WELCOME TO MY RADIO SHACK !
THIS WEBSITE IS DEDICATED TO THE PHENOMENON, SCIENCE, ART, SPIRIT AND SOUL OF RADIO WITH A FOCUS ON THE AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE.
"Why has this discipline of radio - at one time the very
heart of electronic technology - come to the point where people consider it
an arcane science ? I have been forced to consider what first attracted me to
radio during my formative years. I liked radio because it was aesthetically
appealing. I was not nearly as impressed by the capabilities of radio as by
the very nature of radio. Radio is great, not because of what it does, but
because of what it is. Nobody buys an original Da Vinci painting to cover a
hole in the wall. By the same token there are other means of communication
that are more efficient than bouncing signals off the ionosphere; but the very
fact that we can bounce signals off the ionosphere makes it worth the effort
... Maxwell's equations appeal to the body, soul and spirit. Sine waves are
veritable works of art. Antenna radiation patterns are beautiful ... It is
incumbent upon radio initiates to convey the mystique and aesthetic aspects
of our hobby to newcomers. To fail to do so is to doom our hobby and the radio
profession to the status of a lost art."
Eric Nicols, KL7AJ
"I don't believe in magic, but I do know that sitting in
my car in the middle of Mississippi and listening to a signal that traveled
more than a thousand miles, over nearly a dozen states, and came down into my
car through a metal pole antenna and two paper-cone speakers, was as near to
a magical experience as ever I'm likely to have."
Richard Rubin, "It's Radi-O! The Medium That Can Turn Anywhere into Somewhere"
OPERATOR'S BIOGRAPHYI came on Earth on 15 December 1956 in the town of Pforzheim in Southwestern Germany, "Gateway to the Black Forest" and only 25 km away from the University of Karlsruhe where Heinrich Hertz proved the existence of electromagnetic waves in 1886. As a young boy my grandfather's radio fascinated me, with the glowing tubes inside bringing voices and music a long way from all these strange places printed on the dial. I discovered spooky number stations and heterodynes of CW signals and soon I was smitten by the magic, spirit and soul of RADIO.
In memory of my late uncle Fritz Hauff, W3NZ, who was a true cousin of my
grandmother and a passionate and exceptional radio amateur. This picture
shows OM Fritz in his 1950 radio shack in Royersford / PA when he held his
first callsign W3GHS.
IT'S A SMALL WORLD !
(by W3NZ, from the FOC News Sheet #666, April 2005)
At 2200z on 9 October 2001 I checked 20 meters. Signals from Europe were strong but not plentiful, and in my pet spectrum (14022 - 14030 KHz) the CQ from DJ5IL was outstanding and snappy. I gave my call once and he bounced back to me with flawless CW. "TNX OM for call, you are 599 and my name is Karl, the QTH is Pforzheim, at the north end of the Black Forest. BK".
I said, "Many TNX Karl, you are also solid 599, my name is Fritz. I know the Black Forest well, my mother came from Haiterbach and years ago I had some relatives in Pforzheim. I am not sure of their name, but believe it was Karl Fischer, he was married to my cousin Kaethe Klenk and he had a store selling watches and clocks. Would you know them or of them? BK".
Karl replied. "Solid copy Fritz. My name is Karl Fischer and the store is still in the family. We are related, I am 45 years old and I never knew my grandfather Karl Fischer, he had died before I was born. How about it?".
By that time my mind went almost blank. A good CW operator in the relationship was too much for me to contemplate. We exchanged e-mail addresses and signed.
After I told my wife Jean this story, her eyes opened wide and she said, "It's hard to believe, it is a small world !".
MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH RADIO !
(by W3NZ, from a personal letter)
I was ten years old - back in 1921 when I saw and heard my first radio. It was a home built 3 tube breadbord set.
I was hooked !
It was an adventure for me to build a little crystal set. The big expense was a pair of Siemens earfones and the cotton covered wire for the coil and the aerial. It took a few days before the miracle happened - I heard Stuttgart. Was I ever excited! " Mom, hurry up and listen! " She arrived, I put the earfones over her head. Her cheeks turned white and after a few seconds she hollered: "Get this thing out of this house, it is the work of the devil !" A week later she had a change of mind - after she found out that her preacher also had a
It was the beginning of my life long passion !
