I'm sure with all the experience here you can help me avoid some pitfalls. I've 5k and want a first time Ham Shack. I am not interested in this HT I bought after the exam. I'll not explain here my journey through the pitfalls I've been in so far, it's posted elsewhere. I need some folk who are interested in keeping Amateur Radio growing. I'm 69 yrs old, live in an HOA, and think not only is Ham Radio a fun, interesting, challenging, deeply engaging and electrifying experience, it is a necessity for a free people to assist each other in remaining independent and self reliant. Another factor is emergency assistance for others from disasters both natural and otherwise. I did say HOA and most of my neighbors are good folk who believe the community boards keep them safe and secure. I've been kicked in the butt too many times to rely solely on pieces of paper stating rules and regs. Tornados can't read. Mobs don't obey rules. Food and water shortages may be solved by the National Guard but people can dehydrate days before the Guard can assemble. One radio can save a life. Two radios in conjunction can form an alliance. That's worth 5 grand, wouldn't you agree?