Utility Monitoring Central
|I guess I was around ten years old when
Dad took me to visit "Dinger" Bell, well-known radio amateur in Chichester,
UK where I grew up.
Dinger's garage was stacked to the rafters with old radio gear, black crinkle-painted valved behemoths of circa 1945 vintage. We chose one, a National HRO, and filled the car with about twenty of the plug-in coil units that gave the radio coverage from a few hundred kilohertz to 30MHz.
The radio worked first time, the smell of musty dust burning off the valves inside, and we tuned around. I guess that the sunspot cycle must have been at, or near maximum that year, because we heard so much. Even the new 10-meter repeaters in the US were coming in loud and clear with a pretty insubstantial wire antenna. Anyway, I was hooked. But hooked on all the wierd stuff like the numbers stations and the single letter "beacons".
The age of the PC dawned, so did Hoka's Code3, and at last there was something reasonably inexpensive that was capable of making all those noises meaningful -- well, nearly all. I just wished the Internet was around was I was learning this stuff...
Last Modified: 20th December 1999
|Content copyright Mike Chace-Ortiz. No commercial use of these pages and their content allowed unless by prior permission of the author|