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. W1GNL

    W1GNL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I like DX Engineering they have a wide range of items and their prices are fairly reasonable.

    To answer your questions with respect to antennas and radios..

    If you have a large yard and some fairly tall trees I suggest a multi-band dipole antenna like the G5RV. It's both easy to install (or at least as easy as antennas get) and performs extremely well all things considered. It's also fairly inexpensive as well. If on the other hand you're like me and don't have a large yard I suggest a vertical antenna. There are several good options to choose from and range in price from about $2500 down to 200 or 300 dollars. DX Engineering offers quite a few options in this area as I'm sure HRO does as well. The most expensive options are probably the two better ones which are the Hy-Gain Hytower 18T (I think) but it's a serious antenna and will require a proper amount of concrete in the ground. But it's quite good and there is also the SteppIR BigIR which can cover from 80M to 6M but both of these are over $2000. DX Engineering offers a 43' vertical kit for somewhere around $500 or $600 which includes most of the hardware you will need to install it. However this antenna doesn't work well at the higher bands so you'd like need to pick up a couple of additional antennas bringing this route up to somewhere around $1000 with additional antennas if you want to communicate on 6M for example. Also all of these suggestions assume you want to use the HF/50MHz bands and doesn't include antennas for 2M/70CM or 23CM. If you wish to use those there are a number of very inexpensive antennas that will do the job nicely.

    On caveat with the HF vertical is they will require you put down about 20 to 30 radials or more (the more the better) unless you go with something with a counterpoise in which case you will want to get that up 10 or more feet for best performance.

    With regards to the radios.. There are a couple of brand new radios that aren't insanely priced and are both very capable rigs for HF one is the Icom IC-7300 which clocks in around $1000. There is another radio (in my opinion better radio but many will disagree) that is a bit more expensive and that's the Yaesu FTdx-10 coming in at about $1500. It's basically a compact FTdx-101D which is a fantastic radio but a lot more expensive. I don't think you'd be unhappy with either of these rigs. If your starting with the VHF/UHF bands the best rig I've seen for the job is the Icom IC-9700 but it comes in around $1500 as well. But it is a lot of rig and is my personal choice for 2M/70CM and 23CM. It's also a fantastic rig if you want to get into satellites or ISS stuff. That will require a different investment in antennas like the M2 Leo pack or the M2 eggbeaters (less good but cheaper but may not work with the new satellites). If all of these prices are too outrageous there's also the Icom IC-718 which comes in with the Icom rebate at just under $600 it is an HF rig. Lastly one that does it all except 23CM (but I don't love it personally) is the Icom IC-7100 lots of people love this rig and it's genuinely a great rig. I just don't love it because it replaced the IC-7000 which I thought was a much better rig. Regardless the IC-7100 comes in at just a hair under $1000.

    Lastly with regard to radios you can find some right here on QRZ. But it helps to know the new price of the radio as lots of hams will buy a radio try it out for several months (anything up to a year) and sell it for nearly new price s they apparently have never heard of the word "depreciation". Never ever buy a used rig for nearly new prices you're just inheriting someones problems sans a warranty. It's not worth it even if the radio is $100 less you're better off buying a new one you'll get a warranty and if it turns out you absolutely hate it or it's defective you can return it within 30 days.

    Some used radios that would be fantastic buys are the IC-756 Pro (the 3 would be the best but good luck) also the IC-7000 these can be found around the $700 mark and are both good rigs. You can also find the 7100 used sometimes for a worthwhile price.

    I personally haven't found any used antennas that fit my needs but that's on me you might find what you're looking for.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  2. KO4ESA

    KO4ESA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I started out with baofeng radios.
    Then I bought a kenwood thd74 radio. I didn’t like the stock antenna on the kenwood.
    So I bought a smiley triband antenna for it.
    My next radio was the Icom ic705. I have not decided what the main antenna will be for it. But the journey of learning the hobby is alot of fun.

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