1: This page brings you a
selection of comments made by visitors to
MDS975.co.uk via our Contact page.
comments whether they be about CATS or PETS, VINYL RECORDS or
TURNTABLES, RADIO & BROADCASTING, AMATEUR RADIO or indeed anything
I have just seen your website and I
understand you are interested in old radio recordings of BRMB. I have an
old tape with an edited recording of Tony Butler's football results and
phone-in show from May 1983. I was a student at Birmingham University
at the time and a fairly regular listener. Not quite sure why it was
edited to miss out the records and news bulletins but it is mostly
Tony's interviews and the phone banter with his callers, 'on yer bike'
and all that!
I was just about to wipe it but f you
are interested I can forward this tape to you. It's on an old cassette
tape, probably not the greatest mono recording from a tape/radio combo,
and unfortunately I don't have the means to digitize it, but you're
I had no idea TB was still broadcasting
until last year, but not surprised to read he got into trouble a couple
of times. He was always pretty blunt and to the point. Perhaps that was
Hopefully there will be some snippets
you can sample and load onto your website. I think Tony Butler used 'on
yer bike' long before Norman Tebbit borrowed the phrase. He also seemed
to like using 'let me tell you' and 'can't be bad' a lot - maybe that
was in relation to Birmingham City who had a really awful season in
82-83 but climbed out of the relegation places in the final week. With
Wolves being promoted, there were 5 teams from the West Midlands in the
top league the following year.
I worked out that side 1 and part of
side 2 was recorded on Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May 1983 - the day after
the BRMB Walkathon - and the rest of side 2 up to the closing theme was
on Sat 7th May 1983. They must have played footie on the Bank Holiday
Mondays back then.
Enjoy the tape, I have to admit I don't remember much from those days but do recall the
Tony Butler theme tune that he played out with each week, and also those
'Regency Windows..... we can do it' ads that must have played every
half hour or so...
Thanks for the great website.
Hi Chris, Many thanks for saving this tape and sending it in. So glad you didn't wipe it !!!!!!
Listen to the cassette recordings here: BRMB Sport with Tony Butler in May 1983
Thanks for a very useful and informative website, we appear to
have very similar interests.
All the best from Paul Madden, GW8HYT,
I came across your website and tried your FT Meter Project. It
works! I was very happy with it and wanted to share to you what
I’ve done. I have incorporated it into my EMACS: Emcomm Modular Ammo Can
System. See a photograph of Jesse's FT-Meter here
Jesse Francis, KJ4KPV
Thanks for your email Jesse - a very neat project!
I know very little about amateur radio
but I decided to read up on the subject, that’s how I wound up on your
website. It’s nice to know that there are people who use something
different from social networks in order to communicate.
Hi Eugene, Many thanks for taking the time to email me. It's great to
hear from you. I hope that you found some interesting and useful
Thanks again, and as we say, "73", Mike.
I haven't been in touch for ages,
thought I'd just say I've been going through the old tapes. In the last
couple of weeks I came across one of my most earliest cassettes (a
Currys C90) and found on there that I had about 12 minutes of an old
John Peel show. When I checked the age of it using references to the
music he played in the clip, it turns out it's older than I first
thought. I'm dating it around somewhere between July and September 1977.
A good vintage and it is an iconic snapshot of what those listeners who
tuned in on medium wave radio late at night would have heard at that
time. Punk was just hitting the scene, as Generation X or Gen X as they
were known, were defined by Peel as 'the best of the new bands'. Hear the John Peel clip in the Audio section of the Airwaves page here
I though you might like to have a copy.
I do remember that I must have recorded it on my brother's music
centre, or he did as he was a fan at the time. I didn't even have my own
tape recorder when this went out! Apart from the fading - it was night
time MW - it's good fun. This would have still been on 247m in the
autumn of 1977 - the wavelength changes did not happen until 1978, when
Radio One moved to 275 and 285 metres medium wave.
Thanks Julian, this a great little clip of the great John Peel.
I've read your site on and off for a
few years now and finally got around to building a matchbox radio. I'd
made one as a child during the '70s from the PW article, with the
original Ferranti ZN414 and I'd always wanted to make another one to
have, particularly so that I always had a mini radio to listen to the
cricket on LW.
I have a feeling that my wife will
probably disown me over the next few weeks, when I bore he rigid with
how the projects are coming on.
Thanks for your informative website.
All the best, Al. Read more here >
Here's a more authentic pic of another newsman in the BRMB Radio newsroom (me) circa 1977 - about May 1977.
More audio soon. (pic)
Hi John, Great to hear from you again. Thanks for the photograph
and also for the audio
which is greatly appreciated.
Hi Mike, Great website page about BRMB - excellent work....
Just thought you would like to know (not sure if you have already heard) that Les Ross is
now back on Big City Radio every Sunday afternoon with Celebrations -
every Sunday afternoon from 2pm to 4pm. It's a "this day in history"
style show with Les' style and each song or piece of music played is
linked to a Birthday or other celebration that's happening in the coming
week. It's an excellent show and great to have Les back on the radio. http://www.happychappymedia.com/bigcityradio/
With very best wishes,
Thanks Steve, that's great news!
Hello Mike, You might remember me - you have a picture of my 'matchbox
radio' on your site! For some time now I've been doing what I call
extreme PIC programming and once again I'm longing for analogue!
(Sometimes I wish I had been born earlier so that I could have
participated in the analogue boom years of the 50s and 60s. In saying
that, I would probably have come up against serious opposition as a
woman back then.)
Anyway, I am hoping to put time to
making a HAC regenerative receiver and I think your site will provide
all the information I need to do that. I return to your site quite
frequently by the way. An amusing revelation: As a kid I built and used a
'Science Fair Globe Patrol' regenerative radio from Tandy. I was
stunned to often hear TV signals on 30MHz. I found out a year or two
later that TV IFs were typically 30MHz! It should have been obvious
really - I only ever heard these signals when the TV was on downstairs!
Thanks for a great site, Mike.
Thanks for your email Karen. I certainly remember your previous correspondence about your miniature radio
and I also remember Tandy's Science Fair Globe Patrol radio. I also
discovered one or two 'odd' signals that were, it transpired, the
Intermediate Frequencies of nearby receiving equipment. I'll be
interested to read about your latest HAC radio project. The details on
this page, Hear All Continents radio
should provide enough information since the constructional layout is
not especially critical. The most critical part is winding, and then
adjusting the coil. Best wishes, Mike.
Hello Mike, I am a shortwave listener since 1990 and I love it. I have a
UBC-3500XLT radio scanner, an Eton E1 AM/FM/shortwave Radio that covers
80 metres to 11meters and more. This year for my Christmas gift of my
uncle gave me an Intek KT-930EE dual band radio - and there is my
problem I don't know how to operate it. Could you please help me out?
When scanning, the radio stops stops on even very weak or faint signal
where is no radio communication. What must I do to hear some radio
Most kind regards,
Peter from Belgium.
Thank you for your email. Sadly your email address does not work and my
reply was returned as undeliverable, so here is my answer:
The radio that you have is actually a transceiver (i.e a transmitter /
receiver) for licensed radio bands. It will receive 136 to 174 MHz and
400 to 470 MHz. Since many signals in these ranges could be digital and
pagers you may not hear a great deal - perhaps nothing except some
amateur radio operators using nbfm.
However there may be some analogue speech transmissions that you could
receive - e.g. in the UK we may hear some analog taxi services around
160 to 175 MHz. You will need to ensure that the squelch is not set too
low, otherwise the scanner will stop on too many very weak and noisy
signals. In any case it will also stop on a lot of digital / packet
transmissions that will just be noise of various types - no speech.
Please be careful: Under no circumstances whatsoever should you ever try
to transmit using this radio - it would be illegal and cause problems
for licensed users.
If you want further training you may find a nearby amateur radio club that can help you pass the necessary exams:
The Intek website is here: http://www.intek-radios.com
The user instruction manual can be downloaded from the product page here: http://www.intek-radios.com/?C=Product_V.php&Id=37
I hope that helps. 73 Mike.
Hi guys, I just thought I’d drop you a quick message to say that I’d
visited your web site and enjoyed having a look through your photos
especially the cats.
I’m a recently rejuvenated radio ham,
G8BYB, and my wife Carol, M6MEW, is very new to the hobby having got her
ticket 3 weeks ago. We also have many cats wandering about the
place. They are mainly Bengals but we also have some wild
cats. Yes, we breed Bengal cats. Love the shack and I’ve just realised I’d already visited your web site before for some reason.
I’m still applying the finishing touches to our shack, although Carol has decided she wants her own!!!!
Andrew, G8BYB http://www.eriador-cats.com
Hi Andrew and Carol, Thank you so much for your email, it's great to
hear from you. It's very interesting to read that you are a 'rejuvenated
' and that your wife is also newly licensed - well done
from us! Glad that you liked the photographs of the cats. We have also
look at your own website - which is full of such beautiful and
adorable creatures - all too lovely for words!
Glad you also liked the shack, which has to be efficiently squeezed into
a corner of the box room! But it works. We await a photo of your own shack!
Thanks again for taking the time to email. Best wishes ('73' as they say), Mike and Jules.
Hi Mike, I have a question that I'm hoping you might be able to answer for me. I am contemplating building a crystal set radio to particular online basic instructions.
However,before I get involved I wanted to know roughly what stations I
might be able to pick up in the Bromley Kent area especially with
respect to 'Digital' now and in the near future. I am also a bit
confused over the suggestion that I might need an AM transmitter. If you
are able to throw any light on this subject ,it would be gratefully
Thank you. Regards,
Thanks for your email about crystal set radios
The need for a miniature AM transmitter would arise if you lived in an
area, or a country, without any medium wave / AM transmissions. In which
case you would need to generate your own transmission for the crystal
set to receive.
A crystal set, because it has no power of its own, requires a good
strong signal to work - all that powers a crystal set is the energy
supplied to it from the radio stations 'picked up' the aerial. A crystal
set, therefore, usually needs a large aerial too!
Norway is in the process of switching off ALL analogue radio
transmitters. All their medium/AM radio transmitters have already been
switched off and FM will also be abandoned very soon, with all these
transmitters being decommissioned and dismantled. The replacement is a
digital radio service that needs complex, power hungry radios to listen -
and which are certainly not receivable on a simple crystal set.
Another example is where medium wave / AM radio does not strong, or
indeed any signals is western Scotland and the Outer Hebrides - an area
that has in fact never been served by medium wave / AM radio
So in western Scotland and Norway a crystal set would not work. If you
wanted to receive something on a crystal set in these or similar areas
you would need a miniature AM transmitter to transmit some music or
recorded programmes from CD's, LP's, cassette tapes or mp3's.
