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Old 1st Aug 2020, 2:15 pm   #1
merlinmaxwell
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Default Getting the right radio into a museum

I love my visits to https://www.coam.org.uk/ the open air museum in the Chilterns, they have been open for a few weeks now. I did spot that one of their houses has a DAC90(A) in it, rather unlikely in a gas lit house I thought.

I decided to try and give them a Roberts battery (and mains, think ahead!) radio, it was accepted with glee and now is in position. I think it is better there than mouldering away in my collection.

The museum is well worth a visit, not quite the same in the current situation. the buildings are closed. Having said that doors are open with a token "gate" showing where access stops. It is 99% open air so "Keeping the Distance" is easy. Do visit and have a look at the radio.

Some pictures...
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 10:10 am   #2
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

Should that be "oil lit" ? Or are the gasoliers just out of view in the table shot with the radio?
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 12:18 pm   #3
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

It might be nice to have a replica of an HT battery beside it to show visitors what people had to do to keep them running.

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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 2:13 pm   #4
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

A good example of how a wider audience can appreciate the value of the hobby, too. Good move. Maybe also a note by the battery giving an idea of its cost in ye olde money and current equivalent.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 3:00 pm   #5
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

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It might be nice to have a replica of an HT battery beside it to show visitors what people had to do to keep them running.
It uses two batteries* and I like the idea of showing them and the sheer cost of running such a radio. Note to self, make a "laminated explainer" and two replica batteries. The works colour (A3!) laser printer may have to be hijacked for this.
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Should that be "oil lit" ? Or are the gasoliers just out of view in the table shot with the radio?
Yes they are out of sight in my photos, they (the museum) don't pretend to historically accurate but "close enough for government work" and (as seen) open to suggestion. And one of my radios has now a real purpose.

*I don't like people referring to cells as batteries (pedantic mode!)
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 5:34 pm   #6
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

Continuing the pedantry.... The various nominal 1.5V LT "blocks" were often two or more standard off-the-shelf cells in parallel (someone like broadgage or Mike Watterson would know more detail on the subject), whilst multiple cells in parallel would constitute a "battery" in the literal sense, were they also considered to be a "battery" in the technical sense?
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 6:25 pm   #7
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

I was taught that a 'battery' is 2 or more cells electrically conected together. So 2 cells in parallel would be a battery. Like some other here I refer to the cylindrical AA, C, D size 1.5V things as 'cells' but I have no problem calling an AD4 or AD35 a battery
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 6:26 pm   #8
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

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were they also considered to be a "battery" in the technical sense
It is a battery of cells to be really pedantic, so yes it should be. It may be that we all think voltage of a battery not the current capability of same. Using battery makes "one of the cells in a battery" sensible.

We are drifting OT now, back OT, I have made two cardboard replica batteries and a little sign giving the cost and running time, the museum may well accept and display them.
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 6:27 pm   #9
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

Houses with gas lighting would often supplement this with oil lamps, so the museum arrangement is perfectly valid.
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 6:41 pm   #10
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

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... a little sign giving the cost and running time, the museum may well accept and display them.
Sorry to be pedantic, but it's "were", not "where". Best to get it right on a public display.
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 9:09 pm   #11
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

When I was a child in post-war East London, the upstairs flat next door only had gas lights in the living room and the windowless passage between the living room and the bedrooms. The kitchen, WC ( unusually inside, considering the 1880's construction date), and the two bedrooms were lit by free-standing oil lamps or candles. Apparently the old lady who had been the tenant in the 1930's, when the local council still owned the power station they had built, and were wiring up for free anyone who wanted an electricity supply, had declined their offer. If mum knew she wouldn't be in when school finished, I used to stay with the neighbour (the daughter of the long-deceased old lady) until mum got home. She had a radio, but I don't remember any details. I remember dad telling me that there used to be gas-powered HT battery eliminators, no doubt using rows of bimetallic strips.

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Old 4th Aug 2020, 10:10 pm   #12
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

That makes a really nice display. I do some volunteering at the Anson Engine Museum up here which has a local history room - it would be nice to do something similar, although I don't have a battery set at the moment and I do like the 'running costs' angle that this makes possible.

I'm not yet 50, and even I remember how restricted I was in the 70s / 80s regarding running toys / torches / bike lights on batteries, in that it was really hard to persuade Mum and Dad to buy any. My kids don't know they're born, harrumph, mumble, grumble
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 11:08 pm   #13
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

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Sorry to be pedantic, but it's "were", not "where".
No need to be sorry, all advice taken, sometimes acted upon and this will be. Why didn't I spot that!

I think I have the 200 hours right, is it?
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 12:30 am   #14
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

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I do some volunteering at the Anson Engine Museum up here which has a local history room - it would be nice to do something similar, although I don't have a battery set at the moment and I do like the 'running costs' angle that this makes possible.
I visited there last summer. Rather an impressive collection. You mean that room with the large model of the area?

I thought MM's radio would tell the story better with an illustration of the battery and the costs.

The Anson museum could go a little further and have one of the Philips Stirling engines originally designed for powering radios from kerosene lamps.

The editor of the Philips Technical Review, C.M. Hargreaves wrote an excellent book "The Philips Stirling Engine" on these radio powering generators and all they turned into. It is now stupidly expensive when one crops up on Amazon, but you'd love it and maybe a library could hunt one up?

Philips Technical Review was their house journal where all their new TV parts and circuitry were given an airing and explanation.

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Old 5th Aug 2020, 12:58 am   #15
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

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I remember dad telling me that there used to be gas-powered HT battery eliminators, no doubt using rows of bimetallic strips.
I once did a simple repair on a gas radio. I will add that the part I repaired was the electronics, the radio chassis. This seemed to be a typical 1930's battery powered radio design.

The set was in a large wooden cabinet with the radio chassis on a shelf at the top. At the bottom was the gas burner with an array of thermocouples on top giving both the HT and LT supplies (I can't remember if it had a -ve grid bias supply or self bias). There was no flue and the whole thing seemed to be a total fire risk.

AFAIK it was demonstrated (recently) using a mains powered 'battery eliminator' type of supply, not the thermopile, for obvious safety reasons.
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 11:51 am   #16
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

It's nice to know that someone has actually seen a gas radio: when I was a child I thought dad was pulling my leg. I wonder if the gas radio could have got converted to run on natural gas? They couldn't convert my bunsen burners, so had to exchange them for new ones.

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Old 5th Aug 2020, 12:04 pm   #17
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

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I visited there last summer. Rather an impressive collection. You mean that room with the large model of the area?
Yes, that model is amazing. One of the guys who built it is still alive, and often hangs around that bit to talk to people about it. The Philips Stirling Engine sounds very interesting - I'll see if I can find the book. I used to have a lot of copies of the Bruel and Kjaer technical revue, which was the same kind of publication and often got compiled into very useful pocket books.
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 12:06 pm   #18
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

Gas powered radios have been discussed in the forums before. I believe there's one in the gas museum in Leicester.

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=52984
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 3:57 pm   #19
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

I like 'museums of everyday life' to contain everyday objects. It's too easy for the wrong impression to be given,
In reality, NOBODY had gas radios or spirit-lamp gramophones, when taken at a reasonable number of decimal places.
At my local 'life' museum, it turned out that today's kids couldn't run with a hoop and stick. The blacksmith duly obliged with a batch having the hoop passing through an eye on the end of the stick.
All well and good, you might think; except that the poor wee lambs now think that a hoop and stick is a single item!
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 4:56 pm   #20
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Default Re: Getting the right radio into a museum

I've seen mention of them in Russia.
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