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
An EUGer kindly drew my attention to an issue with the photo gallery in as much as the thumbnail for a particular set says that there are 4 photos but when you click on the thumbnail there is only 1 photo displayed. This looks to be a problem throughout the gallery and I will have to investigate by going back to the old site and seeing what is missing or wrongly described. It may take some time!.
UPDATE, within an hour of raising the matter with my ISP and webdesigner, those nice chaps at BarclayJames, the problem was fixed and I think we can now see all of the photos in the gallery. If anyone finds any more problems let me know and I will get it sorted. Chris G0EYO EUG Webmaster
There is an excellent forum for vintage radio collectors and restorers called UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration which can be found on http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/ . I have no doubt many of you are subscribers to this forum. Recently, someone called “Carnival Pete “ (subscribers tend to use pseudonyms) raised the question as to why the Eddystone 888A Amateur Band receiver would have P.U. audio input. Subsequent discussion showed that this was a common feature amongst many of the Eddystone communications receivers viz; S.670, the 730/4 and the S.680/2A to name but a few. The collective consensus was that this was to enable the set to monitor sidetone transmissions from an co-located transmitter when in standby but that it could also be used in connection with a gramophone perhaps more aimed at the ex-pat market overseas. Also some Eddystone features just seem to be a standard. Perhaps because designs evolved from one to another. Interesting discussion.
I was watching a BBC4 film last week about the Golden Age of Steam which featured the Severn Valley Railway near Bewdley and imagine my surprise when seeing the part about them restoring and installing a Victorian Urinal on the SVR platform in 1975, they announced that it was opened by the Mayor of Bewdley who was of course our old friend Graeme Wormald G3GGL (now SK). I took a screen shot and have attached it. He is much missed.
Before Marconi purchased Eddystone Radio in 1965, they were owned by Laughtons, a family owned company that made ladies, compacts, cufflinks, hair grips and Twinco plastic goods. So it should come as no surprise that at some stage in Eddystone’s history it was decided to make a set of Eddystone cuff-links and a tie-pin. I even have an Eddystone tie-pin myself. I expect they were made for sales promotion purposes to give out to valued customers. So I was surprised to see a set of cuff-links and tie-pin offered for sale on E bay recently and even more surprised to see that they went for nearly £78 after a hard fought for auction. The original case was lost so the one in the picture is not how they were originally produced. I believe the original packaging was a small cardboard box with Stratton printed all over it. They were obviously bought by an Eddystone enthusiast who really wanted them. I see the same seller has another pair of cuff-links also for sale but slightly different. Wonder how much they will get?
This Eddystone “Edometer” S902 Mk 2 in a wooden box complete with operating instructions booklet sold for £68 recently on E bay.
The Edometer was versatile transistorised instrument which functioned as a dip oscillator, signal generator, absorption wave-meter, AF tone generator and AM modulation monitor. It came with seven plug-in miniature coils and covered the frequency range 390 kc/s to 115 Mc/s. Powered by 9v. PP3 battery. This example looks complete will all seven coils and space for the spare battery.
The S.902 Mk I came out in 1965 and was supplied in cardboard box and is usually minus its coils and is very rare. The S.902 Mk II was supplied in beautiful mahogany case, as well with improved circuitry (NPN transistors).The price in 1969 was £27 10s. Still quite rare.
I think someone got a real bargain with this purchase, as in recent years they have sold for as high as £250 when in good condition. The EUG were donated one by Barry ZS2H for club funds but it has not been offered for sale yet. I will wait until prices go back up again.
Photo of Santi EA2UM’s Eddystone 940,
Greetings from Bilbao, Spain,
Seeing the offer and eventual sale of an Eddystone 1650/6 receiver brought back memories of the original sale and their subsequent disposal by the customer onto the Government surplus market. The 1650 set was the company’s first microprocessor controlled general coverage communication receiver. Introduced in 1984 and went on to have many variants, all looking the same. It had a sealed membrane front panel and covered 10kHz to 30MHz in 5Hz steps. It also had a 99-channel memory, any number of which were scannable and with any portion of the frequency spectrum sweepable. Tuning was either by keyboard or knob and it had a built-in motor-tuned pre-selector option. It was a double conversion super-het with a first of IF 46.205MHz, and second IF of 1.4MHz. Could operate from AC mains or 24V DC and was remotely controllable Prices c.£3.5k in 1984.
In 1988 to Government asked us to quote for a special version which would be controlled by computer. I personally didn’t see the specification as it was restricted but it clearly did not require a tuning knob or front panel controls. This set was designated the 1650/6. It was to be used for some sort of FSK operation and had two IF centred filters with a special 5kHz product detector. Read the rest of this entry →
Eddystone 960 Transistorised Receiver
The 960 was the first transistorised communications set Eddystone produced and they are quite rare with a production run of only 150. Performance was reputed to be inferior to its valve equivalent, the 940. This example looked in reasonable condition although there was no guarantee of performance. In the end it sold for £333 on E Bay. Obviously much fought after and the price probably reflects its being the first transistorised set. I remember Bill Cooke, MD and Chief Engineer at Eddystone, telling me that he was tasked with using as much existing stock as possible and I believe the transistors were fitted into “valve-holders”.
Apparently these first transistors such as the OC171, OC45, OC71, OC83 and OA70 were very expensive and god help any engineer who destroyed one during the sets development.
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