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Old 3rd May 2021, 11:17 am   #1
Wendymott
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Default DATONG Electronics

Hi Peeps. I was reading another thread and Datong Electronics was mentioned.
Datong was started in the early 70's by David Tong whom was a very talented electronics design enthusiast, that entered the Amateur radio Kit and finished article, business.
The Datong kits were well known for ingenuity and great construction.

I went for an interview to his, now growing business, in the 80's, where he told me he was branching out into security surveillance, and had supplied the Home Office with the Radio DF kit fitted to Police vehicles. I declined the offer (IDIOT)..and I had no more contact with David.
Obviously things moved on, the business grew and was eventually floated on the stock exchange. As with all these financial things, once you let go the reigns ., things get "away" from you. I just wondered if David was still around.. maybe not in Leeds, and if he still has interests in electronics. I know its a long time since... but I am still here, a contemporary at 73 ish
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Last edited by Wendymott; 3rd May 2021 at 11:18 am. Reason: Typo
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Old 3rd May 2021, 2:47 pm   #2
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

ISTR that Dave had a G8 callsign, but I don't remember what it is. If anyone knows it it could be checked on qrz.com
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Old 3rd May 2021, 2:57 pm   #3
cruisinradio
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

I still use the Datong FL3 filter to this day, it works a good as the day it came out the factory, and I bought it secondhand
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Old 3rd May 2021, 3:17 pm   #4
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

Company house records show that David Arthur Tong a former director of Datong Ltd was born in 1941.

Someone with the same name died in 2011, but that's not to say it's the same person.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 3:18 pm   #5
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

Datong stuff was rather 'innovative' back in the 70s and 80s; I've got one of their [new and unused] RF Speech Processor boards here - bought from Lee Electronics in Edgware Road sometime in the early080s.

I must get round to putting it in a case!

If you look at https://find-and-update.company-info...69448/officers it gives an address for Davd Tong back in 1997 when he resigned as a company director.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 3:25 pm   #6
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

His callsign is/was G8ENN.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 4:55 pm   #7
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

Dave Tong still seems very much around at Cambridge University:
https://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/tong/bio.html

I still have his up converter (long time not switched on) and have used his speech processor in the past.

73 Dave G3YMC
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Old 3rd May 2021, 5:07 pm   #8
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

I don't think the Cambridge physics-guy is the same person as the RF-expert...

The electronics Tong was at Glasgow University in the late-1960s and publishing artilces in RADCOM in 1972, which would make him quite a bit older.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 5:25 pm   #9
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

Was his xyl G8ENO?
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Old 3rd May 2021, 6:02 pm   #10
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

A photo of him and G8ENO appears in January 1975 SWM, where they're shown demonstrating their RF speech-processor at the previous autumn's Leicester rally [ah, the Granby Halls...]
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Old 3rd May 2021, 6:21 pm   #11
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

His wife's name is/was Gillian.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 6:55 pm   #12
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

Hi Peeps. I was racking my meagre brain re his call sign.. Yes it was G8ENN and as you say his wife was G8ENO. I guess the thought that Graham is right, as he was such a prolific engineer and that not hearing about him in the last few years, could be true.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 7:33 pm   #13
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

Good evening Wendy.

I cannot throw any light on Dr. Tong, but I can tell you who I believe beat you to that job in the 80s.

His name is Chris Burrell; the best technician I ever had working for me. He had a terrible skin condition which meant he slept very little, during his waking hours, he would read prodigiously, and he had a totally photographic memory.

One Friday afternoon, he asked me if he could take home the TTL and CMOS data books over the weekend. I told him he was welcome to do so, and asked what project he was working on. He explained that there was no project, he was sick of having to refer to the books whist working on our products, so he wanted to memorise them.


I never saw him have to refer to a data book after that, but he left us a while later to go to Datong.



On a slightly off key note, but very funny. Chris is an excellent pianist. I arranged to meet him one night at a local Working Men’s Club where they were having auditions for a new organist; I told him he would enjoy it, but my aim was to try and get him to take the audition.

As we sat listening to the first musician, his face was and absolute picture. For anyone who has never been in a Working Men’s Club, Some organists were superb, these we not, and he was amazed to hear such bad playing.


After the audition, I took Chris onstage to introduce him to the drummer (and maybe get him to play). Chris noticed the grand piano at the back of the stage, dived onto it and launched into a superb rendition of The Six Wives of Henry VIII. The drummer and all of the auditioning organists stood there open mouthed at his ability; apart from a member of the club committee who raced onto the stage to ask what he thought he was doing?

“That instrument is for musicians to use”
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Old 4th May 2021, 6:13 am   #14
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

Apologies for hastily heading for the wrong Dave Tong...
G8ENO is listed in qrz.com as GK Tong, no details, but G8ENN is not so I suspect you may be right and David died in 2011. That may have appeared in RadCom at the time, I will have a hunt later.

73 Dave G3YMC
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Old 4th May 2021, 8:28 am   #15
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

By the by, folk might think that TONG is a SE Asian name. Actually, its a wee village on the Shropshire-Staffs border between Albrighton & Brewood. Just off the A41.

Regards, David
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Old 4th May 2021, 8:41 am   #16
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Station X View Post
Company house records show that David Arthur Tong a former director of Datong Ltd was born in 1941.

Someone with the same name died in 2011, but that's not to say it's the same person.
I should point out that the David Arthur Tong who died in 2011 died in Kent and not Leeds. He could have been visiting Kent at the time of his death though. Deaths have to be registered in the district they occurred in, not where the deceased lived.
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Old 4th May 2021, 10:56 am   #17
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

I passed my G4 by listening to a Datong random morse generator as l was driving, back in the eighties.

Thanks David...
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Old 4th May 2021, 11:01 am   #18
David G4EBT
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

As mentioned in post #7, Dr David Tong, (now professor David Tong) formerly of the long since defunct company Datong, is very much alive.

He's a quantum physicist and Cambridge Professor.

As such, as economists put it, you should 'maximise your comparative advantage' and I guess that has been his direction of travel in his stellar career. So if you're a brain surgeon, get a gardener to mow your lawns - don't do it yourself and squander your talents. Given his talents, it would make little sense in terms of productive use of his time, or in income terms, to be designing and marketing ancillary products for the very limited amateur radio market. The Datong Morse Tutor was an excellent device, but of course, for the few who bother these days, there are online Morse tutors such as the excellent G4FON Morse Trainer, so little market for a hardware tutor.

It's intellectually-challenged long since retired old buffers like me who can indulge in the luxury of tinkering around from one day to the next, on time-consuming trivialities restoring old radios and woodturning, in an effort to enjoyably while away as much of what's left of my life as possible.

Even back in the 1999 RSGB Year Book, (the most recent one that I have), David Tong's call sign had lapsed, but his wife's was still there, and indeed, on just checking the Hamcall Database, it's still listed at an address in West Park Leeds, though her data, like mine, hasn't been updated in the last five years so I assume that she's inactive on air. (Same applies to me - a 'RHINO', Radio Ham In Name Only', last on air in 2003).
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Old 4th May 2021, 11:05 am   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David G4EBT View Post
He's a quantum physicist and Cambridge Professor.
Not if post #8 is to be believed. If he's still alive he'll be around 80 years of age by now.

Of course I hope he's still alive.
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Old 4th May 2021, 11:31 am   #20
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Default Re: DATONG Electronics

According to what I'm looking at there was only one David A Tong who's birth was registered c 1941, it was registered at Leeds in the December quarter of 1941, his marriage was registered at Doncaster in the March Quarter of 1966.

Lawrence.
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