How We Went From Tapping Code to Radio Shows

Tom Azlin, N4ZPT n4zpt at
Tue Jan 29 16:34:04 CST 2008

Hi Karl,

What kind of receiver did the young United Fruit Company operator use to 
listen the the 1906 Fessenden broadcast? Would they have had a coherer 
detector since that was the common detector? Doesn't a coherer require a 
vibrator to decoherer so that the circuit can be broken.   Wouldn't a 
standard ship board receiver thus be incapable of receiving AM audio 
signals?   why would one of those ship board stations have had the type 
of receiver that that could demodulate Fessenden's signal?  Is there any 
evidence that the United Fruit Company standard Spark station had a Hot 
wire barretter detector?

73, Tom n4zpt

Karl W4KRL wrote:
> Famous Engineers > How We Went From Tapping Code to Radio Shows
> It’s Christmas Eve, 1906. A Morse code operator on a United Fruit ship in
> the Atlantic Ocean moves closer to his receiver. Instead of the usual,
> primitive taps of Morse code, he hears a man speaking over the receiver,
> followed by music. And so began the world’s first long distance radio
> transmission.
> The man’s voice heard up and down the Eastern seaboard that night was
> Professor Reginald Fessenden. But, that historic night was made possible by
> an alternator developed by a young engineer who had recently emigrated to
> the U.S. from Sweden.

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