Eddystone User Group


Archive for the ‘News’

Donation of Spare parts

April 08, 2024 By: chris Category: News

Sian and Roger Digby contacted me about some radio parts that belonged to Roger’s grandfather who passed away some 60 years ago and who was a keen radio enthusiast and had been the owner of an Eddystone Receiver which Roger remembers his grandfather using to listen to overseas shortwave broadcasts when he was a boy. Roger kept the set (he can’t recall the model number) for some 40 years after his grandfather’s death and finally passed it on to another radio enthusiast who had helped his son with a motorbike problem. Roger’s wife Sian had found a box of radio parts belonging to the grandfather when sorting through some cupboards in their garage. They passed them on to me in the hope that they might find a new home with someone in the Eddystone User Group. Here is a list:

  1. MullardValve 6J7G boxed looks new
  2. Ken-Rad Valve 6R7G used
  3. Marconi Valve DL63 used (rattles!)
  4. Pix Invisible aerial in box (30ft) (picture frame aerial?)
  5. Old 3 3 round pin mains plug (crabtree)
  6. Graham Farish Aerial Unit (variable resistor or cap?)
  7. Belling and Lee Anti interference unit (transformer?)
  8. 6BA6 miniature valve used
  9. Belling and Lee Aerial block (wall mounted?)
  10. Plus couple of unidentifiable bits.

If you see anything of interest then contact Chris G0EYO EUG Admin on g0eyo@blueyonder.co.uk. 

My Eddystone EC 10 Transistor Communication Receiver January 1970 – to ???

February 24, 2024 By: chris Category: News

Interesting anecdote from EUGer Roger Tricket about his lifetimes experience with his much loved Eddystone EC10 receiver

In 1969 I was posted to a position in New Guinea, so took delivery in Melbourne early Jan 1970 of a new Eddystone EC 10 Serial 6605. It has been to New Guinea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, England, Thailand and a number of locations in my home country, Australia. 

EC10 above ICom 8500

It has been turned on continuously since new apart from periods in transit, so now in 2024 it seems it would have been on for all of about 50 years of its 54 year life (2024).

Still used every day for a shortwave broadcast I like  and as in all those years when not listening, I turned down the audio, but leave the set running.  It has generally been fed from 20 – 30 ft aerials, sometimes thru a mini aerial tuner. Now wire aerial through 1 to 1 toroid transformer into coax to the set. (note the station closed about 2020). Now in general use but always on tuned to WWV.

WWV freq on dial

 

Alterations – replaced all electrolytic capacitors about 2015; the agc line cap now uses a bipolar cap as there was a question relating to the circuit polarity, it works better now.   When adjusting the mixer trimmer with metal shaft screwdriver, it  shorted and killed the mixer transistor, which has been replaced from a stock of replacements I keep ( these have the leads wound together in attempt to avoid the dreaded whiskers ).

 

 

Rear view with power and antenna connections

The power supply is a 9v plug pack and fed to an 8v voltage stabiliser built into the case about 2016. However for some 30 years it was fed with voltages from various sources 6v to 12v and even a standard mini 9v battery, on which it will run for several hours. Note: set runs positive to earth so cannot use common power supply with other equipment – the plug pack has negative to earth so reversal is done in the voltage stabiliser which uses feed in from an isolated input plug; see pic.

The aerial terminal was replaced with a coax fitting ( for 50 Ohm line ) which feeds an internally mounted mini toroid balun – 50 to 75 Ohms so the twin diodes are removed. The BFO injection Capacitor was increased to 3PF. As a signal strength meter I use a 100 Microamp meter direct into the audio out socket as this carries the AGC voltage in the original wiring from the factory.

Original box and instructions

Compared to a modern Icom R8500 receiver it does a very credible job, though frequency drifts notoriously with daily temperature changes!

It is now 2024 and I am in my mid 80s so with luck it will outlast its owner………

 Compared to a modern Icom R8500 receiver it does a very credible job, though frequency drifts notoriously with daily temperature changes! It is now 2024 and I am in my mid 80s so with luck it will outlast its owner……

Interesting note of relevance – Nasa used these same germanium transistors in early space exploration and it has been found “whiskers” grow in the RF metal case transistors and kill them. There is a document available where Nasa explores this subject.  Hence this set needs to run continuously which seems to avoid the problem.

