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What handheld radio to choose ?

I want to buy a handset radio for safety in plane.

I have no experience and few questions for who have :

Between Icom an Yeasu what is the best trademark to you ?

I think VOR GS system is not useable. There is a model of Yeasu with GPS is it interesting (readable and not to much battery consuming)

What modele seems the best for you ?

I experienced an electric power shutdown this summer. Hopefully a friend gave me his Icom ic6 ae. I was surprise, it was ok in reception but for emission it is very very bad, even close to the airport. I should have to shout throught the window to ATC…

Anyway since that experience I want to have this kind of equipment inside plane for navigation and any advices are warmly welcome.

Thank you and have a merry Christmas



The Yaesu 750L is mentioned here, with tests.

The GPS just gives you coordinates, no “map”.

The ILS functionality is very usable, for an emergency (not for routine flying of ILS in a plane with no proper gear).

I had an ICOM for many years and it’s a great radio but this one is way better. One thing is that the headset adaptor situation is not as good as the Icom, however.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom


Thank you
Ok, so for you full capacity nav/navcom/gps Yeasu is the best.
I’ll read the link

Thanks !


We have a Yeasu Vertex 220 and and old icom A6.

To be honest there isn’t alot between the two of them and in some ways the icom is easier to use because it has less inbuilt features. When all you want to do in reality is key in the frequency and that’s it.

The Yeasu is cheaper and also replacement batteries, wall chargers and car charges are cheap as chips.

I wouldn’t buy an icom again.

One thing I’m trying to work out at the moment is whether it’s possible to buy a harness that lets you connect an external ptt switch for the 550/750. I could make one but you lose a degree of waterproofing that I’d like to retain.


It would be surprised if it doesn’t.

I have an adapter fro the Vertex 220 that allows me to plug my headset in but then I use the push to talk button on the handheld unit. This setup works really well but the range is abit limited and variable direction wise with the rubber duck aerial.

In the microlight where the icom is fitted it connects to a Harry Mendelson portable intercom and feeds two GA headsets. That works well and the push to talk walks fine via an external push to talk switch.

I’m trying to work out at the moment is whether it’s possible to buy a harness that lets you connect an external ptt switch for the 550/750

I think I posted about that in that thread I linked. The user manual for the 750 mentions a PTT switch but I could not find such a product on sale, or a photo of it.

This is where the ancient Icoms, with their crappy 1960s Nicad batteries which have a huge self discharge rate and thus are always flat when you need it unless you keep it on a charger, are more “usable”. You get a nice PTT switch which can be velcroed to the yoke. I actually tested this in flight, in some shagged PA28-181 where I actually had to use it. But the Icom was not waterproof at all.

In terms of electronics, AFAIK if there is a headset adapter then you can definitely do a PTT switch because the PTT button only connects a resistor across two of the wires – or something simple like that. Jesse here will know.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

i have a little YAESU-FTA 230. 8.33 channel spacing and good quality COM, and very small, fits in the center console of my Cirrus when i take the antenna off. Waterproff and pretty rugged. 12-V charger and an adapter for AA batteries. Cost around € 200.

I have had an ICOM IC-A14 for two years with good results.

I’ve got an ICOM A24 (that’s the one with the VOR mode). It always lives in my flight bag but I rarely use it, mostly to listen to the ATIS. There is a headset adaptor and you can buy a PTT switch for it. Never had the battery issues Peter mentions.

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