Recommended Equipment

SARA supports getting a number of new hams on the air every year. Inevitably, questions get asked about what equipment a new ham should buy. Here are some recommendations to consider.

Handheld Radio

A Baofeng or a QYT radio is often seen as a first handheld. While they do work and if that’s the budget you have, there is nothing wrong with them. However, they are known to be difficult to program, have bad transmit quality (i.e. it transmits many out-of-frequency emissions), and don’t have the best audio. Here are some “next level up” choices to consider.

Yaesu FT-4XR – 2m/70cm dual band FM handheld transceiver. $90DX Engineering
Ham Radio Outlet
Yaesu FT-60R – 144/430 MHz Dual-Band. This is the current “standard” that other modern HTs are judged by.$155DX Engineering
Ham Radio Outlet

Mobile / Home (VHF/UHF)

The “Mobile” transceiver is used both in a vehicle and in the shack. A “mobile” radio has significantly better reception and transmission performance.

Icom ID-4100A – 2m/70cm dual-band FM mobile-style radio; 12VDC power; Supports the D-STAR digital mode and DPRS positioning system (GPS over D-STAR).$300DX Engineering
Ham Radio Outlet
Icom ID-5100A – 2m/70cm dual-band, dual-receive FM mobile style with large screen; 12VDC power; Supports the D-STAR digital mode and DPRS positioning system (GPS over D-STAR).$400DX Engineering
Ham Radio Outlet
Yaesu FTM-300DR – 2m/70cm dual-band, dual-receive FM mobile-style; 12VDC power; Supports the C4FM/Yaesu System Fusion mode and APRS.$460DX Engineering
Ham Radio Outlet

HF Base Transceivers

An HF base transceiver will allow an individual to operate the HF bands from a fixed location. These radios are generally to large and unwieldy to use in a mobile or portable environment.

Icom IC-7300 – HF + 6 meter all-mode transceiver$1100DX Engineering
Yaesu DX-10 – Brand new HF + 6 meter all-mode transceiver$1700DX Engineering
Kenwood TS-590SG – HF+6 meter all-mode transceiver$1415DX Engineering

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