Arrl handbook 2003
"The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications" has been
the bible of amateur radio since 1926. The 80th edition carries
on in the tradition set by prior editions by providing an outstanding
overview of practical electronics as well as a wide range of information
and over 60 projects on amateur radio communications.
Fully half of the handbook covers practical radio design and
related projects. This section of the handbook starts off with
a chapter on safety practices for radio communications that discusses
antenna and tower safety, electrical wiring including grounding,
RF radiation, and other dangers encountered in radio (it's amazing
how many chemical hazards there are in a radio shack!).
The rest of the design and projects section covers virtually
everything in modern communications, from the characteristics
of components at RF frequencies to power supplies and from communications
filters to radio wave propagation. In each chapter, there is a
review of the basic theory on the topic followed by projects that
apply the theory. In addition, the projects are of practical items
that the radio amateur will need.
For example, the chapter on Antennas discusses the theory of
how antennas work. Following a discussion of dipoles and half-wave
antennas, there are four projects for building dipole antennas
for HF operation on various bands. There is similar information
for vertical, yagi, and quad antennas, as well as discussions
about antennas for mobile operations; each followed by one or
The Handbook includes chapters on construction techniques including
information on electronics components, how to use common electronics
tools, circuit construction tips, electronics test instruments,
and electronic system troubleshooting and repair techniques. There
are several related projects, including a frequency counter and
several signal generators.
The ARRL Handbook bills itself as "The comprehensive RF
Engineering Reference." I believe the handbook lives up to
this statement and more. As a practicing RF engineer in the past,
I can attest to the usefulness of the handbook to radio technicians
and radio engineers. My team and I referred to the ARRL Handbook
constantly in designing and maintaining MF, HF, VHF, and UHF installations.