Congratulations on your purchase of the 2015 ARRL Handbook. This 92nd edition of the book continues the technical traditions of Amateur Radio. Topics range from very simple electronics and radio wave basics all the way to sophisticated digital communications protocols. In fact, this book is a lot like the Amateur Radio you hear on the air every day. The more than 700, 000 active hams in the United States and more than 3, 000, 000 around the world use all types of technology to communicate.
If you are just getting into Amateur Radio or wireless technology, you will find the section on Fundamental Theory to provide great training on electrical and electronic fundamentals, both analog and digital. The practical side of technology follows with a large section of chapters covering the techniques required of RF circuitry, the types of circuits that are used in radio, receivers and transmitters, and the latest digital topics. Antennas are a critical part of successful radio communication so you’ll find chapters showing how they work and how to build practical designs. Other chapters explain transmission lines, and illustrate propagation of the signals they radiate and receive.
Since a big part of Amateur Radio is building, repairing, adapting, and otherwise performing hands-on work with radio technology, the final section of the book covers everything from workshop basics to station assembly and troubleshooting. The book’s CD-ROM includes Joel Hallas, W1ZR’s Annual Transceiver Review and several more chapters on Space, Digital, and Image Communication practices and equipment. Many supplemental articles and references are also provided.
One of the primary extra values that comes with the Handbook’s CD-ROM is the collection of updated software from Jim Tonne, W4ENE (www.tonnesoftware.com). Jim’s professional-quality software is used by hams around the world for a variety of purposes:
Elsie — LC filter designer
SVC Filter Designer — Designs filters using standard value components
OptLowpass Designer — Optimized low-pass filters for amateurs
Helical Filter Designer — Creates high-performance filters for VHF and UHF
Pi-El — A tool to design Pi-L network matching circuits
JJSmith — Use the Smith Chart to design matching circuits
QuadNet — A handy way to design active all-pass circuits for SSB generators
ClassE — Design Class E (switch mode) amplifiers with this tool
Diplexer Designer — Simplifies the job of designing circuits to share antennas
MeterBasic — Design and print custom meter scales
Be sure to open the CD-ROM envelope and install the contents on your computer. The complete Handbook is also included in searchable PDF form, as well!
The Handbook is also full of projects that hams can use to construct a functional and effective station. Projects range from simple accessories and small power supplies to legal-limit amplifiers and high-gain antennas. Mobile and portable stations aren’t left out either! There is something for every level of experience and every style of operation.
Here are some highlights of what you’ll find on this year’s CD-ROM:
· Workbench-style bipolar tracking power supply by Bryant Julstrom, KCØZNG, for circuits requiring balanced positive and negative voltages. You can use this supply with op-amps and other analog electronic circuits.
· The Antennas chapter presents a tri-band Moxon-style antenna, a 25-pound beam for 20, 15 and 10 meters easily made from wire and fiberglass. Designed by Brian Machesney, K1LI, for portable operating, it’s a great introduction to these popular antennas.
· To help reduce cabling costs, an eight-channel remote antenna switch project is included. You can buy boards and parts from the author, Michael Dzado, ACØHB, or build it yourself.
· Getting power to those antenna-mounted electronics can be a problem, too, or just require yet another expensive run of control cable. A dc power bias-Tee project from Phil Salas, AD5X, solves the problem effectively and inexpensively.
· Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, updates us on the status and progress of solar Cycle 24 and Joe Eisenberg, KØNEB, contributes a very valuable table of recommended electronic components for all RF builders.