Best Ham Radio Base Station

Are you searching for the best ham radio base station? You came to the right place. I’ve reviewed the best on the market today and after reading this article you will know which base station is best for you.

If you have ever considered using a ham radio so that you can stay in contact with people all over the world or simply be informed when disaster strikes in your area, then you will want to invest in the best ham radio base station

This will ensure that you have the equipment necessary to easily operate your new radio and you can enjoy fast and reliable news from all over the world.

Click on my recommendations in the quick list below for price and customer reviews if you are in a hurry, or read on for my full reviews: 

  1.  Yaesu Original FT-450D HF/50MHz Compact Amateur Base Station
  2.  Icom IC-718 HF All Band Amateur Ham Radio Base Station 
  3.  BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 Dual Band Mobile Radio Base Station
  4.  Galaxy DX-2517 Base Station 10 Meter Radio
  5.  Yaesu FT-8900R Quad Band Hi Power FM Amateur Ham Radio Transceiver
  6.  Yaseu FT-857D Amateur Ham Radio Base Station
  7.  President Lincoln II Plus Ham Radio
  8.  Kenwood TS-480HX HF Amateur Base Station for Vehicles
  9.  President Ronald 10 Meter Amateur Ham Radio Base Station
  10.  Recent RS-918SSB HF SDR Ham Radio Base Station

The best ham base station will be one that is not only in your price range, but also includes a number of features that will make the radio easier and more enjoyable to use. Make sure that you look for a radio base that has a durable antenna, is easy to handle and use, and has clear audio output. Without clear output you will find that it’s really frustrating to try to talk to others, since the audio will be distorted.

Avoid a unit that has a very heavy mic and is difficult to move around and that doesn’t come with a high quality product manual, as you will be relying on that information to help you learn how to operate your new radio. To make sure that you can easily connect with people repeatedly, look for a radio base with a minimum of 200 memory channels.

Ham Radio Base Station Benefits

This is a great method of communication when there is a problem with the grid and you can’t otherwise communicate with people or receive updates on emergencies.

Not only can you contact people from around the world when you use a ham radio, you can also stay updated on disasters or major problems in your area. 

When infrastructure is damaged or cellphone towers are overloaded and can’t accept any more calls, you can use a ham radio to contact other people. 

One of the best draws to ham radio operation is connecting with people from all over the world, participating in contests, and being able to talk to others without worrying about international calling fees.

What to Look for in an Amateur Base Station for Your Ham Radio Setup

I’ve found that there are a few features that you need to consider when shopping for a new ham radio base station. 

While it’s easy to get caught up in the features such as an LCD display, which can make using your new radio easier. It’s also important to consider additional features.

Make sure that when you choose a ham radio base station that it has enough output power to easily connect with people from farther away. 

Additionally, opting for a ham radio base station with a lower frequency, such as one below 1 GHZ will allow you to easily reach through obstacles without a lot of attenuation.

A scan function will let you quickly find the desired frequency, while a CTCSS/DCS-encoder/decoder ensures that you won’t be cut off in the middle of a conversation. 

Best Way to Use Your Amateur Ham Radio Base Station

If you want to be able to connect with people all over the world or even in your town, you need to make sure that you have a durable base, as well as all of the necessary components. 

Choosing the right base station is important so that you can connect your microphone and antenna. 

Without a durable and easy to use base station, you will not be able to connect with other people.

When you have your base station connected correctly to the rest of your components, you can easily communicate with other people through your ham radio. 

Not only can you communicate with others, but you can listen to any emergency information from law enforcement in your area. 

You will be able to hear what is going on around you in real time, as well as get information from people all around the world using your radio.

 

Precautions When Using Your Ham Radio Base Station

It’s important that you have the correct grounding system for your new ham radio station so that you can transmit without accidentally damaging your components. 

Make sure that you don’t try to transmit without having an antenna or you can possibly overheat your capacitors. 

