Q&A: What is the best HAM Radio to Buy For what I want to do?

Question by nal2us2: What is the best HAM Radio to Buy For what I want to do?
I did something, according to alot of HAMs that is kinda rare. I went in to my local VEC center and knocked out all three elements in one night. I now have my Extra Rating. I have a couple of questions. What is the next step as far as education is concerned before transmitting as I dont want to sound like a total Newbie, i.e. q codes, terminology, procedures, ect. Is there one book or one particular ramp up track I should use to get myself up to speed?

The next question is what transciever to buy and what equipment should I buy to accompany my new transciever? i.e. Antenna tuner, swr meter, ect. Knowing that there are many different bands to operate on and many different rigs out there the clue to what I want is I guess what I want to do with it and where I live. I live in a 3 floor apartment on the first floor and am interested in not only in working local stations but international as well. Any help that anyone can give me on first, second, and third steps now that I have my Extra Class License would be extremely helpful. Oh and I am also interested in how to integrate my transciever into my laptop PC and am curious why I would want to do that? What are the advantages to me. I am not interested in contesting just making friends and increasing my knowledge of HAM radio. Lastly as far as books are concerned if anyone has any sites where I can get free PDF information without having to spend a fortune when I could be spending my money on electronics would be great. I am also very interested in Home brew Antenna designs based on the answers I get back here. Whew... well thats it friends. Thats what I need help on. Take Care, God bless.... 73s to whoever answers me. Thanks

Best answer:

Answer by classicsat
Go read back issues of QST and CQ, and see what people do in apartments.

Join a local club

Start with a VHF/UHF FM system, and get hardware to to packet/IP radio.

There are all sorts of online message boards and mailing lists for all sorts of facets of the hobby.

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