UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio and TV Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > General Vintage Technology > General Vintage Technology Discussions

Notices

General Vintage Technology Discussions For general discussions about vintage radio and other vintage electronics etc.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 9th Nov 2020, 8:58 pm   #81
rambo1152
Nonode
 
rambo1152's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Manchester, UK.
Posts: 2,415
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
Several people have mentioned experiments with train sets - no wonder, they were (and still are) ideal 'closed circuit' environments for experiments with control.
I'd never analyzed it so deeply before but yes, my train set and Scalextric would have introduced me to concepts like
Circuits
Polarity
Contact resistance
Radio & Television interference
Overload protection

The controllers introduced me to
Rheostats,
Even the lamp-limiter, for goodness sake!
(Mine was an A3 Power Controller like this)
Click image for larger version

Name:	hornby-dublo-a3.jpg
Views:	57
Size:	28.9 KB
ID:	220029
And away from the tracks I
Charged batteries
Electro-plated metal objects
Made various gases
The list goes on.

robinshack if you're reading this I would like to ask you something about my model railway. OT, so I'll send you a PM tomorrow.
__________________
--
Graham.
G3ZVT
rambo1152 is offline  
Old 9th Nov 2020, 11:55 pm   #82
SiriusHardware
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Posts: 5,294
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

A friend of mine had a hand-me-down train set which was what I now know to be Hornby-Dublo - tinplate track with three rails, which baffled me even at that young age because three rails obviously wasn't right, and his controller was one like yours.

My first train controller was the next generation Hornby-Triang job, black top and sides, large red knob on a sloping aluminium front with a small cutout button immediately above the control knob.

I love model railways but even the biggest rail fan would admit that a basic train set with an oval or even a circle of track is one of the dullest toys imaginable and just cried out for the sort of customisation and experimentation we have all been talking about here, so it's little wonder that we tried to 'enhance' them in various ways.
SiriusHardware is offline  
Old 10th Nov 2020, 3:04 am   #83
Pete_1966
Triode
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Limerick, Republic of Ireland.
Posts: 12
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

When I was 6, back in 1972, we moved into our new house that Dad built; - even at that early age, I remember the Wylex breaker box (which now had the push-button MCB's as opposed to the old BS 3036 re-wireable fuses). This was a modern unit back then in an Ireland that still used DZ-2 and NDZ cartridge fuses. These Wylex consumer units were very common in England - indeed, I was proud to display my 'geeky' knowledge to my wife; while watching one of the excellent 'Endeavour' Morse episodes, I paused the DVD just to point out to her the Wylex fusebox in Inspector Fred Thursday's entrance hall! I remember to this day trying to light a 3v torch bulb off an exposed choc block connector in a bedroom where a strip light was to be installed - the bright flash, loud bang and the blackened bulb did not frighten me, only the thought of what to explain to my parents as to why the house lights were not working, thanks to the white coloured 5 amp Wylex button dropping out!! Dad reset it and the house lights came back on but the truth was never known!
Pete_1966 is offline  
Old 10th Nov 2020, 11:03 am   #84
dominicbeesley
Octode
 
dominicbeesley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 1,849
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

At age 6 I argued vociferously with my grandparents that their television could be made into a camera by reversing the red and black wires in the plug. They refused obstinately to believe me. So, being of a scientific mind I tried it. Results were disappointing. But the telly (dual standard mono Ultra if I recall correctly) survived, complete with reversed mains, for several years. I never did publish my results for fear of the well deserved applause (around the ears)
dominicbeesley is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2020, 11:13 am   #85
kalee20
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lynton, N. Devon, UK.
Posts: 5,565
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

When I was 8, I designed and made my first transformer!

Having read in a book, that the transformer consists of two coils of wire, on a rectangular iron core, and the secondary voltage is greater than the primary voltage according to the turns ratio, I thought I would replicate the sketch in the book, and save myself connecting batteries in series with this magical device.

So... iron core? Well, a paper clip is magnetic, so open one out straight, and bend it into a square.

Turns? Well, I wanted to step-up voltage. Thinking in a small way, I'd go for a 3:1 step-up. How many turns? Well, the secondary is greater by a ratio, there was no clue in the book how many turns are actually needed. So, I put 9 turns of bell wire on one side of my paper-clip square, which I hoped would be enough. The secondary, on the opposite side, is then easy... 27 turns.

Connect the secondary to a 3.5V torch bulb. Connect the primary to a 1.5V battery.

And...

It didn't work. The wire got warm, just as a straight piece of wire shorting a battery would... There was something I didn't understand.

It was some time later that I learned that transformers only work on AC. And by then, I'd also learned enough to know not to try plugging my creation into the mains.

