Onward, Downward

Around 1:00 a.m. on 26 November 1923, Charles York had been handling routine message traffic at his station 7HG in Tacoma, Washington, when he heard a pure CW station calling him on 200 meters signing JUPU.1 They made contact easily at first. The JUPU operator, an American, gave him a message for his mother in Cambridge, Illinois, and said he was located in Tokyo. But the contact was lost before York could get the street address in Cambridge, find out … Continue reading

Strangely Behaving Signals

While the causes for QRM were well understood, mostly man-made, and could be dealt with through cooperation and tuning techniques, other disruptive on-air phenomena were clearly beyond such controls: those caused by nature. Some, such as static (QRN, also called strays), although understood to a large degree, had no known effective remedy.  Others, such as fading, were not understood at all. At constant transmitter power, what natural phenomena could possibly cause a signal to fluctuate in strength? Why wasn’t a … Continue reading