Note – In 2021 the on off power switch in the RF gain control failed and there is now a mini switch on the rear.

Roger Trickett

S640 Identity Crisis

January 15, 2024 By: chris Category: News

Way back in September 2023 Chris G0EYO (our beloved mentor) put out a request from Jon MI6XGZ to see if anybody would repair his deceased father’s (callsign GI3ZX) S640 as he would like it to be working so he could use it for old times sake. As MI6XGZ obviously lives in N.I. and me living just over the water in Southern Scotland, I responded and arrangements were made for a friend visiting MI6XGZ living in Central Scotland to drop it off as he passed the door from the Stranraer ferry. It was duly dropped off in January and put in the workshop for attention.

Now MI6XGZ’s deceased father, Desmond, has an interesting history in his own right. Licensed well before 1939 he was conscripted into the VI service at the start of WW2 and formally moved to the RSS secret listening station in N.I. GILNAHIRK where he stayed until de-listed in 1947. He passed away in 1984 and Jon MI6XGZ kindly scanned the final pages of his father’s log book from 1937 showing who was on the air then and the final entry before receiving official orders to go QRT. The log pages are shown below.

 

As soon as the set was received the bench was cleared and the transport box was opened and yes there was an Eddystone S640. However, it had a long large umbilical cord coming out the back with an industrial size plug on the end. Ok, could be a link to a transmitter or something.

Lifted it onto the bench and the front was from a 640 but looked very modified and the obvious give away should have been a microphone socket on the front panel!!. Eventually opening the lid (seized due to rust) sitting looking up at me was a pair of TT21 PA valves. Strange???

Both tuning capacitors had been removed and a small 30pf variable installed in their place. The coil pack instead of having the two valves (EF39 and 6K8) had 7 B9A valves and the I.F panel had its top

chassis cut away and  removed and in its place was a series of relays and what looked like filters of some sort or other.

This S640 was obviously a transmitter built into a 640 case and chassis. The construction was a masterpiece of ingenuity to squeeze a 13 valve transmitter into a 640 case. So why the umbilical cord then?. Was this for the power supply and modulator for AM? Could be.

Removing it from the case caused more intrigue. The coil pack had been stripped of all its previous coils and poking up were a couple of crystals 8998 and 9001khz. Turning the set back over and cleaning a filthy small box revealed a crystal SSB filter at 9MHz so we must have an SSB transmitter,

It gets more amazing! There’s a loudspeaker on the back of the front panel, chasing the modules through not only do we have a transmitter made out of a 640 but we also have a receiver built in as well. A quick look about confirms that we have a 80/20metre SSB transceiver built into and on a S640 chassis and case.

I decided not to put power onto it as; a) I would have had to build a power unit and b) as it must be over 50, probably 60 years old, heavens knows what would have blown up!!.

So there you have it. Not only a wonderful piece of engineering expertise but craftsmanship as well. Pity we don’t have people like GI3ZX about these days when it’s so easy to buy a transceiver. Hope you have enjoyed this little story.

Roy GM4VKI

Refurbishment of an EA12 by Victor Jenkins

October 05, 2023 By: chris Category: News

Those of you who have read Victor’s previous articles, especially the one on his Eddystone 888A restoration, will know that they make very interesting and informative reading. Victor is a man who knows his way around RF circuits and has a passion for getting the best out of his receivers which he uses on a daily basis for shortwave listening. Victor has now written up his work in refurbishing an EA12 so that he could get the best performance out of it. A fascinating read and I am sure many readers will enjoy and benefit from his experiences and expertise. You will find the article in the Restoration folder but you can download if from here.

Eddystones in more usual places

May 26, 2023 By: chris Category: News

In recent months I have discovered a number of Facebook sites which show pictures of the radio rooms of various merchant marine ships. Eddystone supplied a number of Marine Radio Communications companies, throughout Europe with Eddystone receivers. Usually they were badged under the name of the company (MIMCO, Debeg, Hagenuk etc) who supplied and had responsibility for the radio equipment, and the provision of the ship’s radio officers. The role of Radio officer was phased out in the 1990’s with the introduction of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System which was a maritime communications system used for: emergency and distress messages. vessel-to-vessel routine communications. vessel-to-shore routine communications, Radio Officers often retrained as Technical or Engineering Officers and stayed in the Merchant Marine or took land based jobs.

