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Richard Clem RSS Feed (St. Paul, MN USA)
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Radio Science for the Radio Amateur
Radio Science for the Radio Amateur
by Eric P. Nichols
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.95
9 used & new from $15.74

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expensive, but lots of food for thought, November 23, 2013
I suspect the one-star reviews might be influenced by the price of the book, which is admittedly a bit steep. So if you're looking for a cheap book, you'll be disappointed. And if you're looking for a rigorous scientific treatise or a book with lots of construction details, you'll also be disappointed. What the author does instead is give a lot of good ideas of what kind of actual science can be done with amateur radio. You'll be left to research the details on your own, and you'll need to devise your own experiments. But the book gives a lot of ideas of what is possible. And knowing what is possible is half the battle. I learned that it is possible to build your own plasma chamber at home, using parts from an old refrigerator. I learned that it is possible to do some actual serious ionospheric research, either on your own, or in collaboration with other hams. The author does a good job of pointing you in the right direction.

I got the book courtesy of a gift certificate I won at a hamfest, so the steep price didn't enter into my review. It was an interested read, and I learned a thing or two, such as what the Luxembourg Effect is, and why HAARP spent a lot of money in the Arctic trying to harness it. Overall, I give the book 4-1/2 stars, as explained in more detail on my blog at OneTubeRadio.com.


The Radio Boys' First Wireless Or Winning the Ferberton Prize
The Radio Boys' First Wireless Or Winning the Ferberton Prize
Price: $0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting look at early radio, January 25, 2013
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This book was published in 1922. As far as I can tell, it's a fairly accurate look at the early days of radio. I think there were a handful of technical errors, but probably no more than a modern author writing fiction about modern technology.

It's a rather good story of the adventures of a group of boys who build a crystal radio. In the process, they manage to aid a damsel in distress, with the help of the radio inspector and a smart lawyer.

The book spends a lot of time describing the physical construction of their radio. If you are interested in early radio, you will find this part of the book fascinating. The book gives _almost_ enough detail to actually follow the instructions and build the set yourself. It doesn't give the final wiring diagram, but it does describe how to construct the condenser (what we would call the capacitor today), the tuning coil, and the detector. I think the book gives enough detail to actually construct these components. If you're like me, the details about how to construct these primitive components is the best part of the book. On the other hand, if you're not interested in obsolete technology, you might view this as unnecessarily boring detail that gets in the way of what little plot there is.


Kindle Publishing Revolution - Amazon Kindle Publishing Guide
Kindle Publishing Revolution - Amazon Kindle Publishing Guide
Price: $0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slightly exceeded my low expectations, September 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A friend who knew that I had published some Kindle books sent me this link when the book was free, and I downloaded it. I show up as a "verified purchaser" of the book because I downloaded it for free.

I expected a book full of marketing hype about the author's system to make money, and that's mostly what this book consists of. However, I upgraded my review to two stars because the book does contain some useful information on how to publish on Kindle. I still don't think the book is worth 99 cents, though, because all of that information is available directly on Amazon's website, and that information is actually presented in a better fashion by Amazon, without having to wade through this author's get-rich-quick hype.

It is, indeed, possible to make money by publishing books on Kindle. If you can write something that people want to read, then it will sell, at least to a certain extent. This is true of both fiction and non-fiction. The process of publishing on Kindle is very easy. If you know how to use your word processing program, then you can format the book with little difficulty. More importantly, you do not need to spend any money! You don't need to spend $300 for someone's "system", and you don't even need to spend 99 cents. If you do have questions about the process, there is a very active user forum for Amazon publishers, and you'll get a lot of help from that community for free. (After you've signed up for your free Kindle Direct Publishing account, click on the "community" link at the top of that page.)

If you don't know how to write, or you can't think of any subject matter that would be of interest to even a small group of people, then you will make very little money with Kindle books, although you might make a dollar or two from people who buy your book by mistake. But that's not sustainable. Unless you actually have some ability to write, then you should probably find another "system" to make your first million.


Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, August 23, 2012
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This review is from: Rock of Ages (Kindle Edition)
This is a fairly complex story covering at least three time periods, but the author does a great job of tying it together. A "grave" is found on Mars, which various corporate and government interests want to keep a secret. An Assistant U.S. Attorney (working at his grey metal desk, thanks to a balanced budget amendment) along with a plausible cast of characters, manage to unearth the secret, but with enough suspense at the end to leave the door open for a sequel.


The Story of the Atlantic Telegraph
The Story of the Atlantic Telegraph
Price: $0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Victorian Building 7, August 23, 2012
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This is an interesting old public domain book, and the price is certainly right. As is often the case with books of this vintage, the prose is sometimes unnecessarily flowery, but it's an interesting story. I glossed over about half the chapters and read the interesting ones in a few hours.

