Riding the Shortwaves: Exploring the Magic of Amateur Radio

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Radio Amateur Call Book ham radio 1947

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Radio Amateur Call Book ham radio 1947

Many of those into the "maker" and "hacker" groups are discovering this hundred-year-old hobby has continued to not only keep up with the times but is still leading the way in many technical innovations. In this book, long-time ham radio operator and bestselling author Don Keith call sign N4KC uses both factual, easy-to-understand advice along with fictional short stories to show those interested just what the hobby is all about in the 21st century.

Hams use their radios and antennas to bounce signals off the moon, explore digital communication modes, perform computer control of their stations from anywhere on the planet, talk with astronauts in the International Space Station, use satellites launched by amateur groups, talk to fellow members of the "tribe" all over the planet and more. You do not have to be a geek or electronics nut to get the most from the hobby, though it can be a great way to prepare for a technical career. It offers so much to younger people who have grown up with cable, satellites, computers, and smart phones.

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We need to make them more aware of what the hobby is these days. And make sure they know that it absolutely can lead to a career in a technical field, including computers, communications, engineering, meteorology, media and more. The truth is, I have just been too darn busy to even think of such a thing. And I also knew, in my heart of hearts, that it be would difficult indeed to get any kind of decent book contract for such a niche book. If they had no interest, I doubted anyone else who published books would either.

Fast-forward to July Things have changed, both in my personal life and in the wild and woolly world of big-time book publishing. Don Keith N4KC has just published his new book of short stories, articles, advice, and more about ham radio. First, I retired from my hour-a-week day job back in May. And as I shuffled through the articles I had in the can, several more I was working on, and a few still in my head, I realized I was closer to a book than I had thought. And I truly believed I had something that would be different and could find a readership.

Amazon has become a real threat to traditional publishing companies—especially when it comes to e-books—as the old-line publishing houses struggle to figure this newfangled thing out. At the very least, it gives me the opportunity to make my book available at a very reasonable price to those interested in amateur radio. Then, as I considered other options, I realized that Amazon offers a truly unique opportunity for works like this one that allows me to offer the book in a traditional paperback format with minimal investment up front.

I ordered some copies as soon as I got the book and cover uploaded and accepted for publication.

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The very next day I got the email that they were being shipped that day. Again, this was with very little upfront cost and minimal hassle.


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Now, the paperback will be available not only via Amazon. They have to cut where they can to make a profit and printing, binding, and warehousing is a big drain on them. Talk about rapid technological change and its effect on society and the media! Broadcast radio, TV, the Internet and telephone communications are not the only things evolving at a dizzying pace. Include the anachronistic business of book publishing in that mix, too!

Or will hundreds of thousands of libraries order up a couple dozen copies each? Of course not.


  1. Riding the Shortwaves : Exploring the Magic of Amateur Radio by Don Keith (2012, Paperback)?
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The big publishers do have sales staff to encourage that sort of thing. Don Keith N4KC www. We never share your e-mail address. Content may not be reproduced without written permission. They are: 1 Putting together a station that would offer a complete and satisfying on-air experience. Excuse me. I gotta run… 73, Don N4KC www. Just not when the A-index is 45! No doubt about it, if you simply look at the graph, it shows the hobby I love so much—and that I fully credit for getting me into a career in media—is trending more and more southward: This could mean a number of things: — People are getting their info about ham radio in other ways besides searching for that specific term on Google.

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ISBN 13: 9781478298519

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