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Beginner - hand held receiver (2 replies)

6 months ago
pearlrivers 6 months ago

Hi There,

I am brand new to the world of amateur radio. I've already signed up to do the Foundation Course with the hope of learning the basics but as I said I am new to all of this.

I wanted some advice on what a good receiver would be to start - I see a dongle has been suggested & then to listen on your laptop - however I love the idea of having something handheld to listen through, something which isn't a laptop. 

Whats a good place to start? 

Thanks so much!

All the best,


5 months ago
G1BED 5 months ago

What bands would you be wanting to listen to? If HF, there isn't much available handheld which give any sort of good reception so probably your best bet would be going online and listen to HF through the various webSDR receivers available on the internet. (might be able to do this on a smartphone?) If you're looking at V/UHF then you can pick up one of those chinese FM handhelds (Quansheng UV K5 or 5R+) for about a tenner (there's hardly any activity on SSB so might as well stick to FM until you get going).

Peter M0PWX (2E0PWX)
5 months ago

HF is where 90+% of ham traffic is, but there are no real handhelds for HF there is only one i am aware of KH1 Hand-Held, 5-Band Transceiver – Elecraft 

40m (7mhz), 20m (14mhz) 15m (21mhz) and 10m (28mhz) are where the bulk of traffic is, this time of year daytime if any of those bands, night time only really 40m

other than that you are looking at something like a Xiegu X6100 (or the soon to be released X6200) which are small, have internal battery, ATU but need a separate large HF antenna (and a £600 approx price tag)

i use a X6100 for mobile ops / POTA, great little toy with a magmount HF antenna ( SPX-300S 9 Band Plug N Go HF Mobile Antenna (moonrakeronline.com) ) on the car was getting to US on 10m / 15m last year with 5 watts on FT8

the other option is to go to one of the main ham radio stores (ML&S in staines, Moonraker in milton keynes,) and have a look at the 2nd hand kit, they are both helpful run by hams that know their stuff and understand budget limits etc and will often power stuff up and do demo's 

buying stuff off ebay etc is good, but the old "buyer beware" applies, if you can collect and and make sure you see any kit working it reduces risk





(not Pete M0PSX who runs the site)

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