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The End of Shortwave?

The BITX20A Transceiver

Fan Dipole

TS-590 Pan Adapter

Six Metre Portable Dipole

2 Metre Moxon

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Radio Cat

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News and Views

May 23rd, 2010: Links Updated

Who said every couple of months? Oh yes me, well it's more like six months since the link page has been updated! A number of new links have been added, especially in the data and vintage sections. Check them out by using the link on the left hand menu.

I have been busy this year building up my eBay business which has taken a lot of my spare time but things will ease up when I 'retire' in November. If you want to see what I'm currently selling see the link below.


January 2nd, 2010: Wymsey In Spectrum Scrum

RSGB Spectreum Defence FundOver at the Wymsey Chronicle battle has commenced as the Chronicle raises hackles in it's own special way. Hear what WRCA (Wymsey Radio Communications Agency) spokesperson, petite yet charming Ceaira Nebraska, 26, has to say about the English PLT transmitting devices and also the English radio regulator, Ofbog. Les Smith, Countryman of the year, 2001, and ladies' man has something to say as does Ethel M Nails from Wymsey Vegitarians.


December 19th, 2009: Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes

It's not that much hasn't happened since March it's just that I've been negligent! I now have a new rig, the IC703 was sold to a good home and I now have a Kenwood TS-480SAT which I mostly run at 60 watts. I am very pleased with the new radio, it a pleasure to use, has a good receiver and the six fold increase in power means I get heard more often!

One of the reasons I have had less time for the website is that I have been building up a business specialising in vintage radio components. My aim is to supplement my pension when I retire next November. You can find what I currently have for sale on eBay here I also plan to publish a list of general components for sale which will be available from this site.

I have built a new shack in the corner, you can take a look at it here.


March 4th, 2009: Velvet Verniers

National Velvet Vernier I recently obtained thirteen Velvet Verniers, some with dials and most with knobs. These classic drives were made by the Nation Company Inc of Malden, Massachusetts. Three of these are the original pre-Second World War mechanisms with black Bakelite dials and knobs. One has a 0-100 scale and two have a 0-70 dial and they look very similar to the old Bakelite dials on 1920's broadcast radios. National Velvet Vernier Apparently these were known as the "Type A" dial and the ones I have are 3 3/8 inches diameter.

(Click on any image to enlarge it.)

A number of the drives have black aluminium dials dials of 2 3/8 inches diameter, these are most likely made post-war but use the same planetary mechanism. The drive mechanisms are very smooth and only one is jammed, they appear to have been constructed of stainless steel as there is very virtually no rust on any of the drives.(We tend to think of stainless steel as being modern but it was developed in the 1890s.) Eight of the drives have two inch diameter Bakelite knobs some of which were made by General Electric.

The dials and knobs are pretty dirty so I am cleaning them with warm water and washing up liquid, after a thorough rinse they are left to dry and I will then finish them with beeswax polish. I intend to clean up the metal parts with white spirit followed WD40.

National Velvet Vernier The example, left, shows the rear of one the drives with a chunky ceramic coupler made by General Electric, there are a number of these and a couple of smaller ones where the ceramic is glazed. I have not checked all the drives but the standard reduction was 5:1 - ish. The 180 degree steel plate allows the user to put limits on the rotation and to apply a tuning lock.