I live half a mile from my volunteer fire station. We are toned out on a VHF frequency by a neighboring municipality, and we provide mutual aid for their fire department that is toned out on an 800-meter frequency. I am not able to monitor their frequency because I don't have equipment that can do that, but if I could do that I would have advanced notice when we would likely be toned for mutual aid and could improve our response times. (This is worth doing for me since I live so close. If we end up not being toned it's a short drive back to my house.)

I would like to be able to monitor both frequencies with one handheld radio and be able to at least transmit on the VHF frequency and do my ham stuff on the same handheld. I don't want to have to keep up with and charge 2 radios all the time.

I own a Wouxun KG-UVD1P that allows me to monitor frequencies for our department (VHF) and some UHF frequencies, just not in the range to catch the neighboring departments dispatches. I have also been issued a 'Vertex Standard' that also allows me to also monitor our own frequencies but it cannot reach the municipality from some parts of our district (don't want to sound ungrateful, just being honest).

Does such a handheld radio exist that covers that range of frequencies, and can also take a small beating?

  • $\begingroup$ Hello Jack, and welcome to this site! Although shopping recommendations for specific products are specifically off-topic here, I edited it slightly so that it doesn't get closed. (BTW, just saw your profile, I am also one of the happy Linux users here. :-) $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Apr 18 '20 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for doing that. $\endgroup$ – Jack Apr 18 '20 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ You're more than welcome! We look forward to seeing more of you here. And hopefully, someone else will prove my answer here wrong. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Apr 18 '20 at 20:44
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    $\begingroup$ 800 meters?? I had no idea there was fire activity at 400KHz, what antenna do they use to transmit 800 Meters?? $\endgroup$ – Skyler 440 Apr 19 '20 at 1:03
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe you mean 800Mhz $\endgroup$ – Skyler 440 Apr 19 '20 at 1:03

If you mean 800MHz not 800 meters, the Motorola APX-8000 Will give you the solution to talk on both the VHF Ham band, UHF Ham band, VHF fire band, UHF Fire band, and 800Mhz fire band on P25 Digital or Analog FM. Lots of firefighters use these radios for dual Ham and Fire.

The radio specs 136-174 MHz, 380-470 MHz, 764-776, 794-806 MHz 806-825, 851-870 MHz


If you just want to receive analog on the 800 band, you might want to look into the Kenwood th-f6 or the icom ic92ad. There are a number of radios that have a wide band receiver in addition to the UHF/VHF transceiver.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes the APX works fine on ham bands. I have seen hams use them in addition to volunteer fire fighting. $\endgroup$ – Skyler 440 Apr 19 '20 at 1:16
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    $\begingroup$ Edited with frequency range, 2 meters and 70cm is right in the middle of its range $\endgroup$ – Skyler 440 Apr 19 '20 at 1:39
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    $\begingroup$ Does a radio need to be type accepted to operate on the ham bands? I don't think so. Look at the commercial VHF and UHF Motorola gear repurposed as as ham repeaters. I believe the onus is on the licensee to ensure the radio is operating legally, rather than type acceptance of the radio. This is why hams can build and legally operate kits which have no particular certification. $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Apr 19 '20 at 4:29
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    $\begingroup$ @MikeWaters for the ham bands, it’s the user that’s licensed, whereas for the public service bands it is the equipment that is licensed (type-approved). I believe you meant to ask whether or not it was type-approved for the public service bands ;) $\endgroup$ – Scott Earle Apr 19 '20 at 13:45
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    $\begingroup$ There is a requirement for in the ARS for certification of external amplifiers (97.315, 97.317). Otherwise, there is no requirement for amateur radio transmitters to be certificated (type accepted). It looks like this radio will work. $\endgroup$ – WA9ZZZ Apr 20 '20 at 2:53

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