I was wondering what would be the best startup HF transceiver for the 3-30 MHz band. I have not found any which appear to match my requirements for under $200. What would some ham radio sites be with professional answers where I could find what I am looking for?

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    $\begingroup$ This question asks for recommendations for specific products, services, software, or electronic designs, which are off-topic as they attract opinionated rather than comprehensive answers. Please consider rephrasing your question in terms of what you should be looking for given your use case or whether a specific product has the capability you need. $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2022 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


HH, There is not a single answer here. Just as if I were to ask you about which is the best state, camera, beer, football-team, car or truck.

If you are looking for HF and not wanting to go Chinese QRP. There are some options - they are in reverse order i.e. the best is last....

3rd Place New:

  • Home Brew QRP. Under $200 very easy to do.

As you will be a new radio user, I would suggest QRP is something you try a little later. But you may have no space, are only planning on using the radio in the outdoors/from the top of a mountain.

2nd Place Used:

This is the most initially affordable place to look.

What rig to buy ? Have a look on eHam.net - and see what the general reviews are like.

QRZ.com has a good used equipment section - very US/Canada focused.

1st Place Club/Elmer:

  • Join a radio club, and ask around.
  • Use the club station.
  • Join in a contest multi-operator event (not on week 1 !!).

I am 100% sure you would be invited to several people's shacks to call 'CQ' for a while.

Here you can see and hear the difference between Icom/Yaesu/Kenwood/Elecraft.

This will allow you to start to decide for yourself which features are required.

On a side note. I would recommend that you budget/plan/built your antenna because the transceiver will be worthless without a decent transmit and receive antenna.

You will also need a decent power supply.


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