Well, I got both the BTech UV-50X2 50 watt dual band mobile radio and the Yaesu 857D HF/VHF/UHF radio set up and programmed now and I must say that for an EmComs radio, I like the BTech radio much better than the more expensive Yaesu.
The Yaesu is good for what it does by combining HF, VHF, and UHF into one compact radio, but by doing that it misses many of the features that the cheaper BTech radio has.
One of the main things that I like about the UV-50X2 is that I can monitor four VHF/UHF frequencies at the same time. I can set one of the local repeaters as my main channel, and designate three additional repeaters or simplex frequencies to monitor for traffic.
It is not scanning between those frequencies, it is watching all of them together so there is no lapse like there would be if you just scanned back and forth between them.
As shown in the photo above, I am monitoring the Makakilo, Ewa Beach, Health Comms, and Pearl Harbor repeaters simultaneously. With the Yaesu, I can only monitor one frequency at a time so I may miss something important on one of the other frequencies in an emergency situation.
There are some drawbacks to the UV-50X2, one being that I have noticed it runs quite a bit hotter than the Yaesu does. While I am transmitting the cooling fan comes on which sounds like a little siren, spinning faster and faster with its pitch increasing as the temperature climbs. As it cools back down the pitch of the fan drops as well. I am not sure if the Yaesu has a cooling fan built into it or not as I have not heard anything as of yet from it.
The UV-50X2 has both a low and high power setting with 10 watts being low and 50 watts being high power. Apparently someone forgot to tell that to my radio though because according to my meter on low power it is pushing 25 watts and on high power it is pushing 100 watts.
VHF radios are not supposed to transmit more than 50 watts on high power. With the increased wattage it decreases my available transmit time for safety so I will have to keep that in mind whenever I have to use the high power setting.
I will use the Yaesu for HF, but I am going to keep the UV-50X2 as my VHF/UHF base radio and order another one for my van.
45th Annual Honolulu Marathon
In upcoming episodes we will take a look at Morse Code, Antennas, Handheld UHF/VHF Radios, Mobile UHF/VHF Radios and Emergency Communication (Emcomms).