Chapter 12

Getting on the Air


check Deciding what you want from your station

check Choosing radio equipment and antennas

check Selecting a computer

check Buying new or used equipment

check Upgrading your station

Even a casual stroll through the ads in CQ or QST turns up page after page of colorful photos, with digits winking, lights blinking, and signals spread across every band. Websites are full of clickable ads for every gadget imaginable. Antennas are even more numerous, with elements sticking out every which way, with doodads dripping off them, and with all manner of claims made about performance. Then you have to sort through nearly an infinite number of accessories and apps. The decision can be overwhelming. How do you choose?

This is an exciting time for you and for ham radio. Technology is quickly changing what a radio is and how you interact with it. Radios now consist mostly of software, and are even called software defined radios (SDRs). The ever-present Internet gives you the ability ...

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