Best Ham Radio Books (Our Top Picks!)

Ham radio is the best and most creative option for both short-range and long-range communication. There are numerous ham radio books on the market and all of them claim to put you ten steps ahead when it comes to equipping you with the knowledge that will help you become a  full-fledged ham radio operator.

This article will highlight the best books in the market, the most budget-friendly, and the most popular choices.

What is Ham Radio?

Ham radio is also known as Amateur radio and it makes use of radiofrequency spectrums to facilitate communication and exchange of messages. Ham radio is non-commercial and its distinct feature is that it’s just meant for individual use and most people see it as a hobby and as a way to connect with like-minded individuals.

Ham radio can also be used for emergency communication, radiosport, and more. Ham radio makes it possible for individuals to communicate with people from other cities, and even from other countries, and all this happens without using the internet.

Best Ham Radio Books On The Market

There’s a wide selection of ham radio books that you can pick from. We have picked a few that stand out and we have both our best pick and budget-friendly picks.

1. Best Overall: The ARRL Operating Manual (12th Edition)

the arl operating manual 12th edition

This book is our pick for the best ham radio book. It’s the perfect beginner’s guide and it’s been carefully written and reviewed by seasoned hams. The 12th edition has been refined and a lot of new tips and information has been added. It’s also a great pick if you’re a ham who needs a refresher course. The ARRL Operating Manual offers detailed information about:

The book extensively covers topics that include but are not limited to:

  • Basic Operating Techniques and procedures.
  • How to set up amateur satellites.
  • Portable and mobile operation.
  • Useful resources for hams.
  • Radiosport

This book features new additions that touch on FT8 and other WSJT-X digital modes and it is everything a ham needs to get started.

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2. Best Budget-Friendly Option: Ham Radio For The New Ham

ham radio for the new ham bookThis book will not put a huge dent in your pockets and it’s perfect for new hams who just got their licenses and are still trying to find their way around. This book contains 34 simple projects that will refine your skills as a ham.

Ham radio for the new ham comes packed with tips and advice that will help a new ham to avoid mistakes that amateurs often make. It will give you tips on how to set up your very first ham radio and help you to connect with other hams in your community.

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3. ARRL Ham Radio License Manual: All You Need to Become an Amateur Radio Operator

ARRL Ham Radio License Manual- All You Need to Become an Amateur Radio OperatorThis manual is perfect for beginners and it’s structured in a way that makes it stand out and easy to understand. This book is for amateur hams who are still looking to get their ham licenses. It includes a test with 35 questions in it. The ham test will put your knowledge and understanding of ham radio to the test. It’s perfect for both individual study and use in the classroom.

The Ham Radio License Manual can also be used by instructors and teachers, not just by beginners. This book will guide you and make it easier to join the huge community of ham radio operators. It has valuable gems and information that covers everything from setting up a ham radio satellite and public service, so you will have the convenience of having everything you need in one book.

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4. Grounding and Bonding for the Radio Amateur

Grounding and Bonding for the Radio AmateurThis book comes in handy for when you’ve successfully obtained your license and are looking to start getting your hands dirty. It gives step-by-step instructions on how to build your ham radio station. In addition to all that, it gives you tips on safety precautions for each stage. It covers areas that include:

  • Safety tips when working with AC-powered equipment.
  • Lightning protection involves maintaining the same voltage during lightning episodes and redirecting the energy away from your equipment.

Grounding and Bonding for the Amateur will equip you with all the information you need to carry out effective grounding and bonding. You will learn how to make portable stations, home stations, and more.

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5. The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications

The ARRL Handbook for Radio CommunicationsThis book is both affordable and quite detailed. The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications is highly revered in ham radio circles and it is a comprehensive guide to station design techniques, repair, and modification.

The chapters are arranged in a manner that makes the book easily understandable and each page contains invaluable gems. It covers everything from the theory aspect to the practical aspect of becoming a ham. This book covers the following:

  • The basics of radio electronics
  • Computer-aided design
  • Digital operating modes
  • Equipment troubleshooting, etc

The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications was painstakingly put together by experienced hams and this latest edition has been modified to meet the needs of modern ham radio operators. The book includes projects and articles which a ham can use to sharpen their skills. It is the perfect pick for technical professionals, and it can also be used in a classroom setup.

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The Best Ham Radio Books: Final Thoughts

There is a ham book for everyone from beginners to instructors. Ham radio books are handy and they equip you with all the knowledge you need to join and stay in the ham radio community.

Keeping abreast with the newest technologies and techniques will keep you at the top of your game and will ensure that you meet all required regulations and they will also give you safety guidelines that you can follow to prevent mishaps. Ham radio books come in handy for both classes and personal use, so they are an invaluable investment for any amateur ham.