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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?

Michael S. Higgins (K6AER) on March 16, 2007
View comments about this article!


Over and over I see postings in E-Ham asking technical question that could be answered if the ham owned an ARRL Handbook. This publication should be in every hams shack.

I was cruising through the product reviews and saw a posting for the ARRL Handbook. In reading the previous ARRL Handbook review postings it would seem today's amateurs want titillating articles on the latest digital communication and care nothing for the classics, or more traditional modes but I digress. The ARRL is the finest communication handbook on all aspects of amateur communication ever made. No other book in this price range can take a novice from the basics to advanced communication engineering with information form the basics to engineering level theory. Some complain about the price but I bet they have never bought an engineering text in collage. The latest addition cost a little over $50 but last years book can be had for under $30.

Every four or five years I buy a Handbook and have copies going back to 1957. Half the information will repeat it self for the Handbook for it is a communication/engineering reference. New articles are gathered form the QST submittals.

Many of the hams have complained there are fewer construction articles but this is a result of the dumbing down of amateur radio technical articles that appear in QST. Hams today have fewer technical skills. Many hams today can barely put a PL-259 on a piece of coax let alone understand or write technical articles. Hence fewer articles appear in the ARRL Handbook because fewer and fewer technical articles are sent into QST.

If you don't own one of these fine technical journals you should have at least one as a reference in your library. It is rare when I see a generic technical question on the Elmer's forum that can't be answered by a little reading in the Handbook.

How many or you own a handbook and how many own more than one? Do you use them often or do they look brand new but dusty?

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by MASON on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I own every one back to 1947 ..........top that
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KI4OGD on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don't own a hardcopy, but I have the CD of the 2006 edition. I use it on occasion, mostly for a specific technicality or project.

I do sometimes wish you could just buy the CD, since the handbook in PDF seems much more convenient for me, seeing as there's a computer in my workplace already, and it's easier to search for one specific thing.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by WC4R on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
A great value in your ham library.
I've thrown my older ones out over my 30+ years (!) but stopped that lately.
I actually searched the Internet and email lists, requested and received five books in good shape back to 1957. They are spaced about every 10 years--5 years would be better. Got the used books for FREE from hams just paid shipping. Hams helping hams.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W1YW on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
No; I don't have one. I look at each new edition to see why I should but haven't found a reason yet.

The internet is a far more valuable resource for my technical questions. And Horowitz and Hill's Electronics book is a better resource for intro and beyond. MO.

The handbook used to be the 'Radio Amateur's Handbook'. Unfortunately much of the stuff inside of it is no longer really focused on hams, IMO. Looks to me like it's aimed at selling a book beyond the former target audience.

73,
Chip W1YW
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KG4RUL on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have a 2002 edition sitting right on my bookshelf. Guess it is time to upgrade.

Dennis KG4RUL
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KG8JF on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The Handbook is the absolutle greatest resource in ham radio and communication electronics. And, sometime it is just fun to read.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K5VY on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yep! been buying, and reading, them since 1947. I've still got about 20 or so of them. I've got the latest one sitting within 4-5 feet of where I'm sitting. I like the CD too. Kept a bunch of the older ones in an old wooden ammo box stashed in the junk room. Kept going back to it so often I finally put them all on a shelf. Nostalgia I guess....
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KA5KMS on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Mostly the same old stuff year after year.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by AB8XA on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My "new ham" library consists of the ARRL Handbook 2007 (with CD), the ARRL Antenna Book 20th Ed. (with CD), and the ARRL Operating Manual (free with the new ham membership offer that came in the mail shortly after I got my license). Combined with Part 97 on-line at the FCC and ARRL websites, there are years of reading and reference material there.

Having the manuals in PDF files on CD is great since the small text in the big books is tough on these old eyes, especially with less than bright lighting. Being able to zoom PDFs is a blessing, as is the backlighting of a computer monitor. Of course, searching is great feature, too and the PDFs have some pictures in color that are gray scale in the book. From my perspective, they're well written books and easy to read.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by WB2TQC on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have three from 1966, 2000, & 2002. I am finally going to upgrade to Extra and I've had one open on my desk now for the past three months. Some of the answers are hard to find but over all I wouldn't upgrade without one. I owned the 1977 edition and used it for Novice, General & Advanced. I unfortunately discarded it many years ago. Well worth the money.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KC0YVW on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Invaluable indeed. I was thumbing through mine last night at the kids swim-team practice and brought up the PDF version this morning to find some data relating to antenna specs. that I'll be working on this weekend.

Try your public library, they will (sometimes) have the latest version along with the CD.

73
KCØYVW
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KB8QLR on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have the 1995 edition. Bought it a few years ago, used. I think the new ones are expensive, and no, I never bought a college textbook 'cause I never went to college. BTW, you misspelled college. Mine sits on the shelf next to the Operating Manual and Antenna Book (which I won at the Findlay Ohio hamfest).
73
Joe KB8QLR
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W4XKE on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I liked the older book's format and size a lot better than the new ones. It's a lot more convenient to toss an earlier version into the truck or the suitcase because of the smaller size and lighter weight.

Last week I was reading in a section of my soft-cover 2002 handbook and it kept sliding off my lap and trying to close up between my knees. My hands and arms gave out long before I was ready to stop reading. I thought, "I need a podium to lay this thing on! It's like trying to hold one of the huge school dictionaries."

Rather than publish the handbook in a big, flexible text that uses a whole ream of paper in one volume, I wish they’d go back to the original format and make it into a two-volume set. Then I could sit in my armchair and read it without having to fight it every few seconds.

Johnny
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K7PEH on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yes. I own several copies including the 1966 edition I had the year of my Novice license. Now, many here have kept their copies of the handbook but in my case it was pure luck that I kept it as I was away from this hobby for almost 40 years.

There is that curmudgeon comment previously posted here that suggested the ARRL was trying to reach other non-ham readers by changing the content. I had to go grab my latest 2007 edition and scan through the content to see what he meant. I can't figure it out. So, I would like to understand which chapter you (Chip) think is designed for some other audience.

As far as content goes, I recently bought a copy of the RSGB Radio Communication Handbook and it is also a worthy read. It is very similar to the ARRL Handbook but it seems just a little closer to the hobby aspects of ham radio. Of course, this is mere perception after having this book for only about 3 weeks now as I have not thoroughly read it or executed any of the projects.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K5ADF on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, I currently have the 2005 version. I have bought the handbook over the years generally at five year intervals since becoming a ham over 40 years ago. At first I kept the older copies but since have been giving them away to a library. They are a valued asset for looking up technical information. I use the CD since it is easier to use. I wish I could buy only the CD and not the printed copy - hear that ARRL?
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W7ETA on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have ones from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 90s; all were inexpensive on eBay.

