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Ham Radio History

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This is a presentation outlining the beginnings of Amateur radio in the early 1900s to the present day. There are 37 slides from the the Spark era to the rise of the internet within our hobby. Anyone is welcome to use any of this material if they presenting a similar talk.

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Ham Radio History

  1. 1. Historical Ham Radio  Spark – 1906 - 1920s  Pre World War 2 – 1920s to 1940s  The Golden Age – 1950 – 1980  The Japanese Influence  The Internet  Where to Now?
  2. 2. Spark - The Beginning of Amateur RadioSpark - The Beginning of Amateur Radio 1900 – 1925 Milestones1900 – 1925 Milestones  Fessenden and Marconi send signals across the AtlanticFessenden and Marconi send signals across the Atlantic  The Titanic Sinks – Urgency for wireless communicationsThe Titanic Sinks – Urgency for wireless communications  Rise of Spark technology commercial & Amateur wirelessRise of Spark technology commercial & Amateur wireless  Invention of the Triode Oscillator by Armstrong & Hartley –Invention of the Triode Oscillator by Armstrong & Hartley – True CWTrue CW  The invention of AM by Fessenden –The invention of AM by Fessenden – Voices could be transmittedVoices could be transmitted
  3. 3. Spark Radio Alexanderson's 200 Kw Rotary spark transmitter on 21.1 Khz Rotor spun at 2170 RPM and water cooled. Installed at Naval Station in New Jersey in 1920 and generated a continuous wave Primitive Spark setup (above) and 600 segment spark rotor (below) Fessendon's historic 2KW AM Rotary 100 Khz Spark transmitter
  4. 4. Amateur Radio ChronologyAmateur Radio Chronology 1909 – New York Amateur Radio Club Starts1909 – New York Amateur Radio Club Starts 1910 – WIA Wireless Institute of Australia is formed1910 – WIA Wireless Institute of Australia is formed 1913 - Amateurs using Audions received up to 350 miles on 200 meters.1913 - Amateurs using Audions received up to 350 miles on 200 meters. 1913 – Call letter policies were set up by US government1913 – Call letter policies were set up by US government 1914 – Hiram Percy Maxim sets up the ARRL1914 – Hiram Percy Maxim sets up the ARRL 1917 – About 6,000 Amateurs radio operators were active1917 – About 6,000 Amateurs radio operators were active 1918 – Armstrong invents the Superhetrodyne1918 – Armstrong invents the Superhetrodyne 1918 - Nicholson uses crystals to control frequency1918 - Nicholson uses crystals to control frequency 1919 – Marconi and Fleming – Advocate and mentor Amateur radio1919 – Marconi and Fleming – Advocate and mentor Amateur radio 1922 – Carson describes a system of FM (Frequency Modulation)1922 – Carson describes a system of FM (Frequency Modulation) 1923 – Patent granted for SSB1923 – Patent granted for SSB 1924 – 80, 40, 20 and 5 metre bands allocated in the USA1924 – 80, 40, 20 and 5 metre bands allocated in the USA 1928 – 17,000 Amateurs participate in the first “Relay” Contest1928 – 17,000 Amateurs participate in the first “Relay” Contest 1932 – ITU formed1932 – ITU formed
  5. 5. Reginald FessendenReginald Fessenden On Christmas Eve 1906, wireless operators on scores ofOn Christmas Eve 1906, wireless operators on scores of ships and ham radio operators along the New Englandships and ham radio operators along the New England coast were stunned to hear Christmas carols cuttingcoast were stunned to hear Christmas carols cutting through the static and staccato rhythm of the Morse code.through the static and staccato rhythm of the Morse code. December 24 1906 - Fessenden did theDecember 24 1906 - Fessenden did the impossible. He invented a way of puttingimpossible. He invented a way of putting modulation on a carrier wave.modulation on a carrier wave. He used a 2KW 100Khz Alternator and heHe used a 2KW 100Khz Alternator and he invented Amplitude Modulation (AM)invented Amplitude Modulation (AM) The way was open for Commercial andThe way was open for Commercial and amateur radio voice transmissionamateur radio voice transmission January 1906 - Fessenden made the first successful two-way transatlantic transmission using Spark, exchanging Morse code messages between Brant Rock and an identical one built at Machrihanish in Scotland. (Note that Marconi had only achieved one-way transmissions at this time.)
