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Archive for March, 2012

A Curious Youtube Video


This is the only findable video on youtube that contains ‘Radio Malabar’ in it. Turns out that it’s a trailer for a documentary movie about RM. The creator is an art student named Efan Kusuma Putra and he is on Facebook! Strangely, it’s Evan. Not Efan as in the trailer. However I believe it’s the same person as the supporting profile is matched. I have contact him. I hope he has done the final, full version of the movie.

A Video Trailer by Efan Kusuma Putra
Categories: Supporting Infos Tags: , ,

Mentions in A Book


I am not sure if Google Books would keep the viewable pages. Could we see the same pages the next time we visit the same book ? OK, I find another book mentioning Radio Malabar. It looks like a biography of some sort. I did the print screen :

tokek-vertI find how the writer describes people who used the telephony quite funny :) He is Horst H. Geerken :
tokek3

Mr. Bombeeck was In The News


Prajurit-AInternet keeps changing and that’s the reason I document every little thing about RM here. It’s about Mr. Bombeeck helping his swedish friend in Pangandaran when the beach was raged by tsunami back in 2006. It’s only one small news that could easily omitted from Internet because of it’s just old enough.
The original URL is here and the publisher is Antara. I copy and paste the story :

WN Swedia Korban Tsunami Dirawat di RS Bandung

Bandung (ANTARA News) – Warga Negara Asing (WNA) asal Swedia, Jan R J Boeken (54) dirawat di Ruang VIP H-4, RS Al Ihsan Baleendah Kabupaten Bandung, Jabar, karena luka memar yang cukup parah.
"Jan yang tergulung ombak selama beberapa detik tersebut mengalami luka-luka memar dan lecet di leher, lengan, punggung kanan dan kedua paha," ujar dr Krisna Pradanata, dokter bedah yang merawat Jan di Bandung, Kamis.
Krisna menambahkan luka lainnya yang dialami Jan adalah putusnya tendon jari tengah dan adanya luka di kepala. "Kami sudah menyedot nanah yang ada di persendian pasien sehingga pasien dalam beberapa hari mendatang akan dapat segera berjalan," ujarnya.
Menurutnya, pasien dapat segera pulang dalam tiga hari mendatang dengan masa istirahat selama tiga minggu sampai luka terkilir dan lecet serta bengkaknya sembuh.
Terkait masalah psikologis yang dialami pasien, Krisna mengatakan dengan kondisi mental yang dialami Jan maka pihak rumah sakit menyatakan tidak perlu mendatangkan psikolog.
Jan yang baru tiga jam di Pangandaran, masih belum dapat berjalan karena kondisi luka memar dan bengkak yang dialaminya. "Saya merasa sangat beruntung dapat terselamatkan dari banjir bandang," kata Jan pada wartawan.
Jan menjelaskan saat itu, ia sedang duduk santai bersama temannya di depan hotel. "Air tiba-tiba datang dan teman saya berlari entah kemana. Saya berlari ke dalam hotel dan ternyata tidak ada pintu untuk keluar," ujarnya.
"Untuk beberapa detik saya tergulung ombak. Saya meraih apapun yang ada di dapur. Tetapi saya sudah tidak dapat bergerak apa-apa lagi," ujarnya.
Akibat bencana tersebut, Jan mengatakan tidak takut untuk datang ke Indoonesia. "Saya senang berada di Indonesia karena orangnya ramah." ujarnya.
Beruntung, sahabat Jan yang sudah lama bermukim di Gunung Puntang Banjaran, Kabupaten Bandung, Bombeeck, melihat tayangan di bencana tsunami di Pangandaran melalui televisi.
"Saya langsung teringat akan Jan yang sedang berlibur di Pangandaran. Selasa pagi itu saya berangkat ke Pangandaran dan menjemput Jan. Saya langsung membawanya ke sini," ujarnya.(*)

In Context with The History of Wireless Tech


The books I refer in the previos entry were these :

2books

Both of which don’t mention anything about Radio Malabar. Have I been assuming too much ? Could it be that Radio Malabar was only one of radio stations in the world using Arc Poulsen (and later Telefunken’s) Transmitter ? Was it really the biggest transmitter in the world ? Those are among the questions that someday I hope I could find the answer.