Bob
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K7UF on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
There are several problems with the ARRL Handbook from my point of view:

1) It has material missing, apparently only so that the ARRL can sell other books on the subjects.

2) Much of the material comes from old QST articles, which leads to a rather disjointed book, with related material scattered throughout the book, and maybe not covered completely even if you find all the sections.

3) Much of the material (and certainly the majority of the photos) is way out of date. Showing grainy 40 to 50 year old B&W photos of some long dead ham standing next to his car which probably ended up in the junk yard 30 years ago is not the way to entice people into the hobby.

4) The price is exhorbitant - again, not a good way to entice people into the hobby.

I do own one. It won't get updated very often.
I was basically forced to buy the ARRL Antenna Handbook to find material which should have been covered in the ARRL Handbook, and even that has big holes (being compiled in much the same way) -- of course, there is yey another (expensive) book that will fill in the hole that I need information on .. buy maybe I have learned my lesson by now.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by AA4YU on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I just purchased the latest for my return to the airways after almost 15 years absence. I was very disappointed in the material and its organization. Simple questions were not answered anywhere I could find (all the data in the world is useless unless it is properly indexed). For example they have a chart that gives the HF band plan but neglect to mention the convention of which bands use LSB and which bands use USB.

 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K6AER on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting your perception of the handbook. I was looking at the 2002 version and 125 pages were devoted to antenna and propagation. None of the photos were grainy and of the 1209 pages about 10 % was devoted to antennas. Considering there 30 chapters on different subjects this is quite a bit of information on just antennas.

The handbook is a engineering reference and how to book. It is not QST or some other slick monthly publication. The 2002 handbook is listed at $34.95 and I think I bought it at HRO for under $22.00. If you find the handbook price exorbitant some one must be giving you your ham equipment. The price of the handbook is about what you would pay for an average dinner.

I suspect you don’t design or build much of your equipment. by not building equipment you are missing out on one of the great joys of the hobby.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KT4WO on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I was at the Asheville Hamfest in 1995... they called my "call" for a prize!!!... i was SO disapointed when i found out it was the latest Handbook...(wanted that HF radio!!..hee hee),,,, i must say.. i have gotten more use out of it than anything i could have won!!..
is it the best ?? no.... but i still use it all the time... just last week.. was building a homebrew lowpass filter...the charts are right in the back..
YES..the net is great...but most folks dont sit on the "can"(well..sometimes) with a laptop..i do with my handbook almost every trip!!..hee hee
KT4WO

 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KE4FBP on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have a 1979 handbook. To prepare for the Extra exam I went to the local library and signed out the 1991 handbook. Another library had the 2006 book, but it was reference and had to stay in the library. I read it there as I had time.

I intended to take just the General Exam. But, decided to try the Extra too, mostly as a learning experience. I had not looked at the Extra question pool. I (somehow) passed the Extra exam.

Over the years I read various books on radio, so much of what I read was review. But at least the information is there - if it is, as others have mentioned, a bit disorganized.

The handbook varies from being 'text bookish' to being a bit of a show-off. e.g. the article on building a 1.5KW HF amp. Who can actually build from that!!

Also, in past editions, there was suggestion about using 2"x2" lumber to put up a 40 foot antenna mast. They must not make trees like they used to!!

I think the Handbook is an attempt at an impossible task! A single handbook concept is great if the socpe of the technology and the state of the art is basic HF communications. But, there is so much variety in ham radio today. HF, VHF, Microwave, SDR, EME, DX, emergency comms., Digital Modes....

What seems to be missing is the guide for setting up a station with the theory behind the practice explained in a cogent orderly fashion. The information seems to be in there (some place) but it could be better organized. Maybe it is time for a multi-volume set. The problem again is orgainzation. by mode? SSB, CW, digital; By frequency eg HF, VHF, UHF, Micro;??

Maybe we need a ham wikipeadia.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W1YW on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Again, I think you guys missed a key point...

IT USED TO BE CALLED..

"The Radio Amateur's HANDBOOK".

Now it's called..

"THE ARRL HANDBOOK".

It is NOT **devoted** to ham radio. Not anymore.

73,
Chip W1YW
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by WA1RKS on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that the handbook is an essential part of my library.Always has been, could not get along with out one, always find myself going to it for reference. I have always given out my old copies to new hams that I have elmered in. And made sure they knew of its potential values. I have also learned a lot reading old issues of QST (had them back to 1916 at one time,all gone now :( )I found them to continue to be a huge source of input,and Ideas. Just because its old does not mean that it is outdated/outmoded.on the contrary. So there is my 2 cents worth.

Ellis Wa1rks
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KC8VWM on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

...You mean some people don't have one?

Even when I was into SWL'ing, Scanning and BCB DX'ing back in the 70's before I was a ham I had one on hand.

I remember some people even referring to it as a "Radio Bible" at one time. Anyone else remember hearing it called that before?

73 de Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W9WHE-II on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
year over year, the VAST MAJORITY of stuff is essentially recycled. Buy a new one every 7-10 years. Othewrwise, you will be funding arrl retirement accounts.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K0IZ on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The Handbook is a terrific reference for me. Like some others I buy a new one about every 7 to 10 yrs. Of course the fundamental theory sections stay about the same, but my latest (2005) has lots on APRS, digital, software defined, etc that my prior one didn't have.

When a throw-away People magazine sells for $3.95 or so, my opinion is that the Handbook is great value. Of course if one is on a very limited budget, most libraries carry the Handbook. Also, as pointed out above, one or two year old copies are available at nice discount.

K6AER - good post. Hello from Westcliffe.

John
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by N3OX on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W1YW says: "And Horowitz and Hill's Electronics book is a better resource for intro and beyond."

Hard to argue with that... Art of Electronics is a stellar overall electronics reference. They don't cover RF specifics as accessibly, though. Horowitz and Hill is good if you want to start from chapter one and teach yourself electronics.

However, if you'd rather build a QRP rig and get on the air without quite going from the ground up, though, it's not going to get you anywhere. There is something to be learned in building a project that is more advanced than what you can design yourself, especially if you're a hobbyist.

If you're going to make a business or hobby of electronics *design* then something stronger than the ARRL handbook is needed, for sure.

