What Do I need to get on the air? The first thing you need is a license. Without a license, you cannot use the Amateur Bands.
The Foundation License:
This is the entry level license, which is fairly easy to obtain, and doesn't break the bank. You are restricted to 10 Watts Transmitting Power and certain bands, but it is capable of getting you on the air and talking to amateur radio enthusiasts all around the world.
The Wireless institute of Australia (WIA) has great information about the Foundaition Class license and how to obtain it. Click here to read all about it.
Our Club Members are happy to discuss your needs and help in any way possible. To get into contact, please Contact Us or visit the Committee page for more contact details.
Transceiver A transceiver is a combination of a transmitter and a receiver. They come in a variety of shapes, styles, and capabilities. There are walkytalky looking things called HT's, or portables, which run off of batteries and have limited range. Mobile transceivers can be operated from your home or from your vehicle. They do require a 12 volt power source.
Base stations are designed for your home. You can spend a LOT of money on a high powered base station, but the reach is also much further then the smaller units. There are a LOT of used radios for sale in this world. The advice I received is most used radios cost as much as a new radio, and are being sold for a reason.
I suggest you buy your first transceiver new from a reputable place and your learning curve will be somewhat shorter. Another piece of advice I received is to buy your first transceiver from one of the big three manufacturers in the marketplace: Icom, Kenwood, or Yaesu.
Antenna I recommend when you buy your transceiver you buy your antenna from the same place. Buy the cable that connects the two at the same time. HT's come with a small antenna. A decent mobile antenna can be purchased for under $50 bucks. The sky is the limit on home base antennas, although many make their own high powered antennas for under $50 dollars. You can, for example, build a squid pole vertical antenna yourself. Download the instructions here.
The antenna needs to match the radio you are using, which needs to match the frequencies you are trying to receive and transmit on. Again, http://www.eham.net/reviews/ reviews antennas if you don't trust your sales person.