How To Buy A Ham Radio
Which radio will you purchase for your first Amateur Radio station? Do you want a large, full-featured transceiver for the HF bands? Perhaps a mobile radio for operating on VHF+ or even a tiny handheld transceiver?
how to buy a ham radio
Amateur radios (also known as HAM radios) require a special amateur license to use but offer some advantages over GMRS radios for certain uses. Amateur radios are used for general communications among hobbyists, are great foremergency use, and the equipment is typically better quality than average GMRS radios.
AmateurRadios are a lot like automobiles. You can buy stripped-down basic models atlower cost or splurge on full-featured models with all the bells and whistles. And,just like automobiles, those looking for bargains can choose to go the usedroute. Fortunately for sellers of Amateur Radios, depreciation on used radiosis much less severe than it is for automobiles so, recouping much of youroriginal purchase price is possible.
A modelthat is one version older than current production models can often be a goodbuy. Not only will prices have come down over new models, but there will alsobe a number of user reviews available for the radio describing its pros andcons. Also, a wide variety of both manufacturer and third-party accessories maybe available for purchase at used prices. On new models, these accessories canadd significantly to the final cost of purchase.
Oneexample is extra filters. If you are primarily a CW operator, additionalfiltering can make or break your experience with a specific transceiver. If theradio you are buying requires additional filters, the increased expense ofadding them to a used radio may make a good deal much less attractive than thesame model radio that comes with filters at a slightly higher asking price.
Another way you can save money when buying a new or used radio is knowing when third-party (often called aftermarket) accessories are just as good or maybe even better than those by the manufacturer of the rig. Common examples are power supplies, microphones, external speakers, extra battery packs and replacement antennas. If you set up your home station with a power supply with a sufficient amperage rating like the MFJ 4230MV MightyLite 30 Amp Switching Power Supply and a power distribution system with Anderson PowerPoles like the MFJ-1126 DC Multiple Outlet Panel, you can easily power new radios in your shack.
Ham radio is a popular small-town hobby with an unfashionable reputation. However, it's totally unwarranted, as becoming a "ham" has some serious practical advantages and can be a lot of fun. Here's why you should consider entering the fray yourself.
Ham radio is different, though. It's both fast and reliable, and it comes to you locally, often from a first-hand witness. You'll be hearing about events from people who live near where they're taking place or are rubber-necking it from their own automobiles. Many ham operators carry in-car handsets for this reason.
This is news you can generally depend upon, as it's coming directly from people in your own community, neighbors who you'll be able to trust. Who watches the watchmen? It could very well be you if you've got a vigilante bug in you and a ham radio nearby.
That's just one side of it, though. Many government agencies use the same UHF and VHF frequencies used by amateur radio equipment in order to let people know about disasters and extreme weather situations.
In Connecticut, ham radio operators worked around the clock to protect their communities and to liaise with emergency services, shelters, and the local Red Cross. Many left their homes and cloistered themselves in these places to keep communications flowing constantly.
Any licensed amateur radio operator can join groups whose job is to assist during emergencies. The Amateur Radio Emergency Service is one of the largest, which operates in Canada and the United States.
To do that, you've got to take some classes or do some self-studying. These cover the essentials, like the laws and regulations in your county relevant to amateur radio broadcasts. Others are much more interesting and explore the math and physics of ham radio and basic electronics.
There are radio meet-up groups and social events you can attend in your area, as well as online communities that bustle with activity. The Amateur Radio subreddit, for example, has almost 95,000 thousand users. It's full of people sharing their expertise and bragging about their accomplishments.
One Chinese maker of amateur radio handsets is Baofeng. They've done for ham radio what Huawei and Xiaomi did for smartphones, essentially lowering the cost to make them affordable for all. As a result, you can now get a perfectly viable hand-held radio for under $70.
It's a great starter radio for those just getting into the hobby. Of course, there are higher-end options available, but the great thing about ham radio is that you really only need airway access and a license. The rest is up to you.
