Electrician and Mechanic, May, 1913, pages 289-290:
WIRELESS TIME-RECEIVING STATION SUCCESSFULLY ESTABLISHED BY KANSAS JEWELER
To E. L. McDowell, of Arkansas City, Kans., belongs the distinction of being the first jeweler in this section, if not in the United States, to have successfully established at his place of business a wireless time-receiving station. Those of the trade who attended the conventions of the state associations last summer will recall the interesting address delivered by H. E. Duncan, of the Waltham Watch Company, on the then new and interesting subject of wireless time service. Mr. McDowell, who believes in the educational value of attendance at conventions, was present at the annual meeting of the national association in Kansas City when Mr. Duncan explained the possibilities of this new service. With a mind alert to new ideas in his line, Mr. McDowell listened attentively, and at once considered the feasibility of establishing such a station at his store. He forthwith consulted with one of the wire chiefs at the local Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe relay office in his city, and together they planned the erection of the station.
The aerial poles are 42 ft. high, each composed of three sections of galvanized iron pipe. The bottom section is a length of 2-in. pipe, the middle 1½ in. and the top section 1¼-in. pipe, mounted on insulators. The small pipe is slid inside the larger one 15 in. and drilled, and two bolts are put through them. A five-way piece is used for the guy wires and top and bottom pipe. An ordinary glass insulator is put on the top of the poles.
Each pole is guyed with three heavily-insulated wires, anchored to nearby buildings. A 2-in. pulley was secured near the top of each pole for elevating and lowering the spreaders of the aerial and 80 ft. of in. sash cord was run through each of these pulleys.
The aerial consists of six No. 12 aluminum wires, 70 ft. long, fastened 18 in. apart to bamboo spreaders 9 ft. long. Each wire is insulated from the spreaders by two insulators at each end. The wires are then all connected by a wire across the ends. Mr. McDowell is not certain that it is necessary to have the lead-in wire attached to each of the six aerial wires. Two, he thinks, attached to each outside wire might answer, though he states that he got no results till he connected all six wires by cross wires at both ends as shown on aerial. The lead-in wire is made by dropping a wire from each aerial wire to a point 5 ft. below the spreaders, where they are bunched and connected to a No. 10 weather-proof copper wire, which leads to a 100-ampere lightning switch, which is grounded just outside the store. From the switch the wire is carried through a porcelain tube into the store, to the instruments. These are a Blitzen receiving set, as shown at Kansas City.
The lead-in wire is 85 ft. long, and for ground No. 10 water-proof copper wire 40 ft. long is clamped to a water-pipe under the floor. All connections, including aluminum wires in the aerial, are soldered. The total height of aerial is 70 ft. from the earth and 40 ft. above the roof of the building. The station complete has cost just $125, covering labor and everything.
Mr. McDowell first received the time on November 24, 1912, and has received it in a very satisfactory manner since that date. Quite a little difficulty was experienced at first, owing to interference, as Mr. McDowell informs us that he has telegraph, telephone, electric light and street car wires all running very near the point at which he was compelled to erect his aerial; but after soldering the aerial wires and putting wires across the end, he obtained the desired results. He also had trouble with the ferron detector, which came with the set, and substituted a silicon detector, using a brass point on the sensitive silicon mineral, and met with good success almost at once.
The signals now come in clear and distinct every morning at 11 o'clock and are signed NAH (Brooklyn Navy Yard). He has also heard GO (Chicago), GV (Galveston), Holland, Mich., and many of the steamers on the Gulf of Mexico, and can find at any hour of the day many different stations working, as the Blitzen receiving set gives great selectivity, especially in tuning out all unwanted stations when the time starts. He also caught New Orleans, and thinks he caught Arlington, but is not sure of the latter. It is quite remarkable considering the distance that the Brooklyn Navy Yard signals are clearest of all.
During a recent heavy storm, the sleet and ice so weighed the wires of the aerial that four of the six were broken. It was Mr. McDowell's intention to replace these aluminum wires with No. 14 phosphor-bronze in order to secure greater strength. In the interval, before the arrival of the latter, however, he patched the aluminum wires and the results obtained were better and clearer than ever. He still recommends phosphor-bronze, however, because of its greater strength and because it is easier to solder.
The bamboo spreaders referred to above are the pieces on which rugs are rolled when new, and can be obtained at any carpet store. They should be shellacked and the ends filled with wax. He obtained from the electric company round porcelain insulators of the desired size, one wire passing around and the other through the insulator. The glass insulators placed on the tops of the poles he obtained from the telegraph company.
The satisfactory results obtained by Mr. McDowell have naturally increased his enthusiasm, and he expressed his willingness to give any assistance he can to his brother jewelers who wish to install a similar time service. It should be kept in mind that the novelty, mysterious character, and absolute accuracy of this service create unusual curiosity in the public, and thus the service becomes a powerful advertisement as well as an institution which the entire locality must appreciate. Mr. McDowell says: "The advertising I have had out of the wireless is worth all it has cost to install. With the Seth Thomas tower clock, a Hawana regulator, and a wireless to receive the time by each day, we are authority for time in this locality."
Arlington, the new government observatory, is located near Washington, D.C., and from this very powerful observatory it is expected that time can be distributed to vast distances. It is calculated that wireless waves travel at a speed which would enable them to make nine circuits of the globe in one second and, therefore, the elapsed time between the sending and the receiving is such an infinitesimal amount that it is not worth reckoning. The waves when sent from Washington are 4½ miles in length. Some time ago The South Bend Watch Company installed a wireless station to get the correct time direct from Arlington, South Bend being 543 miles from the distributing station.--The Keystone.