Radio Amateurs (et al!)

Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
30,112
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK
Strictly receive only (at least what was in the house). It all started out at five years old with an electronics kit from Philips consisting of resistors, waxy capacitors, OC71 diodes, a coil or three, an LDR, some AF116/AC128 Germanium transistors and an earpiece.

My father then got me a day out at the University of Surrey, hoodwinking a group dealing with gifted children that I was a candidate at some ridiculously young age, eight or nine I think. So I spent the day burning myself with a soldering iron and made a touch sensitive sound generator.

Then at age 11, whilst the folks were out, a neighbour in car with a trailer containing five televisions (Bermuda Ultras) parked up outside and asked me if I was interested. I said yes - of course - and three hours later he delivered about forty-five more, including a couple of Philips G series and put them in our back garden. I managed to fix up about ten by swapping valves and dropper resistors, electrocuting myself a few times more than I care to recall .

Sold them via the local scout jumble sale and this got me the knowhow to buy a lot of hifi separates for not a lot of money and fix them in the physics department at school. Spent any money coming in by newspaper rounds on issues of Everyday Electronics and paying for veroboard and stuff from the local electrical scrap merchant who was operating from a shop in Kingston. I would buy the BB Babani books on 'parlour projects' and blag interesting circuit boards in his bargain bin from which I could liberate components, building a number of projects which would - more often than not, - be used generate high voltages to shock fellow pupils, generate jacobs ladder effects or make interesting sounds.

Then I got into mopeds at sixteen, and built a capacitor discharge ignition system (meant for a 12v coil delivery). In connecting it up to the magneto and kicking the engine over, the step up ratio gave me an estimated 40kv at the spark plug of which I was holding at the time, throwing me across the living room. Once I was independent on two wheels I met up with a couple of people that ran a pirate radio station in South London, delivering tapes from the 'live OB's' back to the studio where they could be played about ten minutes later on FM stereo, then taking watch on the roof to pull in the aerial (s) so to avoid the Home office on the way to raid the apartment (Eric Gotts ?)

Left school and went to college for a Higher Diploma - surprisingly they let me loose with more soldering irons and their state of the art tools - where my first year project was a morse code converter - key in/alphanumeric display out, based on a Motorola 6800 processor.

From there it's all been downhill, hoodwinking others on sites like this that I actually know what I am talking about, though I have as of late started visiting the local amateur radio club, and bought a couple of two way stuff from eBay. I willone day get round to passing a licence, but currently I don't have the time to do anything remotely linked to it.
 
Last edited:
Lazarus

Lazarus

Tout Rond Bon Oeuf
Staff member
Messages
26,018
My Satellite Setup
80cm Motorised.
Several small Dishes.
Much else.
My Location
North York Moors
I remember that Philips Kit: Pretty clever for its day but the breadboard had a unique method of securing components where you pushed a wire peg up through the relevant hole, pushed a spring over it to stop it falling out and then you compressed the spring a little to create a gap into which the leads of the components went. Quite brilliant.
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
30,112
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK
ee_8_121611.jpg
I remember that Philips Kit: Pretty clever for its day but the breadboard had a unique method of securing components where you pushed a wire peg up through the relevant hole, pushed a spring over it to stop it falling out and then you compressed the spring a little to create a gap into which the leads of the components went. Quite brilliant.
This was it, the EE8


Electronic kit.JPG

Should have kept it

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VINTAGE-BOXED-PHILIPS-ELECTRONIC-ENGINEER-EE8-BASIC-KIT-/360602242812?pt=UK_Toys_Creative_Educational_RL&hash=item53f5918efc&nma=true&si=Y7zPeV7dx2lCmopvzosf90WQEU4%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
 
Last edited:
Vipersan

Vipersan

Emmett Browns Ghost
Staff member
Messages
10,918
My Satellite Setup
IP9000HD +
TD110 Dish and TD88 Dish in Tandem
66°East to 60°West.
AZbox PrmHD + OpnbxS9HD + Skybox + DrHD F15
2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
+SS2/TwHnS2-3200 pci/TBS6925 pci
1.5 Fortec Star -Gbox - HtoH Ku/Ka/C
My Location
UK
Strictly receive only (at least what was in the house). It all started out at five years old with an electronics kit from Philips consisting of resistors, waxy capacitors, OC71 diodes, a coil or three, an LDR, some AF116/AC128 Germanium transistors and an earpiece.

