Equipment

“What equipment do I need to get started on Amateur Radio?”  “Is it expensive to get this equipment?” Do I need to have deep knowledge depth in order to get started?

I bet these questions are often asked in Amateur Radio and I also bet these were the questions that lead you to this page. This article will briefly run through the basics of each equipment as this topic is more in a ‘hands-on’ approach. If you are really interested in learning more.

Now let’s get started…

Receivers

In order to listen or to tune into an amateur radio transmission, you need a receiver. An everyday example of a receiver is your radio at home or in your car. This allows you to receive the radio stations’ frequencies to you, in the comfort of your home.  Yet, this type of radio is not suitable for receiving amateur radio shortwave transmission. These receivers cannot resolve Single Sideband (SSB) or FM Transmission from amateur radios as most broadcasts are on the older Amplitude Modulation (AM) system.

Ham Radio Receiver

In order to receive such shortwave transmission, your receiver should be capable of tuning to a 1.8 to 30 MHz, and capable of receiving AM, CW, and SSB, at least.

Transceivers/Transmitters

To communicate via Radio, one requires a transmitter. This allows you to broadcast your message on the channel you are on. Nowadays, there is no need for a single unit transmitters, as we now have transceivers. A transceiver is simply a transmitter and receiver in one. This multi-function tool allows you to buy one unit instead of two separate functioning units.

Elecraft K3 Transceiver

Transmitters vary in power. They may range from simple low power, which is low-cost devices, and are often capable of sending only Morse Code to multipurpose high power ones, which can be built home or commercially made.

Antennas

As with antennas, this is a very broad area. Antennas can be commercially made or can be built with simple everyday materials. An example of a very simple antenna is the long thin flexible wire that comes with your home speaker system or the one on your car. An antenna does not have to be extremely large or expensive in order to function. It all comes to your personal goals. Do you want to speak across the globe, in your country or simply limit yourself to your district? This all comes down to your preference.

Slim Jim Pole Antenna