On the 8th May, James Gentles GM4WZP hosted the meeting: “WHAT I BROUGHT TONIGHT”.

We were delighted to be joined by Tom Novey W7TAN, visiting from Illinois (photos below).

This was an evening where members and visitors brought along "the smallest radio-related object they have with the biggest story" and made a short presentation about it. These were James's suggestions:


                                   When did you last see a cats whisker, in its little yellow box?

                                   What would you do with a piece of 2” Ampex videotape? 

                                   What’s the oldest valve you own?

                                   Your first Log Book with that rare DX on page 1?

                                   The first software you ever bought / pirated?

                                   An edition of Practical Electronics that got you interested in radio?

                                   Or it could be something new, a radio that looks like a USB stick?

                                   The latest microwave goodie - microwave things tend to be small…



Captions from notes by Mike MM0MLB.


 1. Andy, MM0FMF: Told how he swapped a JRC transceiver for an Elecraft K2 as a result of a SK sale. He's not used it for three years or so and he could sell for the right offer. Described how quiet the receiver performs.


 2. Alan GM3PSP brought a plaque made for NFD 1961, held in the grounds of George Watson's College. LRS committee members Tom Simpson GM3BCD and John Hughes GM3LCP were teachers who got over 40 boys through their RAE and licenced. The card was signed by: GM3UM, GM2CFU, GM3BQO, GM3DOP, GM3FJP, GM3KIG, GM3LCP, GM3LGU, GM3OWU, A1887 (GM3PAK), (GM3PCQ), A2255 (GM3PSP), (GM3TFY), (GM4AIS). Calls in brackets were issued later.


 3. Peter, GM4DTH: Described a small die-cast box he fitted out with an dual tone oscillator from a Pye Stornoway radio which he uses for the LRS DF event.  The box is fitted with three small toggle switches to control the tone sequences and a couple of D-type connector on the reverse to interface with the transmitter.


 4. Colin, GM4EAU: Talked about a type 4C35A thyratron made by US maker Electronic Enterprises Inc.  Capable of up to 8200 switching cycles per second,  used in a rather meaty PSU at 90A, some 350kW!  Contained a hydrogen capsule, with an area near the top cap showing (slight) signs of radioactivity!


 5. James, GM4WZP: Brought along a couple of Sinclair electronic calculators dating from about 1976. Able to perform some scientific calculations if total accuracy was not vital.  Nevertheless, these were, along with more sophisticated versions from Hewlett Packard, the worlds first commercially-available electronic calculators.


 6. Peter, GM4DTH: Showed us his very fine Senheisser aviation standard headset, with noise-cancelling capability and a boom mic. It had a custom-made cord set which included a Boeing-standard jack plug and power supply for the noise-suppression electronics.  All in a very nice carrying case!


 … and the sound reproduction is simply heavenly!


  1. Andy, MM0FMF: For his SOTA days, Andy described how he can let the world know what he's up to by means of a Raspberry Pi-controlled set-up with a 1.55GHz satellite modem - the power for the transmit function coming from a slow discharged PSU somehow linked and controlled by the Pi.


  1. Mike, MM0MLB: Showed us a small, expensive box every domestic and commercial aerial installer dreams of having and using to make their job that much easier. Capable of providing a comprehensive set of test results together with a built-in screen that enables the installer to watch what's on telly if he/she really gets bored up on the roof!


 9. Pete, GM4BYF: To enable Pete to have some chance of a reasonable view of the components on modern-day surface mount PCBs, his digital microscope, at under £35.00, is just the job.  Handed around, I think everyone agreed what a really useful item this is!


10. Alan GM3PSP also showed his American callsign car licence "vanity plates" from when he worked for Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester NY as W2/G3PSP and later as K6PSP, and in Hollywood CA as W6/G3PSP and K6PSP, from 1989 to 2009. 



11. Pete, GM4BYF: Demonstrated, with the aid of a home-made SHF horn....


… the astonishing accuracy of a pair of handheld and inexpensive, Chinese-made frequency generator and spectrum analyser.  Must get my order in soon!


  1. James, GM4WZP: This Rubber Duck, sometimes partnered by his Icom IC2E, brought along by James, but not part of a Convoy this time (!) has the distinction of having ascended all the Scottish Munros as James so fascinatingly told us about quite recently (13th Feb 2019) in a talk to the LRS.


 13. Colin, GM4EAU: Spent the afternoon polishing a rather interesting and historically significant 5kg of solid brass.  But to us it was explained as a microwave waveguide motor-actuated switch first installed at Kirk o'Shotts as part of the GPO backbone microwave network linking major UK cities carrying analogue telephony and video signals for broadcast transmitter sites.  Too good to use as a mere doorstop!


 14. Tom Novey, W7TAN: Our US visitor for the evening - A warm welcome from the LRS Tom!  Tom told of how his father worked for the James Knights Co.  in Sandwich, Illinois, makers of high quality crystals used in electronic equipment.  Tom brought along a Type H12 6780kc/s made by the same company along with some papers released only fairly recently by the CIA, indicating the significance of commercial confidence relative to the Dept of Defense.

As our guest, Tom had the honour of choosing the winners for the evening's most compelling presentations.


 The runner-up was Andy MM0FMF for his SOTA equipment.


The winner was Alan GM3PSP for his GM3BCD/P NFD-1961 plaque and his description of the radio club at George Watson's College.