Choosing a field radio

On DL1SDZ shared the link choosing a field radio: how to find the perfect transceiver for your outdoor radio activities.
I think it could be of some interest for some SOTA activators.

73, Ludwig


And his conclusion is that really, the perfect radio is the one that meets each activator’s needs best. Which none really do 100%. Translated into a sota activation application, it’s a realistic evaluation of which radios meet the needs of various activators, whether they are long distance hikers, want to use the highest feasible power at all times, can carry light or heavy batteries, can erect ideal antennas or not, want to use only ssb, ssb/cw/fm, cw only.

His main message is: think about what you will use your radio for, then evaluate how each radio matches your needs. It’s more about your needs than about the radio.

A secondary message is that you’ll probably never be satisfied with the radio you own, others will always have features you wish for, or wish you were aware of when you asked “what is the best radio?” In his case he has owned almost every radio available and is still looking.

I think this is pretty close to the advice I give people: the radio you buy today won’t be your last. Be prepared to learn while you use it and you’ll find your ideal radio changes over time. Enjoy the trip.

Andrew vk1da/2da


Hi Andrew,
It was a pretty good discussion especially for the new SOTA operator.

The available budget is often the determining factor. Getting a second hand 817 etc in good order is not easy and the price of even the Xiegu rigs on the new market can set people back. With the usdr rigs from China it’s very much buyer beware.


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