The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications 2003
1,216 pages, softcover, 80th Edition
© 2002 ARRL, ISBN 0872591921, $34.95 list price
It's been a while since I bought a new Handbook, so I was excited when these arrived here at QTB.Com. This book is amazing in that it really does cover it all--from the basics of AC and DC circuit theory to more advances topics, such as satellite operation and moonbounce.
This year's Handbook also has more comprehensive coverage of digital signal processing (DSP). Want to know what your fancy, new transceiver is doing to the signal. This chapter will give you some insight. The chapter on modulation sources has een updated to include coverage of digital voice modulation and the chapter on safety practices has also been improved.
One of the biggest strengths of the Handbook has always been its coverage of practical projects that hams can build. Just paging through it made me want to get out my soldering iron. There are hundreds of projects, from the very simple to the very complex. One of the simpler projects to catch my eye was the TiCK-2 Keyer. This keyer consists of an 8-pin microcontroller, a voltage regulator, and 2N2222 transistor, and a handful of resistors and capacitors.
There are also some really simple antenna projects, if antennas are your thing. For example, there is a short piece on how to build a tree-mounted HF groundplane antenna. I think I've got the perfect tree in my backyard for a 20m ground plane. There's also a cool project for building a 10m, 1-wavelength loop antenna.
If you're new to rolling your own, there's plenty of help here, too. The Handbook includes chapters on component data, construction techniques, and testing and repair. The appendices also have data that will help you get your projects built.
I know it's cliche to say it, but the Handbook has something for every ham, from beginners to OMs. It really will help you get more out of ham radio.
What is Amateur Radio?
Wireless Technology for Everybody
Mathematics for Amateur Radio
DC Theory and Resistive Components
AC Theory and Reactive Components
Digital Signal Theory and Components
Analog Signal Theory and Components
Practical Design and Projects
Real-World Component Characteristics
Power Supplies and projects
Modulation Sources (What and How We Communicate)
RF Power Amplifiers and Projects
AC/RF Sources (Oscillators and Synthesizers)
Mixers, Modulators, and Demodulators
Filters and Projects
Receivers, Transmitters, Transceivers, and Projects
Digital Signal Processing
Antennas and Projects
Station Setup and Accessory Projects
Repeaters, Satellites, EME and DFing
Test Procedures and Projects
Troubleshooting and Repair
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
Seems to me, if we want to help the hobby and give the newer Hams a jump start, ARRL could lower the price on the Handbook for everyone. This is the first book bought by beginning Hams and the most read. It just is too high priced! I can remember back to Handbooks at $2.95 or so. When I look back to how much I actually spent to get on the air, way back when, I am amazed that anyone can get started cheaply. It certainly would be a nice touch for lower prices on the Handbook. de K7ATU
I'm sure the 2003 edition is greaqt, but I picked up the 2002 version about a month ago from HRO for 17.00
I figured that the basic info was there at a much more attractive price. As a new HAM, this was a better buy for me.
73, de Paul, KG4PWO
Stone Mountain, GA
Member ARRL, AMRC, NGQRP
Will work for Amateur Radio Equipment