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RCA Radio-Relay Television
August 1945 Radio-Craft

August 1945 Radio-Craft

August 1945 Radio Craft Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio-Craft, published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

The evolution of communications has been well documented both after the fact and necessarily before the fact based on the vision and determination of individuals and corporations. From grunts, hand and facial signals, and crude sketchings on cave walls to spoken and written languages. From couriers on foot and horseback, smoke signals, and light signals to wired telegraph and telephone. From wireless telegraph and telephone to television and the Internet, advancement has been continual both in large steps between the aforementioned fundamental communications venues to incremental advancements in technologies - analog to digital, vacuum tubes to semiconductors, simplex to multiplex, ever increasing access to regions of the electromagnetic spectrum from DC to light. This 1945 advertisement by RCA expounding the benefits of its recently implemented transcontinental microwave relay system was life changing at the time, but two decades later those tower networks would be supplemented and nearly replaced by satellite relay systems. Over-the-air broadcasting still provided the "last mile" (or last many miles) service. Clearly, at the time anyway, long distance communications would forevermore be the dominion of air waves. Little did most people suspect that by early in the next century, the vast majority of communications signals would be carried through cables again. The extensive world wide web (WWW) of optical cables carried on utility poles (obviously overloading the wooden poles never meant to carry such a heavy load), buried in the ground, and laying on ocean floors now transports the vast majority of all electronically exchanged information. What's up next? My guess is instantaneous, nearly infinite bandwidth quantum transportation of information.

RCA Radio-Relay Television Ad

RCA Radio-Relay Television, August 1945, Radio-Craft - RF CafeRCA radio-relay towers - like those phantomed above - will leap the hurdle of distance in post-war television.

Coast-to-Coast Television ... through "Radio-Relay"

For a long time it looked as though post-war television might be confined to local stations. Only persons within a fifty-mile radius of New York, for example, would see the important television broadcasts from NBC's pioneer station WNBT, atop the Empire State Building.

That was because the ultra short waves that carry television do not bend with the curvature of the earth. They go in a straight line out to the horizon - and then keep on going into the sky.

But today, television's big handicap of short range has been completely overcome - by RCA scientists and engineers.

The radio-relay was developed - a tower that "bounces" television programs to the next tower 30 to 50 miles away. Through a network of these automatic, unattended, radio-relays, coast-to-coast television is made practical.

This is but one more example of how RCA research constantly "makes things better." Such research is reflected in all RCA products. And when you buy a television set, or radio-phonograph, or anything made by RCA, you enjoy a unique pride of ownership. For if it's an RCA you can be sure it is one of the finest instruments of its kind that science has achieved.

C. W. Hansell, RCA specialist in transmitters and relays, is shown here with a radio-relay reflector that can "bounce" radio messages, radiophotos and Frequency Modulation programs at the same time that it relays television!

Radio Corporation of America

Pioneers in progress




Posted February 19, 2021

About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

1996 - 2024


Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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