Best Ham Radio Base Station for 2019 | Top 7 Transceiver Reviewed

Icom IC-7300 Radio Base Station

You know what, ham radio is the passport of the wireless world where you can communicate with other people locally, nationally, internationally or even in the space. And the important thing is you don’t need to pay for it. Isn’t it amazing? And a ham radio base station helps to intercept the signals important messages when other networks fail. Generally, the ham radio uses the strongest network which still works when the cell phone networks go out of service.

Ham base stations are little bit complex as they have more features & functions than handheld and mobile radios. That means you need to have pretty much clear idea about it while buying or you’ll end up with a wrong one.

But don’t worry!

When you get your license from the FCC for the ham radio operator, you will then able to figure out which features do you need most. However, as it’s a difficult task to find out the best one out of many different models, we have come to help you. We have reviewed some of the best ham radio base stations so that you can find out the right one for you that has most important features that suits you. We reviewed according our experience on base stations. And additionally, we have also included buying guide and maintenance for transceiver base station. Our top picks comparison are below:

Preview
Galaxy DX-2517 Base Station 10 Meter Radio
Editor’s Choice
Icom IC-7300 HF/50 MHz Base Transceiver with Touch Screen Color TFT LCD, 100 Watts, and Ham Guides...
Kenwood TS-480HX HF/50 MHz Amateur Base Transceiver 200 Watts - Original Kenwood
Best Price
Icom IC-718 HF All Band Amateur Base Transceiver 100 Watts - Original Icom USA
Yaesu Original FT-450D HF/50MHz Compact Amateur Base Transceiver - 100 Watts, IF DSP Technology
Yaesu FT-857D Amateur Radio Transceiver - HF, VHF, UHF All-Mode 100W Remote Head Capability
Product
Galaxy DX-2517 Base Station 10 Meter Radio
Icom IC-7300 HF/50 MHz Base Transceiver with Touch Screen Color TFT LCD, 100 Watts, and Ham Guides...
Kenwood TS-480HX HF/50 MHz Amateur Base Transceiver 200 Watts - Original Kenwood
Icom IC-718 HF All Band Amateur Base Transceiver 100 Watts - Original Icom USA
Yaesu Original FT-450D HF/50MHz Compact Amateur Base Transceiver - 100 Watts, IF DSP Technology
Yaesu FT-857D Amateur Radio Transceiver - HF, VHF, UHF All-Mode 100W Remote Head Capability
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
-
Preview
Galaxy DX-2517 Base Station 10 Meter Radio
Product
Galaxy DX-2517 Base Station 10 Meter Radio
Star Rating
Prime Status
Editor’s Choice
Preview
Icom IC-7300 HF/50 MHz Base Transceiver with Touch Screen Color TFT LCD, 100 Watts, and Ham Guides...
Product
Icom IC-7300 HF/50 MHz Base Transceiver with Touch Screen Color TFT LCD, 100 Watts, and Ham Guides...
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
Preview
Kenwood TS-480HX HF/50 MHz Amateur Base Transceiver 200 Watts - Original Kenwood
Product
Kenwood TS-480HX HF/50 MHz Amateur Base Transceiver 200 Watts - Original Kenwood
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
Best Price
Preview
Icom IC-718 HF All Band Amateur Base Transceiver 100 Watts - Original Icom USA
Product
Icom IC-718 HF All Band Amateur Base Transceiver 100 Watts - Original Icom USA
Star Rating
Prime Status
Preview
Yaesu Original FT-450D HF/50MHz Compact Amateur Base Transceiver - 100 Watts, IF DSP Technology
Product
Yaesu Original FT-450D HF/50MHz Compact Amateur Base Transceiver - 100 Watts, IF DSP Technology
Star Rating
Prime Status
Preview
Yaesu FT-857D Amateur Radio Transceiver - HF, VHF, UHF All-Mode 100W Remote Head Capability
Product
Yaesu FT-857D Amateur Radio Transceiver - HF, VHF, UHF All-Mode 100W Remote Head Capability
Star Rating
Prime Status

What is Ham Base Radio Station

Ham radio base station is also known as amateur radio base station. So if you want to have a great performance, you need amateur band frequency to operate it.

The reason it is called amateur is it is mainly used for noncommercial or private purposes. You can use it for voice communication, radio teletype, Morse code, image transmission and many other purposes.

