French Handbook: Gratuit!

The 2011 Big ‘French Handbook’ by F6BCU is now free to download


According to Jean-Nicolas, F6BCU, it contains numerous technical articles, including many home-brew projects.

A Google translation of the handbook description reads:

Better than a handbook on the issue and receiving amateur radio, which always reminds own grand theories and basic principles of radio -electricity, this compilation (2100 A4 pages, 225 articles) building radio already published, to be published and unpublished, is the essential traveling more than 45 years (1966-2011) of activities and technical achievements of OM F6BCU.This new CD to download (exclusively on Onlineradio) includes all editions radio techniques of the Blue Line, consisting mostly of original articles constructions of the author of historical articles reconstituted according to existing assembly … This new CD does not stop there because the building “Home-made” continuous for future constructions book is already full for the future. The Handbook of the Blue Line is must-have, and that’s good, because Download it free here! Author’s website: Any reproduction in part of the CD is prohibited without the express permission of the author (F6BCU) or


My Latest Electronic Toy

KindleMy latest electronic toy isn’t a QRP rig, nor is it an antenna analyzer or a new paddle. It’s a Kindle e-reader!

Even though I’ve had a Kindle version of my study guide for about six months now, I never saw how it looked on a Kindle because I didn’t own one. On Easter Sunday, though, my brother brought his to the family gathering, and I was finally able to get a first-hand look not only at my study guide, but at the Kindle itself.

I was duly impressed. Reading on the device is a lot easier than on my iPod due to the e-ink technology. It really does look a lot like an actual book. Shortly after, I bought my own Kindle.

Using it is a breeze, and it really has changed the way I read things. One of the first things I did was to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. Every morning, the latest issue is downloaded to my Kindle and is ready to read as I eat my breakfast. How cool is that? I’ve since also subscribed to the Detroit Free Press.

One thing I’ve been pleasantly surprised with is the number of free books available for the Kindle. Sure, most of them are old and in the public domain, but many publishers offer their recently-published Kindle books for free for a limited time. For example, I downloaded several free books on investing that were published in 2010. I also snagged several recently published books on writing and publishing for free.

Surfing around the Amazon site this afternoon, I found several free books for ham radio operators–at least ham operators of the early 20th century:

  • Letters of a Radio Engineer to His Son. This book, published in 1922 is written as a series of letters from father to son, each letter explaining some aspect of radio. It goes so far as to even explain how atoms work and how current flows on an atomic scale.
  • Electricity for Boys. This book was published in 1915 is part of the “How-To-Do-It” series. As the name implies, it does concentrate mostly on electricity, but hams should find it interesting, too.
  • The Radio Amateur’s Handbook. No, this isn’t the venerable handbook published by the ARRL. The first edition of the ARRL Handbook was published in 1926, while this book was published around 1915. If you want to build a spark gap transmitter, get this one instead of the ARRL edition. In this book, for example, you will find instructions on how to tune your spark-gap transmitter so that it transmits a 200m signal.

I’m not sure how useful these books are, per se, but they are a lot of fun to read. You get a real feel for the history of amateur radio by reading them. And, while you might actually find a printed copy in some dusty, used-book store, the chances of that happening are very  small. With the Kindle, these books are literally at my fingertips.

No-Nonsense Guide to DXing

No, the New DXers Handbook by Bryce K. Anderson, K7UA, isn’t the latest in my series of No-Nonsense guides to amateur radio, but it could be. This free e-book lays it all out for new DXers in much the same style that I have tried to lay it all out for those trying to get into the hobby.

The book takes this no-nonsense approach right off the bat. K7UA couldn’t put it more simply, “Listening is the key to successful DXing.” It’s not watching the DX clusters, or reading DX bulletins. It’s listening.

Further down, K7UA maintains that an important skill for a DXer is persistence. You have to be in your shack when the DX is on the air. As the author says, “You can’t work them if you are not there!”

My one quibble with the book is that I think he gives short shrift to CW operation. Although K7UA concedes that CW is perhaps the most efficient mode, he also says, “SSB might well now be the DXer’s primary mode.” I’m not so sure about that. All of the recent DXpeditions and many, if not most, DX stations operate CW.

