Brand new & would like advice on what equipment to get!!

Discussion in 'Becoming a Ham - Q&A' started by MPJZ, May 8, 2021.

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  1. MPJZ

    MPJZ QRZ Member

    Hi, folks! My husband and I would like to get into amateur radio. I've already purchased books to study for licensing, etc. But as far as equipment is concerned, we don't really know where to start. There are NO stores anywhere near us where we could browse or get help (closest would be a 5-hour drive). We don't want to start with the most expensive gear on the market, you know? :D I'd appreciate all advice, and thanks in advance!

    We own our house, so we can do whatever we want in terms of an antenna.
    We're in Largo, FL. LOTS of thunder/lightning storms here, in case that's a concern (antenna).
    Basically just looking for equipment that would allow us to communicate with others.

    Thanks in advance!!
    KO4ESA and KC5AKB like this.
  2. KU4X

    KU4X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi! And welcome to the wonderful, wacky world of Amateur Radio.

    Do a web search on “Amateur Radio clubs Largo, FL”. This will provide you with some contacts in your area that can help with your journey into Amateur Radio.

    KO4ESA, US7IGN, KC5AKB and 1 other person like this.
  3. MPJZ

    MPJZ QRZ Member

    Yes, done that! There are several nearby, thankfully.
    KO4ESA and KC5AKB like this.
  4. WD6USA

    WD6USA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ham Radio Outlet. The folks that work at their stores are hams. Give them a call and they will help you out. They have never tried to oversell me. In fact, once I had my eyes on a radio that was pretty pricey, but they talked me out of it saying it was too complex and touchy for a beginner (I subsequently confirmed this to be very true). I ended up with a radio at 1/6th the cost and very workable, and HRO earned a customer for life. BTW, I have been using the less costly radio they recommended for maybe 4 years now and I'm about ready to upgrade, but that original radio will continue to have a place in my shack.

    I encourage you to give HRO a call. They have a bunch of stores...I deal with the folks in the Anaheim, CA store....they are incredible and prices are competitive. And no, I don't work there!!

    Have fun!!
    KO4ESA likes this.
  5. N8RKD

    N8RKD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd put at least as much thought/effort into your antenna(s) as the radio itself. I also agree with WD6USA regarding advice from HRO.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  6. KJ7ZEI

    KJ7ZEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I concur with previous posters. HRO is great and yes, antenna. Even after 5 months I still haven't decided on a "permanent" antenna.

    From the beginning for me I had a goal of long distance communication. That lead me down a path to research HF radios. So maybe, decide "what" you would like to do with amateur radio. Such as local emergency communications or long distance communication.

    Poke around on this site, browse classifieds. There is sooo much information that can be learned here on QRZ. Very helpful folks here as well.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  7. KC5AKB

    KC5AKB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Kj7ZEI can offer some good advice Hf , fm c-4 fm or d-star are all nice for what they do
    But HF radio to radio is lots of fun world wide and you really do not have to make a large investment to get started.
    KO4ESA and KJ7ZEI like this.
  8. WI3U

    WI3U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Even after 5 months I still haven't decided on a "permanent" antenna.

    Do we ever?
    Bill WI3U
    KO4ESA likes this.
  9. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    No. After 56 years as a ham, I'm still not decided on a permanent antenna. There is always something else to try.
    KO4ESA and WI3U like this.
  10. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nothing is permanent in this world
    KO4ESA likes this.

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