An In Depth Explanation Of What An Rf Synthesizer Does And How It Works

An RF synthesizer is a system or device used to synthesize a predetermined frequency within a variety of frequencies. The frequencies could be produced with an oscillator or a fixed timebase. Synthesizers are used in a wide variety of personal communication devices, with mobile phones and CB radios being just two illustrations. Frequency synthesizers can use division and multiplication of frequencies to combine a number of kinds of frequencies.

Televisions once made use of local oscillators for tuning long before the ability to use synthesizers came about. Regretfully, the oscillators had a severe disadvantage because their frequencies would alter somewhat due to temperature fluctuations. A much more stable and accurate way to generate frequencies was needed.

Numerous RF synthesizer techniques have been formulated throughout the past decades. Several of these offered better proficiency than some other synthesizers did. Some methods have used quartz crystals, which turned out to be costly in applications where many frequencies were needed. To illustrate this, each individual frequency needs crystals, and FM radio can make use of as many as 100 separate frequencies. Cable TV supports even more channels or frequencies, and will require a lot more crystals and larger space. Although using quartz is effective, it is easy to see why it is impractical.

Methods of employing synthesizers can include phase locked loops (PLL’s), direct digital synthesis, double mix divide, double mix and triple mix. The technique that is used is dependant upon expense, the degree of difficulty, frequency step durations and other criteria. When a frequency is produced by a single unchanging oscillator, it is referred to as coherent. Coherent devices frequently make use of crystal oscillators, but it is possible to utilize various other methods. Stable oscillators can produce frequencies for incoherent methods. There are a selection of commercial functions that use coherent methods because of both convenience and affordability.

RF synthesizers that are dependant upon phase locked loops are usually utilized by commercial radio receivers. Phase locked loops are a feedback control system. Two input phases let it generate an error signal. This signal may be used to use a voltage-controlled oscillator. This generates an output frequency, which can be sent through a frequency divider and back into the system’s input. A negative feedback loop is created thanks to this. It is a rather self correcting system, because if the output frequency begins to change, the error signal will increase, pulling the frequency back to the appropriate place. The other input develops into the reference input, and the system continues to be in place at that point. A crystal oscillator generally generates the reference frequency for the reason that that the crystal oscillators have a consistent frequency.

Frequency synthesizers enable you to produce any frequency simply by multiplying a predefined amount. These synthesizers have an extremely wide range of uses, and have a place in virtually anyone’s life. Without this technology, we would likely not have today’s mobile phones, GPS devices, radio, television, as well as other items that we deal with daily. These things are such an essential and mandatory part of life that it would be hard to believe the world at large would want to lose the use of these things.

Reox Holdings (dairygold): Small Step To Radio Means A Giant Leap In Bandwidth For Reox

When Reox Holdings went looking for a secondary network to back up its
wide area network. It found more than it bargained for in AirSpeed.Now the bandwidth, resilience and reach of the AirSpeed solution has convinced Reox to make radio its primary network to its core sites.

The diverse nature of the Reox Holdings business puts a greater demand on its IT systems than other, non-diversified enterprises face. The IT department in Reox works with four distinct business divisions: the 4Homes DIY retail business; the Dairygold dairy business; a cold foods division; and a substantial property business. The Group IT division is responsible not only for the Reox data centre at Cork Airport
Business Park, but also for anticipating and meeting the changing needs of the four divisions, each of which has its own IT manager.

“We decided that AirSpeed would become our primary WAN circuit to our sites. The wired network will become our backup.”

Michael Costello, Group IT Service Delivery Manager, Reox Holdings

In 2007 Reox undertook an initiative to strengthen its wide area network, as the momentum within the business was toward the centralisation of more IT infrastructure in the company’s data centre. The WAN serves a number of sites in Cork and Dublin, and the first priority in strengthening it was to provide resilience. The company already had an IP MPLS network from another provider as its primary WAN circuit, and it began investigating its options for a secondary network.

