SDR radio equipment is affordable and very capable nowadays.
I once started with self a self build transceiver using an external Soundblaster as digitising device. A far cry from the radio’s you can buy today. I get excellent results using an SDRPlay1A and just a wire dipole for HF. For VHF satellite reception I made a V dipole for less than 5 euro’s.
For receiving, forget the RTL dongles and buy the cheapest SDRPlay1A or something similar.
More useful info to follow on this page.