Sunday, January 20, 2013

FDK Multi Palm IV

Today I was playing about with a Multi Palm IV 70cm FM handheld. I have had this little rig in my possession for years now hidden in the attic along with lots of other 'junk' from the olden days.
This little handheld came out around 1979 and was ahead of it's time. I remember trying to build a transverter for 70cms then and it was difficult to build and tune up. The Multi Palm was small, very compact and stable. It was crystal controlled with a built in shift and tone burst for repeaters. Today I connected a 12v PSU and it worked fine. I could hear GB3CR repeater as good as my new Baofeng handheld.
Inside are a bank of small nicads, which don't seem to work any more. The rig gives an output power of 1 watt on 70cms.

I took the back off to remind myself of the analogue electronics inside, remember, there was nothing digital then. A lot of stuff packed into a small space! I wonder if you can still buy the packs of nicad batteries? Back in 1979 Birkett's would sell packs like this at some of the radio rallies dead cheap.

If you lift up the main board you will find the bank of six crystals which can be changed for the particular channels that you want. The ones fitted at the moment are: RB2, RB4, RB6, SU8, RB10, SU20.

Block Diagram of the FDK Multi Palm IV (Click to enlarge)

Circuit Diagram of the FDK Multi Palm IV (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


What is happening to the world of retail?

Soon there will be no stores at all left in our town centre, just pound shops, mobile phone shops, pawn shops and banks!

I remember the days of shopping in Bolton where you could spend all day there browsing round the shops. I loved the record shops! Bulloughs on Knowsley Street, the Co-op on Bridge Street and later Russells, Our Price, WH Smith and Andy's Records.
I find it hard to pay money for something that I cannot hold in my hand and 'keep'. Vinyl LPs with their covers are something that you saved up for and treasured, often reading the sleeves and looking at the pictures while you listened to them. CD's gave us quality without the crackles and scratches, but they sort of took away the feel of a Vinyl album.

Now it is digital, but lets stop here....MP3???  Where is the audio quality in that?
You pay for a digital download to listen on your computer or phone in audio quality on parr with Medium Wave Radio!  What has happened to the high quality Stereo Amps and Speakers?  How many people are listening to their digital downloads on Rotel Amps and Wharfdale Speakers?
People don't seem to have the time anymore for 'quality' listening, life is too fast, music on the go. We seem to be going back in time in the analogue world to the time when we listened to music on a 'record player' with a tinny speaker. In those days we strived for better 'quality' audio production. Now we have it we are going in reverse!

Technology has shot itself in the foot!

Now HMV the last remaining music store is poised to shut, soon CD's will be a thing of the past and we will be doomed to the digital downloads stored in the 'clouds' of digital technology.

Latest Blockbuster have joined the insolvency club!
Members now include: Woolworths, Game, Comet, Jessops, HMV, Blockbuster...I wonder who is next to join?