Citizen Scientist: Hedy Lamarr

For all the destruction and human misery unleashed during World War II, it was also a time of incredible creativity and ingenuity. In America, it was a time when everyone wanted to pitch in. Young men and women enlisted and were shipped overseas, and those left behind kept the factories running full tilt. Even Hollywood went to war, with its steady output of films that gave people a little glamour and provided an escape from the horror and loss of the war. Hollywood stars lined up to entertain troops and raise money for the war effort, and many joined up and fought too.

But one Hollywood star made an unconventional contribution to the war effort, and in the process proved that beauty and brains are not always mutually exclusive. This is the story of Hedy Lamarr, movie star and inventor.

“The Most Beautiful Woman in the World”

By the time she was 23 in 1937, Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler was a genuine film star in her native Austria. She was also trapped in an unhappy marriage to a rich and powerful Austrian munitions magnate, Fritz Mandl. Hedy was miserable as a trophy wife, adorning the dining room as her husband entertained rich and powerful guests – including Mussolini and Hitler – over long dinners in one of his mansions. They dismissed her; clearly a woman so beautiful could have nothing else to offer, an empty head perched on a graceful neck. But she was far from stupid, and while her husband discussed business with the men who were building the Axis arsenal, Hedy listened and learned.

After fleeing one night for a quick French divorce, Hedy ended up rubbing shoulders with MGM Studios head Louis B. Mayer on a cruise to the USA. By the end of the trip she had secured a studio contract and was soon wowing American audiences as the renamed Hedy Lamarr. The studio hype machine branded her as “The most beautiful woman in the world,” an appellation she despised: “Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.” But the studio’s publicity efforts gave her stardom and a steady income, as well as free time – in the 1930s, studios generally contracted stars for only a few movies a year that each took about a month to shoot. Some starlets filled their time with parties and appearances; Hedy applied her curious mind to inventing.

Irony: Hedy with Spencer Tracy in "I Take This Woman"
Irony: Hedy with Spencer Tracy in “I Take This Woman”

Like most inventors, most of Hedy’s ideas never made it off the drawing board (literally; she had a well-used drawing board and T-square in her Hollywood home). One early invention was a compressed cube of flavorings to be added to water as a sort of instant soda pop. It fizzed, but it also fizzled; Hedy herself admitted that it, “Tasted like Alka-Seltzer.” But also like most inventors, inspiration comes from unexpected places, and for what would turn out to be her greatest invention, it came in September of 1940 in the U-boat infested waters of the North Atlantic. The S.S. City of Benares, carrying 90 children to Canada for safety from the Blitz, was torpedoed and sank. Only 13 of the children survived. Hedy resolved to find a way to help the Allies deal with the U-boat threat.

Chance favors the prepared mind, they say, and Hedy was prepared. She began puzzling over the problem of remotely controlling torpedoes. From those long evenings as Fritz Mandl’s ornament, she had learned that German torpedoes were controlled by wire, and that German glide bombs were radio controlled. Could those two ideas be put together? Was a radio controlled torpedo possible?

Still, something was missing. Hedy knew that radio signals could be jammed, so countermeasures against a radio controlled torpedo would be trivial. From her contacts through her ex-husband, she may also have known that German glide bombs used 18 different frequencies for control, manually selected before the bomb was released; any one frequency could be jammed, but in a full salvo of 18 bombs, at least a few would likely get through. But what if the bomb’s receiver and the transmitter in the launch plane could switch frequencies together? That would reduce the chance of jamming. Hedy coined the term Frequenzsprungverfahren for her idea – literally, “frequency-hopping process.”

The Movie Star and the Bad Boy of Music

Georgeautograph
George Antheil

Hedy’s idea now had a name, but she had no idea how to build it. For that she turned to her friend George Antheil. George was an American-born avant-garde composer and self-styled “Bad Boy of Music” who palled around Europe in the 1920s with the likes of Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, and Igor Stravinski. A genuine genius in multiple disciplines, his most important musical work was the score for a film called Le Ballet Mécanique, which called for sounds from xylophones, electric bells, a siren, and three airplane propellers. But at its heart were supposed to be 16 player pianos playing four separate parts. The pianos needed to be synchronized, and George figured out how to make the pianos, with their “programs” coded on punched paper rolls, talk to each other.

US2292387-0
US Patent 2,292,387

When George heard Hedy’s idea in 1940, his mind turned to Ballet Mécanique. Specifically, he saw how a mechanism based on the guts of a player piano could be used to switch frequencies of both the transmitter and receiver – holes in a ribbon rolled over a vacuum manifold would actuate rods that could switch frequencies hundreds of times a minute. Identical rolls in the transmitter and the receiver would ensure that they were both always tuned to the same frequency. George’s experience with the music industry came in handy as well, since he was well-versed with the tools and techniques of recording.

Hedy and George refined their idea, coming up with ways to keep the two rolls in perfect synchronization, and adding extra transmit frequencies to send false signals to defeat countermeasures. In 1941, George and the recently remarried Hedy filed for a patent, and on August 11, 1942, US Patent number 2,292,387 was issued to “H.K. Markey et al” for a “Secret Communications System.”

Hedy’s Legacy

Sadly, Hedy and George’s invention did not make it into any wartime weapons systems. Developed as it was under the auspices of the National Inventors Council, a wartime outfit set up to vet ideas with possible military application, their patent was classified, and the Navy, still reeling from Pearl harbor and trying to prosecute the war in the Pacific, was in no mood for innovation. And so frequency-hopping sat on the shelf, largely forgotten until the 1950s, when it found its way into a new sonobuoy design, complete with rotating cylinders to switch frequencies. By that time, the mathematical basis for spread-spectrum communications had been established, and refined versions of Hedy and George’s invention continued to pop up in military applications, even making an appearance with the Navy in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Today, you don’t have to look any further than your phone to see Hedy’s legacy – Bluetooth, GPS, and cell phone networks all depend on variations of the spread-spectrum system Hedy first conceived. The entire infrastructure of the modern world depends on spread-spectrum, and the value of the inventions that built upon Hedy’s idea is hard to quantify.

For their efforts, George and Hedy received exactly zero compensation and no recognition. At least until 1996, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave Hedy and George their Pioneer Award, an honor she lived to see. Unfortunately, Hedy didn’t live long enough to see her induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame last year, but she did follow developments in the wireless world and kept inventing right up until her death in 2000.

