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Thread: Who Invented Ham Radios

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Washington. Tyne Wear. North East England.

    Default Who Invented Ham Radios

    We have to go back in time to well over one hundred years ago to the late 1880's to discover the early pioneers who first found that radio waves actually existed. Heinrich Rudolf Hertz a German Physicist was the man who conclusively proved the existence that radio waves did actually exist; he was driven by the theory which emanated from James Clarke Maxwell who explored the electromagnetic theory of light.

    Radio theory was further developed by Guglielmo Marconi in the 1890's his works on radio waves were subsequently implemented into a system of communication. History shows us that in the late 19th century keen radio enthusiasts were interconnecting their own telegraphic apparatus.

    Many people began experimenting with this newly discovered area of physics and the Hertzian waves as they became known. I experimented with modulating a one Megahertz crystal commonly found on computer mother boards. Modulating simply means to change the radio wave in some special way. Amplitude modulation is produced when a microphone changes the radio wave by changing the amplitude; this occurs when the frequencies contained in the human voice alter the shape of the radio signal, high peeks occur when high frequencies contained in the voice are mixed with the carrier signal.

    A radio wave is a form of electromagnetic radiation, whose source is heat. A radio transmission contains two signals, the carrier signal or carrier wave and the message signal, the message is superimposed on the carrier wave using a microphone in Amplitude Modulation. The amplitude message signal is recovered in a receiver by a diode; the diode detects the voice signal which can then be listened to, with the aid of a crystal earpiece.

    A one megahertz transmitter outlined above is easily built and provides a tangible demonstration of how radio works. Building a simple T.R.F. or tuned radio frequency receiver will allow you to hear your own voice. A crystal set is a type of T.R.F. receiver and is easily built from a coil and variable capacitor. A diode or as it was known, a cats whisker, is used in the crystal set circuit to detect the audio produced from the microphone, a simple inexpensive high impedance ear piece connected to the circuit will allow you to hear the speech from your transmitter.

    Magazines in the early 1900s produced many article about how to build a radio and transmitter, including spark transmitters which spread radio signals across a wide portion of the radio spectrum. I built these simple spark transmitters in my early days when developing my radio interest; they produced a lot of interference on our television set. A small amount of power as I discovered would travel for a few metres. Adding a length of wire crudely wrapped around the spark transmitter increased the signal by many times. Motor bike spark plugs produced a similar effect together with some types of early motor cars; suppression techniques and the use of fibre optic cable to propagate television signals have eliminated this type of interference.

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  2. #2


    Heinrich Rudolf Hertz in 1888

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2016


    Nikola Tesla

    Joe KA9UCN

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Oulu, Finland


    Who was the first person to be employed as a radio operator? That, to me at least, would mark the division between professional and amateur radio. Before then, it was all scientific research

  5. #5


    isn't the point that the actual pioneers were amateurs, and it was only once perfected that it was taken onboard as a business proposition, that the public got to experience it, with of course all the military connections.

  6. #6


    True, and once all the hard, costly work had been done by those pioneering amateurs, the authorities stepped in to regulate radio use (sensible) and charge for licences (predictable!).
    Current radios: VHF/UHF: 2 x Baofeng 2/70 Handhelds. VHF: Kenwood TR9130 2m multimode. HF: Kenwood TS930S-AT
    Home antennas planned: G5RV / G7FEK / end fed wire. 1/2 wave vertical for 10m. 6 element beam for 2m. Vertical collinear for 2/70
    Website for the 'day job':

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Elgin, Illinois


    Over here on this side of the pond we had Donald C. Wallace W6AM (SK) who became a hams ham. This interview was done in 1984, 33 years ago towards the end of Don's life but he was sharp as a tack being an Amateur Radio Operator. This was so interesting just to listen to Don talk about his experiences throughout his life and with being connected to Radio transmitters & receivers. I don't think there's a ham that wouldn't have loved to operate his station with all of the Rhombic antennas perched high on a hill in Los Angeles, California. Don once owned 129 acres of land and had almost as many Rhombic antennas.


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