American Wireless Systems

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This article largely reflects the British appreciation of American practice and equipment.


A wavelength of 1,600 feet seems common, without a "note", though Connecticut (callsign DC) had one.

Operators appeared undisciplined, and their signals suffered from joint interference with commercial traffic and very subject to atmospherics.

They had contracted with the National Electric Signalling Company to deliver 1,000 mile communication between ships at 10-12 kilowatts at 4,500 wavelength, but not yet achieved this. Power at present was 5 kW, using aerials much like the British ones. This scheme afforded 250 mile radius, day or night at 425 metres wavelength.

All ships had radios, and a low power 50 mile set was to be given to destroyers. Oddly, plans were to have the wireless office on deck and to strike the equipment below upon entering action with perhaps just a resort to hanging a wire over the side for 10 mile radius communication. There was, however, no separate low power system as in the Royal Navy.

The Navigating Officer, with no special training, was in charge. The radios were not used for maneuvering purposes.

There was no means of communicating with the Navy Department, but a 3,000 mile station was planned for Washington, DC.

Minelayers, being under Army control, were not equipped with radio. There were some portable sets on hand.

See Also


  1. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1909. Wireless Appendix pp. 55-6.