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
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?