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
Radio & Electronics Cookbook
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,
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
ARRL’s Hands-on Radio Experiments Volume 3
by H Ward Silver, N0AX
If you ever get to see copies of the ARRL’s
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