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.