June 1954 Radio-Electronics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Electronics,
published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
One of the great benefits
of buying and reading these vintage electronics (and other types) magazines
is running across information you have read or heard about from a historical
perspective, but was late-breaking contemporary news at the time of publication.
Although I cannot cite a specific instance off the top of my head, there have
been times when the original sources told a very different story than the one
often heard in second-, third-, or fourth-hand versions far removed from the
actual event. It is like a Xerox copy of a document that has been through many
iterations of copies of copies of copies. This 1954 issue of Radio-Electronics
magazine reports on a petition submitted to the FCC by none other than Senator
Joseph McCarthy, seeking to require all radio stations, including those of amateur
operators, to record their broadcasts for future review. His concern was the
potential for information compromising national security being transmitted.
McCarthy has been accused of - and mocked for - seeing a
Communist behind every rock... at a time when there actually was a Communist
behind many rocks. Today, the Communists operate in open sight. Another noteworthy
item is the FCC's proposal to create laws governing standards limiting unintentional
radiation. A rapidly growing use of televisions and radio was making more apparent
problems of radio interference generators including motors, automobile ignition
systems, poorly constructed electronics devices, and even industrial RF heating
The Radio Month
McCarthy FCC Petition would
require all radio stations - including amateurs - to record all their programs
and broadcasts. As an outgrowth of his pressing for "free time" legislation,
the Senator stated that according to some intelligence agencies, the hams are
a tremendous potential for passing out improper information for espionage.
Radiation Control proposal made by the FCC covers all devices
which radiate radio-frequency energy as well as those which are specifically
designed to generate radio-frequency energy, whether or not they are intended
to be used for communications purposes.
Incidental radiation devices in which the generation of r.f. energy is unintentional
are specially mentioned in the broad proposal.
The most severe restriction of all would be applied to community TV antenna
systems. They are limited to a radiation of 10 μV per meter at 10 feet. All
existing systems would have until June 30, 1955 to comply. The Federal Communications
Commission stand is predicated on the right of people living near the cables
to protection from cable interference.
Included in the FCC proposal was the requirement that TV and FM receivers
obtain certification that their spurious emissions do not radiate beyond certain
limits, depending upon their frequency. The requirement would be effective as
soon as the FCC made the proposal final. The Commission said that it hopes certification
would be done by the manufacturers. RETMA has suggested establishing an industry
laboratory to do the work.
Two sets of field intensity limitations are involved: one to be effective
immediately to frequency modulation and television receivers, and the other,
to all receivers manufactured after January 30, 1956.
The Federal Communications Commission warned that still stricter limits may
later have to be set because of new developments in the rapidly expanding electronics
C-Band Radar has been found to be a very useful device for
safer and smoother navigation of thunderstorm and precipitation areas. In a
lengthy series of tests with C-band (5.5-cm) airborne weather radar by United
Air Lines, C-band radar showed itself capable of terrain mapping; penetrating
15 miles or more of heavy rain; avoiding collisions with terrain; using a 22-inch
antenna for obtaining good definition, justifying the installation of radar
in aircraft which cannot accommodate a larger antenna. It was, however, of little
use in the avoidance of other planes.
Posted March 8, 2021