Ham Radio for Dummies – Not a Dumb Book

Ham Radio for Dummies
Ham Radio for Dummies

I’ll freely admit that I’m generally not a fan of the “… for Dummies” books.  I have found that they’re often big on filler and cute graphics, and light on useful data.  I have purchased a few, and later realized that I could have bought a half dozen other books that contained twice as much information, even at the beginner level.  However, Ham Radio for Dummies is an exception, and contains a lot of useful information.  I have referred to it more than once, especially when I was just getting started.  (Confession: Even after a few years messing around with ham radio, I still refer to it occasionally!)  H. Ward Silver is a recognized expert in the field, and has obviously ensured that his book isn’t full of noise (no pun intended :-)).  He did a great job laying out the basics in a way that a beginner can understand, even if he or she doesn’t have an electrical engineering degree.

When I looked back through the book again for the purpose of writing this mini-review, I was even more impressed than the first time I read it.  Not only is there a ton of information for the very beginner, there is also a ton of information for the experienced ham radio operator.  If you want to learn about different emergency communications organizations (e..g, ARES & RACES), there’s info on that.  Do you want to learn about digital modes you can use?  This serves as a great primer for that area too.  Or maybe you haven’t gotten licensed yet and are looking for an easy, common-sense, inexpensive approach to getting your license out of the way.  Ward does a great job of describing a variety of useful options, and will save you a lot of legwork and wasted time.

 What’s covered in Ham Radio for Dummies?

  • Part 1 – What is Ham Radio All About? — will get you acquaint with ham radio in general
  • Part 2 – Wading through the Licensing Process  — it’s easier than you think!
  • Part 3 – Hamming it Up – Making contact, using your radio in general, emergency communications and public service opportunities
  • Part 4 – Building and Operating a Station That Works — that’s right — setting up your own radio station, which is also easier than you think 🙂
  • Part 5 – The Part of Tens — nifty lists of ten items each — 10 secrets for beginners, secrets of masters, first station tips, easy ways to have fun on the radio, etc.
  • Part 6 – Appendixes — glossary, other listings, and a Morse code table

Ham Radio for Dummies is not for dummies.  If you’re interested in learning about ham radio, you will be wise to start with this book. 🙂

Happy reading!

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