97 thoughts on “Citizen Scientist: Hedy Lamarr

        1. To be fair almost 100% of people were racist back then. The hubris of this current time is “If I were alive back then, I would have been one of the enlighten ones. ” psst… Probably not.

          1. Some of the things we do right now probably will be judged by next generations in similar manner. They will be like “what were they thinking!?”. What would that probably be? I don’t know. Maybe impersonating people for years for minor, non violet drug related cases? Maybe droning other people to death without fair trial?

        2. dfddgfdggfd – I’m pretty well read on Tesla – that’s why I’m not a fan boy of his. However, I don’t ever remember reading about him being a racist nor into Eugenics. I think only Atheists and Agnostics are into that. Tesla was not one of them. His dad was a priest too (Christian). You know Tesla worked with Edison for awhile. One of Edison’s engineers was an African-American. If he was a “flaming racist” I think he’d have problem with that. The evil people he unwittingly worked with after being rejected by USA (i.e. The Kaiser and later Hitler) were flaming racists.

          Please enlighten me to your sources. I’d be interested in exploring that…

          1. Tesla was not exactly a racist, he just said some things that were normal at the time but unacceptable today like referring to referring to blacks as “darkies”. Also, eugenics is a good idea but mostly a moral dead end since populations tend not to come to a universal consensus about what sort of traits we should try to prevent / cultivate.

          2. Okay i was trying not to do this, but I’m just going to leave this hear:
            “In 1909 the Anglican clergymen William Inge and James Peile both wrote for the British Eugenics Education Society. Inge was an invited speaker at the 1921 International Eugenics Conference, which was also endorsed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York Patrick Joseph Hayes.”

            Wikipedia contributors. “Eugenics.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 Nov. 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.

            if you don’t trust Wikipedia, look at the original source hear:
            http://shm.oxfordjournals.org/content/27/2/281

          3. ld-cd – OK the RCC is into EUGENICS – big whoop! Not a major revelation considering their track record. I only object to the GENRICH and GENPOOR components of EUGENICS. It promotes the extinction of GENPOOR via birth control (I THINK!) Darwin’s cousin is responsible for most of it I think. BUT WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH TESLA! Yes Mark Twain used the N-word in his books as it was the convention of the day. Tesla’s command of English language was basically just mimicry rather than the finesse of let’s say a BBC English Brit imitating Americans. He had a strong Serbian accent too not unlike how Arianna Huffington STILL has a strong Italian accent after decades of USA residency – I think both of them have/had neural plasticity issues. :-)

    1. This was also the first thing that popped into my mind reading this.
      Tesla worship or not it looks like he might have been earlier in a similar way like Charles Babbage was earlier with the first computer, nice to think about but not much more.
      It doesn’t significantly detract of the intelligence of someone coming to the same conclusion on their own.

      1. robin – Charles Babbage never actually built the thing. It was actually just a very complex adding machine. The first working computer was built in UK during WW2 and was called COLOSSUS. Alan Turing was one of its inventors. There is a theory that an ancient gear was found in the Mediterranean Sea and thought to be a part from an ancient computer (i.e. Antikythera mechanism). Turns out it was probably a piece from Hipparchus of Nicaea’s astrolabe (190 to 120 BCE). Still an analog computer but only to track the position of the moon.

        SOTB

    1. this friggen tesla cult/worship crap has gotten out of hand.

      if we start talking about Alexander Bell inventing the telephone whilst trying to get a better multi-tone telegraph multiplexing system, so nitwit will tell us tesla did it first.

      the closest tesla got to anything like this was the control unit for the remote control boat he demonstrated at the worlds fair.

      that sent discrete tones for left, right, forward, back, which has nothing to do with this!!!

      1. See below and decide for yourself if using multiple frequencies is or is not applicable ?

        US1869659 by Willem Broertjes (Priority date Oct 12, 1929)
        “The essential feature of the invention resides in the fact that messages are transmitted by means of a group of frequencies (working frequencies) known to the sender and receiver alone, and alternated at will during transmission of the messages. ”

        US723188 by the man himself Nikola Tesla (Priority date Jul 16, 1900)
        “Broadly stated, this invention consists in generating two or more kinds or classes of disturbances or impulses of distinctive character with respect to their effect upon a receiving-circuit and operating thereby a distant receiver which comprises two or more circuits, each of which is tuned to respond exclusively to the disturbances or impulses .of one kind or class and so arranged that the operation of the receiver is dependent upon their conjoint or resultant action.”

          1. I think “at will” means by the mechanism. It wouldn’t work otherwise. It mentions the receiver being “conjoint” with the transmitter. IE they both need to switch frequencies at the same time, which would obviously have to be mechanical. Or perhaps 2 really busy guys with stopwatches.

            I think that’s pretty credible for spread-spectrum. Though since Tesla published all sorts of things, not all of which worked or made sense, I don’t think at all that Hedy Lamarr knew of this piece.

        1. Sorry Truth, I have to agree with Tom’s first statement. This seems to indicate that individual frequencies were hard-coded to different actions of which the user could activate “at will” and would in no way avoid electronic countermeasures.

          Google Doodle: https://www.google.com/doodles/hedy-lamarrs-101st-birthday
          To get back on topic. I heard reference to Hedy last week with regard to the Google Doodle honouring her on what would be her 101st Birthday on November 9th:

        2. Multiple receivers is not the same as frequency hopping. The Tesla statement indicates multiple radios that can receive simultaneously (and be easily detected and jammed). Quite an invention. No doubt inspired by two radios in one room tuned to different stations. He put them in a bigger box. Shazam! A briefcase alarm clock!

          1. TheRegnirps – You must compensate for the English grammar of over 115 years ago. Tesla was not a native English speaker so he tended to make several faux-pas in grammar. There were no “receivers” like the ones you are familiar with back then. He was probably talking about that thing called a “coherer” invented by Frenchman Edouard Branly. It was a primitive radio signal detector: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coherer

            It wasn’t very efficient but it got the job done. You had to tap it to reset it after every use. So not very effective for remote control. Some say Tesla used different sized fluorescent lamps which he was known to use in his experiments. Smaller ones respond to a different wavelength of RF than longer ones. You can do the experiment with your curly-Que fluorescent bulb and a FRS walkie-talkie. You can make it light up as the antenna gets closer. If you get some Radio Shack CdS cells they will change resistance as the bulb lights up causing a relay to fire. Tesla only had access to Selenium Cells like the ones Alex Bell used for his Photo Phone VLC project.

