History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Biographies/Donald Brader Knock/Notes

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Donald Brader Knock - Transcriptions and notes[edit | edit source]

Key article copies[edit | edit source]

Brief Autobiography 1946 - Donald Brader Knock[edit | edit source]

Brief autobiographical summary in May 1946 issue of Australasian Radio World:

HAS been an active Ham for no less than 35 years, getting first insight into early day amateur radio in Colchester, England, in 1911. Can justly lay claim to be an "Old Timer" in radio. Born in Manchester, England, 1898. Started life as engineer apprentice and by 1916 was on active service World War I with R.N.A.S., serving in Middle East and Russia. Later served two years afloat as marine engineer with P. and O. Co. In radio trade in England with Sterling (now Marconiphone) Co., Burndept Co., and later engineer with BBC. Operated Ham station from London, G6XG, and was first G to QSO U.S.A. with low power (5 watts) on "95 metres" in 1924. In 1926 began to feel cramped in G. B. and came to Australia. Held position of C/Engr. with original Amplion Co., Sydney, in 1927, then Technical Editor of "Wireless Weekly" and "Radio in Australia and N.Z." Had established station A2NO shortly after settling in Sydney and this call sign quickly became known everywhere where there were Hams. Established radio stations at Wyndham, Nth. West Aust., for W.A. Government in 1930. Operated Ham station VK6NK from Wyndham and figured in radio rescue of stranded fliers Smith and Shiers. In 1931 designed and installed N.S.W. Country B/C station 2MO Gunnedah, but with radio journalism in blood returned to Sydney to become technical editor "Radio Monthly." During this period did considerable VHF work, some in conjunction with N.S.W. Police Dept. 1933 joined staff of Sydney "Bulletin" as editor "Australian Radio News" and in 1934 became Radio Editor of "The Bulletin." In between Ham activities held commission in Militia Sigs, and when September, ’39, struck went in to camp, as Lieutenant. Finished military service as Major, A.I.F. (Army Inspection) when obtained release from Army April, 1945, and placed on Reserve of Officers. Joined Philips organisation in June, 1945, and now engaged under Chief Engineer S. O. Jones on special developmental work.

Detailed Autobiography 1937 - Donald Brader Knock[edit | edit source]

Over 9 issues of Australasian Radio World from May 1937 to January 1938, Knock published a detailed autobiography focused on his amateur radio and broadcasting activities:

1937 05[edit | edit source]

25 Years In Amateur Radio (1)

In this biographical review of the growth of radio, the author takes readers back over twenty-five years, to the time when to every radio enthusiast a slider-tuned crystal set represented the last word in receiving equipment. By DON. B. KNOCK (VK2NO) (Radio Editor "The Bulletin")

IN a recent "Radio World" issue "W.J.P." says that the old timers are reticent; ageing oysters in their barnacle-encrusted shells, or words to that effect. Probably the old timer who has lived with, by, and for radio for a literal lifetime is inclined to become blase, but that doesn't mean to say, if he is a genuine "matured in the bottle" ham, that he has lost interest - far from it.

Admittedly some old timers have given up the game, but careful enquiry will reveal that it is always by force of circumstances; for business and other reasons, and after all the shiny metal that makes the world go round and feeds the junior Op. really must come first.

I suppose I can class myself as one of the very fortunate old timers of radio in that I have been able to keep myself lined up alongside it, with a few unavoidable digressions, ever since I introduced myself to the art. Circumstances again? Maybe, to some extent, but if a man sets his heart on something, he can usually find ways and means of keeping next to the thing he likes best. Which is one way of saying to the newcomer to radio.- "If you like it well enough, stick to it by hook or by crook. If you try hard enough and work hard enough, you can do just as well as the next man."

Radio is only a baby yet, and the world is only on the fringe of discovery. Supposing for instance there occurs some enormous cosmic upheaval in the near future. How do we know that by some agency the whole scheme of radio communication may not be reversed? By some freak of the universe, long waves may become "quasioptical" and the ultra-shorts may show entirely different reflective properties. Fantastic? Maybe, but nothing is impossible. Therefore a profound interest in ultra-short-wave experimentation might prove very useful some day.

First Radio Crystal Set. My experiences in radio go back to the adolescent period, when at the tender age of eleven, as a schoolboy in my Lancashire home town, I was attracted by an article in a boy's paper showing how to construct "The Boy's Own Wireless." It seemed simple. A wooden rolling pin (coaxed from the household kitchen), a piece of iron pyrites (from the school lab.), some bell wire and an ear piece, plus a condenser made from glass plates and foil from chocolate boxes, etc., constituted the parts.

Where the headphone came from I cannot recollect, but l do know that I sat for hours, weeks, and months with that old Bell telephone receiver fastened to my head, and an imposing looking twin spreader aerial of some kind fastened to the chimney, without hearing a sound – not even a crackle when lightning was around! And no wonder. The ear piece was of the 60-ohm variety, the detector was about as useful as a piece of cheese and a penknife, and the single slide tuning coil was a hit or miss affair.

This, be it understood, was in 1910-1911, when crystal detectors of any kind were a new development, and the magnetic and electrolytic detectors held full sway for commercial work.

A year went by, and interest flagged a little. Then providence intervened. Away on holiday in the South of England with the family, this small boy met a much older one who was no less than a wireless expert and an electrical engineer apprentice. An invitation to see his "den" followed.

First sight to gladden the eyes was a massive white painted mast in a garden, with a veritable maze of guys and insulated wires. Explanation revealed that this was an "umbrella" aerial. Inside the "shack" the amount of wonderful apparatus was breath-taking. Huge drain-pipe tuning coils wound with shiny black wire reached nearly to the ceiling. Bright copper helixes glittered entrancingly; and knobs and big glass plate condensers were everywhere. To top it all off, an intriguing rotary arrangement in a corner sporting a number of projections on the big disc introduced itself as a synchronous gap.

First Signal Heard From Eiffel Tower. While I looked and marvelled my new-found mentor put a pair of dinky little headphones over my ears, and looking at a clock said, "Now three minutes to eight. At 8 p.m. you will hear FL start sending his press."

As the city town hall clock boomed away on the last stroke, I heard what was to me the most beautiful sound I ever recall, my first radio signal. It was the old Eiffel Tower in Paris with his peculiar bugle note, blaring out the evening press.

And how that signal came through! Knobs were shifted a little, handles moving tuning condensers of the inter-leaved glass plate variety were jiggled a bit, and tuning coil sliders were adjusted, until the signal sounded very strong – about R6 in present day rating.

I saw, looked, and listened, and the radio bug bit deeper and deeper. It culminated in a still bigger thrill in the form of a raucous bellowing signal which was described to me as being from another amateur across the town.

Then this god-like person pulled switches, the rotary gap sprang into life, and I jumped with apprehension as the blue flame bit around the disc point with a deafening crescendo of morse code as he "went after" that other fellow.

That settled it. Whatever passing interest I had had in that futile boyish effort of a year previous was enhanced a thousandfold. I determined to be a wireless amateur by fair means or foul. After describing my poor efforts, I was presented with a nice sparkly piece of carborundum, an old but good pair of high resistance Sullivan phones, and a few odds and ends. That boy I had visited became in later years one of the Marconi Company's most prominent engineers.

Returning north, I proceeded to make the house unbearable with the smell of melting paraffin wax and shellac varnish, and conceived a weird and wonderful array of gear with the pretensions of a "wireless." I had no idea of wavelengths; I couldn't read morse more than about three words per, but I had plenty of confidence. Months went by again, and nothing happened, but presto – when thunderstorms abounded, I could distinctly hear the lightning flashes, and that was something at least!

Success At Last. And then, on a Sunday morning at 11 a.m., the unexpected happened. After moving sliders up and down along the 6-inch diameter coil with its miles of enamelled wire, and juggling around with the pressure of a steel point on the carborundum, the gods suddenly smiled. It was the old Eiffel Tower at last – I could recognise that spluttering note so well engraved upon my memory. Dashing up from the table to run downstairs and call the family to hear the miracle, I forgot, alas, that I still wore the headphones. With a clatter the small table came over and everything with it, and the entire family came running upstairs to see if I had been electrocuted or something. The parental scorn was withering, and believe it or not I couldn't for the life of me find those adjustments again in a hurry.

Meanwhile FL had finished his morning time signals, for such they were, and silence reigned supreme. It was the next week-end before I put things where I thought they had been, and sure enough, there were those dashes and ticks again. This time, the phones were laid gingerly aside and my victory over former scorn was complete.

With bated breath the detector was covered with a glass jam-jar and attention confined to moving sliders. Gradually I became aware of other sounds, buzzing high pitched whines, deep throaty roars, harsh scratchy sputtering. Although I didn't know it then, these were ships along the coast on the 600 metre range.

The Next Step. Gradually things got better and I studied and thought about the morse code. It lived with me, and I began to master it. Soon I could identify the call-sign of one of those stations, the most outstanding. It was GLV, the Liverpool coastal station. Then followed the realisation of the call-letters of the station GLV would be calling. In a year or so I could even identify prominent ships by the characteristic sound of the spark.

Meanwhile the multi-wire spreader aerial over the house was the subject of much comment and an object of wonder. It increased in size; so did the loading coils in my room, and then I was blessed with the achievement of being able to copy that old station of stations, Poldhu (MPD) in Cornwall. It was later when the war came, that an amateur wrote in the old "Wireless World" a poem that began with "Alas Poldhu, gone is thy blaring bugle note," for then the Post Office people descended and dismantled all amateur stations. But that is a story I will include in the next instalment of this biography.

Photo - 2NO in 1912[edit | edit source]

The author in 1912 – a schoolboy fired by the romance of radio communication.

Photo - 2NO at 16yo[edit | edit source]

VK2NO at 16 – "the guv'nor thought wireless a new-fangled contraption, and so I had to carry on as an engineer's apprentice."

Photo - Car radio in 1916[edit | edit source]

The latest in car radio – in 1916. During the war radio engineers spent much time developing mobile wireless equipment for use behind the lines, and this photograph shows an experimental radio-equipped car.

1937 06[edit | edit source]

25 Years In Amateur Radio . . . . (2)

The second instalment of a biography covering the early days of radio, and written for the "Radio World" by DON B. KNOCK (VK2NO) Radio Editor "The Bulletin."

BY this time, with signals audible, the urge came along to make them better and still better, and thus the writer started on the business of aerial experimentation. The idea of aerial improvement has been, and still is, his primary consideration through the years.

I had read all about Marconi and his reception across the Atlantic not many years previously by means of long wires supported by kites. Why not fly a kite and try the effect? No sooner thought of than it was in process of undertaking. By this time I had acquired two kindred spirits — fellow schoolmates — and had imbued them with some of my own enthusiasm.

A portable receiver of a kind was made up, and a massive kite built laboriously from bamboo and silk. From somewhere a few hundred feet of phosphor-bronze telephone wire was obtained, and things began to move.

Adjacent to the old home was a large-sized cricket-field in which we boys were wont to disport ourselves without arousing the undue ire of the committee. At least, we respected the pitch! This field was chosen for the trial, and on a very windy day, five or six boys could be seen struggling to hold the kite in restraint while bricks were attached as a tail.

Up she went with a rush, hands being cut and burnt as the wire whipped out. A concerted dive with handkerchief-wrapped fingers, and the wire was finally secured by winding it around a staunch wooden post, leaving the kite soaring placidly in the sky with several hundred feet of "aerial" reaching down to earth.

I busied myself with preliminary detector adjustments, and when all was considered ready, asked a friend to hand me the end of the wire hanging from the post, and dangling about two feet above earth. He reached for it, and what followed was a distinct surprise to us, and a very nasty one for the victim. A blue spark leapt out as his hand neared the wire, jumping about three inches in the process. Boylike, the assailed one retreated in fear, and no-one was game to go near that wire.

Static Electricity The Cause. What had happened was a natural sequence of events. A dry windy day, and the kite well up in the sky just under scudding clouds resulted in the accumulation of a hefty static charge on the aerial, which was insulated from earth by the wooden post. Ideas of connecting that aerial to the receiver were dismissed forthwith.

But how to get the kite down with out further shocks? Simple, really, if we had had the sense to throw a bare wire over the aerial and to let it touch earth, but nobody thought of it!

Picking up a chunk of stone, one of the party dashed it at the aerial wire near the post, and it parted with a twang. Away went our kite, propelled by a stiff wind, trailing about half a mile of twisting, snaking wire. It careered on over that field, reached the heart of the town, and caught up sacreligiously on the tower of the parish church.

En route the trailing wire crossed the overhead tramway cables, and sparks flew and wire melted. We didn't see that, but we heard about it afterwards through our respective parents in forceful terms. After that, kite aerials were OUT, and I have since thought how near we might have come to emulating Franklin, and meeting with tragedy, if a sufficiently strong static charge had lined up in that elevated aerial.

Getting On The Air. Experiments from then on were confined to home, and the idea of transmission began to arise. A license? — nobody ever thought about such things in those days. They were merely a formal matter. Application was made, and permission given gratis forthwith by the Post Office in encouragement of the new wireless art. A callsign with an "X" somewhere in it was issued. Prefixes were unknown, as the very idea of amateur international working was not even thought of at the time.

Anyway, with much labour and perspiration, an induction coil was constructed with a few miles of fine silk-covered wire, and behold, it gave a nice crackling spark when energised from a six-volt accumulator. With glass plate condensers the spark was fattened up nicely, a helix was constructed, a hand-key made, and the week-end afternoons and nights were rendered hideous for the household by the fitful crashing and singing across the gap as I and another boy a mile distant tried to work with each other. We did too, and thereby improved our morse knowledge considerably.

