Ham Radio seems like an expensive hobby, Do You have little or NO money for another hobby? Are there less expensive or free options for Amateur Radio? YES! lets examine some options:
Web SDRs, These are free to use very effective listening options for Hams and SWL’s (Shortwave Listeners), no licenses required with lots of control and functionality
websdr.org , This is an extensive list of “Live links” and information about these highly useful tools for any level of hobbyist, they are used by SWL’s and serious DX contesters. These machines are located globally allowing you to listen world wide.
So, you want to transmit and use that License you worked so hard to get? We have options for that also:
Echolink: You will need to register with Echoloink using a physical address, PO boxes are not accepted. This is not a simple process but worth the effort and of course it’s FREE!
Ham Radio Radio Stations – Listen Online (streema.com) Multiple Stations for listening around the country and the world
All this is great for listening BUT, I really want to use my Amateur Radio License and skills to “Get On The Air”… Yes I did say operate Ham Radio for NO Money, Here is a site you are going to appreciate:
RemoteHams is a group of generous Hams that will allow you to operate their stations from your computer at home, some are club based but many are private “shacks” that offer the use of their station when they are not operating. There is a active, helpful forum to help you through the process. You will have to setup an account to verify your license and install client software to control the remote Radios. This is a fairly simple way to not only operate a radio “On the Cheap” but experiment with radio/antenna configurations and hopefully learn some things along the way to use in your own station.
I am sure there are other options and I would like to add more as they are presented to me. If you have knowledge of or come across anything that would fit into our parameters (little to no cost) Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org