I bought my first Ham Radio shortly before I had my Technician license. I also bought a dipole antenna, mfj cross needle meter and a mfj 949E antenna tuner. The Ham Radio I bought was a Kenwood TS-2000. It has so many different controls it can be somewhat confusing, but I love the radio. I did it this way so I could listen to the Ham Radio Operators talk. This way I could get used to how to use the Ham Radio properly. I did finally get my Technician License and then in June 2010 I got my General License. I do not talk so much with plenty of things to keep me busy, but I am always listening in just in case someone needs my help.
There are quite a few different brands of Ham Radios to choose from. My advise is to check out Amazon and Ebay for different radios. If you can afford a new Ham Radio I say go for it. On the other hand starting out you may want something used. Going this way can be a little cheaper and you still get in on the fun. There is nothing like talking or listening to someone in a different country when you are using a wire dipole antenna. I am always amazed by this sort of thing. There are plenty of Ham Radio Clubs around to join, Field Days and Ham Radio Hamfests to go to.
There are some radios I myself prefer over others. Even though I went for the Kenwood TS-2000, I like the looks of the Yaesu Ham Radios and the Icom Ham Radios. I just like the look of the big boxy Ham Radio with lots of buttons, displays and controls. I think it goes back to my CB Radio days when the radios were that style. Of Course Kenwood does make some Ham Radios that have that look as well, but for now I am satisfied with my Kenwood TS-2000.
If there is a Ham Radio that you are interested in I would check out a website called Eham.net. It has a lot of good information and reviews on Ham Radios and all kinds of Ham Radio Equipment. I used Eham when I was deciding on what Ham Radio to buy. You can also check out some of the Ham Radio Dealers on the internet as well. Some of my favorites are Ham Radio Outlet, DX Engineering, Universal Radio, MFJ, AES Electronics and R&L Electronics. You can find out about all kinds of other equipment that you may purchase along the way through your journey into the hobby of Ham Radio.
My other advise to everyone and this goes for whatever someone buys off the internet is to check out the reseller before buying
anything. I have heard too many horror stories where someone has gotten junk when it was supposed to be in very good condition. They may have paid the money and never got the item sent to them. The best thing is to read the reviews on the seller and look at their percentage rating. You can also check out a website called resellerratings.com and you may find a particular reseller. This way you can check out good or bad things before making a bad purchase. There are plenty of other places on the internet for reviews on all kinds of Ham radio equipment.
Well that's all for now so stay safe and Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI 73s.