I’ll even go a step further, and say that your chances of working a DXpediition are better on CW than on phone. This is mainly because they can work them faster on CW than on SSB, and this gives you a better chance of making contact, especially when conditions aren’t optimal.

At any rate, the New DXers Handbook is a great read, and you can’t beat the price. It’s FREE!

E-Book Version of the Tech Study Guide Now Available

The No-Nonsense Technician Class License Study Guide is now available in an Amazon Kindle edition. and a Barnes & Noble Nook edition.  It will also soon be available for the iPhone and iPad from the iTunes store. (You can, of course, purchase the Kindle version and read it with the Kindle app for the iPhone and iPad.) If you like you can e-mail me, and I’ll then e-mail you when it finally becomes available on iTunes.

Whatever you do, DON’T buy the paperback edition that’s still available on Amazon. That edition is now obsolete. I’ve contacted the publisher of that edition, and hopefully, they’ll pull it soon.

Electricity for the Manga Generation

I just received this press release today, so I haven’t actually seen the book yet, but it looks like it would be fun……Dan

The Manga Guide to Electricity
Learn About Electricity in a Shockingly Fun Way

San Francisco, CA, March 19, 2009—Rereko is just your average high-school girl from Electopia, the land of electricity. Except she’s completely failed her electricity exam! Now she has to go to summer school on Earth—and this time, she has to pass. Luckily, her ever-patient tutor Hikaru is there to help. So begins the The Manga Guide to Electricity (March 2009, 224 pp, ISBN 9781593271978), the charming third volume in a series of technical EduManga titles from San Francisco-based geek book publisher No Starch Press.

The Manga Guide to Electricity combines an entertaining plot with authentic manga comics and lessons that offer readers a unique introduction to the world of electricity. Readers learn alongside Rereko as her tutor explains the basics of electricity by examining everyday devices like flashlights, heaters, and circuit breakers.

“I’m really excited about this latest Manga Guide,” said No Starch Press Founder Bill Pollock. “I can’t even count the number of people who have no clue about how electricity works or what diodes, resistors, and capacitors do. This is a great and painless way to sort through the mumbo jumbo.”

The real-world examples in The Manga Guide to Electricity teach readers:

  • What electricity is, how it works, how it’s created, and how it can be used
  • The relationship between voltage, current, and resistance (Ohm’s law)
  • Key electrical concepts like inductance and capacitance
  • How complicated components like transformers, semiconductors, and transistors work
  • How electricity produces heat and the relationship between current and magnetic fields

As they progress through the book, readers will explore more abstract concepts of electricity like electrostatic force, Ampere’s law, and the Seebeck effect. Co-published with scientific and technical publisher Ohmsha, Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan, The Manga Guide to Electricity will make learning about electricity a shockingly good time for readers of all ages.

About the Author
Kazuhiro Fujitaki is a lecturer at the Tokyo Metropolitan Vocational Skills Development Center. He has written a number of books on electrical engineering and runs a website offering useful information about Japan’s qualifying examinations for electrical technicians.


Need a Copy of the 2004 ARRL Handbook CD-ROM?

I used to run an Internet bookstore and sold quality control books and ham radio books. I made a few bucks at it, but it wasn’t worth the amount of time I spent doing it, so I closed up shop about four years ago. (Ironically, one of the most profitable parts of this venture was selling the domain name –

Anyway, I still have some books left over from that business venture. I’ve sold some at hamfests, but books don’t seem to move very fast there. So, I’ll try getting rid of the rest of them here and on Amazon. Some of the titles I have include:

  • Morse Code: the Essential Language
  • The 2004 ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications, CD
  • ON4UN’s Low Band DXing
  • ARRL’s Yagi Antenna Classics
  • Digital Signal Processing Technology
  • Stealth Amateur Radio
  • The Artful Solderer
  • Lew McCoy on Antennas
  • AC6V’s DXing101x: HF + Six Meters DXing

For most of these titles, I only have one copy, so get ‘em while they’re hot. For a complete listing, download this Excel (.csv) file. It includes the number of copies that are available, the price for the book (generally about half the list price), and the shipping cost. E-mail me for more info.