            Undoubtedly he used something like this in his R/C boat. But if they were coherer cells how did he reset them from the edge of the MSG swimming pool? His patent photos show the receivers covered up. That was either to hide it from viewers or to give his Selenium cells enough darkness to work better with the fluorescent lamps.

            He did not use a spark-gap transmitter or any kind of transmitter you’d recognize. He just stuck an aerial on a RF noisy AC generator and kept varying the speed to cause different frequencies to emit arguably discreetly activating different lamps that would respond to the transmitters QRM. I have to admit that was pretty “thinking outside the box” even we today wouldn’t think of. Still not a fan-boy though! :-)

            SOTB

          2. sonofthunderboanerges : I would bet there were no coherers in his design. He was a brute force kind of guy. More like LC circuits and mercury/phosphor tube replacing the spark gap one would see in the earliest detectors – and a selenium photocell as a switch? Add loads of power from the RF source. And wouldn’t you consider each tank circuit and light to be a separate radio?

            If the freq hopping of Hedy Lamar was 100 or more times per second, I doubt if it was mechanical – like an old rotary TV tuner. Switching by tubes or micro reed relays? I wonder of the hopping encoding was a tape or a wheel or drum, and used light or brushes? The wartime effort produced the tiny acorn tubes and tubes for proximity fuses that could withstand 30,000g’s fired from a AAA gun tube. So, small robust triodes, diodes, and phototubes were available.

            But 100’s of changes a minute or 2 or 3 a second with rods and an air manifold? That blurs the boundaries and IS more like an old TV tuner with a motor on it. Uncle!

          3. TheRegnirps – Yes I concur with your assumptions about Tesla’s use of LC Tanks and Hg/P tubes. He was heavy into inductors (L) and had a rudimentary understanding of capacitance (C). He did love his fluorescent tubes too. However, I’m struggling with the concept that he used any real finesse with the R/C boat by using tuned circuits. He seemed like a “shortcut” “quick and dirty” kinda’ guy. I mean the way he accidentally built and subsequently destroyed (with NYPD witnessing it) the so-called earthquake machine was indicative of that mindset. That machine was just a pneumatic eccentric flywheel that achieved building kinetic resonance of where his lab was in the basement. The row houses on that street were all connected to same foundation. The rest is academic.

            Yes I would consider each light to be a separate rudimentary receiver. Just like Dr, Mahlon in 1865 sent “RF” between 2 kites in WVa by using telegraph key, several wet-cells, ground circuit, and air resistance as his rudimentary method of RF radio. Neither of them were technically using RF radio with tuned-circuits, but rather what we would call EMI or QRM today (static!). For the Se cell, if you connect a solenoid or relay with a wet cell connected to it you can handle just about any kind of voltage/current load. The relay isolates the two.

            What Hedy may have envisioned for her device is PUNCHED HOLE ROLL PAPER with micro-switches under it, Not much unlike IBM’s Hollerith cards Hitler used to keep human-inventory during Holocaust Days. Each switch could have been connected to a xtal (quartz crystal) or LC Tank circuit leading back to local oscillator via shielded coaxial cable, I think a metal cylinder from lets say a music box would be more efficient than player-piano paper especially in a wet marine environment. I’m sure the USN sonobouy project that finally used her idea was much more sophisticated then her mechanical FHSS idea. What a sonabouy would need FHSS is a mystery to me.

            SOTB

        3. Truth – US1869659 by Willem Broertjes (Priority date Oct 12, 1929)
          “The essential feature of the invention resides in the fact that messages are transmitted by means of a group of frequencies (working frequencies) known to the sender and receiver alone, and alternated at will during transmission of the messages. ”

          I’ve been mulling over this for the past few hours and I think I got it now. This was a frequency hopping scheme HOWEVER it was manual and went something like this:
          “Hallo Willem are you receiving me? Yah Adolph! Change to #2… [press button to make it go to slot 2] Can you hear me now? Yah whol I do now change to #12 [press button to make it go to slot 12] etc etc”

          So not knowing what frequency is in those slots the listener is confused as he is only getting a sentence fragment and then has to frenetically tune around to catch them again. If the two users decide to use a code or a prearranged schedule after every few seconds or sentences then it gets even harder for the unauthorized listener. If the radio sets cover a pretty wide band width of several MHz then forget about listening without some sort of spectrum analyzer help.

          But Broertjes shows a relay type winding that pulls a ratchet awl that changes frequency. This is not needed for a local user of the local radio. Maybe this is wired to a remote control switch which changes the remote listeners radio for him at Broertjes’ will? That way there is no verbal queue as to when the conversation is about to change frequencies only a tone or something. Hedy Lamar’s system is automatic and not manual like this.

          The USNAVY finally used Hedy’s idea on Sonabouys in the 1950’s. Just exactly how I haven’t figured out yet.

          SOTB

        1. Yea and that was kinda the problem wasn’t it, when the guys in charge saw Hedy presenting an idea all the blood went from the big head to the little one and they just couldn’t think about taking her seriously.

          1. Curiously, she appears to have purposely filed under her married name (Hedy Kiesler Markey) to avoid influencing the patent process. She wanted her invention judged on its merits, not her stardom. Pretty smart, IMHO.

      1. For what it is worth, NOTHING tops the phenomenon of Eric Flint’s ‘1632’ series when it comes to alternate history. All of the stories are at the very least pretty good reads, and, when every medieval history buff on the face of the planet seems to have joined the forums, the battle over detail accuracy can sometimes be on par with the Thirty Years War! Check it out, if you haven’t already; http://1632.org/ (The first book is free, by the way: http://www.baenebooks.com/p-379-1632.aspx )

      2. The Man in the High Castle has been made into a movie or mini-series or something. I can’t see them holding true to the book without being shut down and publicly shamed for making college students feel uncomfortable. A show trial would be a nice addition.

    1. Great alternate history book, told from multiple viewpoints. Hemmingway, Dos Passos, and a young George Orwell, are but a few of the characters, although it starts out with Hedy entertaining Hitler(!!), and then escaping to Paris, and revisits her along the way.

  1. Lamarr and Anthiel’s idea was way ahead of its time. The guys at USN thought it involved putting a real piano in a torpedo (d’oh!!!) so they file-13’d the idea. Actually human guided torpedoes dates back many years before them. The wire guided was too and remains so today in our arsenal as well as many other navies. It’s still the most secure method.

    I never heard of GPS using FHSS (Freq Hopping Spread Spectrum). I guess if it did that college student in Texas could not have demonstrated the General Atomics MQ1 Predator GPS spoofing hack-attack!

