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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/463

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How to Become a Wireless Operator

I. — Why Wireless is Interesting By T. M. Lewis

��NOBODY knows just how many amateur wireless operators and experimenters there are in the United States; the total number has been estimated as somewhere between twenty thousand and fifty thousand. Nearly ten thousand licenses for amateur stations have been issued by the De- partment of Commerce. Each one of these licenses is for an amateur station which contains both a transmitter and a receiver. No license is required for stations equipped for receiving only, and it is believed that there are many more of these than of the sending stations.

Why have so many American boys and young men taken up this subject? What is there about it that interests them, and induces them to spend their time and money in buying, building and using wireless instruments? The answer to these questions is simply that wireless or radio telegraphy represents one of the latest developments of electrical science, and that it offers both amusement and profit to whoever cares to work upon its problems.

Whether you wish merely to make a pastime of wireless experi- menting or desire to study radio tel- egraphy with the intention of mak- ing some part of it your profession, you will find time spent on it well worth your efforts. In the first instance you will be able to receive messages through the ether from stations many miles away, getting press reports of important news items, and the results of races and ball games and so forth, before they are published in local papers. In the second case, you will be

��BATTERIES

���Fig. 1. A Complete Wireless Set Which Is Capable of Sending Messages

��able to train yourself as a radio operator or installation engineer, or possifily you will make new inventions or discoveries of commercial value. Either way you will constantly be learning more and more about electricity and its applica- tions, as well as getting a better knowl- edge of many important physical prin- ciples which may be used in almost any kind of work.

In addition to all this, there lies before you the fascination of sitting at your receiving instruments and listening to wireless messages from stations located all about you. Soon after you begin it is possible to hear from distances of several hundred miles, and after you have gained a thorough knowledge of your instruments and their possibilities it becomes feasible to listen to the tre- mendously powerful transmitters even so far away as Germany and the Hawaiian Islands.

Elementary Principles

This article is the first of a series which will describe a number of really practical and use- ful instruments for use in radio teleg- raphy, both for sending and for re- ceiving. The ways to make and use these various pieces of apparatus will be discussed in de- tail, but it is not proposed to go into the theory of wire- less telegraphy at

��all. By going to your library you will be able to find books and periodicals which describe the principles of ether- waves and their uses in wireless; some of the books you will wish to bu>' and have in your own workshop for ready reference. Among the most interesting

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