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Do-It-Yourself:
Wireless Technology
The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications is
the most comprehensive guide to radio electronics and
experimentation. The book is part reference and
part applied theory, ˜ lled with practical treatments of
basic electronic fundamentals, RF design, digital and
software radio technology, and antenna construction.
The ARRL Handbook strikes the perfect balance
between presentations of time-tested material and
coverage of the expanding scope of Amateur Radio
and the state-of-the-art.
For more than eight decades, The Handbook has
empowered radio amateurs and professionals alike with
its do-it-yourself approach, ˜ nding its way onto
workbenches and operating desks, and into technical
libraries and institutions.
Always Revised! This eighty-eighth edition includes
new topics, new projects, and expanded content.
CD-ROM Included. The CD-ROM at the back of the book
includes all of the fully searchable text and illustrations
in the printed book, as well as companion software, PC
board templates and other support ˜ les.
System Requirements: Windows® XP, WindowsVista® or Windows® 7, as well as Macintosh® systems, using
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® software. The Acrobat Reader is a free download at www.adobe.com. PDF ˜ les are
Linux readable.

About the Amateur Radio Service
Amateur (Ham) Radio provides the broadest and most powerful
wireless communications capability available to any private citizen
anywhere in the world. The principles of this federally licensed
radio service include public service, radio experimentation,
training, and international goodwill.
ARRL is the national membership association for Amateur
Radio operators. ARRL has books, software, online courses
and other resources for licensing, operating, and education.
Try these other popular ARRL titles: The ARRL Antenna
Book • The ARRL Operating Manual for Radio Amateurs
• The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual • Basic Radio—
Understanding the Key Building Blocks.

INTRODUCTION
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
Modulation
Oscillators and Synthesizers
Mixers, Modulators and Demodulators
RF and AF Filters
Receivers
Transmitters
Transceivers
DSP and Software Radio Design
Digital Modes
RF Power Amplifiers
Repeaters
ANTENNA SYSTEMS AND RADIO
PROPAGATION
Propagation of Radio Signals
Transmission Lines
Antennas
EQUIPMENT CONSTRUCTION
AND MAINTENANCE
Component Data and References
Construction Techniques
Station Accessories
Test Equipment and Measurements
Troubleshooting and Maintenance
RF Interference

USA $49.95 ARRL Order No. 0953
The national association for

STATION ASSEMBLY AND MANAGEMENT

ARRL AMATEUR RADIO

TM

225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111-1494 USA

www.arrl.org

2011 Handbook Softcover.indd 1

Safety
Assembling a Station
Space Communications
Digital Communications
Image Communications

08/13/2010 9:46:02 AM

2011
The ARRL
Handbook
For Radio Communications

Eighty-Eighth Edition

Published by:
ARRL
the national association for Amateur Radio™
Newington, CT 06111 USA

Editor
H. Ward Silver, NØAX
Contributing Editors
Steven R. Ford, WB8IMY
Mark J. Wilson, K1RO
Editorial Assistant
Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB
Technical Consultants
Michael E. Gruber, W1MG
Edward F. Hare, Jr, W1RFI
Zachary H.J. Lau, W1VT
Cover Design
Sue Fagan, KB1OKW
Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R
Production
Michelle Bloom, WB1ENT
Nancy G. Hallas, W1NCY
Elaine Lengyl
Jodi Morin, KA1JPA
David F. Pingree, N1NAS
Ed Vibert

Cover Info: The cover of the 2011 ARRL Handbook
highlights the joy of building – everything from test
equipment, to transmitters, to antennas and more.
Cover Photography: Clockwise from lower left
corner: K6LRG antennas at sunset by Chris Tate,
N6WM; a microprocessor-controlled SWR monitor
– project and photo by Larry Coyle, K1QW (see
Chapter 24); a 4CX1000A tetrode RF power tube
(see Chapter 17); the MicroT2 SSB transmitter by
Rick Campbell, KK7B (see Chapter 13).

