The Best Ham Radio Base Stations Of 2023

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Written By David F

Did you know that a ham radio is your passport into a wireless world where you can talk to people locally, internationally and even in space without paying for minutes?

Plus, the best ham radio base station works to intercept other signals and get out emergency messages when nothing else will due to power outages or cell-phone tower damages. Once you’ve gotten your ham-radio operator license to learn all about how to get the most out of your ham-radio base station and avoid fines from the FCC, then you’ll be able to tell which features will matter most to you when you buy a new ham radio.

However, since we know it’s difficult to compare the many complex features of ham radios when you haven’t had much experience trying them out for yourself, we’ve put together this in-depth review of everything you need to know about the top three best ham radio base station choices on the market.

The Best Ham Radio Base Stations Of 2022

Ham Radio Base Station Reviews

Yaesu Original FT-891 Base Transceiver

This ham radio base station is an all-in-one package ideal for amateur operators. With it, you’ll have an enhanced operational experience with the 32-bit floating-point DSP. Also, you’ll get access to clearer signals for a more enjoyable communicative experience

The enhanced receiver circuit design offers triple conversion with a 69.450MHz IF frequency. You’ll also have a roofing filter of up to 3 kHz. As an added benefit, the TCXO features high-frequency stability ranging between -10 and +50 degrees Celsius.

The high power output of this device encourages enhanced reliability, especially with the improved circuit design. You’ll love the dual integrated fans, both of which are thermostatically controlled to optimize heat dissipation. Also, the diecast chassis ensures the heat can be dispersed from the inside with minimal effort.

Reducing random noise is significantly easier with this model than with others, especially on HF bands. You’ll have the 32-bit floating-point DSP paired with noise cancellation and reduction. Users will immediately notice fewer beat tones and receiver noise for crisp comms.

All of the user-friendly functions are sure to become some of your favorite features. You’ll find an easily accessible pop-up menu paired with a multifunction knob for adjustments. The radio also boasts three front panel function keys that are fully programmable to your desired settings.

Things we liked:

  • Small and compact
  • Impressive power output
  • High-quality menu options
  • Easily readable display

Things we didn’t like:

  • Poor external speaker audio
  • Lacks VHF/UHF

BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 Base Station

The BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 is unique because it features a dual synchronized display mode. You will also have access to mic audio gain settings, allowing you to adjust the quality of your communications.

There are several other impressive features to note, like auto scanning, channel mode editing, and a randomized privacy mode. What’s more, this radio allows for variable frequency scanning, quad watch delay times, and auto power off to preserve the battery.

You’ll appreciate the high and low power settings, with the high end at 50W and the low end at 10W. It’s also equipped with a UHF range between 420 and 450 MHz with a VHF frequency between 144 and 148MHz.

You can take advantage of this radio in more ways than one because you can switch the main TX/RX band. Also, it’s possible to monitor up to three other channels simultaneously with simple configurations.

Things we liked:

  • Rugged and durable design
  • Relatively simple installation
  • Adequate internal speaker
  • USB programming cable works well

Things we didn’t like:

  • The display is too small
  • No lighted buttons

President Lincoln II Plus Ham Radio

The President Lincoln II Plus is a slight step up from the standard Lincoln II. This upgraded option features an additional 12-meter band, and the CH19/9 function has been replaced. Now, the radio features two emergency channels that each user can program as needed.

The functions of this radio are some of its best features, as they are easy to use and program. You’ll have a rotary switch paired with volume adjustments and simple on/off buttons.

Also, there’s manual squelch and RF power with a helpful menu function key to begin customization. At night, you’ll appreciate the dim switch, allowing you to lessen the lights on the radio for seamless driving.

With the help of NFO mode, you can access continuous scanning through the multifunction LCD screen. Users can also access six individual memory functions for their favorite profiles, as well as 38 CTCSS tones and 104 DCS codes.

When it comes to audio quality, this model is quite impressive with its RF and mic gain. You’ll also have an integrated clarifier and ANL filter paired with VOX (hands-free) functions. If you want to add a separate microphone, be sure to use the front microphone jack to plug in your device.

Things we liked:

  • Fantastic sensitivity
  • Requires few adjustments
  • Good power output
  • Straightforward installation instructions

Things we didn’t like:

  • Could echo
  • Poorly designed volume control

Ham Base Stations Comparison

For those of you new to ham radio stations, let’s take a look at how these top base stations compare in terms of their key features. If you consider the price ranges, then the Yaesu Original FT-891 is by far the most expensive model that packs the most power. The President Lincoln II Plus is only slightly more money than the BTECH Mobile UV-50X2, which is the most economical choice of the three. Looking at their transmission ranges, the BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 receives a range of signals from 136 – 174 MHz , including all shortwave and AM broadcasts. The President Lincoln II is a lightweight model at just below 2.65 pounds that’s good for traveling, while the BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 is for average use at 4.19 pounds. The Yaesu Original FT-891 is the most heavy-duty model for serious broadcasters committed to one broadcasting location, coming in at 8.35 pounds.

Our Conclusion

All of these three ham radio base stations are good-quality pieces of equipment. However, we felt that the most-important considerations for any ham radio operator who’s serious enough to buy a base station — as opposed to a little handheld device like a license-free CB radio set — are the transmission range and consistently high sound quality. That’s why after comparing these top three options for the best ham radio base station, our winner for this roundup is the BTECH Mobile UV-50X2. It’s simply the most-powerful ham radio base station that allows you to transmit and receive signals at the greatest distances in excellent-quality sound.