Ahhh, so to my delight the speedy WIA bookshop had the books to me in a very short amount of time – first day back at work and they arrived at my desk.
In the end I grabbed two books:
– Antennas for VHF and Above, Ian Poole
– Radio Theory Handbook, Fred Swainston
Now admittedly I grabbed the first book based on the decision to make the cost of postage worthwhile – so I didn't really need it. However, I DID want a book with more information and focus on antennas for the _higher_ frequencies. Specifically, I wanted more of the design theory around Yagis and the like and this book looked like it would have it. (The only other antenna book I have is the ARRL Antenna Book and it seems to focus more on HF and wire antennas.)
This book has worked out well as it does indeed provide additional information on the items I wanted. Further it does so in the form of good practical build projects as well as theory. However, I must admit I still want more of the theory around Yagis so may have to search for more. But the book is only 144 pages so you can't expect too much depth when it's covering everything from dipoles to dishes; but it definitely does add to the ARRL Antenna Book – also by providing more information on dip meters.
But the real book in this order was the Radio Theory Handbook. My intention (see previous post) was to use this in conjunction with the ARRL handbook and other references to do up a study guide against the AOCP syllabus to use for my license upgrade. BUT, to my pleasurable astonishment, this book has already done this. In one of it's many appendices, it has a copy of each of the syllabuses (both Standard and Advanced) and references to each section in the book – as it does state (in it's How to Use section) that there is more in the book than you need to know for the exams. Further, each chapter in the book has example multiple choice questions for you to validate your understanding. Finally, it now has a CD that has 100 exam questions (with five multiple choice options, rather than the exam style of only four – to make it harder) and some software to randomly select 50 for you each time – although I've not run it yet. Oh, and one more thing, it seems to have a very well thought out progression of chapters. Fantastic!
I've not really got stuck into reading it yet, but the bits I have I've been impressed with. It feels a lot more accessible than the ARRL handbook, and I truly think it will be the book of choice to try and pass my exam with. I can wait until I can get studying in earnest.
But really the back cover of the book sums it up best. So let me repeat some of it here:
"This book has been written as a study guide to cover the Australian Communications and Media Authority syllabus for Australian Amateur Operator Certificate of Proficiency. The book contains the theory necessary to pass the examinations to become an amateur radio operator.The material presented in this book has been written to be concise and easy to understand with the view to provide the reader with a holistic understanding of radio and electronics."
Anyway, all is now looking good and I'll post up more information in the coming months about these books I think. 🙂