Static from the Stars
Because a radio ham heard strange sky noises, we may get better FM and television—and learn more about our universe.
By Herbert Yahraes
Drawings by Ray Pioch WHEN young Grote Reber was a high school sophomore, he operated 9GFZ in Wheaton, Ill., and tacked so many recognition—QSL—cards to his bedroom walls that the plaster cracked and his parents cracked down. When not communicating with El Paso, Arequipa, Capetown, Prague, and other points, he designed equipment to communicate with them even better. Nobody who knew him then will be surprised to learn that he is still in radio—listening not to the chatter of hams, but to mysterious and bothersome radio waves that come from the heart of the Milky Way.
This, of course, is the radio waves bouncing off of the ionosphere. I think they’ve known this for quite a while though. Does anyone know when it was figured out?
“Skip Distance” a Radio Mystery
TO MANY uninitiated to the mystery of radio the phenomenon known as ‘”skip distance” is most puzzling. The layman might reasonably assume that the closer one is to a broadcast station the stronger the signals received. That is largely true with ordinary longwave stations but with a shortwave transmitter the situation changes. For instance a short-wave transmitter in New York operating on less power than is ordinarily used by long-wave stations may be picked up in Australia but not be picked up at all by receivers less than 500 miles from the transmitter.
Set Building Simplified by Standardized Hookup Board
THIS new hookup board will gladden the heart of many a newcomer into radio because of the ease with which it allows the novice to hook up his receiver. It eliminates all wiring from part to part and practically any type of circuit can be employed. Consequently the following of blueprints and diagrams can be avoided and the various items assembled by merely plugging them in the proper sockets in the board.
Interesting Novelties at London Radio Exhibition
ROBOT PLAYS PHONOGRAPH
Sir Robot, looking like one of Coeur de Lion’s knights, is merely placing a record on the portable before him.
No one these days would ever believe anything this silly, would they?
Radio Cleared of Slander
THE rush of radio waves through the ether has not made Paris hotter or colder, dryer or rainier than in the years before the invention of wireless, Joseph Sanson, French engineer and meteorologist, has concluded as a result of a study of weather records for the past two centuries. The same sort of irregularities were present in past years as have been evident in the decade since the wide use of wireless.
German Electronics Moves Ahead
City of Hanover now boasts its first wireless telephone system. Left, the antenna which handles u.h.f. signals from the 80-watt transmitter. Above, a motorist uses the transmitter-receiver installed in her car. Push buttons on dashboard select channels for voice messages.
Radio Makers Find New Uses for Sets
No longer is radio confined to furnishing parlor entertainment. Manufacturers have found numerous new uses for radio sets which promise to make them an even more important part of our everyday life.
RADIO, which most of us are accustomed to think of as a means of parlor entertainment, is rapidly being applied in novel ways as manufacturers seek for new methods of using sets.
Two-way Pocket Radio
made during the war by Tele-Radio, Ltd., for British secret service work will soon be on the market. -It has a range of one mile with the power-pack shown, but manufacturers say its power can easily be increased. The firm will offer manufacturing rights to interested parties in the United States and Canada. Below, the set is compared in size with a cigarette case.
“Tele-Talkies” in Color Latest Feat in Radio
Radio’s latest surprise, talking pictures in color, will soon be available to every home. Artists are now to literally stage performances in your living room.
A VERY pretty girl in a fancy dress of many colors sat before a transmitter in a certain section of the Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York City the other Jay. Just a few steps away, in an adjacent room, a group of famous scientists and journalists, evincing the utmost curiosity, concentrated their attention upon a television receiving apparatus.