“It became clear, as we looked at the AirSpeed solution, that we were being offered a very high performance network that offered excellent bandwidth capabilities,” explains Michael Costello, Group IT Service Delivery Manager for Reox Holdings. “So we decided that AirSpeed would become our primary WAN circuit to our sites. The wired network will become our backup.” Radio from AirSpeed — the right technology and the right skill set.

The decision to go with AirSpeed was an easy one, Michael notes, because of the total package on offer. Not only did AirSpeed offer coverage and excellent bandwidth to all six sites, but it also offered a fully managed solution using its own Juniper-certified personnel.

“Other companies were either providing only the equipment and leaving us to manage it, or were providing a managed solution using outsourced personnel, which would mean more complexity and more people involved whenever support issues arose,” he said. “Only AirSpeed offered just what we needed, including the in-house management.”

Michael says the dramatic increase in bandwidth AirSpeed offers over its current provider will provide real business benefits. With the current environment, the company has a 10Mbps connection to the MPLS cloud. But with the implementation of AirSpeed, the company will have a 150Mbps WAN link.

“We will be able to start looking at remote-site disaster recovery — our current network just doesn’t have the bandwidth for that,” he says. “We will be open to other business opportunities by allowing
more centralised applications, so from a strategic point of view there are good opportunities.”

High bandwidth, limitless possibilities

The significant increase in bandwidth will be a major boost to Reox, Michael says, and to its plans to create a stronger, future-proofed WAN for all types of potential projects. With the MPLS network
providing resiliency and AirSpeed providing a primary network with a large bandwidth increase, Reox is well positioned to get the maximum benefits from its WAN, with AirSpeed radio leading the way.

“We have found AirSpeed very approachable and obviously very knowledgeable in their field, and we feel they can help us with our business needs going forward,” Michael says. “They are technologically
very good but they also understand from a business perspective what the solution needs to provide us with.”

Michael also notes that he’s pleased and encouraged to see the huge strides radio technology has made in just a few years.

“I’ve had quite a bit of input into wireless technology over the last few years, and I’ve seen it improve vastly,” he says. “We’re comfortable not just in using wireless technology, but in making it our primary WAN infrastructure. Areas like functionality, security and cost were all taken on board during the assessment process, and we are confident the solution is going to be a huge benefit to the organisation moving forward.”

HD Radio Technology – The Hottest New Thing in Sound Explained

The hottest new thing in sound is called HD Radio technology. And what it does for radio is the same thing that HDTV does for TV – it makes it light years better! In fact, when you listen to HD AM radio, you’ll think you’re listening to FM. And when you listen to FM, you’ll think you’re listening to a CD.

What makes this possible?

HD Radio technology works much like traditional analog transmissions (AM and FM are both analog signals).

The difference is that the station broadcasting HD Radio technology transmits an extra digital radio signal, along with its normal analog signal. It can also broadcast a third signal for text data.

Your radio receiver receives the signal – just as it does an AM or FM signal. If you have a HD Radio receiver, it will decompress and translate the signal and viola! You get bright, clean, near-CD quality sound.

What happens if you don’t have an HD Radio technology receiver? It’s simple. You hear your normal analog radio- AM or FM.

AM radio has smaller sections of bandwidth than FM radio. This means there is not enough “space” to give AM stations the same near-CD quality as FM stations. But there is enough bandwidth that AM stations will be able to broadcast with the same clarity of signal as one of today’s analog FM stations. This performance boost is expected to make AM radio a better alternative to FM than it has been – to give you more listening choices.

Less vulnerable

Digital FM radio is less vulnerable to reception problems. Your HD Radio tuner’s digital processors will eliminate all those annoying pops, hisses, fades and static caused by interference.

What happens if you lose the digital signal for some reason? Really nothing. HD Radio technology defaults back to analog mode in much the same way as conventional radios switch from stereo to mono mode when the signal is weak. Then, when the digital signal again becomes available, your HD Radio automatically switches back. What could be simpler?

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HD Radio Technology – the Next Big Thing in Sound

The next big thing in sound is here and it’s called HD Radio Technology. It’s on its way to doing for radio what HDTV has done for television.

