Ham radio base stations or transceivers come with more features over what mobile and handheld radios offer. Nonetheless, though people love the ham base transceiver, most don’t know how to choose the best ham radio base station.
Why? The complexity of these ham stations confuses most people so that they do not know the best choice to go.
It is for that reason that we decided to write this review to make it easy for you to buy the best base station with ease. That way, your connection with friends and families around the world will never be disrupted neither will you stay behind important updates.
You will be equipped well with every necessary tool to have your radio up and running. Also, you will get all the news swiftly, which will make it possible to get the newest news as soon as they are aired.
Top 5 HAM Radio Base Stations Picked by the Editor:
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There are a lot of ham radio base stations available in the present market. We have described about top 10 ham radio base stations from different renowned brands here. Hope you will able to choose the best one according your needs after reading these ham radio base transceiver reviews.
10 Best Ham Radio Base Station Reviews in 2020
#1ICOM 7300 Review: Editor’s Choice HAM Radio Base Station
If you have a high budget to help you buy the best Ham radio base transceiver, then you can select this ICOM 7300 model. Though the price of this base station is high, it is one of the top quality ham radio base transceiver you may find around.
The ICOM 7300 Direct base station comes with 100-watt output power. It has a compact size and solid construction. The AM, known as amplitude modulation, uses 25-watt output power. The RX or Receiver Frequency for this transceiver ranges from 0.03-74.80MHz and uses direct sampling method, which is better than other methods.
This base station has a 4.3″ LCD color touch screen and a spectrum scope by which you can easily find out the weak signals after adjusting resolution bandwidth. Definitely, these features come in handy.
ICOM 7300 has an auto tuner integrated inside the tool. Moreover, the transceiver uses the Single Side Band (SSB), which means that the inbuilt amplifier can be used more efficiently.
Besides, this tool has the facility of RTTY. That means, the radio teletype, is a communication system that allows you to interconnect two or more electromechanical teleprinters at different locations via its radio waves in place of a wire.
This amateur transceiver uses the Continuous Wave (CW) efficiently. After a detailed review, we realized that this is one of the best base station for ham radio.
- It has a compact and solid construction.
- Excellent high-frequency radio with bells and whistle.
- Transmitting audio signal is fantastic.
- The spectrum scope is a top feature.
- The price of this base station is a little high for some to afford
- It is not excellent in rejecting QRM from bypass band.
#2Yaesu FT-450D Review: User Friendly HAM Radio Base Station
Yaesu FT-450D is not only the most popular ham base station model but also the best in the present market. Also, you get lots of advanced features within a medium budget which definitely satisfies you due to its high-quality.
This Yaesu FT-450D model comes with the application of Frequency Modulation (FM) and Amplitude modulation (AM) in continuous wave propagation of radio frequency. The base transceiver utilizes the upper and Lower Side Bands. Besides, it transmits a 100-watt output power on the 6-160M band.
This Ham base station can receive 30KHZ to 50 MHZ including all types of short waves. In addition, it is capable of broadcasting Amplitude Modulation (AM). On the other hand, it has a built-in antenna with the auto-tuning facility.
The Continuous Wave (CW) filters in the range of 300 and 500 Hz. This radio base is configured to give a top performance that most radio base cannot afford. Not only that, but it is also user-friendly since it is easy to operate.
The Yaesu FT-450D has the great ability to attenuate a particular band frequency below and above, which is very useful for both the contesters and the occasional operators. This tool is also helpful for field or portable enthusiast and service providers.
This model of Yaesu has some key features like illuminated key buttons of 300Hz, 500Hz and 2400Hz CW filters put on the stand of the front feet. This base station transceiver has a classic design and the knobs that have been set up are MH-31A8j. It is superior to all the others. Thus we can assure you that it is the best ham radio transceiver.
- A great product with a reasonable price.
- Its receiver has outstanding sensitivity.
- Its LCD and size are quite good.
- Precise transmitter and receiver performance.
- It possesses useful DSP implementation.
- The internal automatic tuner is limited.
