The use of mobile ham radio is different from the use of other 2 variations portable and base station ham radio. While you are driving your car in the road and if you need to be connected with the driver of vehicle in front or in side you can easily use a good quality mobile ham radio to talk in emergency. At this stage you need to buy the best mobile ham radio from the market.
Of course the mobile ham radio is completely connected to the user of vehicles may be any type, car, truck, bus, micro bus and so many. In order to buy a good quality mobile ham radio the owner or the driver of the vehicle must know what this ham radio is, how to use it. There are lots of models in the market available but to choose the best is tricky.
We have discussed in detail 10 different mobile ham radios from different renowned manufactures of the worlds with their pros and cons. In this review and buying guide we have shown the quality of material used in sets, their durability and the techniques of use in all situations. So if you go through all these instructions you can easily buy the best transceiver.
Quick Overview of the Top 5 Mobile Ham Radios:
|#1||TYT TH-9800||50W||4.7 lb.|
|#2||Yaesu FT-7900R||50W||2.2 lb.|
|#3||Kenwood TM-V71A||50W||3.3 lb.|
|#4||BTECH Mini UV-25X4||25W||2.05 lb.|
|#5||Kenwood TM-281A||65W||2.5 lb.|
10 Best Mobile Ham Radio Reviews 2019
#1 TYT TH-9800 Review: Best Ham Radio For Car
This TYT TH-9800 model comes with the design of quad band transmitter and twin receiver. This product is provided with dual display Modulated frequency transceiver for 10 meter and 6 meter bands. VHf, the very high frequency band being 2 meter and UHF, the ultra high frequency band being 70cm.
This tool has been loaded with so many features having more than 800 memory channels in alphanumeric. The tool is equipped with cross band repeater in automatic mode, double simultaneous receiving feature along with volume control and squelch control.
It is provided with many tuning stages with microphone of full keypad and a remote faceplate that can be easily mounted. The receiving ranges of this mobile amateur radio are 26-35MHZ, 47-54MHZ, 110-180MHZ, 350-39-MHZ, 430-512MHZ, 750-947MHZ.
The maximum output power of VHF 2M band is 50watts and the maximum output power of UHF 10M band is 40watts along with multiple power settings in this tool. Both the analog and digital coding system CTCSS and DCS respectively have been installed here.
PL and DPL are the same coding system applied in case Mortola. This mobile ham radio uses DTMF, dual tone multifrequency signaling as 2 tone and 5 ton. The feature of automatic number identification ANI has been included here and display settings are bright enough.
This tool kit includes 12v DC battery, SO-239 antenna connector, power cables and mounting brackets. This mobile ham radio comes with a built in cooling fan. The other main functions of this quad transceiver are brilliant cross modulation, reverse frequency selection, multi function scanning, keypad lock function and channel name editing.
Some of the important specification related to this set of mobile ham radio are Mode of emission F1,F2,F3, antenna impedance 50 ohms and current consumption RX-0.5A and TX 8.0A. After detailed reviews we can recommend this mobile ham as one of the best mobile ham radio available in the present market.
- High power output of 50watts in this set.
- Programmable space for 800 memory channels.
- Cross band repeater available in this device.
- Manual programming is simple here.
- Durable antenna with mount bracket.
- Manual guide difficult to follow.
#2 Yaesu FT-7900R Dual-Band Amateur Ham Radio
This FT-7900R model mobile ham radio releases with VHF 2 meter band and UHF 70cm band with dual band frequency modulation radio transceiver. This dual band mobile ham radio has a maximum output power of 50watts on 144MHZ and the maximum output power is 40watts on 430MHZ.
This ham radio has 3 power levels so that no power can be misused anytime. The power level is regularly registered which has a hyper memory. This mobile radio provides wide range of receiver frequency from 108-520MHZ and 700-999.99MHZ.
So you can easily monitor in wide range of frequencies including AM aircraft, public safety, government agency, business community that should be amateur communication. There is also a provision for synthesizer steps which can automatically select operating bands also.
This mobile ham radio has a special feature of large LCD display; a large LCD backlit ensures super visibility. It has 5 front panel keys that allows you complete configuration of the mobile transceiver.
