Top 10 Best Ham Radio Transceivers

As you may know, Ham radios are capable of communicating over extremely long distances via satellites and distant relay towers. These radios are popular among a wide range of professions and they are impressively versatile from a technological standpoint. That said, we should point out that Ham radios have come a long way over the years, with the latest versions being far better equipped than their simplistic ancestors.

It is for this reason that you have to take the time and learn as much as you can about each particular model before settling on one to buy. To make things easier, we put together a list of the ten best Ham radios on the market for you to look at.

Our Top Pick

Top 10 Ham Radio Transceivers

10 Best Ham Radio Transceivers Review

SaleBestseller No. 1
MatLogix Long Range 136-174/400-520 MHz Transceiver Ham Amateur Two Way Radio Walkie Talkie Frequency Range, FM Dual Band LED Torch, 5-10km Range, 128CH (Pack of 1 Pcs) Black
  • 5 Watt Long Range upto 5 Km Handheld Amateur Radio Transceiver with LCD Display & Numeric Keypad. 7.4 V 1800 mAh high capacity Rechargeable Li-ion Battery. High/Low Power Selection.
  • Commercial FM Radio Receiver (65 MHz- 108 MHz). 128 Memory Channels, DTMF encoded, 50 CTCSS /105 DCS. Battery Saving Function, Built in LED Flash Light.
  • Dual Band VHF/UHF Frequency Range 136-174 MHz/400-520 MHz. Selectable frequency Steps 2.5/5/6.25/10/12.5/25 KHz. PC Programmable using PC03 FTDI cable(not included)
  • Features include: VOX, Alarm Function, Scanning, & Monitor Functions,Timer Transmission (TOT) programmable, Scrambler, Level Threshold 'Squelch' adjustable 0-9, LCD Display illumination, Key Lock
  • Package include: Walkie Talkie , Battery, Battery Charger, Belt Clip, Handstrap, Antenna, Earpiece, User Manual - Each1 Nos
SaleBestseller No. 4
3AN Telecom BNC Male to SO239 RF Coaxial Coax Cable 3ft + 4pcs Adapter Kit, BNC to SO239 Cable + BNC to PL259/SO239 Adapter KIT for Antennas,Radio Scanner,Ham Radio Transceiver,CB Radio etc
  • CABLE- Connector 1: BNC Male; Connector 2: SO239(UHF Female); Cable Length: 1m(About 3ft);
  • Impedance: 50 Ohm; Cable Type:RG58; >1000 times mating life time.
  • Adapter - Include:1pcs BNC Female to BNC Female Adapter/1pcs - UHF Male(PL259) to UHF Male(PL259) Adapter/1pcs - BNC Female to UHF Female(SO239) Adapter/1pcs - BNC Female to UHF Male(PL259) Adapter.
  • This RF Coaxial cable kit addresses all your BNC-UHF needs: Whether it's BNC Male/Female to UHF Male/Female or UHF to UHF.By using the adapter, you can turn the product into any BNC to UHF cable you need.
  • Never worry about any security problems. We are confident in the quality of our cable .
SaleBestseller No. 5
Ham Radio Transceiver Set, FT‑232RL Chip Mini Radio Link Connector Portable Shielding Isolation for YAESU FFT‑891 991 FT‑817 FT‑857D FT‑897D
  • FULL PHOTOELECTRIC ISOLATION AND SHIELDING ISOLATION: The radio remote control interface supports full photoelectric isolation, and the CAT remote control supports 115200 stable high speed communication. Specially customized good quality isolation t
  • DATA AND CAT INTERFACE: Standardized voice or data radio interface supports data(MINI DIN 6 specification), standardized CAT remote control interface supports CAT(MINI DIN 8 specification)
  • SQL SIGNAL CONTROL: Complete signal support includes TXD, RXD, RTS, DTR, CTS signals. Support SQL control, cloud audit system signal introduction
  • 115200 COMMUNICATION SPEED: Using for FIDI FT‑232RL USB interface chip, plug and play without external power supply. Adopt 6N137 high speed communication optocoupler, the communication speed can 115200
  • SUPPORT MULTIPLE OPERATION MODES: Simple interface specification, complete full mode link, compact and portable, compatible with multiple operation modes, suitable for various applications
SaleBestseller No. 6
Baofeng UV5R 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band DTMF CTCSS DCS FM Ham Two-Way Radio Walkie Talkie (Black)
  • Baofeng UV5R 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band DTMF CTCSS DCS FM Ham
  • Two-Way Radio
  • Color:Black
SaleBestseller No. 7
SaleBestseller No. 8
WorldCare® Jie BJ-218 25W Mobile Radio VHF 136-174 400-470MHz Ham Radio Car Long Range260447 | Pack of 1
  • New & Imported Item
  • Delivers within 3 to 5 weeks
  • Item contains Pack of 1
  • In case of any query please contact seller.
  • Please check the details of an item carefully before placing an order, as order once placed cannot be cancelled.
SaleBestseller No. 9
PL259 UHF Male to BNC Male Right Angle RG58 Coax Cable for CB Radio Jumper Cable VHF UHF Ham Amateur Radio Mobile Transceiver Antenna SWR Meter Dummy Load, 10 Ft 1 PCS
  • Connetor: PL259 UHF Male to BNC Male 90-degree; Cable type: RG58 coaxial cable; Length: 10 Ft; impedance: 50 Ohm
  • This versatile cable features a right-angled connector, which offers a more natural fit at the device connection point and helps prevent unnecessary strain and damage to the port.
  • Application: Antenna Analyzer, Scanner Antenna, Amateur Radio Ham Radio, Watt Power SWR Meter,Dummy Load, Surge Protector, Lightning Arrester, Signal Amplifier Booster Repeater, Power Divider Splitter, Combiner. Such as: Good cable with a scanner or low power amatuer ham radio/ht
  • Package Included: 1pcs PL259 UHF Male to BNC Male Right Angle RG58 Coax Cable for CB Radio Jumper Cable
  • 【Service Guarantee】Never worry about any security problems. We are confident in the quality. If you unfortunately get a defective one, please contact our customer support.
SaleBestseller No. 10
Honeytecs USDX USDR HF QRP SDR SSB/SW Transceivers 8-Band 5W DSP SDR HF Transceivers Built-in Microphone Speaker Aluminum Cover Ham Radio
  • ✿ This receiver as using IRF series launches tube, can be used by connecting the M seats antenna.
  • ✿ Multi-band support, continuously adjustable in the 160m-10m frequency band (and performance loss from 20KHz~99MHz).
  • ✿ Embedded DSP and SDR functions: DSP filter: 4000, 2500, 1700, 500, 200, 100, 50Hz passband, and with powerful DSP functions such as AGC, NR, VOX, ATT, TX noise gate, TX driver control, volumes control, dBm/S-meter.
  • ✿ Software-based vox can be used as a quick and complete invasive (QSK and semi-QSK operations), or to assist in running in digital mode (no CAT or PTT interface) for RX/TX switching, external PTT output with delay TX/ PA control.
  • ✿ Thanks to the ERR level ands, it has high power efficiency and simplicity design, no need for bulky radiator and complicated balanced linear power amplifier).