In time, we found that by using a simple buzzer connected to the aerials, we could work equally well over the distance. Heaven alone knows what the wavelengths were, for the signal from both ends was so broad as to have no noticeable peak, but it was wireless communication, and that was the main thing.

Time progressed, and in due course I became apprenticed as a mechanical engineer in a local steel-works. In between learning my trade, I must confess to having done several "nix" jobs for myself when the "gaffer" wasn't looking, and all those jobs were something or other for my wireless outfit.

Parental ruling said that I was going to be an engineer whether I liked it or not, and that there couldn't be any future for "this new fangled wireless." And so I tackled both jobs, with, unfortunately for my desires, wireless only as a hobby. Visions of walking the deck as a gold braided wireless operator at sea had been uppermost, but the "guvnor" was adamant. No wireless school for me.

Time went on, and in between learning to become a good fitter of steam engines and motor lorries, all kinds of wireless gadgets were constructed, with varying success. Then came the war, and things happened. A Post Office official arrived on the scene, sealed in boxes everything down to the last bit of tinfoil, took down my pride — the big white pole in the garden — and departed after handing me a receipt and instructions regarding the dire penalties of working wireless apparatus forthwith.

A year went by, and I must confess to having run the risk of being interned as a spy by getting together more gear; scrounged, it is true, from a marine friend. Indoor aerials were erected in all shapes and forms, but such was the insensitivity of my home-made detectors and gear that silence predominated.

Telephone Line As Aerial. However, it so happened that the next door house had a disused telephone circuit. A long wire led from a telephone pole across the road to an insulator on the side of that house, the wire terminating there. An idea was born. In the dead of night the fence was scaled and a thin insulated wire run around the walls into my den.

I wasn't game to risk transmission, but I had a great deal of enjoyment in copying the war bulletins from old "FL" and listening to the medley of activity among shipping. That aerial was miles long, and brought signals in galore!

1916 came along, and old school friends and older apprentices had gone into various services. Being big for my age I felt that I could do my bit also, and the climax came when a scornful flapper handed me a white feather as an intimation that I ought to be in uniform. Under the Munitions Act I was exempt from active service as a skilled worker, but that meant nothing to romantic ideas of adventure. So one day, an apprentice didn't clock in, and a naval recruiting petty officer had enrolled a mechanic for the Royal Naval Air Service, ostensibly 18 years old, but actually quite a bit younger.

The news was broken to the family, and before I realised I found myself in the old Crystal Palace in London, with a lot of other fellows, old and young, ready to take what was before us. Had I had time to think, I might have enrolled in the wireless section, but mechanical engineers were wanted for aero engines, and so I took the plunge in that direction. Anything before my late employers had time to find out where I was and bring me back, as under age!

It was a wet morning, and I had arrived at the Palace in sports coat and flannels. Inside, a roll was called, and a petty officer marched us up and down for two hours until the steam rose in clouds from us sorry, bedraggled recruits. Then we were handed eating utensils and were fed and re-heartened. Next, an important-looking fellow handed me a broom, with the order to "get busy and sweep this store out clean." Having heard all about naval discipline, I sprang to it and got the job over. This had a sequel three weeks afterwards, as I will relate later.

Photo of 2NO in 1918[edit | edit source]

The author at the door of the armament "workshop" (an aeroplane packing case) at Stavros, Macedonia, in 1918.

1937 07[edit | edit source]

25 Years In Amateur Radio . . (3)

Some interesting war-time radio experiences are related in this instalment of a biography dealing with radio in the early days, written for the "Radio World" By DON. B. KNOCK (VK2NO) (Radio Editor "The Bulletin")

THREE weeks were spent in passing trade tests, being graded in rank, and being "kitted." The trade tests weren't easy, even though men were at a premium. Those examining naval officers knew what they wanted, and got it.

I was handed a lump of mild steel, given a few old files and a hacksaw, and told to duplicate by hand the lock of a Vickers machine-gun. It finally emerged by dint of hard work, and don't forget that one can take off in filing, but can't put on! The micrometer was put over the work, and according to accuracy men were graded. I got through with the rating of air mechanic, 1st class.

Some disciplinary training followed, and the usual working parties, and one day I found myself detailed to take charge of a squad of aircraftsmen for a rather unpleasant job better left out of print. In that party was the self-same man who had "ordered" me as an unknowing recruit to sweep out those stores. I got, my own back!!

From Crystal Palace a number of us left for training, and we were drafted to Cranwell aerodrome (now the Sandhurst of the R.A.F.). As we approached that huge training school by tender from the nearby railway station, we were interested to note in the distance a semi-rigid airship rising rapidly, but apparently out of control. Three objects which we took to be sandbags dropped from it at around 2,000 feet.

On arrival we found that these were no sandbags. The ship had broken away from the mooring party and tore herself aloft with three men clinging to mooring ropes. They had no chance. One man was left on board, and the ship eventually came to earth safely 10 miles distant. Such was my welcome to my first training school.

Followed two hard months of disciplinary training; up and down the hard parade square with rifles. At the end of that time we were the picture of health and burnt brown in the heat of that unusually hot English summer.

Tests With 'Plane Radio. One day, off duty, I wandered around, and from the door of a hut near a hangar heard a familiar sound. It was a rotary gap! I peered in, and the important man inside deigned to explain that they were working with "that RE8 up there."

When the machine landed I got my first look at an aeroplane's wireless gear —a one-inch Sterling spark coil, helix, and carborundum crystal receiver. It worked over about 10 miles, and that was O.K. for artillery spotting and other purposes. I made closer contact with one of these 'plane spark installations a year or so later in an unexpected manner, as will be related.

With naval discipline well under the skin, the serious business of making us useful mechanics began, and then came a shock. A parade was called, and every alternate man ordered to take a pace forward. I was one, and then we were told that forthwith we were to be sent to Eastchurch (Isle of Sheppey) for training as armourer mechanics. Armourers! The most dangerous and least liked job of the service!

However, there was no alternative, and in due course Eastchurch was reached, and wireless seemed to slip farther and farther away. Guns, bombs, bomb-sights, gun-timing mechanisms firing through propellers; all these and more were firmly ingrained into our very characters.

An Exam. In Bomb Loading. Came the "pass-out" day, dreaded by all, and for a good reason. Hitherto we had worked only on dummy bombs; going through the motions of arming with exploders and detonators. The final examination for this part of the training consisted of wheeling a live 65-pounder on a rubber-tyred trolley hundreds of yards away from the class in the open, loading it, and bringing back to the instructor for inspection.

The idea was obvious; if a chap made a slip, he only blew himself up! We all got through.

It was at Eastchurch I got my first taste of war, when one night a German Gotha squadron roared in over the coast, headed for London, and "archies" opened up. There was a sinking feeling as one realised that up there those fellows were carrying the same kind of "toys" we were now used to handling. Familiarity breeds contempt, and after a few weeks of this, most fellows would stay under the warm blankets, come what may.

On several occasions "pills" were dropped at us as the raiders returned from London. My closest shave at this period was being blown out of bed in the port of Sheerness when on leave, when a bomb wrecked half the street.

In order to become familiar with other aspects of naval armoury training, a number of us was selected for a course at the Senior Gunnery School at Whale Island, Portsmouth. There we met up with the really rigid naval discipline, and felt proud of being counted in as "dinkum" naval ratings.

An Aerial Disaster. It was here that I witnessed a historic occurrence. One mid-day, when leaving the mess en route to class, a 'plane was observed to fly out of a cloud near-by. Before it was realised what was happening, he crashed headlong into one of the 350-feet lattice towers of the Horsea Naval Wireless Station (BYC). The rotary engine bored into the tower, and the portion above bent over alarmingly with the weight of the huge aerials.

The pilot was thrown out of his seat, unconscious, and fell on the upturned top wing. Only his arm crooked around a strut saved him from sliding off. Two A.B.'s climbed that huge tower with ropes, slung the pilot in a bosun's chair, and lowered him to earth. They were justly decorated.

By a coincidence, that pilot was later on my commanding officer in Russia. The makers of that tower, when broadcasting commenced years after the war, used the photo of that crash in advertisements as proof of the great strength of their design of aerial support. It was well founded, too, for that was a wooden and not a metal lattice tower.

The special course finished, we were returned to Eastchurch, and then came the time for foreign draft. Mudros was the place I was picked for. The place had an unsavoury name in the service, but events turned out for the best, as will be seen.

On the appointed date, the draft lined up on Waterloo station, London, with all active service kit. Roll was called, and when competed it was found that seven of us were left apart with no names called. The C.P.O. in charge scratched his head, said there must have been some mistake and that we couldn't go. Wroth at having to be parted from our pals, we protested, but the C.P.O. pointed out that we would be wise to keep our mouths shut, as it was only a few days to Xmas. The upshot was that we reported to Wormwood Scrubs airship station and were blessed with leave home for a few days.

It transpired that our original draft never reached Lemnos. A day out from the Pireaus in the Aegean Sea the troop transport was torpedoed and there were only one or two survivors.

A Visit To An Old Friend. On the next draft I had the fortune to spend three weeks at Malta, after having travelled through France and Italy by train, and our quarters were slap alongside the great Rinella wireless station (BYY), a station I had often listened to on my long telephone wire aerial at home, around 2,500 metres. I got the "open sesame" from an operator and revelled in looking at the huge air-cooled gaps and massive inductances.

At night, in my quarters, I spent hours listening to that roaring spark slamming out its traffic to ships in the Mediterranean. It was all in wartime code, of course, but I got a lot of practice in keeping up my Morse by writing it down.

Some nights I had the (then) proud job of doing sentry duty around the station. My job was still nothing to do with wireless, but this station at least brought a breath of the near past. After the worst sea passage in my experience, I at last saw Mudros on a grey dawn — that place where not so long before Anzacs had camped and many were buried. I saw in the cemetery the graves of older school-fellows who had gone west in the Gallipoli campaign.

Mudros harbour, on the island of Lemnos, was now a Royal Naval Air Service base for activities against the Turk and Bulgar. It was a hotbed of sand-fly fever and other ailments to which we all eventually fell victim. It was a casual war here at this time, and the safeguarding of health was a major problem.

Further Shift To Stavros. After a month or two I was drafted to Stavros, a little harbour on the Macedonian coast, not far from the mouth of the River Struma, on the other side of which were the Bulgarian trenches and gun emplacements. There was a fair amount of action, but in a chivalrous sort of way so far as air opponents were concerned. I got my share and lived to see the beginning of the end of the war here, when the Bulgars retreated in rout before the British and French armies.

It was at Stavros I met my first wireless valve, previously only read about as a development far surpassing the crystal detector. Our wireless station found me a constant visitor in spare hours, and I would sit entranced with headphones, listening to the powerful Telefunken signals from the German warship "Goeben" up in Constantinople harbour, and all kinds of signals. Again my Morse got a chance, but it was to be some time before I got a chance to use it as a wireless amateur again.

Photo of 2NO in 1917[edit | edit source]

Familiarity breeds contempt! The author loading a 65-pound aircraft bomb during the last year of the War.

Photo of 2NO in WW1[edit | edit source]

From amateur wireless to high explosive. The author (with pipe) and some of his "toys" during the War.

1937 08[edit | edit source]

25 Years In Amateur Radio . . . (4)

The fourth instalment of a biography dealing with radio in the early days, written for the "Radio World" by DON B. KNOCK, Radio Editor, "The Bulletin."

MUCH could be told of both unpleasant and congenial war experiences, but as they would occupy a volume, it is sufficient to say here that from the Bulgarian theatre of war we returned to Mudros, and carried on with the bombing of Constantinople.

It was during these operations that I had a very near shave in connection with an aerial. Two of we armourers were preparing a DH9 with 6.5-pound "pills" under the wings and a 230-pounder under the fuselage. Seated on the ground with my back to the tail, and with another fellow lifting the nose of the bomb, I almost had it in position in the frame when things happened.

Just behind my neck dangled the lead weight of the wireless aerial from the observer's cockpit. A W/T mechanic proceeded to test the gear, and pressed the key. A biting, excruciating spark hit me in the neck, and both of us handling that bomb got the full benefit. When we had recovered sufficiently to realise that we were still part and parcel of this world, we chased that W /T man in anger out of the cockpit.

Beyond a few bruises on the legs and cuts on the hands where the heavy bomb had dropped on us, no damage was done, but how easily it might have been otherwise! A solid spark from detonator to bomb casing would have been all necessary, but fortunately most of the spark discharge went to earth through our bodies.

Experiences in South Russia. When Johnny Turk threw in the towel, we kicked our heels for a few weeks in anticipation of England, home, and beauty. That wasn't to come for another year, for the squadron was suddenly re-formed, and in short order I found myself willy-nilly in Southern Russia as a cog in the wheel of the Caspian "police force," ostensibly to protect British interests against the revolutionary onslaught. Here I made closer contact with the wireless section again, and have vivid memories of the work done by our little quarter K.W. spark outfit with Douglas engine and rotary gap.

Outside the port of Petrovsk, where we were stationed, stood a massive wireless tower and the buildings of a Russian station. In a previous retreat before Denikin's white armies, the revolutionaries had completely destroyed what had been an excellent telefunken station of the 5 K.W. variety. Nothing could be used. Even the winch at the base of the tower had been wrecked, the cables released, and the foundations on one side dynamited. It was too tough a job to attempt re-construction under circumstances of swift action, and so our own 80-foot masts were erected, and an aeroplane packing case used for a "shack."