Top 7 Best Ham Radio Base Station - Review

1. Icom IC-7300 Radio Base Station 100 Watts [Editor’s Choice]

Icom IC-7300 Radio Base Station
94%
Our Score

The ICom IC-7300 is an innovative base transceiver. This is a wonderful transceiver in its category. The device has 4.3 inches TFT touch LCD color display. The touch display lets you to operate the settings, functions and other operational visual aids easily. Additionally, this screen offers various visual effects such as waterfall function. The screen also helps by showing various useful information such as signal strength, high end rings etc.

The device also has ability to find weak signal that spectrum scope may not finds. The Icon IC-7300 is a 100W HF transceiver. This one has 30 KHz- 74.8 MHz receive coverage. The device has some amazing and useful features too. Direct RF sampling system is one of them. The new “IP+” ability improves the performance. Additionally, the Phase Noise Characteristics and RMDR are too good for a base station. You may wonder by knowing that the station has 101 channels. 99 of them are regular and 2 are scan edge. This base station also offers 15 discrete band pass filters for better performance.

The IC-7300 has real time spectrum scope. It has Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) scope system with maximum 30 frames per second sweep speed and 5 KHz- 1000 KHz span width. However, this pretty good transceiver presents you averaging indication feature, video band width (VBW) adjustment feature, multi function feature, built in cooling fan, SD card slot, SSB, FM, AM, CW, RTTY modes, built in antenna tuner function and many more.

What we liked

  • Large LCD color touch display;
  • 101 channels (2 scan eedge+99 regular);
  • Multi function meter;
  • Automatic antenna tuner;
  • Audio scoop; waterfall function;
  • Cooling fan facility.

What we didn't like

  • No noticeable con.

2. HYS TC-978 HF All Band Amateur Base Transceiver

HYS TC-978 HF All Band Amateur Base Transceiver
88%
Our Score

The HYS TC-978 HF SDR Transceiver is simply an awesome base transceiver. This is a high performance device. This satellite ready device has trnsverter frequency display that added more value to the base station.

HYS TC-978 has digital filtering. This feature reliefs you from extra spending of money as it’s a complete device for which you doesn’t need to buy any extra expensive options. This all new machine offers most demanding standard amateur high performance radio operation without compromising the limitations.

HYS TC-978 is a multi-band, multi-mode transceiver. The HYS TC-978 is a dual band and dual receive base station. It's antenna impedance - 50Ω. Frequency range - RX/TX: 1.8-30MHz. The device comes with built in receiving sensitivity - <-95dBm which lets you to operate the device with computer control. On the other hand, built in minimum frequency step - 1Hz added more value to the device. The station also offers electronic memory keyer world. Additionally, this one is capable for cross band repeat. The dimension of the product is (W × H × D) - 208×81.09×73.2mm.

What we liked

  • Spectrum dynamic waterfall display;
  • Built in transmit signal strength display table;
  • Satellite ready transceiver;
  • Multi mode transceiver.

What we didn't like

  • No noticeable cons .

3. Kenwood TS-480HX Amateur Base Transceiver 200 Watts

Amateur Base Transceiver 200 Watts
92%
Our Score

The Kenwood TS-480HX is the perfect choice for capabilities of greatest broadcasting range in ham radio. The transceiver has 200W output which is so powerful and able to do bigger things. The device uses 16 bit digital signal processing AF of RX/TX which provides high quality performance. 

This 480HX provides continuous RX of 500 KHz- 60MHz and the TX covers 1.8MHz- 50MHZ all amateur bands. Additionally, the device has separate control panel which is of LCD and along with speaker.

The device is able to receive signals from further away where others can’t. That’s why the TS-480HX is so popular among the users. This one has 50 AMP non switching power supply and 6-160 meters bands. Another special feature is, the package has antenna tuner. The ambient noise feature provides you clearer sound quality.

You can also operate the TS-480HX with your computer if you have Fldigi computer program. The software lets you control the transceiver with the PC. The software controls the radio by the PC through a serial port connection. On the other hand, you can use SignaLink USB to both receive and send your encrypted email by the radio in case if you lose the internet connection.

What we liked

  • Powerful 200W output supply with 13.8V DC supply;
  • Comes with built in antenna tuner;
  • Offers separate control panel;
  • Digital signal processing of 16 bit AF;
  • Ambient noise feature for easier reaching.

