Best Dual Band Mobile Ham Radios

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 24, 2019
Most of the regular radio stations are too weak to be used inside the vehicle. When standard models struggle with various interferences, a dual band mobile ham radio would be a more appropriate choice. To help you narrow your search we have picked the top mobile ham radio models out there to make your radio calls quick and effortless. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Standards and Frequency Range
Maximum Power
Maximum Operational Distance
Number of Channels
Features
Kit Contents
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

Thanks to the included CHIRP software you can adjust the amplitude of the sound directly during transmission. This allows tuning the output sound according to your needs be it at home, in your office or in the car.

CONS

The instruction manual is needlessly complicated.

OUR VERDICT

A multi-functional mobile ham radio from BTECH allows the operator to use multiple frequencies at the same time with little to no interference. Combined with a great operational distance of 50 miles it is a great means of remote communication at big production facilities, delivery, or for other service drivers.

detailed parameters
Standards and Frequency Range

VHF: 136-174 MHz
UHF: 400-520 MHz

Maximum Power

50 W

Maximum Operational Distance

Up to 50 miles

Number of Channels

200

Features

Color LCD display, Loud 2W speaker, PC programmable, Dual synchronize display mode, Microphone audio gain settings, Channel mode editing settings, Scanning modes, Quad watch delay time, Randomization privacy mode, Auto power off, FM radio support (87.5-108 MHz)

Kit Contents

DTMF handheld microphone, 6.5' direct connect 12V leads, Vehicle mounting bracket, Screws and mounting hardware

Weight

2.65 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

A high-power of 75W makes this ham radio great for both short- and long-range transmissions. On top of that, the internal memory capacity of the device allows saving up to 200 quick-access channels.

CONS

Quite bulky for a portable radio.

OUR VERDICT

The ST-980Plus from SOCOTRAN is a practical radio transceiver that is powerful enough for use on the highways without any frequency interference. Thanks to the dual-band nature of this ham radio it can track multiple channels at the same time while the handy keypad microphone makes it easy to switch between them.

detailed parameters
Standards and Frequency Range

UHF: 400 ~ 480 MHz
VHF: 136 ~174 MHz

Maximum Power

75 W

Maximum Operational Distance

Up to 30 miles

Number of Channels

200 

Features

Color LCD display, PC programming, External speaker/PTT, Memory FM radio channel, Keypad lock-out: 5-tone, 2-tone, ANT, DTMF, Monitor mode, Quad-standby, Programmable Squelch, Group call

Kit Contents

USB cable, Software disk, Keypad microphone, Power cable, Vehicle mounting bracket, Mounting hardware

Weight

3.87 lbs

Warranty

2 years

PROS

A high level of security MIL-STD 810 C, D, E, F and G makes this ham radio model ideal for use in harsh weather and temperature conditions.

CONS

The monochrome display looks a bit dated.

OUR VERDICT

Everything about the Kenwood TM-281A just screams reliability, and it is no wonder that this radio is so popular among truckers - it gets the job done. Good for use in the city and on the highways it surely will make a difference when it comes down to high-quality radio communication.

detailed parameters
Standards and Frequency Range

VHF (RX: 136 - 174 MHz, TX: 144 – 148 MHz)

Maximum Power

65 W

Maximum Operational Distance

Up to 50 miles

Number of Channels

200 

Features

Amber LCD display (with 32-step brightness control), PC programmable, large oval speaker, 100 memory channels, FM radio support, built-in CTCSS and DCS encoder/decoder, Automatic simplex checker, Reverse function, Auto repeater offset, Auto power off, Time-out timer, MR-shift, Key lock

Kit Contents

Keypad microphone, 10' DC power cable, Vehicle mounting bracket, Microphone hanger, Mounting Hardware

Weight

2.5 lbs

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

The colorful TFT LCD screen of this model is big and bright enough to see all the displayed information at any angle. On top of that, the displayed image can be optionally flipped 180° to accommodate multiple installation options.

CONS

Lacks FM-frequencies support.

OUR VERDICT

The mobile ham radio from AnyTone is a small yet highly convenient radio that can fit the interior of virtually any vehicle out there. The broad frequency range also allows using the device as an emergency radio on top of its regular purpose as a dual-band transceiver.

detailed parameters
Standards and Frequency Range

VHF: 136-174 MHz
UHF: 400-480 MHz

Maximum Power

25 W

Maximum Operational Distance

Up to 35 miles

Number of Channels

200 

Features

180° rotatable TFT LCD display, PC programmable, Built-in speakers, Single calls, Group calls, Selective calls, Emergency calls, Support of CTCSS and DCS tones

Kit Contents

Keypad microphone, DC power cable with fuse holder, Vehicle mounting bracket, Mounting Hardware

Weight

2.7 lbs

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

The loud 2-watt loudspeaker on the front panel of the radio makes it easier to hear the transmissions more clearly. Moreover, the volume handle on the microphone enables to quickly change volume according to your needs.