Dan
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by N3OX on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
By the way, K6AER, if the ARRL handbook is your secret to the signal you had when I heard you last night on 20m, then I recommend it strongly!
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by N1XBP on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have the 63, 67, 87, and 2006 editions. By far the first two are the most useful for learning, and the 87 for making things. The 2006 seems to be stripped down. In fact, there isn't much antenna information in there at all compared to the other three, which I think they did to sell the Antenna Handbook. I have a 1949 version of that which is an amazing book which answers lots of my esoteric questions.

All in all, I find the publications of the RSGB to be superior in most regards.

Do yourself a favor and pick them up if you find them. Also, pick up and older copy of the handbook on eBay for a few bucks.. I rarely use the new one.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by AG4RQ on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I own "one" ARRL Handbook. When I first got my ticket in 1995, I bought the ARRL Handbook, the ARRL Operating Manual and the ARRL Antenna Book. I see no need to update them. The 1995 editions are good enough for me. I have to admit that I sooner look up info on the Internet than refer to the books, but I do refer to them from time to time.

If I can find an old Handbook from the seventies or eighties at a hamfest, I would buy it. The projects in the older Handbooks use discrete components rather than ICs. I kind of like that. It's back to basics. You can understand how the circuit works better with discrete components than with ICs.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W3WN on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Chip W1YW said:
---------------------------------------------
Again, I think you guys missed a key point...

IT USED TO BE CALLED..

"The Radio Amateur's HANDBOOK".

Now it's called..

"THE ARRL HANDBOOK".

It is NOT **devoted** to ham radio. Not anymore.

73,
Chip W1YW
---------------------------------------------
Gee, that's funny. My copies all say "The ARRL Handbook for Radio Amateurs" [with "HANDBOOK" on the binder in large print]

As I recall, when the name change occurred (back in the mid-1980;s), it was explained that it had to do with legal technicalities involving the name for copyright purposes.

Now of course, if Chip ever READ the Handbook, he'd know that it has only undergone a name change.

On the other hand, maybe I thought that chapters on Amateur Radio, Electrical Fundamentals, Radio Design, Radio Principles, Modulation Methods, Construction & Maintenance, and being On The Air had something to do with Amateur Radio. But I guess since Chip is a retired college professor and fractal antenna inventor and all that, he obviously must know something that I don't about why those have nothing to do with Amateur Radio.

73
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K4JF on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I own a whole stack of them (after 32+ years). Absolutely the best reference for amateur raduo. Nothing else even comes close to covering the essentials of ham radio. (and it's fun to go back to old ones and see the construction projects of a few years ago).

NO ham station should be without the latest copy. There is no better reference. Period.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K4JF on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I own a whole stack of them (after 32+ years). Absolutely the best reference for amateur raduo. Nothing else even comes close to covering the essentials of ham radio. (and it's fun to go back to old ones and see the construction projects of a few years ago).

NO ham station should be without the latest copy. There is no better reference. Period.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by WA2CWS on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"...this is a result of the dumbing down of amateur radio technical articles... Hams today have fewer technical skills...

I kind of resent these comments. I have an IQ of 129 and when I was in high school in 1975, earned my General ticket. As the son of a Mechanical Engineer, I thought for sure I would grow up to be an Engineer myself. My father wanted me to be a Doctor, so I went into Biology instead. I am very good at what I do,It's just not electronics anymore.

It doesn't mean I don't like Ham radio. I am on the Waltham, MA repeaters every day. Based on what I hear on 2 meters, Engineers up here keep getting fired and jobs go overseas, so soon no one will have an Engineering or Electronics background. You aren't going to get people to become Hams if you keep saying they are dumb. Embrace change and your hobby will thrive.

Mark WA2CWS
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K0FF on March 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I miss the ads in the back. Looking back they are like a history lesson.

Geo>K0FF
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by MASON on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
yep I think Chip missed the boat! He couldnt read and never fiqured out what the ARRL handbook was about. What a shame. He buys his 2K.W. amp. I build mine with instructions and help in the ARRL handbook. Lots cheaper than an ameritron. Lol. Ev
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K6YE on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Mike,

A good can of worms. I own several and they have provided a wealth of data. I started collecting them in the early 60's for technical and tube data. At times I have given the newer ones to new and interested hams. I also have copies of The Communications Handbook.

I have attended lots of Hamfests and always note that there are at least a couple of the books for sale. I generally see someone buying one. The Handbook has a wealth of data in one package. Most everyone should own at leat one copy. Crack the bad boy open once in awhile and let its goodness seep into your brain.

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
DX IS
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W1YW on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"yep I think Chip missed the boat! He couldnt read and never fiqured out what the handbook was about."

--------------------------------------

The above comment is defamatory.

The fact is that I have owned 'RA Handbook's in the past; the question referred to the present.

I am a retired professor who taught telecom/signals and systems courses, among others.

I have read past editions, and I have a good to excellent understanding of the material.

My point. already clearly stated, is the the ARRL HANDBOOK is not the RADIO AMATEUR'S HANDBOOK, and thus as an intended general REFERENCE, I believe Horowitz and Hill is superior in that category. Your belief system may differ.

73,
Chip W1YW
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W1YW on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"On the other hand, maybe I thought that chapters on Amateur Radio, Electrical Fundamentals, Radio Design, Radio Principles, Modulation Methods, Construction & Maintenance, and being On The Air had something to do with Amateur Radio. But I guess since Chip is a retired college professor and fractal antenna inventor and all that, he obviously must know something that I don't about why those have nothing to do with Amateur Radio. "--W3WN
------------------------------

Well, I believe that your responses are compatible with a jealous person. And yes; I have read your other responses W3WN.

Perhaps it would be best for you to let people know where and why you are coming from, or accept the fact that not everyone in the universe has exactly your frame of mind.

Have a great day!

73,
Chip W1YW
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KI6EAA on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I picked up a copy of the 2006 Handbook last year. As a reference, and a learning tool for many aspects of electronics, it is very good.

As a very new ham (tech last year, general this year), the Handbook was of little help to me. I found it lacking in practical advice on equipment options, station setup, and most of all operations (antenna advice, practical propagation, etc). The chapters vary quite a bit in the quality of writing and in general organization. Basic electronics section was good, DSP section was not, in my opinion.

I didn't expect one manual to cover every situation, but I would have expected more information that a new ham would need. Maybe I purchase the wrong book for my situation, or maybe the 2007 edition is better.

The projects range from interesting and practical to very odd. How many hams are going to make a big switching power supply and wind the transformers? A more practical article may be adapting commercial or computer power supplies to ham radio equipment.

