The hobby of amateur (or ham) radio is now 100 years old, but like technology in general, this pastime has evolved tremendously, not only keeping pace with the times but often leading the way, just as it has since its beginning. In this book, a unique blend of lighthearted, amusing and moving short stories, practical advice, and informed opinion, best-selling author and active amateur radio operator Don Keith (call sign N4KC) shows those interested in joining the "tribe" of amateur radio enthusiasts as well as newcomers to the hobby and old hands, too, just how magical and exciting it can be.
With more than 700,000 licensees in the USA and well over a million worldwide, ham radio is bigger and more vibrant than ever, and has experienced tremendous growth with the advent of digital communications, software-defined and computer controlled radios, space technology and more. As Keith notes in this book, those who think the Internet, smart phones, and Facebook have made the hobby obsolete are sorely mistaken. Like the booming Maker Faire and "hacker" movements, this hobby offers the opportunity to explore as deeply as and in any direction desired. Similarly, hams are able to combine radio with many other activities like RVing, model building, astronomy, hiking, sailing, weather spotting, and more. Keith's book, written in an entertaining and easy-to-understand style, gives myriad practical, real-world examples.
Also, today's ham radio does not necessarily require a strong knowledge of electronics, although Keith shows how young people getting into the hobby can segue into a career in such areas as engineering, cellular communications, broadcasting, computers and more. Whether the reader's interest is designing electronic gear, meeting new people around the world (ranging from rock stars to astronauts aboard the International Space Station), helping with emergency communications, experimenting with antennas, digital modes, or satellites (yes, there are amateur radio satellites in orbit right now!), or other exhilarating aspects of ham radio, Keith demonstrates how anyone can experience the magic of this amazing pastime.
NOTE: This book makes a perfect gift, too, for anyone considering getting a ham license and joining all the adventure and magic that is there when they are ready to ride the shortwaves. No particular knowledge of electronics or computers is necessary to be licensed and to enjoy the hobby.