Category: History

Radio ham who revolutionized the video game industry

IGN Entertainment have published an article about the African-American radio amateur Jerry Lawson WA6LVN (SK) who revolutionized the video game industry. His enthusiasm for amateur radio started when his parents bought him a ham radio receiver kit. “I built it and it worked,” he recalled. “I think the greatest joy I ever had in my life […]

Taiwan in Time: The only ‘ham’ in Taiwan for 25 years

Until 1985, Taiwan’s amateur (ham) radio scene consisted of one person: Tim Chen (陳實忻), who held the country’s only license due to Martial Law era restrictions. According to a Liberty Times (the sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) report, this resulted in the unusual situation where Taiwan Garrison Command had to establish a set of […]

via HACKADAY: EF50: the Tube that Changed Everything

From today’s perspective, vacuum tubes are pretty low tech. But for a while they were the pinnacle of high tech, and heavy research followed the promise shown by early vacuum tubes in transmission and computing. Indeed, as time progressed, tubes became very sophisticated and difficult to manufacture. After all, they were as ubiquitous as ICs are […]

via HACKADAY: The 1859 Carrington Event

Like many Victorian gentlemen of means, Richard Carrington did not need to sully himself with labor; instead, he turned his energies to the study of natural philosophy. It was the field of astronomy to which Carrington would apply himself, but unlike other gentlemen of similar inclination, he began his studies not as the sun set, […]

via HACKADAY: Hacking When It Counts: Setting Sail in a Submarine

By the early 20th century, naval warfare was undergoing drastic technological changes. Ships were getting better and faster engines and were being outfitted with wireless communications, while naval aviation was coming into its own. The most dramatic changes were taking place below the surface of the ocean, though, as brave men stuffed themselves into steel […]

via HACKADAY: The 555 and How It Got That Way

There’s a certain minimum set of stuff the typical Hackaday reader is likely to have within arm’s reach any time he or she is in the shop. Soldering station? Probably. Oscilloscope? Maybe. Multimeter? Quite likely. But there’s one thing so basic, something without which countless numbers of projects would be much more difficult to complete, […]

via the ARRL: Remembering the Launch of Sputnik 1 — Earth’s First Artificial Satellite

October 4 marked the 61st anniversary of the launch by the Soviet Union of Sputnik 1, Earth’s first artificial satellite. The Soviets heralded the launch as a national triumph, and the space race between the USSR and the US began. Sputnik 1 was a 58-centimeter diameter, polished aluminum sphere sprouting four antennas and transmitting a 1 W […]

Hello Australia: 100 years ago, the first direct wireless message

“Send reinforcements, we are going to advance”. That through being “altered in transit” was relayed as “Send three and four pence, we are going to a dance”. Same principle as the parlour game Chinese Whispers. World War One? Apocryphal? Possibly. But it was a very real problem as sensitive military messages were transmitted from sub-station […]

Greg Dean, Radio Software Innovator, Dies at 72

Gregory Dean, founder of a company that pioneered in the areas of radio traffic and billing and automation, died Sept. 11 in Overland Park, Kan., at age 72, the Kansas City Star reports. “Greg Dean was a true pioneer, inventing many of the tools that radio stations have taken for granted for decades,” UncompressedMusic.com CEO and Scott Studios […]

via HACKADAY: The Pre-CRT Oscilloscope

Oscilloscopes are especially magical because they translate the abstract world of electronics into something you can visualize. These days, a scope is likely to use an LCD or another kind of flat electronic display, but the gold standard for many years was the ubiquitous CRT (cathode ray tube). Historically, though, CRTs were not very common […]

via HACKADAY: Op Amps Before Transistors: A 600V Vacuum Tube Monster

Op amps. Often the first thing that many learn about when beginning the journey into analog electronics, they’re used in countless ways in an overwhelmingly large array of circuits. When we think about op amps, images of DIPs and SOICs spring to mind, with an incredibly tiny price tag to boot. We take their abundance […]