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Monday, April 18, 2011

Don Norgaard, W2KUJ -- SSB Pioneer

In SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics I tell of how I struggled to understand the inner workings of my Hallicraters HT-37 single sideband transmitter. This rig used the phasing method of sideband generation, and as a kid I just couldn't understand how it really worked. And this really bothered me. As I recount in the book, through a QST article that was reprinted in the ARRL book SSB for the Radio Amateur, Don Norgaard came to my rescue and allowed me to understand the phasing method.

It was only recently that -- through reading the August 1998 issue of an Electric Radio Magazine article by Jim Hanlon, W8KGI -- that I came to realize that Don was one of the true pioneers of SSB. I think this blog post may be one of the first presentations online of a picture of OM Norgaard. The 1951 QST article notes that "the face may be unfamiliar."

In addition to writing very clear QST articles, Don was the creator of a rig that "revolutionized amateur use of SSB." It was a three tube 75 meter SSB transmitter called the "SSB, Jr." From Jim Hanlon's article: "It used nothing more complicated than simple coils, condensers, resistors, one carrier frequency oscillator crystal, four germanium diodes and three tubes in the classic phasing circuit to put out 5 watts PEP."

Three cheers for Don Norgaard! Three cheers for the phasing method!


  1. That is the first picture I've seen of Norgaard. Thanks! Is there any more information or perhaps a biography of Norgaard that you're aware of? I've been unable to find much about him.

  2. I love the photographs of those OT's at their station desks; they always wore suits and ties. :-)

    73 from the not so formal Left Coast.......Steve Smith WB6TNL "Snort Rosin"

  3. Here is a link to all the G.E. Ham News editions.

    The "SSB Jr." is in Vol. 5, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1950)


    73.......Steve Smith WB6TNL "Snort Rosin"

  4. Re: Previous post; for some reason the .htm got changed to .htr in the URL I posted.

    Steve Smith


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