HAM Radio 101

Word of the Day: What is an HT in HAM Radio?

You’ve studied hard and just earned your FCC Technician License. Congratulations! If you’re like most Hams, you’re eager to get started with your new hobby, and that means purchasing a radio to begin putting what you’ve learned into practice. A handheld transceiver, also known as an HT or “Handi-Talkie,” makes a smart choice to get your feet wet with an all-in-one rig that can be used at home, in the car, and in the field.

Depending on its capabilities, a handheld radio will enable you to talk directly with other operators, use repeaters to communicate with Hams in a wider area, take advantage of digital modes, participate in emergency operations, compete in “hilltopping” contests, and maybe even contact an Amateur Radio satellite. And this only scratches the surface!

Handheld transceivers come in a range of prices and band coverages, including 70cm, 2M or 1.25M single band; 2M/70cm dual band; and other multi-band options. With many handheld transceivers on the market, it’s easy to find one perfect for your needs and skill level—from units built for basic communication to more complex rigs with an array of advanced features.

While there are numerous lower-priced HTs available, many new licensees have found that selecting a radio from a longstanding manufacturer, such as Icom, Kenwood, Alinco, or Yaesu, is a sound choice and a great way to grow into the hobby. DX Engineering offers complete handheld radio starter packages. They come with a high-quality radio, programming software and cable, an upgraded antenna, and microphone or earpiece.

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