What we didn't like

  • You need an extra 75 AMP power supply for using full 200W capability.

4. Icom IC-718 HF Base Station 100 Watts

IC-718 HF Base Station 100 Watts
93%
Our Score

The Icom IC-718 is one of the best high frequency radio transceiver worth of money. This station is capable to cover all amateur bands of America very well. The device has DC power source of 12 volt. This one serves you effectively in emergency situations. This package has general coverage capability of 0.03-30 MHz (0.5- 29.99 MHz guaranteed range) and 101 available memory channels. Additionally, IC-718 has built in LSB, CW, RTTY, USB and AM modes.

The DSP of the device offers you a superior receiver quality. Besides, the transceiver presents adjustable noise blanker along with various scanning functions, pre amplifier and RF attenuator. The attenuator protects highly sensitive measuring equipments. The dimension of the device is 9.4x9.4x3.7 inches, isn’t it compact?

The IC-718 offers the easiest operation in its category. The radio is able to receive 10, 20, 40, 80 and 160 meter transmit bands. Another amazing feature of the device is, when you hit a noisy band, the device brings down the amplitude of the signal without distorting. And, the device has user friendly menu layout which is very user friendly and people found it very useful. Oh, I forgot to say about notch filter. This feature removes the “offending operators” from the audio stream when somebody doesn’t know the tune up better.

What we liked

  • High frequency radio transceiver worth of money;
  • Easier operation than others;
  • Offers auto notch filter for better tune;
  • Ergonomic design, user friendly menu layout;
  • Available 101 memory channels.

What we didn't like

  • Sometimes the DSP distorts audio signal.

5. Yaesu Original FT-450D Compact Transceiver 100 Watts

Yaesu Original FT-450D Compact Transceiver
92%
Our Score

The Yaesu FT-450D is surely an excellent base transceiver for the beginners. This one is a 100 Watt power output based station with 6- 160 meter range. The device has fast IF Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology with 400 MHz. it is able to receive 30 KHz- 54 MHz continuously including all AM broadcast & Shortwave.

This one has built in automatic antenna tuner along with 300 & 500 Hz CW filters and CTCSS. So, the operation is too easy to operate. This is a compact transceiver with 16x12.8x7.8 inches dimension. This one is really a perfect choise for them who want to communicate locally and nationally. The Very High Frequency (VHF) range has added extra value to the transceiver.  

The FT-450D has a long lasting ergonomic design and good quality display for easier controlling. And this is a highly compatible with any nearly antenna. You may also use an extra SDR for boosting the radio performance. The display shows amazing waterfall image according to the frequency spectrum which one helps to tune the faint signal very precisely on one click. The owner of the device could reach opposite side of the world easily by using the half wave dipole through the transceiver.

What we liked

  • Long lasting design, good quality display;
  • Excellent portable transceiver for beginners;
  • Offers high quality DSP (Digital Signal Processing);
  • Highly compatible device with any nearly antenna;
  • Fast DPS technology, built in automatic antenna tuner.

What we didn't like

  • Internal automatic tuner is limited.

6. DX-2517 Base Station 10 Meter Radio from Galaxy

DX-2517 Base Station 10 Meter Radio from Galaxy
90%
Our Score

Basically, this base station arrives as a 10m radio. But it is capable to upgrade to an 11m one with some fine tuning and modulation. The tutorial to do so is available on the Galaxy website and so as in youtube. This way, you will able to receive all the channels for 10 and 11-meter radios. Be sure to get an amateur technician license before purchasing this radio. 

The features are basic and really easy to use. The price is also budget friendly. The problem is, it didn’t arrive well tuned. Tuning this radio was not a problem, but you must know how to operate a base station and exactly what you are doing.

My experience of using this Galaxy radio was nothing extraordinary. But I have heard stories to giving out after months of usage. But the sound quality, transmission, and reception are pretty impressive. If you are looking for a base radio to cover only CB and FM radios, then I think this unit will not cause any problem.

Things We Liked

  • Easy to use;
  • Easy to convert;
  • Inexpensive;
  • Poorly tuned frequency.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • May not be long-lasting.