However in London there should be a number of stations on medium wave (AM) that you should be able to receive on a crystal set:
From the main medium wave transmitter at Brookmans Park:
BBC Radio Five Live (909 kHz)
Talk Sport (1089 kHz)
Absolute Radio (1215 kHz)
You may possibly also receive:
Gold on 1548 kHz from Saffron Green
LBC on 1152 from Saffron Green
Possibly 558kHz from Crystal Palace and maybesome other nearby 'local'
transmitters, e.g. on 963 or 972, or 1035, 1305, 1332, 1413 kHz -
In the UK analogue switch-off (i.e. FM / AM) was planned for 2015, but
that may be pushed back due to the poor quality and unpopularity of our
digital DAB radio service.
I hope that helps! Best wishes, Mike.
Mike, Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the ILR section of
your website. I was inspired to write by the recent ‘biopic /docudrama
about Kenny Everett on BBC 4 which brought back some great memories.
I used to spend a number of half term
holidays in the 1970s’ zooming all over the UK with my father usually
delivering parts to the great British car industry so BRMB was no
stranger to the Ford Cortina’s medium wave only radio. As you well know
it was on 261m (seemingly the ILR frequency of choice) so you could
leave London on the M1 listening to LBC and almost have an automatic
re-tune to BRMB and then Piccadilly, if you were heading toward the
British Leyland factory in Speke.
All those stations were great and put
today’s ‘local’ radio to shame. The dumbing down of the original ILR
network is nothing short of a disgrace. As for the new digital only
stations the less said the better (with the honourable exception of BBC 6
Music) – and the powers that be are surprised by the lack of take up …
perhaps they haven’t listened to any of it!
I’m now the one behind the wheel
zooming up and down the M1 and I usually take a pile of CDs to listen to
rather than listen to the rubbish pumped out by Heart and Capital; Can
anyone tell me what ‘ownership’ and ‘involvement’ someone living in
Cardiff or Sheffield have of a station called Capital???
It’s interesting to me how much of
Radio 2’s output over the last 10 years at times sounds so much like the
‘old’ ILR. It’s equally interesting how they always clean up when the
audience figures are released so it proves those stations were on the
Keep up the good work. [See the BRMB Radio page here]
Thanks for your email James. You make some very interesting observations
and I cannot take issue with a word you write. It is documented that
stations like Capital and Heart have just a few hundred records in total
on their playlists, while BBC Radio One and BBC Radio Two have about
3000 tracks each on their respective playlists. No doubt only part of
the reason while the commercial stations sound so utterly dire and why
Radio One and Radio Two do very well!
Best wishes, Mike.
I was wondering if you could help. My aunt lives in Warcop Cumbria and
enjoyed listening to the Welsh radio (South Wales I think) she now
cannot get it at all. I have searched through websites trying to
find an answer and am hoping you could throw some light on this. I don't
think she has a digital radio - could she get the Welsh signal if she
had a one? Any help would be most appreciated.
Hi Ann, Thanks for your email. I have to presume that your aunt was
listening to BBC Radio Wales. BBC Radio Wales is transmitted on Medium
Wave ("AM") and is probably the only Welsh service that one might be
able to receive in Cumbria - except under certain unusual atmospheric
Obviously Radio Wales is only intended to be received in Wales itself,
although it can be heard very well along the Welsh borders, parts of the
Midlands and around Bristol and the West Country. I would have thought,
however, that at certain times of day - particularly during darkness -
that BBC Radio Wales could be received to some degree in Cumbria on
The main frequency is 882 kHz Medium Wave from a high powered
transmitter at Washford (Somerset!), serving South Wales with and
another medium powered transmitter at Penmon on Anglesey for north west
Wales. There may also
be a chance of receiving the lower powered transmitter that serves
Wrexham and parts of North East Wales on 657 kHz Medium Wave.
The BBC Radio Wales transmitters remain the same as they always have
been, so nothing has changed in that respect. The main influence of
distant medium wave reception is the earth's changing ionosphere, which
varies according to season and time of day.
Radio Wales does also transmit to some parts of Wales on VHF/FM - but
these transmissions would not be receivable in Cumbria under normal
conditions. Radio Wales is also on DAB within parts of Wales - but again
not receivable in Cumbria.
Radio Wales is not
transmitted in England on DAB or VHF/FM. However you will find BBC Radio
Wales on FREESAT - the free satellite television service. It is worth
checking this out if you are keen. Natuarally BBC Radio Wales is also
available via the internet.
Other radio stations that broadcast in Wales include BBC Radio Cymru which is available on
VHF/FM across the province and also on DAB in one or two areas. There are also a
handful of commercial stations, however none of these VHF/FM or DAB
stations would be receivable in Cumbria under normal conditions.
If you want to try to receive the medium wave signal of Radio Wales on
882 kHz or 657 kHz you'll need to use the best quality radio that you
can and perhaps give it some added assistance from a "Loop Aerial
" that is described on the website here
. A Loop Aerial will improve the distant reception of medium wave considerably.
Best wishes, Mike.
Hi, I've been reading through the death of Fox FM.
It had all the information that I was looking for and answered many
questions. What I would also like to know is what happened to the old
presenters?' Where are they now? It was a great shame when the
station finished and it's never been the same! ;-(
Many thanks for any information
By the way, do you remember the
hilarious day Phil Angel went up in the Unipart Flying Fox and had to be
brought down because he felt ill? .....Happy days!
Hi Mark, Thanks for your email. It is indeed a great shame that yet
another good local station has been closed down by the soulless
conglomerate. I don't know where everyone from Fox has gone, but here
Jane Markham went to Classic FM I believe and is now a voice-over artist.
I last heard Tony James on BBC Radio Cumbria a couple of years ago.
Steve Ellis sadly died in 1995.
Phil Miles worked for County Sound before Fox FM and I think also Red Dragon Radio. I don't know what he has done since.
I think Phil Angell went on to work at UKRD in management.
I think Steve Priestly was on BRMB for some time after Fox FM.
As I say, that's all I can remember, so I am not sure about the rest of the Fox FM team.
I hope that helps a bit!
Best wishes, Mike.
morning Mike, I have sent you the whole 2 hours of the first 'final'
Les Ross Breakfast Show on BRMB from 10th March 1989 The show is in two
separate files, 0700-0800 and 0800-0900, I've compressed it to 64kbs,
unfortunately the original cassette recording was not up to my usual
home recording quality but none the less a piece of BRMB history that
I'd like to share.
There will be more files coming your
way over the next few weeks as I will be able to dedicate more of my
spare time to transferring my audio cassettes, I hope you will find them
Thank you Rob, This is fantastic material! I look forward to receiving more. In the mean time listen to the first 'final' Les Ross Breakfast Show on BRMB here
and also Rob's recording of a BRMB Sport Special with Tony Butler here
I was a reporter and newsreader at BRMB between 1981 and 1984, working
under Brian Sheppard and Colin Palmer. I spent three of my happiest
years working for the station.
[On adding Martin to the BRMB page]
I was hardly up there with the greats like Les Ross or Ed Doolan - but
it gives me particular pride and pleasure to see myself listed, through
your work, as part of the collective memory of the station, and I still
have some bulletins, jingles and general clips on cassette tape. If
you're interested, I will get them down from the loft and send them to
Thank you for everything you're doing
to keep the BRMB memory alive - it was a wonderful station and I am
very sad that it has disappeared from the airwaves.
(Now working for The Associated Press in London)
Thank you very much for your email. I fear that I have barely scratched
the surface of BRMB's history, but at the pages have been able to
preserve something of the story and sounds of what was a superb local
I would be very grateful for the recordings that you have, I am sure
that they would make an excellent addition to the BRMB pages.
Thanks again, it's greatly appreciated. Best wishes, Mike.
GREAT website. Although I now
live in Canada, I was a Black Country kid and started listening to BRMB
in 1976 I think. I was a Hospital Radio DJ in Dudley and I got to
know some of the presenters including Roger Day, Les Ross, and
others. I am still in touch with Roger Day.
I was on BRMB a few times myself, as a
guest DJ. I have one of those as an MP3 file (it's me and Roger
Day doing a Sunday morning show in 1982), let me know the best way to
send it to you and you can put it on your site. I also have a Les
Ross breakfast show from 1987. You are welcome to both
files. I also have an MP3 of radio jingles from the 1970s and
there's a lot of Midlands stuff on there.
Congrats on a great website, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks so much for your email. It's great to hear from you, and thanks for the compliments.
It's very interesting to read that you were a presenter on both hospital
radio and BRMB too. Roger Day is a great 'radio guy'. We attended his
talk at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre on his very varied life and career
in radio. That was when he was at Saga 105.7 here in the West
Since then that station has also been closed and the 105.7 transmitter
has become a relay of GMG's national Smooth Radio brand - which itself
has recently been subsumed into Global's portfolio, and and its future
has been thrown into doubt.
Thanks for the offer of your BRMB audio recordings for the archives. I
will be more than delighted to accept anything that you have!
Thanks again for the very offer - I can't wait to hear your recordings!
Great to hear from you. Feel free to enjoy and put them on your site, giving me (Terry Hughes) some credit would be nice.
Let's keep in touch and you never know, I might find a few more tapes! (I have some hospital radio and other ones too).
Thanks for going to so much trouble.
I always credit the contributors - it's very important when trying to
save little bits of history to acknowledge the efforts of those, like
yourself, who have taken so much time to send material in.
Thanks again, I will download them tonight and put them on the site - crediting you, of course!
The Les Ross Breakfast Show with the BRMB Flying Eye and Roger Day and Terry Hughes can be heard here
Just to say a big thank you for putting the Les Ross "Yesterday Never Comes" recordings on line!
Really enjoyed them! Nim Nim Nim!
Thanks John, and thanks again to Robert Scott who sent them in. We really enjoyed them too!
With regard to some technical questions about restoring a 1961 vintage Grundig Majestic Entertainment System ......
Mike, You are too kind sir! Thank you so very much for your
wonderfully prompt responses and for endeavoring to assist me through
Very truly yours, Allen Boobar, Los Angeles.
Thanks Allen, Well we haven't entirely cracked the problem yet - but hopefully we'll find a solution! Best wishes, Mike.
With regard to many questions posed and answered about amateur radio ........
Mike, Awesome, awesome, awesome information. Many thanks!
Thanks again, Rob. KC9VLT
My pleasure Rob! Best wishes, Mike.