#3Icom IC-718 Review: All Band Ham Radio Base Transceiver
The Icom IC- 718 HF comes with a combination of a transmitter and a receiver in the same electrical circuit which can handle the sound propagation even in long distance. That means that people from one end of the world can get the signals clearly just like those from the other end.
This Ham base station shows a super performance with a wide dynamic range of frequencies. Also, it has a high C: N (carbon content to nitrogen content) ratio and full operation ability, which makes it awesome. With its compact size that comes with a combination of RF technology and digital technology; it is simple to operate.
That is why Icom IC-718 is also a suitable and practical tool you can consider purchasing. Due to the excellent speaker mounted in the front panel of the product; the audience can clearly hear the sound without any obstacle from any corner.
What’s more? Icom IC-718 allows auto-adjustment of the volume; thus, operators need not adjust it manually. The general frequency coverage of this transceiver is from 0.03-29.999999 MHZ.
It has a 1st receiver mixer which is a 4-element system which facilitates receiving of a superior signal without Inter-Modulation Distortion (IMD). That is, especially from the nearby signals bands which cause interference.
This IC-718 base station has been designed in such a way that it works in a double conversion system. Again, it is also built in a way that provides better signal reliability. A great feature; PLL (Phase Lock Loop) has been incorporated in this equipment to facilitate input of signal.
It is also related to the phase of the output signal to improve the C: N ratio. The combination of a 4-element mixer system with the PLL circuit provides a fantastic performance to make a commercial grade. This is one among the models you can choose as the best amateur radio base station among the lot.
- A great high-frequency transceiver.
- Easy to set up and most reliable.
- Compact and solid in construction.
- Both transmitter and receiver are quite good.
- The CTCSS system provides a distinctive feature.
- The automatic gain control is too fast for SSB.
#4Yaesu FT-991A Review: All Mode Ham Base Transceiver
The Yaesu original FT-991A has come with a compact and rugged case of W9.0″ by H3.2″ by D9.3″ and it can easily deliver an output power of 100 watts on a Single Side Band (SSB). More so, both Frequency Modulation (FM) and Amplitude Modulation (in a continuous wave) and CW wave are applicable in this transceiver.
Moreover, this Ham transceiver has a great feature of C4FM, which means that it can use a constant 4 level frequency modulation on popular 50, 140, 430 MHZ, high-frequency bands. It uses the spectrum scope of dynamic real-time, which facilitates the ability of radio operators to view the exact location of signals on the bands while they listen to the receiver.
Yaesu FT-991A has been equipped with a multi-color waterfall display by which you can easily see the signal strength on the band. In this Yaesu model, different colors appear in chronological order so that the operators can readily observe weak signals at a glance. Also, they can see the missing signals on the spectrum scope.
All these additional features make the transceiver more efficient. Due to these features, this base station transceiver is highly accepted by most ham radio operators since it is reliable and enhances flawless HF, VHF and UHF radio bands communication in one radio.
Yaesu FT-991A model does contain not only all the features included in original version FT-991 but also a 3 kHz roofing filter that attenuates interfering signals very effectively. The transceiver of this radio ham provides outstanding performance and offers high-quality audio sound to the listeners.
The radio comes with a 3.5” TFT. This enhances top-notch operation as well as visibility of the touch panel, which features full-color.
While writing these ham radio base station reviews, we realized that ham radio is a high-quality receiver. You see, while receivers are listening to the audio, they can as well view the graphics signal location. This is made possible by the real-time dynamic spectrum.
- Compact size with a rugged case.
- Ability to know the signal location.
- The signal strength is easily visible.
- Reliable and flawless communication.
- 32 bit high-speed DPS for efficient cancellation.
- Too many display knobs.
#5Kenwood TS-480HX Review: Amateur Radio Base Transceiver
Kenwood TS-480HX model comes with a very high power output of 200 watts. It utilizes 13.8 volts DC and 100 watts for 50 MHZ propagation. This base station transmits and receives with a digital signal of 16 bits auxiliary flag, AF. It receives a continuous frequency of 500kHz-60MHZ.
