About Me

United Kingdom
Presenting some of LIFE's ODDITIES and plenty of RANDOM JOTTINGS


Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Bygone days of WIRELESS 1925 et al

Digging out some family artifacts, I discovered some interesting photographs of early Wireless equipment
This is marked up as a STIRLING BR1c
it was obviously a top of the range fashionable article.

This one is labled BTH (Probably British Thomson-Houston)
again from the same period (Circa 1925)

An advertising brochure of the time extolled the virtues of the "DE3" electric valve

Examples of all the Wireless's above were seen at the first wireless exhibition.

Note the stand at the far end was a famous capacitor (condenser) manufacturer "DUBILIER"
Still active in 2011

In 1925 the licence to operate wireless equipment in the British Isles cost 10/- (50p) quite a considerable sum at the time, so wireless tended to be an entertainment system for the well-to-do initially.

Amazingly this fee stayed the same right up to 1946 though no licences were issued from 1939 to 1945, the first one to be issued immediately after WW2 was still 10/-
However the 1947 licence was raised to 20/- (1 Pound) and caused quite a howl of protest as at that time the wireless was a key factor in family information and entertainment  as it had been throughout the war years.

1922 Wireless licence (10/-)
(I removed the registered name)

Production of Wireless's really got into swing in the post war recovery years with Radio manufacturers that supported  the war effort producing communication radios, Radar etc diversifying back to producing an amazing array of different models for the growing domestic market.

Many of these benefited from the technical advances brought about by the war effort, valves produced in their millions could be pressed into use for more mundane domestic receivers, giving superior performance to many used in pre-war wireless equipment.

This was the post war heyday of the Wireless
but television was soon to re-appear and eventually attract many of the wireless listeners over to the 
"Moving picture Box" 

In most cases (only 1 in 100 homes had TV then) 
 this usually consisted of a tiny 9" screen (22cm)
some with liquid filled magnifying lenses
to bring the size up to about a foot (30cm).

The first post-war TV receivers were single channel 
(45Mc/s) tuned to Alexandra Palace in north London,
later models had extra channels for use in the provincial
City's and towns as the regional TV transmitters 
were installed.

The single channel TV receivers used the "TRF" principal 
(Tuned Radio Frequency)
Here all the tuned stages were at signal frequency
no conversion as in the more modern receivers.

Valves developed for war-time radar served ideally
for the early TV (Band 1) frequencies, the famous
EF50 a metal encased glass valve being used
in most of the radio frequency stages.

The B9G based EF50 valve
Picture courtesy of "tubecollector"
(follow up HERE

Please note.  All the pictures presented here are copyrighted to me and are the property 
of my family archive, you may click on them to enlarge them, save them to your own computer 
device for use but Please if you use them for your own purposes in any publication,
 leave me a comment out of courtesy.
If you have a serious archival or reference use in any technical or historical work that 
deals with wireless, I can provide on request the full unedited high resolution versions 
of the original prints.
 (You may notice the copyright logo, this is my amateur radio callsign)

Monday, 31 January 2011


Your problems solved NOW
No more excuses

Millenium Y 2 K it all happened before you know? 2000 Years ago

Let me whisk you all back 2000 odd years
lets take a peek into a Roman officer's intray
we might well have read something like 

Imperial Palace, Rome
January 18, 1 B.C.

Dear Cassius,

Are you still working on the Y zero K problem? This change from BC to
AD is giving us a lot of headaches and we haven't much time left. I
don't know how people will cope with working the wrong way around.
Having been working happily downwards forever, now we have to start
thinking upwards.  You would think that someone would have thought of
it earlier and not left it to us to sort out at the last minute.

I spoke to Emperor Augustus the other evening. He was livid that
Julius hadn't done something about it when he was sorting out the
calendar.  He said he could see why Brutus turned nasty.  We called in
the consulting astrologers, but they simply said that continuing
downwards using minus BC won't work. As usual, the consultants charged
a fortune for doing nothing useful.  As for myself, I just can't see
the sand in an hourglass flowing upwards.
We have heard that there are 3 wise guys in the east working on the
problem, but unfortunately they won't arrive till it's all over. Some
say the world will cease to exist at the moment of transition.  Anyway
we are continuing to work on this blasted Y zero K problem and I will
send you a parchment if anything further develops.