I know you have been in contact with my good friend Mark G0MGX but I
felt I needed to say thanks and acknowledge your work on a 160m sloper
antenna. [Antenna article here]
It works very well here and, thanks to Mark who built several inductors
until one gave us an SWR of 1.1 on the CW end of the band and also
braised several copper rods together for form a reasonable earth under a
large pine tree. He has passed on to me details of the
website of K7MEM which may well inspire me to try a 'sloper' for 80m as
I've always wanted a top band antenna but felt that I didn't have the
room - but thanks to your idea and Mark's enthusiasm for the project I
now have what I wanted - I'm being heard (and can hear) into European
Russia with it so it certainly works!
Thanks again - I enjoyed your website very much. 73, Vince G0ORC (August 2012)
Hello Vince, Thanks for taking the time to let me know. Congratulations to you and Mark, G0MGX, on a project very well done!
Best wishes, Mike, M0MTJ.
Hi Mike and Jules!
I wanted to let you know how grateful I am for your website and share some things about my quest for a good record player.
Early 2011 my mom called me telling me she wanted to get rid of my late
dad's collection of (mainly jazz) 78's. I gladly went over to pick them
up, including his data records on cards, and now had to think of the
best way to start playing 'm. I did try to persuade her to throw in the
Thorens TD-124, but she still wants to play her own vinyls, so the
record player stayed. [edit - read full text here..]
I started to browse the web for advice, dreaming about building my own
audiophile belt drive player, finding out a lot of interesting stuff on
playing 78's, and finding all kinds of off the shelve units for big
budgets which looked great on the pictures. Now I have to say something
about my hi-fi enthusiasm: I always read massive amounts about
audiophile solutions, but I do become kind of skeptical when authors
start braiding their own interlinks and putting speaker cables on mini
tripods. My own set is a mid range NAD T742 surround receiver, a good
set of Dali Royal speakers, and good but no nonsense cabling. In my
quest I kept on landing back on your page, also through other sites and
forums, and found your approach to be very close to what I like to see:
Practical solutions, advice for good quality products, without the
mystery that is so often found on hi-fi pages. [edit - read full text here..]
So now I am happily playing my own old vinyl, and my dad's 78's. My
vinyl sounds as never before, what a difference! For the 78's I had this
impression of slightly fast running play back with a lot of noise and a
funny sound profile. Now, with a good stable deck with easy pitch
control, a good needle, equalizing preamp and a good cleaner, I do
realize 78's can actually play back as true hi-fi, even when it is of
course still mono. It is also fun to do, because there are so many
variables, every record might need some minor adjustments to make it
sound exactly right.
Your site and your research and information has helped me tremendously
on my quest for a record player. Thank you so much for making this all
Best regards, Helmer Verbruggen, The Netherlands (August 2012)
[Read Helmer's full unedited story here...]
Dear Helmer, Very many thanks for your email - you have had a
fascinating and ultimately rewarding journey through sound! It's
especially interesting to see new ideas and different designs such as
your excellent case making skills! Yours is
another inspiring tale of finding enjoyment from a large record
collection. Thanks again for writing such a detailed account! Mike
Hi Mike & Jules, I'm just in the process of transferring some of my
home recorded audio cassettes to digital and I've come across a tape I
compiled in September 1984 which has a number of episodes of 'Yesterday
Never Comes' from the Les Ross breakfast show on BRMB Radio. I have
about 16 episodes complete which I've now digitized to mp3 audio files. I
must admit I've known that I've had these recordings for years but
they've been boxed away, I have finally decided to make the effort and
transfer what I have to the pc...it's so easy isn't it ? !
I'm more than glad to share what I have, it's a pleasure looking through
your site and I'm sure that I have other BRMB recordings from the early
1980's amongst my cassettes, I'll advise you of my finds in due course. I seem to have trimmed most of the episodes of 'Yesterday Never Comes' at the time, taking for granted that the Les Ross 'banter' was the norm at the time, oh...how times change !
I've sent you 18 episodes of
Yesterday Never Comes, and I'll continue digging through my cassettes
and anything BRMB related I'll whizz across to you, I went through a
period of recording commercials !! Don't ask !!!! They laughed then and
probably still laugh now - I know ! I'll be in touch
Kind regards, Robert Scott, South Yardley, Birmingham.
Hi Robert, Very many thanks for your email. It was only last week
that I was thinking about Yesterday Never Comes and going though my
cassettes trying to find anything that I might have. Sadly I could not
find any episodes. It's therefore amazing that you have found such a
comprehensive collection. Your recordings are great and I find it
remarkable how many of my cassettes have stood the test of time.
Yesterday Never Comes certainly made me laugh out loud - it
was crazy wasn't it?!
You're quite right, we just take these things for granted at the time,
thinking that it will never change. I now wish that I had made many more
recordings, but it's too late now, so it is very pleasing to receive
yours. It's very sad to think that we're unlikely to witness such a
wide ranging, radio station again, but we can reflect on these happy
For those that don't know, "Yesterday Never Comes" is the true life
story of the ups and downs and the ins and outs - and sometimes the
un-soled shoes - of the people of Little Whittle, not far from Wattle: Listen to Rob's recordings of 'Yesterday Never Comes' from Les Ross on BRMB Radio in 1984 here
Thanks very much indeed for sending in these gems!
Best wishes, Mike & Jules
Thank you very much for the info you have published in you web site.
Very informative, interesting and educative. Thank you once again.
KJ Kumar, California.
Hi, My pleasure - Thank you so much for your message, it's great to hear from you in
sunny California. Best wishes, Mike.
I was searching for the electrical circuits when by chance I came to your site: http://www.mds975.co.uk/Content/trfradios02.html
It is great delight to see the content of the book Making A Transistor Radio on line and the
experience of others on the page. I want to mention that in 1974 when I
was in VIII standard I got this book issued from the school library and
by just going through it I felt I could assemble it, I took the book to
my father and asked for his permission, he permitted me and I prepared
the board in my school workshop, and searched for the parts in the town
(Udaipur, Rajasthan, India) and after that was able to assemble it, it
gave me an immense pleasure which is still with me at the age of 54 yrs.
This wonderful book paved the path for my forever interest in
electronics and I still do something or the other. recently found that
Internet is quite helpful in this regard, I congratulate you for this
content on the site, and take the liberty to improve it to make it with
parts available presently. I lost my set and equipment while I was
travelling, only the memories are with me.
With Love and Regards from the other end of the world, Ravinder Singh
Dear Ravinder, Very many thanks for taking the trouble to send an email and for
the kind comments and your own interesting story about Making A
Transistor Radio. What a great shame that your own radio set went missing while
travelling. Happy memories though!! Best wishes, Mike.
Hi Mike, I hope
all is well, I visit your site occasionally for A. good info on the
SL1200 and B. to see my old sadly passed away pusscat Radio Puss.
So here we have, Mrs Radio puss with her litter of Motorola P210 hand portable transceivers.
Best Regards, Mick. [July 2012]
Hi Mick, Very many thanks for your email.
It's good to read your news and particularly to see your photograph of
Mrs Radio Puss. Beautiful, and a great litter of P210 radios too!
Thanks again - Best wishes, Mike and Jules.
Hi Mike, I am just listening to your recording of "When Pirates Ruled The Airwaves"
and so I found your other pages - Thank you so much. I am also having
fun visiting your page : www.mds975.co.uk - lots of interesting
Thanks for sharing.
With greetings from Munich, Bavaria.
Hi Alec, Very many thanks for your email. We're glad to read that you
enjoyed the topics and particularly When Pirates Ruled The Airwaves'!
Greetings to you too! Thanks again, Mike.
, I was wondering If you could tell me what type of radio
would be most useful in an emergency situation where normal means of
communication weren't available. I'm also looking for a fairly cheap
model that has a scanning function.
I want to buy a hand-held
device....there's a lot out there! I'm assuming UHF/VHF aren't CB
radios? Also what is the most commonly used transceiver? CB, or ham, or
whatever. I want to increase the possibility of communication to a
maximum so therefore would like to know what devices would be most
suitable. I'm well aware I am showing my ignorance of the subject, but I
believe this may have a very practical use in the future, so again
would appreciate any pointers you could give me.
Any help you could provide as well
as the best place to get hold of one would be fantastic and much
Hi Mark, thanks for your email. A two way radio can be handy at times -
though hopefully we will not have an emergency that requires its use! A
CB radio can keep you in contact with other friends or family locally
and be operated in a power cut if installed in a car and running from
the car's battery.
I list a number of dealers on the links page: http://www.mds975.co.uk/Content/cb_radio_10.html
The Thunderpole website is one that is usually good at indicating a
particular radio's functions, such as scanning. Scanning in this case
refers to scanning the CB band - not any other radio bands. Thunderpole
also have some complete kit ideas available - but I imagine any of
the dealers that I mention could put a complete kit together that suits
your particular needs - if CB is what you want. The Intek H520, for
example, is a hand held CB with a scan function.
You might also consider PMR-446 hand held transceivers. Like CB they do
not require a licence. These use UHF (446 MHz) rather than the HF (27
MHz) that is used by CB; they and are lower output devices with an
output of about 0.5 watt, compared to a CB radio's 4 watt output. I am
not sure about
scanning functions on these, so you'd have to check that with a dealer.
As an alternative to PMR-446 and CB Radio, you might consider amateur
radio as it has the potential for much greater ranges. It is radio
amateurs that are often used to maintain communications in areas of the
world where there has been some kind of a disaster. Amateur Radio does
require a licence due to the higher transmitter powers allowed and the
consequent potential for causing interference to other users. You would
first need to sit the Foundation Licence exam to obtain the necessary
licence and be issued with a 'call sign'. This would allow you access to
different HF, VHF and UHF bands with up to 10 watts transmitted power.
There are hand held transceivers available that include a scan function
and have output powers of typically between 2 and 5 watts. You'd could
visit a nearby amateur radio club or contact the Radio Society of Great
) to discover more about the subject and requirements.
I hope that covers everything. Best wishes, Mike.
Thanks for getting back to me so
quickly Mike, you covered everything and thanks also for the link.
You're a good man Mike, cheers :)
Take care, Mark
Mike and Jules, I ran across your website whilst experimenting with
different circuits using the MK484. I saw that you have a link to Bowood
Electronics in the UK. I have been using them also for years and I
wondered if you had seen their MK484 Kit on there. It can be ordered
complete (- 32 ohm earphones ) and includes a specification sheet and
the schematic diagram, and the wire and ferrite rod are included to wind
to your suiting. The MK484 Kit part number is KT001 and
it costs $9.15 $US. Also if you e-mail [the owner] Will, he might sell
you the circuit board separately. The link to the kits page is:
Just thought you guys might want to know. You have a neat website and it is fun to build simple "Old Time" stuff.
