G6XJ Arthur Edwards, (Sales Director at Strattons) in 1929
Matt Twyman GW6KOA who used to be a test engineer at Eddystone in the 1980’s and 90’s (working on 1650 Receivers as I recall) sent me a page from an old Shortwave Magazine of January 1949 which showed Arthur Edwards G6XJ operating his station in 1929. Arthur Edwards was the Sales Director for Strattons for many years from its early days until the early 60’s before it was sold to Marconi.
There has been a long conversation on the UK Vintage Radio and Restoration Forum about Wendy Mott’s experience in restoring a 888. Many people contributed to this conversation and I asked Wendy if she would produce an article for this website on her experiences. You can find this on the Restoration section of the Technical Folder (above)
On behalf of the Eddystone User Group, I wish all our readers a very Merry Xmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. If you are feeling generous and have found the website useful then you might wish to make a small donation to the website’s running costs. You can find details on how to do this on the home page left hand pane. To all those who were generous in their contributions in 2015, I thank you very much. Without your support we would not be able to provide this free service to all our Eddystone Radio fans.
Chris G0EYO EUG Webmaster
You may recall a recent news item regarding whether there really was an Eddystone Television. This had been triggered by an E bay auction of a dealers sign which indicated that they sold Eddystone Shortwave and Television apparatus. The sign, with a starting price of £200 failed to get any offers on E bay.
Last week I noticed that the same sign had been put in a Chippenham Auction Rooms auction of Toys, Enamel signs and Packaging which was held on Friday 27th November. The estimate in the catalogue was £300 to £400 but again it failed to meet its reserve and was passed over. I wonder where it will turn up next.
The correspondence about Eddystone TV’s prompted Eddystone guru Gerry O’Hara VE7GUH to remind us about a the spoof Article on Eddystone TV he prepared for April Fool’s Day a few years back –
Still not sure if Eddystone ever made and sold TV sets by the way!.
Interesting story from John KA5QEP on the EUG forum this week.
Apparently several times a year the ARRL, who are the national amateur group in the US, runs a frequency measuring test. Signals are broadcast on three ham bands and hams are invited to measure the exact frequency and send them in. After the contest, the results are given. This time the emphasis was on vintage receivers, so John used his Eddystone EC958/3. He only used the frequencies as read from the dials after calibrating the BFO and fine tuning controls to give a zero beat at the nearest 10 KHz calibration point, and then zero beat the signal. He didn’t use counters or signal generators.
Here are his results:
80 Meters: 3598.1KHz, accurate frequency was 3598.13122. I was off by -31 Hz.
160 Meters: 1842.05KHz, accurate frequency was 1841.98851. I was off by 61 Hz
40 Meters: No signal was heard.
These results were at least as good or better as those from a BC-211 vintage frequency meter another ham used. John says he spent a lot of time fixing up and aligning the EC958/3 and it performed very well. “It’s an excellent piece of equipment” (John Reed, KA5QEP)
Eddystone Dealers sign with TV reference?
A recent E-bay offer of a dealer’s sign advertising Eddystone Shortwave Sets and Television Apparatus, raised the old question of the televisions that Eddystone were supposed to have made in the 1950’s. Despite requests in the Eddystone User Group newsletter over the years nothing of substance was ever discovered about these sets which were supposed to be consoles. It was my impression from speaking to Bill Cooke in the 1980s that these were prototypes made and used by the directors and never put on the market. This is somewhat contradicted by the dealer’s sign but there is no record of any Traders Information on the set as you would expect from a commercial product. I can also find no reference to a television set in the BP register (register of all top level drawings or “ blueprints”). There was a suggestion that they were projection type sets, as an ex Merchant Navy Chief Steward told Ted Moore that he recalls seeing an Eddystone projection console on a P&O ship that was very difficult to install and set up but again no firm evidence. I also cannot see any reference to televisions in Bill’s autobiography “The Cooke Report” which can be downloaded from this site. A real mystery, will we ever know the facts?
This Eddystone S740 which had been beautifully restored by its owner sold for a fantastic £176 on e Bay recently. The vendor gave a good and honest description of the set and included plenty of pictures which is just the right way to go about getting the best price.
