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Book Review

Review

50 Projects for Radio Amateurs

Edited by Mike Browne, G3DIH

Many good projects have been published over the years but they tend to fade into obscurity and/or

use components that become hard to get as time passes. However, in this book Mike Brown has

carefully selected projects from

RadCom

,

RadCom Plus

,

Radio & Electronics Cookbook

,

Practical

Projects

and

Weekend Projects

that have stood the test of time and, most importantly, for which

you can still get the necessary bits.

It’s an eclectic collection, ranging from relatively simple portable aerials up to quite complex

projects like a DIY antenna analyser and a 70cm handheld. There are projects for Morse, audio

filters, antenna projects, receiver, transmitter and converter projects, test equipment, power supply

circuits and more. As you would expect, the text is accompanied by very clear diagrams and

photographs. All of the projects are described to the level of detail you’d normally expect for projects

to construct, and the wide range means that there is something for everyone’s taste, skill range,

and budget.

Perhaps one of the simplest, yet most useful projects I noticed was a low battery alarm. This

very straightforward circuit uses one Zener diode and one unijunction transistor to sound a warning

on a small loudspeaker when the supply (battery) voltage goes below a certain limit. It’s built on

a scrap of copper-clad board with simple saw cuts to make ‘tracks’ (I’m sure Veroboard would

work equally well) and full constructional notes are given. Very simple, very eonomical, and very

effective – and much the same can be said of the other well-chosen projects.

This book is sure to fire your imagination and the wealth of different projects means that there’s

something for everyone. The majority of them use straightforward, through-hole components and

other items you may well have in your junk box; only one or two will require you to obtain anything

even remotely ‘exotic’. G3DIH has produced a remarkable book that reflects the very best from

many years’ publications, and is well worth its modest cost.

Size: 174 x 240mm, 256 pages

ISBN: 9 781 9101 9352 5

Non Members’ Price: £14.99

RSGB Members’ Price: £12.74

March 2018

81

ARRL’s Hands-on Radio Experiments Volume 3

by H Ward Silver, N0AX

If you ever get to see copies of the ARRL’s

QST

magazine, you will have seen Ward Silver, N0AX’s

column – he’s been writing it for many years. Column 179 in December 2017 was the final

instalment and this book, Volume 3, collects together numbers 122 to 179. It covers everything

from components to test equipment and antennas to circuits.

As an example, number 150 was all about log periodic antennas. Having described how the

antenna works (including some very basic maths) he then goes on to describe how to build one

and, finally, show the correct way to feed the antenna. All this in just a couple of pages of bite-

size information. But there’s enough information to give you a basic understanding if you’ve never

come across the antenna before. For the more experienced, there’s also some ideas on how you

can experiment further by changing element lengths and spacing.

All the information in the book follows that same bite-sized approach. Batteries for example:

having described the common types of battery the average amateur would encounter, he goes on

to look at the chemistry behind them and how they may best be used. There are several small

projects including E- and H-field probes and a broadcast reject filter. The technical guidance covers

many subjects from choosing a feedline to understanding noise figures and wire characteristics

to lightning protection.

But don’t think this is just a book for beginners. Whilst those new to the hobby will find the

book easy to follow, the more experienced amateur will find things that challenge them to take

the subject further. And if you like it, don’t forget that volumes 1 & 2 are also available from the

RSGB Book Shop.

Size 184 x 229mm, 128 pages

ISBN: 9781 6259 5079 6

Non Members’ Price: £22.99

RSGB Members’ Price: £19.54

RSGB staff

radcom@rsgb.org.uk