7. Yaesu FT-857D Amateur Radio Transceiver

Yaesu Original All Mode Transceiver - 100 Watts
89%
Our Score

With 160-meter width, you will be able to communicate almost any channel exists. It is an MF/HF/VHF/UHF amateur transceiver, so it eliminates purchasing multiple radios to catch different types of signals. That makes spending on this model is more economical and reasonable.  Yaesu FT-857D is now every radio enthusiast's dream; read the review ahead and you may want your dream come true. 

The touch screen display is handy to operate countless features easily. It lets you shuffle through different modes, frequencies even location of signals and channels. Waterfall display shows the location and intensity of the signals you are receiving.

The base station is made rugged and durable. It is pricey but eliminates the need for having several devices at once. Besides, the 3 years long warranty and well responsive customer service make your investment over this radio more logical and promising.

Things We Liked

  • Touch screen display;
  • Long warranty;
  • Efficient operation;
  • MF/HF/VHF/UHF amateur transceiver.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No cons.

Buying Guide: Ham Radio Base Station

Finding the best one from many models wasn’t easy ever. Buying a radio base station isn’t different too. Well, though we reviewed most desired models, but you may want to buy other models too. If you want to, then you need to know and look after some features before buying a base transceiver. Let’s have a look-

Transmission Range:

Frequency transmission range is the main and most important feature of a base station. Different model offers different frequency range. The wider the transmission is, the better the ability is. So, according to your usage, choose one that has the range you really need.

Longevity:

Longevity is another important fact. You buy a product and of course you want to use it for a long time. That’s why build quality is too important for a product. A long lasting product serves enough worth of the money. You need to check it before buying.

Design & Quality:

A compact device is better than others. Additionally, an elegant design and better quality add extra value to the product. So you must give attention to them. And try to get that one which has user friendly menus layout. Also, touch screen based device easier to operate.

Operation:

Well, operation is another important matter about base transceiver. An easier operation helps a lot beginners and during emergency situation. Besides, PC controlled operation helps very effectively to communicate by the computer through the transceiver when you have no internet connection.

Performance:

Performance, yes, it’s the overall condition of a device. You may look the customer and user experience over the product before buying. It will help you to choose the best one. A product that has great performance is highly helpful. So, don’t forget to check the whenever you need to buy a new one.

Special Features:

Every model offers various special features than others. You should check all the special features after considering the majors to ensure that which model suits you most. Thinks wisely about the feature and go for that one which has the most suitable features that you really need. They offer various features such as PC controlling, waterfall imaging, multi modes, touch screen, digital signal processing etc.

best ham radio base station

https://commons.wikimedia.org

FAQs

Q: Who uses ham radios base station?

Ans: there are no such rules or restrictions about using ham radio base station. Base stations for ham radios are available all over the world, so anybody can use ham radio base station easily from anywhere.

Q: What type of ham radio licenses are available?

Ans: Well, there are 3 types of ham radio license available, General, Technical and Amateur Extra. To achieve any of these licenses, you need to participate and pass an exam.

Q: Why the ham radio base station is different from others?

Ans: Ham radio base station is different in size, setting, operational technology and also in price from a mobile & handheld.

Such as, mobile sets are mainly used in vehicles and handhelds are in hand & with belt clip. But you need to install this base station in your workplace or home and they are kind of permanent.

The size of these base station is large and they are also heavy than other two base station.

Conclusion: 

Well, hope you have read this entire best ham radio transceiver review from us. These entire 5 base stations very good quality devices and user friendly. However, we gave the priority to the consideration that most operators are serious about. We gave priority to consistently high quality sound quality and best transmission range.

After considering the major requirements, we looked after other options and specials features. Hope that, all class operators of ham radio will find these transceiver stations very user friendly and useful as well. Though choosing the bests from various models wasn’t too easy, but we did. You can now find the suitable one from them for you easily. Good luck!

If you liked the post, please leave your feedback.

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Frank

Do I need a license to operate a ham radio?

Reply
    admin

    Thanks Frank. No License is required to purchase the equipment, nor to Monitor (listen) to the many Amateur (Ham) Radio frequencies. However, an FCC License is required to Transmit on Amateur Radio Frequencies in the USA.

    Reply
Brian

That is not a picture of the Yaesu FT-991A (which is a base station). That is a FT-857D (a mobile unit).

Reply
    admin

    Thanks a lot Brian.

    Reply

Leave a Reply: