I absolutely LOVE this little radio! It is my first ham radio, and is what I used to make my first ever ham radio QSO with KD5LQD. If for no other reason that that, it has secured a soft spot in my heart forever.
However, there are plenty of other reasons to love this little guy. Little though it may be, it is absolutely packed with features and abilities. I’m using the Diamond NR770HNMO antenna on my car, and I did upgrade the rubber ducky (you’re the one) to the Diamond SRH320A.
On to the review.
It’s amazing how they packed so much into such a small package. It may be small, but it’s hefty and feels strong. The buttons are easy to find with fumble-fingers yet not so easy that they get pressed while in your pocket when you’re out walking/hiking. The screen is easy to read and bright when you need it to be, and you can even use the transmit LED as a flashlight if you need. They put a great deal of thought into designing this, and implemented the best of those thoughts.
Very well put together, nothing loose or out of place. No rattles, and the waterproof seals feel very secure.
However, my only real gripe is that the little speaker really struggles if pushed past the halfway mark when you turn it up.
This hefty little guy feels extremely rugged in your hand. I did drop mine once and closed my car door on it another time. Didn’t even phase it, as it’s still chugging along. Add the ability to be submerged in liquid and you have the perfect hiking radio. However, the screen does scratch very easily. Ironically, I scratched it on a shirt button, not by dropping or slamming it in car doors. HAHAHA… sigh…
Chock-a-block with features…
- Tri-Band TX on 2M, 1.25M, 70cm
- AM/FM BCB
- Wideband RX 504 kHz-998.9 MHz (less cellular)
- EAI Emergency Automatic ID
- 900 Alphanumeric Memory Channels
- ARTS-Automatic In-Range Transponder
- Backlit Keypad & LCD (which can be used as a small flashlight)
- Internet Key for Access to WIRES™
- Computer Progammable
- Many more…
Ease of Use/Installation
Programming it on the radio itself is a little tedious, but I bought the RT Systems cord and software and that made programming a breeze. Because there are so many features, there is a bit of a learning curve, but I’m not taking off for that. It just does SO much, users have a lot to learn.
Really outstanding. I’m tx/rx on a repeater that’s 40 miles away with very little degradation of signal. With the attached rubber ducky, I hit that repeater at about 20 miles with a major met city between us. For an HT, I’m impressed. It does pick up some odd signals but I think that may be due to how busy the area is so won’t take off for that.
The battery lasts FOR EVER!!! Well… maybe not forever, but I usually only need to charge it once a week and it stays on for my commute to and from work every day. I’m still going to get a spare, but very impressive battery life.
No maintenance needed.
Not the cheapest HT out there, but for what you get per dollar, you just can’t beat it. … but I AM biased.
I couldn’t recommend this radio enough! Amazing radio in a package that fits in the palm of my small hands.
Followup (Nine months later)
This has become my go-to radio for CERT and emergency response teams. It has been rained on, dropped in puddles, dropped down stairs, kicked by work boots, slammed in a car door, and been shot. … well, ok, not shot, but I bet bullets would bounce off this lil’ guy!!! My opinion remains very high on this rad