Page 1 of 1

cheap source for those just getting started?

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:52 pm
by kd2fvx
I am brand new to ham.. started at the age of 58.. just got my license too..
I belong to a club now, but have little money for equipment (did get a baofeng 2m/72cm HT)

I'm interested in HF, perhaps CW.. but don't have more than a hundred or so dollars in the budget to get started..
I don't want to seem like a 'mooch' at the club as a new member.. would it be tacky to ask here whether anyone has any old HF gear to part with for a new ham dirt-cheap?

What other advice for someone on a tight budget might you have?
I'd love a HF all-mode :D but of course they're much to expensive for me at this time

Tim in NJ

Re: cheap source for those just getting started?

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:31 pm
by k9yli
Often amateurs have multiple rigs so one is a spare. maybe unused for years..
Some might lend it out. Others may not as a new operator can kill it with bad usage.
I just saw a kenwood TS180s on fleabay for $250. I have one and like it.
All band 100 watts.
Maybe just save up a few more penneys. Go to Hamfests.
QRZ and EHAM have swap/sell forums. (hamfest on line)

I would stay away from HF and vhf/uhv radios HF and 6 meters is ok.
You may often want to monitor vhf while using HF radio.
And ils hamradio not ham....Its not an acronym..someone will jump on you for that.

There are usuable radios for under $200 available. most are 25 years old but the
Yeasu FT980 I bought 3 years ago is from mid to late 80s.. Marvelous radio..It was $500
but I had the money.

Re: cheap source for those just getting started?

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:33 pm
by K4ICL

Finding a good clean Kenwood TS-520 transceiver and a 20 amp 12 volt regulated power supply to go with it would be a good start. No fancy antennas needed, just some well built dipoles will go the job. As to how to go about getting something done, find a local experienced ham and pick his brain until he tosses you out of his shack. A patient mentor (called an Elmer in ham jargon) is the best way to really get involved. Good luck and welcome to the ranks of the best hobby on the planet.


Re: cheap source for those just getting started?

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:58 am
by k4kk
There are plenty of ways to get on HF for your budget. It may not have all the new bells and whistles, but it will receive and transmit.

Re: cheap source for those just getting started?

Posted: Sun May 04, 2014 5:05 am
I've had problems finding enough time and money to work with the local clubs (wherever I might be). Also, I've found a few clubs that weren't terribly receptive to people outside of their circle, although the one I'm closest to now doesn't have that problem. Still, club meetings are on days that are difficult for family reasons. Being on a very limited budget like yourself, I purchased one of the Baefeng radios but I've been less than pleased with the range. I also have a Radio Shack (Realistic) HTX-202 2m only HT which performs pretty well. They can be picked up for $25 to $100, depending on condition and accessories included. The best I can recommend is keeping an eye on eBay; I'd love to find a multi-band transceiver but I simply can't afford them unless someone is basically giving one away at less than $100. Good luck with your search! 73 Brian

Re: cheap source for those just getting started?

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:03 pm
by w5HEH
you need some due diligence and research some older radios that go for a lower amount, and maybe save up a little more to get one you will keep for a long time , like some of the radios suggested , look here has some good deals, put a WTB with your budget, also maybe a Ham will take payments at your club or someone you know . I am currently paying off my equipt. on time, which i hate to do , but you only live once and i am getting up there in age , if i die and owe the money , who cares ! hihi . I did manage to buy some good used equipt. from an older Ham than i , one i was in contact with was willing to take payments till payed off to deliver , which is fair , just get all in writing so all is clear from the beginning ! Good luck on your Hunt , the local club will lend you equipt. when you show that you are serious , we all want to help each other, this is a Brotherhood . 73s, AJ W5HEH

Re: cheap source for those just getting started?

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:55 pm
by kd2fvx
Thanks for the advice.. and I have now passed the general (Dec 19th)!!

Up till now I'm on 2m/70cm and have access to a ton of repeaters.. but I'm jones-ing for DX

I'd like to get on HF, maybe 20m or 40m.. (hey even 10m might be fun)
I have a sdr dongle and listen to HF (less than $100 total including upconverter)

I'll ask at the next had club meeting.. maybe someone has a transceiver, even single band,I can use till I can magically acquire my own..
Having kids/grandkids to assist financially doesn't help, but gotta love em ;^)

Any thoughts about 10/12meters? Is there activity

Happy New Year and 73's

Re: cheap source for those just getting started?

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:46 pm
by k9yli
With the present sun spot cycle on the down swing.. ten and twelve will be the first to go dead.
so if ;you are going cheeeeep look to 20,40, 80 bands..
a WARC band radio will be newer, although m y
FT980 I bought to get the WARC bands..its 25 years old. I really like 17 meters...

Kenwood TS 520/530 160 thru 10 are good and inexpensive.
You can run off a car battery if you need to for a while at lower output.
Charge BETWEEN usage as battery chargers arent filtered. But i suppose you could do as I did in
my motor home, add a series diode and big filter cap to use on am/fm radio in the rear compartment when plugged into shore power and using the power converter as 12 volt supply.

You should be able to sneak under the wire at $200 in investment of rig and power. Just don't rush..