Some things never change. The first cable worked initially, the the creator was universally lauded as a hero and promoted to celebrity status. When the cable stopped working, the universal praise turned to scorn. This was quickly followed by the appearance of conspiracy theorists, who proved why it could have never possibly worked in the first place, and that it must have been a hoax. The author spends the better part of one of the chapters demonstrating how the conspiracy theorists were, indeed, wrong.


No Safe Place
No Safe Place
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and plausible terrorist novel, June 16, 2012
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This review is from: No Safe Place (Kindle Edition)
I was looking for a relatively short book to keep me occupied for a few hours, and I downloaded this one. It was very well written and kept my attention for the 4 or 5 hours it took me to finish it. It was very well researched, and quite plausible. Basically, terrorist "sleeper cells" begin a series of terror attacks, so there's a lot of well-written action. The good guys are likeable characters, and the bad guys are sufficiently complex characters. The book was resolved well in the last chapter, but there's enough material for a sequel, which I hope the author writes!


Respect 2020
Respect 2020

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plausible story of totalitarian dictatorship, October 8, 2011
This review is from: Respect 2020 (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed Mr. Lytton's novel, and look forward to future books from this author!

This is the story of a totalitarian dictatorship that takes over the U.K. What makes the story especially good is the plausible way in which this dictatorship comes to power. The public is fed up with a lack of "respect" by young hooligans, and the new government has a way of restoring respect. What makes the story plausible is that the reader has a certain sympathy for this regime. In the back of your mind, you wonder whether the ends do, perhaps, justify the means.

The novel is set in Britain, but there's nothing in the book that couldn't happen on this side of the pond. So I think American readers will enjoy it.

I only have a couple of nitpicks. Overall, it was a very good novel. First of all, the story resolves itself a little bit too quickly for my liking. In fact, I think the author could have set up a sequel quite easily!)

Also, I purchased my copy from Smashwords, rather than Amazon. The formatting of the .PDF version had a problem that the breaks between the paragraphs were quite hard to see. It wasn't a big deal, and hopefully the Kindle version doesn't share this problem.

Overall, it was a great read!


Transfer Stencil Paper 15 Sheets
Transfer Stencil Paper 15 Sheets
Price: $6.48
11 used & new from $3.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Source of hectograph supplies, September 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you're making a hectograph, this is the carbon paper you'll need to make your master. These appeared to be "new old stock" sheets from the heyday of the "ditto machine", and they still work just fine after many years in some warehouse. Shipping was extremely fast.


TV - it's a cinch! (Gernsback library)
TV - it's a cinch! (Gernsback library)
by E Aisberg
Edition: Unknown Binding

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent discussion of obsolete technology, September 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
When I bought this book, I was hoping that it would contain more material from the author's La Radio ?: Mais c'est très simple / Eugène Aisberg (Radio--but it's so easy). That book is absolutely the best I've ever seen to explain radio and electronics in simple terms. Unfortunately, even though it was translated into many languages, as far as I can tell, it was never translated into English.

When I discovered this book, I was hoping that the basic material on electricity and radio had been included. Unfortunately, this volume jumps right in to television, and assumes that the reader has the basic understanding provided by a book like "Radio, Mais C'est Tres Simple".

The book is still an interesting read, especially the first few chapters. Unfortunately, analog TV is now a dinosaur, and the book is of absolutely no practical value. But still, it's still a fascinating look at this history of a technology that changed the world. And there's enough information in the first few chapters to make the reader realize that he could probably construct a simple mechanical television!


The Power of Change : The Machines of Mind and Heart
The Power of Change : The Machines of Mind and Heart
Price: $0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good vs. Evil, Heart vs. Mind, September 28, 2011
This is an interesting story, and is geared toward young adults. The world is controlled by a king, who is completely and utterly evil. Two machines have been invented, the heart machine, and the mind machine. The evil king has possession of the heart machine, but the mind machine has been hidden by its inventor. With these machines, the possessor can control the heart or mind of anyone.

The hero of the story (with the help of the inventor's ghost) comes into possession of the mind machine. This sets up an interesting story of mind vs. heart, and good vs. evil.

I bought this story on Smashwords, but the Amazon version is identical. There was apparently a first volume, which I didn't read, but the prologue sets up the story well, so this book stands alone. The author leaves a bit of a cliffhanger, and the next volume should be interesting.

I would have given this book 4+ stars, but I downgraded it to 3 1/2, because some of the sentence structure is hard to read. There are very few grammatical errors, but some of the sentences just don't flow correctly. Many sentences are of the "throw the horse over the fence some hay" variety. Most of these are forgivable, since I suspect the author speaks English as a second language. To some extent, this makes the story seem a bit more "exotic", so I hope the author doesn't completely re-write the book into Americanized English. But still, for subsequent books in this series, I hope the book gets another edit to make it flow a little better.

But that's basically a nitpick. It makes the book a little bit harder to read, but it was still an interesting read, and this author has a lot of promise. I look forward to his future books.


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