However, historically speaking, the books are important in term of that they could give a context of where we should place Radio Malabar in the development history of wireless communication. Hong’s is somewhat limited to the early years of twentieth century, while Sarkar’s et al. includes a chapter entitled “A Chronology of Development of Wireless Communication and Supporting Electronics”. Part of the chapter is “Some Crucial Events of Twentieth Century”; that’s about the time when Dr. C.J. de Groot went to Karlsruhe in 1906 to study “Electrical Engineering” until he built Radio Malabar in 1922 – 1923.

I am lucky to be able to get the part of the book from Google Books. I have saved the relevant part (from 1906 to 1923) here. This is not at all assuming that de Groot should have known all the development at that time. I suppose technical innovation from different parts of the world back then was not easily disseminated world-wide. Once again, it is for the purpose of putting Radio Malabar in context with the history of wireless (communication) technology.

Size That Matters


smI think we all agree that fairness should be uphold in any attempts to reveal historical facts. It goes the same with Radio Malabar that was said by cdvandt.org as “Worlds most powerful arc transmitter ever”. I kinda turn that someway for the tag of this site: “digital archeology of the biggest transmitter ever”. Now, the question is: was it really that powerful ? that big ? I have read two books on the history of Wireless Communication (I am going to mention the titles on the next entry of this site) and there’s no mention whatsoever about Radio Malabar. I browse through and search using Malabar, Dutch Indies, Netherland, Indonesia, de Groot, etc: all come with no result. Has Radio Malabar been ignored in the history of wireless communication ?

Perhaps it’s gonna take more than just two books to answer the question. However it is imperative for me now to reveal anything matters with its size. I could have been straight with the data, but since the source is in Dutch, my chance is only by using Google Translate which more than often resulting nothing but gibberish. So, what I do is to present the original text I got from this site. OK, I could just make a guess from the English translation, but for the sake of accuracy I would just leave it original. I wish someone with fluency in Dutch could translate it … :(

Het idee van een rechtstreekse verbinding tussen het voormalig Nederlandsch Oost-Indië en het Moe- derland is in 1916 ontstaan in de vorm van een dissertatie van Ingenieur de Groot. De eerste luister- proeven vonden plaats met geleende Telefunken-ontvangers. Na bevredigende resultaten bij de ont- vangst van verschillende Europese en Amerikaanse zenders werden besprekingen gevoerd over geschikte frequenties en zendvermogens. Teneinde meer gegevens te verzamelen begon men met proefuitzendingen met een 100 kW Poulsen-Vonkenzender van de Federal Telegraph Company enmet een provisorische antenne aan een ballon bevestigd. Het bleek dat de resultaten echter niet bevre- digend waren, zodat dr. De Groot – die met de onderzoekingen belast was – een reusachtige kloof in het bergmassief uitkoos van de Goenoeng Malabar met 2 berguitlopers als natuurlijke ophangpunten voor zijn antenne. Als stroombron diende de enige reserve-dynamo van de Bataviasche Tramweg My (beschikbaar gesteld door OM v.d. Horst, redactie PK-jaarboek ’82); aangedreven door een 125 pK sterke vliegtuigmotor van de Militaire Aeronautische Dienst.
Dr. De Groot had inmiddels een gigantische vonkzender van 2400 kW vermogen geconstrueerd. Al- leen al het gewicht van de magneten bedroeg meer dan 180 ton, het spoelenmateriaal ongeveer 20 ton. Een groot koelwaterbekken voor het hoofdgebouw in de kloof diende voor afvoer van de warmte. De voor de zender benodigde waterstof werd in elektrolytische waterstofgeneratoren gemaakt. De zendfrequentie was 15.600 meter; het golfbereik lag tussen 7800 en 18.000 meter. Dit zen- dertype werd in dubbele uitvoering geïnstalleerd en verder met ,,kleinere” zenders aangevuld. Zo werden er nog twee lichtkogelzenders van ieder 200 kW vermogen geplaatst, evenals een Telefunken- machinezender van 400 kW vermogen.
De nieuw geconstrueerde antennes hadden eveneens geweldige afmetingen. De grote langegolf-an- tenne werd door 5 over de kloof gespannen duimse stalen kabels van wel zo’n 2000 meter gedragen. De ophangpunten op de beide uitlopers van de Goenoeng Malabar bevonden zich ongeveer 900 meter boven het station. Vijf door motoren aangedreven lieren aan de zuidzijde, en overeenkomstige toe- standen met tegengewichten aan de noordelijke, dienden tot het constant houden van de trekspanning van 10.000 kg. De eigenlijke antennedraden bestonden uit met koperdraad omwikkeld non-ferro dra- germateriaal van 7/8 duimsterkte. Door het hiermede bereikte grote oppervlak kreeg men te maken met corona-effecten. De bevestiging aan de dragerkabel vond plaats op 700 meter hoogte middels 2 meter lange isolatoren.
Op 5 mei 1923 werd het bedrijf officieel geopend. Desondanks werden niet alle verwachtingen ver- vuld, hoewel naar vele landen kontakten konden worden gelegd.

