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Author Topic: Technical Advances That Have Killed Amateur Radio by Making It Too Easy  (Read 2816 times)
AA6YQ
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« on: January 14, 2019, 11:15:54 AM »

1. Amplitude Modulation (AM): 1900

2. Semi-automatic CW Keys (Bugs): 1902

3. Vacuum Tubes: 1906

4. Single Sideband (SSB): 1915

5. Radio Teletype (RTTY): 1922

6. Repeaters: 1935

7. Electronic CW Keyers: 1945

8. Transistors: 1948

9. Electronic digital programmable computers: 1948

10. Antenna Rotators: 1950

11. Integrated Circuits: 1958

12. Digital Signal Processing: 1960

13. Microprocessors: 1971

14. the Internet: 1972

15. CW Decoding Software: 1975

16. Packet Radio: 1980

17. DX Clusters: 1989

18. Pactor: 1991

19. PSK: 1998

20: FT8: 2017
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#1 DXCC Honor Roll, DXCC Challenge 3000
NI0C
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Posts: 3201




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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 02:46:02 PM »

I guess we could quibble about a couple of the dates given.  1915 seems awfully early for Single Sideband.  It's introduction to ham radio was still very much underway when I was first licensed in 1959. I believe Central Electronics introduced some of the first SSB transmitters in the mid 1950's. 

Likewise, 1960 seems early for digital signal processing.  The Fast Fourier Transform  became generally known from the Cooley-Tukey paper of 1965, and digital filtering theory was still much under development in the early 1970's.  Mostly, though we were waiting for hardware developments such as fast multiply-add chips before much of DSP theory could be implemented in ways that would impact ham radio. These developments came along years later. DSP augmented transceivers didn't come along until around 1990 (e.g., Kenwood TS-850S with DSP-100, ICOM IC-756 pro II, etc).
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KC0W
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Posts: 707




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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 04:39:10 PM »

1. Amplitude Modulation (AM)
2. Semi-automatic CW Keys (Bugs)
3. Vacuum Tubes
4. Single Sideband (SSB)
5. Radio Teletype (RTTY)
6. Repeaters
7. Electronic CW Keyers
8. Transistors
9. Electronic digital programmable computers
10. Antenna Rotators
11. Integrated Circuits
12. Digital Signal Processing
13. Microprocessors
14. the Internet
15. CW Decoding Software
16. Packet Radio
17. DX Clusters
18. Pactor
19. PSK
20: FT8

  I use exactly 50% of the list. (I'm being generous regarding SSB) What does this mean at the end of the day?.............Probably nothing.

                                                                  Tom KC0W  
 
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WW7KE
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 06:19:48 PM »

3a.  Regenerative receivers:  1912
3b.  Superheterodyne receivers:  1918

5a.  Single-signal IF filters:  1932
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He speaks fluent PSK31, in FT8...  One QSO with him earns you 5BDXCC...  His Wouff Hong has two Wouffs... Hiram Percy Maxim called HIM "The Old Man..."  He is... The Most Interesting Ham In The World!
AA6YQ
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 06:58:52 PM »

I guess we could quibble about a couple of the dates given.  1915 seems awfully early for Single Sideband.  It's introduction to ham radio was still very much underway when I was first licensed in 1959. I believe Central Electronics introduced some of the first SSB transmitters in the mid 1950's. 

Likewise, 1960 seems early for digital signal processing.  The Fast Fourier Transform  became generally known from the Cooley-Tukey paper of 1965, and digital filtering theory was still much under development in the early 1970's.  Mostly, though we were waiting for hardware developments such as fast multiply-add chips before much of DSP theory could be implemented in ways that would impact ham radio. These developments came along years later. DSP augmented transceivers didn't come along until around 1990 (e.g., Kenwood TS-850S with DSP-100, ICOM IC-756 pro II, etc).

Here's the 1915 SSB patent, Chuck: Method and means for signaling with high-frequency waves.

DSP was developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s: The Roots of DSP. Steve KA9MVA, a practicing EE, just posted on Facebook that he recently implemented a DSP filter based on a paper written in 1959.

Both of these technologies took decades before being broadly incorporated into amateur equipment. Other technological advances -- like microprocessors -- were much more rapidly adopted.
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 07:03:20 PM »

The point of my post is that too many ops react to new technologies by ominously predicting that they will ruin amateur radio. This has been going on for a century, yet every one of these predictions has been wrong.

