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Old 18th Nov 2020, 2:00 pm   #1
saddlestone-man
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Default Licence needed for Crystal Sets

Hello All

The attached advert from Meccano Magazine for July 1923 shows that different licences were needed for the two types of crystal set that Meccano was selling.

Why did the RS1 need a license from any Post Office, whereas the RS2 needed a Postmaster General license, which presumably was harder to get?

best regards ... Stef
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Old 18th Nov 2020, 3:50 pm   #2
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Default Re: License needed for Crystal Sets

The difference may be that one is a kit and the other ready made.
Zero to 1000m is a little exaggerated by modern standards, but this was early days and there was more than a little quackery in advertising then and for a long time after.
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Old 18th Nov 2020, 4:14 pm   #3
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Default Re: License needed for Crystal Sets

The kit one was probably an experimental licence, it seems that any radio that wasn’t complete required this type of licence. Lots of uncertainty about licences in the 1920’s lots of references to them.
23rd Dec 1922 page 394 WW.
https://worldradiohistory.com/UK/Wir...ld-1922-12.pdf
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Old 18th Nov 2020, 4:27 pm   #4
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Default Re: License needed for Crystal Sets

Quote:
Originally Posted by AC/HL View Post
there was more than a little quackery in advertising then and for a long time after.
... and as much as the advertisers can get away with these days without falling foul of advertising standards!
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Old 18th Nov 2020, 5:45 pm   #5
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Default Re: License needed for Crystal Sets

Many thanks Frank for the reference to WW. It would seem that the fear was that any home-built radio would oscillate and cause interference, hence the need for the more sophisticated license.

As we know once regeneration can cause interference whether the radio was home built or not.
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Old 18th Nov 2020, 5:56 pm   #6
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Default Re: License needed for Crystal Sets

There's quite a bit in "The Setmakers" about the difference between "receiving" and 'experimenter' licences and their timescales; in particular, was buying and assembling a kit [some of which were sold almost-completed, so you only just had to do a few bits yourself] really 'experimentation' or just a cunning way to escape paying the full licence-fee that would be required if you had bought a complete receiver?
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Old 18th Nov 2020, 7:59 pm   #7
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Default Re: License needed for Crystal Sets

Seems from the ad that both types of GPO licence cost the same (10/-). The set for experimental use doesn't seem to need the additional compulsory broadcasting fee (7/6d).

The ads in the WW article are fascinating!

Last edited by emeritus; 18th Nov 2020 at 8:00 pm. Reason: Typos
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 10:43 am   #8
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Default Re: License needed for Crystal Sets

Constructional details of the Meccano crystal set are shown in the June 1923 issue of MM.

The tuning capacitor design is clever.
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 11:31 am   #9
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Default Re: License needed for Crystal Sets

Unless early Meccano was unpainted a fair amount of damage to finish would have been required for reliable operation
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 12:01 pm   #10
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Default Re: License needed for Crystal Sets

That's a good point. That style of triangular plate was introduced in 1921 with nickel plating. In fact all the Meccano parts were nickel plated at that time.

The first painted (red) version didn't appear until 1926, the start of "The New Meccano" red/green era.

If anyone is interested in the detailed history of various Meccano parts, see:
http://www.nzmeccano.com/Parts.php
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Old 11th Dec 2020, 2:32 pm   #11
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Default Re: Licence needed for Crystal Sets

Further to the licensing question, Modern Wireless for February 1923 reproduces the Experimental license.

This makes it clear that the license gives 'Authority for Receiving', allowing the license holder to experiment in receiver techniques, for which the applicant has to specify 'the nature and object of the experiments'.

So how did amateurs get authority to transmit, both before and after the creation of the BBC in October 1922.

best regards ... Stef
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Old 11th Dec 2020, 4:17 pm   #12
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Default Re: Licence needed for Crystal Sets

Look up "Artificial Aerial licence". You'll find out more about transmitting, and likely have a good laugh.

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Old 12th Dec 2020, 2:07 am   #13
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Default Re: Licence needed for Crystal Sets

Wireless licences were introduced at the end of 1904. I have a facsimilie edition of the volume of "The Model Engineer and Electrician" for the second half of 1904 where this is mentioned several times, including letters from the Postmaster-General, as its implications were clarified. One thing the licence seems to have killed off at birth was Bassett-Lowke's experimental radio transmitter and receiver set which the ME had given a good review of.
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Old 12th Dec 2020, 9:51 am   #14
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Default Re: Licence needed for Crystal Sets

Many thanks for that reference. I'll take a look.

best regards ... Stef
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