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Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23

from Philip A. Neidlinger, PE, KA4KOE on April 16, 2019
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Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Kennelly-Heaviside Combo Special!
Presented for Your Kind Consideration by
Philip A. Neidlinger, PE, KA4KOE

Arthur Kennelly
Honorary ZZ Top Band Member
Entered Mortal Coil: 17 December 1861
Assumed Room Temperature: 18 June 1939

/

Oliver Heaviside
AKA “Wolverine”
Entered Mortal Coil: 18 May 1850
Assumed Room Temperature: 3 February 1925

Well, my fellow amateur radio operators, friends, and vicious enemies, I’m back out of hiding. The seething outrage following my Dead Electrical Dudes 20 and 21 Yagi-Uda Combo Special exploded in fine 1883 Krakatoa style. The backlash drove me into fearful seclusion. I cannot verify rumors that a reward was issued by THE POWERS THAT BE for my lifeless carcass. Anyway, I survived. For reference, here is a print of the catastrophic Krakatoa eruption...


KA4KOE: BEHOLD YOUR DOOM!!!

Does the average radio enthusiast realize that the theories of Messrs. Kennelly and Heaviside established a foundation for worldwide HF (and below) communications today? My first guess would be “no”. We concern ourselves with solar fluxes, A- and K-Indices, sunspot numbers, solar wind velocities, and geomagnetic storms as they pertain to talking, via the ham radio bands, with Cousin Bubba-Joe, who is located a few states over and deep down in the heart of inbred land. Finally, let’s not forget how much time your significant other will graciously allocate for radio “play time” before disciplinary rolling pin deployment; no need to even turn the sucker on if the bands are deader that the aforementioned Dudes…’er…anyway, I digress.

A lot of head scratching was going on after the first successful radio tests by Marconi and others. The signals were often received beyond “line of sight” even considering knife-edge diffraction and atmospheric effects. The ranges observed were far in excess of the calculations. So, what other unexplained mechanism was at work?

As is often the case in the scientific community, different researchers postulate explanations for observed natural phenomena at approximately the same time. Messrs. Kennelly and Heaviside were indeed figuratively scratching their heads more or less simultaneously over the radio signal range question. The scientific community at large was loathe to consider a reflective layer in the lower reaches of the so-called “ether” because the concept seemed to violate the laws of physics pertaining to the speed of light. Without getting into a whole mess of equations that I am incapable of understanding, much less explaining, the reflection hypothesis required that the waves exceed the speed of light while inside the layer versus the hard vacuum of dark, cold, inhospitable, alien-infested space. The issue was solved when it was later discovered that electromagnetic radiation had a “phase velocity” and a “group velocity”. Again, don’t ask me to explain this concept. Now, let’s get back to our Dudes…

In 1902, Mr. Heaviside, who bears a striking resemblance to Marvel Comics’ “Wolverine”, was a self-made electrical engineer, physicist, ginger, and mathematician. He theorized that an ionized layer of gas existed high above the Earth that served to reflect radio waves back to the ground. In that same year, Kennelly also predicted that a layer existed. Something was indeed afoot as Marconi successfully received signals transmitted from England while at Newfoundland. The theoretical zone of ionized atoms above the Earth was subsequently referred to as the Kennelly-Heaviside Layer. The glory, unfortunately, would ultimately go to British scientist Edward V. Appleton, who experimentally proved the layer’s existence in 1923. In 1947, Appleton received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work. The rarefied area is now known as the E-Region. Additional layers were added as one wasn’t good enough as the kiddies started playing around with stuff above MF. For illustrative porpoises, note the following admittedly poor sketch below. I could have searched the internet for a suitable copyrighted image but got lazy and here is the regrettable result:


Kennelly-Heaviside Layer

What else did our pair accomplish in their lives other than make educated musings about invisible layers above Terra Firma? Both were heavily involved in the scientific communities of late Victorian Era society.

Wolverine attended a school for girls run by his mother in his early years. A bout of Scarlet fever had left him partially deaf. The young, red-headed Oliver dropped out of school at age 16 but continued studying on his own. Fortunately for Heaviside, his uncle, Charles Wheatstone (a bridge is named after him) sponsored the eclectic lad’s studies in the German and Danish languages as well as mathematics, electricity, and telegraphy. Later, as an employed telegrapher, Heaviside became familiar with the problem of transmitting messages over long distances as the information would be distorted and weakened by the various reactances present in the hard-wired circuits. Wolverine analyzed the problem mathematically and devised a working solution, thereby making possible long distance telegraphy and telephony. Mr. Heaviside also advanced the concept of electrical reactance and made significant contributions in the area of advanced mathematical analysis. Unfortunately, due to his difficult early childhood and other factors, the scientist gradually lost his marbles, became a recluse and used boulders for furniture in his home. Yes….boulders. Now on to Mr. Kennelly.

