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National Company Advertisement
April 1942 QST

April 1942 QST

April 1942 QST Cover - RF CafeTable of Contents

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from QST, published December 1915 - present (visit ARRL for info). All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

NSM Modulator, NAtional Company (radiomuseum.org image) - RF CafeThe National Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was one of the first large distributors of electronics components and appliances. It began life as the National Toy Company. Under the leadership of Mr. James Millen, W1HRX, National quickly became a market leader in designing and marketing high quality radio products for both amateur radio operators and casual listeners of shortwave radios. National Company very often ran full-page advertisements in the American Radio Relay League's QST magazine, that were more in the form of an infomercial than pure product promotion. This one, number 98 in a very long-running series, extolls the virtues of their famous NSM Modulator. The majority of these ads were written my Mr. Millen, but in this case it was done by Calvin Hadlock.

A bit of trivia: National Company was the first paid advertiser in The Radio Amateur's Handbook.

National Company Advertisement

National Company Advertisement, April 1942 QST - RF Cafe(Number ninety-eight of a series)

These days when all sorts of amateur gear are being adapted to serve new defense purposes; we wish to point out that the NSM Modulator has great possibilities as a public address amplifier.

With a microphone and suitable speakers, it serves the same purposes as a megaphone for calling and giving instructions though its range and clarity put it in a class by itself. Its capabilities begin where the megaphone's end. The peculiar fitness of the NSM for this job lies in its automatic volume compression circuit. This circuit was originally designed to permit high modulation levels without danger of overmodulation. With minor changes this same circuit provides a high level signal for loud-speakers without danger of blasting. In our experience, this is a big help. When a microphone is used by a group of people with different speaking habits and with no previous microphone experience, some sort of monitoring is essential. An automatic device will do this job better than a manually operated control because it gives consistent results and is always on the job.

The other features of the NSM also fit the specifications for a good public address amplifier. It has an undistorted output of 30 watts and is entirely self-contained. A four position tone control cuts highs or lows, or both, or leaves intact the normal range of 50 to 10,000 cycles. There are two input circuits, one of which provides ample gain for any of the commonly used microphones.

In adapting the NSM for use with loud-speakers, the principal change is in the volume compression circuit. This circuit is, in effect, a delayed AVC. In a transmitter, the delay voltage is taken from the Class C plate supply, so that any change in plate voltage will automatically cause a corresponding adjustment in the modulation level. For use with speakers, where there is no Class C plate supply, the delay voltage can be obtained from the regular plate supply of the NSM through a suitable resistance network. The actual change is very simple, and we will send specific instructions on request.

It is, of course, also necessary to provide an impedance match. The NSM is designed for a load of 1500 Ohms. In many cases, a series parallel arrangement of the speakers can be used to obtain this value. A matching transformer can also be used of course, but if the speakers are located some distance from the transformer do not use too low an impedance (such as voice coils in parallel), for the high current at low voltage will waste a lot of power because of the voltage drop in the leads.

Calvin Hadlock


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National Radio Company logo - RF CafeNational Radio Company

The National Company for Amateur Radio, also known as the National Radio Company, was a major player in the development and manufacture of amateur radio equipment during the early to mid-20th century. The company was founded in 1914 in Malden, Massachusetts, USA, by James Millen, a skilled radio technician and inventor.

The National Company initially focused on manufacturing high-quality radio receivers and transmitters for the burgeoning amateur radio market. Millen was a skilled engineer and his products quickly gained a reputation for being well-designed and reliable. The company expanded rapidly, and by the 1920s, it had become one of the leading manufacturers of amateur radio equipment in the United States.

During World War II, the National Company shifted its focus to military production, manufacturing critical communications equipment for the US Army and Navy. After the war, the company resumed production of amateur radio equipment, but faced increasing competition from new entrants into the market.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the National Company continued to innovate, producing some of the most advanced amateur radio equipment of the time. However, by the 1970s, the market for amateur radio equipment had shifted, with more hobbyists interested in lower-cost, imported equipment.

In 1976, the National Company was sold to the Panasonic Corporation and the brand name was eventually phased out. However, many of the designs and innovations developed by the National Company continue to be used in modern amateur radio equipment, and the company's legacy remains an important part of the history of amateur radio.

 

 

Posted March 8, 2023
(updated from original post on 5/11/2017)

Here are all the National Company advertisements I have:

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