HD radio technology has already taken Great Britain and much of Europe by storm and will soon do the same thing here.

HD Radio technology is great because it makes it possible for FM stations to sound nearly as good as if you were listening to a CD. The sound is just amazing – clean, pure and crystal-clear. It even enables AM stations to sound as good as an FM station today.

Let’s pretend you’re a talk radio fan. Just imagine how much better your experience will be when there’s no distortion, no annoying hiss, crackle, fade or static. It will be just like listening to your favorite AM station broadcast in FM.

And if music is your thing, you’ll love HD Radio technology even more because you’ll be able to hear music on your favorite classic or rock station in the clearest, cleanest, purest form ever available over the airways and free!.

Plus Multicasting or HD2 channels

In fact, this technology even makes it possible for your local stations to broadcast in true 5.1 surround sound. Just imagine that. You turn on your favorite music station and you are immediately surrounded by sound — just as if you were sitting in your favorite concert hall.

HD Radio technology also makes possible a technology called multicasting that allows stations to broadcast two or more different signals simultaneously. So, your favorite oldies stations could also be broadcasting hip-hop or R&B at the same time.

More than 1,000 stations are already broadcasting in HD Radio technology. And HD radios are available for the home and car.

So far, radio stations have not done much publicity on this exciting, new form of broadcasting but you can bet that will be changing in the near future.

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Mobile roadshow showcases IoT solutions

Nokia shows latest innovations to help Ghana meet the demand for network capacity, speed, coverage, and utilise Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities.
Image by 123RF
Image by 123RF
At its Mobile World Congress roadshow (MWC-R) in Accra, Nokia demonstrated to telecom operators how to meet the ever-increasing demand for network capacity, speed and coverage, and improve the customer experience with high-quality and secure networks.

Nokia was showcasing its latest innovations to telecom operators, government departments, enterprises and business partners, to help them build smart cities with Internet of Things (IoT) and critical-communications networks for public safety; while ensuring a world-class mobile broadband customer experience for the subscribers in Ghana.

The demonstrations included key areas like IoT, public safety network, Small Cells, customer experience management, IP backhaul network, transport network and Software Defined Networking.

Ramy Hashem, country senior officer in Ghana, Nokia, said: “Ghana is an important market for Nokia. This is the first innovation roadshow Nokia brings to Ghana for the country’s socio-economic benefits. We see this as an opportunity for the Ghanaian ICT market to benefit from our state-of-the-art technologies and concepts to transform telecom networks to be more dynamic, agile and evolving.

“The series of technology roadshows in Africa are designed according to the different market needs to meet the growing demand for data-intensive applications, and prepare for the next wave of network development including cloud, IoT and ultra-broadband networks. This is foreseen to change the consumer life style for years to come for a wide range of services from education, public safety, e-health, multiple connected devices and more.”

Key demonstrations at MWC-R:

IoT: Rapidly developing IoT technology is opening up multiple new business opportunities for operators and enterprises in a range of sectors areas including public safety, healthcare, connected mobility, smart parking, connected home, water leakage management, smart cities, etc.

Small Cells: Nokia Flexi Zone small cells cost effectively increases network capacity for operators to meet the huge data demand. It is a 3G, LTE, Wi-Fi-capable small cell that ensures a rich user experience while complementing operators’ macro network capacity and coverage.

FastMile: This demonstration shows how Nokia’s FastMile allows operators to use LTE radio technology to deliver high-speed broadband connectivity to the home in hard-to-reach areas, maximising spectrum use in the process.

IP Backhaul: Mobile backhaul solutions gives operators the flexibility, scalability, and operational simplicity to deliver the best customer experience at the lowest possible TCO.

SDN: Nokia Nuage Networks’ Virtualised Services Platform (VSP) provides SDN capabilities for clouds of all sizes – from small private clouds to the largest public clouds. It makes the network as readily consumable as compute resources.

CEM: Nokia CEM tools, built from a deep and thorough knowledge of today’s complex network environment, deliver an exceptional customer experience by automating care, service, network and IT operations with unparalleled data analysis.

