Author Topic: What Should My First HAM Radio Be??  (Read 885 times)

MadMax

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What Should My First HAM Radio Be??
« on: March 24, 2016, 03:22:18 PM »
Some people reading this thread might wonder “how much do I have to spend” to get started in HAM radio??

Here is a great “first radio” to get started with (after you get your Technician Class) HAM license. It would enable you to get “on the air” in the shortest period of time without spending a lot of $$

http://www.amazon.com/Warranty-Dual-Band-Improved-Stronger-Enhanced/dp/B00HX03AMA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1458855298&sr=8-4&keywords=baofeng+radio

Baofeng Black UV-5R V2+ Plus (USA Warranty) Dual-Band 136-174/400-480 MHz FM Ham Two-way Radio, Improved Stronger Case, Enhanced Features

Price:   $33.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49.

The Baofeng UV-5R V2+ is the LATEST 2014 radio from Baofeng. The transceiver is a micro-miniature multi-band FM transceiver with extensive receive frequency coverage, providing local-area two-way amateur communications along with unmatched monitoring capability. One of the primary advantages of the UV-5R V2+ over the UV-5RA and older models is the UV-5R V2+'s inherently compatibility with Baofeng 7.4V 3800mah and 3600mah Extended Batteries. This feature really separates the UV-5R V2+ into a class of its own able to perform under heavy use for several hours longer than its predecessors. Foscam Digital Tech is the an authorized USA Baofeng Distributor who honors the Manufacturer Warranty. Foscam Digital Tech offers warranty claims without shipping anything to China. You must ensure that Foscam Digital Tech is your selected buying option when buying to be able to have the full USA warranty.

Max.
"Ignorance is Bliss" - (Agent Smith the first Matrix Movie)

Yowbarb

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Re: What Should My First HAM Radio Be??
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 12:37:35 AM »
That really is economical. :)

Tiburon

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Re: What Should My First HAM Radio Be??
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 10:00:21 AM »
One very important thing to consider, "You get what you pay for . . . " I'll elaborate more in a separate post. Glad you guys have kept this thread alive!

MadMax

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Re: What Should My First HAM Radio Be??
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2017, 08:15:58 AM »

For all those that think it is too expensive/complex/difficult to but an emergency Ham HF station here is just the ticket!

BITX40 – Work the world on 40 meters ($59 USD)!

http://www.hfsigs.com/

It is a fully functional 40M Ham transceiver that is mostly assembled (just a little wiring of switches and connectors). For the total cost above you just can’t find anything at a lower price.

Eham.net has a couple reviews here:

Bitx40 HFSignals Kit 40m SSB Transceiver

https://www.eham.net/reviews/review/145708

The Bitx40 kit is a great way to get an excellent 40m receiver and QRP transmitter in an easy to build kit. The kit uses the Raduino VFO, an arduino-based tuner which provides a screen readout of the operating frequency.

Building the kit means soldering wires to various components and then plugging them into jacks, about an hour or two of work with a soldering iron and wire stripper. All of the parts on the board are already mounted, you only have to connect the peripheral components. You can take more time to mount the board in a case (not provided) if you would like. You will have to provide your own small speaker, 12V power supply, case and headphones.

Instructions could be more detailed, however the build is fairly simple. A growing group of builders are here: https://groups.io/g/BITX20/ . Note that the group is named BITX20 after previous versions of the Bitx.

The Bitx40 covers the 40m ham band from 7.00 to 7.30 Mhz. With the Raduino, there is no drift, which is a big improvement from the old analog model of the Bitx, and makes the user experience much better.

This kit is simple enough for a beginner, and also provides the radio electronics tech many opportunities to mod and enhance the radio. The design is a good one to learn about the workings of an SSB transceiver. The Raduino, an arduino based VFO (variable frequency oscillator), offers the ability to modify the program controlling frequency control, and may lead to future mods.

As of January, 2017, there have been some reports of damaged kits in the mail, however the manufacturer is working on improving packaging. Papal offers buyers some protection.

I rated the Bitx40 kit as 5-Great! because it is a low cost way to get a fully functional 40m SSB transceiver. I think the receiver is excellent. I am still evaluating the transmitter. At 7 watts, the quality of the antenna, band conditions and operator skills are a big part of successfully making QRP SSB contacts. I have made contacts in the range of 700 to 1000 km, but generally with low audio reports. I am still testing and evaluating the transmitter.

There are dozens of “how to” videos on Youtube just search on “BITX40”

One creative individual mount the components in a “drawer organizer”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NWAPS81Zzs

Max.
"Ignorance is Bliss" - (Agent Smith the first Matrix Movie)