June 10, 2009

Red Rose Rally

Members of the Sands Contest group went to the the popular WMRC Red Rose QRP Rally on the 7th of June, held at Formby Hall in Atherton, where they were in for a rare treat.

Although not a large rally, consisting mainly of two rooms, there was plenty to look at without being crushed, pushed or jostled

The RSGB had a stand selling well known books on various training stages for those coming into the hobby along with the usual antenna and project books. Our new RSGB President Elect Dave Wilson was there with his wife Kathy who is our RSGB Regional Representative.

It was also nice to meet up with Rev. George Dobbs who, with members of GQRP, were in attendance selling kits and passing on their thoughts and wisdom in answer to people’s questions.

Much like the GQRP rally held later in the year, the rally catered for basic amateur needs. It was so nice to be able to walk round a rally where just about any component you may wish for was a stand or fingertip away and there was plenty on offer for the radio collector.

It was a joy to see the old but true saying being fulfilled as we witnessed “One Man’s Junk becoming another man’s treasure”. Amateurs throughout the venue were rummaging and ruminating over objects they found in old cardboard boxes and thinking of the applications they could put them to and Frank and I were in the thick of it, each parting with money on items to add to our individual collections. As you can see from the picture above, just about anything was on offer from books to old meters, test gear and radios

Murphy 192 Radio

Its strange to think that many of us have been surrounded by old valve and transistor radios that we take for granted without realising just what a technical and design evolution commercial radios have gone through. The set below is a prime example and after doing a little research, it's inspired me to look a little deeper into this area.

The Murphy 192 radio was manufactured in 1952 by Murphy Radio Ltd at their factory in Welwyn Garden City.

Early Eddystone Receiver

The set in the blue case was an early Eddystone Receiver that had been restored. Unfortunately I don't know which model. I understand it took plug in modules for the bands you wished to use.

Eddystone Receivers

The two Eddystone sets on sale here are the Eddystone 640 and the 840A. The site of the 840A brought back some happy memories as this was my very first proper shortwave receiver back in the late 70's and early 80's and I spent many a happy hour shortwave listening around the world with it. I still have an Eddystone 640 in full working order that's displayed whenever I have the opportunity. The vender was selling these sets at £100 each and it was not long before the 640 was snapped up.

Classic EKHO radio

A nicely veneered wood cased radio, it's lovely to see all the places listed on the dial some of which may no longer exist with their original name. There are a series of preset buttons on the right-hand side of the set so that you could tune more quickly to your favourite stations.


Another nicely veneered radio that would grace any home in its time.

Vintage Morse Key

I was tempted to buy this key but had something else in my sights..... However as we were leaving the rally a nicely bearded man was leaving the rally with a smile on his face and his prized possession tucked firmly under his arm.

American Signal Corps TS-174/U frequency meter

More sought after equipment

Finally our purchases of the day.

Grundig Music Boy 160

Frank has been interested in Grundig radios for some time and added this battery powered radio to his collection. A Grundig Music Boy 160 that was in need of a little tender care on the outside but nothing that could not be done to bring it back to its former glory. I spoke to Frank on Monday and he's most of the way through the process of cleaning it up. Frank tells me that the radio is around 30 years old and in lovely condition inside, and works beautifully with excellent reception audio and tone.

Hallicrafters Sky Champion S-20.

My purchase was the Hallicrafters Sky Champion S-20.
This set had a short production
run between 1938 and 1939 so is very rare. I bought the set complete with the Hallicrafters SM 18 "S" Meter, another rarity. The S20 has four band selectors and covers

540 kc to 1.800 mc
170 kc to 5.75 mc
5.62 mc to 18.40 mc
17.00 mc to 44.00 mc

This set is fully operational and I look forward to putting it through its paces over the next few weeks. Many who know me won't be surprised to learn that this set will be on display at the next Norbrek Rally along with other exhibits both old and new. A more detailed look at the radio will be placed on on the Sands site including more detailed pictures and information relating to the set.

The more common Hallicrafters S 20R went into production in 1939


Refreshments were available in the form of pie and peas with optional gravy, salt, pepper & tomato sauce, helped down with a nice cup of tea or coffee and somewhere to eat and enjoy food that was very reasonably priced. There was also a bar for those able to enjoy a little of the amber nectar.

It's often forgotten that rallies around the country take time to organise and at the end of the day packed down by teams of dedicated amateurs. Thanks to all involved in organising this event it was a real pleasure to attend and thanks to the traders for varied and interesting stands


Brian G0RDH

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