NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1912 __ First telegraph stations in Belgian Congo
Comment : Back to 1900, Léopold II, the King of Belgian, believed in the success of the "télégraphie sans fil" (TSF), the wireless, and to its major role for his new colony, the Congo, in Equatorial Africa. Marconi was invited at the Royal Palace of Laeken to discuss the possibilities to test the first wireless communications between Banana located in Belgian Congo, and Ambrisette in Portuguese Congo. Results failed and they gave up the idea in 1904. This is only on Mars 15, 1912 that the Ministry of Colonies decided to use the current telegraphic stations localed in Congo or to set up new ones at Banana, Boma, Coquilhatville, Lisala, Stanleyville, Lowa, Kindu, Kongolo, Kikondja, Elisabethville, and Lusambo. In 1913 the belgian Robert Goldschmidt founded the International Wireless Commission (CITSF) which mission was to develop the research on waves propagation. On King Albert I's initiative, a high power "TSF" station was built at Laeken, Brussels, in Belgium to maintain a permanent radio contact with nationals in Congo. A similar station was set up in Congo, at Leopoldville. A communication network was established between 1913 and August 1914. The belgian station used an antenna farm constituted of 8 towers of 80 and 125 m high ! To power such monsters, engineers built a special engine developing 300 horsepowers that drove a 1 kHz alternator, a huge spark system (éclateur) generating the required excitation. At a few hours from the German invasion, King Albert I ordered its destruction. This was achieved by the belgian Civil engineering while German went at fiercely on the garbages, probably by frustration. Several spark systems were however hidden in a church. (Thierry Lombry, “The History of Amateur Radio”)
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