Favorite Handheld Transceiver?

I would start a topic asking about your station setup… but I don’t exactly have one of my own, so it’d be awkward to try and start that conversation. So, that being said, if you have any handheld transceivers, which is your favorite model and why? Do you have any custom made ones? Fill in the details!

I’m pretty simple and cheap. I just started out in amateur radio and passed my technician exam a few weeks ago. I have a Baofeng UV-5RE with the metallic-style casing on the front. It looks really nice and although it feels cheap, it’s a good starter radio. I’ve had a few troubles hitting the repeater in my local area inside of my room, but it’s fantastic outdoors. If you want to stay cheap but get longer in range, you can easily buy an antenna to replace the one that comes with the package. The UV-5R series is just $25 and it’s definitely a good bang for your buck if you’re first starting off.

(I thought it was a recommendation at first lol)
I right now only have a BaoFeng BF-F8HP. However, my personal favorite at the moment would be between the Motorola XPR 6550 and 7550. They both intrigue me, and are at a pretty good price range. Plus, these are the transceivers that fire departments and more use. My step dad works at a VA facility and they use the 6550.

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I might cheat on the “handheld” portion of this topic BUT…

The XPR 6550 is my favorite DMR handheld. I bought mine from Zach when he was getting rid of a spare unit. It needed a new battery since the original IMPRES battery was totally shot (couldn’t even stay on idle for 20 minutes on analog). I found an aftermarket battery, picked up a speaker mic and a dust cover for the port on the side and got it all programmed! It’s a great radio that’s built like a tank! The audio quality and user experience with this radio are unparalelled by any of my other DMR handhelds.

Now to cheat a little, my favorite “base” radio is my XPR5550. This was my foray into the Motorola radio world and is my favorite radio, by far. I got it new open box on eBay a couple years ago and use it as my base radio for DMR. Its codeplug shares a good 99% of the same configuration as my 6550 so I can have the same zones, contacts, lists, etc. This radio was built for the UHF-2 frequency allocation, however I did a hexedit to step the lower bound from 450MHz to 440MHz and have not experienced any issues.

Now given those two radios, I still have one more that’s considered my daily carry radio. I have a BTECH DMR-6X2, which is a rebadged version of the AnyTone 868. It’s a VHF/UHF DMR capable transciever. The reason I prefer to carry this one is because (at the present moment) my local emergency services still operate on analog VHF repeater systems, so I can use this radio as a scanner as well with TX prohibit enabled. The DMR experience on it is adequate, but Motorola really takes the cake for me.

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The only reason I don’t like the moto’s for ham use is the limit on DMR contacts. This is a similar situation my GD-77 has as well. If I were to get a new DMR HT, I’d go with the AnyTone At-878UV II Plus. 500,000 contacts capable, and while it’s certainly no Motorola, it is a great, reliable company.

For a ‘Base’ I use the AT-578UV Pro, which is a tri-band VHF/220/UHF DMR radio. 50 Watts capable, even capable of crossband repeat. Certainly something I like a lot, but I need a better power supply for it for sure. Also wish it was capable of remote head, because I’d like to mount one in my car.

i carry a motorola dm4601 for the fire department moto xpr 7000 and transceiver baofeng uv-5r

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I don’t have a favorite because I only have a Baofeng UV-5R. I don’t have a ham license so it is set to FRS channels.