Posts Tagged ‘Radio/Comm. History’

“Sending Radio Messages” – 1943

Here’s an interesting piece of radio history.

Promotional Film From The Sixties – Fairchild Briefing on Integrated Circuits

As promotional videos go, this is rather interesting. Very detailed and an interesting look at the burgeoning technology of the sixties. Below is a quote from the video description on YouTube:

[Recorded: October, 1967]
This half hour color promotional/educational film on the integrated circuit was produced and sponsored by Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation and first shown on television on October 11, 1967. In the film, Dr. Harry Sello and Dr. Jim Angell describe the integrated circuit (IC), discuss its design and development process, and offer examples of late 1960s uses of IC technology.
Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation was one of the most influential early high-tech companies. Founded in Palo Alto California in 1957 by eight scientists and engineers from Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation was funded by Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation of Syossett, New York. Rapidly establishing itself as a technology innovator based on its invention of the planar manufacturing process in 1959, the company developed the first monolithic integrated circuit, the first CMOS device, and numerous other technical and business innovations. French oil field services company Schlumberger Limited purchased Fairchild in 1979 and sold a much weakened business to National Semiconductor in 1987. In 1997 National divested a group, formed as the present Fairchild Semiconductor, in a leveraged buy-out. The company re-emerged as a public entity based in South Portland, Maine in 1999 under the corporate name Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc.

Fairchild Semiconductor presented its new products and technologies with an entrepreneurial style, and its early manufacturing and marketing techniques helped give Californias Santa Clara County a new name: Silicon Valley. It was one of the early forerunners of what would become a worldwide high-tech industry, as evidenced in this short promotional film.

Pretty neat stuff, brought to you by The Computer History Museum.

History of Communications – Electronics in the US Navy

I’ve posted a lot of articles here about the history of radio – most of them weren’t even from the US.  Here is the complete web listing for “History of Communications – Electronics in the US Navy”.  Originally prepared in 1963, it covers a large base of history from the civil war and good focus between the two world wars.

Though this is a military publication, you will find some of the roots of radio and electronics with Faraday, Hertz, etc.  This publication is rather readable, even if you aren’t a ham or a “tech junkie”.  I have an interest in military history and gave segments for a friend to read, he had no issues with the technical content and found it interesting (as he served in the Navy as well).

It is a rather long read, but I didn’t find a pdf of it anywhere.  If you know of a PDF version of this book, please comment below.  I’d much rather read this out and about than sitting in front of the computer.

Note:  10.20.2010

I don’t know what happened to the link, but here is a working one:

Signal Corps Training film for the SCR-694

Sorry for the delay….. the hazy days of summer yield to a LOT of amateur radio and public service events!!!!

Today, we take a trip back in history to the American Signal Corps.  Here is a series I recently stumbled upon with training for the SCR-694.  Interesting radio (kinda like one of the early “go-boxes”.  I am amazed when I see these or similar at hamfests and people just pass them by – they’re interesting.  Maybe I love the history behind our beloved hobby to much…… so I couldn’t resist.

Bletchley Park archives will soon go online

As I’ve stated in the past, I’m fascinated by the use of radio communications by governments for espionage and wartime use.  When I came across this little nugget, I couldn’t resist.  What a joy it will be for those of us that can’t quite make it over to visit Bletchley Park.

The BBC has an article at:

Bletchley Park (really hard to resist using “BP” for this one…..) has been trying to do this for quite some time.  Dwindling funds, repairs needed for the site have just made this one of those “round to it” projects. Many documents are too fragile to handle at this time and will take awhile to get posted online, but it will indeed make for a fascinating online resource.

I’ve had the pleasure of actually getting my hands on  real, wartime Enigma machine and it was REALLY NEAT!!!  You can read about it, but there is nothing like actually using one to get you even more interested in this topic.  Professor Tom Perera gives a number of great discussions at the New England ARRL Division convention in Boxboro Mass (I spoke to Tom at Dayton and he said there may not be a presentation this year).  His site is a HUGE wealth of information on this topic (and CW keys).  If you ever get the chance to hear him give a presentation – JUMP ON IT!!!!

His website is:

If you want to visit the actual Bletchley Park site and look at the offerings there, check them out at:

More numbers stations/espionage information from Simon Mason

As mentioned previously, since I was a kid (long before being a radio amateur) I’ve been fascinated by numbers stations.  Every now and then I go on a search online to find more sites to satisfy my curiosities – there’s tons of ‘em out there.

This time, let me take you to the URL of Simon Mason, but he has a disclaimer about the material on his site:

The information presented in this section is for entertainment purposes only and does not disclose any information not already in the public domain. No assassination attempts are required! Thank you.

Rather tongue and cheek, but…… one can never be too sure!

His site looks rather old, but don’t let that discourage you – there is a TON of stuff here (and it’s updated).  Not only are there plenty of pages devoted to various numbers stations, but a plethora of videos and radio shows devoted to the subject.

Simon has written a small book that is freely downloadable on his website called “Secret Signals:  A Euronumbers Mystery” (available in HTML and MS Word format).

I can go on and on about the site, but just go check it out!  If you like this sort of thing, you’ll be there for hours!

Antique Wireless Association Journal – On-Line

I recently featured some material available from the Antique Wireless Association and had to go a little deeper.

They have a wealth of information available on their site with some of their journal’s online articles.  Great articles on vacuum tubes and such – but much, much more.

I found a great little article called “Working With Crystal Control: A ‘Part 15′ Broadcast Band Transmitter “, the transmitter setup on the left.  Really neat article (I think I must….want to build one of these)………  The image on the left is from that article – not to difficult to build and learn!!!

As I understand it, you can purchase a CD with back copies of this magazine.  I just might look into that.  Kinda sounds like the enjoyment I get when I receive that little journal from the G-QRP club – SPRAT.  When that hits my mailbox, I know it’s getting stuffed in my backpack for enjoyment down the road.

One important thing to keep in mind with the AWA Archives is how well they not only demonstrate radio history, but how you can recreate it and learn from it.  What a better way is there for a budding QRPer to learn where he’s going, but get a hands on demo from where other hams have been?

Below are only a few examples of the neat articles you’ll find on the AWA website:

Key and Telegraph  by John Casale, W2NI
President Taft’s Telegraph Key

Building a 1929 Style Hartley Transmitter  by Scott M. Freeberg, WA9WFA
Need a transmitter for our 1929 QSO Party? Build it in one week-end!

Breadboarding  by Richard A. Parks
More Adventures With Transistors

The Vacuum Tube  by Ludwell A. Sibley
Tube Bases and the Asbestos Hustle

Restoration of Shellac Finishes on Older Radios  by Lane Upton
Don’t Strip That Old Finish–Save it Instead!

A nostalgia trip for the old-timer; an eye-opener for the newbie.

The Beginnings of Radio Central  by Ralph Williams with Marshall Etter, Bob McGraw and Chris Bacon

Pupin and Armstrong lay an egg–An Antique Radio Gazette reprint.

A Solid-State Filter Choke or Field Coil Replacement

Go ahead and check them out at: –  a direct link to the journal archives

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