Additional Contributors to the
2011 Edition
Bob Allison, WB1GCM
Alan Applegate, KØBG
Jim Brown, K9YC
Jeremy Campbell, KC8FEI
Kok Chen, W7AY
Larry Coyle, K1QW
Tim Duffy, K3LR
John Fitzsimmons, W3JN
Doug Grant, K1DG
Dale Grover, KD8KYZ
Joel R. Hallas, W1ZR
Roger Halstead, K8RI
Rick Hilding, K6VVA
Ron Hranac, NØIVN
Carl Leutzelschwab, K9LA
Jim Lux, W6RMK
Mike Martin, K3RFI
Ulrich Rohde, N1UL
Mark Steffka, WW8MW
Rich Strand, KL7RA
Jim Tonne, W4ENE
Paul Wade, W1GHZ
Ed Wetherhold, W3NQN
Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR

Copyright © 2010 by
The American Radio Relay League, Inc.
Copyright secured under the Pan-American
­Convention
International Copyright secured
All rights reserved. No part of this work may
be reproduced in any form except by written
permission of the publisher. All rights of
translation are reserved.
Printed in the USA
Quedan reservados todos los derechos

ISBN: 978-0-87259-095-3 Softcover
ISBN: 978-0-87259-096-0 Hardcover
Eighty-Eighth Edition

Contents
A detailed Table of Contents is included at the beginning of each chapter.


1










Introduction
What is Amateur (Ham) Radio?
1.1 Do-It-Yourself Wireless
1.2 Joining the Ham Radio Community
1.3 Assembling Your Station
1.4 Hello, World! — Getting on the Air
1.5 Your Ham Radio “Lifestyle”
1.6 Public Service
1.7 Ham Radio in the Classroom
1.8 Resources
1.9 Glossary


2


















Fundamental Theory
Electrical Fundamentals
2.1 Introduction to Electricity
2.2 Resistance and Conductance
2.3 Basic Circuit Principles
2.4 Power and Energy
2.5 Circuit Control Components
2.6 AC Theory and Waveforms
2.7 Capacitance and Capacitors
2.8 Inductance and Inductors
2.9 Working with Reactance
2.10 Impedance
2.11 Quality Factor (Q) of Components
2.12 Practical Inductors
2.13 Resonant Circuits
2.14 Transformers
2.15 Heat Management
2.16 Radio Mathematics
2.17 References and Bibliography

3











Analog Basics
3.1 Analog Signal Processing
3.2 Analog Devices
3.3 Practical Semiconductors
3.4 Analog Systems
3.5 Amplifiers
3.6 Operational Amplifiers
3.7 Analog-Digital Conversion
3.8 Miscellaneous Analog ICs
3.9 Analog Glossary
3.10 References and Bibliography

4 Digital Basics

4.1 Digital vs Analog

4.2 Number Systems

4.3 Physical Representation of

Binary States

4.4 Combinational Logic

4.5 Sequential Logic

4.6 Digital Integrated Circuits

4.7 Microcontrollers

4.8 Personal Computer Interfacing

4.9 Glossary of Digital Electronics Terms

4.10 References and Bibliography

5













Practical Design and Principles
RF Techniques
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Lumped-Element versus
Distributed Characteristics
5.3 Effects of Parasitic Characteristics
5.4 Ferrite Materials
5.5 Semiconductor Circuits at RF
5.6 Impedance Matching Networks
5.7 RF Transformers
5.8 Noise
5.9 Two-Port Networks
5.10 RF Design Techniques Glossary
5.11 References and Further Reading

6






Computer-Aided Circuit Design
6.1 Circuit Simulation Overview
6.2 Computer-Aided Design Examples
6.3 Limitations of Simulation at RF
6.4 CAD for PCB Design
6.5 References and Bibliography

7


















Power Supplies
7.1 The Need for Power Processing
7.2 AC-AC Power Conversion
7.3 Power Transformers
7.4 AC-DC Power Conversion
7.5 Voltage Multipliers
7.6 Current Multipliers
7.7 Rectifier Types
7.8 Power Filtering
7.9 Power Supply Regulation
7.10 “Crowbar” Protective Circuits
7.11 DC-DC Switchmode Power Conversion
7.12 High-Voltage Techniques
7.13 Batteries
7.14 Glossary of Power Supply Terms
7.15 Reference and Bibliography
7.16 Power Supply Projects

