Tag Archive for RadioHistory

The Russian Woodpecker & the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

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When I got my Novice ticket in 1978, the Russian Woodpecker was at its peak. Developed to detect ICBM launches, the over-the-horizon radars known as Duga-1, Duga-2 and Duga-3  caused an incredible amount of QRM on the 20- and 40-meter ham bands. Even Radio Moscow was not immune. The system became operational in 1976 amid…

Why ham radio endures in a world of tweets

It’s always nice when our hobby gets favorable publicity among the non-ham population. From David Rowan at WIRED: Somehow it makes little sense that amateur “ham” radio continues to thrive in the age of Twitter, Facebook and iPhones. Yet the century-old communications technology — which demands such commitment that you must generally pass an exam…

From 1935: How to count DXCC entities

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Kosovo, Scarborough Reef, Kingman Reef, Mount Athos and other entities and “maybe-entities” keep DX interesting. It’s almost impossible to discuss them without the topic of the conversation meandering to questions on how decisions are made to determine what constitutes an entity. (And speaking of entities, I seem to recall that as late as the 1970′s,…

Video documentary: The role of British hams during both world wars

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From the East Anglican Film Archive: “Illustrated with archival film and photographs, as well as interviews with those involved, the documentary traces the evolution of civilian involvement in radio-based intelligence during both world wars. Wireless espionage was to play an even more important role during World War II, with the Secret Intelligence Service setting up…

Old radios and good-lookin’ women

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In January 2013, I posted something to the effect that one of my goals for the year was to find some way to combine my two hobbies – ham radio and photography. The year came and went without that resolution being realized. The problem was inspiration - or rather a lack of it. Inspiration has now arrived in…