Here's my first Rally Review of 2011. Along with Damien G0LLG, Hughie G4UME and Ian G0VGS I attended the West Manchester Red Rose Rally for the first time this year. Within minutes of joining the queue of amateurs waiting to get into the rally we were in deep conversation with other radio amateurs about their interests in the hobby and genuine interest was shown in the activities of Sands Contest group.
The rally was held in a new venue from previous years.
The George H Carnall Leisure Centre, was picked because it offered more room for stands and exhibits. I thought an A4 handout listing the exhibitors, where they were located at the rally and contact details would have been useful, however on a plus note I recognise and appreciate how much work the club officers and members will have put in to make the rally possible and would like to express my thanks to all involved.
I felt a little disappointed upon entering the rally at the lack of traders in attendance, However with these hard economic times you have to recognise the distance the big emporiums need to travel and the overheads of paying staff for their services. I'm sure the massive increase in fuel costs will have done nothing to help.
I later learned from one of the traders that the rally organisers had been let down by somebody who had booked a large number of table and failed to turn up. At this point my disappointment wained and my thoughts went to the group who had done their best to make this rally a success.
Food and Drink:
Food and drink was available at reasonable prices for example I have a potato and meat pie and a cup of tea for just under £2 There were table and chairs available to eat your food and although at first glance there was not enough Damien and I found a table to sit at because rally goers keen to get back in the halls another possibility is that Bar that open whilst we were waiting to be served.
So what of the stands and exhibits:
The only radio amateur emporium in attendance was LAM Communications who I'm sure had a busy day from start to finish.
The RSGB had a stand with all the usual goodies on offer along with help and advice available from our regional Rep Kathy Wilson and our RSGB President Dave Wilson
Kanga Kits had plenty on offer for both the seasoned constructor and those just starting out. For more information please click on the link below.
Pro Whip Antennas
Pro Whip Antennas had a good display of antenna's covering most bands
If you would like to see more of their range and applications for different antenna's please click on the link below.
Snowdonia Radio Company
Snowdonia Radio Company attended the rally and were happy to talk about the products they had on display. The company was formed in January 2008 by Simon Poyser MW0GSR and although not an old company its good to see that Simon is celebrating his third year in business. I have to confess to knowing little about the company and it products but if you would like to know more click on the link below. The website is well laid out and easy to navigate. Along with the general products take a look at the downloads link of the site that contains instruction manuals, data sheets and independent reviews.
Moonraker was established in 1978 and since that time I think they have covered most of the major rallys. Moonraker had a large display of antenna's and radio amateur products available at the rally and were kept busy throughout the day.
if you would like to learn more about the company and the products they offer please click on the link below.
It was good to see Ian G4VAP in attendance selling a range of quality components etc.
I have know Ian for many years as an accomplished keen and well respected constructor. In an effort to encourage club members into the joy and satisfaction of practical home construction Ian introduced a construction competition at Morecambe Bay Amateur Radio Society with the aim of encouraging both new and seasoned amateurs to make construction projects. Ian's only pet hate was projects marked up with Dyno Tape. The construction competition is still running today and now well over a decade old. If you don't already have something this going at your club,society or group, why not give it a go?
A view of the second hall
Some old sets that caught my attention:
Those of you who have followed this blog over the last year will have noticed that where possible I have introduced pictures, basic information and links to radio sets and other equipment from yesteryear
The Philips D-2999 was produced in the late 80s and intended as a modern alternative radio for the SWL and what a good looking radio it is. The set appears ergonomically well designed boasting a direct entry key pad and 16 memories for your favorite stations and modes. Although I never switched the set on I suspect it would have sounded very good with audio produced throgh a 3" speaker at the front and a 7" speaker on top.
For a more detailed article on all the features, take a look at the web url below.
I loved the Russian hat modeled on to of the Eddystone Receiver..... And talking of which.
