I am new to HAM radio. What is the best setup for me?

I recently got my Ham radio license. I was wondering what a good equipment set up for me would be? I am looking for something that is simple to use but will still be useful to me when I become more experienced. Any suggestions?
All you really need is a single band radio, a good 2m. Good brands are of course Yaesu, Icom, and Kenwood (among others)...however, a dual band (2m/70cm) would be ideal, just for versatility. Prices have really come down, so getting a good quality dual-band you like shouldn't be too difficult. I know a lot of people (including some in the chat), who have dual-band mobile setups...hopefully they'd like to share.

I have a Yasesu FT-8900R quad-band radio and Comet UHV-4 quad-band antenna, and the reception is really good. Though I've hardly used it for talking, it's a nice radio. Probably best to listen to more experienced hams on this matter, but I highly recommend at least a dual-band.

edit: Some links...

www.eham.net - absolutely fantabulous site for reviews.

Some well-known dual-bands:

Icom IC-208H - $309

Icom IC-2720H - $379

Kenwood TM-D700A $479*

Kenwood TM-G707A - $269

Yaesu FT-7800R - $239*

Yaesu FT-8800R - $369*

edit2: Some previous ST threads...

Mobile 2m antenna mounts

What do you use for a radio?
The best way to learn about what may be the best set up for you is to ralk to other hams. You can get involved in local radio clubs or just contact other hams in your area via the local nets. Another way to actually look at different types of radios (other than visit a store which may only carry a limited number of makes and models) is to go to 'hamfests' in your area. Local hams can let you know where and when they are held. You can also find some of the hamfests through www.arrl.org/hamfests.html or the QRZ.com site http://www.qrz.com/ib-bin/ikonboard.cgi?;act=SF;f=6

Good luck and welcome to ham radio.
I have a Kenwood TMG-707A. It is an excellent radio, and is very small. It is a dual bander with 50/35 watts output. My only complaint is that it doesn't scan very fast. I also have a remote mount so I can seperate the control head from the main unit.

It has been a great radio for me, and is very easy to use in the field.
If you go through a club, you can often find great deals on gear... or listen for the local "swapnet" on a repeater. It may be used equipment, but it'll get you on the air.

Also, (unfortunately) you can get some bargains from estate sales. A local ham became a Silent Key (that's the term for passin' on) and his wife is auctioning off his gear.

It looks like this next week, I'll be picking up an Icom 2m handheld, tested and working well, for $20.

73, and welcome to ham radio!

Morgan K5TVT
Well, after nine days of waiting anxiously I finally recieved my Call Sign. Say hello to KC0TOP.

Thanks Caleb, Brad, Paul, and Morgan for the info. I plan on buying an ICOM IC-V8000. It seems like it should be more than enough to do the job right now.

Thanks again,
Congratulations Darin! I have a feeling you're going to get some people who think you're talking from NWS Topeka with the call KCØTOP :D

73 de Tim, KCØMDC

Back in 1993, I had to wait around five months to get my ticket, which was KC5GPG. This was a few years after the code requirement was dropped for the Tech license, and just prior to the ham licensing system being fully computerized.

And no internet database to keep watch over. One day after school, right before summer vacation, my grandmother put the mail on the counter, and said there was an "official looking letter" in there for me. I ripped it open like Christmas morning.

Because I had already had my HT for nearly five months.

Congrats, and 73.

BTW, that really IS a great call. Repeating it, it seems to roll off the tongue.... that and the Topeka thing being in KS!

Morgan K5TVT
WoW! and I thought nine days was a long time.

Yeah I am very happy with the call sign that I got. I didn't even think about it sounding good, but Morgan you are right. I like the Topeka abbreviation on the end although it may cause some confusion as Tim mentioned above. I am about 25 miles from Topeka here in Lawrence and I grew up in the small town of Rossville, KS which is about 20 miles west of Topeka. So the call sign is very representative of where I am from. It almost seems to me like I recieved a vanity sign without asking for one. A couple of people have already misread KC0TOP for KC0TOR. That would be even cooler!

Everyone - please use the other forums for casual conversation. All comments in the FAQ/Newbie forum must squarely address the original question. There has been too much drift in this thread.