Short Wave Craft Magazine, March 1934

"Sh-h-h Moscow Calling!"

This whimsical cover from Short Wave Craft magazine of March, 1934 shows an earnest young ham shushing his startled parents so that he can hear the latest broadcast from Radio Moscow.

On his table are just about everything a ham could need—a homebrew receiver, log book, world globe, and soldering iron with assorted components scattered around. The receiver batteries are located in a lower shelf.

Like most issues of Short Wave Craft, this one includes several radio construction projects, from a minimal one-tube receiver (the "19 Twinplex") to an advanced five-tuber.

Speaking of distant locales, a feature article chronicles the use of shortwave radios on Admiral Byrd's second expedition to the Antarctic. The expedition was well supplied, bringing 10 transmitters, 14 receivers, 23 microphones, and two recording machines. Except for one Hammarlund Comet-Pro, all of the radio gear was made by the National company. You can read about other Hammarlund and National radios in our Communications section.

Radio manufacturers were only too happy to donate equipment to high-profile ventures, even going so far as to sponsor—or at least attach their names to—entire expeditions. Elsewhere in this website are mentioned the Gatti Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon in South Africa (Hallicrafters SX-42) and the Clipperton Island DXpedition (Hallicrafters SX-88").

In these days of satellite phones and handheld GPS devices, it's easy to forget how isolated these expeditions must have been. Far from other connections to the world, shortwave radio provided the only communications link during most of the adventure.

Coincidentally, I own a copy of the May 1929 issue of Radio News, which describes the use of shortwave to communicate with Byrd's first Antarctic expedition.

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