  6. 6. Amateur Radio FirstsAmateur Radio Firsts In 1921, a challenge was issued by American hams to their counterparts in the UnitedIn 1921, a challenge was issued by American hams to their counterparts in the United Kingdom to receive radio contacts from across the Atlantic. Soon, many American stationsKingdom to receive radio contacts from across the Atlantic. Soon, many American stations were beginning to be heard in the UK, shortly followed by a UK amateur being heard in thewere beginning to be heard in the UK, shortly followed by a UK amateur being heard in the US in December 1922. November 27, 1923 marked the first transatlantic two-way contactUS in December 1922. November 27, 1923 marked the first transatlantic two-way contact between American Amateur Fred Schnell and French Amateur Leon Deloy 8ABbetween American Amateur Fred Schnell and French Amateur Leon Deloy 8AB    Fred SchnellFred Schnell 1MO1MO Leon Deloy 8ABLeon Deloy 8AB  
  7. 7. 1924 - Milestone1924 - Milestone The first two way contact between the UK and USA was in December 1923, between London and Hartford Connecticut In the following months 17 American and 13 European amateur stations were communicating. Within the next year, communications between North and South America; South America and New Zealand; North America and New Zealand; and London and New Zealand were being made. On the 18th of October 1924 the First Trans-Global radio contact between Frank Bell (a sheep farmer) Z4AA (ZL4AA) in Shag Valley Otago and Cecil Goyder (an 18 year old student) at Mill Hill School in London was made using the school callsign G2SZ on the 90 metre band. Currently, the occasion is being celebrated by ZM90DX on the air for a year in New Zealand
  8. 8. The 1920s & 1930sThe 1920s & 1930s ON4UU ON4YL W1HRXHarold Beverage
  9. 9. Pre World War 2 – 1920 to 1940 Spark gives way to tubes and the technological growth of the hobby Major design innovation with separate transmitters & receivers The rise of the manufactured Amateur radio equipment
  10. 10. Jimmy Mills – ZL2BE ShackJimmy Mills – ZL2BE Shack at Fernhill near Hastingsat Fernhill near Hastings
  11. 11. High Tech Shack – Circa 1935High Tech Shack – Circa 1935 Spot the New Zealand QSL?Spot the New Zealand QSL?
  12. 12. The Collins Radio CompanyThe Collins Radio Company Art Collins W0CXX made his reputation and money by winning US Government contracts for supplying aircraft and ground radio equipment. His 250 watt ART-13 transmitter was bulletproof and reliable. Shown below is the Radio ops position in a B29 Bomber ART-13 transmitter – 100W AM/CW 2.0 – 15 Mhz
  13. 13. The Late 1940s after WW2The Late 1940s after WW2
  14. 14. The 1950s – The“Golden Era”The 1950s – The“Golden Era” The 1950s saw the rise of commercial equipment for amateur radio. Johnson Ranger driving the Johnson Desk Kilowatt With National HRO-60 Receiver Johnson Viking 11 100 Watts AM/CW Hammurlund HQ-129 Hallicrafters S-40 Hallicrafters SX-101
  15. 15. The National CompanyThe National Company 1950s - 1960s1950s - 1960s HRO-5 HRO-60T HRO-500 NC-100 SW-54 NC-183 NC-303 “Dream Receiver”
  16. 16. The 1950s in VE3 LandThe 1950s in VE3 Land Collins S-Line & Homebrew 4-1000 KW Amplifier -1959 VE3DIL - 1955 School Cadet CCTS 48 Set -1956 VE3OE - 1957 VE3DIL – Late 1953 at Dad's bach
  17. 17. The 1950s – Collins Radio A-LineThe 1950s – Collins Radio A-Line KW-1 KWS-1 & 75A-4 “Gold Dust Twins” KWS-1 & 75A-4 & R390 32V-1 Tx and 75A-1 Rx Art Collins W0CXX
  18. 18. SSB Arrived and changed Amateur Radio Forever – 1957 - 1959! CE-10A (10W) and CE20-A (20W) 9Mhz Phase shift SSB Transmitter Central Electronics 100V Phase shift SSB Transmitter BC 458 5Mhz Transmitter Before & after Conversion to VFO 9 Mhz + 5 Mhz = 14 Mhz = 20M USB 9 Mhz + 12 Mhz = 21Mhz = 15M USB 9 Mhz - 5 Mhz = 4 Mhz = 75M LSB 9 Mhz – 16 Mhz = 7 Mhz = 40M LSB
  19. 19. The 1960s – Collins Radio – SSB ArrivesThe 1960s – Collins Radio – SSB Arrives Collins S-Line & 30S-1 KW Amplifier Collins KWM-1 Collins S-Line
  20. 20. Heath Company Inc. - HeathkitHeath Company Inc. - Heathkit Ed Heath – Founder of Heath Aeroplane Co. He designed, built and marketed the Heath “Parasol” aircraft in which he met his demise in 1934 Howard Anthony – New CEO – In 1947 buys a large lot of electronic military surplus parts after WW2 and markets an oscilloscope kit for $39.95 Howard killed in aircraft crash in 1954. Company bought by Daystrom. The Company grew to 11 product lines and over 300 kits to market. In 1962 the Company was bought by Schlumberger and started to shrink. Zenith bought the company and it was abandoned by bad management. Markets shrank, Japanese products killed them and transistor/IC/chip technology became too hard to package and sell at a profit. Heath eventually leaves the amateur radio market.
