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Thread: Handbook or no handbook, that is the question...

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  1. #11

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    Gee Whizz

    thought every real ham had at least one copy of The Radio Amateur's Handbook
    even a 25 or 40 year old handbook is full of great info

    what to know what really happens
    read chapter two electrical laws and circuits
    its all right there

    Had a League handbook for a year before i took my Novice test

    guess have a few dozen ARRL Radio Amateur's Handbook dating back to 1929
    fifteen (west coast ) Radio Handbooks back to Frank C. Jones 1935 handbook

    have build transmitters and receivers out of the 1929, 1938, 1948 League handbook
    and from the 1936 and 1948 west coast Radio Handbook

    helm down grab your beer

    mac

  2. #12

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    I bought a 2005 handbook when I got my license... haven't opened since then. The Internet has lessened the need for printed material. (do they still print newspapers?)

    If you must have it on paper, save 20 bucks or more and get an older one. As others have pointed out, the theory doesn't change, just the tools to use it.
    vy 73, de frank, k2ncc

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    In Missouri Ozark Mountains
    Posts
    5,692

    Default

    I buy a new Hardbound Handbook and the Antenna Book every 5 years and search out older ones when they are cheap I buy them. Books are like other things if you read them it gives you something no one can ever take away from you "Knowledge" on that subject or at least a prespective. Since joining the hobby just a few short years ago they do fly by to quickly I usually spend at least 4-5 hrs a day studying about things relating to the hobby. In what time I have left here I can not come close to but covering a very small percentage of it because it's so far reaching a subject, but so intresting that it pulls me in even futher day by day. This is one of the things that make this hobby so great over others I have done in my life all the knowledge that you need to grasp to basics of so many different things I know of no other way than books and to use the internet to your advantage also but be careful there of the pitfalls.

    Another vote for another handbook and thats John's "ON4UN's book Low Band DXing as well as a web site w8ji.com Tom is quite advanced hisself I use both myself often.

    I also bought a Handbook when I was licensed a paperback edition and in 2 1/2 yrs the covers were coming off and pages were coming loose. I used my license manuals (ARRL) for reference after I passed the tests and the remember some of the math from the Extra manual when needed.
    73 de Fred N0AZZ

    _____________________________________

    The License is Only Your Starting Point in Radio!
    MVDX/CC of SW MO., DX Hogs, OARS, NARC, NCDXF
    ARRL member, ARRL and W5YI VE
    DX the thrill of the chase

    ""D-STAR making use of the 2/ 440m repeaters for real world Digital Voice usage around town and around the world""

    " Not one of us can do what all of us can do " ** Max Lucado

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Vicente, Alicante, Spain
    Posts
    7,763

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    I have a little over three decades worth of handbooks. If you do not wish to shell out the cash for a new one, as others have said, much of the information has not changed. Of course technology has advanced and therefore a slight bit of information has been added. However, if you want something pretty much current, you can grab a handbook from the mid 2000s at a hamfest for about 5$. From the 90s and back you can often find them for 1-3$. In fact I got 23 of them for 1$.

    Mind you, if you were to collect, some years do cost more than others and sometimes more so than a new edition.

    Again, for a semi recent copy of the handbook and antenna book you can probably get away with spending under 10$ at a hamfest for hardback editions.

    Personally, I like to collect them but that is another story. The ads are a nice addition in the older editions. None of mine collect dust as I use them to reference different things.
    73 de KB3LAZ

    In lieu of achievement we have mediocrity.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Beautiful Downtown Colorado. (Montrose, SW corner)
    Posts
    29,612

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    While not a ham book, the ITT (Sams) "Reference Data for Radio Engineers" is a gold mine. Don't know if it is still available.
    (At the end of the book--the butler did it--)

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo

  6. #16

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    No shortage of skidmark infested hams with opinions. Something about AR that draws the "sweeping pronouncement" turkeys from "other" services. Buy the handbook and believe what's there. If you were ill, you'd believe your doctor or doctors and not the old biddy next door who had every ailment under the sun, mostly imaginary, and who smelled like a cat's litter box. I'm just saying...
    KY5U - Be a REAL amateur, learn CW.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    504

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    Hi,
    I have been collecting them since the 60's you cannot go wrong with any issue , (as pointed out by others), I also have many copies of the Antenna book and the Hints & Kinks books, I had a heck of a time finding a pristine copy of my birth year (1961) but I did a couple years ago!
    The ARRL operators guide is very handy to have around, there are so many publications one would spend a lifetime absorbing the material.
    I also enjoy reading the Audels Radioman's Handbook among others from that great era...

    GL ES 73 DE AJ4CU
    Hari
    "Marconi Was The First LID!"

    "Far better it is to tempt mighty things, than to take rank with those timid creatures that know neither victory or defeat!"

    "Eleftheria h thanatos" (Greek for Freedom or Death)

    "Molon Labe" (Greek, King Leonidas to the persians regarding their weapons "Come and Take Them!").

    When the people fear the government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people there is liberty!

    When seconds count, the police are mere minutes away.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Vicente, Alicante, Spain
    Posts
    7,763

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KY5U View Post
    No shortage of skidmark infested hams with opinions. Something about AR that draws the "sweeping pronouncement" turkeys from "other" services. Buy the handbook and believe what's there. If you were ill, you'd believe your doctor or doctors and not the old biddy next door who had every ailment under the sun, mostly imaginary, and who smelled like a cat's litter box. I'm just saying...
    Maybe those hams with skid marks should invest in baby wipes.
    73 de KB3LAZ

    In lieu of achievement we have mediocrity.

  9. #19

    Default

    Whether or not you believe in or agree with the ARRL, the "Handbook" is an excellent reference that should be in every ham's possession. The laws of Physics, and most electrical and radio concepts don't change over time. I'd recommend at least a new HB every 10 years minimum; I have a 1949 HB that covers material in detail that's glossed over in many HB's post Y2K.
    For a new Amateur, I'd recommend a recent (2010 or so) HB, and at least one from the 70's or 80's. Those can be easily found for not too much money at mant hamfests or swapmeets. I personally do not have the funds nor space to obtain a new handbook every year, and quite frankly, they don't change all that much from year to year. At intervals of 5-10 years, the construction projects change enough to justify a new book.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by KB3LAZ View Post
    Maybe those hams with skid marks should invest in baby wipes.
    Exactly! That's why my ham radio advice for the ages is: "Never buy a used desk chair from a ham".
    KY5U - Be a REAL amateur, learn CW.

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