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Kirt Blattenberger (KB3UON)

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The Radio Month
March 1954 Radio-Electronics

March 1954 Radio-Electronics

March 1954 Radio-Electronics Cover - RF Cafe[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.

This 1954 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine reported on the death of electronics communications pioneer Major Edwin H. Armstrong. Most famously known for his wideband FM (frequency modulation) scheme, Maj. Armstrong also developed the superheterodyne circuit, the superregenerative circuit, and was an independent inventor of regeneration. As with many prodigious, prolific inventors throughout the ages, he spent much time and fortune battling legal claims against himself and against others. Interestingly, the news item does not mention that Major Armstrong, who was famous for his daring antics at the tops of extremely high antennas, died after jumping out of his New York City apartment window. It was ruled a suicide based on a note he left for his wife. Also included is a bit about a judge allowing radar data from police as evidence in a speeding charge, and a statistic showing 47,000 people injured themselves in the past year during TV antenna installations.

The Radio Month

The Radio Month, March 1954 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeMajor E. H. Armstrong, inventor of our present system of frequency modulation and other basic radio circuits died on February 1 at the age of 63.

His most widely used and renowned development, the superheterodyne circuit, is almost universally used in both AM, FM, and TV receivers. He was the inventor of the superregenerative circuit, and an independent inventor of regeneration, though the courts - after a 12-year battle-ruled that de Forest had discovered it earlier. Frequency modulation came in 1935.

His most recent development was a system of multiplexing FM broadcasts so that more than one program could be transmitted simultaneously at the same frequency.

His FM station KE2XCC operating on 92.1 mc is known by radio engineers throughout the world. There, Armstrong did much of his FM development, and the station became the prototype of modern FM stations.

Armstrong served in the Army Signal Corps in World War I. In World War II his major contributions were in the field of radar, much of which is still secret.

He also contributed many improvements in radio communications, particularly in short-wave transmission. It was upon his recommendation that the Army adapted FM for mobile radio communication.

During his lifetime Major Armstrong received many honors including the Medal of Honor of the I.R.E. and the Army Medal of Merit, presented to him by President Truman in 1947 with a citation stating that "Maj. Armstrong contributed greatly to the improvement of military communications by his inventions in the field of radio and by his unselfish, patriotic service to the Signal Corps."

At the time of his death, Major Armstrong was professor of electrical engineering at Columbia University, from which he graduated in 1913.

Electronic Translator capable of turning Russian into English has been demonstrated by IBM.

The mechanical part of the device, which is mostly electronic, is the IBM type 701 electronic data processing machine. The Russian sentences that are to be translated are first coded on punch cards similar to those used for Government checks, and then fed into the machine. Seconds later, an automatic typewriter spells out the translation.

The electronic translator has a 250-word vocabulary covering a broad range. It converts these words into its own binary language and then translates them, using its "stored dictionary" and "syntax."

Radar Speed Detection was recently upheld in New York State. Monroe County Judge D. J. O'Mara has upheld an auto speeding conviction based on radar evidence. The appellant, who was convicted last June, argued that there was no proof of the accuracy of the radar detector.

TV Antenna Accidents figured prominently in a recent report by the American Mutual Liability Insurance Co. As a result of the current do-it-yourself rage, the report says, approximately 59,000 TV set owners were injured this past year in the process of installing their antennas.

In addition to the accidents definitely attributed to antenna installation, another 47,000 injuries were classified as "roof accidents." No indication was given as to how many of these injuries may have been due to patching the roof after an antenna had been erected by an amateur do-it-yourself installer.



Posted May 24, 2022

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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

1996 - 2024


Kirt Blattenberger,


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 tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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