© 2019

Beginning Radio Communications

Radio Projects and Theory

  • Learn the basics of hardware and licensing required to make and operate radio projects

  • Understand the differences between basic radio technologies like FM/AM radio and WiFi

  • Apply your amateur radio license in multiple ways with concrete examples and projects


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Alex Wulff
    Pages 1-22
  3. Alex Wulff
    Pages 23-43
  4. Alex Wulff
    Pages 45-67
  5. Alex Wulff
    Pages 69-90
  6. Alex Wulff
    Pages 91-111
  7. Alex Wulff
    Pages 113-134
  8. Alex Wulff
    Pages 135-154
  9. Alex Wulff
    Pages 155-172
  10. Alex Wulff
    Pages 173-194
  11. Alex Wulff
    Pages 195-217
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 219-223

About this book


Understanding radio communications systems unlocks a new way to look at the world and the radio waves that connect it. Through easy-to-understand instruction and a variety of hands-on projects, this book gives the reader an intuitive understanding of how radio waves propagate, how information is encoded in radio waves, and how radio communications networks are constructed.


This book also focuses on the world of amateur, or “ham,” radio, a global network of hobbyists that experiment and communicate with radio waves. The reader can learn what amateur radio is, how one can obtain an amateur radio license, and how various pieces of amateur radio hardware work.


Rather than overwhelm with formulas and numerical approaches, this book presents an easy-to-follow qualitative approach to the theory aspects of radio—perfect for those with little to no knowledge of electromagnetism, signal processing, or hardware development. Instead, instruction focuses on hands-on learning. Radio waves are easy and inexpensive to manipulate with modern hardware, so the examples throughout this text provide ample opportunity to develop an understanding of such hardware.


A special focus is given to applications of radio communications in the modern world. In every chapter, the reader gains new insight into different radio communications systems and the hardware and software that makes it all possible. Projects include using a software-defined radio to download live images of the Earth from weather satellites, Arduino-based digital radio communications networks, making amateur radio contacts, and more.


radio radio communications wireless communications ham radio amateur radio electromagnetism radio for beginners transceivers

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.CambridgeUSA

About the authors

Alex Wulff is a maker and student of electrical engineering at Harvard. Alex has always had a passion for sharing his love of technology with the world and has given numerous talks encouraging youth and adults alike to get involved with the maker movement. He has a special interest in radio technologies and their increasingly important role in today’s connected society.


Alex is very active in the maker community and posts a variety of projects online. 

Bibliographic information