The transceiver has a Variable Frequency Oscillator (VFO), which is very important in a tunable radio receiver and works at a frequency of 30 KHZ. In addition, this base station has the special feature of having a transmitter that can cover all ham bands, from 1.8MHZ to 50 MHZ.
The Kenwood TS-480HX has a separate LCD control panel and an excellent speaker built in at the front panel. This Kenwood transceiver can be tailor-made for portable performance.
Though the equipment is compact in size, it can easily handle an output power of 200 watts with a DC supply of 13.8 volts. The independent control panel has a speaker, which makes the radio a great choice to buy. On the other hand, this base transceiver does not only possess all the powerful features of 100W TS-480SAT, but it also possesses a built-in antenna tuner.
Moreover, it is far better than most brands in the market; thus, we can attest that it is a top base transceiver for ham radio station.
- High transmitting and receiving power.
- Covers all amateur bands- 1.8-50MHZ.
- Flexible design both portable and base.
- Clear crystal audio reception.
- The product possesses a built-in antenna tuner.
- Setting up a bit difficult.
#6Galaxy DX 2517 Review: Best 10 Meter Radio
The Galaxy DX-2517 base station comes with a new PC board in order to maintain increased stability and sensitivity. It is also in compliance with Single Side Band (SSB), AM, FM, Continuous Wave (CW) and Public Address (PA) system.
This ham radio comes with a 5-digit frequency counter. Besides, it has easily readable meters. These meters are two and they help in showing the signals.
This base transceiver has been equipped with a 5-digit frequency counter and two large meters, which are very easy to read. Not only that but also in this machine, a meter scale for signals and power output has been incorporated.
Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) is a measure of impedance matching of loads along with amplitude modulation, which works effectively in this ham transceiver.
Galaxy DX-2517 works very nicely with variable dimmer controls. That is, a red and green LED bulb to indicate transmitter and receiver signals. On the other hand, a noise filter circuit has been equipped in order to have an increased ratio for signal over noise interference.
This Galaxy model also uses noise blanker and noise limiter, which are automatic in functioning. Additionally, a talkback circuit with the facility of volume control is available and is switchable on demand. More so, on this base station, there is a provision for roger beep; microphone gain, as well as antenna gain.
In this transceiver, a Single Side Band (SSB) uses a maximum output power of 25W and Amplitude Modulation (AM) uses a maximum output power of 10W. On the other hand, the Galaxy DX base station uses 1.5 kHz for the receiver and 5.0 kHz for the transmitter.
The weight of the ham base transceiver is 15 lbs. and the dimension is 22.6 inch by 16.2 inches by 8.7 inches.
- Increased stability and sensitivity.
- High-quality audio performance.
- Automatically limits the noise.
- Both transmitting and receiving signals are strong.
- The size is compact and the product is lightweight.
- Sound not much clear.
#7Alinco DX-SR8T Review: Cheap Ham Radio Base Station
Alinco DX-SR8T base station comes with 100 Watts output power. Almost all the amazing features of other branded base stations have been incorporated in this model. For example, AM, FM, CW and Single Side Band.
What’s more in this ham base radio? It works as a shortwave receiver with general coverage plus, it receives from 30KHZ to 35MHZ and transmits from a 10-160M band on amateur radio bands. It utilizes 100 Watts on FM, CW, SSB, USB, LSB and 40 watts on AM only. While at a maximum rate of 21 Amps, the transceiver operates with 12 volt DC.
The package of this base station consists of a separation kit that you can use to mount hardware and two optional power cables. It has 600 radio memories for music application and has continuous tone coded squelch system CTCSS. This is an electronic circuit that reduces the annoying noise to the listeners in 2-way radio communication.
Alinco DX-SR8T transceiver has 3 selectable power levels with 10HZ display and dual VFOs. Not only that, but it also has a variable frequency oscillator-transistor electronic circuit that facilitates the reception of small band radio signals. More so, there is a provision for an RIT receiver incremental tuning, which offers the ability to shift to the receiver frequency.
In addition, Alinco DX-SR8T base station can pre-amplify the weak electrical signal to strong output signals which we consider to be a great feature. It has a dial and key lock along with an attenuator which decreases the amplitude of electrical signals.
