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Thread: New here, looking for advice

  1. #1

    Default New here, looking for advice

    Hello all, I'm new to this forum. Hopefully this is the right one to post this on. I actually have no radio at all, and that's why I'm here. My son and I are interested in getting started and we need suggestions. We are on a low budget. I have absolutely no idea how to get started, what equipment I need, anything lol. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I get a lot of ads about hanheld radios, specifically Baofeng. Are hanhelds ok, or should we invest in a home base? We live in a very rural area in southern Illinois. Have no idea about antenna either. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Meneou, Cyprus


    1. Find you local club - they will have decades of experience in the many aspects of this hobby.
    2. Use a receiver - listening to the operating protocols and conversations will teach you a lot.
    3. Check your local library - you might be surprised what they have in the technical/engineering section.

    A couple of publications worth acquiring are the ARRL and the RSGB handbooks - old ones (from the 70's etc) are perfectly fine, but obviously won't contain much on SDR's and the like, but, their content will always remain valid.

    It might be worth getting hold of a cheap scanner, something that will always be useful in the future. Personally, I wouldn't go for a Baofeng-type radio until you already have some "real" ones. They're fine for a second or third radio, but I think they might disappoint as a primary. Your local club members will certainly know where to purchase or may have some equipment for sale locally.

    There's a plethora of information on the interweb for study. You really need to find out what to study for your area/country. Again, you local club may even provide courses and host examinations.

    Start in the library, it's free

  3. #3


    I agree that you should locate the nearest amateur radio club and contact them.
    There is almost always a few members of the club that enjoy being an elmer (ham slang for teacher, one who takes you under their wing and shows you the ropes)
    You can get all the advice you will likely need from them. They will find out from you what area of ham radio most interests you and advise you from there.

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