For the March FRC meeting, we are trying something different. We will show the first half of a two-hour documentary by Ken Burns, titled Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio.
This is a wonderful Ken Burns documentary about the history of radio. Based on the 1991 book of the same title, by Tom Lewis.
“For 50 years radio dominated the airwaves and the American consciousness as the first “mass medium.” In Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio, Ken Burns examines the lives of three extraordinary men who shared the primary responsibility for this invention and its early success, and whose genius, friendship, rivalry, and enmity interacted in tragic ways. This is the story of Lee de Forest, a clergyman’s flamboyant son, who invented the audion tube; Edwin Howard Armstrong, a brilliant, withdrawn inventor who pioneered FM technology; and David Sarnoff, a hard-driving Russian immigrant who created the most powerful communications company on earth, RCA.”
Wednesday March 20 – next Fullerton Radio Club General meeting
Saturday April 27 – Donate Life Walk/Run – Radio Communications Support – CSUF
Saturday May 4 – Antennas in the Park – Hillcrest Park, Fullerton (pending cabin reservation)
Saturday and Sunday June 22-23 – Field Day – Hillcrest Park, Fullerton (pending cabin reservation)
We had a good turnout for the November FRC General Meeting. After the members elected the 2019 Board, Rich Belansky gave an interesting talk on the theme of “Radio Science.”
Rich talked about his interest in the aspects of radio that lend themselves to collecting data. He touched on propagation, including its measurement using WSPRnet, showed us a study he did of WWV 10 MHz signal strength as a function of time-of-day, and gave us an overview of how Software Defined Radio works.
Eight of us met for a pre-meeting dinner at the Black Bear Diner.
At the October FRC meeting, member Tom Fiske told a little-known story about a friend of his who played an important role in both the US and Soviet space programs. For the full story, read his book The Insider.
Despite the 100° heat, there was a good turnout on July 7th at HRO in Anaheim for their 7th annual Ham Jam. Crowds shown in the store were waiting for raffle results. Hams love free stuff! If you recognize anyone here, leave a comment.
Although FRC did not have our own Field Day operation this year, several of our members did operate Field Day with other groups.
Joe Moell, K0OV (above) and Tom Gaccione, WB2LRH (below) teamed up as the ace Satellite Operations Team at the HDSCS Field Day Operation at Huntington Beach Hospital. Joe ran the radios while Tom had the physically challenging job of manipulating the antennas (and thus the need to carbo-load between satellite passes.)
While I was in Alamogordo, NM recently, this sign caught my eye.
But it wasn’t what I thought.
Here is the rest of the story.
At Wednesday’s TAG meeting, Larry McDavid showed off a Ruhmkorff coil, which is a very cool (well, actually plasma is quite hot) piece of antique physics demonstration equipment. You’ll be shocked to know that a good time was had by all. You can read a bit more about this device in Larry’s article in the March 2018 issue of Smoke Signals.
Many of today’s handheld radios feature a built-in GPS and other navigation aides. When you are out hiking, not only can you stay in voice contact, you can mark a waypoint at your starting location and use the built-in GPS to navigate back to your starting point. In the case of this image, I had marked the location of my truck in the parking area at Desolation Canyon in Death Valley National Park.
At 9 pm PST 1/26/18 micro-satellite AO-92 made its first pass over southern California with its transponder operational. Here is a link to the audio I recorded of the pass. Recording was made with the built-in recorder on the Kenwood TH-d74a. Antenna was a hand-held Arrow Satellite yagi. Link to audio –> here.
Hmm. I’m not sure how to feel about this.
If you were into radio in the 1960s, 70s, or 80s, you probably remember medium-wave pirate broadcaster Radio Caroline. It was pressure from Radio Caroline and other unlicensed broadcasters operating from ships off the coast of Great Britain that eventually pushed the British government to allow the licensing of commercial broadcasters, eliminating the monopoly previously held by the BBC. This is a reconstruction of Radio Caroline’s shipboard studio with original equipment. I discovered this display at the Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water in England while visiting in 2016.