    Regarding TESLA: No his Patent #US723188 never even alluded or hinted to FHSS. Remember in 1900 no one even knew what radio really was as it was in its infancy. We were just using wide-band spark gap transmitters which had no 88 distinct frequencies that the Lamarr device had. They used a player-piano roll like the kind you can find in a music box at Walmart jewelry dept today. It flipped through 88 different frequencies in a cyclical and synchronous way. Tesla did not even know about such things YET. Later he probably did though.

    The NAZI device mentioned was not a electronic method per se but was a DC PM motor that turned a radio dial back and forth in a predetermined synchronized way. The other party had a similar device on their receiver. It was not fool-proof and other devices proved more efficient for secure-comm for them like ENIGMA and the little known secure teletype machine (i.e. Lorenz SZ) still not widely publicized today.

    Tesla was arguably instrumental in many ways helping the German’s with their technology starting before WW1. It was no wonder POTUS-28 secretly ordered the USN to destroy his radio tower at Shoreham NY with J. Edgar Hoover’s intel (while at BOI) as his reasons for doing so. Hoover proved to POTUS Wilson that Tesla was helping the German’s with secret radio communications even BEFORE Wardenclyff Tower (i.e. Telefunken Wireless Station in Sayville NY), He also showed how Tesla sold his new turbine marine engines to Germany to spite USA’s rejection of his R/C navy attack boat idea at MSG NYC(which was too much forward-thinking for late 19th century and we are just using them now in 21st century). Those marine engines were used by Germany’s fleet to attack the Allies in WW1. He was paid for it too. It also didn’t help that a Serbian (i.e. Gavrilo Princip) arguably helped start WW1 too.

    So despite all Tesla’s HELP with the Germans he did NOT give them this frequency hopping device that used a syncro-motor tuner. I don’t find any pre-Lamarr mentions of frequency hopping a radio signal as detailed and sophisticated as hers. Our USG (US Govt) today is very paranoid about this technology too just like how they were about Prime Number math in American schools in 1950’s to 1960;s,

    Case in point for the evidence of USG paranoia over FHSS: A wonderful gadget known as the TriSquare walkie talkies by eXtreme Radio Service (brainchild of Philip and Gary Staley), was the greatest thing since FRS and GMRS radio. It was essentially the poor mans FHSS and SMS walkie talkies . They were the coolest gadget on the market for this type of service. But UNCLE SAM wasn’t having it. eXRS mysteriously went out of business in 2012. No one knows why. There was no competition at all. There is no replacement product at all either. I guess it was not a good idea to give the bad-guys a tool to hide their voice comm from the Puzzle Palace? The Staley’s even had a section in the FAQ section of their website about this. They basically said that determined government types could easily electronically defeat their product.

    I guess they were wrong?

    SOTB

    P.S. – All of Tesla’s equations (I’ve read most of them in his lab notes) where just exploitations of simple OHM’S LAW. Nothing was based on the sophisticated scientific equations of the day. He used the lower case OMEGA (for ohms) when it is the upper case that was/is used. Lower case was used for angular momentum when he was clearly writing about electrical resistance. He was a college dropout and had functional gaps in his education. That’s typical with autodidacts. Why were his inventions so forward-thinking? Well that’s a enigmatic and esoteric conversation that will be hard to discern (or believe) for some, so I wont indulge in that wild speculation here.

    1. And we have hit max crackpot.
      It really is too bad that no discussion of anything having to do with Tesla can be crazy free.
      Yes it does look like that Tesla did some research that could be related to FHSS radio.
      And not German ships did not use Tesla Turbines during WWI because frankly Tesla turbines do not make good steam turbines.

      1. the “tesla worship” crap really got going with that movie “The Prestige”.

        Tesla himself gave up on his turbine, because he ran into the limitations of the materials of the day.

        it’s really sad that on this site people should know the difference between radio as we know it now and spark gap transmitters/receivers.

        Seriously how in hell could you even consider frequency hopping when a spark gap transmitter basically transmits on ALL the frequencies, DC to blue light!!!

        And think about the receiver, using a “coherer” for a detector or one of those mechanical detectors
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coherer

        (every time I see a tesla documentary where some idiot presenter compares a spark plug with a tesla coil drives me crazy!!!!)

        1. cyberteque – In case you didn’t notice you and I are preaching the same sermon. I too am no champion of Lil’ Nikki. And he did not invent the coherer. He just used them in his too soon toy boat idea at MSG (Madison Square Garden) NY. You have to physically hit those things to make them reset. There were better ideas of the day that used different sized florescent tubes with selenium photo-detector cells as discreet frequency detectors. There is a theory Lil’ Nikki may have used these instead of coherers. Can you see him putting a little servo in there with a tiny boot to kick it? 8-)

          1. cyberteque – No matter what this becomes… HaD will always be a fun place to be. I love this place. I like the new HaD Prize idea too. ALS is a very bad thing. I’m glad at least 3 universities have come forward with very promising paths to a cure for ALS. Not quite there yet but VERY close. I even have a unique approach too but this is not the venue I guess. I wish HaD would invent a venue to just throw our ideas for discussion and call it BRAINSTORM or something…

            Here’s some subject related honor for you… http://tinyurl.com/mteppfq

        2. They were able to span the Atlantic with spark gaps just fine, using long waves. And crystal detectors on the other end. Those people knew their stuff. Also, using multiple tuned circuits, they were able to separate stations a-ok.

          1. Miroslav – No one is saying THEY didn’t do just as you say… BUT Tesla did not know what Frequency Hopping was as he was a college drop out and denied the science of the day like atom theory. Albert Einstein really could not believe this guy’s ignorance of accepted theory of the day. Tesla was more into secretly communicating with Martians with his TeslaScope. He was actually picking up EMI from the local telegraph lines which were full of information-content he mistook for secret communications with him (also was picking up Marconi transmitting from Cape Cod MA). There was no TUNED circuit in Marconi and Tesla’s days. That came MUCH later. You don’t tune a spark-gap receiving device. It’s just a wide-band direct conversion receiver that works from DC to blue light as cyberteque humorously says (well kinda sorta).

            Unlike Nicola Tesla, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was a REAL scientist who didn’t believe in ETHER like Tesla adamantly did in-spite of all the evidence to the contrary. Hertz produced roughly 100 MHz with his “apparatus” in 1887 but was unlikely he knew that much specificity as we do today.

