processing.  Commercial interests are able to offer feature packed equipment that is relatively less expensive than gear offered in the past, and hams are finding applications for this stuff that could only be imagined a short time ago.

Amateur radio has many examples of innovation and creativity. Sometimes an idea can be ahead of its time.  Take for instance an article that appeared in the July 1934 issue of QST that suggested "International Round Table Nets and Globe Circling Relays" using an elaborate network of tape machines and relays to remotely control HF
stations as far as 200 miles away so that the ARRL broadcast could be made simultaneously in all 48 United States.  We are able to do that exact thing today using Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) but there are some who will argue that this is not "real" radio.  Phooey!

ARRL founder Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW was a forward thinker who moved in the same circles as Edison, Ford and Firestone, people who changed our world.  Maxim was innovative and has many inventions to his credit.  When the spark gap transmitter used at Maxim's station 1AW, could no longer generate radio signals it was replaced by a modern transmitter that used vacuum tubes.  When asked if there were plans to repair the spark gap transmitter Maxim acknowledged the position of employing modern technology when he remarked "The voice of the spark set at 1AW will not be heard again." (QST, January 1923, pg 14)

Maxim was always looking beyond the horizon.  Displayed in a showcase at ARRL headquarters is the Elser-Mathis cup.  This trophy was inspired by Col Fred Johnson Elser, W6FB and SCM Lt Cmdr Stanley Mathes, K1CY after Elser learned of Maxim's fascination with the planet Mars.  The

unique wooden cup is waiting to be awarded to any radio amateur for the first Amateur Radio Contact between Earth and Mars.  I am certain that "tongue may have been firmly planted in cheek" when this award was conceived but I believe that this trophy may be awarded to some radio amateur in my lifetime.

I would like to think that if Mr. Maxim were here today he would be very happy to see that Amateur Radio and the ARRL have stood the test of time and continue to attract newcomers to the hobby nearly 100 years since the League was founded.  However I would not be surprised if The Old Man shook his head in bewilderment to find that we have spent much time and energy worshiping the past instead of looking ahead to the future.

It may be comforting to stroll down memory lane and fire up the vintage radio for the evening.  The warm glow of the tubes and the refreshing aroma of heat radiating from the chassis will create soothing reflections and transport you back to a time when there was no internet, e-mail or cell phones.  As you blow smoke rings from your briarwood pipe and replicate the authenticity of what you refer to as "real radio," try to remember that the icons of technology that you pay homage to were once state-of-the-art, modern appliances that filled the dreams of many.  As much as Amateur Radio owes to its past, adoration of vintage radio should not take away from Amateur Radio's future.

(Credit the ARRL Clubnews letter.)


Some of the descriptions on how to make your own antenna leave a little to be desired. This antenna will work for any frequency. Just cut the elements according to the given formula and it'll work right out of the box. No need to use any meters to check for SWR, the result will be good enough for government work!

Yes it'll work for 160 meters, but not as nicely as it'll do on the VHF-UHF bands.  Have fun making your own antenna!

Why do toasters always have a
setting that burns the toast to a
horrible  crisp, which no
decent human being would eat?

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Back Cover