Well, everyone in the two way radio industry knows the exceptional performance of dual band mobile ham radios. If you are looking for a ham radio that delivers, this is what you need to buy. They offer two bands for simultaneous communication; giving you more freedom. In this article, we have reviewed some of the best dual band mobile ham radios of 2021.
Our expert team has conducted thorough research to bring you the top seven mobile dual band ham radios. These are known for their performance, value for money and quality construction. If you are in a hurry, you can have an overview of our top picks:
Dual Band Mobile Ham Radios- Our Top Picks
- 50-watts high RF power output
- Dual receive on the same band (UHF+UHF/VHF+VHF)
- Choice of two backlight colors
- Solid construction
- 144/340 MHz dual-band transceiver
- Powerful and easy-to-use
- 50-watt output power
- Built-in speakers and cooling fan
- Features CTCSS, DCS, ANI, DTMF
- Very compact size
- High/low power settings
- Includes programming cable
- Bigger LCD
- Features remote kill, repeater, alarm, and more
- Fully customizable multi-color display
- Expanded frequency range
- Microphone audio gain
- 50-watt power output
- 180 degrees rotatable TFT LCD
- Single and group call modes
- 25W/15W/5W power settings
- 1-year warranty
Why get Dual-Band Mobile Ham Radio?
You might know that dual-band mobile ham radios are exceptional mobile ham radios in the market. Standard HAM radios do not offer the kind of communication these two-way radios does:
- You get the option to track two frequencies simultaneously with a double band mobile HAM.
- Dual-band radios have higher frequency ranges and increased power output. Using both Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) opens up wide communication possibilities.
- It creates ease of communication while driving on the road. These radio transceivers are far more useful than other amateur radios.
- If you’re looking for a device that can be placed in a vehicle, you’re in luck! You can find a wide range of portable mobile amateur radios with double band capabilities perfect for use in cars.
Best Dual Band Mobile Ham Radio Reviews
1. Kenwood TM-V71A – Best Pick
- Feature-rich model
- Easy to use and program
- Pleasant display and sound
- Outstanding value for money
- Occasional fan noise
I am sure that and you will be impressed by the build quality of TM-V71A. The radio is basic in terms of design, but from our extensive testing, we can confirm that the exterior is rock-solid!
The TM-281A is going to last you a long time. It holds well against vibration and shock and is recommended for off-roaders. It is a great starter radio. When paired with a mag-mount antenna, it hits repeaters a hundred miles! Even at low power mode, the audio remains static-free, and the signals are clear.
The fan noise is bearable and will take some getting used to. It’s a bonus as it helps prevent heat buildup in vehicles.
The transceiver is well worth the money paid and offers outstanding value for the money. Reading this, you’ll be compelled to test this Kenwood dual-band mobile radio as your primary VHF/UHF rig. Well, you won’t be disappointed!
2. Yaesu FTM-400DR/XDR – premium choice
- Installation was a breeze
- Crystal-clear transmit audio
- Straightforward interface
- Bright and easily readable display
- Limited memory
If money is no object and you want an ultra-premium experience, then this is the second-best double band system on the market. Yaesu FTM-400DR performs flawlessly in terms of transmission quality and long-range capability. The rig steals the show with its list of top-end features:
- Latest GPS technology to speed up navigation and telemetry functions
- Three digital modes and one analog mode
- Cross-band capable
- Digital Group Monitoring
In terms of power, the rig handles power starting from 5-watts to up to 50-watts! This high capacity allows for transmissions over a longer distance. The device was easy to set up and did not heat up like other transceivers.
Yaesu FTM-400DR is the strongest pick if you look at the specifications. The dual band ham radio comes loaded with top-notch tech internals that leads to improved performance. Combining these quality functions and power, you get a device that is a pleasure to use!
3. AnyTone AT-5888UV – Joy to use
- Exceptional coverage
- Includes USB cable
- Incredible receiver sensitivity
- Easy to program
- Slow scan
The moment I saw AT-5888UV, I knew I was in for a treat! And, luckily, it did not disappoint! Starting with price, for a dual-band, 50-watt capable amateur transceiver, you cannot find a better deal than this one! It has exceptional VHF/UHF coverage capabilities and hits distant repeaters.
What I love the most about this double band radio are its premium specs. It is a radio system designed to please ham enthusiasts and experts!