            Do people know that FREQUENCY HOPPING is not the ONLY form of Spread Spectrum? There is another less advertised method. I’m still trying to research it but is hard to find. Maybe the No Such Agency has sanitized it? Or is that too crackpot-ish :-P

          2. demopublican – OK I just obsessed on this for a couple of days and came up with something I just pieced together from my slow memory. I’m just going to call it G.H.O.S.T. No its not DSSS nor GFSK. It is “unique” spread spectrum idea. I may have got it all wrong but my drawing is very revealing about how it all works. It’s not my idea. Somebody (UNSUB) came up with this and I saw it somewhere a long time ago. I may have seen it in a ARRL book, NASA Tech Briefs, USPTO gazette, Janes, or Aviation Weekly, I just can’t remember.

            I’ve uploaded it to a famous image storage web-site, However, with all of the recent world-shenanigans I do not want to be accused of helping the bad guys. So I’ve used the encryption software at https://www(dot)infoencrypt(dot)com to encrypt the actual URL. You can go to same website above to decrypt it. They will ask for a password (private key). Just use the first letter of each word in my name. I know that’s not very secure method but at least it will slow “them” down for about 2-seconds!!! (LOL)

            Here it is – just copy and paste it into the decryption field:

            Kmk3pG03duwsVvEScyBS/935StnEbYZRPbil5QR62hQjVaY0G5uUZco6QmqysL9cZYZW6eVMCK/H
            AEqd6gzWF+iXgEeVXJHOgJetgzOym35EWj75jiPeq6yaaRmuDtUFHumws0i1svijp5KJYTL3Og==

            Tell me what you think. Does it sound right?

      2. lwatcdr – Care to share your sources? How can a person discuss FREQUENCY HOPPING when Tesla was not even knowledgeable that there was such a thing as discreet frequencies yet? Do you know what a spark-gap transmitter is? What frequency did it use? Could you exploit 88 different frequencies out of a radio transmitter like the Lamarr idea proposed? I think the Tesla patent was just talking about radio in general. I mean he was not even the real father of radio either. The first to exploit radio waves as a 2-way communications device was Dr. Mahlon Loomis in 1865 (not even Marconi can beat that).

        The Broertjes patent in 1929 came close. However, it too is not exactly the same idea as Lamarr’s. I also think the NAZIs exploited Broertjes idea as they had a tendency to copy American and UK ideas and evolve them a bit. Broertjes did have a German patent too. If you look at the Broertjes patent image you see it’s pretty much like how I described the NAZI device. It does use a motor winding to make a ratchet awl increment a tuning wheel.

        If you would like to ENLIGHTEN yourself with Hoover’s EXTENSIVE files on Tesla please go the FBI (dot) GOV website and read the volumes and volumes of stuff you NEVER knew about Tesla. And his marine turbines where not successful? Huh… then why did the Kaiser pay him royalties on a defective product? They were so good they allowed the German fleet to sink many of our boats. That’s until we evolved our technology to catch up that is. And maybe God helped out a bit too? (i.e. God bless America and and all?) 8-P

        SOTB
        Resident Crackpot at large
        ;-)

      3. Also read a book that came out earlier this year (2015): The Tesla Papers – By Nikola Tesla, David Hatcher Childress

        I don’t know why it says “By Nikola Tesla” as David Childress does a good job of exposing Nikola as a unwitting German spy! He goes into detail about the secret radio installations at Long Island and New Jersey that President Wilson had to make an executive order to commandeer by US Navy. But some how the Germans still found a way to transmit secret orders to their subs and spies even while under US Navy command and control! It shows how President Wilson destroyed Wardencliff Tower and really had nothing to do with JP Morgan’s decision to back out.

        It showed how Tesla had a secret deal with Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz on thise so-called defective marine turbine engines that did not work so well with steam. Yes Tesla told JP Morgan they weren’t perfected and needed $5,000 more to fix it. JP did not come through but Tirpitz probably did.

        The Brits cut the undersea cable to stop the German spies (and everybody else too) from communicating from NY to Berlin. However, Tesla helped Telefunken beef up the RF power to 100 KW and that allowed them to send messages to subs at sea as well as coordinate Mexican Operations for secret German invasion force – that never got started. Why? Because J Edgar was on top of it and prevented it from happening. Tesla was basically a dupe who really was not ready for the big city yet. He stupidly gave George Westinghouse the BIGGEST deal EVER!

        That’s why Westinghouse today has the big defense contracts with US Navy and almost everything else! Elon Musk is exploiting the Tesla name today but Westinghouse and its affiliates should be doing that as they would not even exist today without him. All that and I am STILL not a fan of Nicola Tesla. I praise TRUE intelligence like the HaD people here not this esoteric “acquired” knowledge some here would call crackpot because it is so unconventional and lacks mainstream academic credibility.

        SOTB

        P,S, when being so blatantly pejorative like saying some is a crackpot – show your evidence so it is very clear you actually know what you’re talking about… rather than the converse…

        1. Not same turbines. These were specifically for marine craft and not his typical ones. JP Morgan help pay for r&d but dried up
          when he revealed that his customer was von Terpitz. Also Germany had their own scientists and engineers. They only wanted the blue prints and they perfected it for steam travel. I’ll bet they even modified for jets too… only guessing…

    2. “Remember in 1900 no one even knew what radio really was as it was in its infancy. We were just using wide-band spark gap transmitters which had no 88 distinct frequencies that the Lamarr device had.”

      Maxwell electromagnetic theory date 1864, so in 1900 radio frequency theory was well known it was the technology that was lagging behind until the invention of triode by Lee de Forest in 1907.

      1. Jacques1956 – Well actually Dr. Mahlon Loomis had a working radio telegraph set up in Washington DC that had a few stations about 7 miles apart in 1865 to 1877. He had no idea how it worked only that he sent aloft two kites in West Virginia and setup a working telegraph through the air. Hertz and Maxwell were scientists. Tesla was a wannabe scientist but dropped out of college too early and limped by on his transformer winding skills as a so-called scientist, I think Maxwell proved ETHER as a transmitting medium did not actually exist. Tesla stubbornly held onto the myth as the Swami V. told him so, Some people today STILL believe in ETHER (not the knockout gas). I was talking about the general public not being clued into what RADIO really was at the turn of the century. If the NY TIMES didn’t cover it they did not want to know about it. And who reads SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN? It was in there but that magazine was too expensive for most folks in late 1800’s. I like their website today but even I can’t afford it today.

