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Radio Act of 1912: 100 Years of Amateur Radio Licensing

100 Years of Amateur Radio Licensing, August 2012 - RF CafeThe Radio Act of 1912, signed into law on August 13 of that year, was the first federal law regulating the transmission of RF signals. Licensing and operational requirements for private (amateur), commercial, and military radio stations were set forth. In response to the sinking of the Titanic in April, the Act also stipulated rules for mandatory mutual monitoring of emergency signals from ships at sea. Prior to the Act, military communications was being jeopardized by uncontrolled high power transmissions (private and commercial) stepping all over critical transmissions. Amateurs were assigned a portion of the spectrum specifically chosen to discourage their activity. Rather than being discouraged, they developed technology to exploit the characteristics of the wavelengths. Khrystyne Keane (K1SFA) wrote a good article about it in the August 2012 QST - "100 Years of Amateur Radio Licensing." The ARRL restricts access to article to members only, but fortunately permission was given to the IEEE for public posting.




Posted August 2012
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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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