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In recording technical and historical events is not without pitfalls, the personal interpretation of ones experience, colours the memory, but can provide a location in the time-line of events.
In support of hearsay, printed facts are gleaned through publications and information sourced and researched, from our local Jersey Evening Post, and other authored publications covering a wide and now historical subject.
A gallery of images are placed within this document, to help identify written material; these are not
all high quality images, some are photocopies thus, of poor quality.
These pages "first written in 2002" are my perspective on Jersey, and its electronics industry directly as an engineer, for twenty seven years: "in this up date 2008, a revision of where we are since 2002 has been made". Thus, the lost era in the Radio & Television Trade as it transitioned between hot valve electron technologies, to a new challenge of cold semiconductors; known as Transistors: these are born from earth's minerals and developed into the Integrated Circuit, within a brief number of years, rapid development produced the computer processor of today.
EXPLORATION OF WIRELESS
For the charm and collecting period, the Bakelite wireless predominates however, even though the wood cabinets are not so valuable, it's design has a style and appeal that in recent years to 2008, a realisation for collectors is that early wood sets, and original wireless, requires restoration and held for museums before these diminishing products are lost. Further, the collecting of Wireless and 30-Line Mechanical, or 405-Line Television receivers, even Transmission Equipments with its associated vintage, fuels the collecting bug to such a degree, some individuals form a business to indulge and explore the originality, and examples of these products; to reveal a sense of its history and enjoy the intrinsic value or quality. Through like minded individuals around the world, the "BVWS" British Vintage Wireless Society publications, or the Internet give a wider dissemination of the historical facts, and documentation.
Society has come a long way in a very short technological time, from its inception of basic physics, to the present. The period from 1922 to 1950 is considered the golden years... thus, the early 1920's to late 1930's allowed any-one, who could apply their hands and build a Do-It-Yourself Crystal, or Valve Set; usually from everyday hardware within the home. This is where the term Bread-Board Circuit had acquired its name, with nails in the bread-board, forming the wire and component connections between the parts, to produce a wireless or crystal set.
Our journey starts from the inception of England's first public Wireless Broadcast, to explore the local developments with off-Island influence that shaped Jersey's electronics industry... in addition, my personal experience of the trade and broadcasting, set between 1964 to 1991, the years of development... rounding off with an overall resume in 2008, of Jersey's technical position.
Great Britain was rather slow to adopt public Broadcasting in comparison to America, the first station to appear in 1920 was KDKA; within the next two years six hundred were operating, the explosion of Broadcasting in America became an epidemic, with further profusion by 1924 rising to fourteen hundred stations.
How much this influenced the British Establishment is uncertain, but great caution was exercised when government debated the subject of wireless broadcast, with due consideration given to the military use of wireless, through the emerging single frequencies; these were developed from the wide-band spectrum spark transmissions, where no fixed frequency could operate.
On November the 14th 1922, the station 2LO with a transmitter loaned and operated by the Marconi Company, commenced Broadcasting from the London area; during the next five years procedures were documented, and signal reception reports conducted: the overall aim was to make ready for a public wireless service, and within the first year of transmissions a week prior to December, the company appointed a General Manager and Three Official Staff thus, within four years they galvanised the company into a Broadcasting Organisation.
This become the BBC, with an official act of transference occurring on the 1st January 1927, without any noticeable change from the listening public however; the emphasis was now placed for considerable nation-wide transmitter expansion, across the United Kingdom.
Channel Islands were able to receive the London BBC transmissions with some degrees of success, regularly sufficient to be regarded as requiring a Post Office Licence; in the BBC year book of 1933, Channel Island licences issued by August 1932 were 9.203, from an overall population of 93.061 thus, 10% were issued.
Transmissions from England, received in the Islands would have produced better results once the Daventary 5XX high power relay station opened; being part of the national programme alongside the smaller regional transmitters, that were in current operation. Expanding to the North and moving South, the network of new stations occurred between 1923 to 1924, creating within England eleven stations in total.
Individuals with a desire to receive early 1922 transmissions, would have had many nights of vague signal reception particularly on Crystal Sets: the design is very simple having only four primary component's... it is a passive receiver, relying on carrier-wave rectification of transmission signals, to recover the speech or music into the headphones. Primary is the Crystal detector, Coil, Tuning capacitor, and Headphones.
The crystal used was Gallium mineral, and held within a metal clamp forming one electrode connection; the second formed a point of contact with a spring wire, commonly called the "Cats - Whisker" onto the surface area of the Gallium. By physical random adjustment one caused a diode action e.g. rectification detection.
This allows all positive carrier-wave + ~ cycles, of the transmission to be removed, leaving only the reclaimed audio sounds... the process is called demodulation; a very small electrical voltage remains equal to the varying amplitude of the audio sound, as it energises the headphones; having a minimum coil resistance of 2000 Ohms. A station can usually be received with much fiddling of the Cat Whisker, and consequent sudden thrill, to hear a faint programme emerge.
REDIFFUSION JERSEY LIMITED
La Pouquelaye, St Helier
Jersey CI Tel. 0534 30321
A Recollection of Jersey's Radio & Television Industry 1922 - 2002 By Brian M. Lucas
"Brian Lucas wrote a history of the Radio-TV industry in Jersey, while his memory was still fresh so it could be given to Jersey's local heritage archives.
This is Brian's personal history aimed mainly at the activity and development local radio and television trade on the island."