Sunday, November 25, 2007

Our Father, Who Art In Radio

The local newspaper, where I moonlight, had a full page dedicated to Fr. Josef Murgas, a local priest-inventor who, back a hundred years, was very instrumental in the development of what was then called “wireless.” So involved, that a case can be made that he was one of the primary inventors of radio, more so than Marconi (who had the tendency to come over and visit then, returning home, “discovering” something Murgas had found here first).

The page’s major writer ran a bit short, so my editor called me and asked for a piece to fill the extra space. Naturally, I was happy to do it and, equally naturally, forgot all about it. A few days later, another call with a very short deadline; this time, I came through with the help of my gun-to-the-head fast writing skills.

The guy found that having wires in the ground, equal to the antenna above ground, would make the radio signal go a much greater distance than with none of this “counterpoise.” One side of the circuit going to a visible antenna, with the other side grounded to the transmitter case.

AM, FM and TV antennas work on this principle (whether sending or receiving), as do cell phones, two-way radios, Dish-TV and anything else that sends a signal through the air.

All this came from his lab about a mile up the street where I am writing this. He could have become one of the richest people in the country if he concentrated on patenting his inventions, but he was too good a parish priest, so he gave all the information away.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or he was a purist who did to do?

November 26, 2007 2:57 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

Huh? Could you try that again? I didn't understand it the first time. Thanks.

November 26, 2007 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I had put in an answer before-what happened to it? It's been a long day-
purist- from purism "strict observance or insistence on precise usage or an application of formal often pedantic rules'- I guess I meant- "Art for Arts sake, or in this case Science for science sake- forgive mis-spellings- or grammer- bad day.

November 26, 2007 6:44 PM  

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