An Introduction to Amateur Radio - I. D. Poole

Last year, I got my Foundation License for amateur radio - a fun little thing to do during lockdown. Towards the end of last year, my father passed away, and he'd occasionally dabbled in radio, though AFAICT never more than a handheld scanner. This was one of his books, and I remembered it from the '90s, so I thought I'd read it.

This is a Bernard Babani book. These are iconic cheap technical books of the '80s and '90s, focusing mostly on radio, DIY synthesisers and introductory electronics, IIRC.

The series had many books by I.D. Poole, and R. A. Penfold, and this is one of that lot! They're pretty idiosyncratic little numbers, not being textbook-like, but rather slightly eclectic collections of Things To Know that were hard to come by in a pre-Internet age. There's some fairly well-structured introductory material, but also random Q codes and band plans and stuff. It gives you the gist of setting up a radio shack, without going into quite enough detail to feel confident to do so.

Things have moved on. While you can still do amateur radio the old-school way, there's a lot more digital now, both in terms of modern transceivers, and full-on Software Defined Radio kit. Between that and so much content being easily accessible - either as web pages or easily-findable-and-orderable in-depth books, this is now just a fascinating historical document, from the times when you'd make do with a funny little book from Tandy.

Posted 2021-09-26.