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article number 727
article date 07-19-2018
copyright 2018 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
Is Radio Coming of Age?, 1922 - Part 2: Expanding Broadcasts & Improving Technology
by Various Popular Science Magazine Writers

The Ether Is Now One Vast Concert Hall

SUPPOSE that in your own home, at any time, you were able to receive out of the air, a summary of the important news of the hour, or you could hear a great public speaker, hundreds of miles away, or could enjoy a program of music by the world’s greatest artists.

And suppose that all you required to enjoy a service of this kind was a compact little cabinet and a coil of wire, which you could operate almost as easily as a talking-machine.

If all that were a fact, wouldn’t you agree that a marvelous new agency for spreading information and pleasure had come into being?

Well, all that actually is a fact in some 50,000 American homes, scattered over an area of about 12,000 square miles. A radiophone broadcasting service has been received nightly during the past few months on so ambitious a scale as to mark the dawn of a new era in communication.

Owners of radio receiving-sets in the Middle Atlantic states, and as far west as Indiana, are now hearing regularly a rapid-fire service of news, lectures, and music organized by the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, (WJZ) in Newark, New Jersey.

This service is already being rivaled by similar broadcasting enterprises planned by the Radio Corporation of America, and by the General Electric Company; and is paralleled by many already existing broadcasting stations.

It is a safe assumption that, within a year or two, similar regular radiophone broadcasting stations will be in operation in St. Louis, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Denver, and other cities, so that the nation will be blanketed with hourly radio-phone broadcasts.

What the Westinghouse Company is doing takes on national significance. Dwellers in remote solitudes will hear the friendly voices of their fellow men. The prairie wife will sit at her sewing by the evening lamp, and listen to a concert by master musicians. The sheep-herder and the miner and the farmer will be kept in constant touch with world affairs by cheerful human voices speaking out of the night.

The Westinghouse experiment in Newark was preceded by an already well-known service from the same company’s plant in Pittsburg, and has been followed by an elaborate service from the Chicago plant.

The Newark station is distinguished, however, by its ambitious day-long program and by its ready access to the world’s best music and vaudeville.

From ten in the morning till ten at night vocal entertainment is being shot into the ether on an announced schedule. Eight times a day a résumé of latest news is broadcasted. National sporting events are vividly described, play by play. At night a bedtime story is told, and thereafter a concert program begins. On Saturday night a service of dance music rides the air.

An audience of more than 50,000, scattered over an area of 12,000 square miles, heard the Misses Sarah and Nellie Kouns, shown above in the radiophone studio at Newark, New Jersey, during their concert.
The operator’s room on the roof of the Westinghouse plant at Newark, showing complete radiophone transmitter.

What Hays Thinks of Government Radio

By Donald Wilhelm.

A NATIONAL newspaper without paper!

A government radio telephone system that would hook up every home in the land with the leaders of public affairs in Washington.

Shake hands with a big idea sponsored by one who was the livest of all Postmaster-Generals—who was so alert and forward looking that he was drafted from government service into the only industry in the land that holds more spectacular possibilities for universal public recreation and information than radio itself.

Will Hays, our new motion-picture dictator, was one of the first officials in Washington to realize the magnificent future of the radiophone as an agency of the government. Here’s what he saw in it:

Public Information Vital

You’re a lone woodsman in the wilds, or a farmer’s wife, or a miner in the hills, or a pupil in the public schools, or a worker in the shop, or a cattleman, or—well, anyway, you’re a human being and in this twentieth century, no matter where you live, public information is your life blood.

Your happiness, your domestic contentment, your business, your success in life, your relations with the world, depend upon it. Unless you get it, and get it quickly, you’re a caveman or a cliff-dweller. So far as the modern world is concerned, you simply don’t exist.

Now, suppose you have on your table a neat little radio receiving instrument. And suppose that every night you could hear from that instrument the voice of some leader of public affairs in Washington, telling you the important events of Uncle Sam’s day.

It would be infinitely interesting and entertaining, and invaluable, wouldn’t it?

“But is it possible?” I asked Will Hays, while he was still Postmaster-General, and he replied: “Is it possible? Why, it’s inevitable! If it cost a hundred times more than it will cost, it would still be inevitable—no cost would be too high for such service. But the cost is not at all prohibitive.

“Since last April, the Post Office Department has been using its chain of transcontinental wireless stations, which it set up to administer the air mail, for broadcasting weather and market information. The Department of Agriculture furnishes us the information.”

Postmaster, Will Hays.

Supplementing Mr. Hays’ remarks, Lieut. James Edgerton, the head of Post Office radio, points out that, at last reckoning, the cost of maintaining and operating Post Office radio is, including interest on investment, salaries, depreciation, repairs, everything, only $87,190 a year.

Not a little of this relatively small outlay comes back in the form of economies; thus, reckoning on the basis of capacity use, a radio message of 30 words to San Francisco costs the government $.375, whereas a ground telegraph message, at government rates, costs $1.16.

“The total cost of each new broadcasting station would be $18,875; the annual cost thereafter, $11,170 for twenty-four-hour service,” Lieutenant Edgerton says.

“There are now sixteen stations in our chain, three of which are navy stations. Add four more, or six—we shall know better when we have equipped the stations we have for broadcasting by phone—and then we’ll be able to serve the whole country. There is nothing speculative about it.”

—In fact, it has been estimated that for the ridiculously low cost of about three quarters of a cent a person a year, the government could reach the whole public with daily broadcasts of news, public speeches, and invaluable departmental information.

There is hardly a government bureau head or official in Washington who hasn’t something fascinating to tell each of us, every month or so, if we could only be reached by word of mouth—something bearing, moreover, on our health and prosperity.

When the radiophone becomes in fact a great government agency of communication, we shall see the dreams of democratic government more nearly fulfilled, for we shall each of us be kept more closely in touch with public affairs than has ever before been thought possible.

When the Post Office uses the wireless phone, it will probably have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of hearers, receiving, by their own hearthstones, free news, free education, free entertainment—and protection, too, when warning of imminent disaster is sent broadcast to all in danger.

Centralizing Communications

Plans for reorganizing the executive departments in Washington look to making the Post Office Department the rendevous of communications, i. e., civil communications. It might even come to be known as the Department of Communications, or of Post Office and Communications.

All the leased telegraph wires of the government and cable lines as well are to be headed up in that department. The concentration of leased wires, Mr. Hays told me, implies an economy of about $250,000 a year, and better service. Into this scheme the publishing of a national radio newspaper neatly fits.

Every branch of the government needs a broadcasting system to keep in touch with the public. No private agency can fill the need. The problem falls, of its own weight and importance, to the Post Office Department.

Singing by opera stars, music by great orchestras, speeches by great men and all the world’s new is now broadcasted daily by wireless.

You can sit in your own home and listen in on all the this without technical knowledge or experience. Your do not hear dots and dashes alone―you hear music and human voices. Radio Service Co. 110 West 40th St., New York.