My father then got me a day out at the University of Surrey, hoodwinking a group dealing with gifted children that I was a candidate at some ridiculously young age, eight or nine I think. So I spent the day burning myself with a soldering iron and made a touch sensitive sound generator.

Then at age 11, whilst the folks were out, a neighbour in car with a trailer containing five televisions (Bermuda Ultras) parked up outside and asked me if I was interested. I said yes - of course - and three hours later he delivered about forty-five more, including a couple of Philips G series and put them in our back garden. I managed to fix up about ten by swapping valves and dropper resistors, electrocuting myself a few times more than I care to recall .

Sold them via the local scout jumble sale and this got me the knowhow to buy a lot of hifi separates for not a lot of money and fix them in the physics department at school. Spent any money coming in by newspaper rounds on issues of Everyday Electronics and paying for veroboard and stuff from the local electrical scrap merchant who was operating from a shop in Kingston. I would buy the BB Babani books on 'parlour projects' and blag interesting circuit boards in his bargain bin from which I could liberate components, building a number of projects which would - more often than not, - be used generate high voltages to shock fellow pupils, generate jacobs ladder effects or make interesting sounds.

Then I got into mopeds at sixteen, and built a capacitor discharge ignition system (meant for a 12v coil delivery). In connecting it up to the magneto and kicking the engine over, the step up ratio gave me an estimated 40kv at the spark plug of which I was holding at the time, throwing me across the living room. Once I was independent on two wheels I met up with a couple of people that ran a pirate radio station in South London, delivering tapes from the 'live OB's' back to the studio where they could be played about ten minutes later on FM stereo, then taking watch on the roof to pull in the aerial (s) so to avoid the Home office on the way to raid the apartment (Eric Gotts ?)

Left school and went to college for a Higher Diploma - surprisingly they let me loose with more soldering irons and their state of the art tools - where my first year project was a morse code converter - key in/alphanumeric display out, based on a Motorola 6800 processor.

From there it's all been downhill, hoodwinking others on sites like this that I actually know what I am talking about, though I have as of late started visiting the local amateur radio club, and bought a couple of two way stuff from eBay. I willone day get round to passing a licence, but currently I don't have the time to do anything remotely linked to it.
Only one correction CH ..
The OC71 was a transistor ...I think OA91 was the glass diode ..correct me if I'm wrong
If memory serves glass encapsulated germanium & arsenic doped ..and coated in black paint..
Which was easily scraped off ..
Which led to some very interesting experiments ..when placed at the focal point of a dish shaped reflector..
Now with an oc71 as a receiver detector at the input to an audio amp ..and an audio modulated light source it was possible to cover up to about a 1/4 mile direct line of sight ..and you had your own private coms system..
Eventually modulated audio onto an VLF subcarrier ..and doubled the effective distance partcularly effective at night..in days before severe light pollution
Pointing the ahem ..receiver at street lights produced an audible hum ...and a hiss if pointed at the sun.
Happy days..
 
Last edited:
Lazarus

Lazarus

Tout Rond Bon Oeuf
Staff member
Messages
26,018
My Satellite Setup
80cm Motorised.
Several small Dishes.
Much else.
My Location
North York Moors
Never heard of Two Baked Bean Tins and a long (but how long?) piece of string, VS?
 
Lazarus

Lazarus

Tout Rond Bon Oeuf
Staff member
Messages
26,018
My Satellite Setup
80cm Motorised.
Several small Dishes.
Much else.
My Location
North York Moors
And talking of off-beat (.................or not?) comms methods, I had a QSO over a distance of about five miles with me using an SSB rig on 80m, and my sixth-form buddy keying the aerial wire of his SWL receiver. Don't ask me exactly how that worked: Couldn't figure it out then and certainly can't now, nearly forty years on, but it sure did. Somewhat chirpy, as I recall.
 
Archived-1

Archived-1

Persona non grata
Messages
7,570
My Location
uk
I still have an old cb somewhere in the house, I can recall taking it to have splits fitted over 30 years ago, I will try and find it out and post some pictures up,

I did used to dx and got all over the world with it :-).
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
30,112
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK
Only one correction CH ..
The OC71 was a transistor ...I think OA91 was the glass diode ..correct me if I'm wrong
Break a certain leg off, and it becomes /reverts to a diode.......
 
