Being new to the hobby my “ham shack” is not big at all. It’s literally more like just my computer desk. It’s not much, but hey, it’s mine! 😊
So what sort of hardware am I working with?
- Baofeng UV-5R
- Signal Stick antenna
- Kenwood TH-F6
- EchoLink (on PC and iOS)
At this time I’m currently working with two handheld radios. My first radio was just a “cheapo” Baofeng. I know they aren’t considered great radios, but honestly, it’s the cheapest and thus the easiest way to start off in the hobby. Living on an island, it has no issues hitting the local repeaters and making contacts, especially when I pair it with a nicer antenna like the Signal Stick. This is the radio that I tend to take out with me when I’m mobile.
I inherited the Kenwood from my father. The radio, while older, is still a great radio. While I still need to get a new tri-band antenna for this one, I really like the range of bands that this radio can utilize. And the step-up in quality compared to my Baofeng is also instantly noticeable. Being my nicer radio, this one tends to be more of my home rig.
I had also inherited an RTL-SDR. I haven’t really gotten around to figuring out how to use it, but it’s on my list of projects to do. I think it’ll be neat to learn how to use it.
And the final thing in my shack is EchoLink. Think of it as voip-for-hams. It’s a great way to turn your computer or smartphone into your transceiver and connecting with other hams all over the world. I think it is a really neat digital means to get on the air. While analog radio is interesting, coming from an IT background I am really interested in learning more about these newer digital modes of radio.