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Saturday, May 9, 2009

SolderSmoke -- The Book! On Sale Now!

SolderSmoke is the story of a secret, after-hours life in
electronics. Bill Meara started out as a normal kid, from a normal
American town. But around the age of 12, he got interested in
electronics, and he has never been the same.
To make matters worse, when he got older he became a diplomat. His
work has taken him to Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, the Spanish Basque
Country, the Dominican Republic, the Azores islands of Portugal,
London, and, most recently, Rome. In almost all of these places his
addiction to electronics caused him to seek out like-minded radio
fiends, to stay up late into the night working on strange projects, and
to build embarrassingly large antennas above innocent foreign
neighborhoods. SolderSmoke takes you into the basement workshops and
electronics parts stores of these exotic foreign places, and lets you
experience the life of an expatriate geek. If you are looking for
restaurant or hotel recommendations, look elsewhere. But if you need to
know where to get an RF choke re-wound in Santo Domingo, SolderSmoke is the book for you.
SolderSmoke is no ordinary memoir. It is a technical memoir. Each
chapter contains descriptions of Bill’s struggles to understand (really
understand) radio-electronic theory. Why does P=IE? Do holes really
flow through transistors? What is a radio wave? How does a frequency
mixer produce sum and difference frequencies? If these are the kinds
of questions that keep you up at night, this book is for you.
Finally, SolderSmoke is about brotherhood. International,
cross-border brotherhood. Through the SolderSmoke podcast we have
discovered that all around the world, in countries as different as
Sudan and Switzerland, there are geeks just like us, guys with
essentially the same story, guys who got interested in radio and
electronics as teenagers, and who have stuck with it ever since. Our
technical addiction gives us something in common, something that
transcends national differences. And our electronics gives us the means
to communicate. United by a common interest in radio, and drawn closer
together by means of the internet, we form an “International
Brotherhood of Electronic Wizards.”


  1. Bill I'd like to bring to your attention "LInux in the Ham Shack" which you and other SolderSmoke devotees might enjoy:


    Vy 73 de Guadalajara

    P.s. FB on Whisper...

  2. Hi Bill, nice going... I've just placed my order on Lulu... can't wait for it to arrive. Here we're still in Paris.. not active as much as I'd like but still keeping an 'ember' burning as it were... or maybe I'm just saving myself for the next sunspot high... don't want to burn myself out to early hi hi. Cheers agn and rgds to xyl +kids.
    Paulo CT1EFL/G0MUW/F5VMJ

  3. My copy of the book has just arrived. So my bus trips will be a lot shorter and more interesting =)

  4. Any chance of an audible version?


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