Need help selecting handheld with encryption

Hello all,

I need some advice on two-way radios.

In general, here is what I am looking for:

  1. UHF frequency coverage
  2. Programmable to cover GMRS frequencies, and amateur band (nice, but not required)
  3. AES or DES (or equivalent) encryption
  4. Keyboard entry for encryption key ideally (or an easy to find/cheap way of programming)
  5. Full keyboard (DMTF)
  6. Li-Ion batteries
  7. AA Battery option
  8. Small size (about size of Icom F21)
  9. Water resistant (ideally submersible to 3ft for 30 minutes)
  10. Broad selection of after market accessories (inductive headset / microphone )
  11. New or used (under $600/radio)

I like Motorola (I have looked at 2500 &3000) for the reputation of rugged reliability, but I don’t like the cost, and expensive programming key loaders, and software… also what is the deal with these cryptic model numbers? OMG!

Does anyone have any suggestions? I have heard Yaesu/Vertex Standard makes a unit that might fit most of my needs but honestly I cant find anyone there (despite several attempts) that knows anything about encryption (or the radios for that matter – the literature says one thing, the technician says something else).



You might want to look for used Motorola Sabers on Ebay with DES or DVP. Then of course you will need a key loader. You can also try an Icom radio with one of their UT-110 slow-hopping split band scramblers. These are plug-in (and a few easy mods) and are programmable through the ICOM RSS. They are not nearly as secure as DES or AES however. But you can get them new with new compatible ICOM radio gear instead of used gear (EBAY). Vertex made a few inversion boards like the FVP-22, but I have see one only once.

Do be aware that use of encryption of any kind on GMRS is prohibited.

Several bubblepack radio maufacturers have recently been reminded of this with large fines and orders from the FCC to remove the inversion scrambling from GMRS channels.

It’s legal on FRS, but not GMRS.

MarkTellez, you might want to give us a call direct at 1-800-584-1445. I have an idea what you are looking for and one of our sales people here will be able to help you out.

I wonder if he is still looking for radios a year later? :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue:

We are optimist? :smiley:

Well, eXRS doesn’t encrypt… but it’s secure enough for consumers… BTW Encryption is illegal on FRS too… Scrambling is okay… but encryption is a different classification altogether.