All the status can be stored in a convenient way that you can easily recall by one-touch application. It is also equipped with NOAA weather alert. It is to be noted that this model of mobile ham radio is popular for its high performance with the simplicity of operation.
This Yaesu FT-7900R is completely ideal dual band mobile ham radio for a simplex operation. Also he can work on both bands with repeater or FM satellite. In comparison two other previous models, FT-8800R, FT-8900R it is superior in the sense that it has the capability of cross band repeating.
- High power output in the device
- Cross band repeater mode available.
- 800 programmable memory channels available.
- Multiple tuning steps and microphone with full keypad.
- Multifunction scanning available in this tool.
- Sometimes overheating is observed.
#3 Kenwood TM-V71A: Best Mobile Ham Transceiver
If you have enough budget to buy a best quality mobile Ham radio, then you can select this Kenwood TM-V71A model. Though the price of this ham radio is little high but you will be happy with its quality and advanced features.
This Kenwood TM model of mobile ham radio has a high RF, radio frequency maximum output power of 50watts. This ham radio is installed with 1000 multifunction memory channels.
It has the capacity of dual reception on the same band and provided with Echo link memory which is a software program that facilitates to connect other mobile ham radio over internet using VOIP technology.
Echo link sysop-mode is provided in this tool which allows to connect your PC with mobile transceiver is another fantastic feature. The Kenwood TM mobile ham radio is equipped with multiple scanning systems and an invertible front panel.
The LCD panel has 2 back lights color both amber and green. The tool can handle DCS, digital code squelch of 104 codes. In this product true dual band operation means that you can use VHF+VHF, VHF+UHF, UHF+UHF in three varieties of operation.
The dual band on the same band means you can handle (VHF+VHF, UHF+UHF).This advanced mobile ham radio is a dual banded sophisticated radio. It shows high power power performance in 2m 440 MHZ.
On both the bands it has power level of 5 watts, 10 watts, 50 watts. The large display screen clearly shows the status of the mobile ham radio and can be easily set to green or amber color.
It is very sensitive MARS band and and can be easily connected to digital data. We have discussed in detail 10 different mobile transceivers along with their pros and cons and we therefore can say that this model is the best quality mobile ham radio among the lots.
- Durable and high output power available
- Echolink memory and sysop mode facilitate super function.
- 1000 multifunctional programmable memory channel.
- On the same band dual reception is possible
- Invertible front panel with 2 backlight.
- Microphone is a bit heavy.
#4 BTECH MINI UV-25X4 Tri Band Mobile Ham Radio
This BTECH UV-25 model mobile ham radio has a display mode of dual synchronizing with setting of audio gain for its microphone. This ham radio has an extended frequency range up to 520MHZ.
The tool kit is provided with a manual guide which allows you to know the function of power off, channel mode editing, auto scanning, frequency scanning and many more. Randomization of privacy mode and quad delay time features has been incorporated in this mobile ham radio.
High and low power output 25watts and 10watts can be easily set here. Wide variety of frequency range has been installed in this device. These are 136-174MHZ, VHF, 220-260MHZ USA, 350-390MHZ Europe, 400-520MHZ UHF and both narrow and broad band can be easily selectable. The recommended accessories that are easily installed being pair UV-25X4 along with Nagoya TB-320A antenna.
This device uses PC04 FTDI cable for computer programming and dual monitoring system for both VHF and UHF. Two filters one is 2 meter low pass and the other is 70cm high pass filter have been switched with pin diodes in order to work with 220MHZ antenna.
A relay has been equipped with this device which completely isolates 220 RF filter and there will be no effect on RF performance of 2 bands 2 meter and 70cm. When monitoring multiple frequencies simultaneously the relay remains in active.
This BTECH MINI mobile ham radio package includes so many parts and accessories as BTECH UV-25X4, speaker microphone and DC cable 6 feet in length. This package also includes Radio and microphone brackets, cigarette plug connector and mounting hardware along with user guide manual. This device can also be customized with multi color LCD display.
A new menu has been installed with this product to select method of scanning. During reboot you can easily resume scanning even after interrupt scanning. After a great deal of analysis, we can consider it as one of the best mobile ham radio for car in present market.
- Compact, lightweight and most durable.
