A gently used, well taken care of ham radio can often be a real bargain, and can give you years of reliable service, if you buy it right and take good care of it. Similar to buying most anything else that has been owned previously, there are some things you really need to be aware of before you spend your hard-earned cash. Buy, I’ve bought plenty of used electronics equipment in years past and I have been mostly delighted with my purchases because I have done a few simple things before laying down my cash.

Before I go into specifics about buying a used ham radio, I want to mention the fact that I only buy high-quality used items only – no bottom-end equipment, or off-brands for me. I always seek out the top brands and models from just a few years back, especially the ones that have stellar service records. You can find out the specifics on a product by going to Google and searching for the name of the item with the word “review” in the search bar. If the item you’re looking up is popular enough, there will be plenty of reviews and opinions available for you to look at to help with your purchasing decision.

First, you should go over the basic operation of the ham radio with the seller – even if that seller is online, and you can’t actually touch the machine. Cover in detail each function, making sure that he or she satisfies each of your questions in appropriate detail, in either an email or over the telephone, which is always much better in my humble opinion. I always ask plenty of questions, so I won’t be disappointed when my ham radio is delivered to my doorstep in a few weeks.

I won’t go into a lot of detail here about the individual used ham radios that you may find online,but I will tell you that I prefer the simpler, less expensive models like a Radio Shack HTX-212 2 Meter Ham Mobile. I’ve seen some radios like this sell for well under $100 in good shape, and I believe that the ratings on this particular machine are good (better check the ratings out for yourself just to be sure). I’ll admit that it’s a mobile unit and is probably not a high-powered, but it is a wide band receiver (136-174) and it can be fun to scan the local public service frequencies, in addition to its main function as a ham radio.

A Kenwood TR-7950 2 meter Transceiver Ham Radio might be a good choice as decent base unit, and might work out fine for someone just starting out in the hobby, but is probably more expensive than a run-of-the mill transceiver. But, you do get what you pay for, and I always seek out the higher-quality units, even if I have to pay a little extra. I’m rarely disappointed, though. With a maximum of 45 watts power,the Kenwood has 21 memory channels, a scan feature, and an auto repeater offset.This one I noticed was a bargain at under $150, and it was refurbished by a detail-oriented hobbyist. This is a unit that probably would have satisfied me.

Don’t be fearful of buying a used ham radio. Just be sure you are well-informed, ask lots of questions and definitely make sure you always purchase from a reputable seller.

Source by Sam Gentry