  2. Before dissing Tesla, maybe you should check what his contributions really were (confirmed even in history books): invented A/C motor in his early career, was the first to build power plant on Niagara Falls that enabled remote distribution of power – the reason why you need A/C in the first place, demonstrated first remote controlled boat in NYC, was the real inventor of radio (Marconi ripped him off and by the way if you demonstrate R/C device you automatically use radio waves and thus demonstrate that you invented radio, too), invented so called Tesla Coil (even though this is technically a transformer) to demonstrate that you can use high voltage (Chris Angel survived a strike of million volts using this technology) A/C and pass it through your body with sparks coming out of your hands.

    When he discovered that he can wirelessly transmit electric power and started to build his Wardenclyffe tower, all those powerful people who could have lost a lot decided to erase him from history and used the fact that he suffered from OCD to make him look like a madman. This last invention is not officially confirmed but does not mean it never happened.

    And by the way- Truth if everybody around you is trying to only steal your ideas while pretending to be your friend, you would talk to pigeons, too.

    1. Not denying that Tesla did these things. Only that he was not the first in many of them and his ideas were based (or originated) from esoteric sources that take a lot of explanation to comprehend. He was NOT a true scientist. He did everything “by the seat of his pants” as we Americans euphemistically say. He did not use the scientific method, He tried to debunk the science of the day and looked foolish for doing so, He was playing in the deep water with the SHARK TANK of the day JP MORGAN, ROCKEFELLER, WESTINGHOUSE (a Junior Shark), and EDISON. He just wasn’t ready with his arguably occult-inspired dreams and other machinations of specious sources. He dropped out of college over an argument with his professor who obviously won the argument. He teamed up with an infamous occult-worshiping Hindu Swammy who filled his head with garbage (IMHO). He little understood the science behind his inventions, evidenced by his retarded miss use of common words, science symbols, etc,

      Just because a person produces wonderful and amazing inventions does not mean he understood them or they were from a benevolent source. Why were so many of his inventions based on violence to theoretically stop violence? That’s not how its really done. You don’t really fight fire with fire. Tesla grew up thinking it was. Look where it got him – NOWHERE! Who even knows that the electric light in their home is powered by one of his inventions at the power plant? He was not a shark! In USA then and now who have to be a SHARK in a SHARK TANK to survive in a capitalist-driven business world.

      And please don’t think today’s DARPA-based D.E.W. systems where inspired by him. The FBI didn’t rob his safe of that plans for that device at the NYC hotel. It was allegedly Reinhard Gehlen and a heretofore unidentified subject partner in crime. It is alleged that Tesla did not die of natural causes either. You’d have to understand Gehlen’s mindset to appreciate that. However, Tesla’s gadget was only a highly charged stream of hydraulic Mercury. He thought it would have miles of range but he did not figure in gravity and windage. It was like a fire hose only with charged Mercury. It would disrupt car and airplane engines and electrocute anyone it touched, but it was no DEW device by a long shot (pin intended) :-)

      SOTB

    2. Tesla’s Defender – Just so you know Tesla did not use a radio transmitter to control his goofy looking boat. He used a RF noisy variable-speed AC generator(s). He put aerial on them and used a ship’s helm wheel to vary the speed of the gens to send different frequencies. Whatever type of receiver he used was very crude. Either iron filings/powder in tube (i.e. coherer?) which actually does respond kinetically to large RF fields, or fluorescent tubes of varying lengths and photo cells. Most viewers at MSG screamed “MAGIC!!!” but the US War Dept skeptics just sneered and said “Its some sort of trick I think…” The thing actually slowly floated around an indoor pool set up for it. He stood by the edge with his helm wheel and generators controlling the thing with people looking over his shoulder. You can imagine the war hawks who haven’t even seen a real tank or a workable diesel submarine yet. They looked on incredulously.

      They were used to IRON CLADS and steam powered battle ships with men on board. A robot was just the fantasy of Leonardo Da Vinci (sword fighting robot). And nothing like the robot torpedoes they were being shown by John Ericsson, John Louis Lay, Victor von Scheliha and Louis Brennan. Tesla tried to say it was a R/C torpedo but they just did not see that as it never went underwater. UK’s Ernest Wilson’s model 1 year before Tesla’s was better and was also radio controlled. Tesla was never really first in anything. Others did before him but got less press than he did. Even AC generators were before him. Only worked differently.

      SOTB

  3. Now we have article about really hot and smart chick and folks are discussing Tesla. Dafuq?
    Btw thanks for the article, surprising for me. Call me ignorant, but I always remembered Hedy as actress and “Corel Draw 8 lady” and had no idea about her technical work.

    1. obviously because anything that doesn’t have a microchip of some kind in it was invented by tesla!!

      anything that involves AC or radio was an idea stolen from tesla!

      tesla was a great man, never mentioned in “the history books”!

      blah, blah, blah

  4. For starters, she was the subject of a early 1980’s IEEE Transactions on Communications (in fact I think it was in 1980) on the development of wartime radar. Which is at least 15 years before EFF.

  5. RE: tesla … this just in:
    exposure to borderline harmful (high-freq.) radiowaves causes hallucinations

    why don’t people nag on the fact that edison went through the same thing?
    invented a higher then existing radio generation device, then go crazy over the months until your health worsens and you die from excess radio. all the while thinking you made a device that teleports dead people (or maybe it was ghosts?)

    why do you think radio technicians wear safety lines when working on radio towers while switched on, even if the “tower” is only 2 feet tall ???

    because falling backward while unconcious is 10000 times more likely to cause death then if your awake and can catch a fall from only 2 feet

    tesla was working with multi-kilowatts @ multi-thousand hertz (special mechanical RF generator) UNshielded

    edison generated some sort of highfreq. waves(RF) without knowing it was dangerous.

    they both got sick, but of course tesla was a crack-pot and edison was a saint :P

    1. Neither of them could have been exposed to frequencies high enough to cause physical issues. Physical effects start in the gig range, in particular 2.4. And it doesn’t normally cause mental issues not associated with cooking your brain. Which usually causes more issues more serious than confusion.

      Tesla might have been exposed to very high electric fields, but I’ve never heard of that causing mental issues.

      He just went nuts as he got older. Possibly due to being pissed off about getting screwed over by Edison and Westinghouse.

      1. True. EMF they were exposed to was probably in ELF/VLF range.

        2,4 Ghz is documented as hazardous. Shouldn’t have cordless phone against your head for extended periods. Can cause small cancer cells to form. Insanity is a specious argument. However Russians have perfected DEW systems in microwave region that can cause you real health problems. Past history of American Embassy in Moscow proves it.

