Historical changes 60 years ago shape today
The year 1958 was the International Geophysical Year and saw the start of many technical things we have today. During that year the Earth's magnetosphere was discovered plus a number of other notable milestones.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
The year was important in the development of Amateur Radio and electronics generally.
On January 4, Sputnik 1 fell to Earth having been launched on the previous October 4.
The first successful American satellite, Explorer I, launched on January 31. The space race had begun.
In July the US created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA.
The Soviet Union was first in space, but the USA launched the world's first communications satellite on December 18, and planned to go to the moon.
On February 11 we had the strongest solar maximum, based on records of 400 years.
Sunspot Cycle 19 was enjoyed by those of HF and 6-metres.
Meteor scatter and stacked yagis on VHF had grabbed the imagination of radio amateurs as they explored both the meteor scatter and the ionosphere on 6-metres.
SSB was starting to emerge. The development in the 1960s combining the receiver and transmitter in the one box certainly helped SSB to become the dominant phone mode on our bands.
The Advanced Research Project Agency began to link research organisations with each other.
Little did those involved realise that their work would lead to the now ubiquitous Internet we have today.
On September 12, Jack Kilby demonstrated the first integrated circuit, and the principle of optical lasers was set out by researchers at the Bell Laboratories in December.
We have certainly seen since a shrinking in size with a boost in power from a plethora of devices.
The Citizens Band began in the United States, where the 11-metre band was taken from Amateur Radio – that started a global trend for that industrial, scientific and medical band.
Although technology has exploded, modern Amateur Radio has too, it’s still nice to reflect that a radio amateur using 1958 sets can still communicate with those made 60 years later.
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