- Display mode can be dual synchronized
- Audio gain setting in microphone available
- Power off function is automatic.
- Auto scanning and frequency scanning with variable selection
- Overlaying of sensitive frequency range
#5 Kenwood TM-281A 144MHz FM Mobile Ham Radio
This Kenwood TM 281A model of mobile ham radio is compacting rugged in construction. It can produce an output power of maximum 65watts and has an alphanumeric display. This device offers 200 memory channels and 100 memory channels with 6 alphanumeric characters.
The tool possesses CTCSS and DCS coding /encoding features. Here CTCSS stands for continuous tone-coded squelch system is nothing but an electronic circuit that is used to reduce the listening annoyance towards other users in case of 2 way shared radio communication channel.
Of course DCS is a further development to TCSS that stands for digital coded squelch uses slow speed transmission with binary data stream and incorporated in this device. The receiver of this product uses weather alert also.
The Kenwood TM mobile ham radio has been designed in such a way that it conform with MIL-Std 810 which stands for military standard 810 category. Laboratory test methods C, D, E, F and G are applied for environment engineering vibration and shock measurement.
It is to be noted that this Mil-std transceiver offers a powerful performance with excellent audio sound. The device offers a fantastic operating facility at day and night with LCD backlights and illuminated keypad.
The kenwood TM-281A is a two meter FM mobile ham radio. This device is capable to display 6 alpha numeric characters. The amber display can adjust 32 levels of brightness.The menu system in it facilitates.
Multiple scan methods are available and other function has 1750 tone burst. The menu in it allows easy selection and easy control of functions. It is also a narrow band FM radio. It has been found that all most all the main features have included in this device and we say that is the best ham radio in present market.
- It provides clear audio output
- Compact, sturdy and most durable.
- 2000 programmable memory channels.
- Mil-Std for vibration and shock measurement.
- Emergency weather alert NOAA available.
- Some buttons are difficult to read.
#6 AnyTone AT-778UV Dual Band Mobile Radio
This Anytone AT mobile ham radio has 3 output power settings 25watts, 15watts, and 10watts in order to reduce power misuse. This device is a dual band VHF, UHF mobile radio transceiver with color LCD display which is 180 degree rotatable and improved with TFT, thin film transistor technology in order to improve the quality of image.
The frequency range for this product is 136-174MHZ in VHF and 400-480MHZ in UHF and provided with software programming which can be downloaded from Anytone website. This mobile transceiver features CTCSS and DCS which means continuous tone –coded squelch system and DCS means digital coded squelch that are being used for coding and decoding.
It has 200 memory channels with narrow band compliance and lighted keypad. The mobile ham radio has built in speakers, cooling fan and a DC power cable. This Anytone AT-778UV is a versatile mobile ham radio transceiver which is capable handling of single call, selective call, group call or emergency call.
The other important technical specifications for this product are channel spacing for wide band-25k, for middle band-20k, for narrow band-12.5k, 10 phase lock steps from 2.5k to 50k, operating DC voltage is 13.8+-15%, operating temperature -20 degree centigrade+-60degree centigrade.
This mobile ham radio can be widely used during outdoor sports, self driving, taxi deployment, military cooperation, firefighting deployment and property management. On the front panel of this device you can see everything very clearly as power on off switch, LCD display, function key, microphone jack, self define key and channel switch.
The front side of microphone have got mic, PTT push to talk, speaker and band indicator etc. Since we have found number special features in this device and the price is reasonable we recommend it as one of the top mobile ham radio.
- Sturdy and 3 output power selection facility.
- TFT LCD display is rotatable 180 degree.
- Built in speaker and built in cooling fan.
- Single call, selective call, group call and all calls possible.
- 10 phase lock steps available.
- User interface is complex to understand easily.
#7 ICOM 2300H 144MHz Mobile Ham Radio
The ICOM 2300H model of mobile ham radio is a 144MHZ amateur radio transceiver. The device can offer a very high output power of 65watts. The interface of this tool is as same as with the previous model IC-2200H.
It is sturdy and most durable and has been tested by the latest MIL-Std 810 G specification. The MIL-Std stands for military standard and there is provision for environment engineering vibration shock measurement with 810G method. 207 memory channels in alpha numeric have been incorporated in this device.
