Friday, June 17, 2011

Pick me up an HT on the way home!

It's a rainy lunchtime in London and I just popped over to the City branch of Maplin to pick up a few connectors for something I want to do at the weekend. Whilst I was in there I had a look around.

To my surprise, under the communication section was a 144MHz handheld for about £90. It's badged Moonraker, but I'm guessing it is one of the many radios finding their way to our market from China. Doubtless the quality isn't going to be quite as good as one as one that you'd pay two or three times the price for, but at that price it would be worth trying.

What excites me about seeing equipment available so readily and as cheaply is that it has the potential to tempt people to take their first steps in amateur radio - or even to return to the hobby.

I've worked quite a number of people who had dropped out of the hobby over the years, but had seen the budget priced transceivers and been tempted to pick one up and try it out.

If you've got a ham licence, but no transceiver - why not give one a go! Amateur radio is much more than an HT - but every journey has to start somewhere!


Tim M0AFJ said...

I would hope that Maplins ask to see your licence before selling the rig..., or am I asking to much???
No wonder we have taxi firms etc using 2M

Ben said...

Oh no. Why did you buy it at Maplins? If you go on ebay, you can get a dual bander for less from China. Have a look here for example:
I'm considering getting one of them as my first rig when I get round to doing my license.

Tim said...

Hi Ben,

Actually, I didn't buy one! I know you can get cheaper stuff on eBay. It's more the fact that the rig is in front of people in a 'high street' store that interested me. Thought it might just prompt someone to have a go - perhaps resurrecting an old licence or doing the foundation course - just by being there!

The Wouxuns are good value and seem to work well and lots of good feedback on some of the other Chinese rigs too.

Good luck getting your licence - hope you do soon and will look forward to speaking to you on air!



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