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April 08 , 2009

Riding the Shortwaves: Exploring the Magic of Amateur Radio


Amateur or "ham" radio is enjoying a big resurgence, attracting a whole new generation to the excitement of worldwide communications. Many of those into the "maker" and "hacker" groups are discovering this hundred-year-old hobby has continued to not only keep up with the times but is still leading the way in many technical innovations. In this book, long-time ham radio operator and bestselling author Don Keith (call sign N4KC) uses both factual, easy-to-understand advice along with fictional short stories to show those interested just what the hobby is all about in the 21st century. Hams use their radios and antennas to bounce signals off the moon, explore digital communication modes, perform computer control of their stations from anywhere on the planet, talk with astronauts in the International Space Station, use satellites launched by amateur groups, talk to fellow members of the "tribe" all over the planet and more. You do not have to be a geek or electronics nut to get the most from the hobby, though it can be a great way to prepare for a technical career. Hams with all levels of technical skills enjoy the hobby, and Keith gives a number of ways in this fast-paced, easily read book. He details how the Internet, Facebook, smart phones and other technology pose no threat to amateur radio's popularity and, in fact, can be paired with the hobby in many exciting ways. Young, old, or in between, ham radio can be a thrilling hobby, and one that can be combined with other interests such as hiking, camping, weather watching, emergency communications, and more. Keith not only offers examples but uses interesting, well-written stories – sometimes funny or poignant – to illustrate. Whether you are considering exploring amateur radio as a hobby, are already licensed, or want to have a book to help others you know who may be developing an interest, Don Keith's "Riding the Shortwaves" is for you. Come explore the magical world of communications as you ride the shortwaves.

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