That said, as a reference, it is a valuable book.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K7FE on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Books??? Who want to read. Besides my brain gets tired, couldn't someone just tell me how to do "it" so I don't have to pick up a book.

Build, learn, arrrrrgh!


p.s.

Bill Orr's RADIO HANDBOOK is also a great one. My oldest ARRL RADIO AMATEUR HANDBOOK is 1943, they were one dollar then.

73,
Terry, K7FE
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W6TH on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
.

My books go back to the year of 1940 the 17th edition. My books say "The Radio Amateur's Handbook". I had a few which I have given to my nephew, the first issues back in 1926, quite impressive I may say, he keeps them in a glass case with a pad lock.

The price of my 1940 "The radio amateur's handbook" was a mere $1.00, probably worth $15.00 or more on eBAY. I also have others dating up to the year of 1966, 1950, 1960 and the 1966.

Back in 1940 we had Kenneth B. Warner managing secretary, A.R.R.L.

Yes, even when going to college my college used the handbooks for a reference handbook. I bet yours did also.

73, W6TH.

.:
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W7NWH on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yes I do!

In my ham career I've purchased about 3 of them! First one was 1978, next '86 and the latest 2003!

I've collected a few from years gone by - I have a '63 someplace, my oldest is mid 1950's.

The 2003 edition I use mainly as reference when I'm trying to figure something out or have forgotten some thing I used to know! Right now I'm using it to upgrade to Extra and I need all the theory help I can get! hi!

Worth the money and a great reference every shack should have access too! Recommended

John W7NWH
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K0XU on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I think Chip is just mad that they don't say anything about fractured, I mean fractal antennas.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by WA9SVD on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don't own a copy. Rather several copies (about ten at last count,) back to 1971. I usually buy a new edition every few years, when there are significant changes in the construction chapters.

Strangely enough, the solid theory sections at the beginning of the Handbooks haven't changed all that much. I guess the laws of Physics are not subject to the theory of relativity.

Unfortunately, my brother tossed his copies (about four) of Handbooks from the early 60's. Only portions of his 1967 HB remain.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"It has material missing, apparently only so that the ARRL can sell other books on the subjects."

How can you expect it to cover everything? I mean, really, it would have to be about 36" thick to do that and still someone would complain that it's missing something. I don't think it's about selling more books, it's a matter of practicality. For example, you get a basic overview of antenna theory and some basic projects. If you want something more in-depth, you buy some of the antenna compendiums. Same thing for microwave theory; they have other books devoted to just microwave, more than the average ham would probably care for in the Handbook.

In spite of all its faults, the Handbook is still the best overall book for RF communications written in a way that most people can understand.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"My point. already clearly stated, is the the ARRL HANDBOOK is not the RADIO AMATEUR'S HANDBOOK, and thus as an intended general REFERENCE"

Actually, it's "The ARRL Handbook for Radio Amateurs", but most call it "The Handbook". While you've clearly stated it, it's unclear how you've come to the conclusion that it's just a reference by looking at the name, especially since "reference" isn't in the title. I use it as a reference, but anyone can read it from cover to cover and learn alot. (I read a 1975 Handbook from cover to cover to get my license) You can't really do that with a reference.

 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W9XAN on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
About a dozen of them, from 1934 to 2006. Also the reproduction of the 1926 first edition that was published last year.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by N0AH on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
ARRL Operating Manual 4th edition purchased in 1996. Still have yet to find a more complete guide to equipment and operating techniques of it's day or since then--
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by AD7DB on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have them from 1959, 1979 and 1988. I guess I should get a more current one but need a round TUIT for that. The 1959 one I bought used of course. The OM who'd owned it (who's probably SK now) had made lots of hand written notes in the margins, particularly in the tube reference area. Gives it some real character.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by AB5GU on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I think a step in the right direction would be for the ARRL to redo the Handbook. The Handbook is full of useful projects that make for a nice artical, but leave out most of the information really needed to sucessfully complete the project. I know that the book can only be so big, printing costs and all, but the detailed build info can easily be added to the CD. For that matter, the detailed build sheets could be sold as a builder's addendum to the Handbook.

The ARRL Handbook in it's present state is geared too much towards the engineers who are writing the articals and already understand the principles, not towards the hams who could use the information in a different format.

I buy one every year, repeated information and all.
de AB5GU
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"It is NOT **devoted** to ham radio. Not anymore."

Last time I checked it was all about amateur radio.

Chip, are you just taking a contrary position that will get the most responses?
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W1YW on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Who are you? Tell me and I will be happy to oblige.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K3GI on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I own several. I can't imagine being an amateur and not owning it. I've got to get the 2007 soon.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W1YW on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
For reasons that are inexplicable, some of you think that the ARRL Handbook is 'for radio amateurs'. In fact, the title IS:

** ARRL HANDBOOK FOR RADIO COMMUNICATIONS **

and it describes itself as:

"The Comprehensive Radio Engineering reference"

Here is a link showing the cover. Go look....

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/0872599485/ref=dp_image_text_0/104-4306223-0395943?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books

This is NOT the 'Radio Amateur's Handbook' of years gone by, because it no longer is targeted for the radio amateur.

I hope those goofy folks who claim otherwise will accept the FACT rather than their dream vision of it.

73,
Chip W1YW
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KI6LO on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Regardless of the title, I have 10 or so going back to my Novice year of 1976. Yes the information does repeat somewhat, but every so often an edition has lots of good new stuff. I take a look every year but usually only buy one every few years.

I also have the Amateur Operating Manual. I also think that every shack should have a copy of these two books on hand.

Gene KI6LO
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Who are you? Tell me and I will be happy to oblige. "

I'm STRAIGHTKEY, thanks for asking. Now be happy and oblige.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"This is NOT the 'Radio Amateur's Handbook' of years gone by, because it no longer is targeted for the radio amateur."

Well I'll be. They done changed the title. I guess they ain't targetin amateur radio no more. I'll have to stop buying them there handbooks. I wonder who they're fixin to target and whose goin to publish a hand book since we ain't got one no more?
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Many of the hams have complained there are fewer construction articles but this is a result of the dumbing down of amateur radio technical articles that appear in QST."

Any proof of this? Have you ever read QEX?

