Ham Radio Boost – Lessons Learned in Amateur Radio


Back in March, I got an email from Lucien Koch, DH7LM, the author of a new book called Ham Radio Boost: Lessons Learned in Amateur Radio asking me to check out his new book. Dan Romanchek, KB6NU, wrote a review on it as well which you can find here. After reading his review of it as well as a couple of the reviews and the description on Amazon, I figured, why not? It sounds like a pretty good book.

In his book he talks about many different topics dealing with his experience in the hobby. He ends each chapter with the lessons he has learned on the topic. Each chapter is pretty short in length, but they make a good point. Some of the chapters, I think he could have went into a little more details or expanded more on the subject, but it was a good read.

The book is very reasonably priced and is available in both Kindle and paperback formats. The prices as well as an affiliate link to both versions are listed below:

Kindle Price: 3.99
Paperback: 7.99

The first chapter kind of starts off the whole book with 10 things that he has learned:

  1. Avoid being obsessed with ham radio
  2. Limit your radio budget
  3. Challenge Yourself
  4. Break Bad Radio Habits
  5. Experiment!
  6. Don’t waste time on the Internet
  7. Don’t be ashamed of being a ham
  8. Avoid perfectionism
  9. Don’t engage in pointless discussions
  10. Start sharing online

While these 10 things don’t seem like much, they speak volumes to what we as hams do on a daily basis. When I first started as a ham radio operator I was obsessed. It basically was the only thing that I had going on at the time other than school. I wanted to learn as much as possible in as little time as possible.

One of the things that I have not done until recently is challenge myself. I never really tried anything new, I didn’t learn how to make a new antenna or try a new mode of operation or try to build something. I stayed in what was my comfort zone and slowly chugged along.
When I did decide to challenge myself I took number ten to heart and started a ham radio blog which eventually turned into a podcast again challenging myself and it has slowly morphed into what it is now.

This book is 73 pages long as is written pretty well. The Chapter titles are as follows:

  • 10 things I’ve learned
  • Lessons learned in ham radio
  • Wasting time on the internet
  • Living the ham spirit
  • You got ears—learn to use them
  • Obsession is our enemy
  • Spending money on gear doesn’t make you happy
  • Great plans, no results
  • Operating in public: enjoy the spotlight!
  • Get a grip on the ‘dabble disease’
  • Challenge yourself
  • ‘Miracle products’ or designs
  • Lost in confusion: the world of online reviews
  • Textbook perfectionism
  • Antenna restrictions? I’ll pay extra!
  • CW: lessons learned in humility
  • Soldering connectors: patience pays
  • Buy cheap, buy twice
  • No boxes needed: think for yourself
  • Finishing projects (or not)
  • QSL cards: a never ending story
  • In with the new: breaking habits
  • Sharing is caring
  • Nice to meet you on QRZ.com Forums—home of the flame wars
  • Don’t press the red button
  • Keep it real: stay true to your abilities
  • When WD-40 goes wrong
  • Hoarding information
  • Let’s go outside: don’t be a ham loner
  • Keep your head up
  • Bashing your national radio club (or those who bash it)
  • Commitment is king
  • Who needs to prepare?
  • Be open to change
  • Don’t be a quitter

One of the chapters that I think a lot of people in this hobby has the biggest problem with is the one titled would “Be Open to Change”. When the CW requirements was lowered and then eventually dropped all together there was a major uproar with those that have been hams for a while. I’ve read comments that said “You’re not a real ham because you didn’t get your license with Morse code,” or something along those lines.

This book really made me think about my experiences throughout my 22 years of being a ham and about the things I could’ve done, and the Elmer I should’ve been. It also hits home because, I realize that I have missed out on some of the things that I could have done and didn’t or haven’t yet. Combine this book with all of the things that I have learned over the past two and a half years of having this blog and the last year and half with my podcast, it really makes me want more of this hobby.

If some of this sounds like you, go and buy this book and read it yourself. Here are the links again:

Kindle Price: 3.99
Paperback: 7.99

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Until next time,
73 de K5CLM

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