NASWA Journal Columns · Listener’s Library Extra, January 1997

T.J. “Skip” Arey N2EI • P.O. Box 236 • Beverly, NJ 08010 tjarey◊

Listener’s Library Extra, January 1997

An important new book has been published in the radio field. Happily, the book is written by our very own “Uncle Skip” Arey. Obviously, Skip is too close to the book to review it, or maybe even to include a review of it in his column. We feel the book is too important to ignore, though, so we offer this review, prepared by Rich D’Angelo, as a Listener’s Library Extra column. The review is being published without Skip’s knowledge.

Ralph Brandi

The How-To Guide

By T. J. “Skip” Arey
340 Pages
The Index Publishing Group
ISBN: 1-56866-101-0
Reviewed by Richard A. D’Angelo

Getting started in any facet of radio monitoring is, at best, a hit or miss proposition. There are a number of so-called beginners books or guides that attempt to address certain specialty niches in the radio monitoring field. However, until recently, there has never been a comprehensive guide for beginners to learn about all aspects of radio monitoring. All that has changed with T. J. “Skip” Arey’s wonderful book, RADIO MONITORING, The How-To Guide.

For many, Skip Arey is a well-known name in the hobby. He has edited our Listeners Library column for a number of years and was our technical editor in a past life. In addition, Uncle Skip (as he is known to most of us) writes for Monitoring Times magazine and the All Ohio Scanner Club bulletin on topics related to getting the beginner off the ground and running in this terrific hobby of ours.

At radio conventions, he has hosted numerous seminars designed to give the beginner a handle on various aspects of hobby monitoring. It’s not easy explaining what many of us take for granted. However, this is what he does best and this book follows in his own footsteps. For many Skip has become the support lifeline that helps get newcomers immersed in our hobby. Therefore, it seems fitting that Skip would author the most complete book on radio monitoring for beginners since he has had tremendous experience “teaching” the subject through his writings and presentations throughout much of his hobby career.

Uncle Skip’s book is a continuation of his free flowing thought process and style that dominates his articles, columns and presentations. His is a very chatty, relaxed and witty style that enables the reader to be comfortable with what the author has to present. Whenever he heads down a technical path he always concludes by reminding hobbyists to have fun since that is what a hobby is all about. Simple advise that occasional needs to be said from time-to-time. Frankly, I can’t think of another hobbyist, and I know a bushel full of them, that can present basic monitoring information in as clear and as concise a manner as Skip Arey. Since he is a confessed “DC to Daylight” monitor (someone that monitors everything there is to monitor), he knows from personal experience all facets of radio monitoring. The book is packed with useful tidbits of information that even a seasoned hobbyist can make good use of. For example, how many of us really think about our radio shack layout? or how to get up to speed on other aspects of radio monitoring, i.e. non-shortwave broadcast? This book will help anyone grow into the other aspects of radio monitoring that are out there to enjoy.

RADIO MONITORING, The How-To Guide opens with a brief history of radio followed by a chapter covering the many forms of listening. The book moves into background information on the radio spectrum including a discussion about propagation and what it means to a radio monitor before delving into each area of interest individually. Since Skip covers the entire radio spectrum, veteran shortwave broadcast hobbyists, like us, who are looking to get into other aspects of radio monitoring will find the sections devoted to long wave, medium wave, shortwave utility DXing, scanner listening, TV and FM DXing particularly interesting as another outlet for fun.

Each section concentrates on the basicsreceivers, where and when to listen, antennas, accessories, propagation, techniques, skill development, etc. By the time you reach the end of the book, the reader will have a good understanding of the basics involved with all aspects of radio monitoring.

RADIO MONITORING, The How-To Guide by Skip Arey was published by the Index Publishing Group of San Diego, California. The 5 1/2″ by 8 1/2 ” formatted book is 340 pages of fast paced reading, including 80 illustrations (pictures, line drawings, and schematics) some of which were generated by Uncle Skip’s computer. It sells for only US$19.95 and is available from both Universal Radio and Gilfer Shortwave. I recommend that a copy of this book grace the shelf of anyone with an interest in radio monitoring since this is the most complete “how to” guide I have ever seen in print. Never has so much useful information, about getting started in so many aspects of radio monitoring, been packed into one book.

73, RAD

19 Nov 96

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