I've got stacks of QSTs from the 70s and 80s. Today's QST is much more varied with articles from both ends of the spectrum from beginner to advanced. Even if there was a decrease in construction articles, there's still plenty of quality material to pick from for publishing in the Handbook. I think you're seeing more of an editorial direction decision more than anything. With the Internet, construction projects are much easier to publish and locate. While construction articles in the Handbook are nice, theory is timeless and always valuable long after a construction project is no longer feasible to build due to part availability or changing technology.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by N1ERF on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'd like to read them before I buy them. Every four or five years seems to be about right for updating. It is nice to have something as a desk reference.
QEX - Now there's a real ham's magazine... Too bad that I get the impression that the ARRL isn't too proud of it. I think that they should be pushing that magazine a little bit more and base a handbook off of that...

John
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KB9RQZ on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
you work for the ARRL?

I own one somewhere in the stuff not yet unpacked from the latest move
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KG6R on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My question is: Can anyone post an article without some
flamers going ballistic?? Sheesh! All this concern over global warming and there are some ham windbags on this forum creating all of this hot air.

Will the endless, willful destruction of our planet never end?

73 de KG6R formerly kg6qhp

Jim
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by N3OX on March 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"My question is: Can anyone post an article without some
flamers going ballistic?? "

Nope, internet.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K5YF on March 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I do not own a recent edition of the handbook, but in storage I have a couple from the 20's, late 40's, and late 70's. I found the 20's and 40's issues in the attic of a very old house. All of them are great reading from a historic prospective.

Chaff not withstanding, I've read some pretty darn good tutorials here on eHam that would easily supplant sections in the latest handbook. I happened upon one by Dan, N3OX, today in the Elmer’s forum that illustrates my point. http://www.eham.net/forums/Elmers/138609 Dan is able to focus on the issue in his thoughtful responses but most of the handbooks tend to be about the same degree on the other side of vague.

What seems to be the biggest problem with the later editions of the handbook, and the reason I don’t own one of them, is the way they are organized. The flow of it must have been logical to someone in the ARRL publishing department, yet I cannot grasp that logic. The antenna handbooks, of which I have the 17th, 18th, and 20th editions on hand, seem have followed a similar logic. Each is equally worthy as an antenna reference. None of them would suffice as a stand-alone reference.

If you need a reference book for operating an amateur radio station, get a recent book about operating techniques.

If you need an antenna reference book and you don’t have a lot of antenna experience, get an old 80’s or before amateur radio handbook or technical college - freshman RF text.

I’m not entirely sure that the ARRL amateur handbook or the antenna handbook was actually meant to be read, but instead are meant to be a casual reference to the “enlightened” radio amateur.

Before you buy one, go to your local public library and judge for yourself.

Take care and be well my friends,

-Brandon
73 de N5JYK

--- DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed here are my own---
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KC8VWM on March 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I like the disclaimer but I have to agree with you that Dan, N3OX knows his stuff and I always enjoy reading his responses.

Therefore, I have to conclude according to your disclaimer, that it couldn't possibly be just your own opinion expressed, since it exactly the same as my opinion expressed, hence your disclaimer is now considered null and void.

:)

73



 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W1YW on March 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Gee, that's funny. My copies all say "The ARRL Handbook for Radio Amateurs" [with "HANDBOOK" on the binder in large print]

As I recall, when the name change occurred (back in the mid-1980;s), it was explained that it had to do with legal technicalities involving the name for copyright purposes.

Now of course, if Chip ever READ the Handbook, he'd know that it has only undergone a name change. "--W3WN

---------------------------------------------

I have read several editions of the Radio Amateur's Handbook. That book doesn't exist anymore. This name change has nothing to do with "legal technicalities". It has to do with a target audience, which now goes far beyond radio amateurs, and includes LESS ham stuff and MORE stuff of general interest to radio engineering. And it is NOT called the "ARRL HANDBOOK FOR RADIO AMATEURS".

It is called:

*** ARRL HANDBOOK FOR RADIO COMMUNICATIONS ***

with a title rubric of:

"THE COMPREHENSION RADIO ENGINEERING REFERENCE".


I think you selected folks should check out the facts before you use false allegations as a basis for personal attacks. Especially against those whose expertise lies in this field, and upon which false statements that are injurious constitute defamation.

Good thing I am such a nice guy that I give you a heads up. You don't get any others.


73,
Chip W1YW
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by VE3WGO on March 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have a collection of handbooks, 36 in all, going back to the 1933 hardcover edition. I started buying new ones in the late 60s, and picked up a few earlier editions at fleamarkets, online etc, over the years. I think the heyday for the ARRL Handbook was in the 1960-1990 timeframe, when it had lots of real design information, graphs, charts, lots of useful data in tabular form, and lots of interesting projects. You could design a power supply, or an amplifier or oscillator from the book as I did in high school for my Grade 12 electronics project - a cw/ssb superhet receiver. It showed you how to design a yagi antenna. It had electronics component data. It was a practical guide for electronics in general, and ham radio in particular. I even have the dogeared 1940 edition that my Dad used as his radio & electronics textbook in high school!

Pick up today's handbook and what is it? A story book is what it is. It deosn't show you how to write DSP code to design a filter - but it comes close. It doesn't tell you how to design an antenna for 2.4 GHz for WiFi or for an OSCAR downlink, but it comes close. I have better books for everything I need. I have argued about with previous editors by email, but status quo prevails.

I lead a team of RF engineers in the Wireless business, and we can't use the ARRL Handbook for much because it's too basic. Wireless these days is what hams refer to as UHF and Microwaves which is outside of the Handbook's main area of interest, and DSP modem and filter design is considered "heavy science". The ARRL Handbook isn't too helpful in those areas - and they are beyond the realm of the tinkering Saturday afternoon ham now. As a tinkering ham, I can't use the modern Handbook for much, because it doesn't have enough useful data in it - I would refer to a "handbook" to get data, but not this one.

What kind of data? Well, let's see... I wanted 6AN8 tube pinout info for a heathkit RF sig gen I was fixing, and the handbook doesn't have basic tube info anymore - in spite of the growing public interest in restoring tube equipment. (so I looked in an old edition for it). It also doesn't have pinouts for TTL/CMOS digital logic ICs for the function generator I am building (so I hauled out the TI databooks).

There really isn't much data there, for a big floppy book that calls itself a "handbook".

So there are those of you who might say, well, if you need data, look on the internet, don't criticize the ARRL Handbook for not having it. Ok, then what do I need an ARRL "Handbook" for, if I can't use it as a real handbook.

I like the ARRL Handbook, in spite of my criticisms above. But I like it for what it represents, not for what it contains. It reminds me of my youth, when HF bands were the only way to talk around the world, when nighttime propagation was a magical thing, when old TVs could be ripped apart in Dad's basement for parts to build a new gizmo, when I could fashion an old TV antenna into a 2 meter yagi, and when I would eagerly await the new edition of the "Radio Amateur's Handbook" to reach the store shelves, so I could drool over the newest radio projects. If the name of the ARRL's flagship publication changes much more, that connection will probably be totally lost.

