How to Set Up An Amateur Radio Receiving Station, Dr. Lee DeForest, 1920, pages 2-7:
Lee deForest IF you haven't a hobby--get one. Ride it. Your interest and zest in life will triple. You will find common ground with others--a joy in getting together, in exchange of ideas--which only hobbyists can know.
    Wireless is of all hobbies the most interesting. It offers the widest limits, the keenest fascination, either for intense competition with others, near and far, or for quiet study and pure enjoyment in the still night hours as you welcome friendly visitors from the whole wide world.
LEE  DE  FOREST.      

The  Fascination  of  Radio  Telegraphy
NINETEEN years ago when Guglielmo Marconi first succeeded in transmitting wireless signals across the Atlantic Ocean, the Science, which has since become known as Radio Telegraphy, received its initial start toward popularity in this country. From then to now the interest in the subject has grown tremendously and today the sending and receiving of all kinds of messages by wireless is as common as sending and receiving messages through the mails.

    The air is literally full of wireless messages at all times. Big and powerful commercial, Government, news-bureau and other stations are constantly transmitting the news of the world by Radio; are reporting the latest events in Europe, South America, far off Japan and Australia, as well as the news of national and local importance in our own country. Ships at sea; slow lumbering freighters, swift trans-atlantic liners, grim powerful battleships; are all sending ashore news of what is happening at sea. Is a vessel in distress? The wireless tells the world. Who does not remember the part played by wireless in the Titanic disaster? What stopped the Carpathian in mid-ocean and sent her racing against time and to save life? Many large boats publish daily newspapers on board while crossing the ocean. Where do they get the news? By wireless from shore.

    Land stations are sending messages constantly. Messages that can be picked up by anyone long before they reach the general public through the newspapers. Has a terrific fire destroyed half a distant city? Is a terrible storm on the way? Who won the world's series game? News of these events and many others is transmitted by wireless and is an open book to the young man who can pick the messages out of the air.

    Everyone knows the part played by wireless in the war. On land and sea, and in the air, wireless helped win the war. Before the war there were hundreds of Radio Amateurs operating stations of their own for pastime and instruction. Many of them joined the Radio Service and the knowledge acquired through their Amateur work enabled them to make good in the emergency.

    At the present time, since the Government has removed all war restrictions on the use of wireless by Amateurs, there are thousands more who are already "listening in" on Radio news, or preparing their apparatus and getting ready for the biggest wave of popularity that Radio Telegraphy has ever experienced.

    The membership of "The Experimenters Unlimited," as Radio enthusiasts call themselves, runs from boys of twelve and fourteen to men even past middle age. Grammar, High School, and College boys are represented, while men from every profession and trade find Radio Telegraphy a highly instructive, intensely interesting and useful pastime or hobby, as well as one of the most potent features in the development of our modern civilization. And you can't find one of the younger Experimenters who doesn't say he's going to follow Radio Telegraphy as a career.

    There is hardly a sport or pastime more fascinating, more useful, or more practical; and which holds out greater possibilities for future development; than does Radio Telegraphy. The young man or boy who takes it up as a hobby becomes more and more interested; acquires a valuable education along more or less specialized lines; and when he follows the Science with the interest with which nine out of ten of them do, he can in a reasonably short time acquire a knowledge of the subject and an ability to send and receive messages as well as any professional. After all, the only difference between an Amateur operator and a professional is that the professional receives pay--and good pay, too--for doing practically the same as the Amateur does on a smaller scale for pastime, recreation and instruction. code table

    Fathers of Radio Experimenters find much to interest them in the Science. More than one man has remarked that he had gotten closer to his boy through their combined interest in the boy's apparatus. Mothers even, have become "Radio Bugs" and enjoy the pastime as much as anyone else. One man wrote us saying:

    "I don't know the first thing about wireless; I am just ordering these few things for my boys--I hope I have the numbers straight! If every father knew what an interest-holding, instructive and useful thing Radio is for a boy or young man, there would be a mast on every roof. My boys talk Radio all day--and dream it all night, I guess. Their Mother never wonders where they are or what they are up to. She knows that when they are out of school they are in the Radio shack. They certainly get a lot of amusement and good, sound and useful knowledge out of their work. Their Radio Outfit is the best investment I ever made."

    And for the boys themselves there is nothing that rivals Radio work. This work has one great feature that is a big factor in its popularity. Radio work as practiced by the Amateur is exactly the same as Radio work practiced by the professional. They both use much the same instruments, which operate on the same principles, though the Amateur instruments are less complicated, sometimes smaller, and far less expensive. There is nothing imitation, nothing of the "play toy" about Radio work. It is real. How real can be understood from this somewhat brief illustration:

    Imagine a big commercial Radio Station in New York City. A great accident has just happened to a steamship off the coast and the news has just come in. The people in New York want to tell the owners of the ship, who are in Chicago, about the accident. They send the news by wireless. A professional operator transmits the message while another in Chicago receives it. But in Philadelphia there is an Amateur operator who "listens in" and learns the news also. That Amateur does exactly what the Chicago operator does. He doesn't "play" or "make-believe" he is doing it. He does it. That's why Radio work is so fascinating. It's real!

    Some may hesitate about taking up Radio work in the belief that the Radio code is difficult. It isn't! For the average boy or young man to learn the Continental Radio Code (that used in all Radio communication) is simpler and easier than it is for a six-year old youngster to learn the alphabet. It requires study and practice, of course, but it is not difficult and can be mastered in a short time.

    A knowledge of the code has saved lives on many occasions, and boys, men and even women, have found it of valuable help to them to be able to send and receive messages. The alphabet and numerals of the code are given in the accompanying chart. Other information on abbreviations and special signals is given in various inexpensive books on the subject.

    No license is required for a Radio Receiving station, though there are certain limitations imposed by the Federal Government on amateurs who wish to send messages, and those who do send must be licensed. Obtaining the license is a very simple matter and costs nothing.

    To the boy or the young man; in fact, to any man; we say--take up Radio work. It is the coming Science, is moving ahead faster, possibly, than any other, and is sure to develop in a more interesting and valuable way now that the secrets of the marvelous war-produced instruments are being uncovered. Take up Radio work because it offers a means of entertainment second to no other; gives useful instruction that can be made to produce tangible results later on; keeps everyone interested; enables you to get the news of the world by wireless and provides a pastime and hobby that will get the busy man's mind into other channels.

    In order that the uninformed may get a clear idea of what may seem to be a very complicated and difficult subject, we give on the following pages an explanation of the apparatus necessary to receive wireless messages, with additional information covering the simplest, least expensive and most satisfactory way to secure, set up and operate an Amateur Radio Receiving Station.