Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KB7TBT, Oct 24, 2022.
Amateur Radio Newsline headlines for Ham Nation. October 26, 2022.
Wardelnclyffe was WIRELESS, but was not RADIO. We explored this before on QRZed, and Tesla's wireless patents are telling and definitive on the matter. While some of Tesla's tuned circuits anticipated Marconi's patents, they are not (and were not) recognized as a basis that Tesla invented 'radio', which is the transmission of RF frequencies without the requirement of a medium.
Tesla asserted that the atmosphere was a conductive medium, rather than an electromagnetic , permitted in vacuo transport of ' radio waves'. All of Tesla's 'wireless' patents explicitly state this in the patent claims. Tesla was not invoking "hertzian waves', but a point to point conduction of air--without wires.
Under that false premise, Tesla 'wireless' would need Wardenclyffe's every 20 miles or so. In 1901 Marconi demonstrated that 'radio waves' did not need hardware under this false 'conductive air' premise. That is, among other reasons, why Tesla did not share the Nobel Prize.And Tesla is not the father of 'radio'
Of course, Tesla did great work on devices, and especially AC and AC generators/motors. Turning Wardenclyffe into science center is a great idea, as long as we dont mislead young people into believing Tesla 'invented' radio.
Tesla did not invent radio.
FYI, MARCONI doesn't get credit for invention of METAMATERIALS(which he should) as he did so in 1919 with FRANKLIN. To wit:
Figure 11 specifically shows what is now called an "I beam metamaterial".
Here is an I=beam metamaterial 'surface' published in 2017. Nary a mention of Marconi...:-(
This Colorado Springs photo (a poster above my desk) is a double exposure showing Tesla reading Goethe while, thru the magic of two clicks, looks like he is just about to be zapped.
The relevant point here is this is how Tesla saw 'wireless': point to point via conduction in the air. Wardenclyffe was intended as a scaled up version.
IOW, for him, modulated lightning...not Hertzian RF.
Wardenclyffe sounds close to cellphone towers, however he was looking for electrical transmission along those points...
I'm not sure the previous commenters accurately addressed what Tesla meant by non-Hertzian. What I'm about to say would challenge the established history of science, but I actually think Tesla had anticipated the work of Winfried Otto Schumann by several decades. Waves which resonate with the Earth itself would not diminish with the inverse square of geographic distance as understood at the time. This as I have understood it was the primary reason he called his waves non-Hertzian. His plan was to use the Earth itself as a resonator to transmit energy to distant parts of the globe. (And I'll be quick to note that I am glad such a technology never matured or was deployed, as any resulting harmful effects on biological systems would be difficult to predict even today.)
Tesla said conductive atmosphere. In the patent claims. Not sure how else that can be interpreted. To anyone skilled in the art, it means a non-solid conductive path.
Wireless, but not radio. Not Hertzian.
The earth is a crappy RF resonator. The losses are orders of magnitude higher than what Tesla assumed. Some frequencies are less crappy than others.
I am not referring to VLF resonances in my earlier comments, but the overall assumptions in the physics that Tesla explicitly made in order to secure his patents. The resonances play a role in a 'nearfield' exploitation at the GROUNDING--but Tesla was locked into his conductive atomsphere bit as part of the path to ground.
(Nearfield , depending on which type, can be r^1 power to r^4 power. ) But loss is still loss.
Aha! so Tesla was thinking atoms, ions, ionosphere
He was thinking 'lightning'.
Well I think if you look at his patents, it appears Tesla expanded his thinking beyond viewing the atmosphere as a conductor in 1900 and 1901, to by 1905 already exploring this other mode of wireless transmission of resonating with the Earth itself. US patent 787,412 goes into some detail, specifically using the ground as a conductor, creating standing waves around the globe dependent on frequency, and mentions the lowest useful frequency: "The lowest frequency would appear to be six per second, in which case there will be but one node, at or near the ground-plate, and, paradoxical as it may seem, the effect will increase with the distance and will be greatest in a region diametrically opposite the transmitter."
Proverbs 3:30 ( I'm trying Jesus)
Nope. The patent claims specifically denote and use the verbiage of conductive atmosphere.
Obviously he used grounding to 'complete the AC circuit' in Teslian 'wireless' using the conductive atmosphere as the concurrent 'wire'. So what? Tesla never got beyond seeing what we now call RF as just AC with one of the 'wires' being a conductive atmosphere. Which is just plain incorrect.
Loss is loss. It doesn't matter if the antipodes is in the near field. Near field has substantial losses in earth grounding. Just because its not inverse square law doesn't mean it works. Sure it works at ELF. Poorly. Very,very poorly.
Tesla's 'technology' for wireless is hardly unproven. It just doesn't work well compared to other options. And that is being gracious in the description. And the atmosphere is not 'conductive'-- as he states.
May I suggest you ( a generic 'you') try to power up your ham radio by the 'Teslian' noise hash of your neighbor's marijuana grow-lamps. That's a good example of Teslian 'wireless'(still falsely assumed as an AC analog with wireless wires by Tesla but actually RF). Then the idea of loss and efficiency becomes clear.
The first part of nearly any patent discusses the state of the art, and this was no exception. So if you are looking for a reference to electrical transmission through the air, you will also find that there. A deeper delve into patent 787,412 shows that he was well aware also of Hertzian propagation and losses, and viewed that as a form of loss to be avoided by a selection of low (i.e. non-RF) frequencies for this newer form of wireless transmission described in that specific patent.
My point is not about how feasible it would have been to deploy ELF Earth resonance as a technology for transmitting power. (Indeed - I am glad for other reasons that it was never deployed for that function!) I'm not here to argue what is lossier or less practical. All of that is completely beside my point.
I'm just here to clarify what Tesla meant by non-Hertzian.
The ringing and the standing waves was a phenomenon he discovered in Colorado Springs while observing changes in local electrical potentials caused by distant lightning storms which were moving. He subsequently sought to harness and apply that effect for the transmission of signals and power.
Tesla by least 1905 wanted to deliberately set the Earth ringing - as lightning already does naturally - but to intentionally choose odd harmonics of the Earth's natural resonance to set up standing waves which could be useful for transmission of signals or as Tesla additionally did hope, useful amounts of power. Understanding this provides clarity into what he also meant by "non-Hertzian." All of what I have said in this paragraph has strong support in the meat of patent 787,412.
The planet earth does not 'ring' at RF. It damps. It is not a driven oscillator. It is a damped oscillator.