        Our DEW ADS system operates at 95 Ghz and is quite dangerous if used improperly. It can cause severe skin burns if left on subject too long.

        1. Cell phones do not cause cancer. The “studies” that said they do were unreproduceable garbage. If you know of ones that could be and were reproduced, by all means post them.

          1. Eh, I doubt those old cellphones were all that dangerous. My guess is that they effectively self-limited the RF dosages by having absurdly high per-minute charges.

          2. Colecoman1982 – Back when Marty CLAIMS he invented the cell phone for AT&T I was also working on a similar invention. However AT&T beat me to the punch. Marty’s BRICK used FULL power RF. It looked like a WW2 walkie talkie. If the RF didn’t cause metastasis by stressing the cerebrum at that location then the heat energy would cook you. I would have made the same mistake too. No one knew about the extents of EMF hazards back then as we do now. You really should not expose your body to strong EMF fields. Doctors use RF to heat internal organs medicinally. I approached a microwave and industrial radio antenna site on a mountain and the warning signs said it was dangerous to be there. They were right as I felt it in my head and started to get dizzy, And I was in a car!

    2. NewCommentor1283 – The late Dr. John E. Mack proved that what you said was quite true. He was a Harvard psychiatrist & professor. He showed that by using EMF you can induce hallucinations in subjects (i.e. false memories of alien abductions, etc.). He took his show on the road to UK in 2004 to show off his findings and became road kill for a drunk driver (American guy visiting UK I think). The driver was shortly released after Mack family asked for leniency. Boy if only they knew…

      Edison was no saint. He was a violent crook and unscrupulous salesman. He did not invent the light bulb. He electrocuted dogs and an elephant to show how AC was deadly when actually DC is more deadly as AC gives you time to pull away DC holds you in place as you fry, Tesla was not so much a crackpot but more of a dupe and willing follower of philosophy fads like how Swami Vivekananda was selling BS to Tesla, Rockefeller, Edison, Westinghouse et al.

    1. Mandl was an arms dealer who hobnobbed with Hitler, Mussolini, and undoubtedly Fritz Thyssen and US Senator (R-CT) Prescott Bush (guess who that was). He was not into naval ordinance. He was mainly into bullets and gunpowder. Albeit, he may have diversified a bit. Don’t think he was into electronic weapons control systems. Siemens and maybe IBM was into it for Hitler (as well as the people mentioned above) She may have seen some plans her father was working on but the real inspiration came from her partner’s musical background. 88 frequencies was not chosen randomly. Its from music. Also not to sound like some sort of bigot but she was Ashkenazim. Like anyone in Hollywood will tell you that buys you a lot of credibility there and in the science world too (Einstein was Ashkenazim). She was really smart not a wannabe.

  6. Some quick facts about Tesla that you should be clued in include the fact that he was the living computer of his time: he had photographic memory, knew logarithms by heart and he actually spent every waking moment doing complex calculations be it related to his work or otherwise. He was true genius in the sense that not only was he highly educated in every known field of science of his time, but was also an extremely practical in a sense that he could single-handedly build almost anything that came to him in his visions. He actually never had to build any prototype -everything worked the first time he built it, he was such a master of his mind that he would do prototyping in his mind’s eye. He was a personal friend of the most brilliant scientists of his time and some of them would even say publicly on occasion something like this, “If Tesla says it’s like this, then it is so” – so to say that he didn’t understand the science behind his inventions just shows enormous ignorance. Also, using

    Let’s assume for the moment that he was born in the U.S. and was from Anglo-Saxon background – if that was the case you would all be now bragging everywhere how this was the biggest scientific mind of the twentieth century (and he certainly was that). Another fact that is poorly understood is that he was born in Austro-Hungarian empire and the official language there was German (one of the at least six languages that he spoke fluently), but he himself was of Serbian origin and his national pride would prevent him to be on German side during first or second world war. So this idea of him being a German spy is preposterous.

    Those occult-inspired dreams that you are talking about, produced all of his inventions that he is known for. I guess when somebody like Paul McCartney “receives” song like “Yesterday” that is incredible and awesome, but when Tesla is inventing using the same means, this is a big no-no or something unscientific.

    One other thing that might not be possible to understand in this Shark Tank mentality is this one: if there is a person that wants to help you make your invention a reality like Westinghouse did (when and where everyone else wants to destroy you) and later after realizing that that same friend would end up in bankruptcy if you decided to take him to court for the breach of contract – that is a true friendship to me and not being “a dupe” as somebody wrote above.

    Another big mistake is that today’s engineers think that they are smarter than Tesla – in fact if somebody could bring him back to life today he would be able to show them stuff that they could only dream about including the fact that ether physics is the thing of the future and that one experiment that was done is not enough to disprove its existence.

    Soon when people start reading Tesla’s work that he produced after 1900 (and there is tens of thousand of his papers currently in Tesla’s museum in Yugoslavia) and experimentally confirm that he was right all the time, you will discover that as the title of the one book says “Einstein Doesn’t Work Here Anymore”. To quote Tesla: The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.

    1. “Facts” or just fellow-country-man wishful thinking? Do you even know what a logarithm is? Tesla didn’t. I’m well read on Tesla. What you said is NOT in evidence anywhere. The stuff at the museum in Belgrade is mostly contrived propaganda like how you guys shot down one of our F117 Night Hawks. Mostly fiction?.

        1. Yeah and you guys said you also got one of our B-1 stealth bombers that same night all using an antiquated Russian radar system and the pilot’s personal metallic belongings. Where’s the debris from that? Colonel Zoltan Dani, if he did do it, only got lucky that night in 1999. He was lucky he didn’t get a AMRAAM up his keester… :P

          It seems your country has been a torn in our (USA) collective side since WW1. And the ball keeps on rolling even today! What in the world do you guys have against US? Your beef is with someone else farther north. Go pick on him for a change. Maybe you’ll get the same treatment as he is doing in Syria right now. You know the old saying “You can poke a bear once and maybe get away with it, but if you keep poking him, he’s going to get really angry.”

          I’m talking about this guy “The Gray Cardinal”: http://slopeofhope.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/putin-riding-bear-601×368.jpg

          I know Donald Trump is VERY angry too. I just hope he knows who the real bad guys are and not just the “usual suspects”!

  7. Hey HaD!

    Do a citizen scientist on Tesla,
    then maybe the commenters will get that out of their systems and allow comments relating to the person highlighted, in future editions.
    Awww forget it, it’ll never work….

