WHY HAM RADIO - WHY NOT CB?
YOUR FIRST RIG
HF AMPLIFIER BASICS
GROUNDED GRID BASICS
POWER SUPPLY BASICS
WHAT NOT TO DO AROUND HV!
WHY HAM RADIO?
To start with, it might be helpful to state that this is not a critique of CB Radio. Despite what you may have read or heard, the Citizens Radio Service was created by the FCC to permit the average Joe an opportunity to use two-way radio to conduct personal and business communication over relatively short distances. If that's all you want to do with it, than CB will likely be the ticket for you.
Personally, I toyed with a CB walkie-talkie in my teens only long enough to begin worrying whether the knock on the door was the FCC coming to take me away. For me, radio was something I wanted to learn about - that I wanted to get inside of and tinker with. I wanted to fool with dreaded electro-magnetic waves and see what I could do with them. I knew that just turning knobs and talking into a microphone would never cut it. So, fearful of what my mother would say when the FCC showed up at the door, I gave the CB walkie-talkie away. It wasn't until several years later that I rediscovered radio and was fortunate enough to be drawn in the right direction.
One of the things that appealed to me when I began seriously looking at radio was the ability to communicate with radio operators world-wide. The thought of talking to another radio operator in Asia, for example, appealed to me - as did the possibility of receiving written confirmation of the contact. The problem I had with CB at the time, was that more than one of the operators I visited lied to the guy on the other end of the radio about where they were located. They joked about it afterward, which made me wonder whether CB was for me.
When I finally had a chance to meet some hams, the experience was altogether different. These were people that strictly operated on the right side of the law - in every aspect of their lives. That seemed important to me. Not only did they understand radio theory, but were able to use their knowledge to benefit the community at large. Many had been ship board operators, others were volunteer dispatchers and licensed radio technicians. Still others had been radio operators in the service - one of which had served as a code breaker in the Army during WWII. When I thought about the kind of people that I would prefer to communicate with world-wide, it was this group that I settled on.
This is not to say that there aren't bad hams - there are! However, those that misrepresent themselves and violate not only FCC regulations, but the
bonds of common courtesy, don't last long. Ham radio is something that gets into your blood and has enough facets to keep you going for a life time. After you've worked all States, you might decide
to fool with antenna designs. And then there's the tinkering part - actually getting inside and making things better (or ocassionally worse). There is experimentation - working other stations by
bouncing your signal off the moon. And, finally, when you get ready to seriously pursue DX, erect a tower and beam and assemble an amplifier, you'll never have to fear that the knock on the door is
anyone other than the postman with another load of QSL cards from overseas.
SELECTING A TUBE
RF INPUT CIRCUIT
RF OUTPUT (TANK) CIRCUIT
TRANSFORMER POWER CAPABILITIES
PARTS IS PARTS
ROLLING YOUR OWN - TRANSFORMERS AND CHOKES
POWER SUPPLY PROJECTS
LEGAL LIMIT AMP PROJECT