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!