This 5 tube single conversion superhetrodye receiver was made in the Eddystone Factory Birmingham England between 1956 -1959. The casing was made out of metal and in the case of the radio at the rally it was painted in a nice ruby red.
The radio would have cost between £30 to £35 to buy when new. It may not sound a great deal but would have been a considered purchase in its day taking into account the weekly wage packet at that time.
for more information take a look at the link below
This site has loads of information on this set including circuit diagrams and well worth a visit. It also hosts a list of many Eddystone radios made throughout the years. http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/eddystone_870s87.html
Francis Norris (Radio Restorer/Collector)
It was good to meet up with Francis again who had a traders stand at the rally. Francis has a passion for radio restoration restoring both Military Radios and those sold on the commercial market.
The first thing to grab my attention was the Admiralty Morse Key.
I was surprised to find the key taken back to its base metal but Francis told me that the paint work was in very poor condition when he bought it and after starting to strip the paintwork back liked the shiny look and left it at that. The picture does not do the finish justice.
I tried the key and it was a smooth as a Rolls Royce to operate. The previous owner had set it up to perfection with a very smooth well balanced action.
British Navy Morse Key
This Morse key is manufactured in England in the 1950's for the British Navy. It is a large heavy desk top key and is fully adjustable and very enjoyable to use. On / Off Switch is provided on the front, and the cable terminates with a 4 pin Larkspur type connector.
Information accredited to the site below.
Inside the Key
The original Key also known as the NATO Key would have has a paint finish like the one below.
This Photograph is attributed to the
Morse Keys Gallery dedicata al caro Mauro Russo - IØMYQ
Lafayette KT-200 Communications Receiver
I could go into the history of this set and would enjoy doing so if I had not seen the URL link and the work done to create a first class review.
There is an excellent article covering the history of this radio along with original adverts before the author takes you graphically through the restoration of his set
On the commercial radio side of products available Francis had a nicely restored Cossor Radio that dates back to 1940 and was known as Model 77 upright.
Below are a couple of pictures I took of the radio Francis had for sale and I think you will admit the radio is in showroom condition.
I have copied and edited the information below from the following website
I believe this is a Model 77 made around 1938 - 1940.
From the internet:
A. C. Cossor Ltd. began in 1859 when the company was established by Alfred Charles Cossor in Clerkenwell, London to manufacture scientific glassware. His eldest son joined the company in 1875, and it was he who founded the A. C. Cossor electronics company. The companies expertise in the manufacture of electrical glassware such as early cathode ray tubes and X-Ray tubes, led the company to diversify into electronics. The younger son Frank Cossor joined the company in 1885, and eventually took over the running of the original scientific glassware company which exists today as Accoson, a manufacturer of sphygmomanometers.
In 1902 the company produced the first British made Braun tube.
SIZE: 21" tall x 16" wide x 9-5/8" deepAccording to a send website listed below A.C. Cossor can trace its roots back to 1859 long before the discovery of radio. The article details the important roll the company had in the development of the valve. Its well worth reading.
West Manchester Amateur Radio Club
The following text was copied from the clubs website to give you an idea of how the club was formed by two men with a passion for radio and a vision of like minded radio amateurs getting together.
In the spring of 1981, the late Jack Williams, G4MRM, a businessman from Lowton, and Don Aitchison, G3BSA, (Club President until his death in 2008), had an article published in the Leigh Journal, calling for anyone interested in forming a radio club in the area to attend a meeting at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre, Atherton. The response was excellent and a Steering Committee was formed during the meeting. Among those attending were present members Jerry Coupe, Les Jackson, Ron Ainsworth, and, our current Chairman, Steve Daniels, to name but a few.
Please click on the link below and see what WMARC is involved in today.
I hope you have enjoyed reading the review.... Radio Rally's are well worth going too, you can still find bargains in those rummage boxes and they make a great day out..... Give a thought to the organisers, they put months of work into putting these events on for us. And thanks to the traders who ship their goods from all over the UK.
73 for now
Brian G0RDH (The Reluctant Contestor)