This base station transceiver comes with a microphone as well as DC power cables, which need a 12 VDC with at least 20 Amp. After carefully reviewing the best ham radio base transceiver, we found it necessary to include this ham in our list.
- Compact size.
- High output power.
- High-quality receiving signals.
- Noise-free for audio listeners.
- Comes with a microphone, power cables and owner’s manual.
- Its setting up plus adjustment is troublesome.
#8Yaesu FT-DX1200 HF/50 MHz HAM Radio Transceiver
This Yaesu FT-DX1200 base station provides an output of 100 watts on FM, Single Side Band and CW.
This model of Yaesu FT-DX transceiver uses DSP of 32-bit point. The DSP algorithm used by this equipment is very much useful in raising the weak signal to make them reliable. This base station can comfortably use the roofing filters that have 3 kHz, 6 kHz and 15 kHz.
Yaesu FT-DX1200 can efficiently attenuate interfering signals. On the other hand, a thin film transistor touch screen is added to obtain a resolution displayer.
That is why; users of this ham radio base transceiver get a superior operation facility with excellent visibility. A high-speed spectrum scope has been incorporated in this transceiver. You will see it right below the LCD screen.
This ham has a full-color TFT that is huge enough to allow operators to operate and view it with ease. It comes with a speed of 32-bit, which is considerably high. There is the elimination of any unwanted signals in all the stages through the filters. Also, there is a maximum gain distribution.
- Solid construction and rugged state of art.
- Top performance in crowded bands.
- Flexible gain distribution in each stage.
- Unwanted signals eliminated through filters.
- Excellent LCD available.
- Numerous display buttons to follow.
#9Kenwood TS-2000 Review: Amateur Radio Base Transceiver
The Kenwood TS-2000 features great performance due to its make. For example, with this radio station, you get to enjoy 3 different operation platforms. The first one is the traditional transceiver, which comes with a complete front panel.
The other platform is a silver-box that is made of top quality to enhance mobility and has an RC-2000 compact head that helps operators to control it. The last platform uses a computer program (ARCP-2000). This makes it possible to operate this ham station from your computer.
However, to be able to control this ham from your computer, you have to add the RS-232 serial port.
In addition, we believe that this is one of the best ham radio transceiver you can get because it has an unlimited multiband as well as a multi-mode facility which is not the case with most base stations. This is why this station distinguishes itself from other radio stations.
Moreover, TS-2000 is a frequency transverter with a functional display, which can work with the most recent and readily available site frequencies. When on HF; this latest TS-2000 provides 100 watts in 2 and 6 meters. Nonetheless, while on 70 cm, it will provide 50 watts.
However, though optional; installation of the UT-20 1.2 GHz will give you a dual receiver that is complete and that has a multi-mode transceiver which provides 10 watts.
The intermediate frequency stage on the main band and the amplitude frequency stage show high performance in this transceiver. Also, it is equipped with digital filtering and the satellite has been kept ready for radio frequency display from the transverse.
- Availability of the DSP on the main band enhances high performance.
- There is a digital filtering and transceiver frequency display.
- Features both wide-band and dual-band receiver.
- Offers 100 Watts output of the power.
- Computer control available with RS-232.
- Before starting, you must finish the entire manual.
#10Icom IC-7200 Review: Ideal Ham Radio Base Transceiver
This is the latest version with IF DSP technology and Intermediate frequency IF digital signal processing. This product will cover both the entry class and advanced feature transceiver in the present market.
Amazingly, in this radio station; a technology that protects the marine radio from water is available. It’s the knobs that are available on the front panel that offers protection from water invasion. Definitely, this is a good feature.
Automatic Gain Control Loop is a closed loop, which controls the feedback. Also, it manages the distorted and blocked signals that are prevented by digital signal processing functions. It is crucial to know that you can also control the automatic gain control time constants using any mode. That is, slow, fast, or off mode.
Besides, the IC-7200 model base station doesn’t require any digital intermediate frequency filters. In addition, when on the Continuous Wave Mode or the Single Side Band mode, you can efficiently choose either the filter size or width. This is made possible by the digital filter incorporated in this ham station.
