Ham radio (also known as amateur radio) is a rewarding hobby that continues to enjoy a loyal following. Even though its star has largely been eclipsed by podcasting and social media, amateur radio remains popular in many parts of the world. If you’ve recently taken an interest in ham radio, you’ve likely noticed that consoles and components can be difficult to locate. Fortunately, knowing where to look can make all the difference. Anyone who’s had trouble tracking down ham radio equipment is urged to explore the following avenues.
1. Traditional Hobby Shops
Although ham radio equipment used to be a staple of brick-and-mortar hobby shops, this is no longer the case. However, this isn’t to say that consoles and components can’t be found at the aforementioned establishments. A fair number of hobby shops still stock amateur radio equipment, though many of them order less of it than they did in decades past. If you’re unable to find what you’re looking for at your local hobby shop, odds are the proprietor(s) will be happy to special-order it for you.
2.Online Specialty Stores
These days, online specialty stores are arguably the best places to purchase ham radio consoles and components. Many of these establishments sell pre-made and custom-built consoles, as well as a wide assortment of components. Conversely, if you’re interested in building your own console, make sure your absorptive filter and other components come from a highly-rated manufacturer. Furthermore, since consoles are not small investments, make sure any online store you do business with has a comprehensive return policy in place.
Virtually anything can be purchased from online auction sites like eBay – and ham radio equipment is no exception. When purchasing equipment from these sites, there are a number of things you’ll need to consider. First off, since much of the equipment you’ll find on auction sites is pre-owned, make sure to take the age and condition of the items you purchase into careful consideration. Secondly, avoid purchasing consoles and components that are over five years old, as such equipment is outdated.
Being unable to locate the necessary equipment can be one of the biggest impediments to pursuing ham radio as a hobby. However, provided you know where to look, you shouldn’t have trouble getting your hands on good consoles and components. Traditional hobby shops, online specialty stores, and popular auction sites are all great places to find new and used amateur radio equipment.