Operating the AnyTone AT-5888UV has been an absolute pleasure. Pairing it with a powerful dual-band antenna, you can expect to hit a hundred miles. If you don’t have big bucks to splurge and can do with a mid-range mobile radio, AnyTone offers the best value!
What I’m not so thrilled about it is the slow scan. Fix this minor shortcoming by selecting “skip” on non-priority frequencies.
4. QYT KT-8900D – Compact yet powerful
- Loud and clear audio output
- Display is bright
- Easy programming with CHIRP
- Works as advertised
- No warranty
The QYT KT-8900D is one we very much looked forward to reviewing! By many measures, this is one of the best HAM radios with dual-band capabilities.
When you think of a mobile rig, you want power, style, and clarity. The KT-8900D ticks all of those boxes!
- In-built cooling fan
- Programming supported by CHIRP and MILKOR
- Package includes programming cable and mounting hardware
One of the advantages of picking it is that you can install it anywhere you like! Thanks to its compact design, it fits about anywhere. Despite being small, the display is clear. It is bright and readable even in sunlight. Since it’s CHIRP-compatible and includes the USB cable, you have nothing to worry about in programming.
As for the durability, the rubber on the knobs came off after extensive use. The biggest issue might be the warranty. The brand doesn’t offer any warranty support.
5. BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 – Customer’s favorite
- Programming is easy using CHIRP
- Excellent sound quality
- Incredible quality of construction
- The menu is not intuitive
It was love at first sight as I laid my eyes on the BTECH UV-50X2. With its tasteful and modern design, it’s one of the best-looking mobile HAM units on the market today. The microphone keys are tactile and a joy to operate. Although the rig is small, it’s usable.
The two-way radio is extremely portable. If you have a vehicle with limited room space, you can install it under the dash or between car seats. The audio output is crisp, sharp, and clear.
Speaking of power, this BTECH transceiver is another 50-watt capable rig. That’s what gives the signals a boost in helping you reach wider distances.
You’re not going to get the ease of use that AnyTone and Kenwood provide, but, in terms of performance, it’s a stellar choice.
6. AnyTone AT-778UV – Bang for the buck!
- Phenomenal color screen
- Intuitive interface
- Rugged rig
- Good quality internal speaker
- Not supported by CHIRP
The AT-778UV by AnyTone is modest in all the key areas – design, build quality and internal specs. It gives you plenty of versatility for your money and can do everything you need once you make the investment.
- Narrowband compliant
- Lighted keypad microphone
- Built-in cooling fan
- Emergency call and selective call functions available
The display is better than what you would expect at this price. It’s full of information with an awesome color combination. In terms of programming, it’s easy and straightforward. I wouldn’t recommend manual programming for this rig. It’s better to look up software compatible with this radio.
Some operators have also complained about its overall interface, which takes some learning. I found plenty of resources online to help you get started with it.
The AnyTone AT-778UV is an outstanding deal given its quality, professional sound, and value for money!
7. LEIXEN LX VV-898 – Budget option
- Solidly built
- Great sensitivity
- Small size and lightweight
- Low power requirements
- No key lockShoddy microphone
The LX VV-898 offers an affordable dual-band HAM experience. While the transceiver lacks premium material, it guarantees decent value for money.
It promises superior build quality at more than half the cost of its rivals. The microphone is lightweight and feels comfortable in hand. Although the rig appears to be lightweight, it is solidly built.
I chose this radio for the ease-of-use it offered. It came with a programming cable, although it isn’t mentioned in the item listing. The PC programming process is a cakewalk as the rig supports CHIRP.
If you keep realistic expectations out of the LEIXEN LX VV-898, this dual band ham is a great choice at a cheap budget.
How to Buy a Dual Band Mobile Ham Radio
Here are some of the key factors you need to look at while buying a dual band mobile amateur radio your own:
Mobile transceivers are powerful than handheld radios. There’s a range of power options for you to select. A rule of thumb is that the greater the power output your radio offers, the greater the transmit range is.
LEIXEN LX VV-898 is a decent option for beginners looking to perform simple operations. However, if you need a full-fledged radio system with a powerful transmission, you need a device with an output of at least 25-watts!
The Yaesu FTM-400DR/XDR and AnyTone AT-5888UV are among several mobile HAM transceivers that operate are 50-watts of high-power.
