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I invested some time in understanding the syllabus and clearing the ARRL exams. You may want to take it one step at a time.

Also, radio needn't been too expensive. Check out the Baofeng hand held units that retail for about USD 30 on Amazon. These are only for UHF and VHF. For HF (international), you could either use repeaters, or Radio gateways on the Internet, or EchoLink. I use EchoLink on my mobile phone when I'm in countries where I don't have a license to operate.

What's nice about the Baofeng VHF/UHF handhelds is that they correspond with the frequencies available to an entry level ("technician") US amateur radio license. When combined with an online study guide, the test fees and radio combined are less than $75, providing an inexpensive introduction to learning a lot about RF systems and proper radio operating procedures.

True -- And this is just the very tip of the iceberg. Not bad if you want to spend $35 to get started, but far less amazing than if you spend $100 on some simple HF gear.

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