Incremental steps forward in equipment won't break the bank, either. You can get a much more advanced radio for just under $200, and there's a thriving secondary market of devices on sites like Craigslist and eBay.
Ham radio is a great hobby for anybody who loves to connect with the people around them. It'll introduce you to new groups of people and will serve you well in times of need. Never be left in the dark the next time something big hits your city, all through this exciting, community-based hobby. You'll always be the first to know.
Dan, Thanks for all your hard work in making these 2 study guides. I just passed my Tech test a couple days ago. Not sure I could have done it without your guide. I decided to get into the Amateur radio hobby only a few days before.
The St Louis and Suburban (SLSCR) radio club held another weekend Cram Course review session that finished on Sunday. For the first time we had an Extra class course. Both participants in the Extra Class course passed, one with a perfect score!
The tech manual is great! I am new to amateur radio, so this was all new to me. I started reading it last night, finished it this morning, took the test this evening, and only missed two on the Technicians license!
I used your guide to get two friends their tech class license. One had NO prior electronics knowledge along with English being her second language, and the other had 20 years as a US Army radio repairman. Both passed the tech exam on their first try and felt so confident that they attempted the general test that same day.
Dan, Our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) needed to add ham radio operators to our team if we were ever going to be able to communicate during drills, exercises, and/or deployments. Using your guide our trainers presented a 6 hour class for the Tech license (It was originally scheduled as one day but scheduling conflicts forced it to two days a week apart). 100% of the class participants passed the test on the attempt. Thanks for your excellent guide.
Thank you for all your work on the Technician Study guide. It was my husbands idea to get Ham radio licenses and As usual, he asked if I would study and test too. After 48 years of being together, I usually go along with whatever he is interested in because he is kind hearted enough to go along with mine wackiness!
There is a small typo in the link for finding an exam, the text kind of looks correct but the link is wrong (something is weird with the f and i in find) -an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session is currently linking to -an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session (missing i in find)
Have you ever bought a ham radio? Not researching well enough about the best ham radios could lead to a poor communication experience and an overall bad purchase. I will go through all the major features as well as the performance of the radios. By the end of this article, you will know which handheld ham radio is the best option for you.
This is a high-quality scanner with 500 alpha-tagged channels, which ensures that you stay informed. It comes with loads of features, including a conveniently compact design and Close Call RF capture technology that allows you to tune to signals from transmitters within your area instantly. Moreover, the starter handheld ham radio features a Do Not Disturb Mode that helps prevent Close Call Checks during transmission.
The Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Radio offers over 40,000 frequencies, which include both military and civilian bands. Some of these bands include Ambulance, Weather, Non-Digital Police, Fire, Railroad, Amateur radio services, Marine, Aircraft, Racing events, and Civil Air.
This is the real definition of great value at a great price. If you are looking to get into amateur radios this would be great for you. This dual band two way radio will transmit VHF and UHF frequencies. This is a good radio to buy if you are looking at a cheap handheld ham.
If you need a ham radio for emergency communications and local area news, get one that comes with a two-meter ham band. That way, you can make use of a radio with 440 MHz. However, if you need a more advanced radio for serious hobbyists, consider getting ten-meter amateur radios.
Ham radio is a nickname for ameature radio operators (hams). This term was coined by the experienced radio operators in the early 1920. The term stuck and is now widely used for amateurs in this community. Learn more about hams radios here.
Illegal? No, ham radios are not illegal. You will only need a license to operate one. Actually, no license is needed to listen to ham radio signals, but as an operator, you need some technical knowledge and some understanding of regulations before you can begin transmitting. Want to learn about your online options for ham radio courses?
The Uniden Bearcat BC125AT Radio offers over 40,000 frequencies, which include both military and civilian bands. You can tune into bands including Ambulance, Weather, Non-Digital Police, Fire, Railroad, Amateur radio services, Marine, Aircraft, Racing events, and Civil Air. 041b061a72