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April 1932 QST Article

May 1932 QST

April 1932 QST Cover - RF CafeTable of Contents

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from ARRL's QST, published December 1915 - present. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

We take wireless communications for granted. Just as people my age thought pocket-size transistor radios that ran on 9V batteries were always available, today's kids give no thought to whether there was a time when everyone did not carry a cellphone around. FM radio, if listened to at all nowadays, is likely either via an Internet connection or via an embedded FM radio IC in his/her phone, with ear bud wires acting as an antenna. It is obviously no big deal, since it always was so.

In the early part of the last century most people did not own any sort of radio - even a commercial AM broadcast receiver. Having something as mysterious as a shortwave 'rig' was an indication of technical prowess since many operators built their own equipment from kits or schematics. Participation in amateur worldwide was huge at the time, which is amazing given the amount of work required to set up even a relatively simple CW (Morse code) setup. The American Amateur Radio League (ARRL) published extensive lists of reported contacts (QSLs in Ham-ese) every couple months. Purely for illustrative purposes, I have posted all 15 pages of very tiny print as submitted by operators for the April 1932 edition of QST. The effort required to assimilate and type in all the names, locations, call signs, etc., was enormous, especially since the information arrived in an envelope via postal mail - no e-mail or phone calls. No doubt a lot of errors crept in, but who would ever know?!If you had a father or grandfather (or occasionally mother or grandmother) who dabbled in the wireless craft, why not scan the pages to see if you can find him (or sometimes her)?

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Posted  4/30/2013

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