Radio Technology

The world of the 'Flying Cloud', our world, and worlds that might have been.

Radio Technology

Postby Pastor_Mac » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:02 pm

I'm also an amateur radio operator (AA8MG) and just bought an HF rig but now trying to figure out how to manage an antenna in an apt. But I digress. Can we safely say CW had replaced spark gap technology by the mid-20s? I understand there was quite what amounted to a flame war between the spark gap proponents and the CW people. Would anyone know what kind of radio technology would be used in the FC world? Frequencies? Below 80 M? Below even what is now the AM band? Would there be AM phone by now? Who were the manufacturers back then? Collins?
Pastor Mac
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Re: Radio Technology

Postby Mutabilis » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:03 pm

Spark gap transmitters were pretty much dead in our world at the end of WW1, it just took a while, due to post war conditions, to replace them with Alexanderson alternators and Poulson arc resonators. Both were invented before the war, but development was interrupted by it.

In the Flying Cloud Universe, I would expect the change to be finished by 1920. Valve transmitters would follow shortly after that.

While it never been explicitly stated in the story, to go by remarks made by characters, public broadcasts seem to be well established. So it's just a question of what technology commercial receivers are based on, audion or heterodyne. Broadcast frequencies I would expect in the lower mediumwave band (600-1200kHz).
Amateur bands tended to be put into the higher (shortwave) frequency ranges, then thought to have neither commercial nor military application.
Arthur Collins was one of the people who proved that to be wrong. At the tender age of 16, he established and maintained reliable communication with his friend John Reinartz, who was the radio operator on the 1925 MacMillan Arctic Expedition. It's a coin toss if the same expedition went off at the same time, and with the same crew.
But it's a fair guess that the Collins Radio Corporation is still in the Flying Cloud's future.

As for your antenna, I'd use a magnetic loop.
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