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Having the best ham radio accessories is crucial for ham radio operators to communicate effectively. In this article, we will be discussing the top 10 must-have accessories for any ham radio operator.

Whether you’re a seasoned operator or just starting out, these accessories will enhance your setup and improve your communication experience. From improving signal strength to reducing interference, each accessory plays a vital role in ensuring seamless and efficient operation.

Join us as we explore the diverse range of accessories that every ham radio operator should consider investing in. From antenna tuners to noise-canceling headphones, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and discover the best ham radio accessories that will take your amateur radio experience to the next level.

Best Ham Radio Accessories Astron Power Supply

astron power supply

The Astron RS-35A is a linear DC power supply produced by Astron Corporation, a manufacturer of power supplies for amateur radio, commercial, and industrial applications. Here are some key features and of the Astron RS-35A:


  1. Output Voltage: The RS-35A provides a regulated DC output voltage of 13.8 volts. Which is commonly used in amateur radio and other electronics applications.
  2. Output Current: It is capable of delivering up to 35 amps of continuous current, making it suitable for powering a wide range of devices, including transceivers, amplifiers, and other radio equipment.
  3. Linear Design: Unlike switch-mode power supplies, which are more efficient but can produce radio frequency interference (RFI). The RS-35A features a linear design that minimizes RFI, making it particularly suitable for use in radio communication environments.
  4. Overload Protection: The power supply is equipped with overload protection circuitry to safeguard against excessive current draw or short circuits, helping to protect both the power supply and connected equipment.
  5. Compact Size: The RS-35A comes in a sturdy metal enclosure designed to be suitable for use in various environments. Including mobile and base station installations.
  6. Cooling: It typically includes a built-in cooling fan or fans to ensure proper heat dissipation during operation, helping to maintain reliability and prolong the lifespan of the unit.
  7. Voltage Adjustment: Some models of the RS-35A may feature a voltage adjustment knob or trimmer potentiometer. This allows the user to fine-tune the output voltage within a certain range.
  8. Usage: The Astron RS-35A is widely used by amateur radio operators (“hams”) for their radio equipment. However, it can also be utilized in various other applications requiring a regulated DC power supply.

Best Ham Radio Accessories Antenna Tuner

An antenna tuner is an essential accessory for any ham radio operator. Its primary function is to match the impedance between your radio and antenna. The result is improved signal strength with reduced noise.

The impedance mismatch between your radio and antenna can cause signal loss and a decrease performance of your communication setup. An antenna tuner helps overcome this issue by adjusting the impedance of your antenna system to match your radio’s requirements. This ensures that maximum power is transferred from the radio to the antenna, leading to improved signal transmission.

By improving the matching of impedance, an antenna tuner allows your radio to operate at its peak efficiency, maximizing the range and clarity of your communications. This is especially important in situations where your antenna might not be perfectly tuned.

Another notable benefit of using an antenna tuner is the reduction of noise. When the impedance mismatch is corrected, unwanted noise and interference are minimized. As a result, better reception and a clearer overall signal.

Overall, an antenna tuner is a valuable accessory for any ham radio operator. It helps optimize signal strength, increase communication range, and reduce noise for better overall performance.

Key Features of an Antenna Tuner

Impedance MatchingAdjusts the impedance between the radio and antenna for optimal performance.
Signal Strength ImprovementEnhances the efficiency of the antenna system, resulting in improved signal strength.
Noise ReductionMinimizes unwanted noise and interference for clearer communications.
Broad Band SupportCompatible with a wide range of frequencies and bands for versatile use.
Compact and PortableDesigned for easy transport and use in various locations.

Best Ham Radio Accessories Antenna Analyzer

When it comes to optimizing your antenna performance, an antenna analyzer is an invaluable tool. This device allows you to measure the performance of your antenna, giving you insights into its efficiency and identifying any problems that may be affecting its performance.

With an antenna analyzer, you can measure important parameters such as impedance, SWR (Standing Wave Ratio), and return loss. These measurements provide valuable information about the resonance and tuning of your antenna system.

Measure Antenna Performance

By using an antenna analyzer, you can accurately assess the performance of your antenna across different frequencies. This allows you to optimize your antenna for specific bands and ensure that it is working efficiently.