On the other hand, there’s a manual notch on this transceiver to help provide 70-decibel attenuation and above.
All the interring tones out of this tool will automatically be eliminated without affecting automatic gain control (AGC) loop performance. In addition, in this base station transceiver, at the bottom right corner of the front panel, you will see control knobs that adjust the filter frequency.
Also, the ICOM IC-7200 comes with a hand mike, a power cable and a manual guide, in case the user needs to know more about the ham station. Moreover, this base station has a reasonable price that most people can afford.
Actually, this’s a top best ham radio transceiver that you can buy and take pride in.
- Uses the most recent DSP technology.
- Waterproof protection technology application.
- Digital IF filters incorporated.
- Has large touch LCD unit.
- Establishment of AGC loop management.
- Has a compact and solid construction.
- Availability of 101 channels.
- The letters on the knob are too small to see clearly.
Guide to Choose the Best HAM Radio Transceiver:
The market for amateur ham radio base station is growing fast due to increasing demand from customers. Your goal is to pick the best radio base station for your personal need or other purposes as needed and this guide will definitely give you valuable information in selecting the best ham radio base station.
The amateur radio base station nowadays is gaining its popularity not only throughout the world but also in spacers due to its superiority over the internet and phone communication.
Nonetheless, after carefully discussing these best rated ham radio base stations, it may be a bit confusing for you to decide which one to go and which not to buy.
But you do not need to worry. We have you covered right here. With this guide, you will get to know the best ham radio base transceiver you can purchase. On the other hand, you will never at any one time regret why you spent your money on it.
The factors listed here will help you to determine which is the perfect ham radio base transceiver to purchase.
Let’s dive right in:
Features To Consider to Select the Best Ham Radio Base Station
1. Longevity: No one wants to spend money on the same product after every short while. That is why; considering the make of the product is crucial before paying for it. Consider if the product will serve you long enough before you need to replace it. That is how you get value for your money.
2. Output power: Bear in mind, that the higher the power output, the more the capacity to transmit signals. So, when buying, depending on how far you want your voice to be heard, consider the power output. In a nutshell, the more the power output, the more the ability to connect with people who are far.
3. Frequency: Lower frequency below 1 GHZ is always preferable for amateur ham radio base transceiver operation. This is because it has a short wavelength which can quickly propagate through the obstacles like walls, buildings and towers without attenuation.
You will have to decide where you would like to use it, in a densely populated area or on free land. Depending on the situation, you can get the proper allocation of frequency.
4. Display: Decide if you want to use the alphanumeric LCD unit or the illuminated keypad. What you need to consider is if you will need to use your ham when it is dark or only during the day. If you want to use it even in the dark hours, go for the illuminated keypad since you will be able to see clearly at all times.
5. Product Quality: Quality matters and that is why quality is the major determining factor when valuing a product. Still, it is the quality that makes it possible for the radio station to last long enough or break down several years after purchase. That’s why you are not going to ignore the quality of your radio if you want to have it for many years.
6. Design: As much as you are looking for a high-quality product as well as one that is durable, it is crucial that you are going to consider the design. You see, you do not want to buy a product that won’t fit well in your intended space.
Otherwise, you will end up making a loss. So, be sure that the design will fit well in the intended area. Again, consider purchasing the model that you will not have trouble operating. For example, you may want to consider a ham with a touch screen to make it easy to operate.
7. Features: Be specific with what you want and if you do not know what you should look for in a top-quality ham station, seek help. This is what we are saying. Each ham station has some features. For instant, touch screen, water imaging, digital processing of signals, ability to control from the personal computer and the like. The more the features there are, the better the ham station is and the more user-friendly it will be.
8. Programmable: When buying, be sure if you want to have a ham station that you can program using the computer or the manual programmed station. The fact; however, is that the one that allows you to program using your computer saves you lots of time and money. So, it is worth going for that one instead of the manually programmed one.
