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#152847 - 03/04/06 05:42 AM Re: My Apologies-1977 Thread  
RODALCO  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 854
Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
Spring 1977.

I was at Dag Hammarskjöld college in Assen, The Netherlands, not the brightest student, I was lazy and couldn't be bothered with homework and the like and my interest was more into the kWh meters.

I had worked out that you connect them up to 220 Volts and make them spin.
By removing the brake magnet they ran even faster so I connected about 40 or so meters up in my bedroom and various timeclocks, relays which clicked in and out every 15 minutes to reset MDI meters and the first red and green LED's as indicators.
The meters measured my lights and stereo and my dad paid the powerbill so that was even better for a 16 year old, living at home with a collection out of control.
I remember very well the Ammeter swinging on the stereo amp, especially on the base tones of the music like a VU meter.
I like the electro mechanics of the meters especially the Landis & Gyr meters with the differentials and the miniature meccano like gear wheels.

I spent all my pocket money on buying a weekly railpass in school holidays for the dutch railways ( Nederlandse Spoorwegen ) and travelling as many kilometres as possible in that time period to cover all the lines in the country.

Also visiting powerboards and collecting boxes full with old meters and taking them back on the train. Never paid anything extra and explained to the guard that my mate and I had a hobby out of control.
Like having 200 kg of meters, like 8 big cardboard boxes and no extra freight charge, great he, that was possible in those days. [Linked Image]

I also had the odd girlfriend although relationships didn't last too long because of my excessive interest in meters and trains.

We lived in a rural village in Loon and in my spare time I helped out the neighbours who were farmers with milking cows, driving the tractors in the hay season, mowing acres of grass with the John Deere with cyclo mower, and Massey Ferguson with hay shaker and Ford dexta with the grass spreader.
Then potato season and the like and a great time afterwards with lots of Grolsh beer.
It were great days, never to be forgotten.
These memories will last forever.

Thanks Mike for raising this thread.

Regards Raymond

edited for typo's

[This message has been edited by RODALCO (edited 03-04-2006).]


The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

Tools for Electricians:

#152848 - 03/06/06 10:31 PM Re: My Apologies-1977 Thread  
feather  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 25
Santa Maria CA USA
i was working at Kaiser Steel's hot strip mill as a third class electrician, nothing like re-brushing 5000 hp dc motors.


#152849 - 03/07/06 06:44 AM Re: My Apologies-1977 Thread  
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
I turned 11 in March 1977 and was in my last few months of junior school (started high school in September). And as mentioned before, I was spending a lot of time playing around with radios, bits of wire, and all manner of stuff bought from the local electronics surplus store, at the church jumble sales across the street, and donated by neighbors clearing out sheds and attics! [Linked Image]


#152850 - 03/10/06 12:34 AM Re: My Apologies-1977 Thread  
Joe of NJ  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 25
West Orange, NJ, USA
I don’t remember what was I doing that Tuesday, but I’m sure I should have some bitter feeling about school (5th grade, elementary) starting in two weeks. Yes, down there school years start on March.

But I do know that if I could travel back in time I will try to convince myself to be an accountant!

Regards,

Joe.-


#152851 - 03/12/06 08:13 AM Re: My Apologies-1977 Thread  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
SI,New Zealand
Paul,
Do you remember the Ladybird book of how to Build Your Own Transistor Radio?.
Back when you could get bits for radios.
I have a question for the ECN family here, is there still a company that makes Air-spaced Variable Capacitors and Trimmer capacitors as well?.
I ordered 3 212pf Double Gang Capacitors in the late 1970's from E.F Johnson Co and never recieved them.
I saved up from my after school job NZ$49 (1979) got a money order (that in itself cost $12) and never heard a bean since.
I was under the impression the Postal service here had taken my money.
The tuning cap is the most hard to get part of a radio these days.
Doesn't anyone make this sort of thing anymore??.


#152852 - 03/12/06 12:47 PM Re: My Apologies-1977 Thread  
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Quote
Paul,
Do you remember the Ladybird book of how to Build Your Own Transistor Radio?.


I don't recall that one specifically, but I had several radio/technical books from the series. I remember having Ladybird books on the Discovery of Radio, Telephones, etc.

Somewhere in the very early 1970s there were also little "Project" books published here by -- of all people -- The Milk Marketing Board. They were aimed at kids and covered a whole range of topics, not just electronics. I still have some of those somewhere: Exploring a Railway System, Build A Record Collection, Signaling (Morse code, semaphore, flag signals etc.) and one from that series "How to Build Your Own Transistor Radio."