Radio Stations Combine

COMBINATION of two wireless broadcasting stations—the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co. station at Newark, N. J. (WJZ), and the station of the Radio Corporation of America at Roselle Park, N. J. (WDY)—will be an important radio development of the next few weeks. The combined station will be located on Broadway in the heart of New York City.

With broadcasting stations and programs continually changing, our Information Department supplies the latest facts about radio to readers who send inquiries in self-addressed envelopes.

A Double Radio Treat for “Popular Science" Readers

—The Man Who First Awakened the World to the Future of Radio

JACK BINNS, whose historic “CQD” call from the steamship ’Republic,’ on January 23, 1909, saved 1650 lives in what was the first and remains the most spectacular wireless rescue at sea.

Writes His Magazine Articles Exclusively for “Popular Science Monthly.”

Read the first radio article by Jack Binns in our June issue.

WHEN JACK BINNS sent out from the sinking ’Republic’ the first wireless call in a disaster at sea, putting on every tongue that thrilling signal, ‘CQD,” (now “SOS”) and making two continents ring with his exploit, he unknowingly forecast the myriad marvels of radio today.

Jack Binns was one of the first commercial wireless operators; he has kept abreast of the subject ever since, and besides that, he is a trained journalist, a newspaper writer of many years’ experience—a man whose style is vivid, direct, and enjoyable. His exclusive radio articles will appear next month and every month in these columns. You will find help and inspiration in his radio tips.

—The Man Who First Aroused America to the Romance of Radio

ARMSTRONG PERRY continues to write his epoch-making series of radio articles for “Popular Science Monthly.”

ARMSTRONG PERRY’S FIRST great radio article appeared in Popular Science Monthly for November last. The phenomenal radiotelephone boom—unborn a month before—sprang into being within the following fortnight.

Month by month, as Mr. Perry pressed his story home through our columns, radio became the great economic, industrial and social event of the year.

—Between them, these two men are the nation’s best known writers on the most engrossing subject of the decade. Don’t miss them next month.

Uncle Sam “Gets Set” for Broadcasting

In this article Armstrong Perry tells of the existing skeleton around which an effective government broadcasting service can be built. In a future issue he will describe astounding future possibilities of a national broadcasting system.—THE EDITOR

Of 220 Radio Stations Owned by Our Government, Nine Are Now Transmitting News and Programs of Public Interest.

IF the next edition of the dictionary contains the expression “free as air,” the words will be followed by the abbreviation obs., which means “obsolete, or no longer having its original meaning.”

Persons who think that the air is still free have a rude awakening when they try to use it for sending messages to distant friends.

In some countries plain citizens are not permitted to transmit messages by radio at all. In our country we can do so only if we have a license from the Department of Commerce.

To obtain that license we must study radio until we can answer all the technical questions that a government examiner wishes to ask. Also, we must study the dot-and-dash code until we can prove in tests that we can receive and decode messages at the rate of 10 words a minute.

The fact that we may have no desire to send or receive messages in Morse code makes no difference. Experience shows that Mrs. Jones, owning a transmitting set, might, if she did not know the code, fill the air along a stretch of seacoast so full of descriptions of millinery that Bill Jones, whose ship was sinking with a thousand passengers just over the black horizon, might not be able to bring to the attention of the nearest vessels and shore stations three letters, “SOS."

Use of the Air Restricted

But after passing the license examination, Mrs. Jones would know the meaning of the buzzing dots and dashes that say:

“Stop sending,” or, to be still more blunt:

“Shut up—we need the air for disaster messages.”

So, the air is no longer free.

The man who wants to make a dollar has, of course, been the first to grasp the situation. Since the use of the air must be restricted and parceled out among the people, he has tried to make sure that he got his first.

At the radio conference called by Secretary of Commerce Hoover at the request of President Harding, all who wanted to reserve portions of the ether were invited to present their cases.

Some of the applications were interesting. For example, a mercantile concern wanted licenses for several hundred transmitting stations within what, from the standpoint of radio, is a comparatively small area.

Even if this concern had built its stations, and the government had kept everybody else quiet within the territory, it is doubtful if even the best radio receiver could have made anything intelligible out of a jumble of songs, dances and advertisements broadcasted from all these stations.

Another concern, gigantic in its present operations in wire service, has already started to establish great radio broadcasting stations for the use of the public. Such great utilities under private control seem to be essential to the nation.

The very fact that private corporations have built up country-wide broadcasting services almost overnight, while the government is still fumbling with the idea, indicates again the value of private enterprise in developing a new utility in the experimental stage.

Most private corporations have gone after the rights to the air wisely, aiming to give good service. There are more persons today kicking because other stations prevent their hearing the corporation broadcasts than there are kicking because these broadcasts are in the air.

The corporations are entitled to the credit that belongs to the pioneer, the concern that strives to win popularity by doing something that is of real value to the people.

But when all is said and done, the fact remains that the future value and interest of radio to us all depends upon the government’s taking over its own share of the national broadcasting work.

What we want is radio service for the people from the government of the people.

Recently the Navy Department undertook a once-a-week radio program for schools.
In the district school, government radio could start the day’s program with a lively march from a military band and a short talk on current events from the Bureau of Education.

Idle Hours Could Be Used

Government ownership of radio facilities is a present fact, not a theory. The list of radio stations of the United States shows 220 stations already owned by our government on land or on moored ships. There is no home so isolated that it cannot hear a government radio station if it has a receiver adapted to the purpose.

Many government radio stations are idle for a large part of the 24 hours. The departments controlling them are not averse to using them for the public good. Of course, all traffic handled is for the public benefit, but much of that transmitted at present would not interest the individual listener.

He would not care, for example, whether the Shipping Board vessel, ’Jeff Davis,’ called at Norfolk for orders, or proceeded direct to New Orleans, though indirectly that might be of sufficient importance to the public to justify a message from the Shipping Board’s headquarters in Washington to the vessel at sea.

After such traffic is disposed of, why should the government station remain idle while every owner of a radio set is tuning up and down through the ether seeking a wider variety of entertainment and information?

Our interest in our senator and representative does not cease when we cast our ballot. We have much at stake in the problems they are tackling from day to day. Must we hear from them only through the newspapers? Why not listen to them talk, as the radio makes it possible to do?

We have government bands that make as good music as any that we pay foreign artists to produce. Many Americans would rather hear the Washington Marine Band, the band at the Presidio, or battleship bands in which inland mothers’ Sons are playing, than orchestras from Germany, Russia, and Italy.

We have radio stations that can send the music to us. We pay for these stations. Why not use them?

The Post Office Department has given a splendid demonstration of what public radio stations can do. Carrying information to the public has been the Post Office’s business ever since there was one. In using the airplane and radio, it is merely keeping abreast of the times.

Across the continent at intervals of a few hundred miles the Department has a complete chain of stations.

Some time ago the Department of Agriculture was invited to send out through these radio stations information that the farmers need. Up to that time, Solomon Buyupski, purchaser of the products of farm and ranch, had the advantage of being in closer touch with the market than Josh Slocum who plowed the soil, planted the seed and took chances on the results.

