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Radios for SAR

July 14, 2011

Some of our King County 4×4 SAR members have written some very excellent guidelines about how to pick the perfect SAR radios for your specific scenario. This is great for those who want to spend time considering the options, shopping around, and writing comparison charts. Some members on the other hand just want to buy something that has been proven in the field and move on. Here is what I use.

Icom IC-F5061

The 5061 is a mobile VHF radio with narrow band support, 512 channels, and 50W output. Mine is installed with a remote head kit so that I can mount the radio under the seat and the head unit on the dash. The mic connector is a standard RJ-45 which allowed me to easily run an extension cable to the bottom of my dash and do a clean mic install.

Icom IC-F3061S

The 3061 is a VHF handheld radio with very similar features to the 5061. It offers narrow band support, 512 channels, 5W output, and a Li-Ion battery. The Li-Ion battery is a great option because it allows you to drop the radio in the charger after a mission regardless of how much charge is left. No more running the battery completely down first. I purchased mine used for $225

Icom IC-F4061S

The 4061 is the UHF sister to the 3061. All of the same features apply. Having the 3061 and 4061 in the same family allow me to share batteries, chargers, programming cables, programming software, and mic/headset accessories. This is an excellent radio made even better by the fact that I pair it with the 3061. I purchased a factory repack for $200.

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