Two separate radios or one dual band?

Now that I am in the market for a radio, I was wondering if a person should get separate radios for 2 m and 70 cm or a dual band unit. At least for now, my main use would be for monitoring Skywarn frequencies (maybe joining in future), and communicating with other chasers. I can also see a use as a way to stay awake on the long ride home. I have an F150 pickup, so space is a concern. What do others do? I’d be interested in your thoughts. Also how about an antenna? One or two? Where should they be mounted? I park inside a garage and a roof mounted antenna would get ripped off by the ceiling. Looking forward to some great info guys!


Unless you like to chat on 70cm, there's not a ton of chasing reasons for a dual band. A few Skywarn nets are up there, but most are on two meters along with all the chasers. As for how many rigs, I run two because I talk with others on one and monitor NWS or spotters with the other. Makes for a noisy cabin in the heat of the chase you have to shut down one or both. However I only had one for a long time and, like most gear, the change has had little impact on my success rate.
I usauly use 70cm to chat with other vehicles in the convoy, while monitoring 2M for SKYWARN. It's cheaper in terms of both money and space to have one rig. I use an Icom 706MKIIG. It's nice to be able to run from "DC to Daylight". with the general coverage RX, I also keep it hooked up to the laptop and monitor NOAA WEFAX.
I like a dual band radio, but I use mine for more than weather spotting/chasing. You may get more into the hobby beyond stormchasing, so it may be worth it to go ahead and make it a dual band. Of course, it does cost a little more in most cases, but I think it's worth it overall versus the cost of two separate radios.

Dual band, without a doubt. If you can, try to get one that offers the ability to at least monitor both bands at the same time.
I may be a bit late in this post, but I would recommend one dual band radio verses two radios. The first reason is for mounting convenience, you only need to find one place to mount one radio instead of two. NOTE: A friend of mine had a Ford F150 and he mounted his KenWood dual band rig to his ashtray. I know it sounds funny but like you said “space is a facture.â€￾ So you may want to check that option out.
Next: When running two 2 meter rigs on at the same time you will find that they will de-sense or cut out the other radio when transmitting.
As far as the antenna issue, Diamond Antenna makes a excellent 2 meter 440 antenna that you can mount on a mag-mount. The antenna also has a feature that you can pull up on the antenna and it has a hinge like function so you can fold down the antenna without pulling the whole mag off the truck.

I hope this help you out.

Steve KB9IKO