"Souvenired" Radio Gear. Much happened in that year, and in the end swift evacuation was imperative. The revolutionaries were sweeping all before them, and it was a case of "get out quick or take the consequences." British armed intervention in Russia came to an end. There was only time to remove a little equipment – most of it was destroyed. With all the instinct of a "ham," however, I scrounged a nice pair of Ericsson high resistance headphones and some useful gadgets, stowed them at the bottom of my kit, and in due course these treasures reached England safely with me (despite kit inspections).

It was as an older young man that I left London for home, once again a civilian, and wondering what to do in future. Like most returned men, I possessed a neat war gratuity, and after a hectic week or two of celebration with old service pals, my thoughts turned to a motor cycle and, of course – wireless.

The old London Wireless Society was formed; the P.M.G. lifted the ban on amateur wireless, and clubs began to spring up all over England. I became a foundation member of the Southport (Lancashire) Wireless Experimental Society, met kindred spirits, and "ham" radio started in earnest.

Valves Selling At £2/10/-. With the war over, government surplus stores were selling ex-service wireless gear at ridiculous prices, and I obtained a C MK III trench amplifier for £3. This was a wonderful thing in those times, with three stages of transformer-coupled "note magnification"! The price of valves was another matter. The French R valves were the only ones available, and at what a price! They cost £2/10/- each, had greedy filaments, and lasted about six weeks before burning out.

I made up a massive loose-coupler tuner (honeycombs weren't thought of then) with a galena detector, and hitched the amplifier after them. One of the Ericcson 'phones went behind a long brass phonograph horn to make what must have been one of the first loudspeakers in England.

Melba Broadcast From Chelmsford. That year occurred the epic broadcast from Chelmsford (on 2,500 metres) of Madam Melba; and myself, family and friends listened entranced to that historic broadcast. I shudder to think of the quality of reproduction now, but wireless broadcasting of any kind was a miracle then, and the fact that anything even resembling a voice could be heard and understood was marvellous.

Then came the tests from the liner "Victorian" as she crossed the Atlantic, and after this the famous "2MT Writtle" station opened up, with a versatile announcer in charge named Eckersley. That announcer was destined a little later to become England's number 1 radio man, first Chief Engineer of the early B.B.C.

Meanwhile I had to start work, and the "guv'nor" insisted that I continue engineering. I got a job as improver-apprentice in a big Liverpool shipyard, but again wireless took up all my interest. Improving time finished, needs must that I justify myself, and before I realised it I was engineer afloat with the P. and O. Company.

My First Visit To Sydney. In 1922 I first visited Sydney as junior engineer on the Naldera. Most of my time off watch was spent in the company of "sparks," and it was while tied up at Circular Quay that I first heard old 2CM's programme (Chas. Maclurcan) on 440 metres.

Two years at sea were sufficient to prove to me that my interests lay elsewhere, and against the wishes of an angry parent, I "came ashore" and secured a position as sales representative with a large North of England motor manufacturer. Selling cars and trucks came easy to me, and I flourished, but all my spare cash went in radio.

All this time broadcasting had been getting a hold, and the wireless business was growing rapidly. From being a hobby of young men looked upon as fanatics, it had grown to an industry for which the public was clamouring. It was time to make another move, and so I joined the Sterling Telephone Company as sales engineer, moving thence to the old Burndept Co., on the servicing side.

Naturally, being employed commercially in radio, the amateur game at last came into its own, and unhampered I entered the phase of real DX, under the call-sign G6XG. The method of licensing "hams" in England is quite different to that obtaining in Australia. Firstly, an artificial (dummy) aerial licence is given, and when the experimenter is considered advanced enough, he applies for a "radiating" licence. Mere reasons of DX and suchlike are not enough. The actual technical reasons as to why the transmission licence is needed must be given.

A Transmitting Licence At Last. It took quite a long time before my well-thought-up reasons satisfied the P.M.G., and after many months of correspondence, backed up by representation from the R.S.G.B., the Department eventually succumbed. Quite a difference to pre-war affairs, but wireless was no longer a "willo'-the-wisp," and the race was on.

It was in 1924, in London, that I established my first post-war station, which ran entirely from accumulator power. The house had no electrical power, and I had to do the best I could. Around 200 metres was the order of things, and G6XG of 1924 sprouted a massive multi-wire cage "T" aerial, a ten-wire counterpoise, a single DE5 valve in a "reversed feedback" circuit, an ex-army "TVT" unit (spark coil power supply), and a three-coil receiver with "swinging coil" reaction.

I made an awful noise around London N.W.8., but I reached out. A great thrill was the working of old Finnish 2NM as my best DX on 200 metres, and Frenchmen, Belgians. and Dutchmen I worked by the score. I still have dozens of old original 200-metre QSL cards from those days, and they are among my treasured possessions.

Gradually the B.C.L.'s around my district became aware of the fact that the terrific noise all across their dials came from a "ham." A petition went in to the P.M.G. to stop me transmitting, and the Department descended in just wrath. Result – out with the spark-coil I.C.W., and in with pure C.W. The M.L. Magneto Co., of Coventry, lent me a dinky little rotary converter that gave 500 volts D.C. at 40 m.a., and then things began really to happen.

John Reinartz (then U1XAM) had launched his famous "Reinartz" receiver on an interested "ham" world, and I duplicated laboriously a faithful copy. How that receiver perked!

Getting Down To The Short Waves. Meanwhile, the famous U1MO-F8AB contact across the Atlantic on 100 metres had taken place, and "200" was relegated to the discard. All the G's got busy on 100 metres, and with the "Yanks" on 85 metres, what a great time we had. It was quite an effort to get "down" to 100, too! There was no 10-watts regulation for G's in those days, and most of the gang, Marcuse (G2NM), Partridge (G2KF), Hogg (G2SH), Simmonds (G2OD) and Goyder (G2SZ) were using power, and plenty of it, on Marconi T250's and similar valves. I had to be content with my little DE5 (similar to a 201A).

My First American Contact. Nevertheless, my puny little D.C. converter got me "across the pond" for my first American contact with U1BHM, and the high-power gang couldn't believe their ears! It had been worth lugging my heavy accumulators to the charging station a mile up the road after all, as this was the first trans-Atlantic low-power QSO. The possibilities of QRP began to be realised, and some marvellous work was done by old G5SI and G6TD with similar equipment to my own.

At this stage I recall an historic event. Listening around 85 metres at about 7 p.m. one foggy winter's night, I heard a weak but perfectly readable signal calling "lCCM de Fisk." That signal (as I heard in later years) originated from the experimental station of Mr. E. T. Fisk, at Vaucluse, in Sydney, and he was calling the Elettra, Marconi's yacht.

Z4AA Was First ZL Worked. Then came the Antipodean era! Most G's had worked with a station in Buenos Aires signing CB8, and it was considered that Australia or New Zealand couldn't be too much to hope for. Cecil Goyder, of Mill Hill school, staggered the world by working early one morning with Z4AA (Frank Bell) of Palmerston South, in New Zealand. This was on 95 metres at the English end. Goyder (now chief engineer of "All India Radio") couldn't believe that it was genuine until a cable arrived from Bell in confirmation.

What a rush! The air was filled with "T-E-S-T NZ, AUST de G – ." Then the Australians broke through. Simmonds, of G2OD, worked Max Howden (A3BQ), and Chas. Maclurcan (A2CM) appeared on the scene. The globe was encircled – there seemed little else to do. Considering the then comparatively inefficient gear of those times, this amateur work around the 100-metre mark was no small achievement.

Photo of 2NO's station in 1924[edit | edit source]

A station operated by the author in England in 1924. Undoubtedly "haywire," but a good station as they went in those days.

1937 09[edit | edit source]

25 Years In Amateur Radio . . . (5) By DON B. KNOCK Radio Editor, "The Bulletin."

In this instalment the author tells of an impulse that brought him halfway across the world to Australia, and of his early experiences in amateur radio here.

MY own fly-power gear wasn't powerful enough to reach the Antipodes, and so I teamed up with a pal, Bloxam of G5LS, and punched the key from this South London station for a while until once again, business affairs demanded a move.

From "ham" radio I graduated to the more serious side of radio transmission by securing a position with the old British Broadcasting Co. as maintenance engineer, being appointed to the Leeds-Bradford relay in Yorkshire. This relay centre fed two transmitters about 15 miles apart, from the control point and main studio in Leeds, and apart from regular station and control duties, much of the work was in connection with OB's.

I was often to be found lugging amplifiers and microphones about, to Harrogate, York, Scarborough, and various theatres. The work proved interesting, and broadcasting apparatus as used to-day brings a smile at the thought of the antiquated gear of those days.

An amusing but rather disconcerting incident occurred one day, when my duty schedule called for the day at Bradford. The transmitter there was housed on the top floor of a dilapidated warehouse, and once the engineer on duty started up at 11 a.m., he was marooned there without a break on his lonesome until midnight. A motor-cycle combination was available for transportation, but this was such a "grid" that one preferred to use the train and travel comfortably.

The Wrong Train! That morning was a murky, foggy one as I waited on the Leeds station platform for the train. It was due out at 10.25 a.m., but no train showed up until nearly 10.40 a.m. Taking a seat along with morning paper, I glanced up to note that the train was apparently making up for lost time, as, contrary to usual, she hurtled straight through Shipley junction, just outside Bradford.

Then along the corridor came a ticket collector. I handed over my Bradford ticket, whereupon the gold-braided one remarked that I "would be a h-- of a time getting there, as this was the Carlisle express!" Carlisle – non-stop – about 150 miles north, and I was due to get that transmitter radiating before 11.30!

At Skipton, north of Bradford, the express stopped to pick up two special passengers, and I nipped out. A train was just leaving for Bradford on the opposite platform, and I made it. Alas, it ambled into Bradford at 11.50 a.m., and I reached the station at almost mid-day.

All land-line indicators from control in Leeds were down, and when I got through to the Chief, his observations were sulphurous to a degree. Furthermore, an ambulance was screaming its way toward me in case I had been electrocuted. Anyway, I never did know whether Chief Engineer Eckersley in London believed the faithful report I returned regarding the fog and the train mixup, but things never seemed to be the same. Complete silence from a B.B.C. station with dealers waiting to demonstrate receivers, to say nothing of housewives missing their morning cookery chat, was akin to sacrilege!

Back To Australia. A year of broadcasting experience passed, and once again I sought a change. Radio was moving ahead quickly, but somehow the wanderlust had not worked off since war service and subsequent seafaring.

Back in the home town in Lancashire, I passed one day a shipping office. Australia loomed large on a poster, and without hesitation in I walked and booked a passage on a ship leaving London in three weeks. It was an adventurous step, inasmuch that by the time I had worked out all it would cost me, I would arrive in Sydney with a sadly depleted pocket-book.

Again I spent most of that passage "upstairs" with "Sparks." Out of odds and ends I conjured up a short-wave receiver, and we had much fun logging amateurs from everywhere. By the time I reached Sydney in April, 1926, the radio business had been through a bad slump for some reason or other. Nevertheless, through the agency of a Sydney friend I had met in London, I stepped into a job of sorts in a little wireless business in the city and began to look around.

Amateur radio naturally came up again. Many of the early Sydney amateurs were already known to me by QSL correspondence, and in short order I was invited to attend a W.I.A. meeting in the old rooms in Elizabeth Street. It was there I met a really fine bunch of fellows, simply brimming with hospitality, and in those days a "G" ham was a novelty. Here was amateur radio plus good fellowship as I had always imagined it to be.

On The Air As A2NO. After that meeting, two members approached me and asked if I intended getting on the air. Could a duck swim? These two were brothers; one was the original A2TM, Haswell Turner, and the other, Harry. The latter had no "ham" ticket, couldn't punch a key, but had a lot of apparatus and enthusiasm. The result was that I joined forces with Harry and quickly approached the P.M.G.'s Department for a licence.

After due consideration, Mr. Malone, the genial Chief Inspector of Wireless in Melbourne, granted me a special licence on the strength of my old English licence, on condition that I took the A.O.C.P. in the prescribed time. There was not much argument regarding power for Australian amateurs in those days, and in mid-1926 A2NO went into action with 250 watts at a location in Cremorne, Sydney. Since then the call 2NO has hardly ever been off the air in various locations.

That pioneer station piled up some good work. Harry did the engineering, and my job was handling the dials and key. In short order I was yarning away on 32 metres with old friends back in England, and life took on a very pleasant aspect. It was at that station that much experimentation was done with antenna systems, and soon there sprouted between the two lofty sky-sticks what was really the first "Zepp" feed antenna in this part of the world before "QST" began to deal with the idea.

Try as we would, we could never clean up the note from the Hartley transmitter, despite expenditure of much cash on filter condensers. We even made up a huge "electrolytic" with aluminium pie dishes, glass strips, and borax, and it withstood 2,000 odd volts!

It was only long afterwards that we discovered the reason for that bad note, which sounded something like tearing silk, but reached all over the world. The high voltage transformer stood hard up against the "shack" wall, which carried a shelf holding the transmitter, with large diameter copper tube coils on glass rods.

It was a massive ex-navy transformer, and it had loose laminations that chattered. The vibration was carried up the wall to the tank circuit, and as the coils merely rested on the glass tubes, they shimmied slightly, but quite enough to modulate the signal almost as if raw A.C. were applied to the plates of the old T250's. If we had only rested that transformer on shock-absorbing material away from the wall, the note would have been at least smooth R.A.C.