That was then, this is now. I guess you get what you pay for.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by N1EY on March 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
:Interesting your perception of the handbook. I was
:looking at the 2002 version and 125 pages were devoted
:to antenna and propagation. None of the photos were
:grainy and of the 1209 pages about 10 % was devoted to
:antennas. Considering there 30 chapters on different
:subjects this is quite a bit of information on just
:antennas.

:The handbook is a engineering reference and how to
: It is not QST or some other slick monthly
:The 2002 handbook is listed at $34.95 and I think I
:bought it at HRO for under $22.00. If you find the
:handbook price exorbitant some one must be giving you
:your ham equipment. The price of the handbook is about
:what you would pay for an average dinner.

I think that the book is disjointed. I would rather have it more organized like the Antenna Handbook. I think that a ham has to have at least both books and actually read them. I do think that the book is not cheap, but it is not overly expensive. However, a dinner costs less than $22.

I think that many hams do not want anything from the ARRL simply because the ARRL is the ARRL. The handbook and the Antennae books are great to for an easy resource.

I've told people on the local repeater to get a handbook because it would show them pictures and have text to explain it rather than have me repeat over and over, again.

N1EY
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KC9KHT on March 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Have not got one yet as I am new to the hobby and wanted to get something on the air first and have a very limited budget. Plan to look for one on e-bay or breaking down and buying a new one in the next few months.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K7FE on March 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
KHT,
Most of the public libraries will have a copy of the ARRL Radio (Amateur's) Handbook that you may check out.

73,
Terry, K7FE
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by AA4LR on March 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Not only do I own an ARRL Handbook, I think of it as an indispensible reference on Amatuer Radio.

I have several - 1975, 1983, 1986, 1991, 2000. (I think it is time to buy another) I learned electronics by reading the 1971 handbook. (That was my brother's, we ended up wearing that one out completely) I built many project using designs from the Hankbooks. (And even the ones that did not work allowed me to learn something about electronics)

Just after Christmas this past year, I built a two-tube crystal-controlled transmitter for SKN, and I referenced data in the handbooks, as well as circuits and other design details.

I don't think any amatuer should be with a copy of the Handbook. Fortunately, a lot of the information in it is timeless, so it doesn't go out of date. A Handbook that is 5-10 years old is nearly as useful as a current copy.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by N0XMZ on March 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Absolutely. The Handbook is invaluable. I also have the Antenna Book and the CDs for both. Installed the .pdf's on the home and laptop computers. My laptop goes with me everywhere so any time I want to look something up, it's right at my fingertips.

 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KC2PNF on March 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I got the 1990 book when I was 13 because a friend thought it would be a good resource for amplifier technology. We were building projects for use with our guitars at the time. It sat on my shelf and collected dust until two winters ago, I read it cover to cover during the dark winter months (the parts I got anyway). Then I found out how easy it was to test and got my ticket. Since then there hasn't been a week that I havent' cracked that volume. What a treasure trove!

Jon Dayton
KC2PNF
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W3WN on March 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'm truly, terribly sorry Chip. I most humbly apologize for not believing you, but instead believing what was printed on my copies of the Handbook and what was printed inside of them. I should never have made the horrible error of not believing you, but instead believing in what I saw with my own eyes. Oh, woe is me, for looking at my 2002 Edition. That's what I get for giving my 2005 Edition away to a new ham who needed it. Whatever was I thinking?

And I feel I must also apologize on behalf of the ARRL, who continue to print a book now titled "The ARRL HANDBOOK for Radio Communications." After all, what has Radio Communications got to do with Amateur Radio?

And my goodness, how dare the ARRL print in the Handbook an article on a low power transceiver, or a CMOS Keyer, or a remote antenna switch, or even a low band antenna? We all know that these are positively items of general interest to radio engineering, and of no interest at all to the Amateur Radio public... after all, you just said so!

No, no, you're absolutely right, the Handbook has nothing to do anymore with Amateur Radio. You said so, therefore, it must be true. And heaven help the ARRL for putting in anything technical that might serve as good background or instruction material for a new amateur or an existing one who might want to learn some theory. How dare they assume that someone might want to learn something? Nope, you've got it down pat... the book is totally useless to amateur radio operators and the ARRL staff should be publicly flogged accordingly.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by N1XBP on March 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

it seems to me that

ARRL Handbook : QST :: Experimental Methods in RF Design : QEX
 
To 1947"  
by KB1HTW on March 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
MASON,

While I don't have every copy dating back to 1947, I do have a copy of the official War Department edition of the 1942 ARRL Handbook. (At least I think it's 1942 - I'll have to check when I get home...)
 
The radio amateurs library  
by KC2LSU on March 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It may be called the ARRL Handbook, but on the copyright page it states it's publication #6 in the Radio Amateurs Library.. so what are publications 1 to 5??

As a part-time electrical engineer, part-time systems analyst, a part-time psk 31 operator, and a part-time out of work actor; I found the handbook very helpfull to show me the basics of how to get started with things..

p.s. I failed the extra by two questions, cause I can never remember f = 1/(2(pi)sqrt(lc)), unless I'm looking at it in a book. I used to have the same problem with morse, thankfully a miracle occured and that pre-requsite has gone away
 
RE: Pi  
by AE6RO on March 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I looked into a 2005 handbook and it was way too technical for me.
I have to agree with those who say the Handbook isn't just for hams. I think it is marketed for radio professionals.
73 John AE6RO
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KA5ROW on March 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yes I have one, a year 2000 edition. I also have a 1956 edition just for fun so I could see the way things were in the year I was born.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by N4KC on March 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Put me in the, "Yes, I own a copy of the 'Handbook'" column--the 2006 edition. The CD version is a great help, too. CTRL-F is a useful function to quickly find whatever you are looking for in the PDF.

It's pretty dry reading, for sure, but anytime I have a question, I can usually find an answer quickly. And if I can't, the Internet is always there, ready to be Googled.

73,

Don N4KC
www.donkeith.com/n4kc.htm
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W7VU on March 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have the 1953 Handbook that I used to study for my Novice license back in 1953.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W4VR on March 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It's an excellent reference book, along with the ITT Radio Engineer's Handbook. Wherever I've worked, broadcast consulting, marine radio engineering, etc., I always kept a copy of each in my office.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KE4ZHN on March 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Nope. Theres too many other ways to get information. Besides, I refuse to give money to a dictatorship.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K4JF on March 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have a recent one, and buy a new one every few years. It is a great source of information, put out by a membership democratic organization that is specific to my needs. In my opinion, every ham station should have one or more.

