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?
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.