Two Years Of Key Punching. That year and 1927 I seldom slept. The DX bug bit hard, and the week-ends particularly would find me glued to the operating table, hardly deigning to look up for a cup of tea. Lasting world-wide friendships were made, and there was always keen competition between A2TM, A2BK, A2YI and A2NO. From 32 metres we explored 20 metres and worked Europeans all through the day, particularly during 1927.

I well recall the occasion when Belgian 4AU told me to inform A2DY up in Gordon, N.S.W., that he had been "R7 here for three or four hours." A2DY had a lone 201A-Hartley outfit, with about 10 watts input in comparison to our 250 watts or more. My own signal report was R7! Don Lindsay (now in A.W.A.'s laboratory) got remarkable efficiency from his little station of those days.

My First C.C. Transmitter. Then came a new era. "QST" (my bible for years) had been talking crystal control, and it was decided that something ought to be done about it. Harry Kauper, of Adelaide (A5BG), had made a start, and his 32-metre crystal signal was a source of joy and envy. Through the late Clair Foster (W6HM), a crystal was obtained from U.S.A., and the job of building the gear began. That crystal, incidentally, cost us around £10 in those days.

Starting off with a 210 oscillator, 210 doubler, and De Forest H tube buffer, driving a T250, we eventually got on the air. It was the first C.C. amateur station in N.S.W., though we only beat Chas. Maclurcan (A2CM) by a day or two.

Then came disaster. Experiments were undertaken with various forms of crystal oscillators, using our lone and expensive piece of quartz. One day Harry · left a partly completed breadboard oscillator on the workbench with the crystal in the holder, which consisted simply of two polished pennies.

Another man who used this bench for odd jobs picked up the breadboard unit and placed it on one end on the floor. Later in the day somebody brushed out the floor of the shack and swept all the debris into the dustbin. Unfortunately our crystal had slipped out of the holder, and had been among all the odds and ends of spaghetti, wire, etc. Wild thoughts of a visit to the Council incinerator were uppermost, but were ruled out as being too much like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack. The man who shifted that unit was most unpopular!

We visited various opticians in search of suitable spectacle lenses. While the process of examining, cutting and grinding was proceeding, the fact of a silent station chafed, and back went the old 32-metre "rock-crusher." Again that raspy note tore across the seven seas, and all was well.

Nearly a Silent Key. Around this time I nearly came to an untimely end, when sleepily, somewhere around 3 a.m., I put my hands where they would have been safer in my pockets. For a fraction of a second I took the full kick from the H.T. transformer, 4,000 volts across the outside. I came back to earth about half an hour later, lying across the shack floor, very groggy about the knees, and a little burnt at the fingers. The transmitter was still radiating merrily; The house was about 30 feet distant from the shack, and nobody would have been any the wiser until hours later if anything serious had happened.

Old timers of those days on 32 metres will recall some of the unusual and outstanding DX stations – for example, JKZB in Tokio, SK2 in Borneo, the original OP1HR (Manila, Philippines), and LA1X in Stavanger, Norway. (This latter station I kept skeds with every morning at 6 a.m. Sydney time for months, and never failed to make contact). QRM from thousands of "ham" stations as in these days was almost unknown. FO5X in Johannesburg, G2NM, G2OD, G5XY, NU6HM, NU6AM, NU9DNG, and hundreds of others remain in the memory, and the contacts show in the old log book.

It was in 1927 that commercial radio decided that the amateurs had too much to themselves, and that fateful Washington Conference resulted in the allocation of the bands mainly as they are to-day. With the passing of 32 metres, the Australian amateur lost the finest DX medium that ever was. Those who remember, and now listen occasionally to the overseas broadcasters around the 31/32-metre mark, know that it was the amateur and nobody else who paved the way.

I often wonder what would have been the position if, when in the early days, "200 metres and below" was thrown to amateurs had been taken by them in conjunction with International legal agreements that this should for all future time be strictly amateur territory! Amateur radio might have been very wealthy to-day by sub-letting shortwave channels to commercial interests! Instead of which, despite any assertion to the contrary, amateur radio is literally fighting for International existence. There are people who would take from the amateur entirely what little is left to him.

But wise governments encourage their amateurs as much as possible, and in this respect Australians are indeed fortunate. The VK amateur of to-day enjoys many privileges barred to his fraternity overseas, and the Wireless Institute of Australia plays a big part in this respect.

During 1927-28, I had taken to writing occasional pars for the radio publications of the day, dealing mostly with DX achievements from A2NO.

The published description of my pet receiver led to the permanent filling of a staff vacancy on the old "Radio in Australia and N.Z.," together with the "Wireless Weekly" of those days. That receiver was rather queerly named the "Go-Getter," and how it caught on! Probably many readers of these words well remember that receiver and the subsequent "All-Empire." The latter was the first metal chassis receiver in this part of the world, and the first to realise the advantages of the screen-grid valve as a T.R.F. amplifier for high frequencies.

Photo of 2NO's station in 1926[edit | edit source]

The old original A2NO station in 1926, then located at Cremorne, Sydney. Immediately in front of the author are the crystal oscillator and buffer stages, with a T250 final and MRI rectifiers on the right.

1937 10[edit | edit source]

25 Years In Amateur Radio . . . (6)

The sixth instalment of a biography covering the early days of radio, written for the "Radio World" . . . By DON B. KNOCK

THE "All Empire" receiver as introduced in 1928 was the first to use the newly-developed screengrid valve as R.F. amplifier for the short waves, and it worked so well that at least two Sydney radio dealers "made hay while the sun shone." Also, a boom in aluminium followed, for after this the familiar wooden baseboard and bakelite panel were "out."

Radio On Trans-Pacific Flight. It was with the original "All Empire" receiver that I had one of the greatest thrills of my life. Hardly was it completed when news came of the start of the most magnificent trans-ocean flight of all in the history of aviation. The late Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, then relatively unknown to the general public, had pulled the old "Southern Cross" into the air from Oakland airport, U.S.A., with full tanks, and with his co-pilot, Charles Ulm, navigator Lyons and wireless operator Warner, was heading for Australia via Honolulu and Fiji.

In those days the shortwave bands were not so congested with the vast number of commercial stations as now, and a few hours after leaving Oakland, the I.C.W. signal from KHAB, the "Southern Cross," was heard giving flying conditions and position reports. KHAB carried a special T.P.T.G. transmitter of 50 watts rating, designed by Heintz and Kaufman, and the signal was received consistently in Sydney throughout the whole of the flying time to Australia.

One could visualise the 'plane forging through bad weather as the signal varied owing to the swing of the trailing aerial. On several occasions the signal was picked up and re-broadcast by 2BL, Sydney, and it was amusing to hear subsequent opinions of listeners to the effect that they "could distinctly hear the roar of the engines." What they heard was the rise and fall in pitch of the wind-driven alternator.

Getting Out On "10". It was around 1928 that Australian amateurs began to take a serious interest in 10 metres, and several made a start with transmitters of sorts. In Sydney, Clive St. John (VK2RX) co-operated with myself, and together we succeeded in putting signals between Rockdale and Randwick. Nothing was heard of interstate stations until 1929, when 4th, 5th and 3rd districts began to break through, followed by New Zealanders, Hawaiians, and finally Americans. Contacts speedily followed.

The great turning point in amateur radio affairs had also arrived about this time, when the rulings of the 1927 Washington Conference came into action. It was good-bye to 32 metres, the most useful band amateurs had ever enjoyed, or are ever likely to. The big advantage of 32 metres, apart from its wonderful DX capabilities, was the fact that one could chat to overseas fellows with little or no QRM. Most overseas stations, with the exception of a few favoured Englishmen and Europeans, were on 45 metres, or 39 to 42 metres.

Australians and New Zealanders enjoyed immunity from congestion, and QSO's were rarely of the "73 CUL OM" variety. The rag-chews were long and interesting. To give up 32 metres and wedge into 7,000-7,300 k.c. was quite a blow, but the amateur has a habit of clearing obstacles, and with "QST" showing the way, transmitters and receivers were cleaned up to meet the new conditions. We still had 20 metres, however, and that band has since proved to be the band of bands for easy DX.

In 1930 an opportunity presented itself to undertake radio communication work in the "wide open spaces," and so I accepted an appointment at Wyndham Meatworks, North-West Australia, to install and maintain a system of shortwave radio telephone communication. The scheme was to link up cattle-drafting centres and stations with the works. The apparatus was constructed in Sydney, and consisted of a 100-watt key and 'phone station, signing VIX on 55 metres, a launch station (VJQX), and a mobile station (6JU) for inland testing.

Static "One Continuous Roar." Arriving at Wyndham in early March, I got an inkling of the hopelessness of radio reception there during the rainy season. I had heard static before, but never anything like that. It was one continuous roar. The receiver was stowed away until such time as the weather gods relented and the blaze of lightning around the sky disappeared.

Before leaving the East, I had arranged for an amateur call-sign, which was granted as VK6NK. How useful this was to prove I little realised at the time. During the bad weather the station VIX was connected up and tested, and aerials erected. The receiver was modelled on the lines of the faithful "All Empire," and proved very sensitive, so sensitive that a bad snag was encountered from the start.

It had been necessary to site the station in a large store quite close to the works power house. When the two 100 k.w. D.C. generators about 150 feet distant were in action, the din can be well imagined! Something had to be done about it, and for certain reasons the station could not be moved. Came a headachy period of testing special receiving aerials. With a vertical aerial consisting of lead-covered cable, with the sheathing earthed, it was possible to hear the stronger amateurs on 40 metres.

Doublet Solves The Problem. During a contact with VK6MO, he described to me in detail particulars of a doublet referred to in "QST," using twisted flex feeders, and suggested I try it. This was erected, with one half of the doublet vertical and the other half directly underneath and horizontally in the form of a circle. The results were amazing. The din from the generators subsided to a low level, and R4 signals could be heard on 40 metres. On 20, results were even better. No wonder that in recent years radio journals have popularised the transposed feeder doublet as an aid to overcoming radio-inductive QRM.

The transmitter for VK6NK consisted of a T.P.T.G. oscillator using a Philips MB1/50, power being taken from a rotary converter running from the works 230 volts D.C. supply. When not engaged in working with VIX and the other stations, VK6NK practically lived on the air on 20 and 40 metres, using a 40 metre "Zepp" with series and parallel tuned 50-foot feeders.

Reception conditions were peculiar at this location, for right behind Wyndham Meatworks is the vast hill known as the Bastion. On lower frequencies, this huge mass of ironstone effectively blocks off all signals from the south in a direct line. So complete is the cut-off that ships approaching Wyndham are able to hear southern broadcasters quite well until within 200 yards of the jetty, when signals completely disappear.

One refrigeration engineer, owner of a very fine American all-wave receiver which he used for entertainment in his cabin, came to me in perplexity to find out what was wrong with the receiver. All he could hear when tied up at the jetty were Japs, Chinese, and the Philippinos. Short waves, however, are no respecters of hills, and have a habit of leaping them, and so 20 metres proved the stepping stone to Sydney for amateur contacts from VK6NK.

Toward the end of April that year I was informed by VK2RX on 20 metres that a Ryan monoplane, "City of Sydney," was leaving Mascot aerodrome on a flight to England via Wyndham, and that she carried radio. Would I look out for signals? A request like that gives added interest to radio, and so the receiver went into action with long periods of searching for VMZAB, known to be somewhere around 34 metres.

Signals Fade Out. One day, about noon, I picked up a strong carrier wave, varying somewhat. Then it was interrupted to slowly sign "VMZAB," with information to the effect that the 'plane had left Newcastle Waters and was heading for Wyndham. The signal was held strongly for two hours or more, when suddenly it decreased in strength and at the same time crept along the dial slowly. Eventually it faded completely out. What had happened?

Some intuition warned me that the 'plane had made a landing, and that the weakening of the signal, plus the variation of frequency, was due to the increasing proximity of the earth as she came down. An hour elapsed, and then came the weak but certain "SOS de VMZAB" repeated several times. The signal was obviously in the "skip" area for reception at my location, but fortunately, at this lunch time period for the works, much of the machinery closed down for an hour or so.

Eventually the text following the SOS calls was deciphered, and was to the effect that "we have been forced down with a broken camshaft. Believe somewhere near Rosewood. Not far from a river."

That was enough for action. Hurriedly putting VK6NK on the air on 20, an "SOS Sydney" call was sent out and was immediately answered by VK2NS in Bathurst. Details were passed on and Evans telephoned Mascot aerodrome. At this stage it became necessary to keep in touch both with the signals from VMZAB and the 20-metre band, so two receivers were used, with one headphone from each, and connected to separate aerials.

Meanwhile, the attention of VK2JP in Sydney had been attracted, and a lengthy period of emergency traffic commenced. The works officials were notified, and local police and bushmen studied maps in an endeavour to place the possible location of the 'plane.

Photo of 2NO and station, Wyndham 1930[edit | edit source]

The author in the radio room at Wyndham, North-West Australia, in 1930.

Another Photo of 2NO and station, Wyndham 1930[edit | edit source]

Another view of the author and his radio shack at Wyndham.

1937 11[edit | edit source]

25 Years In Amateur Radio . . . (7)

The seventh instalment of a biography covering the early days of radio, written for the "Radio World" . . .By DON B. KNOCK, Radio Editor, "The Bulletin."

