At the local Hamfest, I picked up these two gently used VX-5Rs for S25 each, with chargers. For those that don’t know, they’re a 5W tri-band HT (6m, 2m, 440) and is also a nice wideband communications receiver. They’re also waterproof, fairly rugged, and simple to use. For $25 each, used. Compare that to what $25 normally buys new. All they need is a programming cable, and we’re GTG. Behind them is a book of very useful knowledge for anyone wanting to build a signals collection and intelligence section. Another guy was there selling used Maxon EMCOM HTs for $10 a pair. With a little looking around and talking to folks, finding good equipment is pretty easy. Another friend not that long ago acquired an excellent Kenwood TS-440 with power supply and tuner for $400, squaring his HF needs away for a fraction of what it would cost new.
For less than $100 I just was able to outfit two sections’ Team-level communications requirement, and have another study resource to instruct folks on building a guerrilla SIGINT team. It doesn’t have to be expensive…you just have to first be willing to work a bit to tap into that knowledge, which in turn taps into a huge resource base. It’ll save money and net better equipment in the long run. Talk to folks, make friends, and pay cash.
Keep that in mind next time some of you say, “but…Baofeng is all I can afford!”