8 Modulation

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Analog Modulation

8.3 Digital Modulation

8.4 Image Modulation

8.5 Modulation Impairments

8.6 Modulation Glossary

8.7 References and Bibliography
9 Oscillators and Synthesizers

9.1 How Oscillators Work

9.2 Phase Noise

9.3 Oscillator Circuits and Construction

9.4 Designing an Oscillator

9.5 Quartz Crystals in Oscillators

9.6 Oscillators at UHF and Above

9.7 Frequency Synthesizers

9.8 Present and Future Trends in

Oscillator Application

9.9 Glossary of Oscillator and

Synthesizer Terms

9.10 References and Bibliography
10 Mixers, Modulators and Demodulators

10.1 The Mechanism of Mixers and Mixing

10.2 Mixers and Amplitude Modulation

10.3 Mixers and Angle Modulation

10.4 Putting Mixers, Modulators and

Demodulators to Work

10.5 A Survey of Common Mixer Types

10.6 References and Bibliography
11 RF and AF Filters

11.1 Introduction

11.2 Filter Basics

11.3 Lumped-Element Filters

11.4 Filter Design Examples

11.5 Active Audio Filters

11.6 Quartz Crystal Filters

11.7 SAW Filters








11.8 Transmission Line Filters
11.9 Helical Resonators
11.10 Use of Filters at VHF and UHF
11.11 Filter Projects
11.12 Filter Glossary
11.13 References and Bibliography

12 Receivers

12.1 Introduction

12.2 Basics of Heterodyne Receivers

12.3 The Superheterodyne Receiver

12.4 Superhet Receiver Design Details

12.5 Control and Processing Outside the

Primary Signal Path

12.6 Pulse Noise Reduction

12.7 VHF and UHF Receivers

12.8 UHF Techniques

12.9 References and Bibliography
13










Transmitters
13.1 Introduction
13.2 Early Transmitter Architectures
13.3 Modulation Types and Methods
Applied to Transmitter Design
13.4 Modern Baseband Processing
13.5 Increasing Transmitter Power
13.6 Transmitter Performance and
Measurement
13.7 References and Bibliography

14









Transceivers
14.1 The Transceiver Appears
14.2 Early SSB Transceiver Architecture
Capabilities
14.4 Selecting an HF Transceiver
14.5 Transceivers With VHF/UHF Coverage
14.6 Transceiver Control and Interconnection
14.7 Transceiver Projects
14.8 References

15 DSP and Software Radio Design

15.1 Introduction

15.2 Typical DSP System Block Diagram

15.3 Digital Signals

15.4 Digital Filters

15.5 Miscellaneous DSP Algorithms

15.6 Analytic Signals and Modulation

15.7 Software-Defined Radios (SDR)

15.8 Glossary

15.9 References and Bibliography
16 Digital Modes

16.1 Digital “Modes”

16.2 Unstructured Digital Modes

16.3 Fuzzy Modes

16.4 Structured Digital Modes

16.5 Networking Modes

16.6 Glossary

16.7 References and Bibliography

17 RF Power Amplifiers

17.1 High Power, Who Needs It?

17.2 Types of Power Amplifiers

17.3 Vacuum Tube Basics

17.4 Tank Circuits

17.5 Transmitting Device Ratings

17.6 Sources of Operating Voltages

17.7 Tube Amplifier Cooling

17.8 Amplifier Stabilization

17.9 Design Example: A High Power

Vacuum Tube HF Amplifier

17.10 Solid-State Amplifiers

17.11 A New 250-W Broadband

Linear Amplifier

17.12 Tube Amplifier Projects

17.13 References and Bibliography
18 Repeaters

18.1 A Brief History

18.2 Repeater Overview

18.3 FM Voice Repeaters

18.4 D-STAR Repeater Systems

18.5 Glossary of FM and Repeater

Terminology

18.6 References and Bibliography

Antenna Systems and
Radio Propagation
19
Propagation of Radio Signals

19.1 Fundamentals of Radio Waves

19.2 Sky-Wave Propagation and the Sun

19.3 MUF Predictions

19.4 Propagation in the Troposphere

19.5 VHF/UHF Mobile Propagation

19.6 Propagation for Space Communications

19.7 Noise and Propagation

19.8 Glossary of Radio Propagation Terms

19.9 References and Bibliography
20














Transmission Lines
20.1 Transmission Line Basics
20.2 Choosing a Transmission Line
20.3 The Transmission Line as Impedance
Transformer
20.4 Matching Impedances in the
Antenna System
20.5 Baluns and Transmission-Line
Transformers
20.6 Using Transmission Lines in
Digital Circuits
20.7 Waveguides
20.8 Glossary of Transmission Line Terms
20.9 References and Bibliography

21




Antennas
21.1 Antenna Basics
21.2 Dipoles and the Half-Wave Antenna
21.3 Vertical (Ground-Plane) Antennas