The price that was offered for produce and that the farmer accepted often was far below what the farmer could have asked and received if he had known the state of the market at the moment as well as did the buyer.

The Bureau of Markets, which is part of the Department of Agriculture, began delivering to the Post Office radio stations up-to-the-minute quotations several times a day and these are shot out immediately to the farmers, and any one else who cares to listen.

The records show that the gain to individual farmers from single quotations has sometimes amounted to hundreds of dollars.

But the farmer needs more than that. He can have, if he will ask for it, not only government radio service that helps his pocketbook, but also service that feeds his brain, and makes farm life less isolated and lonely.

The Navy was the first Department to inaugurate a broadcast service. Not claiming any jurisdiction over land-lubbers, the naval officers began by addressing their news broadcasts to “all naval vessels,” but a lot of shore folks who never smelled salt spray at once picked them up.

In Washington the Naval Air Station broadened its service and demonstrated the possibilities of radio as an aid to education. Twice a week it opened for one hour in the evening. It started with a concert and a 10-minute lecture by the Public Health Service.

Then there was more music, and after that another brief lecture covering concisely some phase of radio or airplane development.

One afternoon a week a program for public schools was broadcasted.

This service demonstrated the tremendous educational possibilities that lie in the expansion of government broadcasting programs. What a help it would be to the teacher of a district school to be able to start the day with a peppy march from a military band, followed by a 15-minute talk from the Bureau of Education in which the current events that were of importance to the pupils and their homes were covered in such a way that the arithmetic, geography, spelling and reading lessons would be but the continuation of a history in which the pupils were conscious of playing a worthy part!

Uncle Sam’s Radio-Phone Broadcasting Chain. Locations of the government stations that are now transmitting telephone broadcasts are indicated on the above map.

“A” signifies Army station; “N,” Navy; “PO,” Post Office Department. The small circles represent receiving range of crystal detector sets, the large of higher priced audion receiving sets. This chart shows that the Post Office radiotelephone stations alone serve as the possible skeleton of a vast government broadcasting system that could be planned to cover the whole nation.

Keeping You Up-to-Date in Radio

WITH exclusive articles each month by two of America’s foremost authorities on radio—Armstrong Perry and Jack Binns—supplemented by a wide range of other helpful radio information, including broadcasting charts, a blueprint service, and answers to questions on wireless problems. Popular Science Monthly is aiming to give readers the best all-round information and helpful radio service available.

In addition, Popular Science Monthly’s new booklet, "The Standard Radio Guide,” is an invaluable supplement to the regular monthly radio articles. This booklet is now on sale for 50 cents.

Our famous broadcasting chart of the United States, corrected up to date, and showing all the great wireless broadcasting stations you may want to hear, giving location, call letters, range and a11 other important details necessary to the owner of a receiving set, will be supplied by Popular Science Monthly’s Blueprint Department at a charge of 25 cents. In ordering this chart, send stamps, cash or money order to Blueprint Department, Popular Science Monthly, 225 West 39th St., New York City.

What Will Radio Mean to You?

HOW the romance of radio is rapidly entering the life of the average man—the man who has no time to acquire technical knowledge of wireless secrets—has been related in recent articles in POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Typical instances of radiophone broadcasting services, described on this and the preceding page, give a concrete idea of what wireless will mean to you within the next few months. The broadcasts here described merely represent a few of many similar enterprises now springing up all over the country.

POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY believes that government cooperation in radiophone expansion is now essential. Broadcasting stations of the kind here described are limited by license to a wave length of around 360 meters.

It is argued that a much wider range should be assigned, in order to avoid conflict between different stations.

Readers must remember that radiophone outfits are not yet perfect, and that messages are heard far less satisfactorily in some localities than they are in others.

Twenty Automatic Machines Relay Radiogram From London to New York in Sixty Seconds

By P. J. Risdon, English Correspondent of the “Popular Science Monthly”

BY means of the latest automatic radio apparatus a radiogram from London to New York can be delivered in just 60 seconds. One minute after the message is filed in the London office, the printed radiogram is placed in the hands of the messenger-boy in New York.

In that time the message has been telegraphed to the transmitting station, turned into Morse and broadcasted, received at the Riverhead, L. I., station of the Radio Corporation of America, relayed to New York, and printed.

This speed, made possible by the aid of up-to-the-minute machinery, is the more remarkable because the message passes through nearly 20 instruments. It is relayed from one electric current to another about 12 times, but only three times is it handled by human operators. If they could be eliminated, even more speed could be attained.

When the radiogram is handed to the operator in London, be types it on a special machine that perforates a paper tape with holes representing the Morse code, corresponding to the words of the message.

This tape passes through a Wheat-stone transmitter, which sends it to the radio station over ordinary land telegraph wires.

At the station, this current actuates another ingenious mechanism that punches another tape, duplicating the first.

The second tape immediately passes under a second automatic transmitter, which broadcasts a radio message, utilizing great electric generators and banks of thermionic valves to build up a current of the requisite power and high frequency. So far, under ideal conditions, perhaps about 20 seconds have elapsed.

With the speed of light, the message leaps the Atlantic, and is caught by the antennae of the great radio station at Riverhead. Here miles of antennae wires, supported by cross arms 150 feet wide, placed on the top of 12 towers 410 feet high, gather the feeble impulses, and build them up with a second bank of thermionic valves until the current becomes strong enough to operate a Creed printer.

It is the Creed printer—the heart of the whole system—that makes possible the remarkable speed of transmission. By a system of magnetic controls guiding a pneumatically operated typewriter, it transcribes the long and short dots and dashes received by the antennae into a typewritten message printed on a long strip of paper tape.

This paper tape is gummed, torn into suitable lengths, and pasted on a blank.

The message is copied by an operator, who passes it to the district messenger-boy.

The Creed machine is located, not at the receiving station, but 16 miles away, in the heart of New York City.

To obtain the advantages of a central office, however, both receiving and sending stations are operated from a central “traffic” office by the use of a special remote control system.

The nerve center of the great system is the Radio Central Station at Rocky Point, Long Island. Here a 23,000-volt current is transformed into high-frequency Hertzian waves that can carry messages halfway around the world.
In the Long Island power plant, direct current is turned into alternating current by high-frequency alternators, which produce a current of 20,000 cycles. The speed of the great motors is controlled with wonderful accuracy.
The one-minute history of the radiogram, from the time it is filed in London until it reaches the hands of a messenger in New York, is graphically told above. On its quick journey the message passes through a score of instruments. © Modern Publishing Co.
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Although the message is relayed a dozen times, only three times is it handled by human operators. Flashing across the Atlantic, it is received at the Radio Corporation’s Long Island station and relayed to New York for delivery. Drawing by G. H. Davis
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First American Radio Charts Show Nation Is Now Blanketed by Wireless News and Music

How Radio Reaches You Wherever You Are.

