Category Archives: History

Radio Ham heard Titanic’s call for Help

from South Wales Argus via by Martin Wade — “ARTIE Moore was born in 1887, Victoria was still on the throne and he lived in a 17th century water mill. But his fascination for the very modern technology of ahamtitanicwireless communication meant that on the night of April 15 1912 when a disaster happened which would be known across the world, it would change his life forever.

As a child, Artie had an accident at the mill badly injuring his leg, which had to be amputated. Perhaps spurred by this setback he developed a fascination for engineering, which saw him make a device so he could still pedal his bicycle while wearing a wooden leg.

The water mill at Gelli Groes was the perfect workshop for the youngster. He used a lathe driven by the water-wheel to build a working model steam engine. Having entered a competition in The Model Engineer magazine, his prize was a book called ‘Modern Views of Magnetism and Electricity’. It was to be the spark which would ignite his interest in radio. ...

Artie used his engineering skills to store electricity in his batteries using a generator hooked up to the water wheel. He would also charge batteries for local businesses and farmers, who must have come and gazed in wonder at the sparks generated by his radio transmitter.
Continue reading...

Morse Telegraph Key History

The Morse key has undergone considerable development since the first Morse telegraph messages were sent. Watch this fascinating video…    Send article as PDF   

Coolest Vintage Radio Ever

california_kilowattby Matt Novak — “If you were a radio nerd in the 1940s, this was your dream set. Built by Kluge Electronics in Los Angeles, the “California Kilowatt” could not only send and receive messages, but it came with all the bells and whistles — including built-in speakers and an illuminated map of the world, all housed in a sleek fold-down desk.

The term California Kilowatt was slang in the ham radio community for a transmitter with a power input that exceeded the legal limit. The slightly misleading part? This radio only transmitted at the legal limit. I guess even the coolest radio ever can’t have it all.

From the ad in the March 1946 issue of Radio-Craft:

Kluge Electronics, Inc., is the first to conceive, design and produce this remarkable contribution to modern radio. Among the special Kluge features designed into the CALIFORNIA KILOWATT are:

A California Kilowatt transmitter with an amazing new tube development — 5 band operation with variable frequency control in each band — phone or CW at the throw of a switch — 110 or 220 volt operation;

Provisions for your choice make of receiver;

Built-in speaker — (high-fidelity remote speaker also available); Continue reading...

My First Ham Receiver

“This Allied Radio Knight Span Master Regenerative Receiver was sold in kit form and assembled in the 1950"s. They are a bit of a trick to tune as you have to adjust the Regeneration control almost to the point that feedback occurs to listen to an AM broadcast or just past that point for Morse code and SSB." ... This was my first ham receiver, bought in 1963 mail order from Allied Radio in Chicago. All I could afford at the time. I built it from kit myself and it WORKED! When my novice call came from the FCC (May 25, 1963) I jumped on the air with this receiver and my Knightkit T60 transmitter (I also built it from kit). Everyone told me it was impossible to make contacts with a regenerative receiver. I made plenty. Still got the logs to prove it. 😉

SpanMstr[1]    Send article as PDF   

Early YL operators, 1917!


1917pre1[1]“Preparedness”  Includes  Woman  Wireless  Operators

During World War I, young ladies learn how to operate wireless sets and send Morse code.

Amateur radio is not just for us guys!

(Popular Science Monthly, June, 1917, page 814)    Send article as PDF   

MARS Station, AB8AAR, Vietnam, 1969

AB8AAR    Send article as PDF   

My 51-year-old Morse Code Key

20140821_094057[1]Operating Morse code 51 years ago … Last week I found my first telegraph key. Remember buying it at Freck Radio Supply in Asheville for $3.95. It still works great. The key is shown here on my WN4NUO novice class log book with the page for 8-20-63 showing. I soon upgraded and got the call WA4NUO, which I kept to last May. then stepped up to my present 1x2 call, W5VE.

Some people say CW (Morse code) is obsolete but it still gets messages through when all other modes fail.    Send article as PDF   

Knight-Kit T-60 Transmitter

In 1963, my first ham radio transmitter. Still in high school, I worked and scrounged enough to buy this baby. It came in kit-form and took me a week or so to build... and it WORKED. So when my first license from the FCC arrived, WN4NUO, I was ready! Made a lot of contacts. Great rig.

1962-410-411[1][1]    Send article as PDF   

ARRL at 100: A Century of Ham Radio

A 30-minute video. Enjoy!    Send article as PDF   

Happy 100th ARRL!

Centennial_Banner_Art[1]“In 2014, join ARRL in celebrating 100 years of “Advancing the Art and Science of Radio." Founded in 1914, ARRL is the national association for Amateur Radio in the USA. Today, with more than 160,000 members, ARRL is the largest organization of radio amateurs in the world." ... For events celebrating this milestone, see:

W5VE is a proud member of the ARRL.    Send article as PDF   

Radio Amateur News, 1920    Send article as PDF   

Happy Hamming Anniversary!


My first amateur radio license!

I’ve been continuously licensed as a “ham” radio operator for 51 years as of May 22, 2014. Kept this license (Novice, WN4NUO) for only a few months, then upgraded to Conditional to get voice privileges (call became  WA4NUO). In 1970, took and passed the Advanced class license. Finally decided to go for Amateur Extra (the highest class) this year and changed call to W5VE. Have made thousands of contacts in more than a hundred countries over the years. Also held the callsign DL4RR while in the army in Germany in the late 60s and was in command of AB8AAR (MARS) in Vietnam 1969-70.    Send article as PDF