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gift guide for radio Gift Guide for the Amateur Radio Enthusiast

Gift shopping for the amateur radio enthusiast in your life doesn’t have to be stressful. We're here to help. We've compiled a thoughtful list that includes a variety of radios, antennas, and accessories that will delight any radio enthusiast.

Here's our 2021 Amateur Radio Gift Guide to get you started!

A New Amateur Radio

For someone just getting started…

ft-4xrFor the beginner we recommend keeping it simple and identifying where their interests lie. There are generally 5 sub-categories: SWL (shortwave listener), Scanner listener, CB operator, VHFH/UHF FM operator, and HF operator.

  1. SWL – Eton Elite Executive
  2. Scanner – Uniden BC125AT
  3. CB operator – Bearcat PRO520XL Compact CB Radio
  4. VHF/UHF operator – Yaesu FT-4XR Handheld Radio, Icom IC-2730 or Yaesu FTM-6000R
  5. HF operator – Yaesu FT-891 or Icom IC-718 HF Transceiver (On sale until Dec 31!)

For the specialist...

  1. SWL – Sangean ATS909X – Best value portable SWL radio
  2. Scanner – either the Uniden BCD536HP (mobile/base station) or the Uniden BCD436HP (portable)
  3. CB operator – Uniden PC78LTX
  4. VHF/UHF operator – Yaesu FTM-300DR (mobile) or Yaesu FT-70DR (portable) or Icom ID-4100 (mobile)
  5. HF operator – Icom IC-7300 or Yaesu FT-991A

For the pro…

If you are on the hunt for the perfect gift for a pro radio enthusiast, these top of the line radios will make for the perfect gift. 

  1. SWL - Icom R8600 ($50 mail-in rebate until Dec 31, 2021!)
  2. Scanner – Uniden SDS100 (portable), Uniden SDS200 (mobile), Icom R8500 (base) or Icom R30 (portable). These are the latest in a line of Icom communications receivers.
  3. CB operator – Uniden BC885
  4. VHF/UHF Operator – Yaesu FTM400DR (mobile) or Yaesu FT5DR (portable) or Icom ID-5100 (mobile) 
  5. HF operator - Icom IC-705 Portable Backpackable Ham Radio (On sale for untilDec 31!), Kenwood TS-890S HF Transceiver with Advanced DSP (On sale for until Dec 31!), Yaesu FT DX 101D 100W HF+6m Transceiver (On sale for until Jan 31, 2022!)

Finding the Right Radio Accessories 

Antennas

DXE-HEXX-5TAP-2No matter what, if you're a beginner or a pro, every radio enthusiast is in need of a reliable antenna. But finding the right one can be tricky as the ‘right’ antenna depends on their needs and their space. 

Here are some of our top selections for best-in-class radio antennas.

Beginner Antennas

Intermediate / Pro Antennas

Dummy Loads

palstar dl2kAllows for test transmissions without going over the air.

Batteries & Power Supplies

Our picks for staying powered up:

SDRplay Radio Spectrum Processor

Combined with the power of readily available SDR receiver software (including ‘SDRuno’ supplied by SDRplay) you can monitor up to 10MHz of spectrum at a time. 

View the SDRplay RSP1A Radio Spectrum Processor

Power Distribution Control

There's no need to blow a fuse or damage your gear. Power distribution products from West Mountain Radio, such as Rigrunner bars with the Anderson Power poles, the proper tool to crimp the connectors (Powercrimp), the connector shells.

Gift Ideas that Aren't Radios or Antennas

If you’re looking for a gift for the one who has it all, we’ve curated a list of the best-of-the-best gifts for anyone that’s difficult to shop for. We’ve got you covered with some recommendations:

Navigation Assistants & Location Beacons

garmin instinctFor the radio enthusiast who takes their gear on the go, a gift of a portable GPS unit can be a great way for them to track their trails and mark their waypoints. For those really going off the grid a personal location beacon (PLB) can literally be a life saver. Some great options include:

Upgrade their Workstation

We have seen some incredible photos of workstations and now know how vital it is to have a set-up that’s comfortable and practical. If you live with someone who has their own radio station, you may also appreciate some of these gift ideas:
  • A really comfortable chair. No one should be sitting on a folding chair or taking chairs from the dining room table as a long-term solution. 
  • A nice lamp that gives the right amount of light where they need it most. 
  • Boxes with compartments to store adaptors and connectors
  • Mini-fridge for snacks and refreshments
  • Kurig coffee maker or other compact one-serve beverage machine
Want to get personalized recommendations that compliment the radio system they're already using? Contact us! Our radio specialists are happy to help and can ensure you have the BEST accessories and upgrades for your radio enthusiast this Christmas.
 
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