Even though it’s largely been overshadowed by the Internet in recent decades, ham radio – also known as amateur radio – is still a hobby enjoyed by millions of people. While it may not be as readily-accessible as online chat rooms and fan groups, ham radio is a fun way to connect with new people and make friends. After obtaining a ham radio operator’s license, you’ll be able to purchase your first console, of which there are two main types: prebuilt and custom-built. There’s no denying that buying a prebuilt console carries certain advantages, but as you’ll find, custom-built consoles represent a smarter buy for ham radio experts and novices alike.
Getting Exactly What You Want
When buying a prebuilt ham radio console, you’ll have no say over the casing, core components or other important parts. Since these consoles have already been built, what you see is what you get – and if you have a problem with any of the manufacturer’s design choices, you’re simply out of luck. Conversely, when investing in a custom-built console, you’ll have complete control over every aspect of your new console. Sure, the person building the console will make recommendations, but at the end of the day, what you say goes. This ensures that you’ll be able to outfit your new console with the finest directional coupler, responsive antennas and other high-quality ham radio components.
While your console is being built, a good console creator will seek to keep you informed and educate you on your investment. He or she should be able to cogently explain why certain parts are better choices than others, as well as what makes these parts good additions to your particular console. Even if you’ve already obtained an advanced-level operator’s license, this represents a solid opportunity to learn more about your new hobby.
Receiving Ongoing Support
Many custom console builders are more than willing to stand by their products. This means that if something goes wrong with your console, you’ll be able to receive advice directly from the person who built it – which is generally more convenient than trying to get in touch with a large-scale manufacturer.
Whether you’re purchasing your first ham radio console or your tenth, hammers have a fair number of options from which to choose. While it’s true that prebuilt consoles are less pricey than their custom-built contemporaries, the latter is ultimately a wiser investment. Anyone on the fence about going the custom-built route is urged to consider the previously discussed perks.