The Importance of 1929 – Part 3

Drum Dial Rx Tuning Courtesy:

As the leader of the ARRL's Technical Development Program and its assault on 1929 preparedness, Hull continued his relentless pace of construction and publication in the November 1928 issue of QST...turning now to receivers. The detailed article analyzed three receivers of varying complexity to see how they might fare in the busy "international bands" of 1929...and where improvements might be gleaned.

In "High-Frequency Receivers for the Coming Year / Incorporating Thoroughly Practical and Satisfying Selectivity, Open Scales, and a New Ease in Handling", editors proudly announced that,

 "...practical selectivity for 1929 has been secured; it is within the reach of every amateur." [QST November, 1928]

QST Oct '28 Courtesy:

Another equally important issue was addressed in QST's October 1928 edition, once again by Ross Hull.

"In view of the present off-band operation, it is not surprising that amateurs have been wondering how it will be possible for them to stay within the relatively narrow confines of the 1929 bands and to know definitely and at all times that the frequency of their transmitters is legal." [QST October, 1928]

"The Frequency Measurement Problem / Applications of the Monitor in Transmitter Setting and Signal Checking" described, in exacting detail, the construction and calibration of a combined monitor and frequency meter that would fulfill the new rules regarding frequency allocations...but only if hams used them regularly.

QST Sept '28 Courtesy:

With the ARRL's reliance on QST's significant advertising revenue as a major source of income, the urgent 'need' to rebuild was not overlooked by the ad-men, as more building would mean that more parts had to be purchased. A skeptic might even suggest that the possibility of increased advertising revenue may have been just as much of a driving-force for the need of new construction than the new rules themselves!

QST  1929 Courtesy:

Advertisers in QST were not shy about reminding amateurs of the coming deadline as well as promising easy solutions to compliance.

In early 1928, QST published several of the Convention articles that would apply to amateurs. Chief amongst them were the frequency allocations. North American amateurs lost about 40% of the spectrum space that they had previously enjoyed but...the harmonically-related bands, although slimmed-down, were retained along with exclusive access to the new and largely unwanted territory of 28-30mc.

Many amateurs at the time complained about the loss of older frequencies and that the League representatives had dropped the ball. In light of the times, and in view of the commercial feeding-frenzy for new broadcasting allotments, they fared very well.

1929 Band Plan - QST Jan '28 Courtesy:
With the steady growth of Solar Cycle 17 over the next decade, the exploration of 10m would lead to significant progress in the field of transmitters, receivers, antennas and propagation, driving experimenters to push the "state of technical development" in all four areas. It was, in hindsight, possibly the greatest gift of 1929.

But it wasn't just frequency assignments that were changing...1929 operators would need to change their crummy old operating habits as well! ....(cont'd)

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “The Importance of 1929 – Part 3”

  • ac7af:

    I have talked to many local hams who say why get on that band no one is on there…. use it lose it

  • Steve VE7SL:

    It does seem to be under-utilized even now while the solar conditions are still supporting propagation there. At this point in time, I’m not sure anyone would want this slice of spectrum. With the demise of international SW broadcasters and HF maritime operation, both of who used to be heard up in the 25/ 26 MHz regions, I’m not sure who is itching to get their hands on 10m….all of the interest seems to be in the VHF and higher these days. There are just so many other operating modes and activities these days compared with a decade ago that ham activity gets spread out pretty thin and that may be one reason that 10 is so quiet.
    I recall tuning ten every day as a pre-teen SWL back in Cycle 19 and it was so jammed from end to end that it was hard to copy a complete QSO before it was stepped on by several other signals. The monster Cycles 18 and 19 just saw ham radio grow by leaps and its been downhill ever since but I would hope they don’t take it away from us at some point.
    Check it out this weekend…the ARRL 10m contest I believe….I’ll bet it’s packed…for the weekend anyway!

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