  21. 21. Heathkit Amateur Radio ProductsHeathkit Amateur Radio Products
  22. 22. R. L. Drake CompanyR. L. Drake Company NC-100NC-100 Drake R-4C Receiver & T-4XC Transmitter Drake 2-B Receiver NC-100 Drake L4-B 1 KW Linear Amplifier
  23. 23. The Rise of Japanese Amateur Radio ManufacturersThe Rise of Japanese Amateur Radio Manufacturers Yaesu's first prduct; A 40 metre 10/40 watt crystal controlled mechanical filter transmitter, model FL-10/40. Yaesu's “F” Line Yaesu's FT-100 1966 ICOM IC-701
  24. 24. The 1980s – The Japanese DominateThe 1980s – The Japanese Dominate Yaesu FT-757 FT-1000D FT-1000MP Kenwood TS-520 TS-830 TS-940 Icom IC-737 IC-775 IC-756 Pro111
  25. 25. VHF – UHF – SHF gets serious!VHF – UHF – SHF gets serious!
  26. 26. Sputnik - Oct 4, 1957Sputnik - Oct 4, 1957 History changed on that day in 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I on 20,015 Mhz. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball 58 cm in diameter. Sputnik weighed only 83.6 kg and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments.
  27. 27. Why was Sputnik a Milestone?Why was Sputnik a Milestone?  The Russian / American race was on for Space exploration  Electronics had to become smaller/lighter/faster  Computers fueled the demand for Integrated Circuits ( ICs )  Early 1960s – IC availability dried up – Military demand  Early 1970s – Amateur radio gear goes solid state  Late 1980s – Microprocessors appear in Ham gear  Early 1990s – DSP arrives  Early 2000s – Huge increase in sophistication (and price)  Middle 2000s – SDR (Software Defined Radio) arrives  Elecraft's K1, K2, K3 and KX3 + the FLEX series of SDR
  28. 28. The 1990s – The Rise of Computers & the InternetThe 1990s – The Rise of Computers & the Internet See your results for award submissions Enter QSO as it happens See it in your log window Computer Logging programsComputer Logging programs
  29. 29. The 1990s – The Rise of Computers & the InternetThe 1990s – The Rise of Computers & the Internet  Online and Real time  See sunspot numbers  Smoothed index  Alpha Index  K Index  HF Conditions summary  VHF conditions summary  Geomagnetic fields  Noise level  MUF (Maximum Useable Frequencies) Radio Propagation InformationRadio Propagation Information
  30. 30. The 1990s – The Rise of Computers & the InternetThe 1990s – The Rise of Computers & the Internet Perfect to pick a path Enter QSO as it happens Grey Line PropagationGrey Line Propagation
  31. 31. SDR - Software Defined RadioSDR - Software Defined Radio
  32. 32. Current SDR HardwareCurrent SDR Hardware
  33. 33. DL1HF Shack – Flex 5000 SDRDL1HF Shack – Flex 5000 SDR
  34. 34. Is This The Future of Ham Radio?Is This The Future of Ham Radio? Timeshare at $99.00 per monthTimeshare at $99.00 per month
  35. 35. What PriceWhat Price DXing?DXing?
  36. 36. Will Ham radio die?Will Ham radio die? No 100 years of Innovation Satisfies the basic need to communicate Satisfies the need to build something Satisfies the need to “belong” Satisfies the Need to compete Yes The internet can do it better and cheaper It is “Old” technology
  37. 37. What do you think?What do you think?

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