Kennelly enjoyed a storied career and participated in the current wars between Edison and Westinghouse, vis-à-vis DC vs. AC. While on Edison’s team, the boys dreamed up public demonstrations of AC’s supposed greater danger by electrocuting dogs, thereby convincing officials that it should be used in that nifty new tool of the penal system; the electric chair. Kennelly also published papers on the use of complex numbers, impedance, and alternating current theory. The canine torturer later served on the professorial staffs at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Both Dudes contributed more to their fields of study than is described herein. The curious and learned reader is encouraged to perform further independent reading. Until next time, my friends, I remain

Respectfully Yours,

Philip A. Neidlinger, PE, KA4KOE
Richmond Hill, Georgia USA

Member Comments:
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Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by AK4YH on April 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Enlightening, thank you! Now what's the link to your Yagi-Uda article?

Gil.
 
Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by ON4AA on April 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Oliver Heaviside reformulated Maxwell's field equations in terms of electric and magnetic forces and energy flux, and independently co-formulated vector analysis. Like many fellow scientist he did not believe in the existence of the electron as a particle. He considered it to be a pure field wave phenomenon.
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KJ4DGE on April 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Tortured dogs huh? And the other one used boulders for lawn furniture? Not exactly glowing resumes if they existed in modern times but them again "We delivered the bomb!" As Quint said in the movie "Jaws". I guess we all have a streak or weirdness in us even as inventors. The early 20th century was a VERY weird time. Tesla was talking to Mars I think around then :)
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KA4KOE on April 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
As requested, my good fellow, here is the link for the inflammatory Yagi-Uda Combo Special:

https://www.eham.net/articles/37909

For the other essays, search "dead electrical" in the index of articles, and the remainder will show up for your high blood pressure enjoyment.

Flippit
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by NI0C on April 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
So, exactly where is that bridge named after Wheatstone? :)
 
Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by W3UEC on April 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!

As with all of the "Dead Electrical Dudes" articles, this one is informative, technically rigorous and very enjoyable. Please inform me as to the meaning of "ginger" as used in the sentence, "In 1902, Mr. Heaviside, who bears a striking resemblance to Marvel Comics’ “Wolverine”, was a self-made electrical engineer, physicist, ginger, and mathematician."

TNX es VY 73 de W3UEC (Steve Dubin)
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KA4KOE on April 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"Ginger" in this context is a red-headed person. I have a ginger wife, K4SMN, and two ginger children. This is why my grip on reality/sanity is tenuous at best.

TU for the kind comments.

Fleep
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by AA4PB on April 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"So, exactly where is that bridge named after Wheatstone? :) "

Unfortunately, the Wheatstone bridge has been captured by the resistance :-)
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by N9AOP on April 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Back in the late '60's I was able to sit in an actual electric chair. Fortunately the juice was off. As far as I know no one that used it ever complained about it. Probably due to the guys that 'invented' the electricity.
Art
 
Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by N8AUC on April 17, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Feleep,

As usual you did not disappoint!
Humorous, historically pretty accurate, and irreverant as usual. Loved it!

It's good to take what you do seriously, but more important not to take yourself too seriously.
Failure to observe that leads to uncomfortable living
room furniture made from boulders, as well as other
maladies.

So glad you did not succomb to the Krakatoa effect! And the drawing was simply priceless.

73 de N8AUC
Eric
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by SWMAN on April 17, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Just curious, why hasn't anyone here ever talked about Tesla, he was one of the greatest Electrical Dudes.
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KA4KOE on April 17, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I talked about Tesla a long time ago. You've got to search the articles database. Essentially, I'm at the point where I have to look hard to find suitable, interesting corpses of note.

