Popular Science, January, 1925, pages 77-78:
Will Super-Power Replace Super Receiving Sets?
Three new plans for developing broadcast transmission--What the new year promises you in radio progress
By Jack Binns
America's most popular writer on radio
WHAT is going to happen to radio during 1925?
Nearly every fan has been asking this question; for he wants to know just what kind of a set to buy or build, what kind of broadcasting will be on the air, and what kind of reception he may expect.
During the last three years, radio development has been largely in the realm of reception, along the lines of improving receiving equipment. Now every indication points to a reversal of the order. Instead of more elaborate super-receivers to pick up and magnify weak signals, the trend is toward super-broadcasting with power increased so that distant signals can be brought in by even the simplest receivers.
The development of transmission during the year will be along three well-defined lines, two of which will involve super-power. The third is national broadcasting through the interconnection of broadcasting stations by means of telephone land wires. All three systems will be experimental in character at first, proceeding according to recommendations of the recent Third National Radio Conference in Washington, D. C. Thus, the use of super-power will be subject to immediate cancellation, should the fears of those who say it will tend to create a monopoly of the air materialize.
The three plans of transmission are so vital to every owner of a radio set, that I shall outline here what is contemplated in their development.
Up to Fifty Kilowatts
THE first plan under the super-power scheme involves the erection of high-powered broadcasting stations at points removed from any thickly populated area. Such stations will be connected with studios in the large cities by means of land-line wires. The first station of this character will be erected by the Radio Corporation of America at some point within 60 miles of New York City; not necessarily in New York State. Just what amount of power may be employed has not yet been decided definitely.
Under the regulations laid down by the U. S. Department of Commerce, such a station may employ as high as 50 kilowatts and will operate under an experimental license. This means that the license may be revoked at any moment by the Secretary of Commerce should the operation of the station prove to be a source of interference with other existing forms of radio communication or broadcasting.
The amount of power employed will be governed by the field strength of the signals at the nearest large city. The consensus of opinion expressed by the subcommittee at the conference which determined the basis of the new regulations, in that this field strength should not be greater in the city than is the field strength of the present Class B station, one mile away. While no definite plan has been announced, it is understood that the Radio Corporation will experiment with various degrees of power as soon as the new station is erected.
In connection with the development of the super-power plan along these lines, should the experiment prove successful, the Radio Corporation intends to erect similar stations in other parts of the country, so that a complete national broadcasting system can be developed. Such super stations probably will be arranged so that all can be connected with a single program by means of radio relays.
Many of the independent broadcasters also have announced their intention of experimenting with the super-power idea, and a plan has been formulated to interconnect these and at the same time develop an association for universal programs.
High Power on Short Waves
THE second system of super-power broadcasting involves the use of short waves far below the range of present-day receivers. This is the system that has been developed by the Westinghouse Company at KDKA in Pittsburgh, and KFKX in Hastings, Neb. The success of experiments already made have led to the belief that a considerable portion of the world can be linked to one program by means of this system without interfering in any way with the existing local broadcasting stations.
The latest experiment was in connection with the Firpo-Wills fight when the newspaper la Nacional of Buenos Aires put in a special short-wave receiver and reproduced the short-wave broadcast of the ring battle from KDKA. The short-wave transmissions of the latter station are received in England and rebroadcast in that country.
It is understood that with this system, power as high as 100 kilowatts can be employed, making it possible to cover North and South America, Europe, and the Far East.
Vast Network of Stations
THE third system is the inter-connection of all existing broadcasting stations by means of a network of land-line telephone wires. he success of this system during the last year in broadcasting events of national importance to all corners f the country is similar to every radio fan.
The National Defense Day address of General Pershing, which was heard the length and breadth of the land, and the speech of President Coolidge on the eve of Election Day, when 25 broadcasting stations were joined as one, are striking examples of what may be achieved by a vast national network of broadcasting.