Hi Jamie, Many thanks for your email. We
have used Bowood Electronics for some years too and also bought the
MK484 kit from them. It's very good, thanks for the reminder - we'll
post your link.
Thanks, Mike & Jules.
for your site. I have been trying to track down info about a [radio]
phenomenon where I lived, near Kingston upon Thames, before the start of
ILR, commercial radio [Capital Radio] in 1973.
There was a transmission three nights
a week on FM stereo, not BBC, in high quality on Tue/Wed/Thurs I
believe. Same frequency was used, but each night it was called by a
different name. The one I remember best was called Radio Aquarius, which
would play a single program in the evening, for two hours, of
underground and progressive music in hi-fi stereo. I remember them
playing The Doors 'Riders on the Storm' when it was first released,
which would place it in 1971, but it ran for a year or two either side.
This was not Radio Jackie, local to
that area (Radio Jackie was hard to receive where I lived), and was
around the time of Radio North Sea International, but far superior in
As a young teenager, this station
introduced me to much of the music I still like today. I forget the
format of the other two nights, but I believe one may have been jazz and
the other soul. I have no idea who was behind these [broadcasts], their
legality, or how they were funded, as they featured no adverts, but the
quality suggests this was more than simply hobbyists.
My suspicion is that this may have
been some form of transmission tests in the run up to Capital Radio
which filled a gaping void in radio a year or so after this period, and
the way the broadcasts worked as discrete 2 hour programmes on three
nights kind of lends itself to that.
I wondered whether you can shed any light on this phenomenon, as I can find no mention of it anywhere?
. [10th May 2012]
Hi Michelle, Thanks for your email and question.
In the late 1960's Radio Free London North and South shared 255 metres.
There was also the Radio Free Helen Network on 197metres - consisting of
Radio Helen 1/2/3 /north/south, Radio Revenge, Radio Freedom, Radio
Apollo, Radio Telstar and Radio Spectrum all broadcasting in turn, from
different locations but on the same frequency.
Later came a group of 'pirate' stations that shared the facility known
as "The London Transmitter Of Independent Radio" - or L.T.I.R. - which
broadcast various radio stations with different programme styles four
nights a week. This certainly wasn't Capital Radio or the IBA, but they
were a group of individuals striving for high quality music broadcasting
on VHF / FM.
L.T.I.R. grew out of Radio Jackie's original use of a high quality VHF
transmitter on Saturday nights on 94.4 MHz and was set up with the
intention of providing its high quality VHF signal to other radio
stations. Between 1971 and 1972 the L.T.I.R. broadcast different radio
stations four nights a week, each providing different programme and
The stations that used the L.T.I.R VHF / FM facility were: Radio Aquarius
- Broadcast on Friday nights providing light music with Barry as the Disc Engineer; Radio London Underground
(growing out of Radio Jackie's programmes) - From 1971 - in April
1972 broadcast regularly on Sunday evenings / nights for eight months
with progressive music, pop and classical plus documentaries; Radio Classic
; Radio Odyssey
; Radio Jackie / Radio Star
I have some more information and details along with lots of external links to more information on this page: Pirate Radio
Best wishes, Mike.
Hi Mike, It is interesting,
because as well my memory of it being Thursday night being wrong, this
version of a track from the musical 'Hair' played by James Last kind of
confirms that Radio Aquarius was Light entertainment, on a Friday
evening. Whereas, 'Underground' would have been where things like the
Doors were played, and that was on a Sunday evening.
Strange thing memory, and strange how hard it is to pin down obscure facts from before the age of the internet.
James Last, like Mantovani and
Semprini, were all things my parents would have liked, but not me.
Although I did listen to some Mantovani and Semprini 78's about five
years ago, and was impressed by the surreality of some of the sounds
[23rd May 2012]
Thanks Carly - Indeed it is a great resource and we've added it to the Amateur Radio Links
page. Thanks, Mike.
Mike, We are a couple who have just returned from Spain after about 5
months. While there we watched a huge amount of sport mainly
tennis and football. On our return to the U.K. we find that any
sport worth watching has been lost highly expensive satellite
stations. How is that somebody who
doesn't live in our country is allowed to monopolize our sports
viewing? We are sure there must be millions of viewers of a
like mind. What can be done about this ludicrous situation?
Ron & Sheila West
Hello Ron and Shiela,
Many thanks for your email.
I suppose you have come back to the UK for the weather!
I doubt anything
whatsoever can be done, in this case I think big money and influence
rules. Remember, only last week that Ofcom waved through a 30% increase
price of postage stamps. Terrestrial channels such as ITV, Channel Four, Channel Five and even
the BBC may not be able to compete with the billions and the power and
influence from other areas of the telecom's sector.
Sadly I think that this may be only the tip of the iceberg. The recent
Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) has effectively handed a chunk
of radio spectrum, currently used by domestic terrestrial television
broadcasting, to the mobile phone / data companies for 4G networks.
Certain corporations are doubtless eager to get their hands on this
spectrum so that can be used for hugely profitable data
transmission. Yet more spectrum, currently used for domestic terrestrial
television, will no doubt be handed over in the near future for the
'5G' mobile telecom's auction. [more]
Thanks again for your email. Enjoy the weather!
Best wishes, Mike.
Mike, I have passed my amateur radio foundation exam and was told to
just log onto the ofcom site and using my exam code to get my call sign.
I have been to the Ofcom site but cannot see where I do this, can you
Best Regards, Steve
Very well done indeed on passing the exam!
You will need to apply to create a user name and password, if you don't
already have them, to log in. From there you should be able to input
your details and then be offered a list of available call signs to
However, Ofcom don't make their site particularly easy to use, so you
have problems you may find it's easier to telephone them in the week.
Their licensing staff are always extremely helpful, polite and
professional. You may find it less frustrating doing it this way.
Once you obtain your licence I would advise that you print out a couple
of copies from the pdf file that you will download from the Ofcom
Keep one print out in a safe place at home and keep the other with you
in a plastic wallet to keep with you when you operate portable or
Don't forget to also print out the terms and conditions and refer to
them. This pdf is also found on your licensing overview page, or here:
I hope that helps.
Best wishes, Mike.
After some persistent Googling I found your excellent site while
searching for the BBC WWII medium-wave single-frequency network
I thought you might be interested in the attached photograph of a
crystal, which I know was used in BBC MF [transmitter] drives of a
certain era, and I suspect might have been the carrier master-oscillator
for one of the group H transmitters (2*737 = 1474kHz). The
crystal is beautifully made; it has pride of place on our coffee table!
You're welcome to use it on the site: similarly a PYE MM radio ( photo)
which I recently restored to working order for a friend.
Hi John, Thanks very much indeed for your photographs. We have included
the photographs of the Pye model MM radio and the crystal on the UK Radio History page
Thanks again, much appreciated. Mike.
Mike, Our new website (see below) is now online and live! It is
dedicated to the staff who manned RAF (840 SU) Siggiewi throughout the
I am adding 3 more pages in the next few days, one deals with how RAF
Siggiewi was in years gone by, another shows how it is today and the
third is for lost friends.
So far the comments have been good and a lot of guys are coming out of the woodwork with information. Dave Bawden.
Thanks Dave, great new site! Mike.
Mike, very extensive & interesting site. I look forward to reading
more as time permits. We have a smallish allotment here in Rosebud,
South-East of Melbourne (contrary to all those "wide open spaces"
stories that seem to illustrate the ideal Aussie home!!), so your lw
antenna projects would probably work well here. Anyway, thanks for the
great info, Cheers from Mark VK3PDG
Hi Mark, Many thanks for your email, it's very good to hear from you.
I'm glad that you found something useful on the site. Good luck with
your antennas, I hope that you find something effective that works well
in your space! 73, Mike.
[David had the antenna for his Lowe HF 225 stolen from his sailing boat.
The radio is used to receive marine weather forecasts and warnings. I
was able to offer some advice on how to rig up a wire antenna that could
be used on a temporary basis.]
Mike, Thank you for all your help. I have rigged a temporary antenna
using a length of wire as you recommend and its works fine after a
little tweaking. I am now looking at a permanent replacement, once again
thank you for the links you supplied.
Mike, it is nice to still be able to find some one like yourself who is
willing to help and offer advice, you truly have been invaluable.
Kind regards, David
It's a pleasure, glad it's working, and if you have reception problems you'll now know what to do. Best wishes, Mike.
Mike, First of all congratulations on an excellent web page to
the offshore stations. I was one of the newsreaders/presenters on Pirate
BBC Essex at Easter 2004. I never slept very well on the ship and when I
came ashore felt like I still had sea legs, but it was great working
with those of whom I used to listen to on the air.
I wonder if you could include the documentary that Johnnie Walker and I
made for the former Classic Gold Network in 1997, it was, by
co-incidence also called When Pirates Ruled the Waves. The programme
includes interviews with a number of people involved at the time with
newer interviews with Paul Burnett and Dave Lee Travis. It has been,
over the years, re-edited for the BBC local stations principally those
in the eastern counties through Keith Skues. He and I worked together at
the Beeb Eastern Counties Network and produced eight documentaries on
Rock’n’Roll and Jazz.
(Done! - It can be found here
In 1989, while I was a PO at the BBC in the west, I also produced a
two part feature entitled The Birth of Caroline which primarily dealt
with the start up of the old lady of the sea [Radio Caroline] and Allan
Crawford’s Radio Atlanta.
My last major contracted broadcasting was with the BBC in the south,
after some 23 plus years on the air both BBC, ILR and US radio. I still
broadcast in the west on the radio station which I helped set up a
few years ago, now known as Swindon 105.5 My latest guest on the
programme was ….Keith Skues who majored on his non broadcasting days.
......I also wrote and produced the original version of Searching the
Ether the history of pre-war and immediate post-war commercial radio,
for which the radio documentary produced between 1979 and 1981 was
transmitted via the IBA programme share scheme and ran on 20 stations,
which was about half the ILR network at the time. . It was produced
independently and re-edited at Radio 210 in Reading. It was nominated
for the Rediffusion-Radio Month Awards of 1982. It didn’t win but it
gave me the kudos having been the senior partner behind it. I don't have
the original radio script, but if you Google the title, there should be
sufficient there for you to put something in if you would like to.
Interviewees were: Bob Danvers Walker, Roy Plomley, Betty and Bernard
"Benjy" McNab, Noel Johnson (who played Dan Dare and Dick Barton),Leslie
Crowther (supplied by Ovaltine) Teddy Johnson and Pete Murray.
In 1982, I was asked to attend a meeting with Trevor Dann and Brian
Thompson (no relation) at the BBC with the proposed Story of Pop Radio
series..and as a courtesy they called part one Across the Ether.
