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Books for Young Hams


Amateur Radio Comic Books

From Icom America

Zack and Max have great adventures. You can request copies of the comic books from Icom or read and print them online!

Whether you're a student or an adult, this book tells a story about ham radio which we hope you will read again and again. And, if you do find it interesting and informative, please pass it on to a friend! Download as often as you want this coloring book version to share with family and friends. There are a total of 7 volumes:

  • The Odyssey Begins

  • Lost in Seattle

  • Mady Goes to England

  • Fun at Field Day

  • Max in Space

  • Lets Go Island DXing!

  • Ham Radio to the Rescue!

Available for FREE from Icom America Inc.


Your First Amateur Radio HF Station

By Steve Ford, WB8IMY


Setting up your first HF Amateur Radio station can be a complicated task. From selecting your first radio to putting up your first antenna, there are a number of important choices you'll need to make.

Your First Amateur Radio HF Station is the most complete guide to setting up your station and getting started in HF communications. It's filled with practical advice you can put to use right away. Whether you're new to Amateur Radio or HF operating, live on acres of open property or in a tiny apartment, this book will show you how to get on the air and enjoy all that Amateur Radio has to offer.

Questions answered include:

  • What kind of antenna should you use?

  • What radio should you buy?

  • Do You Need an Amplifier?

  • What About a Computer?

  • What Types of Accessories Do You Need?

  • Electricity – Good and Bad.

Available from ARRL. Kindle version also available. List Price: $22.95; 176 Pages


Basic Radio-Understanding the Key Building Blocks
By Joel Hallas, W1ZR


This book could be used by anyone interested in learning about basic radio principles with very little (if any) prior knowledge about the subject. It's a good introduction to radio from a top down perspective.


The projects are well explained and it includes a parts list. The author tells you exactly which parts to use, the part numbers and where they can be ordered.


This is an easy way to learn all about radio and shows you the magic of radio. You can learn about receivers, transmitters, antennas, propagation and their applications to telecommunications, radio navigation and radio location. There are even build-it-yourself projects to turn what you read into the real thing, which can help in learning what radio's all about. It gives you the knowledge of elementary electronic ideas and the beginning information in radio theory and practice necessary for anyone going onto more advanced topics.


Available from ARRL. List Price: $22.95; 256 Pages


Oscar's Amateur Radio Adventure
By Robert Norman, VK5SW

While visiting his grandparents, fourteen year old Oscar finds an old Wireless in the basement. Then, taking an interest in radios, he discovers Amateur Radio and learns about 'Hams' using their radios to talk to each other World Wide. The adventure continues when he visits a Solar Powered Ham Radio Station in the Australian Outback.

Robert Norman has been an Amateur Radio Operator for forty years and in that time has enjoyed many conversations on the radio chatting to people from all over the world. He has a large property in the Australian Outback where he is able to erect antennas. His Ham Radio Station can be seen on his website at


Available from ARRL. List Price: $5.00; 72 Pages


Understanding Basic Electronics
By Walter Banzhaf, WB1ANE

This book is targeting readers who are new to electronics. The content is very basic and the language is kept simple - about on the same level with what is taught in some high schools. Math is simple and also very well explained. Any concepts discussed in the book are explained from ground up. You are not just presented with how something works but the author helps you discover it yourself from the very foundation throughout the book why things work as they do.

The book starts to explain conductors and insulators and what current and voltage really means. Next resistors are discussed with Kirchoff's and Ohm's laws. Once this foundation is built, the book moves on to explore the difference between DC and AC and how to calculate impedances with capacitors and inductors before the book starts to dive into  semiconductors. The common semiconductors such as diodes, bipolar transistors, and different FETs are explained. The last chapters talk about linear (analog) and digital integrated circuits. The appendix has some valuable information about thermionic (vacuum) tubes which are still found today in high powered radio transmitters.


The book is an easy read and helps the newbie to understand the basics of electronics. The book teaches more than you need for the Technician or General exam but less than what is required for the Extra. (Reviewed by Stefan Brunner.)

2020 Edition available from ARRL. List Price: $32.95; 387 Pages

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