YOU have never before seen maps of the United States like those printed here. They are the first American radio charts.

Only a few months ago, POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY started the present national wireless craze going, with our already famous “Wake Up to Wireless!” message, written by Armstrong Perry. The nation IS wide awake to-day. Nobody can predict how many hundreds of thousands of families will soon be enjoying the most romantic recreation of modern times.

POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY has compiled these pioneer radiotelephone broadcasting charts in order to show just what vocal entertainment a good receiving-set can give.

If you wish further information about wireless or broadcasting stations, write to the Question and Answer department of POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

You’ll Find in These Maps the Broadcasts that You Can Hear.

HERE is the first chance ever given the people of America to see at a glance how many important broadcasts of wireless music, news, and entertainment can now be heard in every part of the country.

After securing direct reports from dealers and amateurs in all parts of the United States, and after excluding numberless smaller stations, POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY has selected twenty-two points and has charted their location and “normal range” on the accompanying radio map.

One or another of these stations can, with proper equipment and favorable local conditions, be heard easily and regularly in 48 states of the Union.

How to Find Your Program

To find out what radio entertainment you may normally expect to receive in your locality, simply complete in pencil on the map the circles partially indicated by the dotted lines. With the proper receiving set, and provided atmospheric conditions are right, the chances are in favor of your hearing the stations within whose radius thus charted your particular town falls.

Daily and nightly radio programs may possibly be heard over even greater distances than are here indicated, but don’t forget that local conditions of all kinds may cut down the number of stations you are likely to hear in your district. In some regions you may have difficulty because of too many stations using the air at once.

Before purchasing a receiving set, supplement the information given here by consulting an amateur in your neighborhood, and by requiring, if possible, a demonstration of the set by the dealer.

Finally, if the outfit you are using is one of the low-priced, crystal detector sets, remember to divide the distances shown on the map at least by 10, in order to get a reasonably accurate estimate of the radius in which any given station’s broadcasts may be heard by you.

Having found on the map the cities containing radio stations that you are likely to hear in your district, you can secure from the following paragraphs definite information about these stations.

THE following stations in North Atlantic and New England states give extensive broadcasting service:

• Newark, N. J.—Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co. station (WJZ). Wave length, 360 meters. Program of news and concerts every evening at 8.05. Children’s hour every Friday at 7.15 P.M.
• Pittsburgh, Pa.—Westinghouse station (KDKA). Wave length, 330 meters. Washington Observatory time broadcasted daily, except Sunday, at 8 P.M. Government market and New York stock reports at 8.05 P.M. Special musical program, 8.30 to 9.30 P.M. Organ recital every Sunday at 4 P.M.
• Springfield, Mass.—Westinghouse station (WBZ). Wave length, 375 meters. Concerts and musical programs every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8 P.M.
• Medford Hillside, Mass.—American Radio and Research Corporation station (1XE). Wavelength, 350 meters. News, concerts, and music every weekday evening, with sermons every Sunday.
• Hartford, Conn.—Station of C. D. Tuska Co. (WQB), with a wave length of 425 meters. Concerts on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday evenings.
• Union College, Schenectady, N. Y.— Irregular program of music.
• Rosette Park, N. J.—Station of the Radio Corporation of America (WDY). Range 1000 miles.

In the Southern section these stations, among others, are audible:

• Washington, D. C.—Government and private stations. Correct time broadcasted at noon and 10 P.M. daily from Arlington Navy Station (NAA) with a wave length of 2650 meters. The White & Boyer station, on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7.30 to 9.30 P.M., broadcasts concerts as well as short lectures on radio.
• Atlanta, Ga.—Carter Electric Co. station (4CD). Range 200 miles. Music and news service Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, from 7.30 to 8 P.M.
• Dallas, Texas.—Police and fire department station (WRR). Wave length, 450 meters. Weather forecast, local news, and other information at 7.30 P.M. daily. Concerts every evening, 8.30 to 9.
• Austin, Texas.—State University station (5ZU). Wave length, 375 meters. Results of athletic contests, local news.
• Houston, Texas.—Numerous amateur radiotelephone broadcasting stations with ranges up to 60 miles.

To learn what wireless broadcasting stations you may expect to hear, complete on this map the circles partially indicated by dotted lines, using dividers. Normally you should hear from cities within whose radius, thus found, you live.
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MORE than 70,000,000 people live in the portion of the United States which is shown on this map to be almost confusingly crisscrossed by new broadcasting stations which furnish entertaining news and concerts by wireless to all who choose to hear.

The solid black, crossed circles on the maps indicate cities having flourishing broadcast stations working on not quite so large a scale as the others. These cities are: Buffalo, N. Y., Cleveland, Akron, Columbus and Hamilton, Ohio; Detroit, Mich.; Davenport and Iowa City, Ia.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Rome,Ga., and Paris, Tex.

One or more of the radio broadcasting stations indicated by the circles on the map can be heard regularly, with adequate equipment and favorable local conditions, in 48 states of the Union. Find on this map the cities within whose radius you are; then refer to the article for details as to the programs of these stations. Completing the dotted lines will give you the reported “normal range” of these stations, but sometimes they cannot be heard for reasons given on page 72.
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WORKING westward on the map, the following are the most important stations generally heard by amateurs who have reported:
• Westinghouse Station at Chicago, Ill. (KVW). Wave length, 360 meters. Grand opera program every evening except Friday and Sunday during opera season. Concerts Friday evening.
• Cincinnati, Ohio.—Station of Precision Equipment Co. (8XB). Wave length, 375 meters. All evening on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday— music, vaudeville, and sport reports.
• Madison, Wis.—State University station (9XM). Weather reports in code and then in voice, daily except Sunday at 12.35 P.M., with a wave length of 375 meters. On Fridays, special music at 7.30 P.M., at 800 meters. Same music at 8.15 at 375 meters. Various entertainments during remaining part of evenings at wave lengths between 330 and 375 meters.
• Lincoln, Nebr.—State University station (9YY). Has widest range in that section. Concerts every evening.
• Kansas City, Mo.—Station of the Western Radio Co. (9XAB). Market reports and weather forecasts at 11.30 A.M. and 2 P.M., on 375 meters. Concerts in the evening.
• Denver, Col.—Station of the Reynolds Radio Company (9ZAF). News twice a day. Concerts on Sunday evening.
• San Francisco, Calif.—Concerts by various commercial and hotel stations every evening in the week. California Theater to broadcast performances nightly at 360 meters.
• Los Angeles, Calif.—Station in Hamburger’s department-store. Reported range, 1000 miles.
• San José, Calif.—Harrold Lab oratories station. Range, up to 500 miles.
• Seattle, Wash .—Seattle Post Intelligencer (newspaper). Range, 60 miles.

IN addition to the foregoing stations there are thousands of private and amateur stations scattered throughout every state having ranges up to 50 miles. Stations in Detroit, Mich., Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, and Davenport, Iowa, while less powerful than many of the others mentioned, have transmitting radii great enough in extent to enable thousands of listeners in their vicinity to enjoy the daily news reports and regular evening concerts.

