With so many radios, manufacturers and kit projects out there, this can be a confusing question for newcomers as well as seasoned radio amateurs. Here at ARRL HQ, many inquires come into the TIS department from people asking this question. Our job is to not tell you what radio to buy, but through our articles, show you how to choose one to suit your needs. Newcomers wish for ease of operation, while contesters and serious DX'er require top performance. All hams must also consider the cost of the radio. A good start in the decision process is to read past and present ARRL Product Reviews.
These articles were all written to help hams decide which rig is best for them. Some explain a bit more about the Product Review column in QST, while other discuss ways to pick between performance, features, and cost to decide what rig is right for you.
- QST Product Review-In Depth, In English QST Aug 2004.
A detailed look at the QST Product Review process with a detailed description of Lab testing and what the numbers mean to equipment buyers.
- Flea Market Madness! A Beginner's Guide to Buying and Selling
QST August 1998. pp. 57-59
What to look for, and look out for, at one of the best sources for bargains and treasures.
- Lab Notes - What Rig Should I Buy?
QST Feb 1993, pp. 79-80
- Be A Bone Yard Ph.D.
QST June 1994, pp. 64-67
The educational approach to buying your first HF rig.
- QST Product Reviews: A Look Behind The Scenes
QST October 1994, pp. 35-38
Learn how the ARRL Laboratory evaluates new products - and what all those numbers mean to you!
- The DX Prowess of HF Receivers
QEX Sept/Oct 2002, pp. 36-40
Performance numbers for a variety of modern day receivers
- Improved Dynamic-Range Testing
QEX Jul/Aug 2002, pp. 46-52
An in-depth look at receiver dynamic range and intercept points.
- Buying Your First Radio
- QST Product Review Columns (Member's Only Page)
We currently have all of the Product Review columns from 1980 to the present available
Members must register to enter the Members Only area. This is a one time procedure and you will need your membership number which appears above your name on your QST mailing label. Register here.
If you are not an ARRL Member and wish to join, please go here.
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