Best Transceiver

Wm226

New Member
Without considering the price, what is the best Hand-Held Transceiver in the market today?

Thank You!
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
I have the Icomm a-22; nice xciever for the $$$ but don't waste your cash on a NAV function if you can find something cheaper without it.
 

glenko

Well-Known Member
I have the Vertex Standard VXA700 spirit. I absolutley Love the thing especially the long life 1300 mAH lithium battery. Its not cheap at around $400
but for me the money was well spent.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
Ed - mind elaborating? I'm considering buying a transceiver, but was wondering if the "Nav" feature was worth it - or if I should just go for a "Comm." only transceiver.

Any advice? <this includes anyone>
 

Josh

Well-Known Member
The Icom A22 is a really old model, but they still make it. It was replaced a year or two ago by the A23 (the A5 is the same as the A23 without the nav function and it is cheaper as a result). Overall, Icom radios are ok. Nav function on any handheld isn't going to be near as useful as a compass for navigation. Just not accurate enough.

Yaesu (calling themselves Vertex now, their commercial line) also makes some great handhelds. The VXA-700 is the best out there. Especially if ya happen to have a ham radio license, since those frequencies are built in. It is a few $$ more than the Icoms, but worth it I think. Vertex also has models that compete with the Icoms for less.

There are other companies out there, that sorta make handhelds. Old or new, buy maybe still around on eBay. Sporty's, JRC, Bendix-King, Telex, and I'm sure a few others. But for current small, bring with your models, it is basically an Icom or Vertex choice.

http://www.avionicswest.com/Transceivers/vxa-700.htm
http://www.avionicswest.com/articles/a23.htm

Those links will give some basic info/reviews.

http://www.avionicswest.com/ica5.htm
The price on the A5 was just dropped. $250 is pretty cheap, and likely the best deal out for the moment. Usually price drops mean new models soon though, so something to keep in mind. Could just be they were way overpriced compared to the Vertex models, so they had to drop the prices to compete. Keep away from the "sport" models Icom has, unless you have stock in Duracell.

Avionics West seems to have the best normal prices. You may do a bit better if you scan ebay for a week or two for a deal.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
r2f my A22 has the nav feature on it but from experimentation I've found it to be nowhere near as accurate as I would like it to be. It'll give me FROM information but it varies by 25* in either direction from where I know I am. Maybe this is specific to the a22 but I doubt it; I think it's more of a gimmicky thing... besides in the times where you would actually need your transciever you won't be messing with it anyways.

Even worst case scenario I would get a PAR or ASR approach with the xciever and not bother with the nav function, besides mine only works from 112.0 - 117.95; i.e. no ILS freqs; not that I would trust the thing to take me down to 200' anyways.

It has come in handy a few times so far and has been more than worth it (plus you can get the ATIS & clearance before even turning on the master). Yes the a22 is an older model but that means it's cheaper; they all do the same thing anyway.
 

Acadia

Well-Known Member
I have an Icom A-23 and it has been a great unit. The nav feature is kind of a nice plus, but certainly not a requirement. I do like having the feature as a backup, but I dont do much VFR cross country to really need it. Though I suppose in an emergency it could come in handy flying IFR. Any good tranceiver is better than having no spare radio at all IMO.
 

ERJ-135

New Member
If you buy one, be sure and purchase the attachments for hooking into the aircraft antennae for com send/receive. The reception transmission will increase exponentionally
 

Wm226

New Member
Thank you for your input everyone!

Right now, I have eliminated my choices to:

- ICOM A23
- Vertex VXA-700

The Vertex VXA-700 has some pretty cool features, but does it have the same name recognition for quality/reliability as ICOM?
 

Josh

Well-Known Member
Both Icom and Yaesu (Vertex is the name they use for their commercial line, and just changed to use for their aviation line as well) make quality hardware. I own 2 Yaesu handheld, an Icom mobile for a car, and have had a number of Icom handhelds in the past. All ham radios. They are the same case and design as the radios you are looking at.

All are good solid radios.

I used to really like Icom, but they lag behind the trend to add new features, and more rugged case designs, so I switched to Yaesu recently, and have used their radios ever since.

If you want to look ebay, there are a few of the older Yaesu models on there. Going around $100 right now. Search vxa on ebay, and you'll see them. The vxa-100 are the models currently there. Those are the same case design I have on 2 handhelds, and after about 7 or 8 years of use, they look like new still. Just get a new battery every couple years if you use it a lot.

If you care about quality though, stay away from the JRC model, or the Sporty's model. There are really old models by Bendix/King and Telex, that look similar to the old brick style handheld someone has on the forum here for sale. The really old stuff like those works good, but kinda like using a non-flip-flop style radio mounted in the panel. They all work, just the new stuff works better and is more intuative.
 
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