I still have the original six editions on cassette. My Golden Days
archive is split between the East Anglian Music Archive in
Norwich, a luxury B-and B’s garage near where I live and my loft. I call
it an archive, my wife calls it something else….
Cheers for now.
Again, great stuff, keep it coming!
Kind regards, Alan Thompson
Thank you for all your great information and the prompt to put
Johnnie Walker's programme, When Pirates Ruled The Waves, onto our
Airwaves Page. The programme can be found here
Look for Alan's programme "Searching The Ether! - Commercial stations
from the Continent - parts 1 and 2" on the Offshore Echos page here: http://www.offshoreechos.com/radionormandie/RadioNormandy01b.htm
There is lots of other fascinating material on that site including an
interesting documentary called The First Pirate about Captain Plugge,
first broadcast on BBC Radio Four.
Thank you again for your informative email Alan.
Best wishes, Mike.
Mike, My name is Ray in the state of Rhode Island, USA. You have a
great web site. I'm setting my station up now, I have an Extra Class
ticket (full amateur radio licence) but I have not been active for a few
years, so I will try to spend more time on the bands. I have your site
marked as a best site, so thank you for all your hard work. It is radio
amateurs like you that keep ham radio alive.
73 (Best wishes) Ray N1XAE
Hi Ray, Thanks for your email, it's great to hear from you. Thanks very
much for your complimentary words about the website - you are too kind. I
hope that everything goes smoothly for you as you set up your station
and that the weather is kind to your antennas! Thanks again Ray!
Best wishes, Mike - M0MTJ
Dave Bawden asks for some help: Good
day Mike, My name is David Bawden (Dave) and I am a retired Canadian,
but many years ago I was attached to RAF Siggiewi (840 Signals Unit) as
an HF/DF operator. I am looking for any old photo’s of the HF/DF shack
that was located a short walk from the base of RAF Siggiewi for my website http://www.raf-siggiewi-malta.com RAF_Siggiewi_Malta.html
nothing shows on Google Earth after all of this time, but I wondered if
someone may have photo’s or information on its former location?
am going to have to spend time and sort through the thousands of photo’s
I have from my days in the service and hope something shows up. The
problem is that at the time you were posted to a station, you really
didn’t want photo’s of it because you were there all the time. Now is
when hindsight comes into play and you WISH you had taken some.
I appreciate your link and hopefully there will be someone out there who has something.
Interesting site. Cheers, Dave Bawden.
Hello Dave, Thanks for getting in contact Dave. We hope that someone who
has a photograph of the HF DF shack at RAF Siggiewi and will contact
us here. In the mean time don't forget to visit Dave's webpage of RAF Siggiewi here: http://www.raf-siggiewi-malta.com http://www.sheba-imports.com/RAF_Siggiewi_Malta.html
Mike, I thought I would drop you a line about another easy build and
cheap antenna design, it's for v.h.f./u.h.f. but can be scaled up to
h.f. As your web pages
are used very often by myself, and quite a few other M3s and M6s that I
know of in my area, as a great reference point for home brew antennas
"a big thank you from me personally"
After the recent 100mph plus high
winds here in the North of England, due to a dangerously bent pole, my
2m/70cm 4 element beam on the roof had to come down for safety reasons; I
have been looking for an easy lightweight cheap home-brew (DIY)
vertical antenna to replace it and relocate the beam to an easy access
wall bracket on the side of the house. During my search I came across a
very interesting webpage from down under (VK) which is well worth a look
and could be a good antenna to include within your information. I hope
it interests you.
Personally, so far, I have made a
v.h.f. "slim jim" antenna, many end fed fishing pole HF verticals and a
large fishing pole HF delta (which is also down after the winds) but
definitely the best yet for my very poor RF location (QTH).
The Flower Pot Antenna: http://vk2zoi.com
Regards and 73, Phil M6MRP
Hi Phil, Very many thanks for your email. I am glad that some of the pointers on my web pages have helped you and your friends.
When I first started out looking for a suitable antenna I did find it
quite a daunting task to sift the wheat from the chaff, as it were. Ther
is an awful lot of chaff out there - as you have probably found! I am
very sorry to read that you suffered damage in the recent high winds.
That must be very frustrating indeed for you.
I have a rather tall pole on the side of the house with a short 2/70
collinear mounted on top and I have to admit that I was certainly rather
worried about it. However it survived I'm relieved to say. As a
precaution before the winds arrived, I had reduced the height of
the sectionalised fibreglass Tecadi pole that I use to support my
Inverted L, and reduced my telescopic aluminium mast that holds a
vertical fibreglass collinear and a 2m / 70 cm yagi to its minimum
height and lashed it down. They were both, thankfully, undamaged by the
You seem to find fibreglass fishing poles as useful as I do! They really
are great for both experiments and permanent installations. Thanks for
the heads up to the http://vk2zoi.com site. The flowerpot looks very
interesting indeed! I will have a good look through that information and
put a link on the web pages. Great idea!
Thanks again for your really excellent email. Say hello to your fellow
radio amateurs from me - and keep up your experiments. Brilliant stuff.
Cheers and 73
, After another trip down
memory lane on your site I have something else to contribute to the
BRMB pages. Firstly apologies, it wasn't Sue Foster in the newsroom but
Sue Todd of course, the wife of the late John Russel. Blame my faulty
2nd - you might be interested in posting the attached pic of me circa 1976 when I was in the newsrom. See this page > .
3rdly - I note mention of George Gavin doing sport but whatever happened to George Reeves who assisted Tony Butler?
Re Tony Blackburn, I presume his stint at XTra-AM was short?
Whatever happened to Allan Nin?
Would love to hear from
people like Rob Golding and Colin Palmer again. I will be in the UK in
July for three months and would welcome the opportunity to catch up
with any former colleagues at BRMB 1975-1977.
BRMB Newsroom, Aston Cross, 1975-1976.
Hi John, Many thanks for the photograph and more thoughts about BRMB. I
hope that more BRMB people will get in touch and help answer your
questions - so let's throw it out and kick it around! Please get in
touch here >
It's such a shame that BRMB has pretty much met it's demise in all but
name - and that could go by April 2012, if it's not all a desperate
publicity stunt by a now beleaguered management! So sad.
Thanks again John. All the best, Mike.
Some stations in the
UK came through in the summer of 2000 here on the island of Oland in south east Sweden.
Here is a recording from
June 11th 2000 on 96.4 MHz vhf/FM at 19:38 hrs: Audio file: BRMB received in Sweden in year 2000
Who is the nice presenter in this audio clip?
FM radio enthusiast.
Hello Kjell, Thanks for your email and the audio recording.
The voice sounds like Stuart Ellis to me - but I have my doubts about
that because I think Stuart Ellis had left BRMB by 1998, unless he was
doing a 'stand in'. So, I think that it must be someone else, but I am
not sure who.
I must admit that my enthusiasm for BRMB was fading by 2000. Capital
Radio had bought the station some years previously (now sold on again)
and the station was never as good again as it once was. I was listening
occasionally in 2000 (always to the Breakfast Show with Les Ross), but I
cannot accurately remember the names that were on air at that time.
It's amazing to think that you heard a local station so far away in
Sweden when there must be so many other stations using 96.4. Some
Sporadic E ?
I will try to think some more about that voice! In the mean time I wish you well and Good DX!
Best wishes, Mike.
P.S. I just found some air checks of Stuart Ellis on his website. Visit
Stuart's website and click on "Audio Archive" and see what you think. http://www.stuartellis.co.uk
Does anyone know better? Please contact us here
I absolutely loved your site regarding choices between the various multiband antennas, I thought the attention to detail was wonderful... Mind you, I'm still
as confused as ever as each individual lot is obviously different?
Thank you so much for all the graft you have obviously put in,
Best regards, Mark, M6AWG
Thanks very much Mark - There's certainly plenty to choose from! Best wishes, Mike.
I just ran across your website, and as a fairly new ham, I want to
thank you for putting so much information into one convenient page. I
am just scratching the surface of your site, and look forward to
spending much time sorting through all the info. I also really like your Ham station.
Due to space limitations (i.e. children) , I have been forced into a
small corner of my home, and it is nice to see someone running a
quality station from such small corner. Now I realize I need to take my
station equipment vertical, instead of horizontal!
Thank you again for the time you have put into your site. I hope to work you on the air sometime.
Best Wishes, Fred Lomax KK4BAW
Dear Fred, Thank you very much indeed for your email, it's really great
to hear from you. I am glad that you have found my page of interest and
I hope that it may be of help to you. As you have seen, space is
certainly a problem for me, both in the shack and for antennas outside.
Nevertheless I have managed to squeeze it all in somehow!
I am glad that you like the idea of going vertical. It really was the
only scheme that could work for me in the limited space. Good luck with
you station - maybe you can tell me how you get on with arranging your
shack in the future.
Thanks again. Mike.
I response to our correspondence
regarding his Rega Planar 2 turntable and replacement phono cartridge for playing a collection of vinyl records
. A comprehensive and generously helpful response.
Very many thanks once again for all your help and advice....more than enough to restore anyone's faith in the internet.
Thanks Eric I am glad that I could help you get your discs spinning again so that you could play some of your favourite music.
I wonder if you can help with a problem. I have attached a picture of
an old amateur radio station who I believe to be a relative of my
brother-in law John G3PTO. John G3PTO
(a QRP enthusiast
died a couple of years ago. The station is possibly that of 2QW which I
believe was located in the West Midlands area. Can you help with
identifying the approximate date of the picture from the equipment or
provide any further leads?
The photograph was possibly taken before the start of World War 1, and
may be of 2QW which was possibly the first licenced radio amateur in
the Wolverhampton area. This photograph is believed to show his West
Bromwich home. He was my father's uncle, and the morse key is still in
use by myself, having been passed down to me when 2QW became a silent
Your comments would be much appreciated.
73, Peter G3THW.
[ December 26th 2011 ]
Hi Peter, Many thanks for your email, the photograph is fascinating.
I honestly cannot date the image, but as you've already guessed I
certainly could be from the 1920's. You have probably seen the 1920's Wireless Maps of Great Britain
produced by The Wireless Press Limited on the website. The callsign
certainly fits in with that era, though it is not actually mentioned on
the map. The photograph of station VE2BV
from 1936, also on my website, shows some early radio equipment, which bears some similarities.
Sadly, however, I have no other information. A search of Google appears
to draw a blank too - as you will have no doubt discovered. If anything
else springs to mind I will be sure to let you know.
If anyone reading this has more information on 2QW and any other very early amateur radio stations please do contact us
Best wishes, Mike & Jules.