JACK PIKE, of VK2JP, is about the oldest active amateur in Australia, and a key-puncher of no mean repute. When he realised the emergency, he "sat in" on VK6NK and put daily business in the background.

Some idea of the traffic handled on this occasion can be gained when I say that almost 20,000 words were handled over a period of two or three days, and one of the QSO's went on for over nine hours nonstop. I shudder to think of an attempt to duplicate such traffic in these days, with the poor old 20-metre band seething with 'phones from all over the world! Then it was an "open go" and the devil take the hindmost on the key!

At this stage of operation from Wyndham Meatworks, the big machinery had not fully started up on the working season; consequently a small Diesel engine ran a puny 230-volt D.C. generator for lighting the offices and residences at night, until cut off at 10.30 p.m. Normally this was satisfactory, but often, when in the middle of traffic with VK2JP, the voltage would drop to around 100, and lights would dim to nothing. Then 2JP had to wait while I stormed around trying to find who was using an electric kettle or ironing pants! A few expletives, and off would go the load, and traffic proceeded.

The first day had gone by, and at intervals VMZAB was sending that plaintive SOS, asking for help and, above all, food. A search party had been organised, and was threading its way through the long spear grass in the direction where it was thought the 'plane lay. They returned, disheartened — no sign! (Later it transpired, that they had been only 10 miles away, with a mountain range between).

Reports of the search party were passed on to Sydney, and meanwhile organisation at Mascot aerodrome had progressed to the extent of getting a big three-engined Fokker ready to come North and search. It was not needed, for radio eventually saved the day.

Missing 'Plane Found. On the third day, another search party was equipped under Sgt. King, of the W.A. police, with bushman Bill Flinders, of Wyndham town, included. Instructions were given to the effect that if they found the 'plane, the pilot should immediately call me and let me know.

Another day and a half passed, and sitting in the operating position in that corrugated iron-walled radio room was no joke in the heat of the North-West afternoon sun. At 2.30 p.m. this day there had been a long period of silence from VMZAB. It was obvious that the batteries were getting weaker, and soon there would be no juice left for transmission. I had called them repeatedly in the hope that a receiver was on board, until Sydney notified me otherwise.

Suddenly that weak signal was heard calling, "Knock, Knock, Wyndham — Sgt. King's party arrived O.K. All safe now." What a relief! In three minutes Pike had word away down in Sydney, and in another fifteen, newspapers were out on Sydney's streets with the news.

In three days' time Dave Smith, pilot of the 'plane, and his engineer, Wally Shiers, arrived at the works. They described vividly their experiences, and how Flinders had instinctively driven his motor truck straight through the dense speargrass almost to the stranded 'plane. They stayed at Wyndham while a new camshaft arrived by air from the South, and Shiers, aviation engineer par excellence, went back and fitted it to the engine in the staggering heat while being eaten alive by mosquitoes and flies.

In a few weeks' time the 'plane was ready again, and I enjoyed a radio test flight with Smith. The Kimberley country around Wyndham looks magnificent from a few thousand feet —a well-watered country. Early one morning they took off on resumption of the flight to England. Crossing the Timor, the signal from their baby transmitter, powered from 300 volts of "B" battery, romped in until they landed at Bima. They never reached England, running short of fuel in the Siamese forests, and crashing on landing. Neither was hurt.

A few months later I was shocked to find myself copying Sydney Press one night to the effect that young Dave Smith had been killed at Mascot in an accident. To-day, Wally Shiers is Chief Engineer of Airlines of Australia Ltd. — a man with flying in his blood and modern aero engines at his command. He has good reason to know the vital importance of emergency radio communication for aeroplanes flying anywhere over Australia. Shiers is the same Sgt. Shiers who made the historic flight from England with the late Sir Ross Smith just after the War.

Experiments With a Portable. During that year in the North-West there was plenty of opportunity to get inland and see much of the country. The hospitality of the settlers is outstanding, and a visitor is speedily made to feel at home. The mobile station 6JU went with me on these travels, and many interesting effects were noticed in shortwave communication.

One of the most interesting places for remarkable reception is La Crosse island, at the mouth of the Cambridge Gulf. A night was spent on this island, when three of us arrived by launch to run tests with VIX. Only a two-valve "blooper" receiver was used, but the whole world seemed to appear in great strength on the dial. The strength of American amateurs on 40 metres as early as noon was phenomenal. But for the water problem, this island should be an ideal place for a radio centre for flying boats on the overseas air-mail.

La Crosse, incidentally, is a laying and hatching sanctuary for turtles, and hundreds of the little fellows were seen emerging from the warm sand and flopping their way to the water to get their first swim. It is the island from where De Rougemont is reputed to have crossed to the mainland on the back of a turtle.

A Fortnight In Perth. At the conclusion of the season, the works' activity ceased, and I shipped to Perth en route home, spending two weeks with the G.O.M. of radio there, Wally Coxon (VK6AG), and meeting the very enthusiastic and hospitable bunch of VK6's, many of whom I had chatted with from VK6NK.

Back in Sydney, I found that life had taken on a dreary aspect. The notorious "depression" was in full swing, and the outlook was anything but pleasant. Trade was stagnating, but broadcasting was at least alive and doing, so a business offer in connection with a proposed country "B" station at Gunnedah, N.S. W., was accepted.

This station (2MO) started off with next to nothing in the way of finance, and with a broadcast transmitter fashioned mainly from such suitable components as had been available at VK2NO.

Despite the QRP, this station in its early makeshift form reached out with a good signal, and reports began to flow in from all over Australia and overseas. Technical difficulties were innumerable, as the town in those days had 240 volts D.C. It was a case of rotary converters for filaments and motor-driven generators for H.T.

As most readers will know, "B" class stations derive their revenue solely from advertising time. Imagine in 1931 trying to solicit air advertising in a wool and wheat district when prices were down almost to zero! Stores wouldn't advertise as their business was all "credit." City stations were "in clover," but the small country station had a very hard road to tread in those times.

Back To The "Big Smoke." After a month or two with little or no financial return, and power bill, etc., soaring still higher, I decided that two partners could not make ends meet satisfactorily under such a handicap, and disposed of my share. As much as I had grown to love the Australian countryside, it was a case of back to the "big smoke."

One man could manage where two could not, and I am glad to say that my former partner weathered the economical storm. Today his station is a permanency known to listeners far and wide. Back in Sydney, some radio service work and trading was undertaking, with occasional contributed articles to radio and daily newspapers, and back on the air went VK2NO. A keen amateur cannot be kept QRT for long, and gradually the station assumed previous proportions and once again reached out all over the world. The YL became the XYL, and in due course came to know what "BCL QRM" and other jargon implied.

Photo of 2NO in 1930[edit | edit source]

The author on horseback at Wyndham, North-West Australia, where he spent a year installing and operating a shortwave radio telephony communication system at Wyndham Meatworks.

1937 12[edit | edit source]

25 Years In Amateur Radio . . . (8)

In this instalment the author describes how in 1932, in company with a few fellow-VK's he commenced exploring the possibilities of the ultra short waves. Written for the "Radio World" . . . By DON B. KNOCK, Radio Editor, "The Bulletin."

After a period of radio sales and service work, experimental work was carried out with a limited amount of equipment, and using low power, from Bronte, Sydney. This location could be classed as about one of the world's worst. The residence was below road level, being reached by a long flight of steps, and the consequence was that an aerial system, even on 50-foot masts, was only two or three feet above road level.

Despite this severe handicap, a fair amount of excellent communication was obtained on 40 and 20 metres with overseas stations, and some satisfactory 10-metre work was also done with interstate stations. The aerial was efficient, which explained the results. It was a centre-fed 135-foot top running North and South, and despite the heavy screening, reached out very well. The experiences with the station in this undoubtedly poor location brought home the realisation that there can never be a totally impossible location for shortwave communication. It was well demonstrated by reason of the fact that some very useful pioneering work was done on five metres, and for such work one can only comment that the location was well-nigh disheartening.

Early Ultra Shortwave Experiments. At this period, a few of the older hands were turning to five metres for other fields to explore, and among these with the writer were VK2SA (Sgt. Salmon of the N.S.W. police radio service) and Syd. Maguire (VK2XY). These two stations were situated over two ranges of hills in a northerly direction, about three miles distant. With what may now be considered as the most elementary of ultra-shortwave transmitters and receivers, very little trouble was encountered in obtaining good two-way and duplex telephony working.

The transmitters were unstable modulated oscillators, receivers were battery-operated super-regenerators, and the aerials of various kinds, but all plain radiators and not directional. The Pickard type of aerial was favoured at this time, and this is fundamentally about equal to the usual twisted pair doublet.

It was known that over on the other side of Sydney the Lakemba Club had a few members keen on five metres, and engaged in experiments, but Lakemba was then looked upon as excessive DX, and somewhat unlikely as a communication goal from the Eastern suburbs. Nothing was ever heard of the stations over there from the writer's location, but VK2SA, who was more favourably placed, once thought he heard a weak station. In view of subsequent work and achievements in recent years, we can now look pityingly on our former modest hopes!

Back To Radio Journalism. In 1933, the writer returned to the sphere of radio journalism by an appointment as Technical Editor of "Australian Radio News," then published by "The Bulletin," and during the period until this weekly was absorbed in "The Bulletin," a considerable amount of 5-metre investigational work was done. The foundations were laid for an influx of enthusiasm for this previously-scorned communication channel, and more Sydney amateurs were attracted to its possibilities as a very useful cross-city medium.

Following on the initial tests at the home location, with its serious handicaps, possible high elevations were sought with the object of determining just how far signals could travel with the apparatus available. A portable station was made up on a camera tripod. The transmitter had two 71A's in unity-push-pull with two similar valves as modulators in parallel, while the receiver was a separately interrupted super-regenerator with 2-volt battery valves and a magnetic speaker.

This station was taken to the tower on top of "The Bulletin" offices in George Street, Sydney, where a Pickard type aerial was rigged on a wooden support. At once the advantages of an unscreened location became apparent. It was possible to work with the 5-metre gang in all directions around Sydney, as far afield as Mascot aerodrome.

Special duplex tests were run between this station and a police outfit operated by VK2SA from police H.Q. in Philip Street, and a new and interesting era began to dawn in experimental 5-metre radio in N.S.W. Tests were also run about this time in conjunction with Syd. Colville at Mascot aerodrome, and considerable success was had in working over distances up to 20 miles between ground station and 'plane.

Much interest was aroused by the demonstration of 5-metre duplex communication between the "Australian Radio News" and Ever Ready Battery Co.'s stands at the 1934 Radio and Electrical Exhibition in Sydney Town Hall. All this time, transmitters and receivers had been crude, and aerials an inefficient means to an end.

DX With Directional Aerials. With the coming of the directional aerial era on 5 metres in Sydney, this once short-range band began to take on a different aspect. Up in the Blue Mountains, at Hazelbrook, N.S.W., was located a keen experimenter in E. B. Ferguson (VK2BP). Ferguson had dabbled with 5-metre apparatus in the hope of hearing something of the Sydney stations, but after meeting repeatedly with a wall of silence, had more or less given up the quest in disgust.

Late in 1934, a new type of 5-metre aerial was erected at the writer's station (where the previous location had been changed for a more elevated position), this being of the four radiator-four reflector type with the radiators fed in phase, and giving beaming in one direction. It was a bulky affair on a wooden framework, and was perforce so slung between two poles that it gave direction due west.

The transmitter was a T.N.T. oscillator using 45's, modulated in Class B by a 53, driven by a 56. Two keen co-operating experimenters at this time were Harry Chinner (VK2CG) and Will Dukes (VK2WD). It was arranged to run a distance test on this aerial, and on 2 February 35 these two left Sydney by car, carrying a small super-regen. receiver, to make observations on a constant modulated tone signal from VK2NO.

They couldn't lose the signal anywhere along the Mountains Road route, and at Hazelbrook, outside VK2BP's shack, the signal was at maximum. Ferguson was away from home, but a note was left notifying him of the test and the result. To cut a long story short, in a few days' time VK2BP was on the air with a similar beam array, and perfect two-way telephony was established on 5 metres between Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

Active stations using beam arrays following this period were VK's 2BP, 2NO, 2CG, 2WD, 2MW and 2OD. It was attempted to get through to Newcastle, 70 miles airline distance, but that objective was not to be attained until much later, in mid-1937.

Severe QRM Hampers Progress. Several more stations began to be attracted to 5 metres, and the band actually took on a severe QRM aspect. It began to be realised that "squegger" receivers were worse than atrocious in causing severe interference for miles around, and the heavily-modulated self-excited transmitters were guilty of greediness!

Several transmitters were modified by the use of stable grid and plate circuits using the "long lines" principle, and the cleaner signal was at once apparent. Super-regenerative receivers also came in for attention, and separate interrupter valves and an r.f. stage were incorporated in many instances.

It was possible to fit more stations into the band without overlap, but things were by no means perfect. Several misguided people made up simple one-valve transceivers. One of these on the air, with its "squegging" detection and propensity for hopping about all over the band, was sufficient to wreck communication between several stations. It is safe to assume that the "transceiver" as popularised in U.S.A. by several publications did more to hold back progress on five metres than anything. One can imagine the terrific QRM these contraptions must cause in populated districts in the States.

Mobile Tests On "Five." In 1935, a mobile 5-metre test period predominated around Sydney, and several amateurs co-operated in tests far afield. Those test days were full of the most intense interest for those out with the car stations and those at the home locations, and it is a great pity that at the time of writing, this phase of 5-metre activity has suffered from neglect.

