Time for a new Handheld Transceiver..... Suggestions?


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My old ICOM handheld transceiver lasted for 20 years, so I can't complain, but........ time for a new handheld transceiver. I'd like to hear your suggestions as to what to get, and why, pros and cons, approx price (if you know), etc. This will be primarily for personal use and back-up while aviating in my Cherokee Six. Thanks!


Picked up an Icom IC-A24 off ebay a couple years back to replace my Sporty's model. Prefer the size and rechargeable battery of the Icom, only paid $190 for it.

Picked up a desktop charger from another auction for $12.50.

New Sporty's 400 looks nice, still choke at spending $400 for a backup


I just bought a Vertex VXA-220 for $180 (new). Nice compact size, body is heavy cast, you could drop it or club a baby seal to death with it. Operation is pretty intuitive, one pass through the manual to figure out memory channels, scanning, and running duplex mode. It's also "waterproof".

The Vertex comes with all the accessories: nimh rechargeable battery, a second alkaline backup battery case, desk charger, headset adapter, cigarette lighter adapter, and coax adapter (if you want to hard wire it to an external antenna).

You pay an extra $50 just for the headset adapter from Icom... so forget them.

Performance has been great. I can hear approach controllers on the ground 25 miles away sitting in my fist floor living room.

I decided to go with the 220 which has your standard COM and Nav channels but no CDI (so you can still duplex to FSS).... I just dont see myself needing a CDI or Glideslope on my backup handheld.


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Yaesu (now Vertex Standard) VXA-210 if you can find one (you may have to buy it used) , get the SU-1 Barometric Sensor option so you have a back-up pressure altimeter. Beware if you're flying a pressurized airplane and make the appropriate correction in a non-pressurized plane. I'ts small, great performance good VOR I got one about 13 years ago and it's still going and going and going...:)