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Old 28th Nov 2022, 8:06 pm   #1
Cruisin Marine
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Default Raymart Birmingham?

Were they the same as Raycomm- Ray Withers?


https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/radiom...ndchecker.html
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Old 28th Nov 2022, 8:17 pm   #2
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

No. They were much earlier. I have one of those wavemeters somewhere, from the 1960s. Ray Withers, Raycomm business, was maybe late 1970s into the 80s.
I had an interesting half day with him at RAF Cosford. Maybe mid 1980s. He was supplying handheld business frequency comms for a tv film set. We had a bite and a cuppa at the free refreshment trailer.
Rob
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Old 28th Nov 2022, 8:19 pm   #3
Cruisin Marine
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

Thanks Rob, much appreciated.
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 2:44 am   #4
John KC0G
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

Pre-WW2 ads show that Raymart was connected to the call sign G5NI, and was at 44 Holloway Head, Birmingham. As a point of reference, the Best One shop is at 46 Holloway Head, at the corner with Exeter St, ie down at the bottom end close to the Bristol Road.

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Old 29th Nov 2022, 10:46 am   #5
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

I remember Raymart kits being available from Chas H Young (G2AK) on Corporation Street, Bham. This was the late 1960s. A schoolfriend had an SW valve receiver which was in similar style to the HAC sets but used more modern valves. We were under the impression that at that point Raymart was a Chas Young operation though we might well be mistaken.

Ray Withers didn’t get going with his business until the late 1970s. He lived on Stourbridge Road in Halesowen from the early 70s – I still remember the antenna above his house – but whether he was doing any business from there I don’t know/can’t remember. In the early 1980s he had a shop on Hagley Road West at Quinton (in the area locally known as ‘The Holly Bush’) where he was doing a lot of amateur stuff. I still have a tone-burst module I bought from there and never fitted! I remember Ray being generous with the coffee.

Later, I remember the Raycomm operation on the Wolverhampton Road, Oldbury though I never visited it. I passed the building yesterday evening and gave it a glance as I invariably do.
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 11:42 am   #6
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

A bit more about Raymart/Radiomart here:

https://www.radiomuseum.org/dsp_hers...mpany_id=18816

And here:

https://www.qrz.com/db/GI5NI

I remember the Raymark Absorption Meter 'Band Checker' with fondness.

Poke it towards your homebrew transmitter, which was spraying RF all around your shack, all over your walls, your curtains and your neighbour's TV, (and hopefully some up your aerial!), turn the knob till the MES bulb lights up from the RF, and it will sort of tell you what band you are on, but not what frequency or whether you might be outside the edges of the band. It would also tell you what harmonics you were radiating on.

The marvels of science!
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 4:54 pm   #7
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

I remember Ray Withers operating from the attic of a house in south Birmingham in the late-1970s; he sold both ham-radio gear and PMR stuff - I went there once and bought a whole load of high-band 5/8-wave base-loaded mobile antennas - they were a clone of the nice 'Antenna Specialists' ones that had a short fat coil about an inch diameter encapsulated in grey plastic at the base, a shock-spring and a tapered whip. Not sure where he got them from but they were a third of the price of the imported-from-the-US Antenna Specialists version and seemed to work just as well. Great for my fledgling PMR business!

Attached are some shots of a Raymart advertisement from a WWII-era RSGB handbook.
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 5:18 pm   #8
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
I remember Ray Withers operating from the attic of a house in south Birmingham in the late-1970s
I suspect you went to Halesowen which to non locals seems like a part of south(ish) Birmingham. VW Super Beetle parked outside?

I will have his QSL card somewhere.

I didn’t know Raymart had manufactured condensers and dial drives but in a way they were in the right place as there was a lot of small metal bashing in Birmingham so lines of supply would be easy. The Jewellery Quarter still had small metal workers, badge manufactirers, etc., in addition to the jewellery and silversmithing trades the last time I was there though it has slowly going back to (gentrified) residential, which it was before hard up householders started letting their front rooms to jewellers, etc., and established the Quarter. As my old Dad would say: what goes around comes around.
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 5:30 pm   #9
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

The Raymart capacitors, I suspect, were not actually _made_ by Raymart themselves; they look identical to the "Wavemaster" type I sold a few weeks back: https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=194301

Whoever made the Wavemaster capacitors ended up coming under the Jackson Bros. umbrella at some time.
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 5:37 pm   #10
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

Were the grey aerials plastic enclosed up the whip as well? I bought some in the mid 70s that were. They claimed 4dB gain due to the siver plated wire within the plastic whip section! I think they first sold them as direct outlet at rallies where two guys had a stand exhibiting them.
I keep thinking of the brand Antex, but that is the soldering iron.
Not to be confused with Bantex, that Garex used to sell.
Maybe the name was Antec?
Can't remember, it is a long time ago.
Rob
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 5:53 pm   #11
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

Found it. Been nagging me!
Sept 1974 SWMag on American radio history site. 1/4 page ad 4 pages from the back. Antec. Antenna & Electronic Consultancy. Basingstoke.
4dBD 5/8 for 2M,
Rob
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 6:00 pm   #12
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robinshack View Post
Were the grey aerials plastic enclosed up the whip as well? I bought some in the mid 70s that were. They claimed 4dB gain due to the siver plated wire within the plastic whip section! I think they first sold them as direct outlet at rallies where two guys had a stand exhibiting them.
I keep thinking of the brand Antex, but that is the soldering iron.
Not to be confused with Bantex, that Garex used to sell.
Maybe the name was Antec?
Can't remember, it is a long time ago.
Rob
No, the Ray Withers antennas [and the Antenna Specialists ASP393 version] had a tapered stainless-steel whip.

I still have a few of the base-load coils, and associated magmounts/trunk-lip-mounts, see attached.

The ones I remember that were entirely grey-plastic-coated all along the whip were made by Panorama.

The Antenna Specialists design also appeared in a CB version - see here: https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...6&d=1504555029 Ray Withers sold a clone of them too!
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 6:16 pm   #13
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

In September 1968, Chas. H Young were advertising that they were 'manufacturers of Raymart components' in the 4th edition of the RSGB Radio Communication Handbook.

Se attached.
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 10:06 pm   #14
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
In September 1968, Chas. H Young were advertising that they were 'manufacturers of Raymart components' in the 4th edition of the RSGB Radio Communication Handbook.
So the impression me and my school pal were under that Raymart was part of Chas H Young was correct. 1968 was about the time Charlie was relieving us of serious amounts of pocket money! I still have some of the components from that time in my many junk boxes.

(Later we discovered Hurst Street and Alum Rock Road...)
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 6:15 am   #15
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junk Box Nick View Post
I remember Raymart kits being available from Chas H Young (G2AK) on Corporation Street, Bham. This was the late 1960s. A schoolfriend had an SW valve receiver which was in similar style to the HAC sets but used more modern valves. We were under the impression that at that point Raymart was a Chas Young operation though we might well be mistaken.

Ray Withers didn’t get going with his business until the late 1970s. He lived on Stourbridge Road in Halesowen from the early 70s – I still remember the antenna above his house – but whether he was doing any business from there I don’t know/can’t remember. In the early 1980s he had a shop on Hagley Road West at Quinton (in the area locally known as ‘The Holly Bush’) where he was doing a lot of amateur stuff. I still have a tone-burst module I bought from there and never fitted! I remember Ray being generous with the coffee.

Later, I remember the Raycomm operation on the Wolverhampton Road, Oldbury though I never visited it. I passed the building yesterday evening and gave it a glance as I invariably do.
I supplied an EMC chamber to Raycomm, with all the test gear, he certainly knew how to get a discount!
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 12:13 pm   #16
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

Quote:
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I supplied an EMC chamber to Raycomm, with all the test gear, he certainly knew how to get a discount!
BTW it should be noted that Ray Withers’ firm (and various incarnations of it) was RAYCOM with one ‘M’ as it seems, doing a search there is a different company called Raycomm based in Bristol (and another in the US). There also other companies trading under the name Raycom.

Mods might wish to take note.

Ray was a bit of a character as an internet search soon reveals!
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Old 4th Dec 2022, 9:44 am   #17
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Originally Posted by Junk Box Nick View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by M0AFJ, Tim View Post
I supplied an EMC chamber to Raycomm, with all the test gear, he certainly knew how to get a discount!
BTW it should be noted that Ray Withers’ firm (and various incarnations of it) was RAYCOM with one ‘M’ as it seems, doing a search there is a different company called Raycomm based in Bristol (and another in the US). There also other companies trading under the name Raycom.

Mods might wish to take note.

Ray was a bit of a character as an internet search soon reveals!
Yes, a character indeed. You are correct about Raycom, a typo on my part!
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 12:07 pm   #18
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

How many of these survived I wonder, I got mine from the RSGB a few years ago.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 11:37 am   #19
G4YVM David
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Default Re: Raymart Birmingham?

Ray was a real character, but made from gold IMHO. I worked for him for years and was a friend for many more. He overcame serious life challenges (as we might say today). A man not to everyone's taste, but I liked him.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 11:57 am   #20
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How many of these survived I wonder, I got mine from the RSGB a few years ago.
Blimey I'm surprised. I wouldn't have thought that the RSGB would be handling old kit. Good for them.

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