuable product is determined by many factors (included below). The process of researching the handheld ham radio range is pretty significant because of these features related to the products. However, rest assured that we are here to support your challenges.

Having a closer look at the following factors would benefit you a lot. These are the most important things among various ones you need to consider:

Weight And Size

Both weight and size play a major role in carrying all you need. Two-way radios are small and lightweight, so they can be carried in a bag or attached to your belt. Although smaller units can be more affordable than larger models, they might not offer as many features or provide the same protection. Heavy-duty, impact-resistant two-way units that are heavier and more durable are a better choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want to be tough.

Battery Type

Many two-way radios can be powered with regular alkaline batteries. Others have rechargeable batteries that include a dock. Two-way radios should not be used for longer than one day without power access. A model that takes both regular and multiple batteries is a better option if you are going on camping trips. We recommend regular 2-way rechargeable radios. This is because used batteries are expensive and can cause damage to the environment.

Weatherproofing

You can't keep your two-way hidden in your bag, but there is a good chance it will be exposed to other conditions than the cool, mild, early summer sun when there is a gentle breeze blowing. It is important to consider the weatherproofing of your two-way. If you reside in an area with moderate temperatures and light to predictable rains, some models can withstand splashing water.
An entirely waterproof radio is an option. Many models are waterproof and can withstand severe rain. Some models can be submerged up to 30 minutes without causing any damage. A model that floats will be your best option if your radio is used for fisherman, fishing or crossing open waters. If you drop your model accidentally, it can be easily picked up from the water surface.

Emergency Features

Your two-way radio is a great tool for emergency planning, whether you are camping, hiking or hunting. An Emergency Alert radio sends an alert to all radios within your radio group in case you need immediate help. There are many types of emergency alerts available, and they vary from brand to model. Some alerts combine a beacon flashing S.O.S with international Morse Code, others send a loud alarm to members of the group. These alerts block any activity on radios and get louder until someone responds.

Number Of Handsets

You will need as many handsets as you can afford when purchasing two-way radios. While a twin-set may suffice for camping trips, busy warehouses might need more to ensure everyone is connected. The price per handset drops when you purchase in bulk. To meet every customer's requirements, we offer many two-way radio packages. If you need to add more handsets, we also have single handsets.

Channels & Privacy Codes

Two-way radios that are license-free have a fixed frequency they can transmit on. PMR446 The majority of two-way radios without a license have 8 to 16 channels. These tune the frequency at which handsets communicate. There are usually privacy codes in addition to channels. These codes do not protect your transmissions, contrary to the title. They allow you to talk freely and without being interrogated by others. This can prove problematic if your use them in an area such as a ski resort, where many other two-way radios are in use.

Maximum Range

When choosing a 2-way radio, the first thing to think about is how far you want them to travel. Consumer 2-way radios with a transmit power of 0.75W and the PMR446 frequency can travel up to 10 km. This could be possible only in the ideal circumstances: high above ground with no obstructions between radios. This range is unlikely to be achieved unless you use your walkie-talkies to connect between mountaintops. The maximum range in a dense urban setting is more likely to be lower. A good radio will provide sufficient range to reach the majority of people. You will require more power and range than that. They are more costly than the license-free model and require a license.

FAQs

Is VHF Or UHF Better?

The frequency band that a radio can operate within is called VHF (very high frequency), or UHF [ultra high frequency]. VHF operates between 136 and 174 MHz, while UHF operates between 400 and 512 MHz. Wave length is shorter the higher frequency. A signal will travel farther if it has a longer wave length. It is easier for the signal's to penetrate if the wave length is shorter. VHF broadcasts better over open water and from an unobstructed location to another. For broadcasting through buildings or other obstructions, UHF is better than VHF.

How Far Do 2 Way Radios Broadcast?

Broadcast distances of commercial-grade hand-held radios are generally between one and two miles. While VHF radios can broadcast further, they do not penetrate as far. UHF radios transmit a greater distance and have better penetration.

Can I Change The Frequencies On My 2 Way Radios?

Many commercial-grade 2 way radios can be programmed from either a computer onboard or via a PC. Although you cannot change VHF to UHF, the radio can be programmed with a PC or on-board programming. However, it can alter the frequencies in the band.

What Is 2 Way Radio VOX?

Voice activation is VOX. VOX promises hands-free operation. "Speak and the radio will open to broadcast your message." However, voice activation should actually be called sound activation. The VOX function on a 2-way radio can't distinguish between a call to help or the usual grunts, groans and grunts of normal physical activity. VOX may cause more problems than it solves. We do not recommend VOX being used in commercial applications.

Why Do 2 Way Radios Have Multiple Channels?

Every channel can be programed at a different frequency. Most modern 2 way radios can have between 4 and 16 channels, although some radios may have up to 256 channels. Channel one will be the only channel that broadcasts on the frequency being used. It is beneficial for commercial applications to have different communication depending on the work group or whereabouts. Radios can be used by schools to broadcast the news. Teachers and administrators might prefer one channel.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A 2 Way Radio?

Two-way radios of commercial grade are made to comply with Military Specifications as well as Intrusion Protection standards. These radios can live for a long time if they are maintained and used in accordance with the specifications. Two-way radios can last up to 10 years. But radio batteries rarely last more than 3 to 4 years.

How Many Radios Can I Use One Location?

You can use as many radios at any location you wish, regardless of the license. To manage communication better, we suggest that the channel's users be limited to ten.

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About William Shatner

William Shatner

William Shatner is a writer and editor who has worked in the audio equipment, computer, and projector industries. He also enjoys repairing and modifying audio equipment, and he has a particular interest in projectors. William is a critical thinker and problem solver, and he takes great pride in his work. He currently serves as the freelance editor of The Audio Critic.

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