  • Measure SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) to analyze how well your antenna is matched to your radio. A low SWR indicates a good match, while a high SWR may suggest a mismatch that can lead to reduced performance and potential damage to your radio.
  • Measure return loss to evaluate the amount of power that is being reflected back from the antenna. A higher return loss indicates better performance and less wasted energy.
  • Measure impedance to determine the resistance and reactance of your antenna system, which helps in optimizing its efficiency.

Make Necessary Adjustments

The data provided by an antenna analyzer allows you to identify any issues with your antenna and make the necessary adjustments to improve its performance.

“An antenna analyzer helps you fine-tune your antenna system, ensuring optimal performance and maximizing the effectiveness of your radio communication.”

Based on the measurements and analysis, you can make adjustments such as altering the length of your antenna elements. Furthermore, adjusting the position of radials, or fine-tuning your antenna tuner will achieve better resonance and impedance matching.

Having the ability to measure and adjust your antenna system not only improves its performance. It also enhances your overall ham radio experience. Taking the time to optimize your antenna setup will enable you to communicate more effectively.

Best Ham Radio Accessories Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise cancelling headphones are an essential accessory for every ham radio operator. They offer a range of benefits that enhance the overall radio communication experience.

One of the key advantages of noise cancelling headphones is their ability to reduce outside noise. These headphones are equipped with advanced technology that actively blocks or cancels out external sounds, allowing you to focus on the communication at hand without distractions. Whether you’re operating in a crowded environment or dealing with background noises, noise cancelling headphones can significantly improve the clarity of incoming signals.

In addition to reducing outside noise, these headphones also provide better sound quality. With noise cancelling capabilities, you can enjoy clearer and more detailed audio, enabling you to pick up even the faintest signals. This is especially beneficial when communicating in challenging conditions or listening to weak transmissions.

Noise cancelling headphones also offer the advantage of allowing for communication without disturbing others. The headphones direct the sound directly into your ears, limiting the spread of any audio to those around you. This feature is particularly useful when operating in noise-sensitive environments or when the radio communication needs to remain private.

To fully understand the benefits of noise cancelling headphones, let’s take a look at a comparison table:

Noise Cancelling HeadphonesRegular Headphones
Reduce outside noiseDo not reduce outside noise
Better sound qualityStandard sound quality
Allows for communication without disturbing othersSound may spread to surrounding area

As you can see, noise cancelling headphones are a valuable addition to any ham radio operator’s setup. Not only do they reduce outside noise and improve sound quality, but they also provide the convenience of private communication. Investing in a pair of noise cancelling headphones can greatly enhance your radio communication experience.

Best Ham Radio Accessories SWR Meter

An SWR meter is a crucial tool for any ham radio operator. It allows you to measure the efficiency of your antenna system, ensuring optimal performance. By measuring the Standing Wave Ratio (SWR), you can identify any problems with your antenna and make the necessary adjustments to improve its efficiency.

High SWR values indicate that your antenna is not properly matched to your radio, resulting in signal loss and potential damage to your equipment. Conversely, low SWR values indicate a well-matched antenna, resulting in efficient transmission and reception of signals.

With an SWR meter, you can measure and monitor the SWR levels of your antenna system, allowing you to fine-tune your setup for maximum performance. By identifying and resolving any antenna problems, you can ensure that your radio signals are transmitted and received effectively, minimizing interference and maximizing communication range.

Measure Antenna Efficiency

The primary function of an SWR meter is to measure the efficiency of your antenna. By measuring the SWR ratio, you can determine how well your antenna is transmitting and receiving signals. A low SWR ratio indicates an efficient antenna system, while a high SWR ratio indicates potential issues that need to be addressed.

Using an SWR meter, you can assess the performance of your antenna and make necessary adjustments to optimize its efficiency.

Identify Antenna Problems

Another key benefit of using an SWR meter is the ability to identify antenna problems. High SWR ratios can indicate issues such as poor antenna placement, improper grounding, or damaged components. By pinpointing these problems, you can take corrective measures to improve your antenna’s performance.

An SWR meter helps you identify antenna problems such as mismatched impedance or faulty connections, enabling you to address these issues promptly and effectively.

Make Necessary Adjustments

Once you have identified any antenna problems using an SWR meter, you can make the necessary adjustments to optimize your system. This may involve adjusting the length of the antenna, repositioning it for better placement, or improving grounding and connections.