Mike, I suppose it's 'Men of a certain age' but over the last couple of
years I keep finding your site. I'm a Radio Amateur (G8ZWN), have an
interest in pirate radio, have just got a SL1200 and I've had cats all
my life and would not be without one (or 2).
Thanks for a great site and a great resource. Out of interest what
Turntable mat do you use on your SL1200, mine still has the dodgy slip
mat and plastic thing from it's former life as a home DJ deck. The
accompanied picture was put on face book entitled 'My Cat's A Ham' and some said I set it up but I didn't. Sadly this fellow isn't
with me anymore but he was a good puss and his memory lives on.
, Michael Barrett Davies
. [December 2011]
Hi Michael, Many thanks for you kind words. We do seem to have very many things in common!
I use the standard Technics platter mat on my turntable - it's not a DJ
slip mat, just standard rubber, but quite thick. I love the photo of
your beautiful cat - such characters aren't they! A sad loss. We love
the photograph of your cat - thanks for letting us include it on the
Thanks again, Mike.
I'd love you to have a picture of my old mate on the site, attached is
another. I won't bombard you but I have a lot of pictures af cats that
have a definite interest in technology so If I send any your way feel
free to do what you want with them. Some time ago when I buried an old cat i read something on the web which went along the lines of 'Remember me in the same way you did as when I was alive' and I do for all of the things I have loved that have moved on'.
Best Regards, Michael Barrett Davies.
Thank you! We'll put your wonderful photographs on the site soon. Best wishes, Mike and Jules
[Regarding the Vinyl Heaven pages
- Hi, I wonder if you can help me? My husband has recently dug
out all his old vinyl and his old record deck - couldn't tell you what
make it is but it's a pretty good one. Anyway we went to try and
plug it into our Yamaha CRX-330 mini hifi system only to discover it
doesn't have a turntable input (Pre-amp) to enable us the two
together. To be honest we're quite happy with a little hifi but
it could do with updating and I'd like to buy one for him for Christmas
which has a turntable input - any advice?
Hope you can help. Gill
Hi Gill, Thanks for your quaestion. Sadly, as you
have found, most mini and micro stereo systems do not have a dedicated
turntable input. A turntable requires a special input, that has a
pre-amplifier with R.I.A.A. equalisation. Some stereo systems will have
a standard line-level "AUX" input than can be used to connect a device
such as an mp3 player, DVD player or cassette deck etc. This type of
input is not suitable for connecting a turntable directly however, but
using an additional external turntable preamplifier, such as the NAD
PP2 or a Pro-ject Phono Box for example, will allow the use of a
turntable with a standard line leve auxilary input.
Unfortunately the Yamaha CRX-330 system has no auxilary inputs
whatsoever - so you'll need a new system. I recently researched some
micro hi-fi systems and was very impressed with the Denon DM38DAB.
Along with FM and DAB radio tuners and CD player, the Denon system has
a multitude of additional inputs: A 3.5mm stereo input jack on the
front panel for connecting any MP3 player or other device; a USB port
for iPod docking and control; a tape deck loop consisting of four phono
sockets on the rear panel; a standard line level auxilary input
consisting of a stereo pair of Phono sockets on the rear panel. It
sounded very good indeed and appears to be good value for money. This
could be just the system you need.
You will still need a turntable preamplifier (e.g. NAD PP2 or a
Pro-ject Phono Box) to connect your turntable to the system via the
rear auxilary input. Please visit a specialst hi-fi dealer such as Superfi
, Sevenoaks Sound and Vision
, Audio T
, Sight and Sound
or Richer Sounds
to have a look and a listen. I am sure that such a system will suit you very well indeed. Do let me know how you get on! Mike.
Great, thanks so much for your help!
Kind regards, Gill
Evening Mike, I have just read your web page with interest as I have
just acquired a Palstar PS30 power supply. However it was supplied
without a user manual and I have been trawling the internet looking for
details. I wondered whether it would be possible for you to scan and
email me a copy. I would willingly contribute to any scanning/printing
With kind regards, Chris, M6XJP
Dear Chris, Many thanks for your email, nice to hear from you. Do you
have a specific question about the PSU? I do indeed have a printed copy
of the manual filed away, so I have added it to the website for you here
Best wishes, Mike, M0MTJ
Good Afternoon Mike, Thank
you so much, that was most kind of you. In response to your earlier
email the reason for my enquiry was that, unlike the common perception
that males just connect things up and then read the manuals at their
leisure(if at all), I value my gear and wanted to make sure I didn’t do
anything detrimental. I know it’s only a simple PSU but better safe
I have to congratulate you
on your website – a mine of really useful information – which I have
tagged for future reference. I am also extremely envious of your
obvious technical ability. I have to say that since obtaining my
licence in March last year (a present to myself on achieving
pensionable age!) I have found nothing but friendship and endless help
from the Amateur fraternity. Your kind assistance on this matter is
just further proof. Many thanks once again.
Kind Regards, Chris, M6XJP
Hello Chris, Thanks for your reply. It's a pleasure to help you. I hope that the information was useful. You
are quite right - it is always good to read the manual before
connecting and using new equipment. I usually try to download the
manual and read up on the basics before even buying something new.
Thanks for the compliments on the website. I always hope it's useful to
someone, even if it's only the host of useful links! I am a relative
newcomer to amateur radio too, but I have spent many years with an
interest in radio, SWL and things of an electronic nature. I must admit
that I am no expert, there are very many more operators on the bands
with vastly greater experience than I have, and a more detailed
technical ability - but thank you for your compliments! I keep trying!
I hope that your experiences in amateur radio continue to be good ones.
I do always try to be of help where I can, and it's rewarding when that
is possible. I must say that I (like everyone I suppose) feel that
there is an an opportunity to learn something new every day! Find
out more about Amateur Radio here!
Best wishes, Mike & Jules.
Dear Mike, I wanted to send out a quick thank you letter in regards to your sundials page. I work at an after school program and your resources have been very helpful, we've been making sundials the past few days.
The students and I have
been working on creating a section of our website which has fun links
for kids to use at home. I used a few of your links in there for
the kids and their parents to check out, so thanks!
Sincerely, Barbara Hayes
After Skool Kids
Thanks Barbara! Mike and Jules.
I am thinking about beginning as a licensed radio amateur. What is the
minimum equipment that I must buy? I like a Yaesu FT-897d. I'd appreciate your comments very much. Thanks in advance
Regards, Fernando Osorio
Many thanks for your email Fernando. The FT-897D is an excellent
transceiver. It is very versatile because it is a nice size to use as a
base station radio, but it is also transportable so can be used mobile
( /M) or even portable ( /P).
What else do you need? Well.....You will need to study for your
licensing exams, so a good study book from you local amateur radio
society is an absolute necessity.
Once you have passed your exam and been granted your licence and
obtained your call-sign from the licensing authority you will need some
other things: A power supply to power the radio. A 25 amp PSU is common
for this radio. You will also need an antenna or antennas for H.F. work
(1.8 to 29 MHz) and an antenna for 2metre and 70cms (144 and 430 MHz).
Perhaps later you might consider another antenna for 6 metres (50 MHz).
For H.F. operations you will need an Antenna Matching Unit (often
referred to as an ATU) to match the varying impedance of the antenna to
the 50 Ohm impedance required by the transceiver. Many
ATU's have built in VSWR and Power Meters, but if not you will need a
separate, external VSWR / Power Meter. A dummy load is pretty much
You'll also need basic tools, for example: Digital multimeter (DMM),
50W Soldering iron, screwdrivers, spanners, pliers, ruler, tape
measure, calculator etc. You can read more here>
. I hope that helps you. Good luck with your exam and licence.
73 (Best regards)
Hi there, I have been trying (unsuccessfully for a while now) to track down a copy of the instruction manual for a Lowe
HF-125 receiver. It has just come back to me after spending the
last 15 plus years in a loft and I want to fire it up again. Any
suggestions as to where I might get my hands on a copy of the manual,
would be much appreciated.
Best wishes, Tony
Hi Tony, Thanks for your email. I have sent you a copy of the HF125
manual as an attachment. Hope that helps and that you enjoy using your
HF receiver again!
Wow Mike, that's brilliant. Thank you so much.
Best wishes, Tony
I chanced on your site while reading up on DAB radio as my wife and I
just bought a Sony DAB, I noticed your Siamese Sienna, as we have 7
Siamese and 2 moggies. We also show some of our Siamese cats. You may like to take a look at my wife's website to see all our cats! The URL is www.lizs-lot.co.uk Maybe
if you deem it worthy you would consider putting a link to it? if you
do i will make sure a link is put on it back to your website.
Graham Ellis (DAB radio novice and Siamese owner & lover!)
Hi Graham, Thanks for your email. We've have had a look at you website
- it's excellent. What a wonderful collection of cats you have!! I will
certainly put a link to it from the cats page
and links page
. Thanks again, Mike & Jules.
I stumbled upon your website today and I found it endlessly
interesting, it is a real treasure trove of information. When I get
enough time I feel I may have to try and build one of the crystal sets,
and if it's easy enough try and get my Scouts to complete some. I am
going to have to book mark your page and keep coming back to it as it
is very interesting.
I am a bit of a radio fan
myself, I volunteer at Kingstown Radio which is Hospital Radio for Hull
& East Yorkshire. Thanks for putting so much time into your site, I
have included a link on my homepage http://www.richardellarby.co.uk
Yours, Richard Ellarby
Hi Richard, Thank you very much for your email - glad you found our
site! A crystal set is always a fascinating project and could be a very
good Scouts project. Thanks for the link! Best wishes, Mike.
Mike, That Everyday Electronics ZN414 matchbox radio brings back
memories. I made exactly the same one in the long hot summer of
'76. I first used it on a coach trip from Surrey to Devon to join
my parents on holiday. I'd stayed behind to take my driving
test. Oh to be 17 again (but with the knowledge I have now
Hi Andy, Many thanks for your email. Oh yes - happy days. The Matchbox
Radio was a great project that I enjoyed building and re-building and
modifying and taking everywhere! Thanks for your own memories of the
project! Find the Matchbox Radio project here
Hi Mike, Regarding your Vinyl Heaven
pages, have you heard of this Ed Saunders 'Red Ed' in conical and
elliptical versions? They seem to be OEM versions of the Goldring
Elan and Elektra! http://www.edsaunders.com/reded.htm Regards, Felix Scerri.
Thanks Felix - That's a great find for budget conscious vinyl lovers! Cheers, Mike.
Hi, While living in Ashover in the UK I used to be
good pals with Penny Lowe, her Dad owned Lowe Electronics. Do you have
any idea what happened to the Lowe family? I now live in Vancouver after
many years in Africa and America. Any leads would be appreciated.
