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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #31  
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Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: Vintage Kit

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
I see it runs on batteries too. I bet that would cost!
Yes, it takes 8 'D' cells, but also runs on mains, which I usually did.

Jim
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  #32  
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Re: Vintage Kit

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
I see it runs on batteries too. I bet that would cost!

A friend has a few old portable valve radios which need a long-obsolete 90v high tension battery. He gets round the problem by connecting ten PP3s in series!
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  #33  
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Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: Vintage Kit

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A friend has a few old portable valve radios which need a long-obsolete 90v high tension battery. He gets round the problem by connecting ten PP3s in series!
I guess that a Cockroft-Walton multiplier would also do it as the drain won't be much.

Jim
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  #34  
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Re: Vintage Kit

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A friend has a few old portable valve radios which need a long-obsolete 90v high tension battery. He gets round the problem by connecting ten PP3s in series!
Ooohhh I remember those batteries. Used to lug portable valve radios to the park to impress the girls back in the day ... worked at times too .

It was certainly not recommended to test them with your tongue (The batteries, I mean, not the girls ) ...edit ... then again
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  #35  
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Re: Vintage Kit

In my teens, I had a Philips EL3585 portable tape recorder - see
It was a remarkable design with two small (3" diameter) reels on top and was powered by 6 D-cells at the bottom. Unfortunately this was before the development of Dolby noise reduction, so sound quality was never great.

On a different subject, Jim mentioned the Cockroft-Walton multiplier. This needs AC or pulsed power to operate. Some portable equipment generated the pulsed power by means of a vibrator
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Re: Vintage Kit

I think ten PP3s, some wire and some sticky tape would be rather simpler than the Cockroft-Walton solution! Back in the 60s my dad had a car radio (Smiths I think, but badged HMV) which used a vibratory converter to generate the HT voltage for the valves. It buzzed all the time which didn't matter much if the car was moving, but became annoying when parked with the engine off. No such things as transistors back then .

Then there were the ubiquitous ex-MOD "19 sets" beloved of radio hams, they used rotary converters which were effectively a combination of a motor and a dynamo. The transmitter half of the set needed a higher voltage than the receiver so when you pressed the transmit button a second much noisier converter sprang into life!
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Re: Vintage Kit

You’ve all transported me back to the 70s and listening to the wise old men I worked with. They must have been 50-60 then (OK, so it felt they were old when I was late teens) so I suspect some of you must have lied on that age survey!
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Re: Vintage Kit

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Originally Posted by Otto View Post
I think ten PP3s, some wire and some sticky tape would be rather simpler than the Cockroft-Walton solution! Back in the 60s my dad had a car radio (Smiths I think, but badged HMV) which used a vibratory converter to generate the HT voltage for the valves. It buzzed all the time which didn't matter much if the car was moving, but became annoying when parked with the engine off. No such things as transistors back then .

Then there were the ubiquitous ex-MOD "19 sets" beloved of radio hams, they used rotary converters which were effectively a combination of a motor and a dynamo. The transmitter half of the set needed a higher voltage than the receiver so when you pressed the transmit button a second much noisier converter sprang into life!
Yes indeed. They had a mechanical multivibrator which drive a step-up transformer as a crude inverter generating the 200 volts or so needed for the valves' anodes.

Later designs used germanium transistors in the audio/output stages but used 'low voltage' valves in the RF and IF stages.

The early transistor car radios retained output transformers which meant the transients created by disconnecting the loudspeakers when the radio was on invariably bu99ered the output transistors!
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Re: Vintage Kit

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I think ten PP3s, some wire and some sticky tape would be rather simpler than the Cockroft-Walton solution!
I remember building a Cockroft-Walton multiplier from a Wireless World (or Practical Electronics) design using a couple of OC81s driving a tiny mains transformer (must have been backwards) and a 'ladder' of diodes and capacitors. It was all very small and produced sparks that would punch through paper.

Jim
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Re: Vintage Kit

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We seem to go through a lot of radios that only last a few years. Roberts are the main culprits, we've had four I think that have had a very limited life. My wife bought me a Ruark a few years ago, nice set with good sound until the volume control had - well no control. So, I was bought a new set for Christmas from John Lewis, well written up by Which! and almost certainly made by Ruark. It's kind of OK but only just.

The only radio in the house that I really enjoy is one bought in the 1970's made by Hacker when I thought I was moving to Italy. FM, Long and Medium waves with two short wave bands. It's a dream and with a wooden frame, the sound quality is superb.

The Psion Organiser (mid-1980's) is still going strong despite being a museum piece. What's your old-time favourite?

David
Apologies for resurrecting this thread. My Christmas radio present bought from John Lewis is officially 'dead'. Total cr*p.

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Re: Vintage Kit

We have found FM reception with portable radios very poor with lots of interference. We now use internet radio distributed round the house, all the speakers are synced and no audible interference.

Probems are that the signal is 35 seconds behind the pips on FM and if the internet fails then the radio drops out, that is when the FM tuner in the hifi system is used (it has a rooftop aerial) with the volume turned up.

So far so good.
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Re: Vintage Kit

The trouble with analogue radio now is that there are so many services vying for bandwidth which can interfere with reception, especially on older sets that were never designed to cope with current levels of interference from mobile phones, wi-fi, wireless doorbells etc. I live in a fringe area for FM reception and some portables work and some don't; none will get noise-free stereo. DAB is a non-starter without a roof aerial although I have one spot on a bedroom windowsill where a DAB portable works. For high quality reception I use internet radio as DAB sounds so awful on anything other than a basic portable. The BBC's 320kb audio streams are at least to my ears as good as, if not better than, FM.

My local radio shop kindly offered to fit me a DAB roof aerial for free to "see if it worked". I wish I'd had them put up an FM one instead!
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Re: Vintage Kit

FM is fine where we are but DAB can only be picked up on the top floor. Radio controlled clocks are much the same, one needs to be on the bedroom window sill twice a year.
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Re: Vintage Kit

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FM is fine where we are but DAB can only be picked up on the top floor. Radio controlled clocks are much the same, one needs to be on the bedroom window sill twice a year.
I am not a fan of DAB. The audio quality of FM is better to my ears unless listening on a portable.

Some other EU countries have a more advanced DAB network (DAB+ ?) which I'm told offers better audio quality, but for some reason it has passed us by.
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Re: Vintage Kit

The problem with DAB is it's old technology now. MP2 compression and low bit rates combine to offer very poor sound quality by modern standards. As usual, we pioneer a new technology and everywhere else takes the idea and does it properly! On a recent trip down souht via the A1 and M1 I was amazed at how frequently the DAB signal dropped out, even in well populated areas. Unless I want to listen to a station that's not available on FM (rare, unless Test Match Special is on!) I stick to FM.
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