Wireless music for dancing. With a receiving set, the Radio Magnavox reproduces wireless music and radio telephone conversation absolutely true to the original and in any volume desired. Magnavox Company, Oakland, California.

What Uncle Sam’s Wireless Service Means to You

Watch Washington and Listen!

“WAKE up to wireless!“ was POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY’S message to the American people last fall.

“Watch Washington!“ is our message today.

Amazing as radiophone developments have been since the first article in our radio campaign was published, they are slight compared with new possibilities.

POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY now raises the banner for direct, daily, vocal communication between government leaders in Washington and American homes by radiophone.

We stand for sane encouragement of entertainment broad casts by properly qualified firms, and for a unified national system of scheduled public information broadcasts by the government.—The Editor.

Developments Point to the Time when Government Leaders May Talk to You Daily by Radio on Public Affairs.

By Armstrong Perry.

IF the Western Union and the Postal Telegraph and the American Telephone and Telegraph Company should all offer me the free use of their wires, I should consider myself a very privileged man. But if, as a condition, I had to give up the free radio service that my government in Washington offers me, I should turn down the offer with thanks, and without a moment’s hesitation!

I appreciate the full value of our great telegraphic wire services—but I actually consider the government’s wireless system to be of greater value to me at the present time than the free use of all the country’s wire lines.

And mark this — within a year I expect to see the government’s radio service developed in a way that will make its present offerings look like an 1899 automobile beside the airship Roma.

Will You Use It?

This government radio service, even now, is limited only by my readiness—and yours—to use it. It already includes 230 land radio stations. In all probability they will soon be coordinated in one great system through which each one of the government departments can talk to you daily, wherever you are, and tell you the latest facts about the progress of your national business.

Tremendous things, indeed, are even now afoot in Washington. It is one of those moments at the birth of a new era, when people on the inside, seeing amazing things ahead, stand breathless, filled with thrilling projects, yet so staggered by their possible consequences as to hesitate at making the first move; so that, while detailed projects for greater developments are still vague, a reporter on the ground in the national capital can at least safely state that the great radio vision has been seen vividly here in many quarters, and that some of its wonderful blessings are certain to come true.

A survey of government radio developments clearly points the way toward what is coming. In 1914, at a Boy Scout camp, I heard for the first time the 10 P.M. signal from the Naval Observatory at Arlington, and set my watch by it.

Thrilling then, the setting of civilian watches is only one of radio’s very minor uses now. They are setting international boundaries by wireless today, some old frontier lines having been found to be far from where the surveyors thought they were, owing to the deviation of timepieces carried for long distances over the earth’s surface. True, the plotting of these dotted lines seems far from the field of our daily life—until disputes over them throw nations into war!

How Senator Lodge demonstrated a marvelous new use for wireless by addressing a Massachusetts audience on public affairs via radiophone.

Cure for Blues.

But one of the things that government radio is doing for me personally struck me just the other night, when I was far from home and feeling blue. I had set up a little portable radio receiver that I had bought for $25. I was exploring with the tuner to find out what was in the air, and I heard: “Go ahead, Dr. Pierce.”

“This is the United States Public Health Service,” said Dr. Pierce. “Our talk tonight is on the effect of sunshine.” He went on for 15 minutes, telling me how to get the greatest health value from the sunshine and fresh air that destroy the germs of tuberculosis and other diseases.

When Dr. Pierce had finished, the operator played some classical masterpieces on the phonograph, and then a little jazz. The sun was not shining, but the moon was, and I knew where the remarks had hit me. I hiked right out, and in an hour my inward gloom had disappeared.

The next week the Pope was taken ill in Rome, and one afternoon about three o’clock the papers came out with news of his death. That night I copied press from a navy station for an hour. In about a thousand words I received all that was of importance from Dublin, Bogota, Shamokin, New York, Lisbon, Washington, Indianapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, Mysore, London, Melbourne, and Boston.

And I learned that the papers had been several hours premature in announcing the Pope’s death. Either the Associated Press, which collects the news, or the navy folks, who send it out, ought to go in for playwriting. They have the dramatic instinct.

This general news, condensed and concise, is invaluable to me and to any man who wants to keep abreast of his time.

But what a navy station handed me the same evening, a little earlier, was still more valuable. For weeks, I had read columns, daily, about the Conference for the Limitation of Armaments. With the Conference approaching its close, I found myself muddled about its results.

Critics disagreed. Either the United States had accomplished something almost as important as the winning of the war, or it had made a lamentable failure. Which was it?

I put the little receiver on NOF’s wave that evening, and heard the operator say:

“Hello, Mr. Bacheller. Hello, Oxford Club, Lynn, Massachusetts. We will now run a record or two on the phonograph, and in the meantime we will get in touch with Senator Lodge, and we think he will begin speaking promptly at nine o’clock.”

The Senator Speaks—and Listens

I pricked up my ears; I knew Bacheller as a radio man. Senator Lodge I knew also. As our delegation at the Conference had been in closest agreement throughout, his viewpoint would be that of the United States government. I listened.

“Hello, Oxford Club, Lynn.”

I recognized the voice. It was a little husky, but firm, as of old.

“Hello, Oxford Club,” the Senator repeated.

There was a pause, then the operator of the radio station, which was some distance from Senator Lodge’s residence in Washington, where he was speaking, told him over the wire to go ahead.

“But nobody answers!” said the Senator.

In the quietness of my own room, I could laugh at Mr. Lodge’s expense. Radio men know that broadcasting stations do not expect or wait for a reply. Their transmission is on schedule, and the receiving operators are in readiness to get their messages.

But the Senator, speaking over his phone in the usual way, and knowing little of the intricacies of the station that automatically changed the tones of his voice into radio waves so that they might hurtle through space and be caught and changed back again into sound, was holding his receiver to his ear and wanted somebody to acknowledge his salutation. It was the little bit of fun that makes an official statement a human event.

The Facts First Hand.

The navy operator explained and the Senator proceeded. In half an hour he made much more clear—to one hearer at least—the accomplishments of the Conference than long columns of newspaper type had done. He told how competition in the development of armaments, which, after all, is the thing that makes most of the trouble between nations, had been stopped by an agreement that placed and kept the nations participating in the Conference on an equal footing.

Other kinds of government information can be put into the air, if the citizens want them. There are probably not less than 250,000 amateur receiving stations at which it is possible to hear one or more government transmitting stations. And so fast are things developing that there may even be half a million.

There are 14,000 amateur transmitting stations that could be utilized for local distribution of government broadcasts. There are 530,000 Boy Scouts and officials ready for public service, some a radio operators and some as messengers.

If every citizen does not receive as much government radio service as I do, there is no one to blame but himself. The excuse, “I do not know radio,” is obsolete, for the army offers free correspondence courses in radio to citizens of the United States.

