How to Build Your Own Ham Radio

By Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor

Many ham radio operators take pride in constructing radios and peripheral equipment. Especially popular is low-power (QRP) equipment.

Set up a clean, well-lighted work area.

Accumulate a basic set of tools and test equipment.

Develop your technique with a soldering iron and other tools by undertaking a simple project, such as an antenna tuner or a coaxial switch.

Choose a ham radio kit.

Check the contents of the kit against the parts list.

Follow the kit instructions exactly.

Test the kit before installing in the proper enclosure.

Troubleshoot possible flaws using the manual.


Remember that the key to proper assembly is learning to solder correctly. Find an "Elmer" who's proficient in electronic assembly and ask for guidance. Make sure your work area is secure, since you may want to leave parts and tools out. Other people, children and pets might unwittingly do damage.


Soldering requires a steady hand and eye. Working with circuit boards and integrated circuits requires careful handling because even a minor static charge can ruin an integrated circuit.