study material to teach hams on datacommunication

Kristoff Bonne

Hi all,

As I once wrote some libraries for encoding POCSAG-messages on arduino and GNU Radio that are now on github, I sometimes get mails from people asking me about POCSAG.

Now, looking at some of the questions I get, I do notice quite a lack of basic knowledge on digital communication in the amateur-radio community.
E.g. I do not know how many times I have already explained that FSK ("Frequency Shift Keying") -as used by POCSAG paging-, is in fact nothing else but a variation on normal FM. I keep on asking myself "isn't this something that somebody with a ham-license is supposed to know?"

I get the impression that, although all ham-radio course do explain AM, FM and SSB, for some reason the "digital" version of them (and how much they are actually alike) are not really covered; or not to a degree that people have an idea of digital communication really *is*.
For me, I learned most of digital communication from books (mainly on land-based digital communication) but I must say that a lot of the books and study-material on digital communication and datacomm do are either oriented towards EE students (i.e. with a lot of focus on math) or to much oriented on "operating" (i.e. not providing a descent theoretical background on the topic)

So, ..  I'm looking for study-material or books that a provide a base and descent theoretical background on the topic, but without all the math that comes with the EE engineering-courses. By preference, the course would build on the material used of the ham-radio license exam.
My target-audience is a typical amateur-radio operator:  learned electronics via a courses in a local radio-amateur club, either no or limited technical background) .

What would you advice to a fellow ham that wants to learn more about digital communication, going beyond being just an operator?

Does the ARRL sell any good books on this topic?

kristoff - ON1ARF

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