Dorking & District Radio Society

Ham Radio Yesterday, Discovered Today - 23rd January

David Smith M0SXD & Paul Ives G3NIW

The plan is to stage a practical evening to demonstrate what amateur radio was like in the 1950s and 1960s and to involve everyone present. For this purpose, Paul Ives has kindly provided his home brew top band rig which dates from the 1950s and which was last operated in 1964. The technical details of the transmitter had been lost; however, some sterling work by David Smith who drafted out the circuit diagram and Alan Hopper who used this to prepare a schematic version with advice from Tom Ellinor has resolved this. David, Tom and John Kelly have been looking at the transmitter and modulator units and Paul has been working on the PSU with the aim of being able to power this up gently.

John will open the meeting in discussion with Paul to set the scene and describe his recollections of the equipment. David will then describe the problems that have been encountered and how these have been tackled. We shall then move to the practical work which will depend in part upon the progress made with the various units prior to the meeting. Hopefully it will be possible to operate the transmitter into a dummy load or joystick antenna using the club's call sign and receive the transmissions using a modern transceiver. Finally we shall conclude with a general discussion on whether there is any interest in taking this project forward.

Paul does not wish to keep this rig and so there may be an opportunity for someone to make him a reasonable offer and hence acquire a beautiful piece of amateur radio history.

David Smith has worked in the electronics and telecommunications fields since the mid 1960s, initially working in his Dad's radio and TV repair shops before moving on to a career in telecommunications. During his professional career he has designed digital and analogue systems for use in the telecoms industry including early attempts at speech recognition in the 1970s. David has gained ONC, HNC and MSc qualifications in electronics and telecommunications and has extensive experience of repairing domestic and military radio equipment. He is also a past secretary of our Club.

Paul Ives G3NIW studied electrical engineering in Chelmsford as a Student Apprentice with Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company Ltd. This was followed by the Graduate Apprentice course at Marconi College and he undertook radar data processing development work at Marconi Research Laboratories, Great Baddow. He was awarded an MSc degree in applied electronics at UMIST. He has been an IEE, now IET, member since 1960, becoming a Fellow in 1989, and is a registered European Engineer (Eur Ing) with FEANI.

Paul has been interested in amateur radio since the early 1950s and was granted an amateur radio licence in 1959. His professional career has been spent in defence electronics, from large civil and military air traffic control radar to airborne and naval early warning radar and command systems, in systems engineering and technical management with Marconi, Decca, Racal, Thompson CSF and Thales.