In fact at least two or three of my very first radio projects came out of that book! (They used mostly the OC-series transistors as I recall, which were very common at that time.)

Quote
I have a question for the ECN family here, is there still a company that makes Air-spaced Variable Capacitors and Trimmer capacitors as well?.


Jackson Bros. still make them here, but be warned they are not cheap anymore!
http://www.mainlinegroup.co.uk/jacksonbrothers/


#152853 - 03/14/06 11:13 PM Re: My Apologies-1977 Thread  
chipmunk  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 144
Southampton, UK
1977, can't remember exactly but I'd likely have been learning the basics (at just under 4 years old!) of electrical wiring, 4 1/2 volt batteries, lamps (I learned early they aren't called 'bulbs'), switches and wire. I remember you could buy little round switches like mini versions of the round tumbler light switches.

Trumpy, yes, I had that very book, and tried to build the radio. I had no problems building the crystal set that if I recall correctly began the radio project, but then had to add an OC71 transistor. The local radio shop chap had some, so I bought one, and broke off one of the legs in my enthusiasm to fit it. I can still feel the frustration now. But that radio DID work, so long as you poked the wire into the broken off stub of the leg [Linked Image]


#152854 - 03/15/06 10:06 AM Re: My Apologies-1977 Thread  
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
And did you discover that by scraping off the black outer coating, the OC71 could actually be used as a crude photo-transistor? [Linked Image]

I think the switches you're referring to might be the same ones that I used for many projects around that time. They were round and silver, not much more than an inch or so in diameter. Although looking like a miniature tumbler switch, the contact action inside was just the operating dolly pressing down on a copper strip.

I also recall that the outer shell was also connected to one side of the switch, a fact which I think I only realized after dropping something across two switches which were on opposite poles of the battery!

I do remember that I ended up using loads of those little switches on my model railway layout.


#152855 - 03/15/06 02:58 PM Re: My Apologies-1977 Thread  
Alan Belson  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Mayenne N. France
Paul. During WWII, HM War Office had a top secret development cell at Porlock, Somerset UK. Neville Shute worked there as a Development Engineer, amongst other madmen. They came up with some of the strangest secret weapons ever seen on this planet and one of these was the 'Harvey Rocket' which was a standard 3" signal rocket plus a crude warhead and a contact fuse. Launched up a bit of scrap steel U channel, it was fired by just 2 of those minature switches, [ one of them was the safety switch! ] a radio battery + electric fusee. I think the idea was to build an anti-aircraft missile for less than 50 pence! Presented to a plainly hostile and disinterested audience of Top Brass at Portland, UK, 'Harvey' did not disappoint their dismal expectations. Test firings veered wildly in all directions and it was plainly utterly useless. A General spoke up saying it looked unsteady and inaccurate.
Shute bristled, and replied that of course, what did they expect! - they needed something to aim at! Ordered by the General to 'aim at' a bunch of tethered inflatables guarding the fleet across the harbor, Shute took careful aim, and pressed his little F. W. Woolworth's 6 penny switches.
Whoooooooosssshhhh!!!!!!!
'Harvey' scorched over the water....... and scored a direct-hit on one of the Blimp tethering cables! A very expensive Inflatable soared up into the statosphere, its crew baling out as fast as possible!

'Harvey' was never seen again!

Alan

ps. Found this: http://www.nevilshute.org
Memory plays tricks over the decades - it was called the 'Harvey Projector'- [ah! now that sounds a bit more technological!]
This and other tales of Shute Norway's wartime designs could be found in Gerald Pawle's book 'The Secret War' which is now, I think, sadly out of print.
Alan




[This message has been edited by Alan Belson (edited 03-15-2006).]


Wood work but can't!

#152856 - 03/15/06 07:22 PM Re: My Apologies-1977 Thread  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
SI,New Zealand
Paul,
Quote
And did you discover that by scraping off the black outer coating, the OC71 could actually be used as a crude photo-transistor?

Yes,
I did actually try that in a little light-sesnsitive switch project once.
Oddly enough, when I built my first crystal set, my Dad said instead of using the easy option of a detector diode (then an OA91 germanium diode) he suggested I use a small of coke (No, not the drug or the drink) to fashion a crude cats-whisker detector.
I have heard of razor blades being used as well, how that works I'm not sure.
Chipmunk,
The first "bulbs and batteries" book I ever had used thumb-tacks and paper-clips as switches.
I built a crude oscillator and taught myself Morse Code with the very same sort of switch.
Using a key is a breeze after using a device like that. [Linked Image]


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