Besides, it's fun every once in a while, to go back and read a 20 year old one. My, we have come a long way! :o)
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on March 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Besides, I refuse to give money to a dictatorship. "

Are you aware that the ARRL actually has a system of divisions and sections, each with division directors, vice directors, and section managers, in addition to a salaried management team that resembles that of a typical corporation? How is that a dictatorship?

If you're going to bust on the ARRL for something, at least have a VALID reason that's supported by facts.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W4LGH on March 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
YEP! From 1964 to 2006. Actually with the 2006 Hardbound copy, I think the repo handbook was from 1936? You don't need one every year, probably somewhere in the 3 to 5 year range is good.

I remember when the ARRL handbook was under $10, the damn things are now over $60! But the ARRL has become Big Business, and doesn't really care about its members, as long as they make money!

======================================================
ANTI-ARRL COMMERCIAL
Drop your membership! DO NOT Join or RENEW your ARRL MEMBERSHIP! They are NOT looking our for our BEST interests! Maybe they have you FOOLED..but they have done MORE HARM to HAM RADIO in the past decade then they have done good since its start!
======================================================


73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by WR8Y on March 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Is the Handbook worth having? Well, I'v been a component-level electronic technician for 26 years now (I spend most of my time on RF circuit repairs) and I have the 1976 and 1995 editions on the shelf above my bench. I refer to them all the time, and often use them to prove I am right about some electronic/RF question being asked in the shop.

They also make a good source of review (or even first-time educational material) for the CET's associate and journeyman exams!

As for ham radio use:
How could someone be a ham and NOT have one? (Oh, and don't waste your money on a new one - I have NEVER owned a new one. Go to eBay and pick up one for under $15 - shipping included. Your goal is to have one that's, say, under 10 and maybe under 5 years old.) I have about 15 copies from 1950 to 2002, all bought at hamfests or eBay.

New books are for rich people! :)

 
RE: Pi  
by WR8Y on March 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
AE6RO said:

""""I looked into a 2005 handbook and it was way too technical for me."""""

The first time I looked at one, (at age 14) it was too much for me, too. But the idea is to GET IT, USE IT, READ IT and APPLY IT!!!! That is how you learn - and you'll find the hobby to be more rewarding when you can understand more and solve your own problems!

Go on eBay and get one - no, you don't have to sit and read it, but you can sure use it when a problem/question comes up.

I have a real good friend who is an engineer - I once asked him how he could have learned SO MUCH in 4 years of school (for his BSEE). He said he learned much of what he knows NOT because of college, but because he "reads anything I can get my hands on."

... fine, but I still wish I'd gone on to a BSEE.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on March 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I remember when the ARRL handbook was under $10, the damn things are now over $60! "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation
 
RE: Pi  
by AE6RO on March 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the idea about reading the newest technical marvel until I understand it. The latest Handbook I have is 1997. Was five bucks at a swapmeet last year. Only look at it when I have to.
I think the golden age of ham radio was either the 1950s or the 1930s. Not that I'm sure I was around then. 73, AE6RO
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K4JF on March 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I remember when the ARRL handbook was under $10, the damn things are now over $60! "


That's cheap. Priced any college textbooks or professional handbooks lately? (Last one I bought was over $200.)
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K3YD on March 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I bought my first Handbook in 1966 with tips I received from my paper route. That was about 2 months after I got my general. Since then, I've purchased a new one, on average, about every 5 years.

There are several things I found more appealing about the older handbooks:
1. The size of the book. It was easier to carry and hold while reading.

2. THE QUALITY OF THE PAPER. It had substance, it didn't tear if you looked at it wrong, and it smelled good. The cover material was more rugged, also.

3. The advertising in the rear of the book which is a history of amateur radio, as well as a convenient place to find parts and equipment sources.

I don't ever throw out an old edition because certain information disappears from each new edition, but it is still interesting and useful.

Even though I don't use my newer handbooks more than the old handbooks, they look far more abused after a year or two than the 40 year old edition does today because of the poor quality paper.

I know the paper quality is driven by price, but I'd pay more for a deluxe edition printed on better paper.

 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W9WHE-II on March 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
CONSIDERING THE AMOUNT OF "RECYCLING" ARRL DOES IN ITS PUBLICATIONS, YOU DON'T NEED TO BUY A NEW HANDBOOK EVERY YEAR. ABOUT EVERY 5-10 YEARS WOULD SUFFICE QUITE NICELY.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KB4YKJ on March 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Nope, I don't spend any money with the ARRL. If anyone else published it possibly then. Have no desire to support a fat cat organization that operates primarily for their benefit.

Was a member one year. Only thing it got me was a magazine that was full of advertisements. Never again. Every library has one available for check out at no charge or at least here they do.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K4JF on March 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Was a member one year. Only thing it got me was a magazine that was full of advertisements. "

You don't use 17 or 12 meters? Or 30 meter band?
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W9AC on March 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
> "I own a whole stack of them (after 32+ years)..."

I keep a sample of about two handbooks per decade going back to the 1920s. The reason is that some past issues cover techniques that are no longer addressed today. For example, I wanted to construct a balanced, link-coupled tuner and the recent editions touch on the subject but the amount of relevant information is found in Handbooks going back to the '30s.

Same with the ARRL Antenna Book. I had to go back to a late '40s edition to find out how to make open feeder line using the ceramic spreader blocks common-place during that era. These blocks contain a notch and a hole but for the life of me, I could not be sure if the line wire passed through the hole or was pressed against the notch and held with a small wire-wrap through the hole. One picture from the old Handbook was worth a thousand words.

Paul, W9AC
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by VE3WGO on March 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Four things I wish ARRL would do to improve the Handbook:

1. publish it once every two or three years, and make bigger changes between editions. I imagine one reason that so few changes make it into each annual edition is that there just isn't enough time or input to make much of a difference so quickly.

2. add more data tables, about all the components that ham radio equipment uses past and present, including tubes, transistors, ICs, etc, like an electronics "handbook" should.

3. trim out some of the text to make the book more compact and appealing on the bookshelf. The old editions were easier to read and a nicer book to handle and file on a shelf.

