Hand-held radios are generally dual-band FM radios good for radio to radio contact and accessing one of the Repeaters in our areas for good reliable contacts across hundreds of kilometres. These radios can also be used for connecting to the internet for contacts anywhere in Australia or around the World. They typically provide around 5 watts of output power and can be connected to mobile or much larger base station antennas to extend their local reach and get much better performance from their lower power. Hand-held radios can be purchased for as little as $150 or less and are an ideal way to initially get onto the Amateur Bands.
A HF Mobile is a very versatile radio allowing communication on several High Frequency (HF) bands. They put out higher power than FM radios and operate on Single Side Band (SSB). There are hundreds of antennas that can be purchased or, ideally, homemade that will enable these radios to be used for long-distance communications around Australia and the World. Some mobile HF radios include VHF/UHF FM capabilities making them very versatile and make an ideal home station.
Providing significantly more power and options than a hand-held radio is a VHF/UHF FM Mobile radio used either in a vehicle or in the home as a base station. Requiring a 12-volt power supply these radios must be connected to either a mobile or base station antenna for operation. They are easily programmable for many functions including connecting to the Internet for several digital modes of operation as well as Amateur Radio communication satellites and monitoring other bands like Aircraft, Marine, Utilities, etc. Basic mobile radios of this type run around $250 second-hand.
HF base stations provide the most functionality and power for radio communications. Base stations are just that, radios to be used in a dwelling. They are larger due to the additional circuitry in them and are powered either by 240v AC or a 12-volt power supply. There are many accessories available for base stations including microphones, speakers, amplifiers, etc. These radios can also be connected to a computer to access even further functionality, ease of radio programming, and interfacing with third-party software. Their power output is typically around 100 watts though some are higher. With a good antenna, these radios are a lot of fun to use and hard to beat!
There are many sources to purchase Amateur Radio equipment either new or second-hand. Whilst there are Internet sites such as VK Classifieds and eBay, Facebook has a growing number of sites where used equipment is bought and sold. Please note that most retailers and other sellers will want proof that you actually hold an Amateur Radio license before selling equipment to you. If you want some assistance with what equipment to consider to get you started once you are licenced please Contact Us.
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