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 2023 Amateur Radio Gift Guide to get you started!
A New Amateur Radio
For someone just getting started…
For 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, VHF/UHF FM operator, and HF operator.
- SWL – Sangean HDR-14
- Scanner – Uniden BC125AT
- CB operator – Bearcat PRO505XL Compact CB Radio
- VHF/UHF operator – Yaesu FT-4XR Handheld Radio, Icom IC-2730 or Yaesu FTM-6000R
- HF operator – Icom IC-7300 or Yaesu FT-710 Field Transceiver
For the specialist…
- SWL – Sangean ATS909X – Best value portable SWL radio
- Scanner – either the Uniden BCD536HP (mobile/base station) or the Uniden BCD436HP (portable)
- CB operator – Uniden PC78LTX or the NEW! Cobra 75 Wireless Radio
- VHF/UHF operator – Yaesu FTM-300DR (mobile) or Yaesu FT-70DR (portable) or Icom IC-T10 (portable)
- 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.
- SWL – Icom R8600
- Scanner – Uniden SDS100 (portable), Uniden SDS200 (mobile), Icom ID-52A (portable) or Icom R6 (portable). These are the latest in a line of Icom communications receivers.
- CB operator – Uniden BearTracker 885
- VHF/UHF Operator –NEW! Yaesu FTM-500DR (mobile) or Yaesu FT-5DR (portable) or Icom ID-5100 (mobile)
- HF operator – Icom IC-705 Portable Backpackable Ham Radio, Kenwood TS-890S HF Transceiver with Advanced DSP, Yaesu FT DX 101D 100W HF+6m Transceiver
Finding the Right Radio Accessories
No 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.
- Antennas for Beginners – SMA-24J or the Diamond Antenna RH77 Series. For most radios (unless exception) the Comet SMA-24 Antenna is a great choice
- Base Antennas – Workman UVS300 Base Antenna
- Mobile Antennas – Workman Mobile Antennas for 6 to 75 meters!
Intermediate / Pro Antennas
- Handheld Antennas – Comet HT-55 Handheld Antenna
- Magnet Mount Antennas – Workman KS2 Magnet Mount Antenna
Diamond Antenna: D130NJ Super Discone Antenna$181.00
Workman UVS200 Fiberglass Base Antenna$100.00
Diamond Antenna: SRH999 Quadband HT Antenna$80.00
Chameleon Antenna: CHA HPD Wire Set for CHA TD 2.0$220.00
Chameleon Antenna: CHA F-LOOP 3.0 PLUS$899.99
MFJ-1963 Stainless Steel Telescopic Whip Antenna – 6′ SuperStik$37.00
Hy-Gain ATB-75 Universal Tilt Vertical Base Mount$175.00
Chameleon Antenna: CHA MCC (PRV) Kits$470.00 – $910.00
Remtronix REM-843S VHF/UHF/800 MHz Portable Triband Antenna, SMA$42.00
Allows for test transmissions without going over the air.
Batteries & Power Supplies
Our picks for staying powered up:
- Dakota Lithium 12V 23AH or Dakota Lithium 12V 10AH Battery for portable DC power
- Astron SS-30M-AP Switching Power Supply
- Astron RS-70M-AP with Front Panel Powerpoles
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.
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
For 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:
- A Garmin Smartwatch like the Garmin epix PRO (Gen 2) or Garmin Venu 3 (or Garmin vivoactive 5 for the ladies)
- A handheld & portable GPS unit like the Garmin GPSMAP 66s, Garmin Rino 750, or Garmin Montana 700i.
- A really great compass. You don’t have to get high-tech to find your way if you know how to navigate with a compass!
- Personal Location Beacon (PLB) like the ACR ResQLink 410 RLS PLB
- 2-way Satellite Messengers like the new Garmin inReach Messenger or the ACR Bivy Stick.
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.