CONS

If you turn the channel knob too fast the unit may skip some saved channels or frequencies.

OUR VERDICT

A compact ham radio from BTECH has all it needs to be a great means of communication between drivers at short to medium distances. The maximum operational range of 30 miles makes this model an ideal choice for use in the city. So if you are looking for a budget-friendly radio then the Mini UV-25X2 will be the right pick for that role.

detailed parameters
Standards and Frequency Range

VHF: 136-174 MHz
UHF: 400-520 MHz

Maximum Power

25 W

Maximum Operational Distance

Up to 30 miles

Number of Channels

200

Features

Multi-Color LCD display screen, Loud 2W Speaker, PC programmable, Dual synchronize display mode, Microphone audio gain settings, Channel mode Setting editing, Scanning modes, Quad watch Delay time, Randomization privacy mode, Auto power off, FM radio support (87.5-108 MHz)

Kit Contents

Keypad microphone, 6' DC Cable with cigarette plug connector, Radio and mic brackets, Mounting hardware

Weight

0.9 lb

Warranty

1 year

BTECH UV-50X2

A Premium Model in a Compact Housing

The BTECH UV-50X2 mobile ham radio is one of those models that you can accidentally take for a premium model that is rather expensive. But if we put this misconception aside, you are getting all the premium features at quite a reasonable price.

If we take the amateur part of the radio away, this model can operate at distances of up to 50 miles, which is simply remarkable, considering the modest price tag for the whole kit.

Although the unit has a memory feature, its capabilities are rather limited. The total number of channels that you can save is 200, while the maximum character limit for each one is only 7 digital characters, which is a bit of a bummer, to say the least.

On the other hand, however, the process of navigating through all the saved channels is almost effortless thanks to the keypad microphone that makes using the radio a breeze. Additionally, you can program the radio to either be a base station or a mobile transceiver. The whole process is a bit hard to follow at first, but after you get the hang of it, it will take you only a few minutes to perform.

Moreover, the new scanning modes included in the UV50X2 allow resuming scanning even if the station loses power. In any case, the unit will continue the preset scanner procedure after it’s turned back on after a power outage.

The UV-50X2 can operate as multi-band digital radio simultaneously, thanks to the 144 MHz and 430 MHz band support. Thanks to the dual synchronization you can see the frequencies of both channels simultaneously. On top of that switching between the two bands takes only a few seconds, which also eases the operation of the radio quite a bit.

As a result, the BTECH UV-50X2 is certainly the best dual-band mobile ham radio for the price and the amount of all handy features included make it quite appealing to all truck and bus drivers out there.

Review of BTECH UV-50X2 Mobile Watt Dual Band Base, Mobile Radio

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

SOCOTRAN ST-980Plus

High-Power Radio That You Can Rely On

The ST-980Plus from SOCOTRAN leaves an impression of a sophisticated radio set even after the first glance. And this dual-band radio definitely has a lot to offer when it comes down to the array of features this appliance has.

To start off, let’s talk about the programming capabilities of the kit. Once connected to the PC using the included USB cable you can set the required settings according to your needs. This includes a programmable squelch, needed to suppress the noise of the radio or other randomized signals when it is not receiving transmissions.

Even though this model is designed to be used in a car, the weight of almost 4 pounds makes it harder to install on some dashboards. Fortunately, the unit comes equipped with a durable mounting bracket and all required hardware so the installation won’t be a huge issue.

As for the convenience features, the high power radio comes together with a keypad microphone that can be used for quick access to all saved channels saved in radio’s memory.

Wrapping things up, this model from SOCOTRAN is the best dual-band mobile ham radio for both long- and short-range communications. Fast, easy to configure and use it makes all the difference when it comes to reliable radio transmissions.

Review of SOCOTRAN ST-980Plus Ham Radio Transceiver VHF 75W UHF 55W Mobile Radio Dual Band

 

Kenwood TM-281A

Radio That Is Pleasant to Use

If you are looking for a ham radio transceiver that can operate on long distances but don’t need a fully-fledged radio station, then Kenwood TM-281A might be right up your alley.