By fine-tuning your antenna system based on the SWR meter readings, you can achieve better signal strength, reduce noise, and enhance overall performance.

Best Ham Radio Accessories: Dummy Load

A dummy load is a valuable accessory for any ham radio operator, allowing you to test and tune your radio without transmitting a signal on-air. This device simulates an antenna without actually broadcasting the signal, providing a safe and controlled environment for radio adjustments.

Using a dummy load is essential when you need to make adjustments to your radio’s settings. In addition to optimizing transmitter power, checking for frequency response, or examining audio quality. By connecting the dummy load to your radio, you can simulate the load the transmitter would experience with an antenna.

With a dummy load, you can safely test and fine-tune your radio’s performance. Additionally, ensuring that it operates at its best without interfering with other radio operators or transmitting unwanted signals on-air. It also allows you to evaluate receiver sensitivity and assess the effectiveness of noise filters, modulators, and other radio components.

The functionality of a dummy load is simple yet critical. It provides a resistive load that matches the impedance of the antenna system. Allowing you to measure power, SWR levels, and assess the radio’s performance. This minimizes the risk of overloading the transmitter or disrupting nearby electronic devices.

Dummy Load Benefits

Benefits of a Dummy LoadHow to Use a Dummy Load
  • Allows testing and tuning of radio without transmitting
  • Simulates an antenna for accurate measurements
  • Provides a controlled environment for radio adjustments
  • Ensures safe operation without interfering with other operators
  1. Disconnect the antenna from your radio
  2. Connect the dummy load to the antenna port
  3. Set the radio to transmit mode
  4. Monitor power output and SWR levels
  5. Adjust radio settings as needed
  6. Repeat the process for fine-tuning

Dummy Load Recommendation

If you’re looking for a reliable dummy load, consider the MFJ-260C Dummy Load. This compact and durable device offers a 300-watt power handling capacity, making it suitable for a wide range of amateur radio applications. Its built-in precision resistor ensures accurate impedance matching, allowing for precise measurements and adjustments. With the MFJ-260C Dummy Load, you can confidently test and fine-tune your radio without the need for an actual antenna.

Best Ham Radio Accessories Antenna Switch

An antenna switch is an essential accessory for ham radio operators who have multiple antennas. It allows operators to easily switch between antennas. This will save time and effort when changing frequencies or adjusting to different signal conditions.

With an antenna switch, you can quickly select the best antenna for a particular frequency or band. The antenna switch eliminates the need to physically disconnect and reconnect antennas. It also eliminates the need for antenna patch leads, which can cause signal loss or introduce interference.

Easily operated with a simple lever or switch, the antenna switch provides a convenient solution without the hassle of manual adjustments. It ensures a seamless transition between different antennas, allowing you to focus on your communication without interruptions.

In addition to saving time and effort, an antenna switch also helps to maintain the longevity of your antennas and wear on the connectors. With a reliable and robust antenna switch, you can switch between antennas with confidence, knowing that your equipment is well-protected.

Investing in an antenna switch is a wise choice for any ham radio operator with multiple antennas. It not only streamlines the switching process but also ensures optimal performance and efficient communication. Upgrade your setup today and experience the convenience of easily switching between antennas, saving time and effort.

Benefits of an Antenna Switch
Easily switch between different antennas
Saves time and effort
Reduces wear and tear on connectors
Streamlines the switching process
Ensures optimal performance and efficiency

Best Ham Radio Accessories Computer

best amateur radio accessories includes a computer

A computer is an essential accessory for modern ham radio operators. It provides a wide range of capabilities and functionalities that enhance the communication experience. With a computer, operators can run digital modes, log contacts, and access online resources, opening up a world of possibilities in the ham radio community.

Digital modes offer various advantages, including improved signal quality and the ability to transmit data, images, and even video over the airwaves. By connecting their radios to a computer, operators can utilize software such as WSJT-X, Fldigi, or Ham Radio Deluxe to engage in digital communication modes like FT8, PSK31, or RTTY. These modes allow for reliable long-distance communication and can be particularly useful during challenging propagation conditions.

Moreover, a computer enables operators to log their contacts digitally. Dedicated software applications like QRZ Logbook, LoTW, or Ham Radio Deluxe’s Logger allow for efficient and organized logging of all radio contacts. These digital logs can be easily searched, sorted, and exported for QSL card management or contest submissions.

