Often a new ham’s first radio is a handheld transceiver (HT). A HT represents the lowest-cost entry point to amateur radio and is relatively easy to set up and use. Your first on-air experience as a licensed ham may involve a HT on a local VHF/UHF repeater, and that’s fine.
But don’t settle for just a HT as supplied by the manufacturer for your early ham radio experience. You are almost certainly going to be frustrated and disappointed at its performance to the point of giving up on ham radio and wondering why all these hams are so enthusiastic about the hobby.
Don Keith N4KC makes this point eloquently in his ‘HT Trap’ article where he discusses how easily a new ham can get discouraged with amateur radio because of the limitations of a stock HT. I have observed this as well while helping new hams get set up in a local EmComm organization.
Huge improvements in HT performance or ease of use can be accomplished with three accessories.
First and foremost is the Continue reading