HT w/ Mobile Link or HT with Built in APRS

I am interested in APRS for while I am out hiking and climbing summits. Looking for a new rugged HT.

Mobile Link

What is recommended?

New Kenwood D72a?
New FT60r with mobile link (for iphone)?

My current HT is a Baofeng and I have an iphone.

I had a D72a. it was good once I figured what I was doing. As of late I use a bluetooth TNC connected to my ht which I like.


HI Casey,

I actually have both of those devices you mention. Depending how you intend to use APRS would depend on how I advise to proceed.

For messaging - like actual back and forth - BT via the FT60 with mobilinkd

For all in one and just location work - the kenwood is the go - also make a cable to charge via 12v (its great) the FT60 doesnt allow this.


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Can I throw out there another suggestion, the Anytone AT-D878UV, this a dual band VHF / UHF, dual mode analog FM and DMR handheld it also has inbuilt GPS and will transmit APRS on both bands in both FM and digital.
I have just picked up one of them to use as a test radio,for setting up hotspots etc, although I haven’t used the APRS as yet, I have to say that the FM and DMR seem to work exceptionally well both on TX and RX.
The receive audio quality on DMR is way better than my generation 1 Motorola DP3600 DMR handheld.

One other really nice feature, is that the Anytone can be front panel programmed using the easy to navigate menu’s as well as PC programmed, it also has promiscuous mode on either single or dual timeslots, which allows you to monitor traffic without knowing the talkgroup ID or colour code.
Finally, it also has a true VFO mode, meaning you can enter a frequency from the keypad and using the rotary knob on the top tune up or down in whatever step size you have selected just like a ‘normal’ amateur handheld.

Sorry I can’t give much more info about the APRS side of things, unfortunately work has got in the way of playing with the radio, but there are loads of reviews on Youtube and the www.

Hope that helps,

Can you use the Anytone on 2m on a commercial site or with a large antenna connected? Large numbers of 2m handhelds suffer terribly from overload from out out-of-band transmissions when used for SOTA on a summit. (All brands cheap and expensive). The FT60 is bulletproof in this case. If this Anytone doesn’t suffer then it’s an interesting option.

Suprisingly my Anytone was the best of 3 HH’s at Black Mountain in Canbera, ACT Australia. Black Mountian transmitts all the digital TV and everything else signals to Canberra and beyond. Its a reliable RF noise generator. There are warning signs in the carpark about the effect the RF can have on your vehicle’s electronics etc. Other radios were an origional Yaesu VX-8 and Alinco DJ-G7 tri band.
My theory is that there is so much RF stuff in the cities in China that the newer China designed radios have filtering to make them work.

For APRS I dont believe that the AT-D878UV can send messages nor recive packets. As I understand it it can only Tx a lat/long and your call sign. It is limiting for me as for SOTA I think you do need to be able to send a message out to be able to take advantage of the APRS spotting tool.

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It’s not something I have tried yet, but i can do so next time i go to a hilltop site with my job, which should be in the next week or so. But the radio is based on a ‘radio on a chip’ and having a wide RX range at least 136-174MHz, I would suspect it not to be as good as a dedicated amateur 2m radio which would no doubt have better RF front end filters.
I’ll give it a go and report back when time permits.


Yes, please do. I’d be interested to hear your experiences

In the actual firmware the Anytone 878 only has very limited APRS functionality.
Only sending position beacons is available. No APRS messages can be sent. So spotting will not be possible.
Maybe this will become available in a future firmware.

Well I know how bad my DJ-G7 is on 2m and the VX8 has plenty of poor performance reviews, so if it’s not as bad as either of them then that’s good.

I bought Yaesu FT1XD recently. It has APRS with full messaging capability. After FT3 was announced it can be found second hand for a decent price. It’s rugged and battery lasts quite long time. I’m very happy with the purchase.
It let me down on one summit which has multiple transmitter towers on top. Other stations heard me 59 but I didn’t hear a tone. I switched to FT817 later, heard them 59 and made the QSOs.