CLASSIC HAM SHACKSBack in the early days of radio, the equipment was highly experimental and all home-built. Until the electron tube was invented, radio transmitters used a noisy and dangerous rotary spark-gap to generate radio waves and so they were often housed in a separate outbuilding or shed. At that time, wireless radio equipment aboard ships was generally housed above the bridge in a wooden structure which became known as the "radio shack". In amateur radio terminology, the radio room is often called "ham shack". This slideshow turns back the dial and puts the spotlight on classic ham shacks of a bygone era. Stop by from time to time for spotlights on other radio themes ...
A classic post-war ham shack, on the desk in front of the operator a Hammarlund HQ-129X Receiver (which appeared on the the market in 1946) and a semi-automatic "bug" key for Morse code transmission ...
Harold Johnson, W4CZB, at his operating position in 1955 ...
Cecil C. Gregson, W9CNN, was born in 1906 in Iowa. In 1921 he decided to leave his parents' farm, jumped on his motorcycle and went to Chicago where he worked as a radio repair man and later opened a small machine shop in his garage. He worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week and made his shop a successful company, specialized on precision machining for missile and aircraft components. After the war Cecil returned to his ham radio passion and with plenty of money to spend, he built this dream-station which was completed in 1955 ...
In 1957/58 Ludvik Kloucek, OK1KW, was a radio operator at the Czechoslovak Embassy in Ulan Bator. Mongolia was in the most rare Zone 23 and so he got on the air with the self-assigned callsign JT1AA (which was later officially assigned by the government). With the Prague Spring and the Soviet invasion in 1968 Ludvik lost his job and also his radio license and never returned to amateur radio. He disappeared into obscurity and died in 2010, age 80. The picture shows him in his improvised Ulan Bator ham shack in 1958 ...
Amateur radio was highly organized and institutionalized in the former Soviet Union and radio amateurs were viewed as servants of the state, although not without a certain degree of prestige, because hams were in touch with - or at least listened to broadcasts from - the outside world. All of them belonged to clubs and individual amateur radio stations did not exist in the USSR until the mid 1950s. This is the 1970s ham shack of the Ukrainian clubstation UB4FWX, ex-UK5FBT ...
The late 1930s Georgia ham shack of Evelyn Sanford, W4DAI. Shortly after her 31st birthday she became a member of the prestigeous "A-1 Operator Club" of the American Radio Relay League ARRL. Note the small skull above the semi-automatic "bug" key ...
Madeleine Pugh, VK4YL, the "youngest radio operator in the British Empire", pictured in her ham shack in Brisbane / Australia in 1934. She got her radio licence when she was about 12 years old ...
The 1930s ham shack of J2IX, Mrs. C. S. Suzuki in Tokyo / Japan. "Suzy" operated 20m and 40m phone and CW, was well known to 40m DXers around the globe and acted as foreign QSL manager of the "Japan Amateur Radio League" JARL ...
Mary Texanna Loomis, W3YA, radio operator and engineer and first female to run a mens electronic & wireless college, the "Loomis Radio College" in Washington D.C. in the 1920s and 1930s ...
The ham shack of Hiram Percy Maxim, American radio pioneer and inventor. He invented and sold the first successful firearm silencer and developed mufflers for combustion engines. Maxim held the callsigns SNY, 1WH, 1ZM, 1AW (after WW I) and later W1AW. In 1914 he founded the "American Radio Relay League" ARRL as a response to the lack of an organized group of "relay" stations to pass messages via amateur radio. Relaying messages allows them to travel farther than any single station's reach ...
Ham shack with a spark-gap transmitter - very noisy and dangerous, the big coil near the operator's head carries high voltage ! Spark-gap transmitters were the first type of radio transmitter and the main type used during the wireless telegraphy or "spark" era, the first three decades of radio from 1897 to the End of WW I. German physicist Heinrich Hertz built the first experimental spark-gap transmitter in 1897 and proved the existence of radio waves as predicted by Maxwell ...
Barry Goldwater was an American politician, businessman and author who was a senator from Arizona and the Republican Party nominee for president of the United States in 1964. This picture shows Barry in 1921 operating his first amateur radio station 6BPI from his ham shack, a loft in the garage. He constructed it when he was only 12 years old. Amateur radio became his lifelong passion, later he held the callsigns K3UIG and K7UGA ...
The typical 1920s ham shack of amateur radio station 2COW ...
Move the pointer (mobile devices: tap) into the above slideshow to pause and out of it to continue autoplay. While paused an info window for the current slide can be opened by clicking (tapping) on the blue "i"-square in the lower right corner and closed by clicking (tapping) into the window to pause further or by moving the pointer (tapping) out of the image to resume autoplay. Go to a particular slide by clicking (tapping) on its index number.