4. add more construction details on VHF, UHF, and Microwave projects, since that is the future of radio. Even old editions often had more than today's handbook has!
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KB4YKJ on March 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yes I do. I don't need a magazine to tell me when the band is hot cause I can only get on when I can, not when the book tells me I should. I prefer to take my chances on the band but then I'm not a contester either. Plus, you can get the same forecast from spaceweather.com and other sites.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K4UUG on March 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?


YES AND THE CD
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K4UUG on March 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
K5VY DO YOU HAVE THE 1957 VINTAGE IF SO HOW MUCH TO PART WITH IT?
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KI6BIG on March 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I inherited the '86 handbook from my uncle (silent key N8EMT) along with a TON of HF gear last year. Most of the equipment is older Drake brand and Heathkit stuff from the '50's thru the early '80's.

KI6BIG
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by N3VG on March 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I purchase on every few years. Nice reference material to have around.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K1OU on March 25, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I buy a new edition every chance I get just so I can irritate W9WHE.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KT6K on March 26, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
1954 Amateur Radio Handbook and 1994 ARRL Handbook
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KI4SBJ on March 26, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have the 2006. I also have the 1977 Antenna handbook
and wonder if I should ever get a newer one as all the
antenna articles in the new handbook are in the old 1977
Ant. HB.

73
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by WD4CHP on March 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have several.
When ever I find one that I do not have, I get it.
I fine more information in the older ones than in the more "up to date" ones.
I made the mistake on getting the 2007 edition with the cd.
I found it useless as all the information is in the older ones.
The cd does not respond well on older windows OS's or on the Macs.
The oldest one I have has a cover price of $2.00. I think I paid %5.00 at a hamfest, but it was well worth it.
The older ARRL books are also helpful. Such as the one on antennas or mobile operation. I couldn't find plans for a Halo antenna for 2 meters in any of the newer publications . I found the plans in an old moble book.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W9WHE-II on March 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
NO NEED TO BUY A NEW ANTENNA HANDBOOK.
The laws of physics and antennas (except for the StepIR) have not changed significantly.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by K7PEH on March 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<Quote>
NO NEED TO BUY A NEW ANTENNA HANDBOOK.
The laws of physics and antennas (except for the StepIR) have not changed significantly.
</Quote>

That may be true about the laws of physics but certainly not true about antennas. Read any recent copy of the IEEE Journal on Antennas and Propagation and you will find considerable research and new development regarding antennas, propagation issues, reflection and interference issues, solutions to equations (mathematical or numerical methods), so on and so forth.

OK, I will admit these are not ham radio antennas. The closest topics I see that might be useful for ham radio (HF) antennas are improvements to various mathematical solution techniques or possibly various propagation patterns achieved via arrays of antennas. But, still these are interesting articles though I admit to favoring interest in the mathematical side rather the engineering side. As far as antennas though, most of the research is in micro-strip antennas, cellular propagation or interference problems, and other things of that ilk. But, there are indeed lots of research going on.

Not long ago there was an interesting article about HF antennas used on Navy ships that are made almost entirely of conductive material. Thus, if you are a ham operator on-board a steel ship this might be useful.

Yes, I will buy the next ARRL Antenna Handbook. I keep all my handbooks on the lower levels of my bookcases and it gives them alot of stability because of their heavy weight. I may be slightly changing the direction of gravity due to the heavy mass -- and, this is definitely in my favor as the bathroom scales are in the next room where I weigh myself each morning. Just a few more pounds to go to reach my college wrestling weight -- I need to buy more ARRL handbooks I see.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by AB8XA on March 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Just to clarify, the Handbook and Antenna Book are on CD in PDF files, which are viewable on many platforms, including my Macs. To use the multi-file PDF index, you have to install Adobe Acrobat Viewer, as instructed, since Apple's Preview software doesn't work with it. The PDFs also work with Acrobat Reader on ubuntu Linux, but the multi-file index also doesn't the Evince PDF viewer.

The included ham software is DOS/Windows based and from what little I've tried so far works under BootCamp or Parallels. I haven't tried any with WINE on Linux.
 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W1YW on March 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"That may be true about the laws of physics but certainly not true about antennas. Read any recent copy of the IEEE Journal on Antennas and Propagation and you will find considerable research and new development regarding antennas, propagation issues, reflection and interference issues, solutions to equations (mathematical or numerical methods), so on and so forth."
------------------------------------------

Nah. Incremental and behind the true state of the art. But at least more advanced than a 'zep antenna...and other antediluvian antennas.

Nice sentiment though.

73,
Chip W1YW
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by AE6RO on March 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah. I'll bet the they spent lots of money reinventing the antenna wheel.
How many different ways can you put up a piece of metal and feed signal to it?!
Modern antenna research sounds tailor-made for overpaid ultra-clever Post-Generation X Electrical engineers. Especially if they need computer programs to design them.
Warning: If they ever let near a soldering iron, the metal end is for soldering only and may be hot. So pick it up from the cold end. 73, AE6RO
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by W9WHE-II on March 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"How many different ways can you put up a piece of metal and feed signal to it?"

Let's see, what's new (last 10 years) with:

a) Diploes? (Yup, still require 2 halves)
b) Verticals? (Yup, still require counterpoise/radials to be efficent)
c) Beams? (yup, still require multiple elements)

Yup. So MUCH has changed about antennas in the past 10 years!

YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY NEW ANTENNA BOOKS EVERYTIME THEY COME OUT.
NEITHER PHYSICS NOR ANTENNAS HAVE CHANGED ALL THAT SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE PAST 10-15 YEARS.


 
Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by VE3WGO on March 31, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, I own about 36 editions from the 1930s to the newest one. The ARRL is selling as well as it ever has, according to ARRL comments.

I looked in a few recent ARRL Annual Reports, and in the 2005 report for example, ARRL says it sold $3.7 Million of publications. If we assume that Handbooks were roughly half of that, and a handbook averages $50 each, then they sold 37,000 handbooks in fiscal 2005.

I don't know how many hams there are in the world, but lets say it is 2 million. That means one ham in about 50 bought an ARRL Handbook in 2005.

If that is the sales volume, then ARRL needs to strongly consider changing the Handbook from an annual publication to something that comes out once every two, three or maybe four years, the way the Antenna Book and Operating Manual do. That way, a lot more interesting stuff can be written and edited into each one, instead of making annual deadlines for a modest seller.
 
RE: Do You Own an ARRL Handbook?  
by KI4WGI on March 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I owned the 1986 & 2001 versions before I was a HAM, picked up a 1976 off eBay (it's what I read in Hign School) and just received the 2007 (was going to get an '08 but could not pass up the ARRL deal on last years version). I keep the 86 edition at work as a reference.
 
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