There are several 220 MHz repeaters here in Central NJ with fantastic coverage that are very underutilized. Our CERT group is thinking of relying on the the ETS 220 MHz repeater as an alternative to simplex for use during civic events. We participate by providing back up communications during the annual Labor Day parade and fireworks, the annual Statewide High School track meets which are held in our town and other events.
I have an Alinco DJ-V5 which is several years old; but is in solid shape. However, it is dual band only - 144 and 440 MHz. I like it a lot and don't really care to get rid of it. But I was thinking of saving up the necessary coin to purchase a Kenwood TH-F6A - which goes for around $285.00 depending on where you look. The advantage? 144, 220, 440 MHz in one, neat package. A full 5 Watts out on each band. The disadvantage? $285.00 for a cash strapped Ham.
The other possibility that has recently crawled through the recesses of my brain is perhaps to look into an Alinco DJ-V27T - a mono band 220MHz HT - a full 5 Watts out for about $169.00. The disadvantage - having to carry around 2 HTs. Although I suppose in a "go bag" that wouldn't be such a big deal. However, different kinds of batteries, different kinds of chargers .... but financially, it's the more attractive solution. However, it's not as convenient or elegant a solution.
I have plenty of time to think about it though, as the Ham budget is currently at zero bucks.
72 de Larry W2LJ