ARRL Handbook 2013

90th Edition! It Just Keeps Getting Better!

The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications is widely recognized as being the standard reference among radio amateurs and other technologists—experimenters, engineers and students. The fields of radio and electronics are constantly evolving, and no other publication provides as accurate a snapshot of the state of the art as The ARRL Handbook.

Dozens of contributing experts and technical editors have helped fill these pages with essential information from across the expanse of radio communication fundamentals and practical applications. Clear and thorough explanations cover nearly every aspect of radio and antenna design, equipment construction, and station assembly.

A lot has changed since the The Handbook was first published in 1926. But just as was said of the ninth edition can be said of this 90th edition: Anyone who is at all interested in the technical side of radio can ill afford to be without The Radio Amateur’s Handbook.

Always Updated! Here are just a few of the new projects and new content included in this latest edition:

  • New antenna projects, including a Low-band Quad, Delta Loops, Coaxial Dipoles for VHF or UHF, and a Skeleton Slot for 14-30 MHz
  • New material on power supply polarity protection circuits
  • 144 MHz band-pass filter for reducing harmonics
  • Updated Pebble Crusher QRP transmitter construction project
  • Design software on CD-ROM, including Elsie™ filter and Pi-El matching networks
    …and more!

CD-ROM Inside — includes all of the fully searchable text and illustrations in the printed book, as well as expanded supplemental content, software, PC board templates and other support files.

  • Publication Details

    Product Details

    1320 pages

    Publisher: The American Radio Relay League, Inc.; Ninteith Edition/First Printing (October 2012)
    Language: English
    Hardcover Edition: ISBN: 978-0-87259-419-7

    Shipping Weight: 6.19 pounds

    Softcover Edition: ISBN: 978-0-87259-405-0

    Shipping Weight: 5.50 pounds
    Product Dimensions: 8 3/16 x 10 7/8 inches

  • Contents


    What is Amateur (Ham) Radio?

    Fundamental Theory

    Electrical Fundamentals

    Analog Basics

    Digital Basics

    Practical Design and Principles

    RF Techniques

    Computer-Aided Circuit Design

    Power Supplies


    Oscillators and Synthesizers

    Mixers, Modulators and Demodulators

    RF and AF Filters




    DSP and Software Radio Design

    Digital Modes

    RF Power Amplifiers


    Antenna Systems and Radio Propagation

    Propagation of Radio Signals

    Transmission Lines


    Equipment Construction and Maintenance

    Component Data and References

    Construction Techniques

    Station Accessories

    Test Equipment and Measurements

    Troubleshooting and Maintenance

    RF Interference

    Station Assembly and Management


    Assembling a Station

  • Foreword

    In its fourth year of the current cycle of renewal and updates, the 2013 ARRL Handbook reaches out to draw on the expertise of the amateur community around the world. Along with new projects from here at home, others have been added to this edition from the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB). These represent the international face of amateur self-teaching and training — expect more projects from our many friends around the world in future editions.


    The new projects include several useful antenna designs. Coverage is expanded for quad and delta loop antennas which find so many applications on the lower HF bands. A sturdy and practical design for VHF and UHF coaxial dipole construction has been added. A single-support HF an­tenna design from “across the pond,” the skeleton slot antenna for 14 to 30 MHz is a new addition, as well.


    Elsewhere in the book, more projects have been added in support of how today’s amateurs are operating and what they are building today. A set of practical polarity protection circuits collected by Terry Fletcher, WAØITP, are included in the Power Supply chapter. Another contribution from the RSGB is a 2 meter band-pass filter that should be very helpful in rejecting strong out-of-band signals from paging and public safety stations. The Transmitter chapter updates the venerable W1FB “Pebble Crusher” QRP CW transmitter by one of the QRP community’s leading propo­nents, Rev. George Dobbs, G3RJV. In the Station Accessories chapter you’ll learn how to adapt aviation headsets to amateur gear and Carl Leutzelschwab, K9LA, updates the Propagation chap­ter to review the status and future of on-again-off-again Cycle 24.


    The editors are expanding the use of electronic media as well, supplementing the printed mate­rial and developing new means of providing information to the reader. With each new edition, we are adding more material on the book’s accompanying CD-ROM. For example, the operat­ing supplement includes three complete chapters of material: Space Communications, Digital Communications, and Image Communications. Projects that are no longer available in the current edition have been converted to PDF files that are included on the CD-ROM that is an ever-more-important element of the ARRL Handbook. If a project references a QST article, you’ll find that on the CD-ROM, too. Be sure to install the book’s content on your computer!


    One of the most important items on the CD-ROM is the set of design software packages from Tonne Software. Jim Tonne, W4ENE’s professional-quality ELSIE filter-design software, has received significant updates to its data entry screen and the circuit editor. The Smith chart plotting page has also been improved. Jim’s Pi-El Circuit Design software also received a major upgrade. We are very fortunate to have such high-quality software tools included with the ARRL Handbook.


    The CD-ROM also includes the yearly update of transceiver models and specifications by the 2012 Dayton Hamvention Technical Achievement award-winner, Joel Hallas, W1ZR. Joel has organized the material by type and frequency coverage which is very useful to the ham considering making a radio purchase.


    The ARRL Handbook — now in its ninetieth edition — continues to excel in its mission of pro­viding a reference for all hams as they continue in their endeavors. Whether they choose to pursue public service communications, engage in technical experimentation, hone their operating skills, or enjoy their ability to communicate, “the Handbook” has a place in their library and at their workbench.


    David Sumner, K1ZZ

    Chief Executive Officer

    Newington, Connecticut

    September 2012

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