My Yaesu FT-60R VHF/UHF Dual Band Transceiver radio arrived today
It will receive in the 144, 250, 350, 430 and 850 MHz bands and will transmit in the 144 and 430 MHz bands on either 5W, 2W or 0.5W power levels. This is about a mid-range portable so not as bad UI as the cheaper ones but certainly lacks the touchscreens of the higher end models (same goes for its ease of use relating to programming it but I got used to it after 30 mins or so). Portables are just not going to be as easy to operate as mobiles and base stations as they lack the size to pack buttons and knobs on.
Yes it's only 5W max (I can't transmit yet until I get my license) but we have an extensive repeater network in the Western Cape which covers way more area than I normally travel in from week to week.
It has some nice functions they've packed in:
* Has over 1,000 memory channels to save with alpha-numeric names
* Automatic and manual repeater shift (repeaters receive on an offset frequency and transmit out on their main frequency)
* CTCSS/DCS operation (basically where repeaters need triggering)
* Scanning can be all bands, a single band or just between two specific frequencies (can also skip a channel in scanning, or select specific channels in memory to scan)
* Dual watch where it monitors two different frequencies for activity
* Enhanced Paging & Code Squelch (EPCS) for placing a call to a specific station (paging) or to receive calls only directed to me (code squelch)
* Emergency channel operation for someone monitoring your home channel and you have an emergency situation where it will sound an alarm by you and also let the remote listener be alerted
* Emergency automatic ID used when searching for someone when they are incapacitated - a searcher can send a unique command which can cause the incapacitated person's radio to respond automatically with its callsign, which can help with direction finding
* Internet connection using Yaesu WIRES-X to remote nodes via radio which can provide access to the Internet
* Automatic Range Transponder System (ARTS) which basically confirms if you are in range out warns you if you are out of range where it is important to stay in range with a group (hiking, search and rescue, etc)
Some of these functions are more unique to portable use and do require proper configuration when used with a group.