Transport: Nokia IP/MPLS and DWDM convergence creates a flexible high-speed transport network, enabled by the introduction of Transport SDN.

WFFSA committed to promote heterogeneous network

Imagine a Wi-Fi hotspot concealed within a ‘smart palm’. That’s exactly what Wi-Fi means in Dubai, where lookalike palm trees provide high-speed connectivity to some 60 concurrent users up to 50 metres away. In the developed world, a tipping point is being reached where over half of consumers use Wi-Fi technologies on a daily basis.
Raj Wanniappa
Raj Wanniappa
Closer to home, many innovative Wi-Fi projects – including those being rolled out in Tshwane and a recent initiative in Braamfontein that includes Wi-Fi benches being installed in that Joburg precinct – show us that this increasingly ubiquitous radio technology is being deployed across South Africa to meet consumer demand.

Most South Africans still equate Wi-Fi with internet and email connectivity provided primarily in hotel lobbies, at conferences and of course at restaurants, which is probably the first place the vast majority of us first experienced a Wi-Fi connection. This perception of Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly outdated as organisations such as the Wi-Fi Forum of South Africa (WFFSA) work to promote the adoption by business owners and others of the technology that will lead the way in mobile access.

Industry associations

In addition, the WFFSA has engaged with leading ICT industry associations including the FTTH Council, Wireless Access Providers’ Association (WAPA) and the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) in order to help WFFSA achieve its mandate of constructive cooperation with established ICT players in pursuit of open access principles.

We will continue to deepen our engagement with the industry in order to effectively promote the concept of the heterogeneous network that is open to all and closed to none. ‘Hetnets’, as the WFFSA defines them, consist of 3G and 4G mobile networks, small cell networks and Wi-Fi networks all interlaced to deliver a seamless connectivity experience that is also pervasive. Operators restricting access to their networks is simply counter-productive.

So what else can be done to promote the use of Wi-Fi as a viable, affordable and reliable open access technology?

As a start, South Africa needs our telecommunications regulator, ICASA, to provide the proper policy framework so that this country can reach the five million Wi-Fi hotspot target referred to by our chairperson, Andile Ngcaba. At present, the WFFSA estimates that there are some 12,000 public and private hotspots in South Africa. With less than impressive statistics like this, we cannot hope to reach a situation where Wi-Fi is so ubiquitous that it is installed in street lights, such as in Copenhagen.

WFFSA committed to promote heterogeneous network
©rawpixel via 123RF

Achievement of goals

When you reach this level of hotspot penetration, Wi-Fi goes well beyond mere internet connectivity and begins contributing to the achievement of government and society’s goals in the spheres of health, education, entrepreneurship, job creation and crime prevention.

It is interesting that there is currently no agreement regarding how a hotspot is defined. Manufacturers might define the latter in terms of similar equipment rolled out within a particular area while operators and service providers might be interested only in location.

On the potential reasons for South Africa having less than its reasonable share of the globe’s almost 300 million Wi-Fi hotspots, the country’s 3G mobile data coverage must surely be right up there. However, while consumers downloading data via 3G might be a historically acceptable scenario, consumer data needs in 2015 are such that it just does not make sense any longer for downloads to be taking place over expensive 3G and 4G cellular networks.

Fortunately, I think there is a growing acceptance amongst mobile operators of the concept of the ‘hetnet’. Let us continue the kind of frank discussions amongst all local stakeholders that will result in this open access ideal.

Tambo no-fly zone

The failure of control-tower equipment at OR Tambo International Airport left dozens of planes grounded and thousands of passengers frustrated yesterday. The problems slowed international and local arrivals and departures at Africa’s busiest airport to a snail’s pace. Airline companies warned that there would be a huge knock-on effect on flights leaving and arriving in Johannesburg.
falco via
falco via pixabay
The radio technology problems arose as South Africa’s leading civil aviation safety and security experts met in Johannesburg for a safety and security conference yesterday. The meeting – during which it was revealed that aviation crashes and deaths had decreased – follows two deadly aircraft crashes in Limpopo and North West this week. The second occurred yesterday when a helicopter crashed, allegedly after losing power. Two people were critically injured.

