Whats The Best Radio??

First off I don’t care what radio you use. If you use a Baofeng UV-5R that is fine with me. If you want to run a CB good on you.  If you use the newest Motorola P25 radio is also fine with me. I’m not attacking anyone for what they use. If it works for you then that’s all that matters. With that said I’m going to give my opinion on team comms.

There is so much discussion on what is the best team comms or what radio I should get. First off define your mission. What do you need to accomplish?

Do you just want to listen to local frequencies?

Do you just need a radio to talk across your ranch and don’t care if you can be heard?

Do you want to just be able to send offgrid text messages?

Or are you doing team shit and need a level of security?

Only you can define your mission.

I know there is going to be a lot of people that disagree with what I’m going to say but just hear me out.

My mindset is fully encompassed in the Guerrilla fighter mindset. When I think of comms I’m thinking as a Guerrilla (at least I think I am). As a Guerrilla I may be in the field for a month or more. I need to be able to do everything with my comms plan in the field by hand. No internet and no computer.

I feel too many people are trying to emulate the military/LEO in the comms world without realizing that they will have NO part in that world.. your support will be the local populace. You need to make sure you can communicate with them and not military/LEO.

So first off I will have an all volunteer force. That means my radio has to be reverse compatible. Most people will have a FRS radio or the standard Baofeng UV-5R. I want my radio to be digital and analog to be able to communicate with both. Also I don’t want to have to carry two radios! Lol

Next the radio HAS to be able to be programmable in the field by hand. Why? Because I don’t really want to be packing a computer with me in the field to program EVERYONES radio. Also most people won’t pay for the programming software of a high end radio. Speaking of that most people have a hard time programming their Baofeng let alone a high end radio.

I also want my radio to broadcast outside the ham bands. I need as much frequency range as possible. That’s also why my radio must at minimum be a dual band radio. Tri band would be better.

I definitely want AES 256 ENCRYPTION.

I must have a radio that does data bursts to shorten my broadcast time. Shorter broadcast times = less chance of getting intercepted.  Digital SMS messaging radios fit this bill.

I need the radio to it to be able to key up when the keypad is locked. We don’t need to be accidentally changing frequency mid mission(had this problem during and protection detail I worked)

I also need encryption of the data burst/sms text.

I’m really not big on radios that you program with a computer with the frequencies and then you are set.

I will be writing new SOI’s every few days. I will be changing frequencies with every SOI. I do not want to be stuck with just 100 channels I programmed and that’s it. I want the option of using the WHOLE band spectrum that this radio will allow me.

As a Guerrilla you need to be able to do EVERYTHING in the field by hand. Yes I understand that you will probably have to put your encryption key in over the computer but at least after that you are done with the computer.

This is where the Anytone AT-D878UV comes in. Unfortunately it doesn’t encrypt SMS so as soon as another radio does all I want and encrypt SMS I will be switching over. I’m not stuck on ANY radio. If they will fulfill my requirements I have no problem switching over.

Don’t get stuck on one radio. Always be looking for the radio that’s fits your needs the best.

If you’re radio isn’t completely open where you can do 99% of the functions by hand in the field by hand then you are just doing a disservice to your own comms plan.

My deciding factors for team comms:

Number 1. It has to be dual or triband.

Number 2. It has to go outside the ham band frequencies.

Number 3. It needs to be programmable by hand not just by PC.

Number 4. The keypad needs to lock but still transmit when the mic is keyed.

Number 5. Encryption capability with voice and SMS

Number 6. Does digital & analog

Number 7. Will send SMS messages


9 thoughts on “Whats The Best Radio??

  1. Thank you for the excellent and concise article on your field radio baseline for this application. Helps to encourage a higher standard imo. It’s certainly inspiring me and will be passing it on to my team mates.
    Appreciate all the effort you put into trying to help others with our increasingly concerning reality.
    One question please:
    What is the “dog bone” phone head-set in the photo ?
    Also dig your simple effective rifle camo and antenna tripod. Gives some ideas on this end.
    Always look forward to your new posts !


      1. Thank you very much taking the time to look up a link. Gives me a starting point to help dial in our gear better.

        I really like your practical approach to this stuff.

        Appreciate it Sir.


  2. Great article! I went with the BTECH 6×2. It is an Anytone with a couple added features and a bit cheaper. I am also waiting for a radio with SMS encryption.


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