delara newsDelaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH VOL 37 NUMBER 1
Should I Just Grow A Chia Pet? - Dan Romanchik, KB6NUA reader writesI’m a Technician Class licensee, though I haven’t been on the air for years. What I’m looking for is instructional materials for basic electronics, radio operation, etc… I’m not an engineer, not a math whiz, and whenever I read QST, I think that I must not be too bright either :)I’ve tried the Dummies books and other how-tos about electronics, but they all seem to assume that the reader already has some knowledge of electronics. So, after swallowing my pride I guess I settled on searching for resources that would be suitable for young kids. Would you have any suggestions (other than maybe I should just grow Chia Pets as a hobby).I replied:You don’t have to be an engineer to enjoy amateur radio. It’s just a hobby after all, but like any pursuit, getting started can be difficult. Actually, you’ve hit on something, I think. There aren’t really any good training materials for adults taking up the hobby. And, on top of that, many people learn better in a class setting, not by just reading books.You don’t say what books you’ve already purchased, but one book that you might want to take a look at is The Manga Guide to Electricity. It’s not a text book, per se, but uses a story to teach about electrical and electronic principles. It’s written for kids, but even so, you probably will get something out of it.Another book I’d recommend is Elements of Radio. It’s a book that was written to teach high-school level classes back in the 50s and 60s. It’s long been out of print, but I see that you can buy a used copy on Amazon. This is a book my father used when he was in high school.Another thing that you might do is to get one of those kits that come with parts that you snap together to make circuits. Don’t just put the circuits together, though. In addition, get a digital multimeter (DMM), if you don’t already have one, and measure voltages and currents once you put a circuit together.