Best Ham Radio Base Station for 2018 | Top 5 Transceiver Reviewed

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.  

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 best 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.

Preview

Product

Shipping Weight

Dimensions

Price

Kenwood TS-2000

21 pounds

10.6 x 12.5 x 3.8 inches

ICom IC-7300

...

...

Kenwood TS-480HX

14 pounds

12 x 4 x 6 inches

Editor's Choice

Icom IC-718

11.65 pounds

9.4 x 9.4 x 3.7 inches

Yaesu FT-450D

12.9 pounds

16 x 12.8 x 7.8 inches

Top 5 Best Ham Radio Base Station - Review

1. Kenwood TS-2000 Amateur Base Transceiver 100 Watts

The Kenwood TS-2000 is simply an awesome base transceiver. This is a high performance device which has stage DSP on its main board and AF stage DSP on sub-board. This satellite ready device has trnsverter frequency display that added more value to the base station.

TS-2000 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.

Kenwood TS-2000 is a multi-band, multi-mode transceiver. The TS-2000 is a dual band and dual receive base station. There are 5+1 antenna ports. One for HF receive, 2 for HF and 6m, 1 for 1.2 GHz option, 1 for 70 cm and another 1 for 2m. The device comes with built in RS-232 which lets you to operate the device with computer control. On the other hand, built in 0.5PPM TCXO; DCS and CTCSS added more value to the device. There are built in Auto Tuner HF through 6m and TNC for DX/KSS packet cluster tune too. The station also offers electronic memory keyer world. Additionally, this one is capable for cross band repeat. The device has 100 W output on HF.  The dimension of the product is 10.6x12.5x3.8 inches.

What we liked

  • Dual band & dual receive base station;
  • 5+1 antenna ports;
  • Built in RS-232; Digital filtering;
  • Satellite ready transceiver;
  • Multi mode transceiver.

What we didn't like

  • The setup is not innovative. You need to completely finish the manual before starting.

2. Icom IC-7300 Radio Base Station 100 Watts

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.

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

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

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.

Editor's Choice

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

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.

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.

best ham radio base station

https://commons.wikimedia.org

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.

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!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 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

Leave a Reply: