I have a handheld amateur radio that I got years ago for the convenience of dialing in a frequency. It's useful for going out testing with teams, but I run into that problem about receiving tansmissions on ocassion. I gets very annoying when I can see the vehicle, but I can't hear them.Before you spend any money for an amature band radio, please go to the pciraceradios.com web site, click on Weatherman Speaks. Then read the Baja 100 communications, "the long version" and then save your money for a legal commercial band radio. In a really bad radio frequency congested area there is no comparison between a cheap amature reciever and a commercial reciever. I agree with Cummings 67's need for a user programmable as he is a medic, However, I hope he uses a commercial band radio to talk to me. Then he will be able to hear my reply. How many Mexican radio users keep calling me and can't hear my response? Weatherman, Weatherman do you copy? Weatherman, Weatherman do you copy? Amature band radios are a total waste of airtime at the very busy Baja Races and SCORE"S radio rule #52 forbids their use.
I know this is a sort of old thread, but I figured I'd chime in some more.I have nothing but respect for pci, and that is where I just bought a base antenna setup. But I went with the yaesu ft2900 from antenna farm, and I am really glad I did. I love the massive heat sink, the rock solid feel, the front squelch knob, the scanning, the programming, everything is SOTA. The Kenwood may be just as good, but the deciding factor was the fact I have 2 yaesu handhelds. Good commercial radios are probably better for everyday use by pros, but I am sure this yeasu will be stable and precise, not a piece of crap bleeding all over other channels.