Lazarus

Lazarus

Tout Rond Bon Oeuf
Staff member
Messages
26,018
My Satellite Setup
80cm Motorised.
Several small Dishes.
Much else.
My Location
North York Moors
Another word for leg is pin, so maybe that would be a PIN Diode?
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

Emmett Browns Ghost
Staff member
Messages
10,918
My Satellite Setup
IP9000HD +
TD110 Dish and TD88 Dish in Tandem
66°East to 60°West.
AZbox PrmHD + OpnbxS9HD + Skybox + DrHD F15
2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
+SS2/TwHnS2-3200 pci/TBS6925 pci
1.5 Fortec Star -Gbox - HtoH Ku/Ka/C
My Location
UK
And talking of off-beat (.................or not?) comms methods, I had a QSO over a distance of about five miles with me using an SSB rig on 80m, and my sixth-form buddy keying the aerial wire of his SWL receiver. Don't ask me exactly how that worked: Couldn't figure it out then and certainly can't now, nearly forty years on, but it sure did. Somewhat chirpy, as I recall.
Beans were for eating G..and the tins ..well ..no recycling back then so binned em...lol
Another off beat comms system we used extensively ..and not at all private was TTG ..or through the ground ..
A powerful 15W valve amp with the speaker replaced by 2 park railing style probes driven into the ground about 1 to2 yards apart ..
Then a portable amplifier with metal knitting needles for probes on the input ..
This would be taken anything up to half a mile away ..and the needles pushed into the ground with the same orientation as the transmitter.
rotate through degrees ..nada ..parallel ...audio through the ground transmission amazingly clear.
Kids eh...!! they'll try anything.
I believe something similar was tried during WW2 across the channel or so I read ..on a much larger scale.
And to some extent was effective ..but being unreliable came to nowt.
cheers
VS
 
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Vipersan

Vipersan

Emmett Browns Ghost
Staff member
Messages
10,918
My Satellite Setup
IP9000HD +
TD110 Dish and TD88 Dish in Tandem
66°East to 60°West.
AZbox PrmHD + OpnbxS9HD + Skybox + DrHD F15
2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
+SS2/TwHnS2-3200 pci/TBS6925 pci
1.5 Fortec Star -Gbox - HtoH Ku/Ka/C
My Location
UK
Break a certain leg off, and it becomes /reverts to a diode.......
Indeed it does CH ..but don't know about you ..but I saved a lot of pocket money for my components ..so snapping legs of transistors to make diodes ..
Never an option..
lol
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
30,112
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK
The methods used in the connecting components in the set would mean broken legs were a common result.

I was often replacing the original parts (and I now recall it was the choke that was waxy, the capacitors were smooth yellowy things - and I had a hard time understanding their purpose from the manual as it was written).
 
Piltdownpaul

Piltdownpaul

No.1 Spike Milligan Fan
Messages
2,007
My Satellite Setup
Skybox F3,Icecrypt S3500HDCCI, Technomate TM3000D,TM5400Ci Super, Samsung HD HDD Freesat Box,60cm dish for freesat, TD88 dish on a Skybox F3 57E to 45W.
My Location
South Leicestershire (Fleckney)
I still have an old cb somewhere in the house, I can recall taking it to have splits fitted over 30 years ago, I will try and find it out and post some pictures up,

I did used to dx and got all over the world with it :).

Oh the fun you could have with that PLL02A phase lock chip-cutting tracks to increase channels and broadbanding radios was what it was all about. And lets not forget removing the resin from those "sealed" vco boxes to change the capacitor inside.
 