This chapter presents articles, essays and features dealing with technical, operational, historical and regulatory aspects of amateur radio. The layout of some of the available PDF files is my reminiscence of the "ham radio" (HR) magazine, which was founded by Skip Tenney, W1NLB, and Jim Fisk, W1HR / W1DTY and published from February 1968 to June 1990. In its time HR was the preeminent technical magazine for amateur radio, it had no peers and to this day published some of the most cutting edge articles in amateur radio history. Feel free to download and circulate any of the material presented here ...
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Diese kleine zerlegbare Vertikalantenne erlaubt Amateurfunkbetrieb auf allen KW-Bändern mit maximal 150 Watt Sendeleistung und bietet sich mit einer Transportlänge von 37 cm insbesondere für den Portabelbetrieb an. Ein Vergleichstest ...
ENERGIEFLUSS AUF ÜBERTRAGUNGSLEITUNGEN
Wohin geht die Leistung, die von einer fehlangepassten Last am Ausgang einer Übertragungsleitung reflektiert wird ? Jahrelang war ich der Ansicht, daß sie am Generator total re-reflektiert wird, so wie es von Walt Maxwell, W2DU, ursprünglich propagiert wurde, und meine Darstellung dieses Modells war hier zu finden. Inzwischen bin ich zu einer anderen Überzeugung gelangt und warum das so ist, wird hier erklärt ...
ENERGIEFLUSS UND VERLUSTE AUF ÜBERTRAGUNGSLEITUNGEN
Kondensierte Form des Artikels "Energiefluss auf Übertragungsleitungen", ergänzt um die Begründung und Berechnung des Zusatzverlustes ...
I recorded a few moments on the 40m band to demonstrate the effect of the CODEPHASER. Before you listen to the demo, please note that it is absolutely necessary to use stereo headphones - PC loudspeakers definitely don't work ! Don't expect astounding but rather subtle effects, since spatial sound sensations are the normal condition for our auditory system. Close your eyes while listening in order to focus exclusively on the sound. And certainly it will take some time and several listening sessions before you can fully appreciate this new dimension of CW reception. The demo consists of 9 radio clips:
Clip #1 (39 sec.):
Sweep across the 40m CW band. The clip starts monaural, after 15 sec. the CODEPHASER is switched in and the signals now appear on the right moving to the left with increasing pitch ...
During the following clips, the CODEPHASER is switched in and out alternately (the switching moment can be identified by a short popping noise):
Clip #2 (18 sec.), Clip #3 (30 sec.), Clip #4 (31 sec.):
CW pile-ups. A wide filter is used to enhance the spatial effect. Pay special attention to G3PHO in the first and F6COW in the last pile-up ...
Clip #5 (16 sec.), Clip #6 (19 sec.), Clip #7 (10 sec.):
FSK-signals. Though it makes no sense to listen to them, they sound quite interesting through the CODEPHASER ...
Clip #8 (18 sec.), Clip #9 (18 sec.):
Please listen now to the CODEPHASER sound demo
HOW THE MICROVERT REALLY WORKS
BALUNS UND TRAFOS MIT RINGKERNEN BERECHNEN
ALL ABOUT SQUEEZE-KEYING
A TRIBUTE TO RADIO LEGEND JEAN SHEPHERD (W9QWN, K2ORS)
"High-frequency engineering utilizes energy transmission lines which are comprised of two parallel conductors carrying high frequency in anti-phase so that their external fields compensate and no radiation is present. If, however, the geometrical lenghts of these energy transmission lines are in the order of a wavelength with external fields being present, it is possible that the conductors also carry in-phase currents in addition to the anti-phase currents. This is the case, for example, in arrangements which are used to feed antennas ... These in-phase currents result in radiation of the energy transmission line ... In order to prevent these drawbacks, it is suggested to include means by which anti-phase currents are allowed to flow unhindered through the parallel conductors whereas in-phase currents are hindered ... an arrangement of coils is inserted which consists of two coils wound into each other in the same sense thus being tightly coupled. The inductivities of the coils cancel for the anti-phase currents from the transmitter so that energy flow in that wanted direction is unhindered. But for the in-phase currents which are induced by emission of the antenna the inductances sum up so that these currents encounter a high resistance and thus are hindered ..."
