Six Segments, Sans Spark

For nearly a year, hams had been operating in their first assigned band of wavelengths, 150 to 200 meters. They had also been experimenting below 150 meters by special government permission, dramatically demonstrating the effectiveness of the shortwaves with the first transatlantic two-way contacts, and marking the birth of international amateur radio. But why, they wondered, had the government designated the spectrum below 150 meters as “reserved?” Clearly that was a temporary state of affairs. What would come next for … Continue reading


At the ARRL’s request in the summer of 1923, the Bureau of Standards announced that it would begin a schedule of broadcasts on precise wavelengths so that amateurs could calibrate their wave meters and receivers.1 The Bureau’s station in Washington, D.C., ran a highly stable oscillator driving a one-kilowatt power amplifier and had a proven record of being heard over a wide area, even on the West Coast. In print its call sign, WWV, evokes the graphical visualization of a … Continue reading