HAM radios are quite an investment, considering the costs involved. When paying a high price, you must ensure that the transceiver you’re opting for offers the best quality and lasts a long time.
If you’re a frequent off-roader, you need a device that won’t fall apart due to slight jerks and jumps. In terms of construction, Kenwood TM-V71A is solidly built and gets thumbs up from us!
Different radio brands and models offer various sets of specifications. If you’re interested in additional features, you must ensure they’re present in the device you want to opt for.
We recommend looking for built-in NOAA weather channels. If you’re an off-roader or hit the highway frequently, you would want up-to-the-minute updates regarding the weather conditions.
A cooling fan is another critical component you need in a mobile transceiver. If you wish to install the rig inside a vehicle, you need to ensure that it doesn’t get very hot while using the high power settings. The AnyTone AT-5888UV dual-band transceiver comes with an in-built fan to prevent heat buildup.
Additional features to search for include built-in speakers and CHIRP-compatibility. You may also want to look for functions like channel mode editing settings, auto scan, quad watch delay time, and mic audio gain settings.
Dual-band mobile HAM radio antennas
Radio antennas are classified as single, dual, or tri-band depending on the number of frequency bands they operate on.
As the name suggests, a single band whip operates on one band, for example, 2m. On the other hand, a dual-band antenna works on two bands, such as 2m and 70 cm. The tri-band antenna works on all three: 2m, 70 cm, 1.25m.
Another critical aspect is the size. A taller antenna offers greater power. However, that results in a trade-off between height and portability. If you wish to move it from place to place, or vehicle to vehicle, make sure to consider the portability factor!
What is a dual-band transceiver?
A dual-band amateur transceiver is a communication system meant to enable transmissions on two frequency bands simultaneously. These radios will be using both VHF and UHF bands.
How do you use a dual-band FM transceiver?
The benefits of a mobile dual-band transceiver are many! Due to their small size and portability, they can be installed in any space like a vehicle, home, or office. Many riders also install mobile transceivers on their bikes to access wide-range communication on-the-go.
- To operate on 2-meter and 70-centimeter amateur radio bands, you will need first to obtain a license.
- There are several free public bands, as well, that do not require licensing. If you stay within the legal power limits, you do not need to obtain a license.
- Add in a dual-band mobile antenna compatible with your rig to get extended coverage and optimum performance.
- Several radios listed here are fully customizable. You will require basic programming knowledge, programming cable, and software.
- With these requirements sorted, you can track UHF+UHF/VHF+VHF/UHF+VHF conveniently.
How do you program a dual-band FM transceiver?
Programming any radio transceiver can appear like an overwhelming and complicated task. However, with the help of CHIRP and PC programming software, you can now customize your transceiver like a PRO!
We do not recommend manual programming for beginners and amateurs as it can be a tricky process.
For PC programming, you will need a compatible cable and software. The most preferred software is CHIRP; however, several brands have their software. You can find tutorials online with in-depth guidelines for every brand and model to program the dual-band HAM transceivers.
What are the best dual-band mobile antennas?
As mentioned above, you must select an antenna depending on the bands you want to operate. For a dual-band mobile radio, you need an antenna that works on bands like 2m and 70cm.
Here are our top three favorites for double band communication:
- Tram 1185
This 18-inch whip offers impressive range and power output and picks up repeaters well. Our favorite aspect about Tram 1185 is that it comes pre-tuned. Moreover, it holds up well in all kinds of weather conditions.
Here’s another 18-inch antenna designed for dual-band usage. It is well-made, budget-friendly, and the installation is effortless!
This unique and low-profile antenna by Eightwood is a great pick for UHF and VHF transmissions. It comes with ample cable to aid in installation. Furthermore, as it comes pre-tuned, this Eightwood dual-band antenna works right out of the box!
Whether you’re a newbie or an expert HAM operator, we bet choosing a dual-band HAM transceiver is challenging, considering the plethora of options on the market. If you’re confused and need some guidance, we’re here to help.
The ‘clear winner’ on our list is the Kenwood TM-V71A for its well-rounded performance. It is among the most capable dual-band transceivers on the market at the moment. However, if you don’t have a large budget to play with and don’t mind compromising on power, then the LX VV-898 isn’t too bad either!
We really hope our reviews of these top quality dual band mobile ham radios have helped you to buy the right transceiver for you.
Last update on 2021-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API