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Where to start? - Books? Courses? Online? Kits?

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by KI7MDI, Apr 8, 2017.

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  1. AB2YC

    AB2YC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Amazon sells a Elenco 130 in one electronic playground and learning center for about 35 dollars.

    I used to have a few various versions from radio shack over the years.

    They are nice for hands on and reusable, and when you outgrow it you can pass it on.
    AI3V, KC8YLT, KA9UCN and 1 other person like this.
  2. KH2BR

    KH2BR Ham Member QRZ Page

    It all depends on what you select for your goal. You have to discover your nitch and stick with it. Appliance operator for chit chatting with others, EME comunications, Electronic design and tinkering. The field of ham radio is to wide. You need to set your goal.
    KI7MDI likes this.
  3. KI7ASV

    KI7ASV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm going to purchase the Bitx40 and give it a whirl. I prefer to assemble the radio from component parts, but this works too. Any recommendations for other homebrew radios in the lower HF frequencies that can be built on breadboards?
    KI7MDI likes this.
  4. VK3YE

    VK3YE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Though I normally recommend something that's frequency agile (to dodge interference) a simple 3 transistor crystal control transmitter is a good place to start. A simple one can be made to work on 80, 40 or 30m. Suitable crystals are common and cheap.

    The OXO transmitter as in G-QRP publications is good. A circuit for my version is at

    If you use a 12v battery instead of a generator you should be able to get a watt or more. You could even put a 200pF variable capacitor in series with the crystal to get some frequency agility.
    KI7ASV and KI7MDI like this.
  5. K9YLI

    K9YLI Ham Member QRZ Page

    to really under stand electronics you need to review your high school chemistry and physics.
    to under stand how a capacitor works you need the electron theory of repulsion etc.
    to under stand inductors, you need the physics of magnetic lines of force and conductors, and also of magnetic repulsion and induction.
    Knowing caps pass AC and block DC is just knowledge, the 'why' is the 'understanding'
    KI7MDI likes this.
  6. WN2C

    WN2C Ham Member QRZ Page

    Randy try this...

    Hope this helps!
    KI7MDI likes this.
  7. KI7MDI

    KI7MDI Subscriber QRZ Page


    Thanks everyone for the responses. I am looking into each one as time and finances allow.

    I just received the ARRL Operating Manual for 1987 (the earliest I could find). I also joined ARRL and will be getting the current Operating Manual for joining!
    Another electronics book should be arriving in the next day or two. I haven't had a chance to put together my Picokeyer kit yet. Working a full time job and running a small business takes up most of my time. Plus, on top of that, I am studying for the General exam (on track to take it on 5/15).
  8. KI7ASV

    KI7ASV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the tip!
  9. VK3YE

    VK3YE Ham Member QRZ Page

    And for general electronics I recommend reading

    Download this as a pdf. There are three files - two for transistor projects, one for IC projects.

    All very simple using a handful of basic transistors and other parts.

    Then start building them, starting with a selection from the transistor projects.

    They don't have to be pretty.

    They don't even need a circuit board.

    Just soldering the parts together can work for the simpler projects.

    You will learn heaps and get more practical experience than most hams for very little outlay.
    OH2FFY and KI7MDI like this.
  10. K7ELP

    K7ELP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Randall, I notice that you are located in Arizona. I am located in Utah. I am in the process of cleaning out my shack (work shop) I have a lot of books and parts. I am willing to mail you some of my books. I am not sure what to send at the moment as a lot of them have schematic diagrams that use old transistors and integrated circuits. I would not want to send you something that may confuse you. I use the theory of integrated circuits that it really doesn't matter a lot of what goes on inside the IC package. The important part is what are the inputs and then the outputs. Just a little history, I have been working with electronics for more than 60 years, part of that time was in teaching, some in repair and maintance and some in engineering, but always a hobbist.
    Ned K7ELP
    KA0KA and KI7MDI like this.

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