Thanks for any help. Simon Fellows
supachramp [at sign] yahoo.com
Hi Simon, Thank you very much for your email. Sadly I cannot answer your
question so I hope someone that knows reads this and can let us know!
Best wishes, Mike.
Hi Mike, I would like to congratulate you
and thank you for your uploads of BRMB recordings from 80s and 90s. I
was particularly interested in the George Gavin and Tom Ross football
phone ins. I was a keen listener and never missed a show and never
thought that I would hear them again until I came across your
Kind Regards, Bobby.
Hi Bobby, Thank you for your kind comments - glad you enjoyed the BRMB
archives! Best wishes, Mike & Jules. You can find the BRMB
Hi Mike, Congratulations on a great
web site. I remember building one of the Ladybird book circuits back in
1975 and was quite pleased with the result. This was at a time when
transistors seemed expensive. Nowadays, I have amassed quite a stock of
radio components, the result of being an electronics hoarder. I
am looking at building the Triple
HAC receiver and
noticed your nicely finished radio.
, Symon McCabe
. (May 2011)
Hi Symon, Tnaks for your kind comments. You can read more about the HAC
Hear All Continents Triple T Radio here>
Hello Mike, I’ve tracked you down because I
would love to know what happened to Martin Dean. Martin had a great
late night show on Radio 210, playing new age and jazz funk. I recorded
one of his shows which I still have on cassette and still listen to
Even with access to internet radio stations around the world, I have
not yet found a programme to better it Any news of Martin, or any other
recordings of his programmes (this is a long shot) would be much
Many thanks, Terry Bailey,
Hi Terry, Thanks for your email. Julian Watson is an enthusiast in that
area and knows a great deal about Radio 210 and GWR (WR) so I have
passed your details on to him and asked question. He replied:
"Hi Mike, Yes Deano did a
great soul show. I do have a few clips from his shows post 102.9 going
on air, so I can help Terry a little in this respect. As for what
happened to Martin, he was always a keen computer man and the last I
heard he had gone back to working with computers after he left 210.
This was some time ago. Hope this helps. Julian"
More abour Radio 210 here>
Best wishes, Mike.
Many congratulations on your excellent site
about BRMB, which brings back many memories. I came across this
interview with John Slater, in which he talks about his time at
Regards, Stan Drew
Thank you Stan for alerting me to that excellent article - it all adds
to the rich tapestry that was BRMB! Our BRMB
pages can be found here>
Best wishes, Mike & Jules.
Hey Mike, Glad to see you are still around.
Don't have time now to look around but I will later. My site, which I
see I forgot to include (or maybe I did not have it up then!) is:
Sorry, no cat pictures
or personal stuff except my tech stuff, but I do have a wonderful Manx
cat. She's black and somebody named her Pepper. She is quite verbal
sometimes. Her meow is like that of a chain-smoking lounge singer...
really rough and somewhat annoying. I've been trying to get her to
learn a sweeter meow, but so far no luck. I have a picture of
her here >.
Best to you all,
, Houston, Texas (and no, I don't have
a horse or drive a pickup truck!)
Thank you Mike for your kind comments and photograph!
Mike, I was passed your link from one of
our club members and you had such a section on the pop pirates I
this might interest you:
Eric G3PGM (now Silent
Key) mentioned some thing in a QSO some years ago when he was alive!
That he had been involved in something illegal and it had nearly cost
him is marriage and his life. He asked me to scan some images and then
he let on about his past writing this article which he had kept secret
from club members but as time gone by he felt it would be of interest.
Eric would not print the
part on the 2 women that got married while he was at sea but the News
of the World printed it and his wife was not happy. At the end of the article you will see
that he left a week early and his replacement was then drowned in the
boating incident. Last year the sister contacted me for more
information as she lives local in Henley on Thames, so I was able to
point her in some directions but time has moved on and the information
that was available is getting lost.
I’ve attached it for your
reading and you are most welcome to use it or link to it. Read
Eric's article here>
Min Standen G0JMS
this is subject to change as we're doing a revamp of the website.
RADARC. Committee Member http://www.radarc.org
Hi Min, Thank you very much for your email and excellent aricle which
you can read
Hi, I've been reading your excellent history of radio broadcasting. I feel, however, that I must take issue
with you on one point. You state that "INR1" was advertised as a
non-pop licence, and was awarded to Classic FM " I believe that
this is incorrect because, if my memory serves me right, the licence
was awarded to Showtime Radio, which was to broadcast from studios in
Milton Keynes. The problem was, that the promised financial backing
failed to materialise and the licence was handed back. It was then that
the 2nd choice, Classic FM, was given the opportunity to become the
first national commercial radio station.
During Classic FMs test
transmissions they broadcast from the Peterborough transmitter as Radio
101.6 - "One O One Point Six" - and I believe the first voice on 101.9
was that of Nick Bailey. Other broadcasters included Petroc Trelawney
and Henry Kelly.
I hope you are not
offended by my contacting you like this and may I compliment you on
your history site.
Kind regards, Michael B
Hi Michael, Thanks for your email. I'd forgotten that little bit of
detail, but I think that you are right.
I did remember that Showtime Radio was initially in the running, but
dropped out due to financial trouble of some kind. I cannot remember if
they actually got to the stage of winning the licence then handing it
back, or if the licence went to Classic FM (due to the financial doubts
over Showtime) before the actual licence award was made.
I do feel sure that the Radio Authority advertised INR1 on the basis
that it would be a non-pop service - i.e. not the chart music oriented
radio station. Showtime Radio would, I feel, have also fitted that
description - as would a jazz, country or folk music based station I
Perhaps I'll have to research these finer points.
The pre-launch marketing tests for Classic FM were called "Radio 1 - 0
- 1 point 6"
These programmes were broadcasts from a series of 'RSL' transmitters
dotted around the country, all broadcasting a simulcast of "Radio
101.6" distributed nationally (via satellite IIRC). The transmitters
would all have been low power - perhaps 25 watts - to conform with the
RSL restrictions of low power, fairly low aerial height and 28 day
GWR was one of the main backers of the Classic FM venture and at that
time GWR had just bought Mercia Sound in Coventry. The city of Coventry
was one of the locations for a "Radio 101.6" transmitter and perhaps
the fact the GWR owned Mercia Sound meant that the city was part of the
reason for this. I had assumed that they sited the RSL transmitting
antenna on the Mercia Sound building in Coventry - but I never had this
The purpose of "Radio 101.6" was for marketing and to test the 'sound',
play-list and the content of Classic FM, when it launched.
Nicholas Tresillian was regularly heard presenting on "Radio 101.6" - I
believe that he was the founding Chairman of the radio station WR/GWR.
Later, of course, work on installing the first stage of the main VHF/FM
transmitter network began. First on air for test transmissions was
Wrotham in Kent. Later, as you note, the main high power transmitter at
Peterborough using 101.9 MHz was installed.
Thanks again. Cheers, Mike!
Hi Mike, Many thanks for your kind comments
about Cool Gales and me on your website. Yet another customer has
pointed them out to me recently, and I'm remiss for not thanking you
(April 2011) www.coolgales.com
Cool Gales Ltd
The Victoria School House
Bath BA2 6LU, UK
T 0800 043 6710
T +44 (0)1225 478400
F +44 (0)1225 478401
Dear Ivan, Thank YOU very much for your email and thanks. Thank you you
also for your excellent service, that I mentioned on the web page.
Hi Mike, Great memories of Mercia Sound from your site (it was the station that
inspired me into radio), especially seeing “Private Life, Public Image”
on which my father was featured one week. I'm now a part time
presenter. I did have my own evening show on permanent station Corby
Radio, have also presented on Ashby Radio, Whittle FM, & Radio
Lutterworth, all of which were RSL. I now have a show Global Dancefloor
which is broadcast by 58 stations worldwide, all the fault of Mercia
Sound in 1980! www.globaldancefloor.co.uk
Keep up the good work and
Thanks, Julian Little.
Hi, I was browsing trying to find someone
who does repairs to Lowe
Receivers and saw that you had
contact with a Gary Elesmore who said that he did. Do you know if he
still does this work, I would be most grateful if you could advise. I
do like the website excellent info. Best regards Peter Cartwright.
Hi Mike, I don’t know if you’re interested
in any of the history, but I’d like to think I was one the main
facilitators of CB in the UK
from 79 to legalisation. If not the first, were in the first 2 or 3
major importers (and undoubtedly the largest), we supported CB Radio
Magazine from when Miles first started it up, advertising in every copy
from Issue #1 (I still have them all somewhere).
I also wrote the infamous
‘CB Song’ in 1980 with Spatz Melzer that was promoted on 10/4 day in
1980, and is still selling well on eBay.
The early pre-legalisation
days were surreal in many ways, with some huge personalities, most of
whom I’ve lost touch with. It’s interesting to see that some of the
equipment suppliers on your links page were my customers in those days,
over 30 years ago.
Anyhow, if there’s
anything you’d like to know, drop me a line.
Andy Marshall (now
living in the USA)
Hi Andy, Thanks for sharing your early CB memories. Excellent!
More about Citizens Band Radio
Hello Mike, What a great site I compliment
you on all your hard work. I remember BRMB
back in 1974 when I lived in
Stratford upon Avon. In fact I won a record and tee shirt!! I also did
a lot of charity work for the blind driving a narrow boat up the cut to
give the people a day out; I heard the appeal on BRMB.
I write to ask if I can
put a link onto our club web site, the Barry Amateur Radio
Again my thanks and
appreciation for a very informative site.
73 Glyn GW0ANA,
Hi Glyn. Very many thanks for your email. Those far off days of BRMB
the seventies were indeed great times! We're only too happy to add a
link to your club site at http://www.bars.btik.com
Hi Mike, I have just stumbled across the
article on community radio. Here are a couple of pictures to go with
the text. I am the guy standing on the left and the guy on the right is
from BBC Bristol - sorry it was a long time ago! Chris Hibbert
Thanks Chris, that's much appreciated. See the article and Chris'
photographs here: Community
Hi Mike, Please can you put me in touch
with a someone from whom I can order a permanant crystal (diode) for
my 1922 Crystal set. Many thanks for your help. Bob Lewis
Hi Bob, I imagine that it would be quite difficult to source the
original detector for this radio, but you may find something similar
that would do the job. I have provided some company names and links
below that may be able to help or point you in the right direction. If
you cannot find a suitable detector immediately you could connect a
modern germanium diode into the circuit. Diode type OA47 or 1N34 would
work very well indeed, but you could also try an OA80, OA81, OA90 or
OA91 if you have one. Here are the contact details that may be able to
help with rare and vintage components:
J BIRKETT Radio Components - 25 THE STRAIT, LINCOLN, LN2 1JD. Telephone
(uk) 01522 520767
Birkett's often have rare and so called 'surplus' components in stock,
particularly surplus air-spaced tuning capacitors.
