Within Earshot of the Editor - FCC Interference Law
August 1938 Radio News

August 1938 Radio News
August 1938 Radio News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

The August 1958 issue of Radio News marked the merging of All−Wave Radio with Radio News, both founded by Hugo Gernsback. Radio News began publication in July 1919 (actually titled Radio Amateur News for the first year) and All−Wave Radio debuted in September 1936. "Allwave" radio referred to a class of radios popular at the time which could tune in most of the worldwide commercial broadcast stations, spurring the accompanying "short wave listening" craze. This instance of the monthly "Within Earshot of the Editor" column received a lot of attention because it* fired a shot across the bow of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) for not sufficiently lobbying the Federal Communications commission (FCC) for the electromagnetic spectrum access rights currently enjoyed and the serious threat of loss. Many people subsequently accused Radio News of attempting to torpedo (to continue my naval analogy) the ARRL and replace it with another organization of Ham operators. The editorial also admonished Hams for putting themselves at risk by not policing themselves in the area of spurious emissions that were interfering with rapidly increasing numbers of radios in households.

* Karl A. Kopetzky, editor.

Within Earshot of the Editor - FCC Interference Law

Within Earshot of the Editor - FCC Interference Law, August 1938 Radio News - RF CafeWith this issue we bring out the combined magazines of AllWave Radio and Radio News. We are happy that the publishers have acquired the former magazine because it enjoyed a large and varied circulation among the amateurs, servicemen, DX fans and experimenters. Many of the departments of AWR are duplications of those presently carried in Radio News. The following will assist those readers who want a ready and quick reference:

The "Hamfest" column is carried as "Ham Chatter"; "The Circuit Court" will be found under "Questions and Answers" and throughout the general technical make-up of Radio News; "Globe Girdling" will be found under our "Short Wave Flashes"; "Channel Echos" are covered by "Studio Briefs," "Not For Rebroadcast" and "Short Wave Flashes"; "Ultra High" and "Short Wave Broadcast List" are covered by our DX department and '''Short Wave Time Table"; while "Night Owl Hoots" material can be found in "Special DX Broadcasts" column. In all other respects all of the information heretofore carried in AWR will be furnished in more or less complete form by Radio News. A column will appear monthly devoted to the activities of the "Radio Signal Survey League" which will be edited by their Director, Mr. Barry. Unfortunately the change of management came at a crucial point of make-up of the magazine and, therefore, RSSL News has been left out of this issue. It will reappear next month.

We believe this marks an important step forward towards the dissemination of information on all phases of radio to our readers who are interested in this hobby and we foretell a brilliant future for the combined magazines. The Editors will welcome any suggestions from our new readers who were the old readers of AWR on any radio subject.

We have actively entered the campaign to clean up the ARRL from within. We don't believe there is room in the United States for more than one league unless the present League steps down as the official mouthpiece of 43,000 amateurs. As long as the ARRL is lax, Radio News will continue to conduct its campaign for the betterment of ham conditions by that body. It can't hope to succeed in this proposition unless the membership itself becomes cognizant of the emasculation of its own league. The machinery is there; the membership lacks only the power of concerted action to put it into operation, and make the League the most powerful body of amateurs in the World.

There is grave danger (and in fact an official of the ARRL has stated publicly), that by 1942 the amateurs will lose their 20 and 40 meter bands unless the fraternity arouses itself from its 18 years' sleep and compels the ARRL Directors to take suitable action at Washington. It must do this so that the United States Representatives to the Convention in Rome, to come, will be instructed just exactly what our Government will do and will not do. If we continue our Rip-Van-Winkle-like attitude, the chances of the amateur becoming wholly extinct are very great.

There is a Federal investigation starting into the activities of the Federal Communications Commission and into its allotment of frequencies to the various services throughout the U. S. This is then the time to strike and to make our voices heard that we, as amateurs, demand recognition of the value to our country in times of stress and emergency, and that such recognition be rewarded not only with the retention of our present frequencies, but with the acquisition of more.

Our Booth at the RMA Show in Chicago - RF Cafe

Our Booth at the RMA Show in Chicago, with W9KQH at the portable station, W9ETI reading RN, and Jerry Crosse, The Radio News Girl, talking to a customer.

It is an obvious fact that since the amateur has been relegated to the five main bands, which he now occupies, that he has been stagnant in developing anything startlingly new in the field of radio. It must be made clear to our Government that by awarding the amateur new frequencies, new developments will take place which will enable our Government to benefit from such award.

There are many who question whether or not television and broadcast and motion picture industries will eventually clash with the induction of public television programs. That this fact has been noticed in a number of quarters is evident by the fact that Columbia Broadcasting System, through one of its officers, is quite heavily interested in Warner Brothers motion picture company. Since Columbia Broadcasting System uses RCA equipment for the most part, it would seem that these three industries are preparing to develop television for public consumption, together.

Yielding to the pressure of the millions who enjoy their broadcast radio reception, the F.C.C., on May 28, 1938, submitted a bill to Congress which stated, "no person shall operate or cause to be operated any apparatus which uses r.f. electrical current as an essential to its operation ... in any manner inconsistent with the rules, regulations, restriction or conditions which the Commission may prescribe under ... this section." The Commission, in recommending that Congress pass this bill, predicted that "the use of a large part of the radio spectrum for communications purposes will be destroyed," unless some laws and measures can be passed for the suppression of electronic interference. The devices aimed at by the F.C.C. are motor cars, trucks, buses, neon signs, defective power lines and electric therapy equipment. The organization interested, is the National Association for the Prevention of Radio Interference.

In presenting this act to Congress, the F.C.C. follows the lead taken by the Canadian Communications Commission prohibiting radio interference of any kind.

To those amateurs who are seriously minded enough to read the handwriting on the wall, the bill foreshadows a drastic move on the part of the F.C.C. to reduce not only the interference complained of, but also amateur interference. The Editors of Radio News freely predict that the time is not far distant when amateur interference will be met with more drastic measures than heretofore. It will be up to the amateur fraternity at large to clean its own house and ascertain whether or not it is causing any interference. * * *



Posted February 15, 2021