I like to see if I can recognise sets of Eddystone origin in some of the FB pictures. EC958s and S830 seem to be the most popular main receiver with S1002 taking the role of the reserve receiver. There is also a Eddystone Radio Owner’s FB page which whilst nothing to do with the Eddystone User Group does throw up some interesting sets that are still in use by their current owners. The links to FB pages are shown below.

A friend of Gerry O’Hara VE7GUH sent him the photo below of an S880/2 together with a Marconi Atalanta, mounted in an unusual shallow-angled console aboard the ‘Tonga’, a bulk carrier vessel operated by Wilh. Wilhelmsen in Norway, in the late 1960’s. Gerry thought having S880/2 on a ship was unusual?  This was found on the Marine Radio Group site (see below)

 

I found the following picture of a very young operator in charge of the radio room of a supertanker with the callsign A8VD with what are clearly two S830 sets on the FB page of the The Marconi International Marine Communications Company (URL below)

 

 

The picture below shows Norwegian Ship MV Kingsville with Radio Officer Per Mikalsen operating another S830 which was published on the Maritime Radio Group FB page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This picture shows Radio room on the Pride of Bruges with a Main Receiver Marconi Marine Pacific X (Rebadged Eddystone EC1837- and I think a S1002 reserve receiver to its left).

Have a look at these Facebook pages;

The Marconi International Marine Communications Company https://www.facebook.com/groups/62027358433

Marine Radio Group  https://www.facebook.com/groups/148087645522509

Eddystone Radio Owners https://www.facebook.com/groups/151222598354706

Radio Officers https://www.facebook.com/groups/sparkslist

Eddystone AW-2 User and Radio Constructor Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/702709910330466

Enjoy the hunt for “Eddystones”

Chris G0EYO

EUG Admin

Eddystone S640 and S688 speaker go to a good home

March 20, 2023 By: chris Category: News

Those of you who are members of the Eddystone User Groups.io forum will have seen the generous offer on17/3/23 from Andy in  Northumberland of a S640 receiver and S688 speaker Free of Charge to someone who would give it the TLC it deserves. Following his mother’s passing Andy had found the receiver, which belonged to his father, whilst clearing her loft space and he remembers having it in his bedroom as a youngster more than 40 years ago. The set and speaker were quickly claimed by Mike who lived in the same area  and picked up by him the same day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike contacted me to confirm he had picked up the sets and sent in few photographs of himself with his  S940, which he bought new in 1968, waiting for BBC World Service to come on air whilst working in Boston, Massachusetts in 1971. The second picture shows Mike, repairing the RF stage on that same S940 in Northumberland 40 years later. The third picture shows Mike’s impressive collection of Eddystone sets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My collection moving from left to right an 850/4, my 940 under repair, an “as new” 830/7, an EA12, 770 MkIIR and 770U MkII and an 840C.

Intrigued by such a layout, I asked Mike if he would give us some history about his love of Eddystone’s. He graciously obliged.

Mike’s Story

“I purchased my 940 from Aitkin Bros in Newcastle in late 1968. I had seen a 840C in their window along with a couple of the smaller transistorised models. Aitkins was where we went in Newcastle to buy valves and other radio and TV components and even to get valves tested for a fee. So after some thought I went in and put a £5 deposit on a 840C. But I picked up some brochures at the same time which included one on the 940. So I went back and changed my order to the 940. When it came in I carried it home on the bus with some difficulty. Later I ordered a plinth speaker directly from Eddystone. Around that time I saw an advert in Wireless World which covered the 830,770R and U so I always wondered about them.

 

Then I was transferred by my employer to the United States near Boston where I lived for many years and took my 940 with me, originally working in Image Analysis Scientific instruments and later in NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and MRI which are both radio frequency technologies. Whilst in the US the BBC sent me a monthly program and that is what I have in my hand in the photograph.