Getting Started With a Ham Radio

Step One: Get a License

Anyone can listen to Ham radio broadcasts, but if you intend on broadcasting at a specific frequency, then you are going to have to get a license. However, this isn’t difficult at all and usually just requires a person taking an exam and paying a small fee. There are organizations such as the Amateur Radio Relay league can help a person with the details. And each level of license allows the user to transmit at particular wattages and frequencies. For instance, there are licenses available that allow individuals to broadcast at 100-Watts and at 1,500-Watts on either a limited number of frequencies or on several frequencies.

Amateur Ham radio enthusiasts are allocated 26 different bands which start at 1.8 Megahertz and goes all the way 275 Gigahertz. This allows users to not only talk to each other across the city but to talk to people in just about every corner of the world. And the bands allocated for amateur enthusiasts are only the tip of the iceberg. There are bands specifically designated for government use, commercial radio use and even military use. There’s a whole world just waiting for the amateur enthusiasts and they can discover all kinds of bands used by their local police and fire departments, ships at sea and aircraft, too.

Of course, licensing may not be an issue if you plan on only using the Ham radio in an emergency. If you’re planning on using the radio only in emergencies, then you may not have to concern yourself with getting a license right away. Although you need to keep in mind that you may still be fined by the FCC if you broadcast regardless of circumstances. And that’s not even mentioning that at some point you are going to want to get a license so you don’t miss out on all of the fun of broadcasting.

Like I said earlier, you don’t need an FCC license just to listen to broadcasts. Many people own Ham radios just to listen to a wide assortment of channels. Using it in this way, as if it were a scanner, doesn’t require anything more than owning a Ham radio and you having the desire to spend some time listening to various channels. Just be sure not to broadcast if you don’t have a license because you can end up with a hefty fine, even if it were an accident.

Step Two: Have the Proper Equipment

Depending on how you plan on using your newly bought Ham radio, you may or may not need additional equipment. Many of the highly-rated models on the market today come with everything a person needs. They can include the antenna, a battery pack or other power supply, earphones and even a microphone.

For the basic Ham enthusiast who just wants to listen to channels or don’t need a lot of power for their personal use, then most likely no additional equipment is required. However, for those who are looking for a little more versatility or power, some additional equipment may be needed. Below are just some of the basics that may (or may not) be needed:

Power Supply

Not every Ham radio comes with a power receiver and sometimes the user has to purchase it separately. If yours is such a model, then be sure to get one that will work with your transceiver. Also, make sure that it’s rated with enough power to power your radio but not too much that it potentially blows a fuse. A very good power supply can be purchased for $150 or less.

Antenna

Before purchasing any aftermarket antenna, make sure that it’s not only compatible with your transceiver but that it will also comply with zoning laws when you mount it. A good antenna usually costs under $100.

Tuner

A tuner is a helpful piece of equipment to have when using a Ham radio. It connects the transceiver with the antenna and can be used to automatically or manually scan channels, depending upon which version is bought by the consumer. A good tuner can cost anywhere from $150 to $300.

Microphone, Earphone & Keys

If the Ham radio you purchased already had a microphone and/or earphone, then you don’t have to worry about purchasing one. However, some standalone transceivers don’t come with these pieces of equipment, and they need to be purchased separately.

Another piece of equipment that almost always has to be purchased separately is a Ham radio key. This device, if used, allows the user to transmit messages using Morse code.

Miscellaneous Equipment

You should also familiarize yourself with some of the miscellaneous equipment used to operate the radio. This may include cables, wires and other parts that can be used to connect some of the above pieces to the radio transceiver.

Final words

Now that you’ve learned about some of the best Ham radio and phone radios currently available, learned how to set up your unit to be used as a scanner or for broadcasting, and have learned what it takes to get licensed and start broadcasting, we have just one question for you:

Why haven’t you bought your own Ham radio, yet? As you can clearly see, there’s a whole world out there waiting to not only open up to you but are also waiting for what you have to say. So get out there and join the Ham radio community

About the author

Mark Cook

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