Looking for VHF/UHF HT recommendations

While I'm saving up for/learning to build my own HF base station I'd like to get a hand transceiver. The only problem is, there are so many options I have no idea where to begin. 
What I'm looking for is:
  • Dual-band 2m and 440. There are repeaters locally that support both. 
  • Digital support. My local club has d-star support built into their repeaters, and a few members use it. I was looking at an Icom ID-51a but if their are other or better options (not necessarily D-star mind you) I'd like to hear them. 
  • Priced between $250-500. I'm not really interested in Baofeng or the other Chinese brands. I've seen a few and messed with them. They're kinda tacky and definitely show their pricing in their build quality. 
I've also looked at a few Yaesu models but I don't remember the specifics of them.
Bonus request: Recommend an possible antenna upgrade if you feel the suggested model benefits from it.


  1. Anonymous20:11

    Start searching for Tytera MD2017, DMR VHF/UHF its a game changer.

  2. Anonymous20:21

    used Yaesu FT2DR handheld nice, DMR Motorola/Hytera handhelds outstanding. But we know everyone is going to suggest <100$ USA for DMR Tytera (or clone) and FM Analog Baofend.


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