W4JBM's Fascinating Facts
About Radio and Electronics

Over the years, I've read or heard lots of interesting little bits of information. Sometimes I've clipped the article, other times I've just mentally filed it away. As I weed out those scraps of paper (and as my memory starts to fade ) I thought I'd capture them in one place. So here they are--or at least a start. More will be added over time. If you have anything you'd like to add, drop me an e-mail.


Everyone knows that HP is Hewlett Packard and most people know that GE is General Electric, but where did BK Precision come from? Would you believe Brel & Kjr from Denmark? The company was started in the nineteen-forties by two young Danish engineers, Per V. Brel and Viggo Kjr.

Did you know that Goldstar is part of LG (Lucky Gold) Precision?

One thing that's always puzzled me is where RCA (Radio Corporation of America) came up with the VIZ line of test equipment. I've seen the name associated with Vector/Vid recently. Is this the same line of equipment? If anyone knows, drop me an note.


Most of the large electrical transmission system in the US carries AC. For a variety of reasons, there are several links that are DC. One key reason is that the transfer of AC requires both ends of the transmission line must be synchronized. If the phases shift just a few degrees out of synchronization, protective devices will operate and disconnect the transmission line. Being out of frequency by one part per million will cause the system to be out of phase by five degrees in less than four hours.

One person involved in the manufacture of equipment used on DC systems described some of the problems they've had. For example, when located near a major highway, small particles of rubber from car tires will become ionized and are attracted to the wire carrying the opposite charge. Also, bugs are attracted to the ions generated around one of the wires. Because of this, the polarity of the wires is occasionally swapped. Even with these swaps, the lines are much more difficult to operate and maintain than conventional AC transmission lines.


At some point, I'd heard that BNC was short for British Naval Connector. Then recently I came across information saying that BNC was short for Bayonet Neils-Concilman. It also referred to N as a Neils connector and C as a Concilman connector. I'm still not sure this is accurate, but it is interesting.

By the way, the BNC, N, and C connectors are constant impedance connectors while the UHF connectors (PL259/SO239) isn't. But it still seems like there are more UHF connectors around the shack than anything else.

I personally prefer the F-connector. But what does that stand for???


I'll be adding more as I can. If you have a favorite bit of trivia you'd like to share, e-mail it to me.


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