Here is the Tesla link.....

https://www.eham.net/articles/6962

Fleep
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KA4KOE on April 17, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Master Dead Database (M2D)

1. Maxwell: http://www.eham.net/articles/6711
2. Tesla: http://www.eham.net/articles/6962
3. Armstrong: http://www.eham.net/articles/6974
4. Marconi: http://www.eham.net/articles/6976
5. Ohm: http://www.eham.net/articles/7075
6. Volta: http://www.eham.net/articles/7252
7. Hertz: http://www.eham.net/articles/7398
8. Morse: http://www.eham.net/articles/7527
9. DeForest: http://www.eham.net/articles/7896
10. Fessenden: http://www.eham.net/articles/7980
11. Henry: http://www.eham.net/articles/8277
12. Ampere: http://www.eham.net/articles/8857
13. Faraday: http://www.eham.net/articles/8858
14. Fleming: http://www.eham.net/articles/8873
15. Steinmetz: http://www.eham.net/articles/9517
16. Popov: http://www.eham.net/articles/9605
17. Oersted: http://www.eham.net/articles/10603
18. Coulomb: http://www.eham.net/articles/10693
19. Termen: http://www.eham.net/articles/12216
20-21. Yagi-Uda Combo: https://www.eham.net/articles/37909
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by SWMAN on April 17, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
KOE, I must have missed that one, Thanks for the good info. Jim W5JJG
 
Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by AA7LX on April 19, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Extremely Cleaver ! I've read a few of your previous articles-- but, I was taken aback regarding this topic! I could not stop reading-- I had to read the whole Article !! Electrons are friends !!
 
Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by W6MQI on April 19, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
KA4KOE I went to your QRZ page and viewed the video of your father please thank your father for his service in your thoughts I too have a rich family military history from WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and a cousin KIA in Afghanistan.

73,Dave
W6MQI
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KA4KOE on April 19, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Dave, I cannot unfortunately, as Pop passed in 2010. Thank you, however, for your kind words. I work for his old Division as an engineer/civilian.

Fleep
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KW4JX on April 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
For 'Dude' read 'Diode'
 
Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by AA4MB on April 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
KA4KOE,

Once again, you risk drawing the ire of your betters for besmirching the memory and character of your latest identified 'Dead Electrical Dudes.' I was ready to light you up and go into keyboard commando mode until I saw the pictures. Yes, visual evidence that you are spot on with regard to your observations of resemblance to living persons, both fictional and non-fictional. I am both cowed and awed by the pictures - and can only wonder if Heaviside had that whole finger knife thing going on. Enquiring minds want to know ...

- Matt, AA4MB
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KA4KOE on April 24, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Matt

I am of the opinion that the hand-drawn figure made the whole pile a steaming mess of regret.

Thank you sir.

Fleep
 
Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by W1EAT on April 26, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Heavyside also developed a rote method of calculating electrical transients and other things. It was called Heavyside's Operational Calculus and was still taught and used even after WWII. It had no theoretical basis but was accepted because it appeared to work. As it turned out, it was a method of doing differential equations.
 
Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KK8ZZ on April 29, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Another fabulous glimpse into our amazing electronical past. You have indeed just about depleted the "ambient temperature gang" but let's not hurry along without the current greats in our field. Thought of General Curtis LeMay, without whom today's voice contacts would still be wide spectrum, but would not sound like ducks with laryngitis. What say? This ol' rough-and-tumble cigar-chompin' pioneer of world-wide SAC bomber SSB comms was one heck of a guy (and largely financed the growth of Collins Radio in the mean time as well). de KK8ZZ
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KA4KOE on April 29, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
There are few left. I have plenty of time. Our lives change as our children grow up and we grow older. I think the last two articles (including this one) are among my best.
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by K9MHZ on May 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Re: Tesla

If anybody lives or is visiting the Bay Area, head to the Fry’s In Fremont. Each of their stores is themed (ours in Indy has a retro Indy 500 theme), and Fremont’s has a statue of Tesla, along with a Jacob’s Ladder that fires off every 10 minutes or so. But the really impressive thing is the large gazebo in the middle of the store, lined to make it a Faraday cage with a very large functioning Tesla coil inside. Entertaining and very, very cool.
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KA4KOE on May 13, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Do you folks want more of these?? I can keep looking for bodies.

Fleep
 
RE: Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KB8UUZ on May 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
YES - Please keep searching out for additional story lines - these are GREAT !!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by KC3JV on June 2, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
How about doing one on Robert Dome. He was a Ham W2WAM in Schenectady NY and worked for GE. He invented Compatible Color TV and a SSB Phasing Method and Numerous articles in QST and IRE Journal. I stoke with him a few times and he had an unbelievable memory for articles he and others wrote.

Mark
KC3JV
 
Dead Electrical Dudes 22 and 23 Reply
by WA3UAY on June 2, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Not exactly dead yet, but maybe a new category; “Might Oughta be Dead”, working up to modern times would the the reviled (I meant revered) Algor, famous inventor of the Internet. Just saying.
 
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