Handhelds With HF?

Since I'm brand-new to the world of ham radio (almost ready to write my exam), I guess I'm at risk of asking a stupid question, but here goes anyhow. Why have I found it impossible to find anyone who sells a handheld with HF? If I get at least 80% on the basic exam here, I get HF privileges without upgrades.
 
Such a beast doesn't exist...mostly due to the size of the RF equipment. The military has some neat stuff, but it's not on the civilian market.

There are very small HF radios, such as the Yaesu FT-817, that are very portable and easy to take anywhere.
 
I would caution you to consider that the 817, or a handheld if you should find one, presents a very low powered option. 5 watts can be sufficient to make contact, people do it all the time, but the setup would be very dependent on a highly efficient antenna system. There are a few handhelds out there that offer a 6-meter option (considered to be VHF), but even they fall victim to low power and end up being of more use when a 6m repeater is present.

As a beginner, I found it very difficult to learn the intricate nature of the HF bands when dealing with minimal power. I'm still no seasoned veteran, but I've come to better understand the beast of HF communications, and this has allowed me to use lower levels of power. Starting out I would encourage you to look at a radio with the capability of running 100w.
 
I think one of the biggest reasons why there aren't more HF HTs if because of the antenna requirement. At such high frequencies / low wavelengths, most HF antennae are relatively long, which presents an obvious problem for handhelds / HTs. It sometimes tough enough to get a good mobile HF solution, particularly below 10m (in the 20+m range), so I'd imagine that a handheld HF would be particularly difficult to operate well in the HF range. FWIW, I'm only a no-code tech, so I have zero experience in HF.
 
Thanks for all the info, guys. There's just so much to learn, that it's a bit overwhelming at times. I rather like the Yaesu unit that was mentioned, but its output is definitely a questionable feature.

How practical would it be to pump up this radio with a linear amplifier, while using it in "base" mode?
 
John, you're definitely correct, it can be overwhelming in the beginning. I know it was for me too. It's definitely fun to get the license and learn as you go, in a practical environment. Don't worry, we all have gone through it :) Certainly keep asking questions to find out others experiences and opinions.

Lots of folks have used handhelds (HT) paired with amplifiers to reach more effective power levels. However, I'm of the opinion that by the time you spend the money on a handheld AND an amplifier you could have a decent mobile rig and power supply to use as a base station. If you set things up right, you could move that radio from base station to mobile with little effort when you were up for making a trip and wanted to take the radio along. That's all my own opinion though, and it will ultimately be up to your wants ;)
 
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