This FM transceiver front panel has MW and SMW buttons at the left-hand side, just after there are two control knobs one for volume and other is SQL or squelch both CTCSS and DCS for the purpose of encoding and decoding.
Just at the center of it there is a brown colored display board where the model number blinks. Under the model number there are found a number of knobs marked showing different functions for the device. This mobile ham radio is an amateur VHF FM transceiver, built in cuts and dices.
It has 3 inch LCD and multiple scan functions. It comes with complete case 2 meter radio. This product works well when you want to talk on local repeaters. The audio sound is crystal clear and very loud.
It has a great advantage that it comes with user manual and a CD. The device is excellent and very easy to programming. Though it is tricky to choose a good quality mobile ham radio from the present market we say that this ICOM 2300H is the best ham radio mobile so far we got in review.
- Stable and most highest output power available
- Compact and most durable in body consruction.
- Tested with latest MIL-Std 810G spec. for shock and vibration.
- 207 programming channel with alpha numeric.
- User manual with CD have been provided.
- User manual is not helpful
The BTECH UV model of mobile ham radio releases with unique feature of display mode of dual synchronizing. The microphone of this set is audio gain setting and has a frequency range upto 520MHZ.
Like the previous model of BTECH MINI UV it has some features like auto power off capacibility, channel editing mode, scan resuming, and auto scanning functions. The ham radio can also scan variable frequency, time delay by quad watch, randomizing privacy mode.
It has both high and low power setting of 50watts and 10watts. Frequency range varies from 65-108 MHZ in commercial -174MHZ, VHF 136-174MHZ both RX/TX and UHF 400-520MHZ both TX/RX, broad band and narrow band selectable.
This model of mobile ham radio can use the recommended accessories like pair UV-50X2 and Nagoya UV-72 mount antenna which is magnetic in nature and very easy to install. Computer programming in this device can be easily set with the help of PC04 FTDI cable.
It is to be noted that UV-50X2 offers the function of multiple radios on 144MHZ or 430MHZ and simultaneous watching is possible on other 3 frequencies. On the other hand you can configure this FTDIcablefor both VHF and UHF band.
This tool kit includes UV-50X2, some DC cable, one speaker mic, necessary brackets for radio and microphone and mounting hardware accessories. The multicolor LCD display screen can be customizing very easily.
You can also customize the alpha numeric channel names. A new menu has been introduced in this product so that you select scanning resume. Another great feature it includes that during reboot you can start scanning immediately. You can also adjust the microphone gain in this mobile ham radio following in-menu adjustments.
You can also edit tones and additional squelch information. We have in this article reviewed 10 different models from different branded manufacturers we like conclude by saying that this model is one of the top quality mobile ham radio available in current marketplace.
- Dual synchronizing display mode facilitate functions.
- The microphone has auto gain setting.
- High and low power setting saves power.
- Edit programming channels without programming.
- Edit tones and additional squelch information.
- Beep tones are loud sometimes.
#9 Yaesu FT-2900R 75 Watt Mobile Transceiver
The Yaesu FT-2900R comes as a 2M mobile amateur ham radio that transmits 144MHZ-148MHZ and receives 136MHZ-174MHZ. In this device there is a provision for 200 alphanumeric memory channels. The special feature of CTCSS and DCS has been incorporated in this product.
Both CTCSS and DCS are analog and digital encoding and decoding functions in order to reduce listening annoyance to other hams. It has also been equipped with NOAA weather alert. This product uses maximum power levels than those of other models and there are 4 power levels as 5watts, 10watts, 30watts, and 75watts with selectable switch.
This feature thus enables you to reduce power misuse in different application. The proper scanning and search function can be easily performed with this tool. The lighted keypad provides clear visibility and direct frequency entry is possible here.
The mobile transceiver utilizes a DC battery 13.8volts at 14 amps. The product package contains a power cord, a microphone, optional 2 meter antenna, and all types of mounting brackets.
It is compact and solid construction with the provision of a big size heat sink. The selection and controlling of functions are very easy to perform. The built in speaker delivers a clear sound even in noisy environment and very easy to program manually.