21.4 T and Inverted-L Antennas
21.5 Slopers and Vertical Dipoles
21.6 Yagi Antennas
21.7 Quad and Loop Antennas
21.8 HF Mobile Antennas
21.9 VHF/UHF Mobile Antennas
21.10 VHF/UHF Antennas
21.11 VHF/UHF Yagis
21.12 Radio Direction Finding Antennas
21.13 Glossary
21.14 References and Bibliography


Equipment Construction
and Maintenance
22
Component Data and References

22.1 Component Data

22.2 Resistors

22.3 Capacitors

22.4 Inductors

22.5 Transformers

22.6 Semiconductors

22.7 Tubes, Wire, Materials, Attenuators,

Miscellaneous

22.8 Computer Connectors

22.9 RF Connectors and Transmission Lines

22.10 Reference Tables
23







Construction Techniques
23.1 Electronic Shop Safety
23.2 Tools and Their Use
23.3 Soldering Tools and Techniques
23.4 Surface Mount Technology (SMT)
23.5 Electronic Circuits
23.6 Mechanical Fabrication

24 Station Accessories
24.1 A 100-W Compact Z-Match

Antenna Tuner
24.2 A Microprocessor Controlled SWR

Monitor
24.3 A 160- and 80-M Matching Network

for Your 43-Foot Vertical
24.4 Switching the Matching Network for

Your 43-Foot Vertical
24.5 An External Automatic Antenna Switch

for Use With Yaesu or ICOM Radios
24.6 A Low-Cost Remote Antenna Switch
24.7 Audible Antenna Bridge
24.8 A Trio of Transceiver/Computer

Interfaces
24.9 A Simple Serial Interface
24.10 USB Interfaces For Your Ham Gear
24.11 The Universal Keying Adapter
24.12 The TiCK-4 — A Tiny CMOS Keyer
24.13 The ID-O-Matic Station

Identification Timer
24.14 An Audio Intelligibility Enhancer
24.15 An Audio Interface Unit for

Field Day and Contesting

25











Test Equipment and Measurements
25.1 Test and Measurement Basics
25.2 DC Instruments and Circuits
25.3 AC Instruments and Circuits
25.4 Frequency Measurement
25.5 Other Instruments and Measurements
25.6 Receiver Performance Tests
25.7 Spectrum Analyzer
25.8 Transmitter Performance Tests
25.9 Test Equipment and
Measurements Glossary

26












Troubleshooting and Maintenance
26.1 Test Equipment
26.2 Where to Begin
26.3 Testing Within a Stage
26.4 Typical Symptoms and Faults
26.5 Troubleshooting Hints
26.6 Components
26.7 After the Repairs
26.8 Professional Repairs
26.9 Repair and Restoration of
Vintage Equipment
26.10 References and Bibliography

27 RF Interference

27.1 Managing Radio Frequency Interference

27.2 FCC Rules and Regulations

27.3 Elements of RFI

27.4 Identifying the Type of RFI Source

27.5 Locating Sources of RFI

27.6 Power-line Noise

27.7 Elements of RFI Control

27.8 Troubleshooting RFI

27.9 Automotive RFI

27.10 RFI Projects

27.11 RFI Glossary

27.12 References and Bibliography

Station Assembly and
Management
28
Safety

28.1 Electrical Safety

28.2 Antenna and Tower Safety

28.3 RF Safety
29






Assembling a Station
29.1 Fixed Stations
29.2 Mobile Installations
29.3 Portable Installations
29.4 Remote Stations
29.5 References and Bibliography

30 Space Communications

30.1 Amateur Satellite History

30.2 Satellite Transponders

30.3 Satellite Tracking

30.4 Satellite Ground Station Antennas

30.5 Satellite Ground Station Equipment

30.6 Satellite Antenna Projects

30.7 Satellite References and Bibliography

30.8 Earth-Moon-Earth (EME)

Communication

30.9 EME Propagation

30.10 Fundamental Limits

30.11 Building an EME Station

30.12 Getting Started with EME

30.13 EME References

30.14 Glossary of Space Communications

Technology

31

Digital Communications
















31.1 Sound Card Modes
31.2 Packet Radio
31.3 The Automatic Packet/Position
Reporting System (APRS)
31.4 PACTOR
31.5 High Speed Multimedia (HSMM)
31.6 Automatic Link Establishment (ALE)
31.7 D-STAR
31.8 APCO-25
31.9 HF Digital Voice
31.10 EchoLink, IRLP and WIRES-II
31.11 Glossary of Digital Communications
Terms
31.12 Bibliography and References

