Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Reading a 1922 article about RCA's "Radio Central" setup for global communications online, I encountered the following:
Diversion of a Radio Engineer.--In nearly all lines of business, when business hours are over, the individual seeks something totally different as a means of relaxation. While wandering around the radio station at Rocky Point, the author noticed a small aerial running from the Community House, where the engineers are quartered, to a small mast, some 150 feet away. On inquiring what this was, he was told that after watches, the engineers listen in on their own radio apparatus to the broadcasting stations and other types of radio traffic. One would think that after many hours spent on duty in the most powerful radio station of the world, the engineers would be glad to forget, at least for the time being, that such a business as radio existed.
At the receiving station at Riverhead, they go to an even greater extreme. About 200 yards from the receiving house, Mr. Tyrell and his associates have installed a complete amateur continuous wave station. All spare moments of the various operators of the receiving station are spent at their own amateur apparatus.

Some things never change. Did steam engineers build little tabletop engines in their free time, I wonder, or is this monomania a quirk of the RF trade? --If not, remind me never to live next door to a demolitions engineer!


  1. I do variations on my day job for evening fun.

    (Insert obvious and expected joke about being a proctologist here.)

  2. Same here. I go home and do, for fun, the same thing I do at work. It's not that fun at work, but it's a blast at home.

  3. Personally, I try to forget I even have a job on my days off.

    But if I was a demolitions engineer, well, hell, blowin' stuff up is fun, I'm not sure I'd consider it a job, per se...

  4. I blog to have something entirely different than work. During college, one of my many part time jobs was doing light mechanical work in a garage. After hours, I would still work on cars. Maybe professions where one works with their hands is different.

    My daughter got us into a HAM class and we take our Technician exam this Saturday. We'll be adding radio gear to the robots, ephemera and typewriters.

  5. WHEN I was working in data comm, I'd go home and ham (prowling the bottom-end of 20 meters) for cw dx. No that I'm retired, there's no antenna (apartment dweller), no cw, no mic, NADA! Just the keyboard and the WiFi. One does what one must do. hi hi

    73 and God bless ya'll!

    Gene WA5AC

  6. Well.....
    I spend all day feeding three-hundred odd (in every sense) keyboard whackers as well as various board dinners, visiting customers, and the occasional diplomatic type. When i get home in the afternoon (I'm generally only responsible for breakfast and lunch, joy of going to the corporate side) I generally don't want to bother with food at all but come the weekend it's not uncommon for me to play in the kitchen a bit. Sometimes I'll have a definite end in mind, sometimes it's just playing with something I found at the farmer's market, and sometimes it's working on technique for something I want to try at work.

    But it took a few years before I wanted to play on my own time. When I was working through my apprenticeship at hotels and country clubs the last place I wanted to be on my time was in the kitchen.

    The biggest challenge? Resetting my brain from commercial to residential. That four burner Amana range with a 3/4" gas line just cannot put out the power that my eight place Vulcan from work with it's three inch feed can.