Since then, I have designed many transformers, and usually with success.
kalee20 is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2020, 12:36 pm   #86
Refugee
Dekatron
 
Refugee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK.
Posts: 4,834
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

My first transformer experiment was successful in construction.
I found an old telly that had a new looking line output transformer in it and rewound the primary with about 20 turns with a centre tap.
It became the collector loads for a multi vibrator using 2N3055s.
My attempt at welding with it was not a success but the sparks were fun.
Refugee is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2020, 12:55 pm   #87
Hybrid tellies
Nonode
 
Hybrid tellies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 2,515
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobaltblue View Post
I was never very successful with trawler band when I lived in Liskeard but by Grandmothers Sobell Transistor Radio Trawler band was teaming in Newlyn.

Her House was on the Hill at Gwavas with fantastic views out over Mounts Bay.

I didn't have access to a radio that covered trawler band when I lived in the St Ives area except my Philips Electronic Engineer EE8 and A20 but that was pretty deaf although I followed the instruction to wind a "short wave" coil.

Cheers

Mike T
I lived on the Lizard coast in a village overlooking the English Channel and the main entrance to Falmouth. That old valved HMV radio that I mentioned earlier would pick up a lot of trawler and other Marine traffic. They were still using AM in those days.
You could actually hear the engines of the boat running in the background. When the skipper was having a bad day he would let rip with a torrent of bad language that turned the air blue. Very educational for a 13 year old!
__________________
Simon
BVWS member
Hybrid tellies is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2020, 3:40 pm   #88
McMurdo
Dekatron
 
McMurdo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Staffordshire Moorlands, UK.
Posts: 4,189
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

When we went over to colour our Ferguson B&W set got dumped in a shed. As a small child I considered trying to saw the end of the tube off and fitting a torch bulb, I thought it would bring the set back to life. It never struck me what all the circuitry might be for...
__________________
Kevin
McMurdo is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2020, 7:59 pm   #89
mark_in_manc
Octode
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Manchester, UK.
Posts: 1,363
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

This could have gone in 'a confession' but that's closed, so here it is.

I was learning guitar, and knew that distortion sounded good in the heavy music I liked. I didn't have a fuzz box. So I used my (old, donated and worked OK) stereo as a preamp, and connected one speaker output into the input of my little practice amplifier. It sounded great...for quite a short while. I...ummm...denied all knowledge
__________________
"The best dBs, come in 3s" - Woody Brown
mark_in_manc is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2020, 9:38 pm   #90
The Philpott
Nonode
 
The Philpott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Colchester, Essex, UK.
Posts: 2,456
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

I made the mistake of running the phono output of my hi-fi to a guitar amp, not quite appreciating how high the gain was, even with the volume at bare minimum.
The speaker survived.
Dave
The Philpott is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2020, 11:01 pm   #91
Richard_FM
Octode
 
Richard_FM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Stockport, Cheshire, UK.
Posts: 1,399
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Philpott View Post
I made the mistake of running the phono output of my hi-fi to a guitar amp, not quite appreciating how high the gain was, even with the volume at bare minimum.
The speaker survived.
Dave
This reminds me of early in Back To The Future where Marty puts Doc's amp up to maximum & gets blasted across the room by a 6 foot speaker that doesn't survive the sound.
__________________
Hello IT: Have you Tried Turning It Off & On Again?
Richard_FM is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2020, 12:23 pm   #92
mark_in_manc
Octode
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Manchester, UK.
Posts: 1,363
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

It was all about the watts. How many watts has it got, mister?
__________________
"The best dBs, come in 3s" - Woody Brown
mark_in_manc is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2020, 3:52 pm   #93
Jon_G4MDC
Octode
 
Jon_G4MDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, UK.
Posts: 1,127
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

We know the answer to that - "jigger" Watts.
Jon_G4MDC is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2020, 9:30 am   #94
avocollector
Heptode
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Wellington, New Zealand.
Posts: 556
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

Not quite from a young age but on a par with it. My wife is an electrical engineer and she worked for the national grid people who have quite a bit of hydro generation here in NZ. So one day she is tasked with taking a group of visitors around a hydro power station. At the end of the tour she asked 'any questions? yes' said one woman - 'is the water any good after you've taken the electricity out of it'
avocollector is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2020, 12:39 pm   #95
Refugee
Dekatron
 
Refugee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK.
Posts: 4,834
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

My other half was working in a hotel in Windsor many years ago.
An American tourist asked why they built Windsor castle so close to the air port.
Refugee is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2020, 12:43 pm   #96
Aitor Eneko
Heptode
 
Aitor Eneko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
Posts: 557
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refugee View Post
My other half was working in a hotel in Windsor many years ago.
An American tourist asked why they built Windsor castle so close to the air port.