A technical malfunction

The spokesman for Air Traffic and Navigation Services, Percy Morokane, confirmed the failure of radio equipment at OR Tambo. He said a technical malfunction had interrupted communication between air traffic controllers and crew on planes at the airport and in the surrounding airspace. “The malfunction occurred on Monday night. Within 25 minutes the situation was recovered. All operations returned to normal.”

But, Morokane said, during a review of the malfunction yesterday it had became evident that further steps were required to prevent risks. “To maintain the normally high safety standards, air traffic rates to and from the airport and the airspace were temporarily limited while the technical risks were mitigated. Unfortunately, the result of these safety interventions were the delays that were experienced. We are normalising and restoring the situation.”

He declined to reveal the exact nature of the problem or the “risk mitigations”. “We have implemented contingency procedures. At no stage have flights been in danger.”

The cause of the failure was under investigation, Morokane said. Arthur Bradshaw, an air-traffic management system adviser and former head air-traffic controller, said the failure was of concern. “Radio failures have been around for some time, which is why you have a main and standby system, along with an independent battery backup system. That’s three systems that are meant to kick in if one or the other fails. “But if all these systems have failed, a very good explanation needs to be given to the public, who have a right to know what happened and what the problems are,” Bradshaw said.

Multiple and long delays

Passenger Toby Shapshak, whose flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg was delayed by nearly two hours, said passengers had been told the delay was caused by industrial action. “Shortly after we boarded the plane the pilot informed us that due to industrial action by air traffic control staff at OR Tambo International Airport our flight would be delayed. We were unable to disembark as the crew didn’t know how long we would be stuck for.

“Kulula sent us an SMS apologising for the delays. We were not the only flight delayed. An aircraft from Angolan Airlines was also delayed, along with several others,” Shapshak said.

Morokane denied that air traffic controllers had embarked on industrial action.

Ian Meaker, the commercial distribution executive manager at, said 34 of its flights had been delayed because of the communication network system outages. There would be a knock-on effect for all flights and all airlines, he said. “This will delay flights to Durban and Cape Town.”

SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali said the delays had affected two of its flights from Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. “Most of our intercontinental flights depart in the evenings. We will consider other options if the impact results in significant delays” he said.

FlySafair said landing restrictions were being experienced at OR Tambo, which was experiencing technical issues with communications equipment. “As a result, the airport has placed a limit on the frequency with which aircraft are able to land.” The company said there had been a two-hour delay of one of its flights from Cape Town.

Maintaining safety aviation standards

At the meeting of civil aviation safety and security experts, the director of the Civil Aviation Authority, Poppy Khoza, said that between April last year and March this year aircraft accidents had decreased by 17% from 144 the year before to 120. There had been no accidents involving commercial aircraft. She said the number of fatal accidents had dropped by 41% from 27 to 16, while the number of fatalities from accidents decreased from 41 to 26. “As much as the statistics are encouraging, we believe there is still room for improvement, particularly in relation to recreational and general aviation activities.”

Linden Birns, managing director of Plane Talking, said though the CAA did a good job in maintaining aviation safety standards in South Africa, the authority faced huge challenges in terms of resources. “The number of aircraft registered in South Africa has more than trebled over the past 20 years, with the number of licensed pilots growing five-fold, a large number of these being recreational pilots.”

Xm Satellite Radio Replacing Free Radio?

