Brian Carling bry at MNSINC.COM
Sun May 10 08:34:36 EDT 1998

On  4 May 98 at 21:16, Jeffrey wrote:

> Who want to take if from here?
> 73 Gang,
> Jeff KH2PZ / KH6

Welcome aboard Jeff!


Well, it all started with my Uncle Jack's TAPE RECORDER!

Actually it had started long before that with the family crystal set,
the table-top radio with SW bands, reading Practic Wireless and
Wireless World magazines etc.

As a small lad in the 1950s, I was surprised and delighted when after
eating dinner at Uncle Jack's house, he invited us all to sit down and
listen to what we had been saying BEFORE dinner. He had HIDDEN a
microphone behind a chair in the living room and taped us all. Me, my
brother, may parents and my grandmother! None of us had seen such a
machine before, but within a couple of years, my brother and I both
got one. His a 4-speed Philips, mine a BSR single speed cheaper one.

We had great fun with those, but I soon went on to make homemade
intercoms, amplifiers, switchboxes etc. I even built a LIGHT BULB
TESTER when I was about 11 years old and offered to test the
neighbours' light bulbs for them (for a fee) - RIGHT!

My brother played in rock/pop bands professionally from a young age so
I was always around amplifers and other electrical things and helped
set the things up for them, as well as helping to build and wire
up/test their speaker cabinets etc.

It wasn't long before I learned about tubes and transistors and what
fun things you could do with each of them. I once bought some
CAPACITORS from a parts shop because I thought they would AMPLIFY a
signal! Nah! They were the old tubular WAX coated paper variety as I
remember they smelled funny. About 0.1 uF for the design to feed
headphones off a speaker output of a radio I think. You live and learn

Later, I found that a school chum lived a few streets over from a TV
repair place and we used to sift through their garbage after school.
Often there were complete "TELLYS" laying around by the dustbin, and
we would take tools and open them up, extracting ALL of the resistors,
tubes, caps, even transformers, and of course the speaker!

Later I used some of these parts to make intercoms and radios. What
fun, and all FREE! Kids at school used to make things, like.... Well,
I remember the elctric shock thing. They got an old matchbox (the
large wooden kind) and mounted a small transformer in it, nad had an
exernal 4.5 volt bicycle lamp battery underneath, and two tinfoil
contacts on top.

You persuaded some numbskull kid to put his fingers across the
contacts and then you flipped a wire together and apart on the
primary side of the transformer which of course unduced a huge
transient voltage in the secondary ond zapped the mug!

Another gadget someone built, that impressed me, was a 1 kHz
multivibrator that produced huge squarewaves using two transistors,
and the harmonics from it would jam ANY radio receiver within a few
feet. Great for annoying your school chums in the playground at
lunchtime. These things were all of course, entirely clandestine. If
the lads had been caught with such at school they would have been
punished I am sure!

Later on, G3WUW used to bring a single transistor phase shift osc. and
some headphones to school , and would teach me the morse code on the
steps during lunchtime. We later did some tube building together and I
did most of the work to make a 6AG7 - 5B254M transmitter. We also
fired up a WS19 set with 10 watts of awful sounding AM!! This was all
done on the "CCF 5mhz Net." See my article on the CCF for more
*** 73 from Radio AF4K/G3XLQ Gaithersburg, MD USA  *
**  E-mail to:  bry at                     *
*** ICQ 6124470  ***
**                     *
AM International #1024, TENTEN #13582. GRID FM19. Rigs: Valiant, DX-60/HG-10, FT-840, TM-261A, Harvey Wells Bandmaster, Drake 2
TEN-TEN #13582, DXCC #17763, Bicentennial WAS

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