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Tune In The Universe!
Tune In The Universe!
by SETI League executive director Dr. H. Paul Shuch

reviewed by Bob Grove, W8JHD
Monitoring Times

Click on CD cover thumbnail for fullsize image Tune In The Universe!
by Dr. H. Paul Shuch, N6TX
Newington CT, ARRL, 2001
[ISBN 0-87259-854-3, CD-ROM, $24.95]

Subtitled, "A Radio Amateur's Guide to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence," this delightful CD is packed with easy-to-read and informative history, hints, and how-tos on building and operating a microwave earth receiving station in the quest for signals from aliens in the cosmos. Each page includes a table of contents for immediate point-and-click access.

Author Paul Shuch, N6TX, is perhaps the best-known proponent of this search, with his legions of followers in the growing SETI League, a global band of listening enthusiasts now more than 1000 strong.

Navigating the CD is quite intuitive: hypertext-linked sections concentrate on the evolution of the SETI program with credit to its founders and supporters; a technical section which guides the beginner and the advanced amateur through the phases of system design and implementation; and the author's own "memoir" department which includes songs he has written ("…music is my second love").

But of immediate interest to the reader is, of course, the technical area, and in this the CD excels. Following the enjoyable introductory articles is the real meat of the work, with major chapters entitled: Are we Alone?, Ask Dr. SETI, Searching for Life, and finally, Your SETI Station.

Are we Alone? is a collection of the author's well-considered reflections about the stars, planets, extraterrestrial life, intelligence, and communications, while Ask Dr. SETI is an FAQ assemblage about astrophysics, biochemistry, philosophy, sociology, technology, and related articles.

The approach is cookbook, but not intended for board-level assembly; rather, lists of sources for component equipment and accessories are provided. Extensive tutorial sections - including spread sheets - allow the appropriate selection of antenna, receiver, cables (RF, DC, audio, and control), computer, and software.

Tune in the Universe on CD-ROM is available for $24.95 from the American Radio Relay League (ARRL); see their web site at, or call 860-594-0200 for ordering.

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