Among the epochal possibilities that I have lately heard mentioned by government officials are: the broadcasting of important current events for the benefit of public schools; the collection and distribution of information concerning organized criminals at a speed that will bewilder them; and the installation at the national capital of transmitters as powerful as that used at the Chicago Grand Opera, so that citizens everywhere may hear the discussions taking place on the floors of both houses of Congress.

If the lobbies and the committee rooms are included, I’ll say that will be some system.

Though no one has officially suggested it, yet, I should not be at all surprised if, “listening in” some night in a remote country district, with a receiver costing only a few dollars, I should hear the voice of the President himself, talking to all the American people personally and directly about the current accomplishments and policies of our government.

Famous Scientists Forecast Future of Wireless: Prof. Michael I. Pupin

By PROF. MICHAEL I. PUPIN, Noted Scientist and Inventor.

WIRELESS electricity is doubtless on the eve of a remarkable development. New York is to-day the radio center of the world. Radio should not be considered a mere toy, but seriously studied and mastered. The day may come when every newspaper, however remote, will be in instant touch by radio with the news centers of the world.

The educational possibilities are very great. When there is a great preacher—and they are rare—radio will make it possible for thousands of congregations to listen to him. The lecturer in the college will be able to address tens of thousands of students.

We are far behind in the building of cables. The war served to check cable laying for five years and it will take many years to catch up with normal conditions. Therefore radio communication is destined to play an immensely important role in our civilization.

Radio’s present wonderful development is merely a beginning. I was present at the opening of the most powerful radio station in the world when a message was broadcasted to 28 countries.

The great bulk of radio traffic in the future will be by means of regular telegraph messages, rather than by radiophone. Since many countries sleep while others are at work, it would be impossible to transact business by speech.

The difference in language is another consideration. There is, besides, the chance of being misunderstood in talking over the telephone, whereas a telegraph message gives a definite record.

From the first crude telephone transmitter (at right), to the future apparatus for seeing as well as hearing by electricity (above), is the tremendous step conceivable during the present century of electrical communication.

Soon, according to Nikola Tesla, as you talk over the phone, you may see in the attached eyepieces the face at the other end of the wire, while, caught in the multi-celled screen before you, your own features will be likewise transmitted.

Famous Scientists Forecast Future of Wireless: Nikola Tesla

By NIKOLA TESLA, Electrical Engineer and Discoverer.

II’ will soon be possible to see as well as hear by means of electricity. “Television” will be employed as generally as telephoning. As one listens to a voice at the other end of the line, he will also see every expression of the speaker’s face.

It will be possible to see as well as to hear either by the wireless telephone or over the regular wire circuits. There will be no limit to the distance of such transmission, so that we shall be able to talk to a person in any part of the world and watch his face at the same time.

In a general way the instrument used for television will closely resemble the mechanism of the human eye. Success in transmitting vision depends upon four things, and of these I have already perfected two.

The radio transmission of sound will also be developed in the future far beyond the present system. It will be possible not only for any person with a station to listen in, but also to transmit at the same time to every other station. I have already accomplished this in my experiments.

Perry Makes Clear the A B C’s of Radio for Everybody

A Simple Picture Story of How Wireless Outfits Work, By Armstrong Perry.

WHEN Mrs. Brown hangs out of the upstairs window and talks with Mrs. Jones, who is draped across a similar sill on the opposite side of the street, the conversation raises no scientific question in the minds of outsiders who listen in, unless it may be some speculation as how the ladies acquired the lung development to compete successfully with a trolley car, a street piano, a banana peddler, and a backfiring automobile. We are used to it.

All a Mystery—Al First.

Nor do we ponder very deeply over the problem of how we are heard, when we speak into the telephone, by a friend at the other end of town. If we are talking from Chicago to Milwaukee, we simply talk as much louder as we think necessary to cover the increased distance. We are used to the telephone, too.

But when we string a wire with one end stopping at a porcelain knob and the other end stopping at a cabinet sprinkled with knobs, listen in, hear voices that we know and others that we do not know, we are gripped by a sense of great mystery. “How can it be?” we ask.

The use of air to shoot the energy through is no more mysterious than the use of wire. it is newer, that is all.

When you speak into a telephone transmitter, whether it is connected with a wire line, or with a radio line, your vocal organs produce sound waves that strike a thin disk of metal visible just inside the hard rubber or metal mouthpiece.

They set this disk to shimmying.

Behind the disk is a small quantity of carbon granules. Through this carbon flows a current of electricity.

The carbon is not a very good conductor. It resists the flow of current, somewhat as sand in a waterpipe retards the flow of water.

The disk, or diaphragm, which is set in motion by the sound waves of your voice, presses upon the carbon when your voice drives it in, then relaxes its pressure as the spring of the metal makes it fly back. This varies the resistance of the carbon to the current, somewhat as packing the sand in the waterpipe, then loosening it again, would change its resistance to the water.


Components of a Radio Transmitter. On the scroll beside each instrument is the symbol used in diagrams to represent the device.

From Sound to Electricity

Your voice, so far as the phone is concerned, stops right at the diaphragm. From that point the apparatus carries electricity, not sound. If it carried sound, you would have to wait about three minute for your friend a thousand miles away to hear your “Hello,” and three more for his “Hello” to come back to you.

But electricity (thanks be!) will circle the globe seven and one half times in the second of time that sound requires to travel 1080 feet!

From the disk to the listener’s earpiece the wire line telephone or the radiotelephone handles electric currents. The direct current that flows through the carbon in the transmitter is varied from instant to instant by the changing resistance of this substance caused by the varying pressures of the diaphragm as it responds to the sound waves.

A little farther on the current runs through a “transformer.” This piece of apparatus does two things to the current: It “steps it up” and changes it from a pulsating, direct current to an alternating current.

The stepping-up is like running a one-inch stream of water through a quarter-inch nozzle at the end of your garden hose. You do not get any more water, but the stream under which you could safely hold your hand when it flowed directly from the spigot hits you so hard that it stings when it issues from the nozzle, because the pressure has been increased.

The change from direct to alternating current is a change of movement. The course of a direct current resembles that of the tire on a jacked-up auto wheel when it turns, moving continuously in one direction. The alternating current moves like the rim of the balance wheel of your watch, going around its circuit in one direction, then back in the opposite direction.

The change from one-way motion to two-way motion is made by interrupting the flow of the direct current at frequent intervals as it passes through one coil of wire in the transformer.

A one-way current passing through a wire in spurts sets up a two-way current in any wire near it, for reasons that are explained later. At the start of each spurt the current in the secondary coil of wire in the transformer moves in one direction. At the end of the spurt it moves in the opposite direction.

This alternating current, reversing its direction many times a second, is turned into the antenna of the transmitting radio station. The antenna is the wire strung above the roof, or whatever takes the place of this wire. It is a little hard to understand how there can be an electrical “circuit” when the antenna simply stops short out in the air somewhere, while at the lower end the ground wire that leads from the apparatus to the earth just stops there.

