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Re: [WestMichiganHams] Re: Ham Radio makes the news in the New York Times

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  • k8mhz@k8mhz.com
    Actually, it was the Alexanderson Alternator that Fessenden used for his first successes at voice over radio. The alternators were used for arc lamps to make
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 28, 2006
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      Actually, it was the Alexanderson Alternator that Fessenden used for his first successes at voice over radio.  The alternators were used for arc lamps to make them quieter.  It appears that Tesla was the first to produce CW and that happened in 1896.  As far as I have read, CW was not used to transmit Morse Code until after 1903 and CW transmitters did not make it out of the lab until 1906.  Fesenden used high frequency spark to transmit voice, some think as early as 1901.  Tesla had experimented with tubes prior to the turn of the century but it was DeForest that came up with the partial vacuum tube design that would end up in radio (1906 - 07).  A few years later spark was effectively outlawed by the Radio Act of 1912.  While not specifically mentioning spark, it addresses radio signals of more than one specific frequency.  That Act also was the first legislation that required radio operators to have licenses.  By 1920 full vacuum tubes were being manufactured and the DeForest Audion was used to permeate the ether with AM signals for many years.
       
      The transition from spark to CW was hampered by the complexity of the equipment needed to send a pure sine wave vs. that needed to generate a spark.  Since amateur radio operators of that era had to build their own gear, spark was the only choice for many to generate a signal.  When tubes did become part of the transmitter's mainstay they were made by hand.  I think this practice continued until the late 30's or so, when commercially made tubes became available and somewhat affordable.
       
      The ten years from 1897 - 1907 were full of new radio and electronic inventions.  Just imagine the progress by today's standards.  Just think if radio was just invented in 1996 and this year a voice is transmitted using it for the first time outside a laboratory.  Also by this year communicating with ships at sea would be commonplace.  Something not even possible a mere ten years ago.
       
      Morse Code has outlived landline telegraph, various forms of damped wave technology and many changes in the law.  Since the many televised trouncings Morse Code has bestowed upon cell phone text messengers it is rumored that cell phones may come equipped with a means to send Morse Code to one and other.  Removing the requirement for testing may indeed take the Code a bit out of the forefront but just may add to it's mystery.  That mystery may even add to the number of hams wanting to learn it.  Morse Code is and probably will remain the 'Hiram Abiff' of ham radio for many years to come.
       
      73
       
      Mark K8MHZ
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2006 08:28
      Subject: [WestMichiganHams] Re: Ham Radio makes the news in the New York Times

      OK, I just have to jump in here about CW. Before vacuum tubes and
      after spark, there was another method of generating CW. A rotary,
      high frequency generator was used to produce the RF carrier that
      could be interrupted for CW.
      I also remember reading about the first voice transmissions being
      with a modulated carbon arc device, but don't have the details on
      that.
      W8IQE
      --- In WestMichiganHams@ yahoogroups. com, <k8mhz@...> wrote:
      >
      > Funneh...
      >
      > We were NEVER required to demonstrate proficiency of CW. At least
      not in my lifetime.
      >
      > We were only required to demonstrate our proficiency of Morse
      Code. Morse Code is not a mode, it is a code. CW is the mode Morse
      is usually sent with but I have sent it with FM as well. Novices and
      Techs can only transmit CW using International Morse Code. (97.307(f)
      (9) ).
      >
      > All the discussion about having one mode being superior to another,
      or even perceived to be, is a moot point. We were tested on Code,
      not on mode.
      >
      > Actually, how many of us have ever even heard a CW transmission
      during a licensing test? I never have, the Code test was on a tape.
      >
      > The story about Fessenden taught me a little about CW. Besides
      being interested in voice, he was also interested in CW. The problem
      was that CW was not possible until the invention of the vacuum tube.
      Perfect sine waves of a single radio frequency were not possible
      using the spark generators, even at 50Kc which was sufficient to send
      a recognizable human voice. How many of us know that phone came
      before CW? The mode used to send Morse Code at the turn of that
      century was DW or damped wave. The spark generator pretty much
      polluted the entire radio spectrum and was modulated by damping, or
      reducing it at coded intervals. The airwaves must have been full of
      QRM!
      >
      > CW made possible many more simultaneous transmissions on the bands
      due to its greatly reduced bandwidth. Spark (DW) was so bad of a
      technology for communication that CW almost instantaneously killed
      it. Very shortly after CW was introduced it became illegal to
      transmit DW on the air. The vacuum tube made it possible to create
      high frequency radio waves of purity and became a death knell for
      Ole' King Spark.
      >
      > Morse Code survived the death of it's first king and will probably
      outlive CW, the king's assassin, as well. Morse will become the
      Latin of those supremely interested in radio communication and it's
      ability to harness CW to talk the farthest with the least amount of
      equipment will not be affected in the least bit by the new FCC ruling.
      >
      > 73,
      >
      > Mark K8MHZ
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Hank Greeb
      > To: West Michigan Hams
      > Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2006 13:31
      > Subject: [WestMichiganHams] Ham Radio makes the news in the New
      York Times
      >
      >
      >
      > The New York Times has an article about "Morse Code: A Fading
      Signal" -
      > concerning the use of code in the ham bands (and elsewhere).
      >
      > Very interesting reading.
      >
      > The full URL for the article is 102 characters long:
      >
      > http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 12/27/business/ 27morse.html?
      ex=1167886800& en=b53d88e01be66 bb6&ei=5070& emc=eta1
      >
      > this will probably get chopped up, and will need pasting
      together, so I
      > asked tinyurl.com to make a shorter link:
      >
      > http://tinyurl. com/wh5ex
      >
      > It's interesting to read the various viewpoints expressed about
      Code,
      > CW, and Ham Radio.
      >
      > Hope ya'll enjoy it.
      >
      > 73 de n8xx Hg
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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