You are here:

Ham Radio/Ham Portable Radios



What do you recommend for a long-range portable handheld ham radio that will easily hit repeaters 20-30 miles away. I am also in public safety and need something that I can program any frequency and talk on from long distances away.


Well Connor, I like the Yaesu VX-8R. When you say handheld, you are pretty much limiting yourself to 5 watts and this radio will do 5 watts (or less if you want to save battery).

Almost any rig will hit repeaters 20-30 miles away if the conditions are right. If conditions are not right, almost none will. Using an antenna that is better than the supplied rubber ducky will help a lot.

Since this radio is 4-band, it makes it more versatile than others.

You mention programming any freq. This is sort of, somewhat possible.  It's a general coverage receiver and can receive a wide range of freqs. It is set-up to transmit only on ham bands, but there are mods to bypass that if you need to, and are authorized to, talk on public safety freqs that are near ham bands.

It's waterproof to 3 feet for 30 minutes.

Chris Bushman
Colfax, California  

Ham Radio

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Chris Bushman


I have been an amateur radio operator for about 41 years.


In real life I managed a small motion picture film lab in Hollywood. I've been a fireman, a teacher of English in Okinawa, a personal computer tutor. I am an Advanced Class Ham radio operator using my originally issued callsign WB6EEQ. I have operated for extended periods of time from Okinawa (KR6FX & KR6OP), Texas (K5VXG), and Mississippi (K5TYP). While in the Air Force, I was a Manual Morse Radio Intercept Operator.

BS Zoology, UC Davis

Member, Society of Motion Picture/Television Engineers - Member, American Radio Relay League - Member, Quarter Century Wireless Assn. - President, Zen Nippon Airinkai, So Cal Chapter - Member, Maltose Falcons Homebrewing Society - Alumni, American Brewers' Guild

I have held Conditional, General, and Advanced Class Ham radio licenses. Attended UC Davis to study Zoology. Go figure!?

©2017 All rights reserved.