We are expected to advance the state of the art in radio communications. This is one of the reasons why governments around the world give us access to electromagnetic spectrum.

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NK7Z
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 07:11:21 PM »

Most folks that become Amateur Operators, are curious about how things work.  That is innate in their personalities...  That is why they became Amateur Operators in the first place...  Sure some just want to play radio, and that is great, for them, but if you look at Dave's list, it is not what killed ham radio-- it is what built ham radio, those are achievements, not steps towards oblivion...
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Thanks,
Dave
Amateur Radio: RFI help, Reviews, Setup information, and more...
https://www.nk7z.net
KS2G
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Posts: 1025




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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 07:42:08 PM »

Technical Advances That Have Killed Amateur Radio by Making It Too Easy

You forgot the very first one.... CW!

 Wink
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NI0C
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Posts: 3201




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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 07:58:40 PM »

I guess we could quibble about a couple of the dates given.  1915 seems awfully early for Single Sideband.  It's introduction to ham radio was still very much underway when I was first licensed in 1959. I believe Central Electronics introduced some of the first SSB transmitters in the mid 1950's. 

Likewise, 1960 seems early for digital signal processing.  The Fast Fourier Transform  became generally known from the Cooley-Tukey paper of 1965, and digital filtering theory was still much under development in the early 1970's.  Mostly, though we were waiting for hardware developments such as fast multiply-add chips before much of DSP theory could be implemented in ways that would impact ham radio. These developments came along years later. DSP augmented transceivers didn't come along until around 1990 (e.g., Kenwood TS-850S with DSP-100, ICOM IC-756 pro II, etc).

Here's the 1915 SSB patent, Chuck: Method and means for signaling with high-frequency waves.

DSP was developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s: The Roots of DSP. Steve KA9MVA, a practicing EE, just posted on Facebook that he recently implemented a DSP filter based on a paper written in 1959.

Both of these technologies took decades before being broadly incorporated into amateur equipment. Other technological advances -- like microprocessors -- were much more rapidly adopted.
It was a long time between the concept of the wheel and its application in the horseless carriage. 

During the late 1970's I designed digital filters for analysis of aircraft vibration and acoustic measurements.  These were for implementation on mainframe and mini-computers available at the time.  The A/D converter used was a rack mounted unit.  Thirty years later, I purchased an Elecraft K3 that has IIR and FIR DSP filters, plus DSP NR, AGC, and APF functions in a small package that draws less than 2A at 14V.

But, I'll stop quibbling, and acknowledge that your chart seems consistent in providing dates of initial concepts rather than application to amateur radio communications. 

73 de Chuck  NI0C
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N5INP
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Posts: 2265




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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2019, 08:14:29 PM »

Good list.

May I suggest the inclusion of non-home made equipment (i.e. commercially-made out-of-the-box transceivers)?
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OZ8AGB
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2019, 01:14:41 AM »

N5INP:

Was thinking the same thing. That should be #1 on the list.
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N1AUP
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Posts: 241




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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 11:18:55 AM »

Technical Advances That Have Killed Amateur Radio by Making It Too Easy

You forgot the very first one.... CW!

 Wink

Dag nabbit!

Things were just fine when spark gap transmitters were the rage.  Then those tube things came, and ruined the hobby.

Young whipper snappers always making changes.

I guess it's time to take my Geritol, and watch Lawrence Welk.

:-)



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ON5MF
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2019, 11:59:42 AM »

And where's network radio in the list?
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Mostly (low power) digi contesting using OQ6A, sometimes dxing using ON5MF
www.on5mf.be
N9LCD
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2019, 05:08:34 PM »

What about AC power supplies for HV B+ & filaments?

Until well into the 20's they used zinc-carbon cells for B+ and lead-acid batteries for the filament supply.

And as we all know, zinc-carbon cells aren't rechargeable!
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N0YXB
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Posts: 1529




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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2019, 09:06:55 AM »

Most folks that become Amateur Operators, are curious about how things work.  That is innate in their personalities...  That is why they became Amateur Operators in the first place...  Sure some just want to play radio, and that is great, for them, but if you look at Dave's list, it is not what killed ham radio-- it is what built ham radio, those are achievements, not steps towards oblivion...

Indeed!  +1.


The point of my post is that too many ops react to new technologies by ominously predicting that they will ruin amateur radio. This has been going on for a century, yet every one of these predictions has been wrong.

So true. The sky is not falling.
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