Additionally, having a computer grants operators access to a plethora of online resources that can enrich their ham radio experience. Websites such as QRZ.com, eHam.net, or the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) provide valuable information, forums, articles, and reviews to help operators stay informed and up-to-date with the latest developments in the hobby. Online communities and social media platforms also offer opportunities to connect with fellow operators, join discussions, and exchange knowledge.

With its versatility and capabilities, a computer is a crucial tool for ham radio operators. Whether it’s running digital modes, logging contacts, or accessing online resources, having a computer at hand opens the door to enhanced communication and endless possibilities in the world of ham radio.

Best Ham Radio Accessories Microphone

Heil Sound is a company known for producing high-quality microphones and related audio equipment. Founded by Bob Heil in the late 1960s, Heil Sound has established itself as a prominent manufacturer in the professional audio industry.

Here are some key points about Heil microphones:

  1. Dynamic Microphones: Heil Sound is renowned for its dynamic microphones, which are designed to handle high sound pressure levels (SPL) and are well-suited for live sound reinforcement, broadcasting, and studio recording. Dynamic microphones do not require external power and are known for their durability and reliability.
  2. Broadcasting and Communication: Heil microphones are particularly popular among radio broadcasters, podcasters, and amateur radio (ham) operators. The company offers specialized microphones optimized for voice reproduction and clarity, making them ideal for communication applications where intelligibility is crucial.
  3. Unique Designs: Heil microphones often feature distinctive designs, including large-diaphragm dynamic elements and innovative internal components engineered to deliver superior sound quality and performance. Some models incorporate technologies such as Heil’s patented “Phase Reversal” acoustical design, which aims to minimize unwanted phase cancellation effects.
  4. Versatility: While Heil microphones are widely used in broadcasting and communication settings. In addition to being suitable for various other audio applications, including live music performance, recording studios, public address systems, and sound reinforcement for concerts and events.
  5. Product Range: Heil Sound offers a diverse range of microphones to cater to different preferences and requirements. This includes handheld vocal microphones, headset microphones, desktop microphones, and specialty microphones designed for specific applications such as drum miking.
  6. Accessories: In addition to microphones, Heil Sound produces a range of accessories such as microphone boom arms, shock mounts, wind screens, and microphone cables designed to complement their microphone lineup and enhance usability in different scenarios.
  7. Innovation and Reputation: Heil Sound has earned a reputation for innovation and quality craftsmanship within the audio industry. Their microphones are endorsed and used by numerous professional musicians, broadcasters, and audio engineers worldwide.

Overall, Heil microphones are recognized for their excellent sound quality, rugged construction, and versatility, making them a popular choice among professionals and enthusiasts alike in various audio applications.

Best Ham Radio Accessories Ferrite Beads and Cores

Ferrites beads and small magnetic cores that play a crucial role in reducing interference from electronic devices. By placing ferrites on power cords, audio cables, and other wires, you can effectively minimize noise and enhance the performance of your equipment.

Interference from electronic devices can negatively impact the quality of your audio signals and overall communication experience. Ferrites act as passive components that suppress unwanted electromagnetic interference, commonly known as EMI. The magnetic properties of ferrites allow them to absorb and dissipate high-frequency noise, resulting in clearer transmissions and improved signal integrity.

One of the main applications of ferrites is on power cords and cables. By wrapping a ferrite core around a power cord, you can reduce the amount of conducted EMI that enters your equipment. This is particularly helpful when dealing with devices that generate high levels of electromagnetic noise, such as power supplies and motors.

Similarly, placing ferrites on audio cables can help eliminate noise caused by electromagnetic interference. This is especially important in audio systems where a clean and accurate sound reproduction is desired. Whether you are a ham radio operator, a musician, or an audio enthusiast, adding ferrites to your cables can greatly enhance your listening experience.

Ferrites come in various shapes and sizes, allowing you to choose the right one for your specific application. They are easy to install and can be attached to cables without interrupting the flow of signals. When selecting ferrites, consider factors such as the frequency range of the interference, the type of cable, and the desired level of noise reduction.

Adding ferrites to your power cords and cables is a cost-effective way to reduce interference and enhance the performance of your electronic devices. Whether you are a ham radio operator striving for clear communications or an audio enthusiast looking for pristine sound quality, ferrites can be a valuable addition to your setup.

