I’ve been wanting to put a ham radio into my car for quite some time. The obvious thing would have been to get a nice 2m/70cm dual bander, but I didn’t really want to invest a huge chunk of change into it at this time, so I decided to go with a simple basic 2m rig. My idea is that even if I decide to upgrade later, having an effective 2m rig lying around isn’t a terrible thing: I could use it for a base station radio, APRS, or even an uplink transmitter for the FM satellites.
So, I settled on the Yaesu FT-1900R. It’s inexpensive ($129) and I’ve had pretty good luck with Yaesu equipment. It was also the subject of a review in the May 2010 issue of QST which just arrived. (Incidently, that review is terrible. It is mostly a list of stuff that you can read directly from the product manual that you could just as easily download from Yaesu directly. I expect reviews to include some insightful commentary, not merely a laundry list of features. Additionally, the author chose to power this radio using the cigarette lighter adapter in his car. Everything I’ve read, from radio to car manufacturer guidelines tell you not to do this. It doesn’t lend a whole bunch of faith in the capabilities of the reviewer.)
I’ll probably bench test this radio when I get back home from Portland. Perhaps I can provide a more helpful review.