Remember the days when we thought paying for our TV service was ridiculous? “Cable TV!”, our mothers would exclaim, “Who has money to pay for their TV shows? It’s been free all these years; I don’t know why I would start paying for it now.” But that was then and this is now. Today we pay for cable or satellite and consider it a necessity in our lives, not a luxury. Sure, we could stick with “free” TV, but the reception would be bad, we’d only have 4-6 channels to choose from and there would be no CNN, no Food Network, and no ESPN. What would we do with ourselves? So it seems a little reminder of those days when we hear people scoffing at the notion of paying for radio. “I’ve gotten it free all these years,” you hear people exclaim. “Why would I pay for radio?” Although satellite radio services have been around for a few years, its notoriety was spun into high gear when Howard Stern publicly made the jump from “free” radio to a satellite service in early 2006. Now, everyone’s curious and many people are considering paying a bill every month for the privilege of listening to the radio. Just like cable TV, there are many proprietary shows on satellite radio you just won’t hear if you don’t have a subscription. So you have to pony up to the extra bill bar…but what do you get for your extra dough? Lots. Talk shows, music shows, entertainment, sports. Some of the most talked about XM Satellite Radio shows are not music shows but talk shows. There are literally more than a dozen to choose from. Consider Air America Radio (on channel 167), which features chatter from such well-known mouths as those belonging to Al Franken, Jerry Springer and actress Janeane Garofalo. Largely a progressive station, this dial also features veteran radio host Mark Riley and commentator Alan Colmes. For the right slant on things, take a listen to America Right (on channel 166). This program features shows from such luminary conservatives as G. Gordon Liddy, Peter Greenburg, Dr. Laura and Michael Medved. If politics aren’t your bag, how about entertainment or humor? On XM Radio channel 162, you’ll find the E! channel. Yes, this is the same E! we pay for on cable and the format is generally the same. There’s the E! True Hollywood Story, E! news and celebrity profiles. Now you can get all your E! gossip and news while drinking Starbucks on your way to work. My, how the world has changed. If you’re into sports, XM Radio delivers. There’s the Sporting News channel, the Nascar channel, the ESPN channel, and a wide variety of channels dedicated to various sports like baseball, football and even hockey. Though many channels feature talk and sports opinion, one of the big selling points for many sports fans is the live streaming games. In this case, you truly can take it with you. Got kids in the car? Tune into Radio Disney or XM Kids, the winner of several parents’ choice awards. Amid all this talk, there is music on XM Radio. Lots and lots of music. There are alternative music channels, top 40 channels, channels for 60s music, 70s music, 80s music and 90s music. Interested in music from Sweden and Ireland? Check out channel 29, or U-Pop, dedicated to hits from around the world. Needs some romance in your life? Turn your dial to The Heart (XM channel 23), where you can enjoy Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion and the like. Published at:

Radio Tips a Guide For Clear Radio

Radio transmission has been one of the most amazing invention man has made. It transmits the audio signals through carriers using atmosphere as a medium. Electromagnetic waves are used for this purpose. These waves are detected and received by the antenna. Later the radio device reads the signal and converts it back into sounds. Though the entire process looks simple, it has been an incredible thought. The success of the radio transmission lies in the signal detection. The antenna will receive the signal from the FM stations which are in proximity. Thus reception is one of the most important thing in radio functioning. This article will brief you on how to boost FM radio reception. Poor reception results to bad tuning of the station. If you are not tuned into the station properly, then you will receive the signals from various stations. There will be signal distortion and disturbance. This will be unpleasant to hear. Hence it is necessary that you enhance the reception of the receiver. The things required for this is a dipole antenna, a radio antenna which is of outdoor type. The following lines will discuss on the steps to be followed during this process. The first step is to check the cord position. The power cord of the radio has to be stretched completely. Check for clear signal. If not, you can change the stereo condition to mono condition. This will help to improve your signal. The next step is to do with your antenna. The antenna has to stretched and swayed along in different directions to receive better signal. You have to check for the location of the radio. It is placed in a place where the signals can be easily received without any disturbances, for example nearby a window. Dipole antenna is a kind of antenna which is used to enhance your signal clarity. It will be of T shape and small in size. It will be available in any shop which sells electronic products. This antenna is purchased and connected to the radio input. Now this antenna is moved. The signal clarity is checked. Rural areas are not provided with separate tower stations for their areas. The main reason of this the economy and the cost for setting up the station. Hence these places will experience poor reception. In such cases you may make use of the outdoor antenna. The wire is connected to the input of the radio. The antenna is place on the terrace with the help of screws. Take care that the antenna is placed in a direction parallel to that of the terrace ground. If it is placed inclined then signal distortion may be experienced. Thus the article would have given you an idea of how to boost FM radio reception. The process is purely based on adjustment and nothing much of technical work. The standard and the making of the set also will decide the clarity of the reception to a large extent. Thus check before you buy. Published at:

Amateur Radio – The Story Of The American Radio Relay League.