Best Ham Radio Accessories Power Amplifier

A Power amplifier is a valuable accessory for any ham radio operator looking to increase their power output and enhance weak signals for long-distance communication. By amplifying the radio’s output signal, the amplifier extends the range and improves the clarity of transmissions.

Weak signals can be challenging to pick up, especially when communicating over long distances or in areas with obstacles that hinder the signal. A radio amplifier addresses this issue by boosting the power output, allowing the signal to travel further and overcome obstacles more effectively.

Whether you’re participating in amateur radio contests, emergency communication, or simply enjoying long-range contacts, a radio amplifier can make a significant difference in your signal strength and the overall quality of your communication.

Benefits of a Power AmplifierKey Features
  • Increased power output for stronger signals
  • Enhanced range for long-distance communication
  • Improved signal clarity and quality
  • Ability to overcome obstacles and weak signals
  • Better reception in challenging environments
  • Amplification gain control
  • Power input and output indicators
  • Protection mechanisms against overloading and overheating
  • Compact and portable design
  • Compatibility with various radio models

When choosing a radio amplifier, it’s essential to consider compatibility with your specific radio model, as well as the power requirements and antenna impedance. Additionally, ensure that the amplifier meets all necessary regulations and legal requirements for transmitting at higher power levels.

With a radio amplifier, you can enhance your ham radio experience by increasing the power output and improving weak signals. Whether you’re a seasoned operator or just starting, investing in a reliable radio amplifier can greatly enhance your communication capabilities, enabling you to reach out to distant stations and connect with fellow enthusiasts across the airwaves.

Best Ham Radio Accessories SWR and Power Meter

SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) and power meters are essential tools used in radio frequency (RF) systems, particularly in the realm of amateur radio and other communication systems. Here’s an overview of what SWR/power meters are and how they’re used:

SWR Meter (Standing Wave Ratio Meter):

SWR is a measure of how efficiently radio frequency power is transmitted from the transmitter, through the transmission line (coaxial cable), and ultimately to the antenna. A perfect match between the transmitter, transmission line, and antenna would result in an SWR of 1:1. Higher SWR values indicate a mismatch, which can lead to power loss, increased heat, and potential damage to equipment.

SWR meters are used to measure the SWR of an antenna system. They typically consist of a meter that displays the SWR value, along with a knob or switch to select the desired frequency range. Some SWR meters also have additional features such as forward and reflected power measurements.

To use an SWR meter, you connect it between your transmitter and antenna using appropriate coaxial cables. Then, you transmit a low-power signal while adjusting the meter to measure both forward and reflected power. The SWR value is calculated based on the ratio of forward to reflected power.

Power Meter:

A power meter measures the amount of RF power being transmitted or received by an antenna system. It provides an indication of the power level, typically in watts, and is crucial for ensuring that the transmitter is operating within its specified power output limits.

Power meters come in various forms, including inline meters that are inserted into the transmission line, and panel meters that are mounted on equipment. They can measure both forward and reflected power power protecting the transmitter from mismatches in the antenna system).

Using a power meter involves connecting it in the transmission line. This allows operators to monitor power levels and ensure proper operation of the transmitter. This allows operators to detect any issues such as antenna mismatch or cable loss.

Some SWR meters also include power metering capabilities, allowing users to measure both SWR and power with the same device. These combined SWR/power meters provide a convenient solution for antenna testing and tuning.

In summary, SWR and power meters are indispensable tools for amateur radio operators, radio enthusiasts, and professionals involved in RF communication systems. They enable users to optimize antenna performance, ensure efficient power transmission, and diagnose problems in the RF system.


Getting started as an amateur radio operator doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the best ham radio accessories, you can dive into this fascinating hobby and start enjoying the world of amateur radio. When building your setup, remember to choose accessories that enhance your communication experience.

Whether it’s an antenna tuner to improve signal strength and reduce noise, or noise-canceling headphones for better sound quality, or an SWR meter to measure antenna efficiency, each accessory plays a crucial role in optimizing your radio operations.

So get started today! Immerse yourself in this captivating hobby, connect with fellow amateur radio operators, and discover the thrill of communication across vast distances. Remember, the right ham radio equipment will not only enhance your setup but also amplify your enjoyment of the amateur radio experience.

By Vince