Budget Ham Radio – Reliable And Cheap

Everyone who is prepping should be concerned about communications for a post-SHTF scenario. After the SHTF it’s too late to decide that you want to learn about HAM communications. We know money is tight, so how can you get experience with Ham Radio? By reading up on our budget ham radio recommendations that focus on the BaoFeng UV-5R and the TYT UFV1.

I’ve been toying with budget ham radio (aka economic Chinese Radios). I own a handheld TYT UFV1 Dual Band radio which cost me around $115. It does have all the features that you find on other handheld radios that cost many hundreds of dollars and works like a champ, but $115 is still a decent wad of money for someone with a family

Recently I started tinkering with the BaoFeng UV-5R Plus Dual-Band 136-174/400-480 MHz FM Ham Two-way Radio. This thing has all the features of the TYT for less than 1/2 the cost! That’s right, I got this radio for about $55 from Amazon.com. I’ve used the heck out of it. I’ve listened to FM radio, I’ve used it for weather, and I’ve now used it for communication on the 2M and 70cm bands. It’s great.

I’ve added a few accessories to this great budget ham radio to make it even more awesome and versatile.

Mobile Antenna

I decided to expand the range and allow myself the ability to use this in my car. Sure it would have worked in my car using the rubbery ducky antenna, but a car is essentially a large metal box, not the greatest thing for radio waves. Another cool thing I can do is use this without my car, by placing it on a large metal surface (cookie sheet) and use it for a “base station” antenna. I was able to hit a repeater (70cm band) about 25 miles away, without line of site. We’re talking hills and trees, and rain in my path. MAGNETIC Mobile ANTENNA Ham Radio 2 Meter / 70 cm 144 – 148 & 440 – 470 MHz

Cable Adapter For External Antenna

I needed a way to connect the PL-259 connector to your SMA antenna connection on the BaoFeng, so I grabbed the Reverse SMA to “PL-259″ Adapter Cable – Female/Female for Wouxun Baofeng. This is the one that fits perfectly on the BaeFeng. Note: The TYT UVF1 uses the exact opposite, male SMA fitting (“SMA” to “PL-259″ Adapter Cable).

Mobile Microphone For Auto Use

This is pretty self explanatory. I didn’t want to have to grab the radio every time I wanted to broadcast. This microphone is designed for the BaoFeng and feels just like a CB radio microphone. Original Handheld BAOFENG UV-5R Speaker-mic for dual band radio   I was unsure of the quality of the BaoFeng UV-5R Plus Dual-Band 136-174/400-480 MHz FM Ham Two-way Radio, but after buying it and using it, I fell in love.

I like it so much that I bought 2 more, just in case I dropped mine or it was stolen. I mentioned this radio last night at a local Ham Club meeting and one of the other members pulled this exact radio out of his coat pocket to show everyone. They are gaining in popularity which means the price might start going up. $55 to get some Ham experience is priceless in my mind!

Read more at: Geek Prepper

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