 

I was repairing the RF stage on my 940 after Gerry O’Hara had asked me to make some voltage measurements for him. I had not been using my 940 for other than local radio stations at the time and had not realised that there was a fault but in checking for Gerry I found the usual out of spec carbon resistors so set about replacing them using Graham Wormalds tips for this awkward job. I had gotten to know Gerry when I appealed for some help with the repair of my 770U MkII and Gerry replied. Later by chance both of us together would be replacing and tuning new turret coils at the same time. In my case the Band 3 and 6 coil substrates had deteriorated and crumbled through damp. I did more work on my 770U MkII than any other radio tracking down an intermittent IF gain problem which turned out to be in the coils of the first 50 MHz IF transformer. This differs from the second 50 MHz IF transformer in that it is a a wider band tuning but only the narrow band second stage transformer was available and that worked just fine. I used a modern Marconi digital signal generator to align the set as I did not have much luck using the higher harmonics of my old AVO sig gen.

 

I also owned at one time an EP17R VHFand an EP20 HF Panadapter and used the EP17R to align my 770U and this work is featured in Gerry’s Detectors and Discriminators article. Also owned a very early 888 but sold that when I got the EA12. My other hobbies are E-Type Jaguars of which I have two so sticking with the “E”

Some additional photographs”   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the story Mike. Good luck with the S640, but you might need a bigger bench

Chris G0EYO

EUG Admin

 

merry Xmas Everyone

December 25, 2022 By: chris Category: News

Saw this picture on Facebook this morning and it had the caption ” Even Santa collects vintage radios”. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Story about an Eddystone 888A

December 21, 2022 By: chris Category: News

 

The Eddystone User Group website was started in 2006 when EUG Administrator and Newsletter Editor, Graeme Wormald G3GGL, decided at 75 years of age it was time to retire. The objective was to take all the Eddystone service manuals, archives and newsletter information that Graeme had written, collated, found and stored over the years and load it on to a single website where it could be freely downloaded by any Eddystone enthusiast. To this was added articles on the Restoration of Eddystone receivers, mostly produced by Gerry O’Hara VE7GUH, but added to by others who wanted to share their experiences. To date we have some 60+ restoration articles from various authors  plus 28 Technical Shorts written by Gerry, each focussing on a specific technical issue in repairing and restoring these receivers. We encourage anyone, who wishes to pass on their experience working on Eddystone sets to write it up and submit it for publication.

Every so often we get to hear of someone who purchases a set with the sole aim of getting back to factory specification (or even better). No small feat when we remember we are talking about radios which could be anything up to 80 years old and, of course, not everyone has the skills or facilities to be able to do such a thing.

Victor Jenkins purchased a Eddystone 888A together with S meter and speaker which had been generously donated to the Eddystone User Group by a long time member Richard Hall GM0OGN, to raise funds to keep the website running. Victor paid a very generous price for the trio which were in nice cosmetic condition even though I had not powered the set up. Victor is well known for the thoroughness of his restorations and as a retired electronics engineer knows his way around valve circuits. He has now fully restored his 888A and kept a diary of his experiences which we are publishing here. It makes a great read and takes us through the ups and downs of working on these old sets. I hope you enjoy it. I certainly did and thank Victor for sharing it with us.

Chris G0EYO EUG Admin.

PS.    Your Administrator and the EUG gnomes wish all EUGers a Very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. These are difficult times but if anyone is feeling generous, a donation towards the running costs of this site and the EUG groups.io forum is always very welcome.

 

 

1930’s Eddystone Brochure “Proof of Eddystone Supremacy”

December 15, 2021 By: chris Category: News

Richard, F4WCD/ZS6TF has found this brochure ” Proof of Eddystone Supremacy ” dated 1934 which lists Testimonials from Stratton customers world-wide (including some very exotic places), stating how pleased they are with their purchase of Eddystone All Wave receivers. The back page has a list of 105 countries which have purchased Eddystone receivers. I have filed is in the Technical/Technical Information folder.

 

 

Obituary: Howard Turner of Centre Electronics, Birmingham

December 09, 2021 By: chris Category: News

Howard Turner, of Centre Electronics, now silent key.

Howard Turner, known to many of us as the owner of Centre Electronics in Birmingham and as a dealer in vintage Eddystone radio receivers and valves, sadly passed away this October after a short illness, aged 80 years. Over the past several decades, many of us met Howard at the numerous radio rallies held throughout the country, or at his shop in South Yardley, Birmingham which was a cornucopia of electronics treasures and where a bargain was always to be had.   Howard is survived by his wife and business partner, Maureen, and son Christopher. His Funeral Service was held at St Giles’ Church, Exhall, near Coventry on 22nd November 2021 and was attended by family and friends, including some of his old customers. There were numerous floral tributes including one from the Eddystone User Group.