The vendor said that when he got it, it was working reasonably well, though dusty and with some cabinet marks. Apparently electrically it was not far off, and just the usual capacitor and resistor replacements brought it up to spec. In fact he needed to replace far fewer capacitors than the later Eddystones he had repaired. Through the Eddystone User Group and courtesy of Ian Nutt who had reproductions made; he was able to replace the tuning spindle and bush so the tuning is really smooth. He gave the cabinet a clean up and a very light matt black spray to restore the original look but without hiding the wrinkle finish.
The performance was fine for what the vendor used it for – mainly local broadcast (using a 4 ft wire as antenna!). but he said it will resolve SSB with a bit of work getting the RF gain setting right so that the BFO can do its job. He also added a modern IEC mains connector with built in filter and a mains fuse.
The Eddystone S740 was a general coverage communications receiver; AC Mains 110-250v; 8 valves 1 RF; 1 IF (450kc/s); BFO; required external speaker and had provision for plug-in S-meter; (both optional. It covered 4 bands: 1.4 to 30.6MHz According to Graeme’s QRG research the production run was only 900 sets, which made it rather rare and the original price was £32. 10s. 0d.
Absorption Wavemeter Model 696
This Absorption Wavemeter Model 696 sold for £62 recently on E bay. An earlier version of the famous Edometer and quite a find because it is considered to be quite rare. I think someone got a real bargain for such nice looking instrument. Housed in a standard die-cast metal box this handy device used eight miniature plug-in coils to give continuous coverage from 200 kc/s to 150 Mc/s. Originally two coil-stands were included to take coils not in use and individual hand-calibrated charts are supplied in a containing tube. The model sold shows only 6 coils and the seller stated it covered 1.25MHz to 150MHz. No mention was made of calibration charts so the purchaser would probably have to re-calibrate it. There was a later model 696/1 which was supplied with nine coils and covered the frequency range 200 kc/s to 200 Mc/s. Original price in 1954: £13 10s 6d equivalent to £335 now.
All World Two
This All World Two radio sold for £1020 recently on E-bay. It was hard fought after with some 32 bids recorded. I don’t know if this is a record price for this radio but it must be very near the top. From memory I think the previous high price was in the region of £500. The All World Two was first produced in 1936 and was offered either as a kit at £3.7s.6d plus valves and wooden case or ready built and tested for £5.5s. By the outbreak of war its ready built price had fallen to £3.17s.6d. You could even buy it on hire purchase terms complete with ‘phones and batteries for £1 down and six monthly payments of 16s 4d. One of the receiver’s claim to fame was that it was used by Voluntary Interceptors (V.I.s) during the early war period, before H.R.O.s were bought from U.S.A. V.I.s were civilian hams and S.W.L.s who monitored enemy Morse signals from their home QTH for Bletchley Park to decode.
Seeing this Orion 7000 being sold for £326 on E bay recently brought back memories of the origin of this transceiver. In the mid 80’s we became aware that there was a market for a channelized HF transceiver with 100W output that could be used by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in developing countries which lacked communications infrastructure. Customers would include aid agencies and medical help organisations. This resulted in the Orion 5000 which we sold very well all over the world. One factor was the channel restrictions foreign governments put on NGOs as to what frequencies they could transmit on and at that time synthesized transceivers where not allowed. Competition for this market was great with most of it coming from either the US (SGC) or Austalia (Codan). However typically we sat on our laurels and failed to see that these guys where developing synthesized products which could be set up on specific frequency channels. By the 90’s we were losing market share so quickly set in train the development of the Orion7000 which was a synthesized channelized 100W HF transceiver. Development took longer than we expected and by the time it was launched we had lost our major customer (ie the Red Cross). Soon afterwards the company closed down and the communications products were eventually sold to Ring Communications who probably sold off some of the Orion7000’s to the retail market. I used one once at a BVWS/NVCF do at the Warwick exhibition centre where I had managed to re-programme it to operate on the amateur bands. Using an SGC300 tuner and a long wire I had a few QSO’s at the show where Alan Ainslie was exhibiting some of his vast collection of Eddystone receivers.
Chris G0EYO on Orion7000
Exhibition at NVCF