Outside Amateur Radio, I am very interested in history. I enjoy learning about the past, and collecting antiques or other artefacts.

I find more and more that this love of the past is leaking through into amateur radio as well!

Ron's radio

Combining my love of radio and antiques, I enjoy SWL-ing on this Eddystone Kilodyne Four receiver, dating from 1934. Designed for the shortwave/ham bands, I have subsequently wound coils for both MW and LW broadcast radio, allowing me to tune in to BBC Radio 4 amongst other stations.

The radio was built by my dear (now S/K) friend Ron, G4AUG, and his father, back in the mid-1930s, and still works perfectly today.

Further information about the radio can be found here and here. You can listen to recordings made from the radio by clicking the links below:




Loving vintage or antique equipment, my meter of choice is this Model 40 Universal Avometer, dating from September 1953, which belonged to G4AUG (whose radio is seen above). The instrument has proved itself on many occasions and, unlike various other multimeters which have been and gone, is reliable and accurate. With the meter came the original manual and case, the latter still bearing Ron’s initials and callsign. I have found a very similar (albeit not identical) copy of the user’s manual and uploaded it to the File Store (see the ‘About’ tab).

Crystal Set G4AUG’s crystal radio

Also from Ron came this lovely crystal radio set with the matching headphones. I don’t know very much about the radio save that (apparently) it dates from the 1920s. I think that the little jumper inbetween the two tuning knobs changed the band from MW to LW, although this is more suspicion than certainty. Although I don’t use it on a regular basis, I have had success with using this little set to tune in to local and national AM broadcast stations in the MW portion of the broadcast band. I find it amazing how it is possible to demodulate and listen to radio signals just using the inbuilt electrical strength of the radio signal - no batteries or AC power supplies needed.

Crystal Radio Tweet Using my Crystal set to tune in to Ken Bruce!

Picture above of a Tweet I sent to Ken Bruce when I listened to his morning radio show using the crystal set - and he mentioned me on air!

Royal Sigs Key

When out and about, playing radio (see my QRP and Portable page), I sometimes use this vintage Royal Signals’ Key And Plug Assembly No. 8 key.I can’t find much information about this key, but this link gives a little information, and this eBook (see pp. 14 and 15) offers some further information. Although I normally use a paddle key for sending CW, I feel an attachment to this key a) because it belonged to Ron, and b) because my late Grandfather served in the Royal Signals and likely used a key like this when serving.

Much to my XYL’s disdain(!), my collection continues to grow. In time I will add more images and information to this page.