Howard was born in 1941 near the village of Catherine-de-Barnes, Solihull. Eventually the family moved to Balsall Common and at aged 15 years, Howard left Lode Lane School and started work as a cabinet maker in a local furniture factory. However in the early 1960s the factory closed down and Howard found employment with a local builder and thus learnt his trade as a bricklayer/builder which was to be his main occupation for the next 20+ years. However in the 1980s, Howard become disillusioned with the building industry and decided to start a new venture.

Since the age of 10, Howard, with the encouragement of a local farmer, Mr Arthur Blaymire, developed an interest in Electronics and Radio. Howard was self-taught, reading books and magazines, asking questions of anyone who could help and sometimes servicing his friend, Mr Blaymire’s, television. Mr Blaymire and his brother Percy were amongst the early pioneers of radio in the 1920s so like many of that generation, were equipment was experimental and often self-built, they were good teachers to Howard.

Eventually Howard put his vast knowledge to good use by starting a brand new venture in the 1980s with Maureen, dealing with radio and test equipment and electronic parts at a shop in Stockfield Road, South Yardley, Birmingham. Thus Centre Electronics was born. With the help of their friend, Paul Bicknell, G8KFW, they gain a contract for servicing and repairing radio equipment for the London Fire Brigade. Simultaneously with the shop business, Howard and Maureen would be regular stall holders at radio rallies up and down the country and sometimes overseas, selling Eddystone and other rare sets and parts. It was at these rallies that he would meet Eddystone collectors, many of whom were to become his customers and, not a few, firm friends for life.

I first met Howard around 1990, when I was managing director of Eddystone Radio in Birmingham. We had already started to support the Eddystone User Group and Howard heard through a friend of mine that we were going to close down our service department for sets more than 15 years old, which meant that we had a large quantity of radio valves for sale. He came and saw me and we struck a deal for him to buy them and we would direct future customers for them to Centre Electronics. Looking after the valve business was largely in the hands of Maureen who shipped them to customers all over the UK and world-wide. For me that was the start of a life-long friendship with Howard and Maureen.

In 1993, Tony Sale, and other experts, were proposing re-building the Mark 2 Colossus computer at Bletchley Park, secret home of the war-time Codebreakers. Colossus was the world’s first programmable electronic computer. Its sole purpose was to help decipher the Loren encrypted (Tunny) messages sent between Hitler and his top generals during the war. Churchill had decreed that all machines, plans and drawings of Colossus, which was designed by Post Office engineer Tommy Flowers, should be destroyed after the war for security reasons. Thus the challenge that Tony Sale and his team set themselves in 1993 was enormous.  Howard and Maureen responded to Tony’s request for help obtaining valves and rare components through their numerous contacts and were able to help Tony with this important project which was eventually finished in 2008. It is on permanent display at Bletchley Park. Howard and Maureen carried on the business at Centre Electronics until Howard’s retirement in 2004.

After his retirement, Howard pursued his other interests, one of which was restoring vintage and classic cars. This hobby was inspired, when as a boy walking along the lanes with his mother, one of their neighbours, who was a doctor, drove past in his brand new Jaguar XK120 sports car. Howard told his mother that “when I grow up I am going to get myself one of those “. Howard restored many classic cars from his retirement, right up until his passing this year. I well remember him coming to the Eddystone factory several times in a Jaguar which was his favourite marque. He was also a “black powder” enthusiast, collecting, restoring and shooting flintlock muskets with a group of friends.

Sadly in February 2021, Howard was suddenly struck down with an illness that which was diagnosed as Mesothelioma (also known as asbestosis), most likely contracted all those years he was in the building industry. Once diagnosed Howard’s health declined very quickly despite the best efforts of the NHS and he was eventually admitted to the Marie Curie Hospice where he passed away on 31st of October.  Howard was a real character, who will be fondly remembered by many of us. RIP Howard and be assured that your life made a difference and the world was a better place for you being in it. You will be missed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Pettitt G0EYO

3/12/2021