The car station for VK2NU (VK2NO's portable) used a unity push-pull oscillator with two 89's, plate-modulated by a 42. The aerial was a half-wave twisted pair doublet projecting vertically from the front bumper. Power was taken from the car 6-volt accumulator via a 300-volt. Carter genemotor, and the receiver had a 955 "acorn" self-interruptor detector and 38 audio.

Many interesting results were obtained with this mobile station, one of which was the fact that a really good place for 5-metre transmission and reception around Sydney is in the centre of the Harbour Bridge. In view of the great mass of steel, this seems hardly likely, but it is so. On one occasion this car station communicated with a similar outfit in a car on Kurrajong Heights, when located near the top of Bulli Pass. These stations were used for lengthy periods when on the move at high speed as well as when "on location."

One important result arising from all this mobile 5-metre work is the establishment of the fact that an undoubtedly ideal location for an ultra-shortwave television station to serve the whole of Sydney and even farther afield is somewhere in the Blue Mountains. With only a 5-watt 5-metre oscillator, it is easy to put a strong signal over Sydney on 5-metres provided that a beam aerial, even in quite simple form, is used at least at one end. A 10 k.w. station working around 6 or 7 metres for television purposes would assuredly cover a wide area with a strong service signal, even from as far afield as Mt. Victoria.

Television for Australian "viewers," however, seems to be a long way distant, for justifiable financial reasons, but no doubt that time will come in the end, and when it does, accumulated ultra-shortwave experience will be of value. My advice to the experimenter with other ideas than DX contests is to get in on the ground floor of ultra-shortwave radio, for it will become increasingly important in the wide future of radio communication generally.

Photo of 2NO and 2XO at Bellingen 1930s[edit | edit source]

A question of aerial feeder design? The author (left) being shown round by 2XO at Bellingen, N.S.W., a few years ago.

1938 01[edit | edit source]

Twenty-Five Years In Amateur Radio . . . (9)

In this concluding instalment, the author discusses the relative merits of 5-metre aerial systems. He also gives details of further experiences in u.h.f. work, leading up to his establishment of a world DX record by putting 5-metre telephony signals into North Wales. By DON. B. KNOCK, Radio Editor, "The Bulletin."

BY the end of 1936, much progress had been made at VK2NO, with all kinds of directional aerial systems for 5-metre working, and at times some fearsome looking affairs sprouted around the shack, to the mystification of neighbouring residents.

From the original eight-wire beam with its "one-way traffic" limitations, arrays had passed through the stages of the twin radiator with reflector; twin dipole (end-fire) and Reinartz rotary, to the Bruce system.

There is little to choose between any of these types for local working (up to 100 miles) with the exception of the Bruce array. This system has already been described in "A.R.W." It has the highest gain of any in its simplest form of four half-waves in phase, and is bi-directional normally into the bargain. It is likely, however, to be a bit of a nuisance in windy weather unless one has adopted a very strong structural arrangement (which most hams don't do).

This system must be capable of 180-degree rotation with an accessible control, as the horizontal beam angle is around 15 degrees at 5 metres. Either side of that the signal falls off rapidly, both on transmission and reception. It is the best of the u.-s.-w. systems, in the writer's opinion, for those who want the best results.

The twin-dipole is very good. This is also for 180-degree rotation, but has a 45-degree angle and is end-fire. It is easily erected and rotated.

The simplest of all is the Reinartz rotary, being only 30 inches in diameter, but with a 45-degree angle in one direction. It must consequently be capable of 360 degrees rotation.

The system in use at the time of writing is a vertical W8JK "Flat-Top" beam. This has two full-waves out of phase with one-eighth wave spacing; is end-fire with about a 20-degree angle, and is a very convenient type for 180-degree rotation. This aerial is at present being tried out for possible overseas DX on 5 metres.

Atlantic Crossed On "Five" In 1926. The question of 5-metre DX has always been an interesting one to the writer, possibly because it is a tough nut to crack. The history of 5-metre communications shows that as far back as 1926, signals were sent across the Atlantic to Italy on 5 metres. There was never any two-way working in all instances of reported DX, and up to the present time such is still the case.

Late in 1936, the writer tackled the problem of advanced apparatus seriously, and a transmitter was designed using a 6L6 e.c. oscillator doubling from 10 to 5, driving a capacity-coupled RK25. This exciter unit was used to drive two Eimac 35T's in push-pull. The final stage would take a comfortable 150 watts input. Receivers were also tackled, and an eight-valve superhet with 5,000 k.c. i.f. channel was evolved.

The transmitter was tested out on various beam arrays, and for a considerable period the twin-dipole with 600-ohm line feed was employed, with a Reinartz rotary fed by twisted pair as a stand-by.

In the test days organised by W.I.A. (N.S.W. division) considerable success was obtained. The first surprise came when VK2DN, of Deniliquin, 360 miles distant, logged the i.c.w. test signals from VK2NO on schedule for a brief period, and this was followed by two-way contact during day and night with VK2ZC at Newcastle, 70 miles distant.

The biggest surprise of all came this year, when an ultra-shortwave observer in Pwllheli, North Wales, claimed to have heard telephony on 5 metres from VK2NO. Conjecture was rife, and doubts were freely expressed, but the hard facts turned up in the form of the log extracts of the signal, mailed from North Wales.

The interesting part of it is that VK2NO was at the time using the Reinartz rotary in communication with another Sydney station, and, furthermore, the signal had been heard but not identified on several occasions around that period by the North Welshman. This confirmation constitutes the world's record for transmission and reception on 5 metres, and now it is a matter of sticking at the job with earnest co-operation until two-way working is effected.

Regular Schedules With ON4AU. At the present time, schedules are being kept regularly with the well-known Belgian, ON4AU. He is using first-class equipment for c.w. transmission and reception on 56,080 k.c. ON4AU has 250 watts output with a beam array directed over the Great Circle route, and special W.E. u.-h.-f. valves are employed in the final transmitter stage. His receiver is a t.r.f. type using acorn valves.

In order to be fully up to the mark, the station at VK2NO has been re-modelled, and the transmitter now includes an extra buffer stage with two 801's in push-pull before the 35T's. The final has been re-designed for higher efficiency.

The most interesting part of the equipment is the new receiver for the combined job of straight c.w. and super-regenerative reception. Considerable work has been done with possible c.w. receivers previously, using standard valves, but the results had always been disappointing. Recently this new receiver was completed, and it uses a 956 acorn t.r.f. amplifier, 954 electron-coupled detector, EBC3 as interrupter when "supering" is wanted, and 41 audio.

A heterodyne oscillator has been incorporated, putting an old idea to modern use. This oscillator is at 20 metres, and the fourth harmonic is used to beat with the 954 detector, which can then be used in a non-oscillating but sensitive condition.

The method of operation is very simple. A c.w. signal is first tuned in with the detector oscillating (harmonics from c.c. stations on other bands are very useful for this), and then the beat oscillator is switched in and the detector regeneration backed of slightly. The result is a remarkably stable signal, with no loss of signal strength. The receiver handles on c.w. just as easily as if one were using it on 20 metres.

In use it has proved to be a revelation, and far superior to any receiver yet tried. Some idea of the efficiency can be gained when it is stated that c.w. harmonics of stations as far as 20 miles away can be heard at R7 on 5 metres when working on 20 and 10 metres. These results, however, appear to be obtainable only with valves such as the 956 and 954.

"Acorns" Well Worth While. "Acorns" are admittedly expensive, but despite their relatively high price, it is money well spent where it is a case of determination to get the best ultra-short-wave results. To spend money on the transmitter side and treat the receiver as an afterthought is less than half doing the job.

Apart from the primary interest to-day of ultra-short-wave experimentation, the writer does not completely neglect the ordinary routine of amateur communication, and may occasionally be found on 20-metre c.w. and 'phone, mostly in the early mornings, and very rarely on 40 metres.

In July this year, a considerable amount of 40-metre communication was obtained with the Mackay Aerial Survey Expedition in Central Australia, and this, being something different to the usual kind of communication normally to be had on 40 in these times, was an interesting interlude.

In conclusion, the writer would say that, despite the utility of modern radio-telephone communication, the telegraphy side is still as important as ever it was, and urges the amateur in general to strive to keep his hand in on the key. The reasons for such advice would take too much space, but they are numerous and indisputable.

Radio "Grandest Of Hobbies." After 25 years of experience in different forms with this yet infant science of radio communication, the writer considers that it is the grandest of hobbies for old and young, that if only the world at large could be made to realise it, amateur radio is a powerful weapon for world peace by intimate contact between fellow men; and that, progressive as radio is, it still has a long way to go. There is no end to its possibilities. (Conclusion).

Photo of 2NO 5 metre transmitter[edit | edit source]

The five-metre transmitter used by VK2NO. It put telephony signals into North Wales, and telegraphy across the Tasman to New Zealand, It has four stages, consisting of a 6L6 electron-coupled oscillator from 10 to 5 metres, capacity-coupled to an RK25. This exciter is linked to a buffer stage with two 801's in push-pull, and this in turn is linked to the final, using two Eimac 35T's in push-pull, with 150 watts input.

Obituary[edit | edit source]

OBITUARY - DONALD BRADER KNOCK (Ex VK2NO). As we go to press we learn with much regret that Donald Brader Knock (Ex VK2NO) had passed away in hospital on 31 October, following a lengthy illness. Undoubtedly it would be true to say that both the name Don Knock and the call sign VK2NO became one of the best known combinations among Amateurs in this country, particularly among those whose association with Amateur Radio goes back prior to World War II. Born in Southport, Lancashire, 68 years ago, Don saw service in World War I. Being an adventuresome type, he joined the 1919 expedition to Russia in what proved to be an abortive attempt to overthrow the Bolsheviks who had taken over the country following the Russian Rebellion. Having served with the Engineers, with emphasis on radio communication, Don took out a G call on his return to England in the early 1920s. Arriving in Australia around 1925, he undertook the organisation of radio communication for the Vestey Meat Company at Wyndham, Western Australia, and his efforts there resulted in considerable progress being made in opening up the North-West. Another of Don's interests was radio journalism and he continued a rather chequered career by publishing a monthly magazine, "Radio News," and also became Radio Editor of the Sydney Bulletin. A post-war attempt to re-enter the radio magazine field was, however, short lived. Still later, he was employed by Philips Electrical Industries and in a civilian capacity with the Department of the Navy. About 10 years prior to his death, Don surprised his friends by disposing of his gear and relinquishing his call sign. However, he continued to take an interest in Amateur doings, in spite of a deterioration in his health. Perhaps we could say that one of Don Knock's greatest contributions to Amateur Radio was in v.h.f., for during the 1930s, he and other kindred souls carried out much pioneering work on 56 Mc. An early edition of the A.R.R.L. Antenna Handbook carries a description and photograph of a 56 Mc. beam antenna developed by him. The N.S.W. Division of the W.I.A. was well represented at the funeral on Thursday, 3rd Nov., which took place at Eastern Suburbs Crematorium following a service at St. Mary's Church of England, Waverley. To Mrs. Knock and son, Rodney, may we offer sincere sympathy on behalf of all members of the Wireless Institute of Australia.

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And yet oddly, the callsign is later allocated to the PMGD itself

THE AMATEURS. . . . The Radio Inspector (Mr. G. A. Scott) has received a Q.S.L card from an amateur located in the Channel Is-lands and addressed to Radio A6NO, West Australia. There is no official record of such a call sign being allotted to WA, and any local transmitter whose call sign closely approximates this, should scan his log and see if he was transmitting CQ's on 45 metres at 2 a.m. local time on January 8, 1926. Signal strength was reported at R4 by the English amateur.[1]

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2NO passes through WA on his way to Sydney

G6XB (sic, G6XG) (Mr. Donald B. Knock) passed through Fremantle on Friday last bound for Sydney, where he intends to reside. As Mr. Knock is an energetic member of the American Radio Relay League, and the Radio Society of Great Britain, he will be very welcome among the 2's.[2]

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2NO reports on first communication with Flynn and Traeger using transmitter powered by hand generator

PIONEER WORK IN AUSTRALIA. Valuable pioneer work in broadcasting between residents in the sparsely populated areas of Australia is being done by Rev. John Flynn, superintendent of the Australian Inland Mission. Mr. Flynn is at present in the district between Longreach and Cloncurry, in Northern Queensland, and has with him Mr. Traeger, a wireless experimenter, who is testing out a cheaply-constructed transmitting apparatus, which is intended for installation in central areas of northern and central Australia for communication between homesteads within a radius of 250 to 300 miles. Rev J. Andrew Barber, patrol organiser of the Inland Mission, said yesterday that a message had been received by Mr. D. B. Knock, Vaucluse, from Mr. Flynn, from Longreach, which stated that the baby transmitter, with hand generator, was working so successfully on about 30 metres, that it seemed as if the search for suitable gear for bushmen with little means had at last ended happily. Mr. Knock stated that he was operating on 32.5 metres, using 45 watts input. He received Mr. Flynn's message on a two-valve set. Two-way communication was maintained with Mr. Flynn for a considerable time. It is hoped that two-way communication may be maintained from henceforth with Mr. Flynn during his extended tour of the Northern Territory and Central Australia[3]

1927 11[edit | edit source]

2NO is appointed to the committee of the NSW RTL (later ARTL NSW) at its formation meeting