The current cannot flow through the air from the outer end of the antenna to the lower end of the ground wire. But between these ends, when electricity flows in the wire, there are lines of force that complete a radio circuit. It helps to fix the idea in your mind if you think of this “open circuit” as a child’s iron hoop that has parted where it was welded together and that has been repaired with rubber bands that complete the circle though they do not keep the ends of the metal in contact.

In this open circuit the energy flows back and forth, changing direction perhaps as many as 200,000 times a second. The lines of force in the open space serve as a sort of spring.

The current accumulates pressure as its progress is stopped. It is thrown back around the circuit. It accumulates pressure again. The lines of force throw it back again. This process is repeated over and over.

The current is supplied by a generator of some kind. It may be a machine that produces electricity by whirling coils of wire through lines of magnetic force, or it may be a battery that produces current by soaking minerals and metals in chemical solutions.

The machine or battery delivers the current at a fairly regular pressure, or voltage, and in fairly regular quantity.

But your voice, agitating the diaphragm of the transmitter into which you talk, pressing it against the carbon granules, and changing the resistance of these granules to the current as it flows through them, causes changes in the current similar to those that every one has produced in a stream of water issuing from a garden hose by putting the thumb over the nozzle and wiggling it.

These changes pass right on into the alternating current that flows in the antenna circuit. They are exactly similar to the changes in the sound waves of your voice as you pronounce your words or sing your song. A radio expert can tell by measuring the current whether you were saying “ah” or “oh” when the measurements were taken.

In playing a flute you blow air into the instrument and sound comes out. By regulating the air you regulate the sound. In the radiotelephone transmitter you throw sound in and high-frequency alternating electric current comes out.

Change the sound and you change the current.

The trick is to carry the energy across hundreds of miles of space and turn it back into sound again.

The secret of the trick, as discovered by radio pioneers, is that an alternating current causes radio waves in the ether—that invisible substance that fills all space.

Every time the current moves and throws out its magnetic lines of force, it starts a wave in the ether, just as a bang on the side of a panful of water starts waves in the liquid.

These waves, produced by the antenna current and the magnetic lines of force that it sets up around the wire, are radio waves. They spread in all directions, traveling with the speed of light. On being analyzed, the radio waves are found to be composed in part of magnetic lines of force similar to those that started them on their journey.

Your voice has started a lively little game of tag. Your transmitting antenna whams the ether and says: “Tag—you’re it!”

The ether waves chase a hundred miles or so, wallop somebody else’s antenna, and say: “Tag—you’re it!”

The waves set up in that antenna an alternating current exactly similar to the one in your antenna. Distance and opposing forces make it weaker.


Components of a Radio Receiver. On the scroll beside each instrument is the symbol used in diagrams to represent the device.

Radio engineers say that the current set up in the receiving antenna is sometimes only three trillionths as strong as that which flowed in the transmitting antenna. But it is there and it can be changed back into sound. It can be amplified until you, speaking in tones far less powerful than those used by Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Brown in exchanging greetings across the busy street, bellow at an audience of 5000 persons assembled in an auditorium hundreds of miles away in accents that would have driven Goliath back to his tent.

If there are a thousand audiences of five thousand each, they all hear you just the same. Every little quaver of your voice, every little trick of speech, comes out of the receiver just as it went into the transmitter, though the actual sound of your voice does not carry beyond the walls of your room.

Having reached a receiving antenna and having been changed back from radio waves into alternating current, the energy is used in producing sounds. Weakened by its journey, it is not given hard work to do, but generally is used merely as a trigger for releasing stronger currents from local sources of power.

It is passed through a transformer and by the process described before, its pressure, or voltage, is stepped up again.

Here once more the marvel of magnetism—the energy that cannot be worn out by use—is demonstrated. In one coil of the transformer the weak alternating current from the antenna builds up and collapses its magnetic fields.

In the other coil these fields induce another current of higher voltage.

This is led, in the best types of receivers, through a vacuum tube, an electric bulb that is the heart of the modern radio sets. The current rises and falls as your voice at the transmitter rises and falls. It acts upon other currents that are passing through the vacuum tube, impressing the characteristics of your voice upon them.

When these currents come out of the tube, they are direct, or one-way, currents. The tube (or the crystal detector, if that is used in place of the vacuum tube) acts like the valve of a pump. It lets the current pass in one direction, but prevents its going in the other direction.

Then the wire circuits lead the current to the telephone head set.

On the way, the current may pass through other vacuum tubes which, with other transformers and some auxiliaries, form amplifiers. Each of these amplifiers may multiply the effect of the current a hundred times.

Sometimes a “loud speaker” is used instead of the head phones. That cuts off all possibility of anybody in the vicinity escaping from the sound of your voice. Ye gods! what the stump speakers of the near future are going to do to us!

In the receiving telephone or loud speaker the electric current, which is now a one-way current coming in spurts, passes through the windings of an electromagnet similar to the one that zizzes your doorbell.

The magnet pulls at the diaphragm and it shimmies exactly in time with the diaphragm of your transmitter. In the air it stirs up sound waves exactly similar to those that proceed from your voice box. With a perfectly designed outfit the sounds of your voice could be reproduced so exactly that your best friend would not know the difference.

There are often many inductance coils, condensers, and what not in the receiving set. That accounts for the number of knobs and switches on the front of your cabinet. These knobs are turned for the purpose of “tuning” your receiver to the distant transmitter.

Every transmitter, when in operation, sends out waves of a definite length. They can be measured and charted. Every receiver, if it is to deliver to the listener the loudest sounds possible to produce with the energy received from the transmitter, must be tuned to the transmitter.

If the transmitter is sending out radio waves that are 360 meters long from crest to crest, the receiving apparatus must be adjusted so that it will just fit that length of wave.

Roughly speaking, the length of the transmitted wave depends upon the length of wire in the transmitter’s antenna circuit. This is because the antenna starts out one wave each time its current swells out its lines of force around the wire.

The shorter the wire, the shorter the distance the current has to travel around the circuit, the oftener it will change direction and swell out its lines of force, and the shorter the waves will be.

Make a “buzz saw” out of a big button and a piece of string and the action of the string will help you to visualize what happens in the antenna. The shorter the string, the quicker the action.

To pick up 360-meter waves and get the most out of them, the receiver circuit must have the same length of wire, or its equivalent, as the antenna circuit that sent out the waves. In practice, “inductances,” “condensers,” and other devices are used to produce effects similar to adding wire to the circuit or taking wire out of it, for it is easier to turn knobs than it is to cut and splice wires.

Musically minded persons sometimes think of the turning of the receiver knobs as they do the turning of the pegs of the violin to tune the strings to the pitch of the piano. This impression is strengthened when the turning of the knobs brings in station after station sending out music, just as running the finger down the violin string vibrated by a bow brings out one note after another.

The mineral (crystal) detector type of radio receiver produces sound without the aid of any electric current except what it receives from the transmitter. That is even more wonderful from one point of view than what happens in the vacuum tube.