SCHUTZANSPRUCH UND SCHUTZKRITERIEN DES RUNDFUNK- UND AMATEURFUNKDIENSTES
Während mit der weiten Verbreitung billig produzierter Geräte und physikalisch unvernünftiger Technologien - wie z.B. "Powerline Communication" PLC/PLT - der Elektrosmog stetig zunimmt, ignoriert die Bundesnetzagentur BNetzA ganz im Sinne von Industrie-Lobbys immer mehr ihren Gesetzesauftrag zum Schutz der Funkdienste vor elektromagnetischen Störungen. Es scheint notwendig, die Grundlagen dieses Schutzauftrags zu beleuchten ...
THE MEDIUM-WAVE TRANSMITTER MÜHLACKERMühlacker is like Beromünster or Hilversum, on the scales of old radios the names of these unknown places can be found next to London, Paris or Moscow. And though such devices today can only be rarely found at places like attics or junk dealers, these names have burned themselves into the collective memory of radio enthusiasts. The small town of Mühlacker is located in the Southwest of Germany, almost exactly halfway between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart and only some 12 km away from my hometown Pforzheim. Here in the year 1930 the first high-power broadcasting transmitter of Europe came into existence, which aired a multitude of radio programs for more than 80 decades. The following slideshow turns back the dial and tells its fascinating history ...
This chapter presents audio clips of worldwide Amateur Radio, Broadcasting,
Utility and Spy Number Stations. Stop by from time to time for new radio
recordings ... Click on a station identifier to play the audio clip and
Listen to the magic sounds of shortwave radio - Enjoy !
AMATEUR RADIO STATIONS
VU2DK a well-known voice on the bands: op. Zal, QTH Poona near Bombay / India, here in QSO with DK5EC (op. Karl, QTH Bonn / Germany). 11-02-2011, 11:02 UTC, 21239 KHz, S9.
VK2GND op. Mark, QTH Hornsby / Australia, pushing 1 KW into two stacked 3-element Yagi antennas, in QSO with VU2XO (op. Patel in India). 10-01-2011, 13:30 UTC, 14273 KHz, S9 (short path).
ZL2JBR - QRP test John asks his QSO partner DL1DH in Germany to reduce power and copies his 1 Watt Signal still perfectly well with S3 in New Zealand, a distance of nearly 20.000 Km - really incredible ! 17-01-2011, 11:10 UTC, 14215 KHz, S9+10dB (short path).
ZL2JBR op. John, QTH Wellington / New Zealand. 21-12-2010, 09:25 UTC, 14215 KHz, S9, (short path).
HB9QQ calling "CQ DX" from Switzerland in CW on the 17m band, with echo signals due to multipath-propagation (... he worked many Japanese stations afterwards). 07-11-2004, 09:10 UTC, 18087 KHz.
"Radio Kitaia" the Russian program of "China Radio International" CRI. 13-02-2011, 09:00 UTC, 15340 KHz.
China Radio International (CRI) with echoes caused by multi-path propagation. 20-12-2010, 10:20 UTC, 15440 KHz.
Deutsche Welle (DW) with strong echoes caused by multi-path propagation. 07-09-2010, 15:30 UTC, 6075 KHz.
Voice of Russia interval signal and anouncement "Hier ist Moskau ..." ("Here is Moscow ...") starting the German programme, 01-06-2004 15:00 UTC 7330 KHz.
AIR India with a typical music program. 06-07-2004, 13:52 UTC, 11585 KHz.
Radio Tashkent interval signal and announcement, exotic sounds from the capital of Uzbekistan on the Great Silk Road in Central Asia. 07-07-2004, 14:30 UTC, 17775 KHz.
BBC World Service time signal and announcement. 07-07-2004, 15:00 UTC, 15565 KHz.
UTILITY & SPY NUMBER STATIONS
38702 77026 ... yes, there are still spy number stations active in CW like this one ! After the automatic transmission of number groups, the operator seems to wait for confirmation by the target station and uses the straight key to ask "QRV ?" ("are you ready ?"). 27-03-2011, 08:17 UTC, 14937 KHz, S9+20dB !
846 846 ... Russian spy number station. 12-01-2011, 10:15 UTC, 14280 KHz.
Echo Zulu India spy number station (ENIGMA classification: E10). It is generally believed that MOSSAD (the Israel Intelligence Service) operates these stations, transmitter sites include Israel and their embassies and consulates. E10 is characterized by a female voice repeating a three letter phonetic phrase. This can go for hours before the message is sent, which consists of blocks of phonetic letters. 03-07-2004, 07:00 UTC, 11565 KHz.
39208 ... another spy number station playing xylophone - spooky ! 05-07-2004, 15:10 UTC, 11545 KHz.
"Only a harmless radio amateur ?
Nice try, madam, but the whole NATO fleet just left their ports !"
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