The AWA Review, Volume 33

2020 Review Editor’s Forward

Once again we are fortunate to have six interesting papers recounting various events, adventures, people, companies, inventions, and milestones in the his- tory of electronic communication. Always of great interest is the discovery of what we now call radio in the 1890s, the development of technology and use of FM radio, and radio broadcasting in the United States starting around 1920. Also described are historical accounts of the use of radio communications on airplane good will flights, the use of radio communications onboard exploration ships, and contributions to early radio technology by individuals affiliated with Harvard’s Cruft Laboratory.

We thank all of our authors for sharing their work with us. I personally thank each one of them for the cordial interactions we have had while preparing the manuscripts. I also want to thank our associate editor, Eric Wenaas, and our peer reviewers who have worked so hard and given so much time to review and edit

these papers. Finally, I would like to thank Fiona Raven for the wonderful article layouts that we have come to expect each year—and especially for the original layouts on the covers of the AWA Review. Fiona’s professional and creative work never ceases to amaze.

Several years ago, the AWA created the Robert P. Murray Award, in honor of Robert Murray, long-time AWA Review editor, and now Editor Emeritus, for excellence in writing in the AWA Review. The second award was presented at the AWA Conference in Rochester in 2019 to Eric Wenaas, for his years as Review editor and many years of Review articles. Congratulations to Eric for a job well done; we know he will continue to write high quality articles in the future.

This has been my first year as editor, having served as an associate editor last year. I have enjoyed the job greatly and look forward to performing the same task for future editions. I hope my effort is of the quality you expect. My professional background as a systems engineer in major high-tech companies working on military weapons systems has prepared me well to pay attention to the detail needed, and to meet the workload and scheduling requirements. My life-long amateur radio hobby and interest in all things electronic has provided a deep and yet broad background in radio communications and electronics of all kinds.

Timothy A. Martin, ME, PE, WB2VVQ

Editor AWA Review

Lee, MA


Below is a brief summary of each of the six articles in the order that they appear. (A link at the bottom of the page provides access to the KDKA article,)

Table of Contents

FOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v

HARVARD’S RADIO PAST: A SORT OF MEMOIR: CONTINUATION PART II

A. David Wunsch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Abstract: David Wunsch concludes his two-part tribute to Harvard’s radio past to honor major figures that were affiliated with Harvard’s Cruft Laboratory in the early days of wireless telegraphy and radio. This paper highlights three individuals who were central to that era, and who were all affiliated with Cruft Laboratory: Arthur Kennelly, Glenn Browning, and Frederick Drake. Kennelly’s formal education ended when he was 14, but he went on to become a Harvard professor, publish hundreds of technical papers and books, and analyze radio wave propagation in reflecting layers of the ionosphere. Browning and Drake were Harvard students who designed, analyzed, and built radio receivers for the growing broadcast consumer market. David tells of his adventures finding one such radio manufactured by Browning and Drake.

THE CENTENNIAL OF KDKA’S HISTORIC 1920 BROADCASTS

David and Julia Bart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Abstract: David and Julia Bart describe the history of radio station KDKA which is arguably the first commercial radio station in the United States to broad- cast regularly scheduled music, news, and sports programs. Frank Conrad was instrumental in this station being on the air. This year 2020 marks the centennial of the station. David shows many of the pictures he took during a recent tour given to members of the Radio Club of America, of which he is a member. We all look forward to the celebrations coming up as November 2, 2020, approaches, which is the actual 100th anniversary date.

ZEH BOUCK, RADIO ADVENTURER

Robert M. Rydzewski . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

Abstract: Robert Rydzewski concludes his three-part story of radio adventurer Zeh Bouck. Zeh was the radio operator on the airplane Pilot Radio sponsored by the Pilot Radio Corporation, which was on a “good will flight” through South America. Morse code was the primary mode of communications throughout the flight, by which progress was reported back to the newspapers in the United States. Bouck rigged up a radio modulator in the field, and long distance voice communications were established with the help of commercial radio relay stations to a newspaper reporter. Many hard times were endured during the adventurous and very difficult flight in 1930, ending in many successes and some disappointments.

WIRELESS AND THE ST. ROCH: 1928−1950

John Gilbert and Jerry Proc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

Abstract: John Gilbertand Jerry Proc recount the history of communications on the ship St. Roch, which was a Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner before World War II. The St. Roch explored the Northwest Passage of Canada in the Arctic. There were many uses for radio communications when the ship was frozen in for the winter, for example, to bring news by shortwave radio to the otherwise isolated northern Canadian inhabitants. Many improvements in radio technology were introduced during the ship’s service life, and communications equipment aboard was updated several times. After its final voy- age, the St. Roch was decommissioned and remains on display at a Canadian maritime museum. Her story is told in great detail there.

AN EXAMINATION OF ALEXANDER POPOV’S PRIORITY FOR THE INVENTION OF RADIOTELEGRAPHY

Eric P. Wenaas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

Abstract: Eric Wenaas examines the priority of the Russian inventor Alexander Popov over Guglielmo Marconi in the invention of radiotelegraphy around 1895. Russian political officials have, at the anniversary years in 1925 and 1945, made claims that Popov was the inventor of radio. There have been investigations before, but Eric has uncovered new original documents to support his assertions, and to dispel claims. There are several people who discovered fundamental properties, or created inventions important to radio, but Marconi is the one who put all these together and made a practical system for communicating intelligence (versus detecting signals) at useful distances and at useful data rates by employing what we now call radio waves.

THE BEGINNING OF FM RADIO

Mike Molnar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245

Mike Molnar tells the story of the development of FM radio by Edwin Howard Armstrong. Armstrong had previously discovered the fundamental radio circuits of regeneration, super regeneration, and superheterodyne. Later on in his career, he refined the theory of frequency modulation radio and built a complete and practical system of transmitter and receiver. He then demonstrated this system and made sure the system was fielded. This was his very successful effort to increase the fidelity of audio over the radio and reduce interference. There were also some unexpected benefits of FM radio. Armstrong is most highly regarded by professional societies for his lifetime of achievements, capped off by FM radio.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281

From This Issue …..

Button to the right will take you to KDKA article from Volume 33 of The AWA Review.