The N.S.W. Radio Transmitters' League. THE formation meeting of the New South Wales Radio Transmitters' League was held at 8.30 p.m. on Thursday, October 27th, at Y.M.C.A. Buildings, Pitt Street, Sydney. Over 50 amateur radio experimenters were in attendance. Mr. Morton (2MH) took the chair, and, after formally opening the meeting gave a short speech, and read a letter from the president of the Queensland Radio Transmitters' League, wishing this league every success. Officers elected were:— Mr. Caletti (2CL), president; Mr. Young (2JY), secretary; Mr. Grey (2IJ), treasurer. Committeemen: Mr. Lindsay (2DY), Mr. Hardy (2RD), Mr. Knock (2NO), Mr. Nolan (2YI), and Mr. Sigal (2UK). THE OBJECTS OF THE LEAGUE. (a) To organise and co-ordinate the work of all N.S.W. transmitting amateurs, (b) To establish and maintain a reliable chain of amateur radio stations throughout the State, which may be of national service in an emergency, (c) To provide a centre for the dissemination of information, data, instruction, and advice; to promote personal contact, unity, and goodwill among amateurs; to encourage mutual aid by lectures, discussions, debates, and interchange of ideas and practical experience between amateurs; to maintain a high standing of operating efficiency, with use of correct procedure; and generally to improve the knowledge and further the interests of transmitting amateurs, (d) To affiliate with other societies having similar objects, and to co-operate, as occasion may require, with recognised international amateur radio organisations. Amateur radio transmitters who have joined the league are:— 2AV, 2BW, 2CL, 2CS, 2CU 2CG, 2DY, 2EC, 2FM, 2GW, 2HH, 2HC, 2IJ, 2JA, 2JD, 2JC, 2JR, 2JT, 2JY, 2KW, 2LH, 2MH, 2MS, 2MW, 2NO, 2QT, 2RE, 2RO, 2RW, 2RX, 2RZ, 2RD, 2RC, 2SM, 2UK, 2WG, 2WK, 2WH, 2XI, 2YJ, 2YB, 2YI, 2ZX, 2ZU, 2ZY. Meetings will be held at the Y.M.C.A Buildings (Boys' Committee Rooms), Pitt Street, Sydney, on the first Saturday in each month, at 8 p.m. All amateur radio transmitters and shortwave listeners are welcome.[4]

2NO submits a log of recent activities to the Sydney Daily Telegraph creatively named "Radio Section"

Notes From An Experimenter's Log. Experimenters and other amateurs are invited to send in reports of interesting events in the course of their radio work. Mr. D. B. Knock, of 2NO, has supplied the following notes. I HAVE pleasure in submitting details of recent experimental work from my short wave station, 2NO. On October 25, at 5 p.m. I was fortunate enough to open communication with 8AC portable station of the Australian Inland Mission, at Longreach. 8AC is a low-power crystal controlled outfit operated for the Rev. John Flynn, by Mr. Traegar, of 5AX, of Adelaide. They had just got the station in operation, and their communication with me was their first contact with the coast by amateur radio. I took the following message:— "Grateful. You ring A.I.M. Secretary, B1835, and report successful reception messages from Longreach on baby set with hand generator, 30 metres, indicating that our search for suitable gear for bushman without means is at last ended happily. "Our united regards to all A.I.M., family, and yourself. (Signed) Flynn and Traegar. STATION 8AC was very strong though bad static, and local interference. I had to ask for repeats once, owing to interference, and could imagine poor Traegar working overtime in the heat on that hand generator. At 2NO I was operating on 32.5 metres, but expect to open up with 8AC in daytime on 23 metres. Impact here is 45 metres to two 7½ watt tubes in parallel. With this little transmitter and a Zeffelin sic, Zepplin type antenna I am in regular touch with most continents of the world. AT this time of the year the 20-metre wavelength is considered by many experimenters to be "dead." Here is a resume of work on 23 metres from 2NO during the last few days:— For the last two weeks I have been in communication with H.M.A.S. Adelaide, in the Solomon Islands. It is a condescention for the Navy to co-operate with amateur stations, and the operator on the Adelaide told me I was their last link with Australia. That is not a tribute particularly to 2NO, but to the 20-metre band. The Adelaide reports signals as R5 to R7. A separate Hertzian type anntena is used here at 2NO for this waveband and is an effective height only of 10 feet from the ground. Other stations forked with during the last few days are:— AI-2KT, in India. AF-1B, in Saigon, Indo-China. Australian, 6SA, Perth. Australian, 7CW, Hobart. Australian, 5DX, Adelaide. Many other stations have been heard, including: English, 2OW, 5LF, 6VP; French, 8FD, 8JN; and Russian, RA13, at Vladivostok. I ADMIT that long distance conditions on the 20-metre band are not so good at this time of the year, as from January to August, but this recent work disproved that the 20-metre band is not worth while. It is a waveband which is wonderfully free from static, but suffers from interference from automobile ignition systems. As automobiles pass the house they become a veritable broadcast station for 100 yards while passing, also any little noise in the house resembles a boiler factory. For instance, if whilst I am listening to a 20-metre signal, anyone moves a plate, or a knife on the metal top sink in the kitchen, the wavelength of my receiver changes and I have to retune the signal. That is an illustration of the absorbing effect of nearby objects at these higher frequencies. One can imagine the effect at five metres.[5]

2NO reports to first meeting of ARTL NSW on first report of trans-Pacific reception on 5 metres

RADIO TRANSMITTERS' LEAGUE. First Meeting. THE first meeting of the New South Wales Radio Transmitters' League was held in the Y.M.C.A. Building, Pitt Street, Sydney, on Saturday, November 5. Mr. G. Caletti took the chair. There were amateur experimenters present. Mr. Grey gave a short talk on the results of 5-metre tests, as carried out by him during last weekend. Morse signals on 5 metres were transmitted, from Mr. Grey's station at Killara, and were received at Bowral in daylight at signal strength R7. Mr. D. B. Knock informed the meeting that he had received a message from a Queensland amateur, who stated that 5-metre signals from the U.S.A. station 4QT had been received in Queensland at signal strength R3. A request was made by one of the members, that all amateurs present should endeavour to listen and transmit on 20 metres, as interference on that band is practically nil. The next meeting of the league will take place on Saturday, December 3. The committee will endeavour to secure a lecturer for that night. All amateur experimenters are invited to attend.[6]

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2NO defends the proposed trans-Tasman flight by Moody and Jolley

THE PROPOSED N.Z. FLIGHT. TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD. Sir,— Following on various controversial Press news regarding the proposed New Zealand flight, perhaps if a little enlightenment from the more important aspect of radio is given, the Federal authorities and other interested bodies will be inclined to view the matter in a more conciliatory attitude. As an ex-R.A.F. flying man of three years' war service, and a radio engineer and operator, I am able to shed a little light on Captain Moody's project. With all due respect to the tragic attempt of Lieut. Moncrieff and Captain Hood, it will be evident that Captain Moody and Mr. Jolley are working on a basis of 100 per cent. efficiency and safety. The objection of Mr. Bruce and Colonel Brinsmead to the utilisation of a machine without floats or other means of landing on the water does not really bear justification. Not only would floats or a hull seriously hamper flying speed, but it is extremely doubtful if safety would be added to in the case of a forced landing on a choppy or rough open sea surface! Rather would the machine be inclined to spin over on her back, by the mere fact of attempting a normal water land-ing at speed. In such a case, the radio apparatus would be immediately out of action whereas in the ease of a land machine making a "pancake" landing on the water, the apparatus would be in use for a while, as she would gradually settle down. As an instance of the degree of safety adopted by Captain Moody, my services as operator for the trip were offered and accepted, until my weight was found to be 11st 5lb. Captain Moody had so well worked out his flying weight that anything over 10st would mean the sacrificing of four to six gallons of petrol. A competent operator of suitable weight was found in Mr. S. V. Colville. The radio apparatus to be used in the machine will be capable of communication reliably over a distance of at least 3000 miles. Direction finding equipment will be installed; the silent and unfailing ear in navigation as all modern sea-forces will agree! Every few minutes the machine's position, with comments on the flight, will be transmitted, and those signals will be received by any commercial or amateur station in Australia and New Zealand. The broadcasting stations would be able to report to the public in less than three minutes the actual progress of the flight, and when the operator on the machine is taking his bearings he will be able to hear his own news coming back to him through Wellington and Auckland ahead, and Sydney and Melbourne behind! In the transmission equipment, no trailing aerial will be used. The aerial will be placed in the dead vacuum space in the stream line of the wing span. To place official obstruction against a carefully planned pioneer flight such as this is unmerited. The feeling in competent radio circles is, that had the previous flight been supplied with suitable apparatus and a competent operator, the lives of two brave men would have been saved. In conclusion, it will be well to add that Captain Moody will not leave these shores in any case without a reliable endurance test of his engine and machine. I am, etc., D. B. KNOCK, Radio 2NO, Assistant Sec., N.S.W. Radio Transmitters League. Jan. 24.[7]

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2NO as technical editor for Wireless Weekly & Radio in ANZ reflects on rapid advances in radio technology over the last few years

Technical Editors Reflections. THERE is no doubt about Progress! The world continues on its orbit through the vast universe, bearing on its continents its countless populations. Those populations may be apathetic to evolution in many cases, but in the great majority is a craving for a better scientific knowledge. It is impossible to retard Progress; and the Radio and Electrical Exhibition, at the Sydney Town Hall, is evidence of man’s progressiveness, and, what is particularly pleasing, evidence of the advancement of Australia in Radio and Electrical Science. What a contrast to the exhibition of two years ago! Many receiving instruments exhibited in 1926 were considered the last word; but to-day, they would not be tolerated. The Australian Radio manufacturer has risen to the occasion, by providing for his public, at a price available to all, instruments which are simple in operation, extremely efficient, and, in addition, a beautiful piece of household furniture! In fact, I quite believe that many housewives will probably turn down one instrument for another because the colour or design of the cabinet does not match the new Axminster carpet! As in the motor car trade, so with Radio. Productions are so excellent that the fair sex is the deciding factor in many cases! It is irrepressible for me to compare this exhibition with others of bygone days, including the majesty of Wembley in 1924. There is something strongly reminiscent of Wembley in the instructive and educative display by the Public Authorities in the lower hall. Shades of the Palace of Engineering! Here one may see and examine the intricacies of the train or tram one rides to business in; complicated railway signalling systems; the operation of the photo-electrical cell; all made possible by the utilisation of the same latent force which has made Radio communication possible, namely the Electron. Radio and Electrical Engineering are like the Siamese Twins; "One is not possible without the other." Exhibitions are truly expressive of mankind's scientific development. During 1924, I well remember Australian visitors to Wembley paying extortionate prices for broadcast receivers which today, in Australia, are valueless. In 1928, they may buy in their own country receivers for a quarter of the price which are at least 200 per cent. more efficient in every way. They are to be seen on every hand in the 1928 Exhibition, in the Sydney Town Hall. Component parts for the home constructor gladden his heart with their engineering skill, and he does not need to dive very far into his pocket to obtain the essential for that super set he has been contemplating. The evolution of the heart of the radio receiver, the valve, is displayed in all its glory on various stands, and it is truly wonderful to compare the modern valve, with its constancy and stability, with its brothers of but a few years ago. Radio has come to stay; and this exhibition will be followed by others in the future, and, wonderful as it is now, one can visualise the rapid advent of Television, when visitors to the exhibition will, in all probability, be able to see actual happenings in far-off countries taking place before their eyes. D. B. KNOCK.[8]

Advertisement in Wireless Weekly for Radio in ANZ features construction article by 2NO on "THE 1928 BROWNING-DRAKE"

SPECIAL EXHIBITION "RADIO." Don’t miss the Special Exhibition Number of "RADIO." The best issue yet published. Strong in technical matter, rich in interest, and light with humour. Printed in two colours and profusely illustrated. The features include: RAY ALLSOP'S SHORT-WAVE SUPERHETERODYNE. How to make a super-heterodyne which will tune in any short-wave broadcasting station in the world at good loud-speaker strength. A description by the Chief Engineer of 2BL (Ray Allsop, 2YG), of the remarkable shortwave receiver used to pick up and relay the British and foreign stations heard from 2BL. You must see this circuit — it's the best and latest. THE 1928 BROWNING-DRAKE. A newly-developed and more efficient Browning-Drake of two valves — a regenerative detector and one stage of R.F. as a complete unit with a single control panel arrangement. Separate amplifier units employing either transformer or resistance coupling will be described. By Don B. Knock (2NO). ADVENTURE YARN BY "BRASSO." Something new. Hi-Jackers and rum-running in the Atlantic. An Aussie brasspounder, a Yank, and the short waves. Best thing yet written by Brasso. SHORT STORIES HUMOUR ARTICLES. Alarm! A short story about a broadcasting studio — a woman’s intuition—warning — and bush fires. Also, "The Echo of Eden News Service," and "How Noah Got His Weather Reports During the Flood." Humorous drawings by Jack Waring, Mark White, and others. A. S. Cochrane (Hello Man 2FC) on the Bedtime Story. The ideal wavelength for International Broadcasting. Watch for Special Cover on Bookstalls. On Sale March 19th.[9]

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2NO advertises for a substantial wireless pole for the Wireless Weekly building

CONTRACTOR wanted, to erect 60 foot Wireless Pole. Wood supplied. D. B. KNOCK, Wireless Weekly, 51 Castlereagh-street, Sydney.[10]

1928 07[edit | edit source]

