Ham Radio, also known as amateur radio, is a popular hobby in the United States. Ham Radio operators refer to themselves as “radio hams” or “hams.” It’s a hobby enjoyed by several thousands of citizens in the United States. “Hams” are able to send and receive radio signals to talk to one another across town, around the world and even to and from outer space, without the need for internet connection or cellphones. The only thing needed is a DX radio station on each side.
What Equipment Do You Need?
The first thing you need to become a “ham” is basic equipment to send and receive signals from ham operators. This includes: a receiver, a transmitter, an antenna and a transceiver (both a transmitter and a receiver).
A transmitter is the most essential part of your station. It catches various signal types, depending on their frequencies and modes. Some hams choose to opt for a transceiver instead of a transmitter, but this is not always such a good move.
These equipment could only cost you just over 100 dollars, and sometimes even less. You could even just use your FM radio receiver if you tune it to the right frequency. That’s all you need!
Where To Buy Them?
There are several good spots to buy long-lasting and efficient gear for your ham radio station. Just like any other electronic device, the price varies depending on the quality of your equipment. However, it is worth noting that you should spend hundreds of dollars to buy “award-winning” equipment- that’s not necessary. Some rookies opt for flea markets for their equipment. But there are also many events that take place all over the country, such as ham festivals and fairs, where hams sell their good quality radio gear for a good price. In such events, you could buy good quality transmitters or receivers for under $30. This is perfect for people who have limited budgets.
If you are not on a tight budget, you can get more expensive radio gear from theme auctions and specialized shops. These events allow hams to buy vintage equipment from past eras when DX radio was most popular. Because of this, you have to bare in mind that pricier items are not necessarily indicative of higher efficiency transmission.
Tips For Beginners
You can attend special classes where prospective hams are trained how to properly create their stations. Don’t hesitate to negotiate prices and to keep asking questions in order to have a better understanding of how it all works. Attending these classes can save you both money and time. It is also important to note that just getting basic gear is all you need to get started. The more you practice, the more experience you have and therefore the more advanced you’ll become at enabling an efficient transmission.
Source : Amateur Radio Forums