Topper

Topper

Amo Amas Amant Admin
Staff member
Messages
23,047
My Satellite Setup
IDD CI24 ECONO MM Penta 1.20 Galaxy II
1.2Mtr Polar MTG yes it has been on the arc for 25 years and is now fixed on 13 East using two pairs of rusty molegrips. Unlike me they never groan but always perform.
My Location
Blackburn, Lancashire
I remember that Philips Kit: Pretty clever for its day but the breadboard had a unique method of securing components where you pushed a wire peg up through the relevant hole, pushed a spring over it to stop it falling out and then you compressed the spring a little to create a gap into which the leads of the components went. Quite brilliant.
Yes I had one of those for many years, really was quite inventive and made me look like Einstein to my parents, somewhat regrettably I did not pursue those early successes until a change of career some 30 years later. Was always on the fringes of amateur radio and CB having friends with their own call sign but it never grabbed me at all as a hobby, but one of those friends was the one who 'gave' me my current dish and began my hobby with satellite TV in 1989
 
PaulR

PaulR

Dazed and Confused Admin
Staff member
Messages
16,787
My Satellite Setup
-----------See sig-----------
My Location
Wirral, NW UK and Vaucluse, France.
...with an electronics kit from Philips consisting of resistors, waxy capacitors, OC71 diodes, a coil or three, an LDR, some AF116/AC128 Germanium transistors and an earpiece.
Hey, I had one of those as well. They had preprinted cards to fit on the board which showed where to push the connectors up through and where the components fitted.
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

Emmett Browns Ghost
Staff member
Messages
10,918
My Satellite Setup
IP9000HD +
TD110 Dish and TD88 Dish in Tandem
66°East to 60°West.
AZbox PrmHD + OpnbxS9HD + Skybox + DrHD F15
2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
+SS2/TwHnS2-3200 pci/TBS6925 pci
1.5 Fortec Star -Gbox - HtoH Ku/Ka/C
My Location
UK
..This thread brought up many old memories for me ..and following on from my 'confession' earlier in the thread ..I contacted one of my oldest friends and sure enough ..
He still had the newspaper clipping ..
..or at least part of it..
So ..I thought I'd share it with you guys.
amazing that it still exists after all these years.
lol
 

Attachments

PaulR

PaulR

Dazed and Confused Admin
Staff member
Messages
16,787
My Satellite Setup
-----------See sig-----------
My Location
Wirral, NW UK and Vaucluse, France.
Was never involved in pirate radio myself ut certainly knew some people (including licended amateurs!) who did. This using FM in band II but it sounds like yours was an AM MW transmitter. Am I correct?
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

Emmett Browns Ghost
Staff member
Messages
10,918
My Satellite Setup
IP9000HD +
TD110 Dish and TD88 Dish in Tandem
66°East to 60°West.
AZbox PrmHD + OpnbxS9HD + Skybox + DrHD F15
2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
+SS2/TwHnS2-3200 pci/TBS6925 pci
1.5 Fortec Star -Gbox - HtoH Ku/Ka/C
My Location
UK
Was never involved in pirate radio myself ut certainly knew some people (including licended amateurs!) who did. This using FM in band II but it sounds like yours was an AM MW transmitter. Am I correct?
Indeed it was Paul..
If I remember right ..using an 807 octal based valve ...and when powered it was possible draw a spark from the Anode cap of the 807.
 
P

pgh13

Specialist Contributor
Messages
1,627
My Satellite Setup
XTrend ET8000, Dr HD 15, PC/twinhan combination. 80cm dish. GBPVR with 2 DTTV cards +hauppauge Media MVP +Raspberry Pi running XBMC
My Location
Midlands UK
I was always fascinated by electronics at school but early efforts weren't very successful; e.g. trying to build a 3 transistor radio with a soldering iron heated in an open fire and failing to get much out of a Sinclair Micro6.

Then, in my 20s I retrained in process control - a great mix of the techniques of measuring the various physical values - pressure, level, flow and temperature, transmission of signals by pneumatics and electronics and then the generation of the output, mainly by pneumatic controllers in those days, up to the relatively heavy engineering of the valves used to control the process.

This was at the tail end of the valve era and when I started working in this area the mainstay panel recorders were by Honeywell and Leeds and Northrup with their ECC83 based amplifiers and vibrating chopper circuits to enable the low thermocouple voltages to be amplified.

Got on well with Op-amps, the company bought some German weighing machines which made extensive use of them in the signal processing section.

Left industry and taught in a tech college for a couple of years. Got into satellite because SWMBO was learning German and so we got a s/h Amstrad SRD200 to get German TV (and it was something techie to fiddle with :) ).

These days i'm still more into fixing then ground-up building
 
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