  8. Frequency hoping was already a thing. Hedy came up with the idea of piano rolls for control of it. This was too impractical for torpedoes. *They used an alternate method submitted by someone else*

    Hedy is another fake hero like Ada. So desperate for female icons that they keep making them up. All it really does is undermine real achievements by both men and women. :(

    1. Nothing FAKE about Hedy. She never said there was never PRIOR ART, A Norwegian man developed one in 1929 but it was very different. It was impractical for torpedoes as it would mean that a radio aerial would need to protrude above the water line as RF does not propagate well underwater. Any sailor would spot it on watch quickly. Wire guided is STILL the best way even today. The only way to spot a torpedo or a sub today is the small wake hump made on the surface during forward momentum, That can be minimized by slowing down and/or diving deeper.

      Women make great scientists. Look at Lise Meitner – arguably the TRUE inventor of the nuclear bomb.

      SOTB

  9. Actually, Antheil DID NOT figure out a way to get multiple player pianos to talk to each other. He was working with the piano maker Pleyel, and they had very different ideas about how such a system would work, but neither of them came close to making it a reality. All of the performances of Ballet mecanique during Antheil’s lifetime were done on a single player piano. In the 1990s, through the work of German scientist Jürgen Hocker and myself–working indpendently–Antheil’s dream was realized, using MIDI and computer-controlled solenoid-driven player pianos. Visit antheil.org to learn all about it!

    1. Paul Lehrman – Very Interesting! For me… I would have taken a medium-sized music box cylinder and mounted both on a stationary platforms with the tines activating cherry micro-switches. I would use a very stable set of PM DC motors geared-down to clock speeds. I would scribe a mark on both as to where they should start. The cherry switches either have crystals or LC tanks attached to them via shielded coax.They lead to the local oscillator.

      Line the start marks up and fire both motors up simultaneously. Then send the mobile unit out in the field (launch). If you use a dpdt switch you could put a indicator lamp to show which frequency was ON at that moment. If they get out of sync you’ll need to recall the unit with a backup R/C or wire line or swim out to get it. It would not be high-speed FHSS like today;s systems.

      SOTB

  10. Why can’t we build a FHSS system of our own here at HaD in memory of Hedy? You know she only passed away 15 years ago in Florida. I wonder what she looked like at 86 years old.

    OK you’ll need an PC or Laptop. You’ll need a SDR dongle. You’ll need to write code that pseudo randomly (PR) changes the operating frequency of the dongle – just send PR frequency changes at the SDR dongle. Have it dwell for about 1 second. The transmitter frequency could be the oscillator frequency tap to an in-band or wide band RF amplifier and a discone antenna. FHSS synchronization is a little over my pay grade. You technical geniuses need to figure that out.

    Or a AFHSS system that takes the audio samples from your voice and rearranges them in a PR fashion much the way SIGSALY worked during WW2. It randomly rearranged words into a reversible unintelligible jumble. Two Israeli students at a University in Technion (SIPL-Team) have designed just such a system and are on YouTube displaying it.

    https://youtu(dot)be/U24Q6sTnlDo

    If someone could miniaturize this with an Arduino and control an FRS/GMRS walkie-talkie they could market it to replace the now defunct TriSquare units. They are ridiculously priced on Amazon and Ebay.

  11. “…and in the process proved that beauty and brains are not always mutually exclusive”. What an incredibly back-handed way to describe her. You can basically reword that as “she was brilliant, unlike most women”.

    I swear, every time I get excited about an article that highlights something cool done by a woman, there is always something to remind me that I’m not really welcome in this community.

    1. It can get much worse, add “disability” to “pretty” and “smart”.

      A girlfriend of mine walked off stage at some stupid award handing out thing, she is gorgeous, smartest person I know and blind.

      The presenter started to wax lyrical about her “rising above her limitations”, as she was leaving the stage, some idiot grabbed her arm, bad move.

      It got real ugly, real quick!

      We still laugh about that night, even though we both nearly ended up getting arrested (along with her service dog)

      1. Holy fuck >_< that is awful! This is why we can't have nice people.

        There are occasionally moments where an organization and its members will have the right intentions and exhibit some common sense in their actions…

        …but, it remains to be the case that the main barrier to entry is the assholes who don't think you're a worthwhile or capable human for some trivial detail that they fixate on and fetishize over (not male? not white? not able bodied? not neurotypical?). Like the sexist revisionist creeps here who vehemently insist that Lamarr couldn't have come up with the invention herself and thus must have stole it from her turdblossom ex husband. These people will always be the welcomed majority so long as everyone more respected gives their approval by saying and doing nothing.

  12. That was about the strangest turn of event with comments to a Hackday article I have yet to see. An article Hedy Lamarr, turn into a Tesla Vs. Tesla exercise. Decades after his death, his inspiration has countless searching for a “Holy Grail”. As far I l know Bell Edison, Westinghouse never done the same. Not that I’m saying whatever Tesla has inspired is there to be discovered.

    1. Hedy’s stuff has a great legacy in Cell Phones, Amateur Radio, and general government/military espionage venues.Bell’s Photo Phone has inspired countless VLC (visual light communications) spin offs that are just now vamping up to new technology today. He thought it had potential but never envisioned some of the VLC stuff just coming up on the horizon today. Fiber Optics alone can be traced to Bell. Edison’s stuff is starting to play out like incandescents, phonographs, concrete, etc. CON EDISION and Edison NJ (USA) is probably his only real legacy today. Westinghouse has exploded into a plethora of recession-resistant affiliate companies with lucrative defense contracts all thanks to a dumb-arse move by a Serbian wannabe. TESLA? Well we still have the AC generator, hydroelectrics, and recently the Israelis marketed that R/C attack boat we are using in US Navy. Oh and the Japanese are marketing the wireless energy rechargers for cell phones and stuff. But nowhere have we had a need for talking with Martians via Morse Code on a TeslaScope. :-P (Snarkiness intended)

  13. OK I just obsessed on this for a couple of days and came up with something I just pieced together from my slow memory. I’m just going to call it G.H.O.S.T. No its not DSSS nor GFSK. It is “unique” spread spectrum idea. I may have got it all wrong but my drawing is very revealing about how it all works. It’s not my idea. Somebody (UNSUB) came up with this and I saw it somewhere a long time ago. I may have seen it in a ARRL book, NASA Tech Briefs, USPTO gazette, Janes, or Aviation Weekly, I just can’t remember:

    Tell me what you think. Does it sound right?

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