The Radio Amateurs Hand Book

A. Frederick Collins
Radio Amateur's Hand Book,

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Title: The Radio Amateur's Hand Book
Author: A. Frederick Collins
Release Date: November, 2004 [EBook #6934] [This file was first
posted on February 13, 2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Alan Millar and the Online Distributed Proofreading

[Transcriber's Note: The illustrations have been included with another
version of this work. The image files have been named in a
straightforward manner that corresponds to the numbering in the text;
thus, Illustration 7 is included as file "fig007.png", while Illustration (A)
22 is included as file "fig022a.png".]

[Illustration: A. Frederick Collins, Inventor of the Wireless Telephone,
1899. Awarded Gold Medal for same, Alaska Yukon Pacific
Exposition, 1909.]


A Complete, Authentic and Informative Work on Wireless Telegraphy
and Telephony
Inventor of the Wireless Telephone 1899; Historian of Wireless
1901-1910; Author of "Wireless Telegraphy" 1905


Before delving into the mysteries of receiving and sending messages
without wires, a word as to the history of the art and its present day
applications may be of service. While popular interest in the subject has
gone forward by leaps and bounds within the last two or three years, it
has been a matter of scientific experiment for more than a quarter of a
The wireless telegraph was invented by William Marconi, at Bologna,
Italy, in 1896, and in his first experiments he sent dot and dash signals
to a distance of 200 or 300 feet. The wireless telephone was invented
by the author of this book at Narberth, Penn., in 1899, and in his first
experiments the human voice was transmitted to a distance of three
The first vital experiments that led up to the invention of the wireless
telegraph were made by Heinrich Hertz, of Germany, in 1888 when he
showed that the spark of an induction coil set up electric oscillations in
an open circuit, and that the energy of these waves was, in turn, sent out

in the form of electric waves. He also showed how they could be
received at a distance by means of a ring detector, which he called a
resonator In 1890, Edward Branly, of France, showed that metal filings
in a tube cohered when electric waves acted on them, and this device he
termed a _radio conductor_; this was improved upon by Sir Oliver
Lodge, who called it a coherer. In 1895, Alexander Popoff, of Russia,
constructed a receiving set for the study of atmospheric electricity, and
this arrangement was the earliest on record of the use of a detector
connected with an aerial and the earth.
Marconi was the first to connect an aerial to one side of a spark gap and
a ground to the other side of it. He used an induction coil to energize
the spark gap, and a telegraph key in the primary circuit to break up the
current into signals. Adding a Morse register, which printed the dot and
dash messages on a tape, to the Popoff receptor he produced the first
system for sending and receiving wireless telegraph messages.
[Illustration: Collins' Wireless Telephone Exhibited at the Madison
Square Garden, October 1908.]
After Marconi had shown the world how to telegraph without
connecting wires it would seem, on first thought, to be an easy matter
to telephone without wires, but not so, for the electric spark sets up
damped and periodic oscillations and these cannot be used for
transmitting speech. Instead, the oscillations must be of constant
amplitude and continuous. That a direct current arc light transforms a
part of its energy into electric oscillations was shown by Firth and
Rogers, of England,
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