Baofeng UV-5R and Arrow satellite antenna
A satellite station for under $200
Cheap ham radio equipment
One of the cool things about ham radio is working the satellites that orbit our planet. To work them all you need is a technician class license. It is a fun way to makes contacts on VHF/UHF while hiking or camping.
One idea that I have is to put together a satellite station for under $200 dollars. One way to do this is with the Baofeng UV-5R which is under 50 dollars now. Couple that up with an Arrow dual band VHF/UHF beam antenna and you have a station that is light and portable and in any hams budget.
The arrow antenna includes the duplexer that is needed also, so you wont have to switch coax back and forth as you work the satellites. The arrow antennas also include a hand grip on the end for point and shoot type of operation, so no AZ/EL rotor is needed.
One thing that will be needed is a Female SMA adapter since the Baofeng UV-5R has a reverse antenna connector. That also means that you will either have to buy an special antenna for the handheld or an adapter to use your current HT rubber ducky antenna's with the Baofeng UV-5R series of radios.
Find your Baofeng UV-5RE at Amazon