Q. Clint, I‘m in the market to buy a new dual band handheld. What are your recommendations? I was informed Yaesu is hard to beat for the receiver part. What is your preference?
A. The only TRUE "full-duplex" HT on the market right now is the new Alinco model. But it suffers terribly with poor RX sensitivity on the sub-band nd, for the mlment, shoulnd not be seriously considered as a "true, full-duplex" HT.
A definition is in order here. "True full-duplex" means one can key the mic on one band, and hear the sub-band. Like the old Icom IC-W32a, and others. Radios like the VX-8 and TH-F6a may have dual RX VFOs, but key their mics, and you do not hear anything on the sub-band.
But as you saw at the demo, it is NOT mandatory to operate true full-duplex on the FM birds. Oh, it's better, I suppose, if you can hear yourself on the downlink. But think of how you operate on terrestrial repeaters: You wait for a break in a conversation, and announce yourself. You do NOT intentionally step on anyone. Same with the FM satellites: Wait for a break in the action, and announce yourself ...
With all that being said, my favorite 2M/440 is still the Yaesu FT-60R.A thousand memories. Receives (essentially) 108-to-a-gig. Bulletproof case design. LARGE display. PLENTY of RX audio. Strongest belt clip of any HT chassis on the market. And it does allow "split freq programming" on a channel (page 28 of the manual - "Odd Splits").
And the FT-60R has a battery situation most other HTs do NOT offer: Slap the optional FBA-25 AA Alkaline case on the FT-60R with NiMH or alkalines in it, and you have FULL TX POWER AVAILABLE if you need it. Try that on the Kenwood TH-F6a, and you have a whopping 1/2-of-one-Watt TX power!
The FT-60R isn't the most expensive HT out there ... nor the least expensive. But it is a tremendous value selling at under $200.
BUT if you need 220 capability, the Kenwood TH-F6a offers 2M/220/440 ops, each band at full TX power with the stock battery pack.
Please let me know if you have any other questions ... I *DO* have opinions ... (grin)