Book Review: The 2003 ARRL Handbook

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KB6NU, Nov 27, 2002.

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  1. KB6NU

    KB6NU Ham Member QRZ Page

    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

    Fundamental Theory

    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

    Safety Practices
    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
    Transmission Lines
    Antennas and Projects
    Station Setup and Accessory Projects
    Repeaters, Satellites, EME and DFing
    Construction Techniques

    Component Data
    Circuit Construction
    Test Procedures and Projects
    Troubleshooting and Repair
    Operating Practices

    Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)

    —Dan KB6NU
  2. K7ATU

    K7ATU Ham Member QRZ Page

    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
  3. KG4PWO

    KG4PWO Ham Member QRZ Page

    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.
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