Should there be anyone out there capable of translating the above text in good English, please do that in the comment section (click “leave a comment” of this entry). Thanks!

Categories: Analysis Tags: , , ,

Flickr Photostream


flickr-inspI just add Flickr Photostream to the sidebar. All of the pictures come from Tropen Museum in Netherland. I know their existence bears such reputation as an established keeper of old stuffs. So that maybe I should not worry too much about its’ future fate. However, I have put them on my Flickr acccount more for the fact that they have been announced as comply to creative common and sure they are going to have important meaning to this site.

Radio station Malabar15Radio station Malabar16Radio station Malabar17Radio station Malabar under construction5Radio station Malabar under construction6Radio station Malabar under construction7
Radio station Malabar under construction8Radio station Malabar under construction9Radio station Malabar under construction4Radio station Malabar under construction11Radio station Malabar under construction2Radio station Malabar under construction13
Workplace with water-filter of radio station Malabar under constructionWorkplace of radio station Malabar under constructionAssembling an arc transmitter at radio station Malabar 2Assembling an arc transmitter at radio station Malabar3Assembling an arc transmitter at radio station Malabar5Assembling an arc transmitter at radio station Malabar6
Assembling an arc transmitter at radio station Malabar7Assembling an arc transmitter at radio station Malabar8Assembling an arc transmitter at radio station Malabar9Assembling an arc transmitter at radio station Malabar10An arc transmitter of radio station MalabarAn arc transmitter in the transmitting hall of radio station Malabar

Radio Malabar, a set on Flickr.

There are other photos of RM that are not kept by Tropen Museum but I am not sure about their term of use. For now at least I will explicitly mention their origin when I use them. I do hope that there will never be an issue of copyright here. Beside, I created this site not in any way for commercial intention.

Mr. Bombeeck: The Last Dutch Soldier of Radio Malabar


Prajurit 3I should have met him, but now it’s too late. When I came to Gunung Puntang (A sub district where RM is located) a week ago, I was told by an officer at the gate that there used to be a Dutch man in wheelchair who came there regulary. Unfortunately, he passed away in December 2011. He wasn’t sure about his name and said it could be ‘Josef’. One thing that crossed my mind was that I could ask some people where ‘Mr. Josef’ lived, see his family (he was married with a local woman), and If I was lucky I could get some infos and photos of him and anything to do with RM.

I did asking around. A clue was that he lived near a gateway down the road from Gunung Puntang. After some strange bad rapport from ojek drivers (motorbike transportation) in Palalangon, I and two friends who were with me in the trip, were led to a house about a half kilometer away by one of the driver who knew him as ‘Bombek’. Sadly, nobody in the house but the servant. Even the servant (an old woman) didn’t know a thing about Mr. Josef. She said that the lady of the house went out of town.

My search has found a website that contains this :
Prajurit-COh yes. I recognize that white metalwork for the house fence. I believe I have visited the right house back then. Turned out that his name was Josephus Franciscus Nicolass and Bombeeck was his nickname. I feel indebted to the website owner and have sent a message to him thru Facebook.
The next time I go to Gunung Puntang, I’ll make sure I pay a visit to his family.

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