Tag Archives: Kris Partridge

Seventy years ago, Thor Heyerdahl packed a National NC-173 and made history

The National NC-173

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kris Partridge (G8AUU), who sent the following feedback a few days ago. Sorry for missing the boat, Kris!

Kris writes:

Just under two weeks ago I was watching a Norwegian film on Polish TV (no, don’t ask) and knowing how the sight of old radio’s in films is of interest to you and your readers I was going to write but travel and work, Passendale100 commemorations in Belgium, got in the way. The radio in question was a National NC-173 receiver. And the film Kon-Tiki.

There is much written about the exploits of the voyage and the operators of LI2B. I give as an example from PA7MDJ http://pa7mdj.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/the-kon-tiki-expedition-and-heroes-of.html?m=1 I leave it to PA7MDJ’s most excellent blog to tell more, he has some Nation Radio Company images from 1947 illustrating his piece and at the end there is a very extensive links listing.

But another reason for writing is that tomorrow, Monday, 07 August is the 70th anniversary of the end of the voyage as the raft landed on the reef. On the 67th anniversary the ARRL did an article on LI2B, why the 67th?

What happened on the 7th of August 1947, and in the 36 hours after, says much about the build quality of the National NC-173.

How many radios today would survive a dunking in seawater and after drying out still be working?

I’ve just been to my book shelves and after a small search found my copy of The Kon-Tiki Expedition published in 1950 given to me not too many years later.

You find LI2B in the book’s index twice. Once describing the operation of the radio ‘corner’ and a very QRP contact between the raft and Oslo Norway. 6 watts CW on 13990 kc. per second, the book being written in 1949 no kHz.

LI2B had been given permission to operate out of but adjacent to as well as in the 20 metre band. The second entry concerns what happen after the raft ends up on the reef and the radio shack and equipment got flooded.

They had been in contact before hitting the reef and there was a 36 hour window before the air search and rescue operations would begin. The drying out of the equipment took no little time and the writer describes how slowly the receiver came to life but no transmitter.

Finally they were able make contact, just before the 36 hrs ended,using a WW2 hand cranked resistance, the book says sabotage, transmitter.

Both the radio operators on the Kon-Tiki had been radio operators in the Norwegian resistance in WW2, only 2 years earlier.

If one puts LI2B into Google images quite an interesting assortment of radio related images are found (click here to view search), including QSL cards but the one I like best is this http://f6blk.net/photos/LI2Bshack_x1.jpg:

I’m sure I’ve seen an English language version, this one looks slightly cropped since the end of the ‘Earth’ wire is out of vision

Regards es 73 de

Kris G8AUU

How fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing this, Kris.

Again, apologies I didn’t get this posted prior to the 70th anniversary–I’m a tad behind (understatement alert) on email at the moment.

I have a particular affinity for The Kon-Tiki Expedition. I found a 1950s copy of the book while doing my undergraduate degree ages ago.

My 1950s copy of The Kon-Tiki Expedition in an archival cover.

The book played no small part in my fascination with anthropology–especially Heyerdahl’s version of “applied” anthropology. I went on to do my post grad work in anthropology at the London School of Economics. Indeed, I re-read that book before my finals to remind myself the significance of anthropology.

If you haven’t read The Kon-Tiki Expedition, I highly recommend you do so! Indeed, it’s about time I read it again.

I’m very curious how many SWLing Post readers have a National NC-173 sitting in their shack? Thor would tell you to take care of it, because it certainly took care of his crew!

BBC Radio 4: BBC Monitoring’s move from Caversham Park

Caversham Park (Photo source: BBC)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Kris Partridge (G8AUU) who writes:

BBC Monitoring is leaving it’s home of over 70 years and moving to Central London. On BBC Radio 4 yesterday I was listening as I drove home from a ‘Breakfast’ shift, 04h30 – 16h30 local ..!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08wqp00

It looks like it will be repeated tomorrow, Saturday, 08.July at 06h07. So via BBC iPlayer radio it should be possible to receive this programme.