There is no switching noise on the transmitting and this mobile ham radio never gets so heated even after long time use. It ihas been found that the average talk range is 30-40 miles operating from a car.
- Compact, solid construction and durable.
- CTCSS and DCS encoding and decoding in analog, digital system.
- Selectable 4 output power levels saves power.
- Microphone with lighted keypad.
- DC supply with 13.8 volts at 14 amps.
- User manual lacks important findings
#10 Yaesu FTM-3200DR VHF Mobile Transceiver
This Yaesu FTM-3200DR mobile ham radio has a maximum high output power of 65watts. It is compact, solid and most durable. The modulation modes of this set are C4FM digital with DFR or VFR mode. It is installed with frequency modulation analog, and auto mode selection function.
This device can easily and automatically recognize any signal as conventional FM. The speaker of this product in the front panel has 3watts audio output power in order to have loud and clear sound. The digital group monitoring function, multi color bright LED have made this mobile transceiver awesome.
This transceiver has 220 memory channels with alpha numeric characters and has an illuminated microphone which allows direct entry of frequencies. This mobile base station utilizes DSQ signaling feature. Also it uses CTCSS and DCS analog, digital encoding and decoding functions like other model use.
This device is capable of receiving extended frequency 136-174MHZ with the stability of +-2.5ppm and equipped with weather alert. The recommended accessories for this product are one DTMF microphone, one usb cable, necessary mounting brackets, DC power cord, one operating manual and a safety guide.
The new model of mobile ham radio transceiver is compact and built rugged providing enjoyable audio sound even in noisy environment. AMS Automatic mode selection is a complete new and uncommon feature incorporated in this device which can instantly recognize whether the transmission is analog or digital.
Digital group monitor is another important feature of this transceiver is that it can instantly register the group of person those are within its communication range. The LED indicator in this mobile ham radio distinctly informs the operator about transceiver current position if the signal mode is blue then it is digital otherwise if it is green then the signal is analog.
- Compact and high power output.
- Automatic recognition of signal as C4FM digital.
- Digital group monitoring function available.
- Direct frequency entry in the illuminated microphone.
- CTCSS and DCS function along with spit tone.
- Sometimes fan noise is irritating.
Mobile Ham Radio Buyer’s Guide
When you are going to buy a good quality mobile ham radio you should know some technical knowhow that has been detailed here. We are going to discuss some main aspects these type of ham radio. There are 3 basic type of ham radio namely portable, mobile and base station.
We are concerned about mobile radio which is installed in your vehicle not only to facilitate talking between the drivers when needed but also to your friends, family members and other people those who possess these ham radios only.
No matter which type of ham radio you are going to use you need to know some technical aspects. Only then you can select the best ham radio mobile from the current market place.
Mobile ham radio often give better service than handheld ham radio as because the mobile set get extra power from the vehicle itself and can connect repeaters to reach longer distances.
The main features of mobile ham radio to be included:
- Strong signal transmitting and receiving capability
- Brilliant cross modulation and inter modulation rejection.
- Programming memory channels and editing facility.
- DTMF microphone to be included.
- Digital FM radio broadcasting facility.
- High, medium and low power output selection for reducing power loss
- Reverse frequency selection.
- Multi function scanning facility.
- Keypad locking facility.
- Memory channel name editing without programming.
- CTCSS/DCS encoding and decoding with analog or digital application.
- Dual band and dual reception mode availability.
Mobile vs base station:
Mobile operation of ham radio is nearly same as ham radio base transceiver. In this case of mobile operation both VHF and UHF frequency range are used. There is wide variety of mobile transceivers and we need to buy one which provides more output power.
But it is better if we get output power in 3 settings like high, medium, low, because you can easily set which power when you need. This facilitates power savings or misuse of power. Sometimes this mobile ham radio can also be used as base station though they look almost similar. They are typically powered by 12 -14 volts DC supply battery.
There are also a few multi modes HF, VHF, UHF transceivers that you can buy easily which can provide you complete solution in a single box. You can use the device as both ham radio base station and a mobile ham radio transceiver.
Truly speaking both base station and mobile ham radio look same in outers show and sometime one replace another in operation but you cannot compare it with even one of top handheld ham radios.
How to install the unit?
