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Thread: Totally clueless

  1. #1

    Default Totally clueless

    Joined the forum a couple years back but was never able to pursue the hobby due to work and other commitments. Now I have officially retired and have renewed my interest.
    I have contacted a local club in my area via e-mail but haven't gotten a response yet. Have been browsing the internet and youtube to get a feel for the cost. Need to keep my investment under $1500 dollars.
    Already have a Pyramid power supply but I need advise on equipment sources and recommendations.

  2. #2


    If the power supply is at least 25A, I'd recommend the Icom 718. I love mine and it loves my pyramid PS.(PS-26KX). That radio will run you about 600. Id also look at getting an antenna tuner, although I'd recomend NOT using an autotuner with the Icom. My LDG IT-100 autotuner connected to the IC-718 likes to use full power during tuning regardless of RF power setting. Not sure if thats the tuners fault or the radios. Manual tuners like my little MFJ-941E kick butt and will run you around $160. I would avoid buying antennas with the budget as those are spendy and homemade wire antennas are great when set up properly. You will need an SWR meter, although plain old SWR meters cost the same as a nanoVNA antenna analyzer that shows SWR and MUCH MUCH MORE. A nanoVNA-F will run you about $125. You will also need some good coax and, if you lack a box of scrap CB radios for a source of coax connectors, add a few of those to the shopping list to use for connecting the coax to your homemade antennas. With shipping, you are on the air under $1k and have enough to add a decent HT and SMA to UHF adapters to the list.

  3. #3


    Thanks for your reply, now all I need to do is decipher it and I'll be good to go.

  4. #4


    Grab an FT-991a Yaesu. It has a great internal tuner, and adds VHF/UHF capability as well. Spend whats left on an antenna for HF and a vertical for VHF/UHF. You'll be getting a very capable radio that has features you will use as you grow in the hobby.

  5. #5


    Thanks to Covid getting started in this hobby is a bit challenging. I live in northern Illinois and surprisingly can't seem to find a Ham radio store anywhere in my area, nearest place is in Milwaukee and they are curb side service only for the time being. Spoke with a really nice gentleman there who is sending me some literature but I really want to see first hand some of the equipment.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gillingham, Kent, UK


    Quote Originally Posted by brutus51 View Post
    Spoke with a really nice gentleman there who is sending me some literature but I really want to see first hand some of the equipment.
    Until physically visiting local ham clubs/conventions or stores becomes a thing again, the best alternative is YouTube. Find a radio that meets your needs and you like the looks of, then do a YouTube search on the radio. It's as close as you are going to get to seeing it in the flesh, so to speak.

    You never mentioned which aspect of the hobby interests you. There's a lot to choose from. No radio will let you do everything, so choose wisely.
    MB6IGK Fusion WiRES-X Digital Gateway on 434.5125 MHz in Gillingham, Kent, UK

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