Tag Archives: Dave Porter

Example of a manual wavechange at BBC Skelton A Transmitter

By Michael Whitfield, CC BY-SA 2.0

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Porter (G4OYX), who shares the following:

Here’s Steve Gale in the late 80’s or early 90’s starting a wavechange on a Marconi BD272 250 kW sender at SKA.

There were eventually 11 of these senders at the BBC Skelton A site.

The first pic is the Final RF amplifier output stage with the 15/17 MHz coil being in situ. It sits between the two anodes of the output tubes.

Below the anode coil sits the coupling coil and it is on a motorised deck, that can be moved backwards and forwards on power to couple up to the required power output.

Steve is just starting the band change as he is wearing the leather gauntlets because after a transmission the coils are very hot.

Both the anode and coupling coils will be removed and replaced by those for the next required frequency.

A fifteen minute period was allocated by the BBC WS Schedule Department to accomplish a band change though two of us could do them in about eight minutes if pushed!

The picture below shows Steve starting to remove one of the pair of the 3-turn 40 kW Penultimate stage to Final stage coupling coils, again he is wearing the gauntlets. A different coil will be used for the next band.

The three turn coil covered 9, 11 and 15 MHz.

All those senders have gone now at Skelton.

Two are still in use at Woofferton and some in Singapore.

Thanks so much for sharing this glimpse into a working shortwave radio transmitting station, Dave! There’s nothing QRP about those transmitters and I bet those coils got incredibly hot!

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Radio Marti has cancelled programming at VOA Greenville site

Control room at the Edward R. Murrow Transmitting Station near Greenville, NC.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Porter, who shares the following news item from Glenn Hauser’s World of Radio:

Radio Marti has cancelled all programming via Greenville between 0400 and 1000 UTC effective from 2 May. During this period the only transmission left from Greenville is 0600-0630 VOA French on 9885. This may be the beginning of the end for Greenville. (Glenn Hauser WOR)

Thanks for sharing this, Dave. Sad news, indeed. The Greenville site has stared shutdowns in the face a number of times in the past and survived. This year, in particular, could be a challenge with Covid-19 affecting broadcasting budgets across the globe and with the current US administration not showing much love for the VOA.

We’ll follow this closely and post updates when available.

If you’d like to check out photo tours of the Greenville site, click here to read a 2012 article I originally published in The Monitoring Times magazine, and click here for a photo tour published last year.

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Behind-the-scenes film of BBC Rampisham Down site circa 1961

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Porter, who shares a link to the following BBC Archive video of BBC RMP circa 1961. The BBC posted this video in light of the recent demolition of all but one of the original Rampisham Down towers.

Click here to watch the video on Facebook.

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Knock John Sea Fort and life on Fort Roughs

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Porter, who writes:

This is a recent posting of a trip out to the Knock John Fort and also of a new book about life on a sister fort, Roughs Tower.

Report – – Knock John Sea Fort – May 2018 | Noteworthy Report

The fort is still dry inside. This was the home of R Essex and the RCA ET4336 + T aerial. When Bates closed Essex they moved to the Roughs.

Check Amazon for the book “Holding the Fort” by Bates son [affiliate link]. It’s a hardback book and is excellent. An early Christmas present!! Plenty of pics and Sealand as well plus their TX and studio.

Fascinating!  Thank you for sharing this, Dave!

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Brilliant radio song by Van Morrison: “In The Days Before Rock’n’Roll”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Porter, who writes:

After some 20 years I have rediscovered this radio song by the UK northern Irish singer Van Morrison.

“In The Days Before Rock’n’Roll”

There are some great TX station names in the song! It’s a full 8 minutes long….

Take a listen…

Click here to view/listen on YouTube.

I don’t think I’ve heard this song in twenty years or more. Thank you for sharing this, Dave!

I’ll have to add Van Morrison to the list of radio influenced musicians we’ve featured in the past, including:

Post Readers: Do you know of any other musicians who were influenced by the shortwaves?  Please comment and share links to their work!

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Book review by Dave Porter: The History of Rugby Radio Station

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Porter (G4OYX), who shares the following:

Enclosed is a book review of a recent one published in the UK.

Click here to download PDF copy of review.

I wrote it for Signal the quarterly journal of the Vintage Military Amateur Radio Society.

I also write a column in Signal called Tricks of the Trade and many of those are here:

https://www.bbceng.info/Technical%20Reviews/tott/tott.htm

There is more about the Rugby book in article ToTT for Signal issue 50.

Thanks so much for sharing this, Dave! Sounds like a fascinating read!

I should also note that you can feel good about your purchase of this book as all proceeds benefit the Air ambulance. Click here to purchase.

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