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on November 4, 2013
I'm always a bit suspicious of the "Dummies" and "Idiots" books, as many of them really short on information. But this book is really full of information about how to get started in ham radio. It is well organized and well written. One note: this has very little detail about how to pick out your first radio; plenty of general information, but it is not a product selection guide. But if you read it, you will realize, as the author recommends, that the best way to buy a radio is to make some friends in the ham radio community and get some help picking out equipment. But I can't recommend this book enough....really helpful.
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on September 20, 2013
The author is a well-known radio amateur who writes a regular column in QST, the largest ham radio magazine. In this book he gives a broad overview of the hobby, introducing the newcomer to its many facets. It takes the reader through the process of earning a ham license, then shows the new ham what he can do with that license. I plan to buy a copy for each graduate of our radio club's licensing course. The new edition of the book (August, 2013) updates all the information in the original. Outstanding book for anyone with an interest in amateur radio.
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on July 15, 2014
My goals with this book were twofold, picking up knowledge helping me get licensed, and picking up skills to actually operate the gear.

The book has a general overview of everything HAM can do. It's not pretty deep on actual details. For someone new to the subject, it actually was kind of surreal. Photos of 1970 automotive dashboard, CRT monitors, moving TO 9600 bps rates.

There's also a lot of general life advice like searching the internet or to be early for meetings. I wasn't sure if the author understood the "for dummies" was a tongue-in-cheeks concept. At any rate, this is advice not specific to HAM radio.

There's a lot of detail on how to get licensed. Disappointingly, it's all about the process of getting licensed, not the skills or knowledge to get licensed.

There's extensive information about building your own antenna, how to organize a computer desk and multiple stationary radios, and designing your own room dedicated to HAM radio. Once again, in a for dummies book, is that going to be of interest to someone new to the subject?

In summary, somewhat entertaining overview of everything you can do with a HAM radio that you'll want to read front to back. I wished I had gotten a book focusing more on the beginner and teaching hands-on skills.
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on November 17, 2013
You are not going to automatically pass the Amateur Radio Tech License with this book but almost. A very, very good introduction to the Ham Radio world but you need to seek out a class- for techs or do a lot of study with ARRL's questions and answers. Over all this is an excellent book - just do some additional study and really understand the rules and concepts.
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on December 25, 2013
This is a great book, well written and comprehensive. I know of Extra class hams that bought this book and learned some new stuff!
Whether you're just interested in Ham radio or you've been a ham since the Novice days, this should be in your library. I highly recommend it.
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on March 14, 2014
This is an excellent starter book for anyone wanting to get into han radio but doesn't know anything about the technology or regulations and procedures. Also a great book for anyone wanting to learn about electronics even if they don't want to get into ham radio.
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on March 6, 2014
Very good book for new Hams or people getting back into ham radio. Explains most all of the modes of operation including the newer digital types. A good guide for the not highly experienced ham. A great refresher.
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on November 15, 2013
As is common with the "Dummies" books, it serves as a good outline, and provides links to more in depth material on the subjects it outlines.

A very good guide that touches on the many aspects of Ham Radio.. Could be the "jack of all trades" book, as I said, a great outline of the hobby, that can direct you to more in depth material that may interest you.
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on June 30, 2014
I liked the book so much that I decided to study for and take the Technician license. As far as I can tell, the book covers the amateur radio field well with good detail but not excessive, with enthusiasm for the whole hobby, with first hand experience perspective, and with clarity. This book is not intended to be the study book for the exam, but the exam study book from the ARRL was written by the same author, H. Ward Silver.

If you might be interested in learning what ham radio is like, buy this book to find out.
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on July 31, 2014
Outstanding book, it explains everything but doesn't kill you with boring stuff. You learn everything you need to know but without feeling like a monotone university professor wrote it. Instead it was written by someone who can explain and teach what you need while keeping you engaged.
A must get for beginners!!!
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