It Seemed to Them:
Early QST Editorials

1916 January

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In the early issues, there were earnest statements about the need to join the ARRL and subscribe to QST. It was important to set off QST from all other (plentiful) radio experimenter magazines and societies. QST and the League were, for example, not about making money. In the editor's words, watch out for "A New Wireless Association While You Wait."

A New Wireless Association
While You Wait

It seems to be the fashion to announce a new Amateur Wireless Association every few days. It reminds one of the automobile association boom. It was the style a short time ago to get up a new automobile association every time somebody thought of a new thing to sell. It became so acute that the American Automobile Association, the original organization of automobile users of America, were compelled to come to the rescue, and take steps to protect the users of automobiles. The uninformed man who had a car was unable to tell what he should join and what he should avoid. Some of them offered very superior buttons to wear in the coat while others beat this all out by offering a highly colored pennant. Some promised to protect him if he got into trouble for running his car contrary to good taste and the interests of his fellow countrymen. All of them required some cash payment for something or other.

The wireless world is apparently to be invaded in the same manner. Amateurs should consider carefully what these different associations offer. If it is a subscription to some magazine, and he wants the magazine it is all right if he wants to pay the price asked, which is usually much in excess of the straight subscription price. But, do not confuse this with our own Relay League, which is the property of all of us together, not intended in any way as a money making scheme, but entirely for our mutual assistance in telegraphing to each other, whether we are separated by a distance of ten miles or by the entire continent.

Even at the outset of QST publication, at the height of the age of spark, the next technical revolution was on the horizon. DeForest's "Audion" vacuum tube triode was being used by advanced amateurs to extend receiving range to thousands of miles. This issue summarizes a beat oscillator/detector using the Audion (what we now call a direct conversion receiver). A fairly complete construction article is printed in the same issue.

The Oscillating Audion

"Things are happening in the wireless world with a frequency in proportion to their radio origin. The amateur, as usual, is found following closely behind the leaders. This latest development, by which an amateur with an aerial fifty feet high and two hundred feet long is able to hear Nauen and Hanover, Germany, is very pointedly covered in the article in this number of Q S T, which every good relay station owner should read. The audion has come to be very common in our stations all over the country, and this latest use of it will sure to be taken advantage of by the more prominent amateurs at first and then the smaller ones. The only point is to find a way to get the results with inexpensively contrived apparatus. We can depend upon our membership to look out for this. We hope that any one with any good results to point to will send them in for publication, for the assistance of all."

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