To avoid lightning damage, which can easily occur when you have a larger antenna, disconnect your power supply, antenna, and your grounding system when you are not using your radio.

Additionally to ensure that your radio doesn’t transmit without a load, disconnect input devices, such as your microphone and CW key, when the radio isn’t in use.

Best Ham Radio Base Station Top Picks

This ham radio base station is not only small, but very durable and rugged, so you can easily take it with you away from the safety of your home without worrying about it being damaged. It’s perfect for beginners to learn how to use, but also offers enough advanced features that it will continue to be useful as you become more skilled working with your ham radio.

Pros

        Has a built-in automatic tuner for easy use

        Receives all shortwave and AM broadcasts

        Offers 100 Watts of transmit output

        Includes 400 Mhz IF DSP technology

        Can work on digital modes with optional accessory

        Filtering makes it easy to enjoy quality listening

        Easy for beginners to learn how to use

Cons

        Main tuning knob is small and difficult to use

        Internal automatic tuner is limited

        Doesn’t feature a lot of dedicated controls

If you are willing and able to spend a little more money on your ham radio base station, then you will love the different features that this one offers, as it makes it easy to customize your listening and get the most out of your time using the radio. No matter if you are at home, in your vehicle, or out in the woods, you will be able to enjoy superior quality from your receiver, which makes communicating with others not only easy, but enjoyable.

Pros

        Features a variety of built-in modes

        Has 101 memory channels for you to choose from

        Includes level adjustable noise blanker

        Features different scanning function types

        Has an RF attenuator, as well as a pre-amplifier

Cons

        Receiver is fixed in the fast mode

        Receiver tends to be very noisy

        AGC delay is very fast and can result in distorted sounds that are harder to hear

While this base station will sometimes squeal during transmission, they are very easy to use, offer a great internal speaker, and can operate easily on low power. Because sending and receiving sound quality is excellent, this is a great radio for beginners, as well as more advanced users.

Pros

        Great budget option for people who need something in a lower price range

        You can use a main band while watching up to three other channels or frequencies

        Includes all equipment, including mounting hardware

        High/low power settings

        Offers a number of features, including variable frequency scanning, auto scan, and channel mode editing settings

Cons

        Display will stay lit up, but the text disappears, making it difficult to use

        Very sensitive to the SWR of your antenna system

        There is a lot of voltage applied to the transistors, which can cause them to fail

        The display is small and hard to read

Thanks to all of the different features on this radio, as well as the ability to scan, adjust the frequency, and change the meters for modulation, SWR, power output, and signal, this radio is very durable and useful, but not easy to use at first. You’re sure to enjoy clear sound output with this radio, but getting started can be tricky, especially if you don’t have any experience with ham radios in the past.

Pros

        Includes two large and easy to read meters

        Noise filter circuit increases ratio of signal to noise

        Offers 10W max output for AM, 25W max output for SSB

        After optimizing and peaking the output and receiving and opening up the CB band, this radio can be very powerful

Cons

        Not an ideal radio for someone just starting out with ham radio because this radio isn’t very user-friendly

        Transmit modulation is very low

        Talk back feature is reported to be inoperative for some people

This is a very powerful ham radio base station that will allow you to connect with others, but only if you don’t struggle to operate the radio and manage the knobs and buttons. At just over four pounds, this is a smaller option than many on the market, and that is obvious when you try to turn knobs and hit buttons without making a mistake.

