Build your own equipment
It’s fun and rewarding
The fullest enjoyment of amateur radio involves experimentation with the elements that make up the amateur operator’s station. While it is not a requirement that amateurs build their own equipment, it is very common that operators have “home brewed’ part of their station. Of course it is possible to buy all the bits and pieces and operate with a fully plug’n’play set of amateur radio equipment.
If the operator has the capability to carry out simple soldering and construction projects, often equipment elements such as coaxial cable and DC connections will be amongst the first projects . If the operator needs to obtain these skills other amateurs and amateur radio clubs are always willing to provide training and assistance.
Another area of construction is in the area of antennas for the home station, mobile and field operations. In these areas of construction, the ability and skill to measure and adjust antennas performance becomes a prerequisite. Again it is possible to have such equipment installed on a plug’n’play basis or assistance can be obtained from other amateurs to ensure the appropriate skills and equipment are used in completing the task.
Perhaps the highest skill is required in the construction of receivers and transmitters for operation in the amateur bands. Particularly with low power station equipment it is quite common to find amateurs building their own transceivers using in some instances kits designed for construction by the amateur. This level of construction requires a higher level of skill, and access to appropriate test equipment is a prerequisite. With the development of modern amateur radios with sophisticated circuitry for signal processing, reliability and ease of operation there has been a decrease in amateur construction of transcievers and it is rare today to find the main station radios home constructed.