32












Image Communications
32.1 Fast-Scan Amateur Television Overview
32.2 Amateur TV Systems
32.3 ATV Applications
32.4 Video Sources
32.5 Glossary of ATV Terms
32.6 Slow-Scan Television (SSTV) Overview
32.7 SSTV Basics
32.8 Analog SSTV
32.9 Digital SSTV
32.10 Glossary of SSTV Terms
32.11 Bibliography and References

Advertiser’s Index
Index
Project Index
Author Index

Foreword
Technology both enables and challenges the amateur. Digital computing is finding its way into nearly every
aspect of Amateur Radio, making possible functions and features that are entirely new — with amateurs leading
the way — or that were previously exclusive to government and industry. At the same time, increasing miniaturization of electronics requires the practitioner of the “roll your own” tradition to learn new skills and make use of
new tools. More than ever, the amateur needs up-to-date references and guidance.
Now in its second year of a cycle of renewal and expansion, the 2011 ARRL Handbook rises to the challenge,
building on last year’s milestone edition by remaking an entire chapter, presenting a novel and useful new project
and including many useful updates. Several supporting papers and monographs have been added to the extensive
collection of material on the CD-ROM included with the book, as well, including a new version of Jim Tonne,
W4ENE’s, filter design software, ELSIE. Ulrich Rohde, N1UL, contributed several advanced and detailed papers
on RF circuit simulation, mixers, and oscillators for the advanced reader — these are provided on the CD-ROM.
Responding to reader feedback, the Table of Contents now includes an extra level of headings to help you
quickly find the material you need.
One of Amateur Radio’s largest challenges is addressed in Chapter 27, RF Interference. RFI is the bane of
many amateur’s existence, perhaps as much as antenna restrictions. No longer just the “Tennessee Valley Indians” (TVI) of years past, RFI now occurs in both directions — from the ham’s strong signal to consumer electronics and from stray RF signals and electrical noise radiated by consumer electronics and power-line equipment to the ham’s receiver. The old chapter was completely rewritten to address this new reality. In addition, a
big new section on Automotive RFI was contributed for the multiplying mobile operators.
Lift the cover of any modern radio and many accessories — what do you see? Microprocessors! The use
of these powerful computing devices enables designers to create features that wouldn’t have been practical to
implement with analog circuitry. The signature new project in this edition — Chapter 24’s “A Microprocessor
Controlled SWR Monitor” by Larry Coyle, K1QW — exemplifies the power of hybrids of analog and digital.
It’s easy to build and should appear in many stations.
Another type of hybrid is growing outside the shack as amateurs facing station-building restrictions at home
“take to the hills,” building remote HF stations linked to the home PC via the Internet. Chapter 29, Assembling A
Station, includes a brand-new section written by remote station veteran Rick Hilding, K6VVA. Because every remote station is highly customized, Rick leads you through a list of items that you need to consider as you design
your own shack in the country or on a hilltop.
Hand-in-hand with the new construction technologies, free or low-cost software tools are now available for
every ham with a computer and Internet connection. This makes it possible to design and order custom circuit
boards for personal or club projects at reasonable cost. Dale Grover, KD8KYZ, has contributed a detailed discussion of this process to help the reader take advantage of these new services.
Not completely devoted to the latest technology, there are some how-to’s for much-loved tube equipment.
Roger Halstad, K8RI, explains how to tune up a triode or tetrode amplifier — a skill any ham with a tube-based
amplifier needs to understand. Amplifier care and troubleshooting are addressed, too. John Fitzsimmons, W3JN,
describes how to restore and repair vintage equipment in the Troubleshooting and Maintenance chapter.
As you will see, the ARRL Handbook’s team of authors, editors, and reviewers are working hard to carry forward the traditional technology of Amateur Radio while at the same time remaining faithful to the FCC’s Basis
and Purpose for the Amateur Service in advancing the individual’s skills and practices. We are confident you’ll
find this edition to have met that standard.





David Sumner, K1ZZ
Chief Executive Officer
Newington, Connecticut
September 2010

The Amateur’s Code
The Radio Amateur is:
CONSIDERATE…never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of
others.
LOYAL…offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and
the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States
is represented nationally and internationally.
PROGRESSIVE…with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station
and operation above reproach.
FRIENDLY…slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel
to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of
others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.
BALANCED…radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job,
school or community.
PATRIOTIC…station and skill always ready for service to country and community.
—The original Amateur’s Code was written by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, in 1928.


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