6V6 - Electronic Nostalgia and Vintage Components. Visit http://www.6v6.co.uk
VINTAGE COMPONENTS - Another possible source of components, TRF valve
radio kits and (most excitingly) low power AM Medium Wave transmitters
for listeners and experimenters who no longer have a local AM broadcast
station within range: http://www.vcomp.co.uk/index.htm
Here are some other interesting links for you: http://makearadio.com/crystal/17.php
Galena Detector, you will no doubt find
Best wishes, Mike & Jules.
Many thanks for your
helpful reply to my enquiry. I am not very proficient with the
computer. I will ring the company in Lincoln. My receiver
is in good condition, it stands next to a 1935 Ecko radio, the round
type. Goodbye for the moment. Bob
Mike, I just thought I'd drop a line to say
how pleased I am to have found your site. I stumbled across it
yesterday via the usual convoluted route - Town Hall concert in Leeds,
listened to Purcell's Abdelazar suite, said to my companion that it
used to be the intro music to a BBC radio service, couldn't remember
what that was called, hit the web and bingo, found your site and the
name Network Three.
I've just dipped in to
Vinyl Heaven. I have a load of LPs and inherited a Technics
SL2000 deck from my dad about 20 years ago. It still goes well
although I've had difficulty sourcing styli and decent record cleaning
kit. When I've got a minute (!) I'll use the contacts on your
site to get that sorted. I inherited a pile of LPs from him too
as he was a hi-fi fanatic but haven't managed to play them yet.
I intend to read your
history of UK radio as I heard so much about the early days from my
dad, who was building his own sets in the early 1920s. I've 2
copies of the Radio Times from 1924, before it became the Corporation,
and they give a fascinating insight into what wireless was like then.
Thanks so much for putting your site together. Keep up the good
Regards, Pete Shilson.
Thank you so much for your extremely kind email, it's really good to
hear from you. I am glad that my brief radio history was of some help!
It is just a brief account really and as such I included links to some
other resources that provide greater insight and detail which I hope
will prove fruitful for you.
As for vinyl records, I still enjoy the medium very much. I wish
I had the time and money and, particularly space, to invest in some
classic, vintage hi-fi components from years gone by. I often look at
photographs of hi-fi separates from the 1970's and 1980's and wish that
I could collect and accommodate just a few of them! I still love the
look and appeal of some of the equipment of that era from Rotel, JVC,
Sony, Technics, NAD, Sansui and Akai - to name a few. I am really glad
that I have the Technics turntable, that really is something I'd never
change. What a piece of equipment!
I haven't used an SL2000, but I am certain that you'll spend endless
happy hours with it. I don't know what sort of cartridge would be
fitted to it, but assuming that the arm has a standard 1/2" headshell,
then any good modern replacement cartridge could be fitted to it, which
should make future stylus replacement a lot easier. The arm may also
allow for a new headshell to be fitted, if necessary.
Look after those 1920's Radio Times!! Wow - fascinating indeed!
Happy listening - Best wishes, Mike & Jules.
Mike, Great site you have an excellent page
on aerials, I'm looking to build aerials for hf and 2m now that we have
moved house and have the space again. After viewing your pages I'm
thinking fan dipole for the 20-10 metre bands, inverted trapped L for
160-40 metre bands and either a dipole or halo for the 2 metre
More interesting for me
was too see your pages about Mercia Sound as the house we have just
bought and moved into has been the family home of Stuart Linnell for
the last eight years or so. I too remember the test transmissions and
early days of the station here in Coventry, although my love of radio
stems more from building a crystal (germanium diode) radio and
listening to BBC's Radio 4 and 2 on a portable transistor radio my
grandad gave me and then CB radio (handles Microchip and FM Deviator)
here in Coventry from 1983/4 on and off to 2000, whilst a
Telecommunications Technician Apprentice at GEC Telecommunications
taking my RAE in 1988 at Coventry Technical College with the
encouragement of a CB friend (and Elmer), (Mobile Mike, G4RCS). Anyway
just wanted to say thanks for the info available on your site.
Best regards, Andrew
Brookes (operator of amateur radio station G7KXM)
Hi Andrew, Thanks for your email. I have not experimented with a fan
dipole personally, but I know someone who has and the results did seem
very impressive. The inverted L should also be a very good choice. A
dipole for 2m keeps things nice and simple for an effective home-brew
project. As for Mercia Sound, it's fascinating to read that you have
bought your house from Stuart Linnell. He's a rather interesting
character I feel. He was there in the great and glorious days of Mercia
Sound in the 1980's, but was also at the helm as the station went down
market in the 1990's finding itself where it is today, at the lowest
common denominator. I suppose we cannot really blame him entirely, the
policy must have been set by the station's corporate owners and
encourged / caused by the policies of the regulators The Radio
Authority and its successor Ofcom. There must have also been some rocky
times in more recent years with the Laser Broadcasting failure which
affected Sunshine Radio in Hereford I beleive.
However it is now really pleasing to see Stuart Linnell doing what he
does best, that is broadcasting
at BBC Radio Northampton. Excellent!
As you may have read, my fascination with radio also stems from crystal
sets and TRF radio experiments as a lad in the 1970's. On those radios
I listened to Radio 2 on 1500m and sometimes Luxembourg on 208m if I
was lucky! I also dabbled with CB and gained an amateur radio licence,
but I am really still a listener day to day, while doing some
occasional experiments and construction.
Thanks for your memories which are fascinating. Kind Regards, Mike.
Sound pages here>
Amateur Radio pages
I was very interested to
see the Radio Vicomte mast photos on your website. I visited the
studio some time ago and was shown around the small house. The station
manager pointed out the small dish on the building which transmits the
signal to the main transmitter on the hill through a gap in the trees
and buildings. The receiving dish is visible in your photos. I'm going
there next week and I would be happy to photograph the dish at the
studio if you would like. The station transmits a rather bizarre
mixture of music and is a very strong signal at my house in Vegennes.
Regards, Chris G4RBR
Hi Chris, Thank you very much for your kind email. The photographs were
taken by our friend Martin Watkins when he visited that area of France.
I'd certainly be very grateful for any new photographs of the TX site,
studio building or dishes that you can take. I have not heard the radio
station, but it does sound like a happy mixture!! The photographs
of the Radio Vicomte transmitter
site can be seen here >
Thanks again - very much, and I look forward to some new photo's!
Regards, Mike & Jules.
Good day Mike. I stumbled across your
website quite by luck while surfing for shortwave links. You certainly
have a very extensive website! I've just spent a couple of hours,
looking and reading, and have barely scratched the surface. I am
particularily interested in your amateur radio
activities/equipment/history etc. I've been an enthusiastic SWL'r
[Short Wave Listener] for over 50 years and I love anything to do with
radio, shortwave, antennas, ham gear. Never got my amateur licence but
I do like to listen to the world. I use a Kenwood R-5000 receiver
connected to a simple longwire antenna that is end fed with coax.
Back-up is a Radio Shack DX-394. Both receivers are good performers.
I received a SWL'r
certificate recently from SWARL and I joined eQSL.cc just 2 days ago.
My sign is VE3022SWL. We live here in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada and
this town is about 1 hour NW of Toronto. I looked you up on QRZ.com
which I joined also, although I have no content posted there
yet--something to work on!
I've included an
attachment in this email--it's just a pic of my new SWL certificate.
Back to your website now because it's only 19:37 hours here.
Nice to meet you and 73 de
Doug Stevens in Canada!
Short Wave Radio pages
here> Radio pages here>
Hello Doug, Thank you very much for your email, it's really good
to 'hear' from you. The Kenwood is certainly a nice receiver. I not
used the DX-394, but I do have a Realistic (Radio Shack) scanner which
has always been very good, so I can imagine that the DX-394 is
very good too. I have always enjoyed experimenting with aerials and
other simple accessory circuits and simple receivers too. Thanks for
your certificate (above).
Jules and I have been to Canada twice and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves
- it's a truly wonderful country. One of our trips was to Toronto. We
did not pass by Orangeville unfortunately, but we did get driven past
Peterborough on the way to the excellent dogsled centre at Winterdance
the Haliburton mountains. We were also taken past Burlington, Hamilton
and Saint Catherines on the way to Niagara and Niagara on the Lake. As
for radio in that area - I really enjoyed the CBC along with AM640 Talk
Radio Toronto, Newstalk 1010 CFRB and 610 CKTB.
While we were on holiday in the Mediterranean last year we met a couple
more great Canadians - Frank and Sue. They beckoned us into a
lovely little cafe bar in Turkey as we were walking past checking out
the menus. We did not know them at the time, but Frank called out "The
beer's great in here!", so we went in and had a good old laugh. - So
it's nice to meet another Canadian via the email and internet right
here!! Thanks again for your email. Give our regards to wonderful
Hello Mike, I came across your website on
the net and I was wondering if there is a possibility for a link
exchange. I sell CB's and related equipment mainly for truckers and 4x4
users. I am a licensed amateur as well and will be selling amateur
stuff on the site once everything else is on
Kind Regards, Toby Dunne.
Hi Toby, Thanks for the information. we've added a link on the CB Radio Links Page here>
Best wishes, Mike & Jules.
Very nice web site. Excellent
graphics. Especially like the page on capacitor setups for loop
Ed Ruff, Kennewick,
Hi Ed, Thanks for your email and particularly for your kind comments. I
do try to do my best to make things clear, so I am glad that you found
the medium wave loop antenna information helpful. Thanks again, Best wishes, Mike & Jules.
Hello, I'm a big music and radio fan. sadly radio and music has changed but I still love listening to old
music on the radio and I'm trying to find any memorabilia from Red Rose
Radio before it became Rock FM, around the time Red Rose Gold started
and all the presenters that were on at that particular time. Any
information about the station and where a lot of the presenters moved
on to would be gratefully received. Many thanks, Mick.
Hi Mick, Thank you very much indeed for your email. You are quite
correct, music and radio has changed a great deal. Sadly commercial
radio has changed a great deal for the worse and most of it is utterly
dire these days. Regrettably the only recordings of Red Rose Radio from
the 1980's are those that are already on the website, which you have
probably already found. I wish there was more from that era. Hopefully
you may be able to unearth some more audio of Red Rose somewhere - so
Good Luck! Best wishes, Mike & Jules.