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Old 27th Nov 2021, 7:26 pm   #1
Des Miles
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Default Morse inker.

Definitely not telephony, maybe Telecomms. Mods please delete if necessary.
Unearthed after being squirreled away for +/- 40 years ago (in my garage rafters) that I had actually completely forgotten about! The instrument had actually been used in the Walvis Bay maritime radio station (ZSV). The station was first operated by the Germans (German South West Africa) and then by RSA - Namibia after it was liberated end of WW2.
The instrument as manufactured by "Siemens Brothers and Company Limited England 1862". I guess it must be a good 100+ y.o. Made completely of brass you can see, from age, that the patina of the brass is red in some places.
The clockwork mechanism still works and the paper tape still feeds. The large solenoids' that would have keyed the system are still OK ( test at 510 ohm.)
What to do with it? A good project to clean up and polish all that brass bits and pieces, or just leave it as is. Any one wager what it could be worth or of any interest?
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Old 27th Nov 2021, 7:40 pm   #2
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Morse inker.

Telegraphy is definitely part of telecommunications - and a very fine piece it looks. My personal preference would be to retain the patina rather than polish it up, but that's up to you as its owner. I would certainly advise leaving as is if you're intending to sell it.

Again, if it were mine I would want to have it working if at all possible. Is it possible to wire it such that signals from the key are looped back to the inker by way of a demonstration.
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Old 28th Nov 2021, 10:52 am   #3
peter_scott
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Default Re: Morse inker.

I would mirror everything that Dave suggests.

Peter
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Old 28th Nov 2021, 1:26 pm   #4
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Default Re: Morse inker.

Another "if it was mine", a complete restoration to like new and working, I may even include a little box that sends morse and powers it for demonstrations. That may reduce the "value" but it would be a lovely thing to behold. Musea (plural for museum I guess) are full of old tatty stuff, to see a hundred year old bit of kit as it was "back in the day" would be a revelation.

Don't get me wrong, I love musea and have yet to find a Roman skeleton uncleaned.
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Old 28th Nov 2021, 1:28 pm   #5
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Default Re: Morse inker.

I think it's best staying with you in the part of the world where its history lies.

Otherwise, it's hard to pin a price on it. At a specialist auction the prices could go high if you happen to get two people who want it. But that would separate it from its history.

Do you happen to have any maritime radio stations set up as museums in the area?

David
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Old 28th Nov 2021, 2:01 pm   #6
Des Miles
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Default Re: Morse inker.

Do you happen to have any maritime radio stations set up as museums in the area?

David[/QUOTE]

Alas no, any history related to the colonial era is viewed with disdain.
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Old 28th Nov 2021, 2:30 pm   #7
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Morse inker.

It's rather lovely! Lasttime I saw something like that it was described as an "Undulator".

I'd get it working, and - as mentioned above - make up something that can send Morse to it as a demonstration [I'd suggest one of the cheap electronic 'voice recorder' things available for a few pounds, used to record tones, then on playback a diode to convert the tones to DC which then drives a switching transistor to drive the coil].
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Old 28th Nov 2021, 3:52 pm   #8
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Default Re: Morse inker.

Inkers draw dots and dashers. Undulators keep a pen in contact and deflect it to the side with the signal producing undulations of signal dependent amplitude. They're reckoned to be better suited to subtle interpretation than all-or-nothing inkers.

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Old 29th Nov 2021, 8:29 am   #9
greenstar
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Default Re: Morse inker.

As with a lot of things I find telegraphy fascinating. Your sounder is delightful, I would just try to get it working with a light clean. I believe inkers were often used with sounders, as the coils on the inker didn't always make a loud enough sound, perhaps in an office with several lines. I made a sounder from an article in one of the boy mechanic type books, and it makes a fantastic clunking sound. They were used with a hood to direct the sound.
You can of course find other telegraph items, but they tend to be pricey.
Tony
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Old 29th Nov 2021, 8:56 am   #10
John M0GLN
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Default Re: Morse inker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Des Miles View Post
Made completely of brass you can see, from age, that the patina of the brass is red in some places.
Lovely bit of equipment, the red patina could be a sign of dezincification, perhaps some dampness over the years has caused zinc to leach out of the brass and leave copper showing red, of no importance in this case.

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Old 30th Nov 2021, 11:52 am   #11
M0AFJ, Tim
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Default Re: Morse inker.

We have a working Inker at the Marconi Wireless Museum at Bass Point on the Lizard, worth a quick visit if you’re doing the Cornwall coastal path
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