Aitor Eneko is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2020, 3:19 pm   #97
Gulliver
Hexode
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Luton, Bedfordshire, UK.
Posts: 420
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

Mains electric shocks...

My dad told me that when he was at grammar school (early 50s) he was doing some homework in the library while sitting next to a "wireless". He'd heard that there were no moving parts inside but couldn't quite believe it, so he thought he'd poke his lead pencil through the grille and see if he could detect anything moving. It had a live chassis....

As for myself, when my grandmother died in 1993 I was a relatively sensible 20 years old. Clearing out her flat I obtained a few extension leads...and since gran had been widowed relatively young she'd taught herself from a book things like wiring plugs....one of the extension leads was something she'd cobbled together herself and while using it I grabbed the socket end only to receive an electric shock from one of the screws! I was thrown a considerable distance and was somewhat dazed & shocked, but my mother thought it tremendously funny.

Now....a supposedly much more sensible me in my mid 40s at work...repairing a Bulgin type plug on an old decade counter....tested it to check the wiring was working then grabbed the plug without unplugging the other end....I am grateful that the modern circuit breakers are quick to do their thing! And I guess my heart is in good condition. I certainly took a mains shock, burned a finger and thumb...but carried on working. I really should know better. Anyway at it's PAT test in December 2019 the plug/cable passed so I did OK. But that is probably the single most daft thing I've ever done as an adult.

A success story though.....when I was 8 the Sinclair ZX81 was the thing to have. My parents obliged but realised that I was hogging the family TV. We had a TV in the spare bedroom but I was not permitted a TV in my bedroom, so it stayed unused in the spare bedroom. By coincidence a few weeks later mum and I were in a charity shop and they had a nice 1960s 26" Bush valve B&W TV which the shop was offering for £3 because the sound didn't work. No problem as the ZX81 has no sound. Got it home and 8 year old me took the back off, identified one of the wires to the speaker had come unsoldered....soldered it back...and I had a working 26" B&W TV in my bedroom. that TV actually ended its days in the early 2000s in my parents' bedroom.

I remember being given some sort of electric motor device by an uncle when I was perhaps 7 years old. It may have been a battery operated coffee grinder at one time. I was merrily running the motor on two "C" batteries providing 3V but I couldn't understand why a 9V battery didn't make it spin faster. In fact it wouldn't spin at all...my dad took the opportunity to teach me about current.

Other interesting experiments including removing the head from a cassette recorder and soldering about 20 inches of wire between it and the machine....and then holding the head to the magnetic sound stripe on a cine film which was being shown on a silent projector. Though the film wasn't being moved smoothly I did actually manage to hear the soundtrack albeit with some jerks. It kind of worked, to my delight.

Craziest idea I ever had was to build a turntable for school woodwork class aged 10. I built a plinth and a turntable with a motor underneath driving the table by elastic band from 4 C cells. I made an arm out of balsa and initially drove an actual needle through it. I got the thing running at roughly 45rpm by fiddling with the diameter of the underside of the platter and then replaced the needle with the cartridge from a Dansette type record player, hooked it up to an amp and proudly showed my woodwork teacher who was totally blown away. I wish I still had it but it ended it's days in a lean-to which sadly suffered a leaky roof.

I wish I were that imaginative now!
Gulliver is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2020, 4:34 pm   #98
rambo1152
Nonode
 
rambo1152's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Manchester, UK.
Posts: 2,415
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

I went to the optician, he sat me in his chair, clamped the nerdy frames to my head and asked me to read the letters, I thought I had done rather well but he looked perplexed, apparently I got them all wrong.

Then in a moment, I realised what I had done.

When I entered the small consultation room I noticed that I was to be sat in front of a mirror, and the light-box was behind me, and knowing that, on some subconscious level, it caused me to read from right to left.

I asked the optician if many of his patients had done this, he answered no, it was a career first for him, but he said he was sure it was a sign of high intellect, as he winked at his assistant.
__________________
--
Graham.
G3ZVT
rambo1152 is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2020, 4:43 pm   #99
merlinmaxwell
Dekatron
 
merlinmaxwell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK.
Posts: 10,109
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

Again eye test at school, I had to walk past the chart to get to the position for the test. "Please read the bottom line", to which I replied "Made in England by Goblin Instruments".
__________________
Cats have staff, it's dogs that have owners.
merlinmaxwell is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2020, 6:23 pm   #100
ValvoStef
Hexode
 
ValvoStef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Fareham, Hampshire, UK.
Posts: 379
Default Re: Ridiculous thoughts and ideas from a young age

When I was young, very young, I understood that a rectifier converts Ac to DC. Therefore it must work the other way round, mustnít it? Guess what, all my efforts failed miserably.
__________________
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail ...
ValvoStef is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT. The time now is 6:22 am.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2020, Paul Stenning.