Saturday, August 13, 2011


Just the one item -- it seems the late Howard S. Pyle, W7OE, wrote Troubleshooting Amateur Radio Equipment, published by the not late company founded by and named for Howard W. Sams. It's out of print and my first tries at the Usual Sources have turned up nothing. It looks to me as if it would be a very handy book for any ham who likes older radio gear -- but anything Mr. Pyle wrote is worth reading.

Every so often, something he built shows up at the Dayton Hamvention. Yes, you could tell, even without his callsign on the front or back panel. (It usually is) His construction style is distinctive, with well thought-out layouts, neat wiring and sharp, concise photometal labels on everything. His writing is a bit that way too, carefully engineered and logical, though friendly in tone.

His is a name and callsign to watch for at hamfests and used-book stores.


  1. hey Bobbi...I've been meaning to ask you this for awhile. how does one go about getting into amateur radio/HAM stuff? Chris is thinking about getting a setup for the truck, and I'm interested in reading more about it, but I'm kindof lost as to where to start.

    got any tips for someone who's absolutely lost?

  2. One of the best ways to start out is to find a local ham club and/or amateur license classes. (You can find practice tests online, too -- there is a link to AA9PW's site for that in the sidebar).

    The Technician class is the entry-level license in the U.S. and it's not difficult to get; some basic electronics, operation procedure and radio rules are all it takes.

    The American Radio Relay League is the biggest national ham club in the US. The have extensive web presence at, including pages and publications for beginner hams. Membership in the League includes a subscription to their fine magazine, "QST."

    Last time I was in one, Radio Shack still sold study guides and, after you have a license, VHF/UHF handi-talkies and small transceivers. A lot of hams have started out just that way; there is usually plenty of local chatting on those bands, generally via "repeaters" that give a small radio much better coverage.

    Ham clubs usually meet monthy. Many have a yearly awards dinner and/or a"Hamfest" swapmeet. or even a Google search can help you find one in your area.

  3. My All time favorite is the Radio Amateurs Handbook.. I have copies back to 1947 and some of the older ones are used frequently as reference or sources for cool projects.