News, Updates and Other Minutiae

As a lot of people have pics of things unrelated to ham radio on their websites, I thought I would add a couple of my own (Scroll down for site updates). Banjo, our Red Heeler/Koolie cross at 4 months old. Banjo at 4 months And at 12 months old (Feb 2016) enjoying his birthday breakfast treat of banana on toast. Banjo at 4 months

May 2017

New project added - my version of the X-Phase noise canceller. PCB available and a kit of parts to follow soon

27 December 2016

Another addition to the Gallery section. This time, fitting a DDS module to a Philips PM5326 RF Generator to cure a bad drift problem.

26 November 2016

Additional software for the Simple DDS VFO added. This enables the pushbutton on the encoder to change step size (step sizes 10kHz, 1kHz and 10Hz). See the notes in the Download section of the Simple DDS VFO page for more info.

20 November 2016

I have had some interesting conversations with homebrewers over the last few years relating to experiments/modifications of the works published on this website. One of the things on the 'list of things to do', was to publish some of their pics' etc on my website, so along that line, the first one, a filter/leveller for DDS modules from G3OAG, is now on my site. This one and all the others I have available to show, will be posted under the 'Gallery' menu. Now that things are starting to return to somewhat normal around here, I will endeavour to get the others up as quickly as possible (with apologies to those that have been waiting to see their work in lights).

Old Valve (Tube) Radios

I started in electronics, way back in the dark ages in the UK, at a very young age and I can blame it all on my grandfather. While staying with my grandparents on holidays and various other times, they used to religiously listen to a radio series called the "Archers". To keep me quiet during the broadcast, they would put me in the cupboard under the stairs (no, it wasn't punishment or abuse), where there was this wonderous world of strange bits and pieces I could play with. This was back in the Fifties (1950's, that is) and I quickly found out these were old radio bits and pieces. Anyway, moving on a bit, I was given one of those Philips kits that made up various electronic gizmo's. From there, I joined a ham radio club and built my first transmitter, a valve (tube to those in the US) 2m AM rig at age 13. (You can hear the outcry now if you let a person of such young age play with all those nasty, dangerous high voltages these days. The nanny brigade have a lot to answer for). Which brings us to the present. For a bit of nostalgia, I thought I might like to build another copy of that old 2m rig. But where to get those harder to find parts without spending a small fortune? As luck would have it, a flyer appeared in our mailbox, advertising a clearance sale and in among the items were - old valve radio's. To cut it short, I ended up with 8 valve radio chassis, all complete, for the princely sum of $6 and I suspect all but two are in working order. Here are some pic's of a couple, to give an idea of what condition they were in. These first two pic's are from a Precedent 5 valve radio/gramophone chassis. The Precedent was the inexpensive brand of the day, with things like the IF cans being pop rivetted around the coils. Also, notice, in the first pic, the two outside pulleys that the dial cord runs over, they are made of wood. An idea for that next project perhaps? In the second pic, the circular plate that came from where the mains transformer is mounted was used to mount the tuning coils. Despite this, whoever built this particular one took great care in wiring it. Look at how straight the bare wire is and with precise bends. The overall wiring and assembly is very neat. Top view of old Precedent radio chassis Bottom view of old Precedent radio chassis These next three pic's are from a chassis, brand unknown, that shows the best use of chassis space. In the first two pic's, both sides of the chassis have been used to mount valves and components. While the third pic shows the variable inductance tuning unit, rather than a varaible cap. That unit still has a nice smooth action. Front view of unknown chassis Back view of unknown chassis Variable inductance tuning unit The blue sticker with "ARTS & P" on it is a royalty sticker. Most radio builders in Australia of the time, formed an alliance to make use of patents and protect themselves. The Australian Radio Historical Society and many other sites can provide information, if you want to know more. These and all but one of the others have been dismantled and the parts (excluding resistors and caps) have been kept. Three of them had dial scales which are available for sale of which I will get some pic's and put here shortly.