A mobile ham radio installation is sometime vexing challenges to the operators. Since there are many varieties of ham radio equipment combinations, the methods and techniques of installation also varies. But no matter your selection of transceiver, microphone, antenna, power cable, mounting brackets and other accessories varies. We have discussed all most every thing covering the pros and cons of various transceiver.
The most common things you are to take care of:
- VHF and UHF FM phone for repeater is needed.
- HF SSB phone for high HF band.
- Low cost involvement.
- Ruggedness and simplicity
- Clean profile in passenger cab and low clutter.
- Not so much scarring.
- Easy to portability and easy to remove transceiver.
- Garage parking is needed.
It is to be noted that the transceiver and related component like antenna tuner should positioned in passenger cabin. It may also be single contiguous unit that can install under a seat or a stowage compartment. The power lead will go to the engine bonnet where vehicle battery remains and the co axial cable will go to the antenna base which normally remains outside the vehicle.
A nice installation of mobile ham radio fully depend on proper planning and compartment selection within your vehicle so that you can assure yourself a reliable mobile station to meet your goals. If however you cannot install yourself you can hire a professional to install for you. There also so many blogs from where you can learn how to connect different components.
Is this mobile ham transceiver is suitable for you?
Many new hams select mobile ham radio than portable ham as they think they would cover longer distance while they are talking. But keep in mind that there is a limitation for its use. Without vehicle you cannot use this mobile ham radio without proper license. More over it will not give you effective result while you are talking.
Because the power from vehicle battery is an extra facility for you to reach longer distance. As soon as you become an owner of a vehicle you need to contact not only your friends and family but also other vehicle drivers you need to contact on road emergency. At this stage you need to buy a mobile ham radio transceiver.
Technical specification to be followed:
26-33 MHZ ( RX and TX) AM band
47-54 MHZ ( RX and TX) AM band
136-174 MHZ ( RX and TX)
400-480 MHZ ( Rx and TX )
320-400 MHz RX only
750-950 MHZ RX only.
Memory channel capacity—- 200-1000 numbers
Channel spacing — maximum 8 numbers
Mode of emission—F1, F2, F3
Frequency stability —-+-5 ppm
Antenna impedance —50 ohms
Weight of the set —2lbs approx.
Important aspects to consider for mobile ham transceiver:
In order to buy the best mobile ham radio you should go through our reviews and buying guide. For transmission and reception of signals frequency range is the main and most important feature you need to know. Different model offer different frequency range.
The wider the range the more flexibility in choosing frequency according to you needs. The product compactness and durability is another feature to keep in mind. It is found that most of the quality transceiver comes with dual band while there only a few models are available tri band mobile ham radio.
The more the transceiver is compact it is easy to install and the more it is sturdy the more it is durable. The quality of the transceiver along with its components and accessories should be of high quality. Otherwise you won’t get best result and the set may be damaged early.
Well operation is another aspect in respect of a mobile ham radio. An easier operation is always helpful for beginners and even for expert in emergency. PC controlled operation is most of the time is very helpful to communicate effectively computer through the transceiver when there is no internet connection.
After detail study and analysis it has been found that there are lots models of mobile ham radio with different prices from different manufacturers. Now When you are going to buy a mobile transceiver for you think first whether you are a professional or not.
If you are professional driver you must go for the best and for the costlier one. You should also look after the performance of the transceiver you are buying. You can go through the reviews of customers so that you can get best idea of their pros and cons. We discussed various features available with the different model in present market.
In our guide we have given 12 special features, but you need not abide by all, instead you can pick the best features. It is most important that when you are a professional driver you should buy the best but costly as because it can protect your life in emergency and please buy the best mobile ham radio for the money.
In order to buy the best mobile ham radio you should consider at least 3 points as quality features, durable product, and easy operation of the mobile ham radio transceiver. Of course price consideration is also a prime factor.
In respect price we can recommend you to buy with medium or high price mobile set but never go for low price set. When you need to acquire knowledge of technical specification and features you must have to study our guide along with user manual for some time.
Not only this but also you can discuss some of the technicians those who are well acquainted with the use of these mobile ham radio transceiver. Then you can easily choose best quality mobile transceiver for you vehicle and buy the best one.