Pioneering Wireless (Radio)


This historical FREE documents archive focuses on the applied technology of Wireless (radio, television, radio-control, etc.), from its beginnings through 1929 (when it can be claimed that wireless had achieved maturity). It is not about transmissions (broadcasts) that may have used the technology! Earlier articles lean more towards reporting about experiments, while later articles lean more towards being practical application guides. There is a sharp division between how things were done before and after the Great War, and a noticeable shift from "homebrew" to "commercial" solutions during 20's (although authors continued all-through this period to assume their readers were at least somewhat technically savvy).

The vast majority of the circuits presented in these articles can be built today, either as drawn, or with straight-forward substitutions of modern component equivalents (including in some cases, solid-state equivalents). It is surprising how many of the old wireless techniques have been forgotten, even though they often provide elegant or higher-fidelity solutions that could be incorporated into modern analog or hybrid digital equipment.

Because most of this material even predates the type of equipment that collectors are familiar with, it is hoped that persons will build at least one of these pioneering circuits, if for no other reason than to increase their understanding of how we got to where we are today with radio. In the US, there are no peacetime restrictions against anyone building radio receivers for personal use. Anyone may also build a personal use transmitter if its maximum output power falls below the FCC part-15 limits. Higher power transmitter construction requires that the builder hold at least an amateur radio or general radiotelephone operators license. Note that both Spark and Arc transmitters (just like any other transmitter design) are legal to both build and operate, as long as their emissions are kept within the FCC parameters for the frequency at which they are operating.