Monthly Archives: December 2014

Allan’s video review of the CountyComm GP5/SSB

GP5SSB-MW-Antenna-1SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow (N9EWO), writes:

Allan’s (W2AEW) excellent “You Tube” Video has just been posted here on the CountyComm GP-5/SSB:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuEPJ3qGu_g

Many thanks for sharing this video, Dave!

Readers: I suggest you check out the library of informative videos Allan (W2AEW) has created over the years and even subscribe to his YouTube channel. His tutorial videos are quite professional and he does a brilliant job explaining complex electronic principles.  Indeed, be sure to check out one of his latest on the ETOW HumanaLight kit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfgX93o8HzY

Click here for our full review of the CountyComm GP5/SSB.

Trevor Baylis: a CBE in the New Year Honours list

Trevor Baylis (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Trevor Baylis (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Inventor of the clockwork radio, Trevor Baylis, has been made a CBE in the New Year Honors list.

Mr. Baylis very much deserves this honor as his inventions have directly and indirectly fueled many self-powered innovations we enjoy today.

I’m honored to have spoken with Mr. Baylis over the years; he’s a brilliant, caring fellow with a sharp mind for solving problems and inventing solutions. Indeed, his advice has been invaluable for my charity, Ears To Our World. [Thank you, Trevor!]

I’m proud to own an original Freeplay/BayGen clockwork radio; somehow, winding up this radio and listening to it play from that released energy never gets old. Indeed, it’s still magic to me.

FreePlay-BayGen-Radio

Read the full news item about Trevor Baylis at the BBC News Technology site:

Inventor Trevor Baylis has been made a CBE in the New Year Honours list.

Best known for creating the Baygen wind-up radio, Mr Baylis was honoured for services to intellectual property.

Throughout his colourful life, which involved a stint as a stuntman, Mr Baylis has spent much of his time inventing or involved with engineering.

Most recently he has campaigned to make the UK a more hospitable place for inventors, and is seeking to help them safeguard their creations.

Continue reading on the BBC website…

Jonathan’s interviews with Gerry Wells

sup-obsessionGerald Wells, the Curator of the British Vintage Wireless & Television Museum passed away on December 22nd, 2014. In our previous post about his passing, I pointed to a brilliant BBC radio documentary which featured Mr. Wells.

Last week, Jonathan Marks posted his own tribute to Gerry Wells on Critical Distance. Jonathan’s post includes two half-hour interviews with Mr. Wells from 1986/1987.

Jonathan has kindly allowed me to embed an excerpt from his post, below, along with his interviews.

Jonathan writes:

“Sad to note that the Curator of the British Vintage Wireless & Television Museum, Gerald Wells, passed away on December 22 2014.

At the end of the 1960’s Gerry gave up his job as an electrical contractor. He could see wireless sets being discarded and felt there was a need for a “Vintage Wireless Museum”. The Museum for Vintage Wireless came into existence in 1974 and was later expanded to include Television.

I made a couple of half hour documentaries with Gerry in 1986/1987, hearing the stories of how radios were built and got their names. Other documentaries focused on his life as a lifelong radio engineer.

I remember visiting the UK’s Vintage Radio Wireless Museum in Dulwich, South London as though it were yesterday. It’s just an ordinary terraced house from the outside, but inside its a celebration of the tube (Valve) radio, especially in the era 1920-1950. What’s more, Gerald Wells, was one of the world’s experts on valves – and had a flood of stories about the famous names I heard second-hand as a child. Did you know that Vidor Batteries were named after the manufacturers two daughters? And what were the better brands of radios.

Enthusiasts in the UK have since made a DVD about Gerald which I can recommend. Part Two of this programme was made in Dulwich one year later is also here on this blogpost. I am sure you could visit Gerald 1000 times and still take away new and different stories about this era of broadcasting. Anyone restoring early iPods? Thought not.”

I encourage you to check out Jonathan’s full post on Critical Distance. I’m always amazed at the number of topics Jonathan has covered in his radio career and, especially, his tenure at Media Networks. You’ll find hundreds of recordings like the ones above at the Media Network Vintage Vault

SSB for the non-technical

SSB

SWLing Post reader, Eleanor White, writes:

[I] have a short article I put together for those interested in disaster preparedness, to give non-techies the basics of tuning an SSB signal.s

Here’s the link:

http://www.randomcollection.info/ssb-tuning.pdf

Many thanks for sharing your article, Eleanor!

Treasure trove of radio nostalgia

AmericanRadioHistoryMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Jarno, who shares a link to AmericanRadioHistory.com where you’ll find hundreds of issues of popular radio magazines from the 20th century. All of the issues are downloadable PDFs, thus can be viewed on any computer, smart phone, or tablet PC.

I find it amazing that many, if not all, of the magazines are even searchable. I could (and probably will) spend hours looking through and downloading these issues; I’ve been reading through the 1930s-era Short Wave Radio magazine this morning, and enjoying it thoroughly.

Many thanks for the tip, Jarno!