QST/January 1916/In An American Radio Relay League Station

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Scene: Relay League station, Almost‒anywhere.

Characters: Operator, a willing amateur explaining his set.

Another amateur, Mr. I am It―I know it all.

College student, somewhat scientific.

Opr.―“This is the sending set.” I use about 1 kilowatt."

I am It―“Kill-oh-what?”

Student―“A.C. or D.C.?”

Mr. Opr.―“A.C. of course. This Clappham transformer is very efficient it steps the juice up to 20,000 and (opening shunt switch on hot-wire ammeter) I push 5 amps into the aerial.”

Other Am.―“Well that's fair but if you had a good transformer like my Hardpack you'd get 6 amps. Then, of course, your wave is broad, and over 200.” College student, trying to get a word in to interrupt the coming war―"Now I don't quite understand that. You put in about 1,000 watts and get out 5 times 20,000 or 100,000 watts. Apparently 100 times as much; of course that couldn’t be true by the Law of the Conservation of Energy. I wish you would explain that.”

I am It―(In I-know-it-all-tone) Oh, that conservation of energy stuff is all wrong. The big stilts in college guess too much. Why look here I’ll prove it’s all wrong.

Suppose I take a watch spring and wind it up. I've done work haven't I? Now I will drop it in to a jar of very strong acid. The acid will eat the spring up. Where has the energy in the spring gone? Well?”

Mr. Student―Now my good friend, your course of reasoning is all wrong. The evident disappearance of the energy can easily be explained by the First Law of Thermodynamics. You see―(Here his condenser broke down!)

This work was published before January 1, 1924 and it is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 100 years or less since publication.