|Topic||Procuring Equipment in Australia|
|Equipment Required||Computer + Internet|
|Costs||Nil unless buying the equipment found|
|Document last reviewed and updated (reviewed each year)||7th April 2023|
One of the issues with Amateur Radio, particularly in Australia is obtaining the Radios, Antennas or parts needed (particularly if you do a lot of DIY), and locating a source of equipment or parts.
Part of this reason is that Australia has a lower proportion of Licenced Amateur Radio operators for the countries population. A couple of quick comparisons on 2023 figures are as follows :
(Note : not 100% accurate but representative) :
- Australia : 0.05% (15,000) of the population (26,314,341) are Amateur Radio operators
- United States : 0.2% (765,178) of the population (334,233,854) are Amateur Radio Operators
- Great Britain : 0.1% (75,000) of the population (68,867,152) are Amateur Radio Operators
Australia by its nature has several things stacked up against it, which include
- A large amount of it’s population are based around 5 major cities with the other 43% of the population spread across Australia in regional cities.
- The exchange rate (especially over the last 10 – 20 years as not been favourable, so parts “appear” to cost more than what other countries can buy locally
- The number operators close by does not support runing a shop front business in Australia, not unless you have another line of business (e.g. commercial radios etc).
- Due to the distance Australia is from other countries of manufacture, as well as transport distances in Australia (between cites and ports), this increases costs (as well as time for delivery)
- And naturally this is the case for parts as well, particularly parts for primarily Amateur use (e.g. pre-built Amateur Antenna’s)
Now this does not mean we cannot obtain parts and equipment, as there are a number of retailers who are set up as online businesses (yes, with someone that you can talk to or at least email) and this appears to be the model that most of these retailers are choosing (especially post-Covid).
What it does mean is that generally your projects are not going to be spur of the moment thing, where you can obtain the parts locally. Usually, you need to check
- Availability (does the project go on on hold for a couple of weeks due to parts availability)
- Are the costs higher than expected (especially as the project guides quoted U.S. Costs)
- Can you get it (usually parts) a lot cheaper by buying overseas
- Is the project viable with the higher costs
- Does my choice of transceiver (and/or brand) change as the equipment is out of stock for months at a time
What it does mean, is that as an Australian Amateur, you generally do a lot more research before embarking on a project, buying equipment, making brand choices and you are constantly looking for equipment and parts. The amount of times I have looked for parts and forgotten a retailer (at the time of looking), which forced me to abandon or put a project on hold.
Main things to remember when buying from any retailer, online or a shop front which are
- Especially on the more expensive items like transceivers- are they an authorised dealer?
- What is the warranty provided and is the warranty provided by them or does it have to go back overseas?
- Is the stock here in Australia or is it being drop shipped? If it is being drop shipped – what value is the retailer adding to the transaction?
- Has the retailer got stock of the item at the moment?
The following table is not an endorsement of one retailer over another, nor is it an endorsement of any retailer. It is just a handy list of retailer sites and products that they sell products that Amateur operators my require from time to time.
The ones that have a Bullet against their name are ones that either I have personally dealt with or a fellow amateur has had dealings with them. Again this is not an endorsement.
|• Andrews Communication Systems||Shopfront (NSW) / Online||http://www.andrewscom.com.au/||Yaesu and Icom Transceivers|
Just about every thing Ham related
|Strictly Ham||Shopfront (VIC) / Online||https://www.strictlyham.com.au/||Yaesu and Icom Transceivers|
Just about every thing Ham related
|VK Connect||Online||https://connectvk.com.au/||ICOM Transceivers|
Heil Headsets and Microphones
Ham Radio Accessories
|• QSLComms||Online / Ham Fests||https://www.qslcomms.shop/||Transceivers – Retevis/Anytone/TYT|
Leads and Adaptors
|• Radios Parts||Shopfront (VIC) / Online||https://www.radioparts.com.au/||Coax Cable|
|• Jaycar||Shopfronts (AUS) / Online||https://www.jaycar.com.au/||RG58 Coax|
Connectors Plugs / Sockets
Toroids (Suitable for Baluns/Chokes)
Solar Charging Equipment
|• Minikits||Online||https://www.minikits.com.au/||Ham Radio Kits|
Toroids (Good Selection)
|• Core Electronics||Online||https://core-electronics.com.au/||Raspberry Pi’s|
Arduino Boards & Components
Other Electronic Components
Soldering Irons and Accessories
|Amateur Transceiver Radio Supplies||Online||https://amateurradiosupplies.com.au/||Antennas|
Microphones and Headsets
Leads and Adaptors
|• RF Solutions||Online||https://rfsolutions.com.au/||RigExpert SWR Analyzers|
|DX Radio Systems||Online and Store (WA)||https://dxradiosystems.com.au/||Icom and Flex transceivers|
|Elite Communications and Systems||https://www.elitecommunications.com.au/||Icom Transceivers|
Cables and Leads
|• Haverford||Online & Store (NSW)||https://haverford.com.au/collections/telescopic-squid-poles||Squid Poles|
|• Bunnings||Online and Stores (AUS)||https://www.bunnings.com.au/||Antenna Building Parts|
Guy Rope parts
HF Beam Parts
Almost Ham Radio parts
Naturally this is by no means exhaustive and as new ones appear, will continue to keep this list updated.