DX Records and Shortwave Reflections

…or, The Heaviside Road to the Antipode Summer 1924 brought the first explorers to the four new, shorter wavelength bands that were opened up to amateur use in July. Amateurs anticipated interesting times ahead based on their earlier experimental work that produced the first transatlantic QSOs.  Those had been achieved at 100 meters under special licenses for operating below 150 meters, a region the government designated as “reserved” the previous year without explanation.1 No one knew how the shorter waves … Continue reading


On the evening of 27 November 1923, a mother in Connecticut sent Thanksgiving greetings to her son who was a great distance away, via radio.1 She paid nothing for this service since her message was handled entirely by amateur radio operators. Impressively, it arrived only six minutes after she dictated it to a local ham on the telephone, traveling more than 6,000 miles to reach its addressee. Since her son happened to be aboard a ship that was frozen motionless … Continue reading

The Fourth Time’s the Charm

After the initial thrill of being the first to hear transatlantic signals, Paul Godley’s next thought was of making contact, and a helpless frustration at not having equipment to transmit a reply.  And now, emboldened by the successful second set of transatlantic tests in December 1922, many amateurs were talking about the possibility of a first two-way contact across the ocean. In fact, in early 1923 US hams were already informally running two-way tests with Leon Deloy, French 8AB (one … Continue reading