Here is a link that will help your readers get the app for both iPhone or Android devices: https://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/radio/download_availability

Programmes are usually available for 30 days after transmission, so if tomorrow’s broadcast is missed …

Enjoy a programme that tells the ‘history’ of BBC Monitoring from WW2, thru the ‘Cold War’ to the present day.

Here also is an additional link of interest https://monitoring.bbc.co.uk/login and if you don’t want to register straight away try the ‘preview’ facility https://monitoring.bbc.co.uk/?preview=true With the G20 taking place in Hamburg at this time, there will be some interesting commentary there.

Thank you so much for the tip, Kris!

I wish I could have had an opportunity to tour BBC Monitoring prior to the move from Caversham Park. Have any SWLing Post been there?

Kris also forced the Shipping Forecast to repeat a broadcast

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Kris Partridge (G8AUU) who shares the following comment in reply to our post about Dave’s experience forcing the Shipping Forecast to repeat a broadcast:

Hi Dave, G4OYX, et al

Not the only time the Shipping Forecast has had to be repeated for ‘Operational Error’

I hold my hand up for having had a broadcast repeated.

One morning, whilst still under the duvet, I found myself still listening to the overnight simulcast of BBC World Service on the BBC Radio 4 outlets. The simulcast of World Service is scheduled from 0100 local, just after the 0048 Shipping Forecast, till 0520 when it is followed by the Shipping Forecast. That wasn’t right, it now being around 0540. A quick check on the LF output, I was listening on my VHF-FM alarm radio, again it’s World Service. Something not quite right..!

Having the internal extension number of LCR (London Control Room) at BH (Broadcasting House) I made a quick call. A voice I recognised answered and after a short conversation was assured it would be remedied.

It was a few minutes later the Shipping Forecast was going out on 198 kHz and other R4 frequencies, followed by a short apology ” for technical reasons”.

A later phone call and heard, the overnight software update had managed to have done an update where it shouldn’t have.! I think a few red faces all round in the IT department.

So Dave the transmitters were OK it was the feed this time.

73 de Kris (G8AUU)

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Kris!

I mean, what are the odds that two people in our Post community have forced a re-broadcast of the Shipping Forecast??? Anyone else want to make a confession? 🙂

Norway becomes first country to go “fully digital”

(Source: RadioInfo via Kris Partridge)

11th January 2017 is a historic day for the medium of radio.

Norway becomes the first country in the world to move towards fully digital radio transmissions. As a result of this, the national FM network will be switched off.

The FM networks will be switched off region by region, starting in Nordland 11th January. The event will take place in Bodø and the final switch-off will be done at 11.11 pm CET.

The heads of NRK radio and commercial radio will be in Bodø to represent the Norwegian radio industry. Also, head of BBC radio, Helen Boaden, and head of radio at EBU, Graham Dixon, will attend.

An international seminar for European broadcasters will be held the day before the historic move to FM switch-off and an international press-conference will be broadcast on radio.no at 2 pm CET.

The final program will be published nearer to the event.

Read more at: https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/norway-makes-radio-history © Radioinfo.com.au

BBC Research Department Report on the beverage antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kris Partridge, who writes:

[R]esearch on DTH satellite TV service took me to a public website which is an archive going back to 1934. And boy, there is so much information there ..!

So what I pass to you for the Blog is this one as a start:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1991-12.pdf

Knowing that many of your readers/contributors have made mention of using Beverage antennas I think this may make interesting reading. The report describes a method for accessing the performance of a Beverage, long wire, receiving antenna using off-air HF broadcast signals.

[…]It looks like the lower the better. And yes, there’s some heavy maths formula in there ..!

Wow–you’re right, Kris! This is very useful information. I’ll skip the maths bit and just follow the advice! Thank you for sharing.