Get on WorldRadio Mailing List

(Hicksville, NY) January 8, 2009 — A new e-mail list has been established to notify readers of the availability of each new issue of WorldRadio magazine, which is converting to a free online-only publication (titled WorldRadio Online) as of its February, 2009 issue. WorldRadio subscribers and any other interested people may sign up for the list online.

Monthly e-mail alerts will include highlights of each new issue, along with instructions and hotlinks for connecting with the online issue. The e-mail addresses will be used only by CQ Communications, Inc., and will not be rented or sold.

Each issue of WorldRadio Online will be posted in PDF format, permitting readers the choice of browsing articles online or downloading the issue to their own computers to read at their convenience or even to print out in part or in whole. Access to WorldRadio Online will be free of charge.

Most of WorldRadio’s columnists will continue to write for the new online edition. In November, 2008, CQ Communications, Inc. purchased WorldRadio upon the decision of founding publisher Armond Noble, N6WR, to retire and sell the magazine.

New Ham Mag

Ham-Mag bills itself as “the first e-magazine for amateur radio operators. Better yet, subscriptions are free.

There’s one catch. At the present time, it’s only in French. An English-language version is planned, though. In fact, I’ve just volunteered my service to help out in some way with the English version.

Here’s what the website has to say:


HAM-MAG is a French HAM magazine born in september 2008. Fast, cheap, quick informations and weekly issues made this success. In two months, we have more than 2,500 subscribers all over the world.

Now we have a new challenge. To make this magazine in English version. But this is your magazine and we need you !

Send us all informations, as DX, homebrew, technical, meetings, etc. To share informations is our claim.

The subscription is free and every week, you’ll receive your issue in your Email, without ads or pop-up.
You have just to click on “subscrition”.

Are you ready to play with us?

73, Vincent F5SLD

With the demise of 73 Magazine a couple of years ago, and now World Radio, this might be a nice option.

From “Zero to Homebrew”

While cleaning out my e-mail inbox this morning, I came across this recommendation from Kendrick, KB1NCR:

This book made it possible for me to go from “zero to homebrew.”

Frank K0IYE Harris’ book Crystal Sets to Sideband It’s available as a seres of PDF files; each chapter must be downloaded separately.

All of his radios are homebrewed with “no ICs” – this is Frank’s way of
teaching how each stage and circuit work in a straight forward and
comprehensive way.

This is a really good book. It’s packed with lots of good info and practical advice. I plan to recommend it to my General Class students this January.

Amateur Radio: One of Life’s Best-Kept Secrets?

I don’t get many phone calls from women who are excited to talk to me, but that’s exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago. What made the phone call even stranger is that she was excited to be talking to an amateur radio operator!

The woman was an elementary school librarian—they call them media specialists now, though—and she was working with a second-grade class here in Ann Arbor. As it turns out, they had just read the book, Mr. Crumb’s Secret, a book starring Fribble, a little mouse in the second grade, and Mr. Crumb, his neighbor across the street.

It seems that Mr. Crumb is taking up a new hobby, but when Fribble asks what it is, Mr. Crumb says that he wants to keep it a secret until he learns all about it. He does, however, challenge Fribble to try to figure it out.

Fribble, being the curious little mouslet that he is, takes up the challenge. With a little conniving, and the help of a friendly librarian errrrr, media specialist, Fribble does, in the end, figure out—and I hope I’m not giving away too much here—that Mr. Crumb’s secret is that his new hobby is amateur radio.

It really is a cool, little book. I like the way that it taught the kids how to use library resources, and of course, I was glad to see that the object of Fribble’s research was amateur radio. The media specialist said that the kids also really liked the book and were very excited about learning more about amateur radio.

She then asked if I, or someone else from our club, could talk to them. How could I refuse an offer like that? This will be the youngest group I’ve talked to so far, but I think it will be fun, especially since they already know something about amateur radio.