The American Radio Relay League was founded in 1914 and is the USA’s largest membership organization for radio amateurs, with over 154,000. It is a non profit making organisation that provides both technical advice and assistance to amateur enthusiasts as well as supporting a number of educational programs throughout the US. It is also the primary representative organization of amateur radio operators. The ARRL represents its members by lobbying Congress and the FCC and performs a similar role internationally. Local and regional activities of ARRL are carried out through its Field Organization which divides its 15 divisions into 71 separate regions called Sections. One of its most important functions is organizing emergency communications in the event of natural or civil disasters. Each section of ARES, (American Radio Emergency Services) has an appointed Section Emergency Coordinator. ARES also supports training and organizes regular practise exercises and establishes Memorandums of Understanding with relief agencies and government and has provided essential emergency communications a great many times throughout the leagues history. Hiram Percy Maxim of Hartford, Connecticut was a well known business man, inventor and engineer and was an active member of the Radio Club of Hartford, he also had one of the best equipped stations in his area. One night in April 1914 he tried in vain to send a message to another ‘ham’ 30 miles away in Springfield, Massachusetts which was well within his normal range. He then remembered that he had another contact in Windsor Locks which was about half the distance away, he contacted him and asked him to relay the message to Springfield which was done successfully. This set Hiram thinking, most of amateur radio activity in those days consisted of sending and receiving messages but the maximum range of a station was a few hundred miles at most which made Hiram realise that a formally organized relay system could be of tremendous use to the radio ham and the public alike. At the next club meeting he put forward a plan for the organization of an American Radio Relay League, the club agreed to sponsor the development of the organization and ARRL was born. Membership was limited to highly qualified amateurs only and to their surprise by September there were 230 stations on their books. In early 1915 ARRL split from the club and became incorporated under Connecticut law. However finances were very poor, the only income came from message blanks, maps and booklets. But ARRL kept growing and by March they had 600 stations on the roster, and some stations claimed communications of over 1000 miles. It was clear that something was needed to keep in touch with the members and Hiram and Clarence financed the first issue of QST but later issues had to be paid for through subscriptions of $1.00 per year. In 1916 membership was almost 1000 and in February 1917 there came a breakthrough, a message was sent from New York to Los Angeles and an answer received within one hour twenty minutes. Up to this time the ARRL had been run entirely by the two friends but owing to it’s huge success something more formal was called for. A constitution was adopted and directors and officers elected. The President was Hiram Maxim and the Secretary Clarence Taska and membership was opened to anyone interested in radio. No sooner was this done than all amateurs received a letter from the Dept. of Commerce ordering them all off the air and all antenna had to be taken down. The USA had entered WW1. After the armistice in 1919 the amateurs were allowed to put up their antennas again but only for receiving. With the long lapse in activity the ARRL had exactly $33 in the kitty. They implemented a financial plan where they sold bonds to members and managed to raise $7500, bought QST from its owner, Clarence Taska, and in November amateur radio was fully restored. In 1923 a two way contact between Connecticut and France bridged the Atlantic for the first time. In 1925 the International Amateur Radio Union was formed. It’s headquarters are still in Newington. The 1930s were a difficult period as the Great Depression took it’s toll. Hiram Percy Maxim died in 1936. History repeated itself during WWII with amateurs being told once again to leave the air and take down their antennas. Thousands of amateurs served in the conflict and as soon as the war was over the bands began to open again. It has not all been plain sailing since that time but through it all amateur radio has gone from strength to strength. More and more ‘hams’ have joined the ranks and continue to, not only enjoy their hobby but have fun doing it. At times of emergency and disaster there are many unsung heroes among the ARRL’s amateur enthusiasts. Published at: