Monday, October 27, 2008


This must be the only picture on earth of the TELPRO colour television!

Here is Brian (my mate) fixing one of the Telpro models made by Telefusion back in about 1975. The photo is actually a crop of a bigger photo with me on it as well. You can see some detail of the chassis and its layout along with the novel way in which the Line and Field output tower tilts down for servicing (right) . The Telpro circuit is in fact the same as the Decca Bradford Chassis, but with cheaper components.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Analogue Knickers!

This album is a timeless classic!
I bought this 'vinyl' album back in 1972 and took it every party at the time which went down a treat as the record was wrapped in a pair of white knickers! I was playing the digital CD version of it tonight and sang along with all the words, how could I forget them. (The CD don't come with knickers!)

Some of the lyrics are just brilliant:

"All I need is a holocaust to make my day complete"

"He wanted an Einstein, but he got a Frankenstein"

"Whisky on your lips and earthworms through your brain"

The West Side Story send ups are great..."Street Fight" takes an angle of alley cats and the last track "Grande Finale" is an instrumental that brings everything together in the album.

"A sly incitement to delinquency. A rollicking send-up of America's most sacred cows. A blistering rock and roll workout. Alice Cooper's 1972 LP School's Out' is one of the cleverest and most engaging concept albums ever recorded"

and guess what...

When I met Kath (my wife) she had also bought this album along with all the other Alice Cooper Albums at the time!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Early Projects

Here is a picture of my shack soon after getting married and moving into our house. The strange thing about this photo is that I am sitting in the same room looking at the same wall while typing this 30 years on!
On the left was my home built 160m / 80m SSB Transeiver with the gorgeous Eddystone 898 dial. This was probably one of the biggest projects that I built. The receiver and most of the transmitter used the Plessey SL600 chips, some bought new and others untested from the 'Birkett' stall at rallies. The PA was an EL81 which gave about 10w RF output on 160m. The most expensive bit was the SSB filter which was a Kocosi filter. I remember going to the Leicester Rally with a list of bits needed to finish this project and managed to get everything!
Next to this was my trusted 2m transmitter, QQvo310 in the PA and plug-in 8MHz crystals for the frequency. (Remember this was days of tuning high to low!)
Next the famous Hallicrafters SX24 receiver, shortly after taking this picture it's mains transformer melted filling the house with a disgusting oily smell. I later replaced the transformer and the receiver was back in action.
On the top shelf was my 70cm transvertor. It used two QQVO350 valves, the first tripled the 144MHz input and then the second provided 10w output. This was built originally for transmission of television signals using grid modulation.
It worked well!
Ther is also a Pye Cambridge on the right of the picture, but you can only see the microphone.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Clare May Ball

Here is Neil (G3ZPL) spinning the discs at the May Ball at Clare College, Cambridge!

(Anybody remember RECORDS?)

That was an amazing night, I even got chance to play the records myself and enjoy my first attempt at being a DJ! I'm still trying to read the year on the balloon to determine when it happened. I think it was 1976 because I was in Cambridge for a week on my own as Kath was working and couldn't come.

St. Edmund Ale, Abbott Ale, Greene King...can I say more?

It was an amazing, sunny and plenty of cocktail parties at all hours of the day. We did the disco for the May Ball in the JCR (Junior Common Room) at Claire College, a bit like a crypt underneath the college. Neils equipment was state of the art, he built all himself...complete with flashing lights and special effects on the sound (phasor) SP25 decks, sliders and superb sound quality!

I need to go back to Cambridge again ... so many memories!