Steps Necessary before Buying a Ham Radio Station
You don’t just wake up one day and decide to have a ham radio base station. No! Just as we have stated previously in this review; you need to do a test to obtain a license. But to help you understand more clearly, we will discuss two crucial requirements that you need to consider having before you can think of buying the best ham radio base station.
First necessity: The test
Firstly, it is crucial to note that you will need to pay some small fee so as to do the test we have been mentioning in this review. After that, you will be allowed to do a test. Passing gives you full authority to possess your license.
But why do you need this license? You will be in a position to broadcast in any desired frequency. The type of license you qualify for is what determines the frequency and watts you are going to transmit your signals at.
Nonetheless, if you intend to listen to the various broadcasts exclusively, there is no need for a license.
However, don’t use it for broadcasting if you do not have a license. Why? The FCC can fine you for broadcasting regardless of the circumstances. It is, therefore, good to consider the purposes you intend to acquire the ham radio base transceiver for.
Second necessity: Equipment
Don’t be shocked yet. Not everyone needs additional equipment other than those that come with the ham radio station. For example, if you need the ham radio base station to listen to broadcasts, there may be no necessity for additional tools. This is because; the radio station comes with some equipment that will be enough to serve your purposes.
For instant, earphones, antenna, a microphone, pack of batteries and some more power supply tools.
Nonetheless, if you are seeking to have the best ham radio base transceiver for broadcasting use, there may be a need for extra equipment (if they are not included during purchasing).
Questions and Answers on Ham Radio Base Station
Q. What is ham radio base station?
Ans: Firstly, Ham radio base station may also be referred to as amateur radio base station. In order to enjoy it to the fullest, you need to have an “amateur band” frequency, which makes its operation better. More so, you can choose to either use Amateur for your commercial purposes or private use.
Not only that, but it also involves different types of communication. Such may include voice communication, Morse code, radio teletype and image transmission plus many others. Nonetheless, if you would want to possess a ham radio, just as we have said, you will definitely need to take a test, which if you pass qualifies you to have the license.
Q. Who uses ham radio base transceiver?
Ans: Simple; anyone! That is; regardless of who you are and where you live, you can use a ham radio base station. That is so because you can easily use it anywhere to connect with people of all ages throughout the entire continent at any time. You must need to take ham radio license or follow government rules regarding ham radio.
Q. Why Ham radio base station different from others?
Ans: Actually, ham radio base station transceiver is a bit different from the 2 ham radio types; mobile and handheld ham radio. To start with, this base station has a different size. Also, the settings and the technology it uses to operate is different. That also explains why it has a different price.
On the other hand, you can install it in your car, hold it in your hand, or fix it in your belt clip. You can set the base station ham radios in your home or your workplace. Also, they stay there permanently. Nonetheless, due to its size, the base station requires a big space to install it. Again, it is a bit heavy when you compare it with other ham stations. Their price is a bit high as compared with the other two versions.
Q. What type of Ham radio Licenses are available?
Ans: Three types of licenses are available. Firstly, we have a general license. The next is technical license and lastly, the amateur extra license. Nonetheless, there is a test you need to pass to get the general license. With the license, you are free to communicate with anyone in the whole universe.
This license is a prerequisite. Technical license is an entry-level license and you need to pass an examination in the previous entry.
After passing and qualifying for the license, you can start using more than 30MHZ frequencies. Nevertheless, you can only communicate locally with the technical license. Like other licenses, you have to pass a test to qualify for the license. It is after making it in the exam that you are eligible to access all bands and modes.
You can get all the information regarding base stations from the manufacturer’s manual.
Ham radio base station is designed in such a way that the serious radio hobbyist is attracted. In recent days ham radio is getting popular day by day for its mobility, portability and ability to hold it with your hand. And because ham radio base station can transmit a longer distance and it is more powerful than the business band or CB radio, its demand is increasing.
However, remember you will have to acquire a license if you want to broadcast, which will mean that you have to do the test and pass. Nevertheless, you don’t have to fret; the tests are not much tough. Mainly, if you have got some basic electronic circuit knowledge and you have studied the basic components of the base station, you can easily reach your goal.
If you are keen on the buying guide we have given you; you will easily choose the best ham radio base station for yourself among the lot.