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1914 __ The American Radio Relay League
Comment : Amateur radio becomes a service in the U.S.A.Birth of Radio Magazine (future CQ Magazine) and growing of the ham com.In the '10s amateurs learnt to work with the Audion waiting that the triode of Lee de Forest be widely distributed and accessible to amateurs. Now hams could build receivers able to discrimine signals to distances up to 530 km (350 miles) on 200 meters. But soon the Audion became a scarce and expensive device and many amateurs searched fo spares, in vain. Until Hiram Percy Maxim, 1WH, a 44 year old engineer, working with a 1-kW amateur station in Hartford, CT wanted an Audion for his receiver and was unable to find one. Finally, he heard of an amateur in Springfield, MA, who had one for sale but with his station Maxim could not cover the distance of 40 km (25 miles). He had to find an intermediate station that was willing to relay his purchase offer. Maxim thought about this problem and eventually realized that to relay reliable messages on long distance a national organization was needed to coordinate and standardize message relay procedures, as well as to protect the interests of radio amateurs. On April 6, 1914, Maxim with the backing of the Radio Club of Hartford, who appropriated $50 (of 1914 !), and some volunteers, proposed the formation of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Maxim developed an application form explaining the purpose of the ARRL and invited every known station in the country to join the League. Maxim, like Armstrong, was a prolific inventor. Unlike Armstrong however, Maxim was also an orator-born and convinced national magazines such as Popular Mechanics to write favorable reports about his non-profit association. Maxim also traveled to Washington, D.C., to explain the ARRL objectives to the Department of Commerce and the Commissioner of Navigation. His "pioneer blitz" paid off. By September, 1914, there were 237 relay stations appointed, and traffic routes were established from Maine to Minneapolis, and Seattle to Idaho. Realizing that long distances on 200 meters were not possible at that time, even with a regenerative receiver, Maxim ask the Department of Commerce to authorize special operations on 425 meters (706 Kc) for relay stations in remote areas. They granted. Boosted by the publicity, the number of amateur stations as well as the relay stations in the ARRL continued to grow. The ARRL emphased the word "Relay", the equivalent of the modern word "repeater", but less technical. Maxim wanted that ARRL stations handle traffic on the six main truck lines (3 N-S, 3 E-W) that served more than 150 cities. As a pioneer exercise to test the system nationwide, in 1916 a test message was sent to the Governors of every State, and President Wilson in Washington, D.C.. The message was delivered to 34 States and the President within 60 minutes. By 1917, the system was "so refined" that a message sent from New York to California took only 45 minutes. For comparison, in 1921 a reply requested only 6.5 minutes to transmit from coast to coast ! To deal with the increasing number of relay stations, the ARRL started a little magazine, which they called QST, always alive. It constitutes today the first ham magazine read worldwide and is stronger than ever. (Thierry Lombry, “The History of Amateur Radio”)
Urls : http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/qsl-ham-history5.htm (last visited )

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