Pros

        Backlit keypad mic makes it easy to see what you are doing in dim conditions

        800 memory channels

        Offers live dual displays

        Features a cross band repeater mode

        Comes complete with all mounting hardware, as well as a detachable head unit

        Receiver is very sensitive, and configuring the radio is fast and easy

Cons

        The knobs are very small and difficult to use

        It’s easy to accidentally turn down the volume when you try to adjust the squelch

        AM receiving volume is a lot quieter than FM receiving volume

        Transmission range is very limited

        Microphone buttons are extremely small

Yaesu FT-857D Amateur Radio Transceiver - HF, VHF, UHF All-Mode 100W Remote Head Capability

Yaesu FT-857D Amateur Ham Radio Base Station

I was impressed with the performance of this ham radio, especially when considering the price. This is a great value. The receiver picks up the following: 0.1-56Mhz, 76-108Mhz, 118-164Mhz, and 420-470Mhz in AM/USB/LSB/FM/CW. It can transmit at bands 160 to 2 meters in addition to 70cm UHF. The reception was good and the controls were fairly easy to get a handle on. The microphone that comes with the unit is definitely serviceable and it comes with a power cable. 

Pros

  • Excellent reception with a solid suitcase antenna (must purchase separately)
  • Backlit display
  • AM/USB/LSB/FM/CW 

Cons

  • Slight learning curve for the controls

President Lincoln II Plus Ham Radio

This is a great value base station. It boasts the addition of the 12 meter band added on to the standard President Licoln II model. I like the rotary switch and the simple up and down channel selector. It has a solid manual squelch and covers AM/FM/LSB/USB/CW. This base station has an easy to read backlit display that makes it a breeze to read your frequency. It has 6 memory presets and scan mode. Overall I found it easy to get a handle on the controls making this a great model for all experience levels. 

Pros

  • HF power output 35W PEP
  • Rotary switch and up and down channel selector
  • Dual watch
  • Key Locking

 

Cons

  •  Mic works well but feels light

Kenwood TS-480HX HF Amateur Base Station for Vehicle

This is an amazing ham radio for your car, truck, or any other vehicle. It is powerful and once you get a handle on the controls it will do everything you could need. Has a 200w output with TX/RX 16 bit AF digital signal processing. You can cover all amateur bands 1.8Mhz to 50Mhz and the continuous RX is 500kHz to 60Mhz. The LCD has a separate control panel and is equipped with a speaker. 

Pros

  • Excellent performance 
  • Covers all amateur bands
  • Fits most cars, trucks, Jeeps, and 18 wheelers
  • Easy to read display

Cons

  • Takes some time to learn all the controls

President Ronald 10 Meter Amateur Ham Radio Base Station

This was another surprisingly solid value unit. It comes in a compact size but still packed with solid features that will serve you well. Here’s just some of those features: Rotary switch channel selector, a manual squelch and ASC, a public address function, ANL filter, RF and mic gain, scan, talk back and many many more. This is a great plug and play unit that is not as challenging to get accustomed to. With a little familiarity you will be up and running in relatively little time. Add on a great price tag and this an excellent ham radio base station to add to your collection.

Pros

  • RF power
  • Multi function LCD display
  • S meter
  • Dual watch
  • AM/FM mode switch

Cons

  • Smaller than some are looking for

Recent RS-918SSB HF SDR Ham Radio Base Station

Don’t let the last place position on the list fool you, this is an excellent ham radio. It performed great and I was thoroughly impressed with this unit from Recent. It comes with a ton of features that were a blast to work with. I had a great time finding the best settings and dialing everything in. The changeable mic gain value is very handy and the dynamic waterfall display is right up my alley. Like I said, the feature list is long and includes DSP digital signal processing, noise reduction, and automatic notch filter. Add on to that a strong manufacturers warranty and this base station is one of the top on the market at it’s price point.

Pros

  • Extensive list of features
  • Excellent overall performance
  • Great value
  • Manufacturers warranty

Cons

  • Lot’s of features to learn

Ham Radio Base Station Wrap Up

When you’re ready to buy a ham radio base station and don’t want to overspend, but still need a lot of different features to make using your new equipment easy and enjoyable, then I think that your best off buying the Yaesu Original FT-450D HF/50MGz Compact Amateur Base Transceiver. 

It offers plenty of output power, is very durable, and can go with you on the road if you want to travel with your new ham radio. While some of the others on this list are powerful and wonderful options, if you want a great base station that is durable, intuitive, and easy to control, then this is the clear option.

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