First things first, this 25-watt device is capable of receiving and transmitting signals at distances of up to 50 miles, which is surprisingly far for an amateur radio.

As for the mounting equipment, the kit comes together with all necessary mounting hardware including the microphone and radio brackets that you can use to install the device on the dashboard of your vehicle.

Despite the fact that this model only has a monochrome display it gets the job done and you won’t face any issues with finding the needed setting or radio mode. The high-contrast screen allows seeing all the information displayed clearly regardless of the time of the day. On top of that, the device has 32 brightness levels so you can always set up this value according to your needs. Once programmed the channels can be saved for later use, which is convenient if you need to change the frequencies often. To make this process easier, the unit is equipped with a special keypad microphone that can be used to switch channels while driving.

Furthermore, the mounting hardware included in the package allows installing the unit on the dashboard of your vehicle, while the 10-feet long DC power cable ensures that the unit will be powered regardless of placement.

In the end, the Kenwood TM-281A is a good ham radio for both semi-truck and bus drivers and can be used as a means of communication on the highways as well as in the cities with no interference.

Review of Kenwood TM-281A 144MHz FM Transceiver

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

AnyTone AT-778UV

Ideal for City Use

The AT778UV dual-band transceiver from AnyTone is an ideal solution for truck or public service drivers that work in cities and towns. But what is it that makes this low-power model worth your attention? Let’s take a closer look at the core aspects of this device and find out.

First of all, due to the maximum operational range of 35 miles the radio is not that great for long-range communications, so this model is best used in vehicles that operate in medium to large cities rather than on the highways.

Further down the list of features, the frequency range of this model includes two options: VHF which operates at 136-174 MHz and UHF that can be used to for channels at 400-480 MHz. Combined with a built-in memory unit that can save up to 200 different channels you can create whole networks of radio operators with little to no interference if set up correctly.

Speaking of settings, you can use the PC programming feature to set up all the channels in order to save time. Alternatively, the keypad microphone can also act as a programming input, however, it takes more time to save the channels this way.

All things considered, by opting for this model from AnyTone you are getting a fully-fledged FM transceiver that can operate at two separate frequencies at the same time at only a fraction of the price.

Review of AnyTone AT-778UV Dual Band Transceiver Mobile Radio VHF/UHF

 

BTECH UV-25X2

An Affordable Communication Device

In case you are searching for an inexpensive device that can be used as a means of communication on UHF and VHF frequencies then this small device from BTECH is the right pick for you.

First of all, the unit includes a quad-watch receiver function that can be utilized to monitor four frequencies at once, which is a great feature for the price. The expanded frequency range of this model allows the user to operate on frequencies from 136-174 MHz (VHF) and 400-520 MHz (UHF) at distances of up to 30 miles.

As a neat addition to an already great package, the radio can receive regular FM stations at frequencies from 65 to 108 MHz so the radio can be used as a secondary FM player.

Moreover, with the weight of just 0.9 pounds, this nimble ham radio can be utilized in small trucks and other service vehicles so the interior’s free space won’t be a huge issue. The kit comes together with all necessary mounting hardware. What is more, like any other similar model this ham radio is equipped with a handy keypad microphone that allows programming and saving radio channels into the internal memory of the device.

All in all, the UV-25X2 is simply the best dual-band mobile ham radio in the budget price range today. Small, reliable, and easy to use, it is a must-have device for any beginner driver that needs a remote communication means for work.

Review of BTECH UV-25X2 Mini UV-25X2 25 Watt Dual Band Base, Mobile Radio

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Dual Band Mobile Radio?

While regular ham radios are just too bulky for use inside a truck cabin, the dual-band mobile ham radio features the perfect mix of power and reliability inside a small housing.

Unlike walkie-talkie radios and dedicated radio stations, the dual-band mobile ham radio is designed to be inside vehicles since they are more powerful. The option to hook up the radio to the vehicle’s electrical grid makes long-range operation much easier.

However, the major benefit of using dual-band radios is the ability to monitor two frequencies simultaneously, which makes them ideal for both long- and short-range use. With a dual-band ham radio installed in the vehicle, the operator will be able to quickly switch between multiple channels. Additionally, the wide range of frequencies allows for interference-free communication on both ends of the channel.

If you are looking for an autonomous FM radio receiver we also recommend taking a look at the top emergency radio devices out there. Alternatively, if you need a portable digital radio that can be used in any weather we also covered the best walkie talkie radios in another review.

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Publish Date: 2019-07-24 12:28:45