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Old 6th Dec 2023, 9:48 pm   #1
dave walsh
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Default Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

Looking at the kitchen Microwave Oven [8pm] this particular Hanah Fry episode chimes nicely with the book WINNING THE RADAR WAR [by Jack Nissen] that I'm currently reading. Yes, the program is made for television etc but her explanatory skills are so good that I once understood a very mathematically based program she fronted. We were very quickly into Huff Duff [Direction Finding] and Chain home etc. Light hearted but very interesting. Also the last five minutes of Great British Railway Journeys at 7pm [BBC4] had Michael Portillo in Ally Pally [The Fool's On The Hill] as well. That's repeated later and there's always I-Player for both, as long as the Beeb doesn't close it down!

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Old 6th Dec 2023, 11:34 pm   #2
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

Good to see that the magnetron insides look identical to the one we sawed in pieces 35 years ago.

The Miele magick microwave seems reassuringly expensive.

A bit like everything else they produce only more so.
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 1:09 am   #3
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
... the book WINNING THE RADAR WAR [by Jack Nissen] that I'm currently reading...
Dave W
An excellent book, which deserves to be more widely known.
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 12:50 pm   #4
Malcolm G6ANZ
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

One thing that wasn't mentioned with the magnetron was the magnet that is essential to its function.
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Old 8th Dec 2023, 12:55 am   #5
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

Just watched it on iplayer. You'd think they'd have made a point of discharging the capacitor before diving in and dismantling that domestic oven, rather than just saying 'this is dangerous, but...'. and then tearing the cover off and pulling the magnetron out.
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Old 8th Dec 2023, 1:05 am   #6
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

I watched the Headphones episode this evening and found it fascinating. Very well done !
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Old 8th Dec 2023, 10:19 am   #7
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

Yes I agree, very interesting.
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Old 8th Dec 2023, 5:09 pm   #8
dave walsh
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

I bought the Radar War book from a member here. It's a very interesting combined description of technical developments and also the fairly tough social/economic aspects of life in England even before the war time rationing! A very good read!

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Old 8th Dec 2023, 5:38 pm   #9
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

The Portillo Ally Pally stuff was very good I thought, enlightening.
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Old 8th Dec 2023, 6:04 pm   #10
dave walsh
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

Yes your right Steve. The Portillo series programs will be an invaluable archive in the future. They are now! Re the Microwave, I've just noticed that "Magnetron" is the very first reference in the "Ubiquitous Tron " thread that garnered so very many interesting responses!

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Old 12th Dec 2023, 3:22 pm   #11
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

The comment re Ally Pally and a G R Journey [S11 Ep 11/15] was just an "attachment" [same day] As Steve said, though, it was quite informative!
The Hanah Fry Microwave story did cover Radar as I said!

This Mondays GRJ episode, Witham to Felexstowe [S11 13/15] didn't flag anything up in the Radio Times but there was a trip to Bawdsey Manor and a description of the pioneering work carried out in 1936, including the building of four enormous Transmission Masts, by Watson Watt! This was a precursor to Radar and the Manor become a part of the Chain Home defence system when the War started! It's all very "reflective" [pun intended] of the "Winning The Radar War" book.

I'm now wondering how many other Radio, Radar and TV "nuggets" there are buried in the GRJ series? [all 11 of them!]. It might be worth a thread or as a "Sticky".

Dave W

Another type of Vintage. On Monday Michael Portillo also met a couple who were evacuated to England during the Spanish Civil War. He has more than just a national connection with them. Quite moving!

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Old 14th Dec 2023, 10:16 pm   #12
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

Episode 6: The Lift.

Proving again that Douglas Adams could see the future: lifts going sideways.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgpjJfJdsQY
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Old 15th Dec 2023, 12:14 am   #13
dave walsh
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

Ah yes Dr S! You can see the future in his work. Dennis Potter predicted floating Uber Taxi's and a future world not unlike the present [see Karaoke and Cold Lazarus]. Google Earth has already set up most of the road transport "maps" Hanah Fry has a great approach to presentation that both simplifies and entertains. Why were the Victorians so creative I often wonder? Or were they just prepared to take more risks?

Back to Radar-the Guardian [Weds 13/12] mentioned a second world war radar station, among other properties on the heritage list.It's at craster in Northumberland [Grade II]. Historic England said that it for radar stations, such as this, to remain intact. Built in 1941 "it was one of a Chain of radar stations along the coast" and "a physical reminder of wartime fears".

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Old 15th Dec 2023, 1:18 am   #14
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Default Re: Secret Genius of Modern Life BBC2 4/6

I came across this programme by accident. Very interesting and enjoyable.
Use to repair microwave ovens in the 1980’s but this is the first time I have seen inside a magnetron
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