T H O U G H T S and T H I N K I N G


   Psychoanalysis, which is easier to understand than to 
spell, tells us what we really think when we think we think a thing. 
Without psychoanalysis we should never know that when
we think a thing, the thing we think we think is
not the thing we think we think, but only the thing that 
makes us think we think the thing we think we think.

   It is all a question of the Unconscious. The Unconscious 
enables us to think we are thinking about the thing 
we think we want to think about, while all the time the
thing we really want to think about is being thought about
unconsciously by the Unconscious.

   The Unconscious is a survival from our barbaric ancestry 
and has no manners.

   As the the sort of thing the Unconscious thinks about is 
not the sort of thing we care to think about, the 
Unconscious takes care not to let us think it is thinking about 
what it is thinking about. If we are in danger of thinking
that we are thinking about what we are really thinking 
about, the thing we are thinking about is sublimated 
into something we don't mind thinking we are
thinking about.

   Actually the Unconscious is divided into parts: the part 
that thinks the thing, and the part that prevents our 
thinking we are thinking the thing.
This preventing of our thinking we are thinking the thing 
we do not care to think we are thinking is called Repression.

   Repression is due to the Super-Ego, which is very genteel.

   There is friction between the Super-Ego and the Coarse part 
of the Un-conscious, or the Id. The Id thinks a thing that the 
Super-Ego thinks it ought not to think, and the Super-Ego 
represses the thing the Id thinks, so that we never think we 
think it. But unless the Id thinks we are thinking it, the Id becomes 
dissatisfied and causes trouble.

   As the Id thinks we can only think we are thinking the 
sort of thing the Super-Ego thinks we ought to think, we 
have to make the Id think we are thinking the thing Id 
thinks, by thinking we are thinking something that is
something like the thing the Id is thinking. If we can fool 
the Id we are all right. If not, there is no thinking 
what we may be thinking.

   It comes, then, to this: The things to think we think are 
the things that the Super-Ego thinks are the things to 
think, and that the Id thinks are the
things {it} thinks.

  I think that's perfectly clear.


Pondering on the FUTURE: Year 2000 Plus Y2K etc What happened?

Some reflections 17 years ago (6 Years Prior to Y2K)

Well its been over 2000 years since the Romans offered
us the I, II, III, IV etc, but as you all know these forms 
of numerical indentity do not easily "parse" in computer terms
so, taking this into consideration, I have designed
an easy solution to the problem, which I intend to offer to 
the European union the Esperanto society 
and any other sensible? body.

Let me outline the changes I am proposing to avoid confusion in the numbers game.

Starting from NOTHING, so its easy for computer programmers to understand we get ...

 0       1       2       3       4       5      6      7       8       9

You will of course notice that each has 3 characters only, this makes the
computer tables much easier to organise for example in a calender.

Now we come to the more complicated business of larger numbers, no longer will the teens be alone, they will take their place like the rest of the TEN's in the 20's, 30,s etc, so you will get statements like 

WONTZEO = TEN     or using the alternate form  TEN
                    through to-                       



I'm sure you are begining to see how much easier it will all be for young people when they first get introduced to numbers, and especially for computer programers who have far less data TYPES to consider.

Right, where do we go from here then ? well next comes the bigger units like

HUN, THO, MIL etc, all again three characters so easier to spell and understand
for the computer programmer!

Again the construction is simple and easy understood by computer programmers.


Going on to ..

I'm sure we all appreciate that !

Please read this bulletin and make sure you learn its message NOW as after
1996 that could be the way we will ALL have to write ... If the EUrocrats
have their say...Yes even computer programmers will have to learn to count.

This was written in 1994 in advance of the impending threat of major changes to be brought in the 1996 European summit


Strangeness in the English Language

                   Why English is such an Obtuse language

        Let's face it-English is a crazy language.

        There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
        neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

        English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries
        in France.

        Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet,
        are meat.

        We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes,
        we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square
        and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

        And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers
        don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is
        teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese.
        So one moose, 2 meese? One index 2 indices?

        Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend,
        that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal? If
        you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of
        them, what do you call it?

        If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian
        eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a
        letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

        Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to
        an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people
        recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send
        cargo by ship?  Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on
        driveways and drive on parkways?

        How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise
        man and a wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be
        opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike?

        How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

        Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they
        are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful
        gown? Met a sung hero or experienced requited love? Have you ever
        run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable?
        And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or who would
        ACTUALLY hurt a fly?

        You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which
        your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form
        by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

        English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the
        creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all).

        That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the
        lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch,
        I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.