ARRL Handbook 2015

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The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications

The ARRL Handbook is widely used by radio amateurs as a reliable and highly-respected guide to station design, construction, modification, and repair. Introduced in 1926 as the Radio Amateur’s Handbook, each edition has remained true to this publishing legacy: a concise source of reference and information for applied radio electronics and experimentation. Chapter by chapter, you will discover the theory, practical information and construction details to expand your knowledge and skill as an Amateur Radio operator and experimenter.

This ninety-second edition of The Handbook is at the forefront of the growing field of wireless telecommunications. The book covers not only the fundamentals of radio electronics—analog and digital—but also practical circuit and antenna design, computer-aided design, digital operating modes, equipment troubleshooting, and reducing RF interference. Many projects and construction articles are included to help enhance your station and expand your participation as an active radio experimenter. Practical applications and solutions make The ARRL Handbook a must-have for hobbyists and technical professionals, finding its way onto workbenches, operating desks, and into university libraries and classrooms.

Dozens of contributors help ensure that each edition is updated and revised to reflect the latest advances and technologies:

New Projects

• Simple Adjustable Tracking Power Supply

• Tri-Band Moxon Yagi Antenna

• A Legal-Limit Bias-T

• An Eight-Channel Remote Control Antenna Switch

New Information

• Updated material on the state of Solar Cycle 24

• Recommended parts for modifying circuit designs and fine-tuning performance

• A package of useful applications on CD-ROM from Tonne Software, including a new version of the ELSIE™ filter design program

• Annual transceiver model review

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.

Product Details

  • Details

    1312 pages
    Publisher: The American Radio Relay League, Inc.; Ninety-Second Edition/First Printing (October 2014)

    Language: English

    Hardcover Edition
    : ISBN: 978-1-62595-020-8
    Shipping Weight: 5.50 pounds
    Product Dimensions: 8 3/16 x 10 7/8 inches

    Softcover Edition: ISBN: 978-1-62595-019-2
    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




    Telemetry and Navigation

    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


    Operating Supplement On CD-ROM

    Space Communications

    Digital Communications

    Image Communications

    The ARRL Radio Amateur’s Handbook — From Its Beginning

    2015 Annual Transceiver Survey

  • Foreword

    Congratulations on your purchase of the 2015 ARRL Handbook. This 92nd edition of the book continues the technical traditions of Amateur Radio. Topics range from very simple electronics and radio wave basics all the way to sophisticated digital communications protocols. In fact, this book is a lot like the Amateur Radio you hear on the air every day. The more than 700,000 active hams in the United States and more than 3,000,000 around the world use all types of technology to communicate.


    If you are just getting into Amateur Radio or wireless technology, you will find the section on Fundamental Theory to provide great training on electrical and electronic fundamentals, both analog and digital. The practical side of technology follows with a large section of chapters covering the techniques required of RF circuitry, the types of circuits that are used in radio, receivers and transmitters, and the latest digital topics. Antennas are a critical part of successful radio communication so you’ll find chapters showing how they work and how to build practical designs. Other chapters explain transmission lines, and illustrate propagation of the signals they radiate and receive.


    Since a big part of Amateur Radio is building, repairing, adapting, and otherwise performing hands-on work with radio technology, the final section of the book covers everything from workshop basics to station assembly and troubleshooting. The book’s CD-ROM includes Joel Hallas, W1ZR’s Annual Transceiver Review and several more chapters on Space, Digital, and Image Communication practices and equipment. Many supplemental articles and references are also provided.


    One of the primary extra values that comes with the Handbook’s CD-ROM is the collection of updated software from Jim Tonne, W4ENE ( Jim’s professional-quality software is used by hams around the world for a variety of purposes:

    Elsie — LC filter designer

    SVC Filter Designer — Designs filters using standard value components

    OptLowpass Designer — Optimized low-pass filters for amateurs

    Helical Filter Designer — Creates high-performance filters for VHF and UHF

    Pi-El — A tool to design Pi-L network matching circuits

    JJSmith — Use the Smith Chart to design matching circuits

    QuadNet — A handy way to design active all-pass circuits for SSB generators

    ClassE — Design Class E (switch mode) amplifiers with this tool

    Diplexer Designer — Simplifies the job of designing circuits to share antennas

    MeterBasic — Design and print custom meter scales

    Be sure to open the CD-ROM envelope and install the contents on your computer. The complete Handbook is also included in searchable PDF form, as well!


    The Handbook is also full of projects that hams can use to construct a functional and effective station. Projects range from simple accessories and small power supplies to legal-limit amplifiers and high-gain antennas. Mobile and portable stations aren’t left out either! There is something for every level of experience and every style of operation.


    Here are some highlights of what you’ll find on this year’s CD-ROM:

    · Workbench-style bipolar tracking power supply by Bryant Julstrom, KCØZNG, for circuits requiring balanced positive and negative voltages. You can use this supply with op-amps and other analog electronic circuits.

    · The Antennas chapter presents a tri-band Moxon-style antenna, a 25-pound beam for 20, 15 and 10 meters easily made from wire and fiberglass. Designed by Brian Machesney, K1LI, for portable operating, it’s a great introduction to these popular antennas.

    · To help reduce cabling costs, an eight-channel remote antenna switch project is included. You can buy boards and parts from the author, Michael Dzado, ACØHB, or build it yourself.

    · Getting power to those antenna-mounted electronics can be a problem, too, or just require yet another expensive run of control cable. A dc power bias-Tee project from Phil Salas, AD5X, solves the problem effectively and inexpensively.

    · Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, updates us on the status and progress of solar Cycle 24 and Joe Eisenberg, KØNEB, contributes a very valuable table of recommended electronic components for all RF builders.


    As Amateur Radio begins its second century, “the Handbook” is more relevant, useful, and practical than ever. No matter what type or style of operating you prefer, there is plenty of material here for you. If you like, keep turning the pages and you might find something new catching your eye! You may be a technical professional or student in need of practical electronic and RF know-how — you’ll find excellent technical value for the price. Why not take one more step and join the ranks of hams from around the world? After more than 90 editions, the ARRL Handbook is still here for you, on your workbench, operating shelf, or technical bookshelf.


    Dave Sumner, K1ZZ

    Chief Executive Officer

    Newington, Connecticut

    August 2014

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