Is 70cm worth the extra cost over 2M only?

Rocket-scientist

Truck camping Infidel
I'm getting ready to take the plunge into HAM (hopefully make it to the exam thursday) and have been looking for a radio. I primarily want the extra range of the 2M (over my CB) especially with the ability to use repeaters. I have been over this section of the forum for a while now and still have one question:

Why would I want or need 70cm (or other band) along with 2M?

So far, almost every time I see a reference to a HAM freq it is always in the 2M band. Rarely in the 70cm and never above that unless I am on a HAM specific forum. I have no need or want to get into skipping HF across the ocean or trying to find out what the ISS crew is having for breakfast :) Is there a reason to go from a Yaesu FT-1900R (2M only)to a FT-7900R (2M and 70cm) , for $200 more, if all I want is to be able to talk to other 4 wheelers on the trail or use a repeater to call for assistance? I am in Southern California so the repeater network is pretty substantial. I also travel to Arizona frequently, but again it has good coverage.
 

crismateski

American Adventurist
that is really a question you have to answer for yourself. I am also in Socal, and there is a fair amount of 70cm repeaters, that being said, a rarely use one. Between keller peak and catalina, you can cover most of socal on the 2m band. Add in a few from the san diego area and you are good to go.

Where you may want to have the options is with things like crossbanding with a handheld.

If you want more details on that let me know.

I would check out a repeater map, and see if you have repeaters close to where you like to hang out. here is a map you can check out http://www.levinecentral.com/repeaters/google_mapping.php
 

1911

Expedition Leader
Why would I want or need 70cm (or other band) along with 2M?
It all depends on where you live and drive, and what you might want to do in the future. In SoCal, there are probably lots of 70cm repeaters. Where I live, there are very few and those are pretty dead as far as usage goes, so the Yaesu 7900 would have no appeal to me personally.

But, the more expensive dual-band radios (that are really two radios in one chassis) can be very useful. You could monitor two 2M frequencies, such as both the base station and your trail group at a big function like Cruise Moab, and speak on either. You could set up one side as an APRS station and use the other for voice, and your family and anyone else interested could see your position, speed, and altitude in real time on a map on the internet. You could set it up as a local cross-band repeater if you were hiking away from your truck with a small hand-held radio. The Yaesu 7900 won't do these things; you'd need a more expensive radio. If all you'll ever want is just a simple trail communication radio, then a single-band 2M radio will do just fine. Just don't be surprised if you find other interests in the ham radio hobby and end up buying more radios with more features down the road. :)
 

xtatik

Explorer
Yes, 70cm is easily worth the extra money. Most of the linked (broad area coverage) repeater systems use the 70cm band.
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
I would say no for now...
for your first radio just get the 2m and enjoy it...get to where you are comfy on ham repeaters and down the road you can always sell it and upgrade.
 

hochung

Adventurer
I clicked on the thread with genuine interest, but your username made me laugh. :)

If your friends only use 2m on trails, then sure, no need for the 440.
 

Ryan1975

Observer
I love radios that cross band repeat from 70cm to 2m. Dismount with a VX-8R and cross band repeat onto 2M still up and running on your truck.
 

gary in ohio

Explorer
depends on location but generally yes.. Plus by going to a dual bander you get remote heads... Cant get that on a single band radio.
 

cnynrat

Expedition Leader
I think it largely depends on what your friends run, and what repeaters are in the areas where you live and travel.

That said, you may find that 440 comes along for the ride if you want features such as remote heads and dual-receive capability.
 

xtatik

Explorer
if all I want is to be able to talk to other 4 wheelers on the trail or use a repeater to call for assistance? I am in Southern California so the repeater network is pretty substantial. I also travel to Arizona frequently, but again it has good coverage.
Having only 2m in So Cal will drop your access to the total number of active repeaters by 60%. Additionally, these also account for about 80% of the linked systems. The WinSystem which is based in So Cal is the largst repeater network in the world at 91 linked repeaters throughout the western states, Hawaii and Alaska. The biggest benefit is the popularity of these systems when compared to most standalone 2m repeaters. When you use these linked systems, you can be more assured someone will be monitoring and available to take a call. They also happen to be very strategically placed for complete coverage in all metro areas as well as having coverage along the main highways that connect them. It is a 70cm system and is also an "open" system...meaning membership is voluntary, It's not a private system and anyone is welcome to use it. It also has excellent coverage between here and Arizona.
http://www.winsystem.org/
 
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Rocket-scientist

Truck camping Infidel
The WinSystem which is based in So Cal is the largst repeater network in the world at 91 linked repeaters throughout the western states, Hawaii and Alaska. The biggest benefit is the popularity of these systems when compared to most standalone 2m repeaters. When you use these linked systems, you can be more assured someone will be monitoring and available to take a call. They also happen to be very strategically placed for complete coverage in all metro areas as well as having coverage along the main highways that connect them. It is a 70cm system and is also an "open" system...meaning membership is voluntary, It's not a private system and anyone is welcome to use it. It also has excellent coverage between here and Arizona.
http://www.winsystem.org/
Thanks for the link! Based on this information I will lean more towards the dual band, as it seems to cover more area that I am in or around. Now to save more money...
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Thanks for the link! Based on this information I will lean more towards the dual band, as it seems to cover more area that I am in or around. Now to save more money...
I like having 70cm, I personally use it daily for ragchewing on the commutes. Ham radios don't lose a lot of value unlike most consumer electronics. A new $350 FT-7900 will be worth used about $250 next year or in 5 years.
 
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