The tube, with a storage battery furnishing electricity to light its filament, and a dry battery supplying current to its plate, ought to deliver results, and it does. Just how efficient it is was demonstrated when American amateurs, using about as much power as is required to light the lamp by which you read this article, were heard by operators in far-off Scotland, who picked up infinitesimally small amounts of energy from the transmitting stations, amplified them and produced sounds that could be heard and interpreted in spite of the rain and the gales of wind that whistled around their tent.

But the mineral detector type of receiver which makes a much shallower nick in our bankrolls, is not to be despised. Within five or 10 miles of a good radiotelephone transmitter, and often at greater distances, it will deliver a concert, lecture, or sermon to several listeners very satisfactorily and it requires little or no expense for upkeep.

It’s only a question of time until you will install a Radio Set―it’s the coming means of communication. When you do, don’t neglect the quality of the batteries your select―thy must be made right―built for Radio requirements to give perfect results. Universal Battery Co., 3443 So. LaSalle Street, Chicago, Ill.

What Makes the Noises that Mar Radio Concerts?

Static, Wireless Waif of the Air, Is the Only Interference that Can’t Be Remedied; Don’t Let the Others Worry You.

WHAT is static? What will it do to my radio set? What other kinds of interferences will bother me?” These are typical questions that are asked as summer—the worst season for interferences with wireless messages—approaches.

Stations interested only in code work are seldom seriously affected for any great lengths of time, but amateurs whose chief recreation is the picking up of broadcasted concerts and lectures are liable to be interrupted continually by series of strange, unaccountable noises.

Many complaints of interference have already been made by new users of radio receivers. They tune in as usual and everything is working well when suddenly— bang! gr-r-r—whee-e-e-! somebody or something butts in and they lose the music and their tempers!

Two Main Sources of Trouble.

These radio interferences may come from one of two sources. Many of them are due to amateurs with powerful regenerative sets who operate without understanding their stations. The remainder come from the most uncontrollable force in the radio universe—static.

The real cause of the trouble can usually be discovered by an experienced radio man, but the blame should not be attached to any one until it is definitely located. In a locality where there are many transmitting stations, signals from them may break up a concert.

The allotment of different wave lengths to their respective classes of transmitting stations theoretically permits the concert and various messages to go out at the same time with as little interference as three trains would create for each other if they were all en route from New York to Buffalo, but going via the Erie, Lackawanna, and New York Central respectively.

In practice, however, collisions occur in the receiver that sound like the three trains meeting at a common point while running a mile a minute.

The remedy, when signals clash, is to find out where they come from, after all efforts to tune out the intruders have failed. Every sending station is required by law to sign its call letters to each message by transmitting them in code or repeating them with the voice so that all who hear the station may identify it. By using the lists of stations published by the government and sold by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., at 15 cents each, the location of a station and the name of the owner can be learned.

If the interrupting station does not give its call letters, the district radio inspector may be asked to focus direction finders on it and bring the owner to justice, but he should not be bothered unless a station is clearly violating the law.

How Disturbers Are Detected.

Many interesting methods have been devised to ferret out interfering stations. Most of them include the loop aerial because of its directional properties. The work can be carried out from official stations, but for heavily populated districts a scouting automobile equipped with a sensitive set and a loop antenna has been employed in tracking down the culprits.

Equipped with a sensitive set and loop antenna, a “detective” automobile has been employed to ferret out interfering radio stations.

A very efficient receiver will also bring in all sorts of hums and buzzes from electric light and power lines, trolley car motors, and automobile magnetos. Violet ray apparatus may be heard at work in neighboring boudoirs, as may X-rays boring their paths into troubled human interiors, and lightning-rod, agents producing miniature electric storms.

An antenna that runs parallel to wires near by will pick up current from them and produce noises in the receiver, but if it is at right angles to near-by wires there will be little trouble unless it happens to touch one.

The worst disturber of the ether is “static.” Listen in while a thunderstorm is approaching and at the same time watch with the eyes for the lightning flashes. Do not watch too long! Pull the lightning switch and ground the aerial before the storm is overhead.

The instant you see the flash you hear a grumble, growl, or crash in the telephone. This seems to prove the assertion of the scientists that radio and light waves travel at the same rate of speed.

Static is worse in the summer than at other seasons, though it may occur at any season. It does not depend entirely upon the clouds becoming so charged with electricity as to cause lightning.

Some old-time radio amateurs used to give up the game during the hot weather, declaring that the shortened range and the static interference took all the joy out of it.

But today many a listener continues to enjoy his favorite indoor sport the year round, for he can hear something all the time and, more than that, he can hear what he wants to bear most of the time.

To Get the Big Waves

By Jack Binns.

THE prompt action of the Federal authorities in inquiring into the conditions of the ether caused by the radio-telephone broadcasting system, has done a great deal to place the new form of entertainment on a permanent basis and to eliminate the interference that would have quickly killed it before it had a chance to develop.

Now we shall have a perfect policing of the air.

One of the important results of the conference, however, is the desire it has created in the army of radio novices to listen to the stations operating on the longer wave lengths. This is emphasized principally because the government broadcasting stations are using the longer wave lengths.

Ever since the findings of the committee were published, I have been repeatedly asked the following general question:

“How can I listen to WYCB [the station on Bedloe’s Island, New York] or NAA [the station at Arlington, Va.] with my shortwave tuner?”

In a general way, there is only one way to do it, and that is by the use of loading coils. Loading coils are simply coils of wire, similar in every way to ordinary tuning coils.
Loading coils add a certain amount of wire in condensed form to the aerial wire, thus increasing the total amount of inductance in the tuning circuit.

The problem that embarrasses the novice, however, is just where to place this loading coil. It is embarrassing, too, to the experienced radio man, because the question cannot be answered in a general way.

In the first place, if you are using a simple crystal detector with a single coil, it is a simple matter to put a honeycomb coil in the aerial circuit in series with the usual tuning coil. In this case the honeycomb coil will have to have sufficient inductance to make up for the difference between the normal wave-length range of the receiving set and the wave length of the station you wish to listen to.

In the case of the more elaborate sets using vacuum tubes, it is not so easy to decide just where the loading coils should go, but it is a pretty safe bet that you will get the desired results if you load up the aerial, as in the simple sets just described, but with the addition, also, of a similar coil in the plate circuit.

In the latter case it will be necessary to experiment until just the right position between the primary loading coil and the plate loading coil has been obtained, because a regenerative action takes place between them.

See article in the Home Workshop Department, on how to make a honeycomb coil.

Hear the Wireless Concerts at Home from far and near. Radio Sets Cost Very Little. Complete sets sell for as little as $20―some even less.

Type "Q" Receiver. The last word in flexibility of reception. Telephone and telegraph stations of all sizes and wave lengths with your reach. With the use of the various sizes of honeycomb coils everything in the range of radio is brought into your home. WITHOUT DETECTOR, $35.00. WITH DETECTOR, &40.00.

The William B. Duck Co., 224-228 Superior St., Toledo, Ohio.
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