History of domestic ICT: 120 years of the Kronstadt radio workshop

120 years of the Kronstadt radio workshop. IT Market

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Petr Chachin | 09/05/2020

History of domestic ICT: 120 years of the Kronstadt radio workshop

In September 1900, the Kronstadt radio workshop, founded by A.S. Popov, is the first enterprise in Russia to start producing domestic radio communication equipment. It
laid the foundation for the creation in the country of the radio and communications industries.

In 1900, it was decided to equip the fleet with radio communications. In order not to depend on supplies from abroad, it was necessary to establish our own production of radio equipment for the needs

According to the historian of communications I.V. Breneva, the radio workshop was formed on September 2 (14), 1900. Her tasks included the assembly, installation, adjustment and repair of radio equipment for ships.
the navy, and later on the production of their own telegraphic equipment without wires.

Unfortunately, from the very beginning the Naval Ministry was unable to correctly define the tasks and prospects for the development of the new production. The Russian fleet included more than 250 ships, but
it was originally intended to equip only newly built ships with wireless telegraph devices.

As a result, the planned volume of work was significantly underestimated, the staff, their qualifications, and the amount of equipment were determined incorrectly. The state did not provide for engineering and technical
cadres who would work on improving the equipment were not provided with the possibility of expanding production as the fleet of radio equipment increased.

Initially, the workshop acquired a handicraft character, in addition, it did not receive an independent status, but simply was part of the port workshops as a “special department”. She was allocated
two rooms, and the staff includes three artisans, an apprentice and a manager.

The first station of wireless telegraphy was released in November 1901, but already in 1902 it became clear that the forces of the workshop could not fulfill the orders of the fleet, since with the available capacity for
a year she could make only four complete sets of radio stations (PCT) with a need for more than 20.

A.S. Popov petitioned for an increase in the number of workers and equipment. This would increase the productivity of the workshop, but the pace of production still remained low: in 1903
the workshop produced 16 PCT.

The heads of the Naval Ministry now understood the need to equip all ships of the Navy with reliable radio communications, as a result of which new attempts were made to reorganize and expand
Kronstadt workshop.

But it objectively could not ensure the mass production of radio equipment, since from the very beginning it was focused on the manufacture of a small number of PCTs of a limited range. Increasingly have become
to receive claims on the quality of its products. This forced the Maritime Ministry to turn to foreign firms.

In 1904, the Kronstadt workshop produced 20 PCTs. In the future, their own production was curtailed, and the enterprise was reoriented to repair and install items purchased abroad.
radio stations.

Finally, the question of its radical reorganization was finally ripe: for the development of production, additional areas, qualified personnel were needed, and in Kronstadt there were no vacant premises
was, and the money for the construction was not allocated.

In June 1910, the Kronstadt radio workshop was transferred to St. Petersburg to a newly equipped room in the Galley harbor of the St. Petersburg port. All of her personnel were enrolled in the state
The radiotelegraph workshop of the St. Petersburg port.

In total, over the years of the workshop existence (from 1900 to 1910), 65 radio stations were produced and installed on the ships of the Navy and coastal facilities of the fleet, the production of radio components was established, and repairs were made
a large number of radio installations. More information about the first steps of domestic radio engineering can be found on the website of the Virtual Computer Museum www.computer-museum.ru.

history of domestic ICT

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