2NO logged by "The DX Hound" in Warwick

RADIO NOTES. (By "The DX Hound.")BELOW THE BELT. 2XT, 16.02 metres, Rock, N.Y.; 2XAD, 22.02 metres, Schnectady, N.Y.; PCJJ, 31.4 metres, Hilversum, Holland; 6WF, 104.5, Perth, Australia; 3LO, 32 metres, Melbourne, Australia; RFM, 60 metres, Siberia; RFN, 29 metres, Mos-ow; WGY, 32 metres, Schnectady, N. Y.; 5SW, 24 metres, Chelmsford, Eng-land; 2NM, 32.5, 28 metres, Chaterham, England. POX, 70 metres, Nauen, Ger-many. Most of the above stations can be heard nightly and others from 7a.m. onwards. Some of the stations heard over the week-end include:-— 2GW, 2FP, 7HL, 3HM, 2CJ, 3DX, 2HM, 2KL, 2LG, JOAK (short wave), 2AW, 2NO, 3WS.[11]

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2NO sends a message to "Spirit of Australia" via a Karachi amateur

RADIO TO KARACHI. FOR CAPT. HURLEY SENT FROM RANDWICK. Mr. D. B. Knock, technical editor of "Radio," who operates an experimental shortwave station at Randwick under the callsign 2NO, was in communication last night with station 2KW, Karachi, India, when a message was sent to Capt. Hurley, who is in charge of the Spirit of Australia's radio VMZAC. This conveyed greetings from Australian experimenters, who have been engaged on the compilation of a log of transmissions from the aeroplane, which is working on a wavelength of 34 metres. Since leaving Wyndham no signals from VMZAC have been reported as being heard in Australia.[12]

2NO comments on possible reasons why the "Spirit of Australia" had not been heard so far on its flight

Experimenters expect that they will be able to hear VMZAC, the radio station on the Spirit of Australia now flying towards London, in the early mornings of the next week or two. Many people have been disappointed over the fact that Captain Hurley's messages have not been received during the course of the flight up to date. It has been suggested that some defect has occurred in the transmitting gear which has prevented Captain Hurley from communicating with experimental stations in this manner, as arranged by him. The fact, however, that he himself has not mentioned this in his cable messages seems to suggest that Captain Hurley is still operating VMZAC. Our failure to receive his messages is due most probably to the fact that they are transmitted during daylight hours in tropical and sub-tropical countries, and under many difficulties, unlike the flight of the Southern Cross, which took place during night hours, and was therefore far more easily heard than it would have been had the transmissions taken place during daylight hours. Captain Hurley cannot transmit after his 'plane lands for the night on account of his aerial system being designed for flight transmission only. As Captain Hurley approaches London, the time of his flights, although daylight hours in that portion of the globe will coincide with the very early morning hours in Australia. This will mean that conditions will be far more favourable for the reception of messages than they have been up to date. VMZAC is probably the most compact, and advanced portable transmitter which has left Australia. The whole thing does not take up more than two square feet of space, excluding the winding spool for the aerial and the generator. It is an exact copy of the transmitter used by Byrd in his North Pole Flight, and very like those which will be used by him in his coming South Pole flight. It was designed at the Burgess Battery Company's famous experimental laboratories, and assembled in Sydney by New System Telephones Ltd. The circuit used is a Heintz modification of the TPTG circuit and is the result of years of experimenting with the installation of radio on airplanes. Before leaving, Captain Hurley told the writer that one of the main objects of the flight was to show the importance of radio installations in aircraft and in addition to his other attempts to create a record for continuous and reliable communication by radio from an airplane in the course of a long distance flight. Through the Technical Editor of Wireless Weekly (Mr. Don. B. Knock, operator of experimental station 2NO) Captain Hurley had arranged for the co-operation of all the amateur stations in Australia and America and those countries on his route for reports of his reception. Unfortunately, circumstances have apparently prevented him from carrying out his intention.[13]

1928 12[edit | edit source]

Ad for Wireless Weekly features "Uni-International" Receiver designed by 2NO

Every Radio Fan should have his copy of Wireless Weekly 3d. A radio fan without a copy of "Wire-less Weekly" is like a ship's captain with-out a sextant. A radio receiver without a copy of "Wireless Weekly" nearby is like a ship without a compass. Both need a sense of direction, both need the means of obtaining their bearings. "Wire-less Weekly" provides the radio fan with his information, his technical data, his circuits, and diagrams. It provides the adjacent radio set with call signs, wave lengths, and programmes. FIRST TELEVISION Experiments in Australia. THE current issue of "Wireless Weekly," dated December 28, contains the first details of actual television experiments made in Australia. Mr. W. G. Nicholls explains the remarkable phenomena observed when converting the waves of 2BL into light waves. Amazingly beautiful designs are seen in the tele-vision aperture. The principle of television is out-lined by Mr. Nicholls, who in an early issue will give details for the construction of a television receiver. Among other features are the Uni-International short-wave receiver, designed by Mr. Don B. Knock. This receiver is the greatest of all those designed for the broadcast listener. Mr. Ray Allsop gives specification for an all-wave Wasp receiver he has built. A prize is offered for the successful entry in a novel silhouette competition. A number of amusing and informative interviews, letters to the editor, cartoons, short-wave notes, are included — not forgetting the Radio Information Service, and the complete week's programmes in advance. TEAR OUT AND FORWARD THIS SUBSCRIPTION FORM To the Editor, "Wireless Weekly," 51 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. Please forward "Wireless Weekly" for a period of . . . . . . for which I enclose . . . . . . . NAME . . . . . . . ADDRESS . . . . . . Subscription Rates: 12 months (52 issues), 13/- post free; 6 months (26 issues), 6/6 post free. (Add exchange to Country Cheques.) Wireless Weekly 3d. On Sale Every Wednesday[14]

1929[edit | edit source]

1929 01[edit | edit source]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

Can't You Get Results? WOULD it surprise you to know that 65 per cent. of the receivers in New South Wales are capable of producing better results? It is a matter of efficiency and servicing. Can't you get results on your receiver? Is its performance behind that of your neighbour, whose 3-valve screen-grid receiver does the work of your 6 to 7 valve superheterodyne? If it does, your receiver requires overhauling, and perhaps rebuilding. Do not buy the first receiver you are offered, but watch Wireless Weekly each week. In every issue a new circuit is published, specially designed and tested by the Wireless Weekly staff, which includes Mr. Ray Allsop and Mr. Don B. Knock. The experience and knowledge of these two well-known engineers are at your service. WIRELESS WEEKLY On Sale Every Wednesday, THREEPENCE[15]

Wireless Weekly publishes a constructional article for an All-Electric Receiver by 2NO, its Associate Technical Editor

The AIR SCOUT by DON B. KNOCK (Associate Technical Editor)




Constructional data for an All-Electric Receiver are given in the article below. Although some care and skill are required in the making, a great deal of experience is not required, as the parts are available in an easily-wired form. The cover picture shows the handsome aspect of the finished receiver. It equals most commercially-built receivers in appearance. By DON B. KNOCK (Associate Technical Editor)

Background. I have not given much publicity in technical constructional articles previously to what is aptly termed the "all-electric" receiver; the reason for my silence being that for those who are interested in total socket power operation there are many very excellent commercial productions available. A wireless enthusiast may become very proficient in the matter of assembling, testing, and using the conventional type of receiver, with its valves deriving their filament supply from a harmless accumulator and plate voltage from B batteries, but when the construction of an all-electric set is contemplated, it is best to let well alone unless the would-be constructor is conversant with the ins and outs of power supply. One may go to prominent companies in Sydney and buy complete and ready for action receivers, operated from the light socket or power-point in the home, with a minimum of fuss and trouble. Snap goes the switch, and the set comes to life, and plate and filament voltage worries are a thing of the past — unless the municipal electric supply breaks down, which is, fortunately, rare in these days. The all-electric receiver only appeals to the city and suburban resident. In the country it is not to be considered, excepting in towns where alternating current supply is available. Yet Australia is in the process of continual development, and all the country towns, with reasonably large population, will, in due course, have their own electrical supply. There is one trouble with many all-electric sets and that is, that they have a tendency to broad tuning, which may or may not be annoying when the set is used close to the transmitter of a local broadcasting station. This feature matters very little when the set is used away in the country, and the selectivity is good enough for anything. Even in the city, if a little interference is present on 3LO from 2BL, any such slight disadvantage is balanced up by the great utility of the all-electric set, and, as I have said before, there is nothing amiss with our own local programmes. To start to build an all-electric receiver is not an easy proposition to those who are not really aware of what to expect, but when a complete kit of parts for such a receiver is placed on the market, with explicit instructions as to the assembly and the wiring, it is no more difficult to attempt successfully than the average Reinartz or Marco Four. The Air Scout Five is an all-electric receiver, built from the complete kit of parts as obtainable from the well-known Pilot agents, Harringtons, Ltd., George Street, Sydney. Recently the receiver operated entirely from the home power supply has enjoyed a tremendous boom in America. This was only to be expected, as every little town has its alternating current supply. The boom came with such a rush that radio manufacturers were faced with the problems of converting existing D.C sets for power supply. Technical journals gave many instructions on how this may be accomplished in various ways. One was the use of special valves with what was termed an "A.C. Harness." These valves were simply placed in the sockets of the receiver, and by an external flexible combination of wire, the cathodes were heated from a transformer. Troubles then arose with neutralised R.F. amplifiers, and the like, and the application did not always prove successful. These conversions were satisfactory in their way, but were overshadowed by the introduction of the commercially-designed all-electric receivers, of which there are now many splendid examples in America. One of these is that for which we supply constructional details in this article.

Realising the crave with the public for the satisfaction of watching things grow under their own hands, the material for the Air Scout Five was placed on the market in kit form, by the Pilot Company. The result is that those progressive constructors who may wish to build a receiver to operate entirely from their home electric supply now have this kit at their disposal in Sydney. The photographs show what the assembled kit looks like in its operative form. The panel front is particularly attractive, with its drum control. The Pilot double-drum control drives a .00035 variable condenser on the left, tuning the aerial coupling unit. On the right the drive actuates two ganged variable condensers, also of .00035 m.f.d. capacity, tuning the second R.F. amplifier and detector circuits, respectively. This Pilot drum control is rather unique in its construction and action. It possesses all the convenience of quick adjustments by means of the large direct driving-wheel, and at the same time provides for an excellent vernier control, owing to the inclusion of the smaller driving reduction wheels on either side of the main drives. The left and right hand sections of the double drums are insulated from each other, but may be readily connected together if required, and it will be seen from the circuit diagram of the Air Scout Five that all the rotors are common. The vernier drive is particularly smooth in action, as it is taken up by a friction device, which is superior to any geared arrangement. It is generally found with a geared drive, that, unless it is a model of engineering perfection, it is not positive in action, and shows up what is termed "backlash," the most annoying of disadvantages where fine tune is concerned. Also the gears are apt to set up a combination of mechanical and electrical noise which becomes greatly magnified when using a receiver on the higher frequencies. Owing to the smoothness of action of the friction drive, the Pilot drum would be ideal for shortwave tuning, which is not true on many drum controls. A few words of advice are necessary regarding the mounting of this drum control. The drilling diagram shows where the panel controls are placed. The first step is to cut the necessary space in the panel. Lay the drilling template, supplied with the drum, over the panel, fixing it in position with a little seccotine. The centres for the holes are then marked through the template by means of light centre-punching. Drill the holes, and knock out the centre piece, countersinking the holes for the screws holding the drum frame. The condensers should be mounted on the drum before the whole is attached to the panel. Two little diagrams, Figs. 1 and 2, show the use of the slotted clamping brace for locking the condensers to the drums. The left-hand mounting shows how the brace is fastened for the condenser on that side, and the right-hand mounting, similarly, for the right-hand condenser. With the bracket fastened temporarily, the condenser spindle is put into the hole in the drum-shaft, and the brace is fastened to the short threaded bushing, on the dial end plate. If any doubt exists as to the method of assembly, the complete instructions accompany the drum unit. The utility of this particular drum-drive is that it allows for single or ganged condensers on both sides. The only other controls on the panel front are a volume control (on the left of the dials), which consists of a 400 ohm resistance, a midget vernier compensating condenser across the second R.F. tuning control, a three-circuit jack, for gramophone pick-up use, and an "on-off" switch.

A very interesting feature of the Air Scout Five is the coil units. There are three — aerial coupling, second R.F., and detector circuits. They consist of a unique arrangement, known as the Pilot Rediblox. Apart from this receiver, these units may be obtained separately, and built up in quick time for use in modern circuits. They should be invaluable to the experimenter in these days of quick progress. It becomes easy to make what would otherwise be complicated receivers, by the use of these Rediblox. They are extremely compact, and eliminate many drilling and mounting problems, and are obtainable in a universal R.F. type, battery detector type, A.C. detector type, audio transformer type, and resistance audio coupling type. The coils for which these blocks are constructed are of the midget type, wound on special formers to plug into a standard U.X. valve socket. Coils wound on these formers would be ideal, for instance, in the Midget Screen Grid short-wave four I recently described. The coils as obtainable are made for the broadcast band, and cover a range from 190 to 550 metres, when tuned by a .00035 variable condenser. The back-of-panel views show how the Rediblox are arranged in the Air Scout Five, and the wiring may be readily followed from the point-to-point diagram. First, in the aerial circuit, we have the type 305 R.F. This is the same type in the second R.F. stage. The detector stage is the type 306 U.Y. 227 A.C. detector. This has the special 5-pin socket for the Radiotron U.Y. 227 A.C. detector valve. Finally the two audio stages are both type 302 universal audio transformer. They may be readily identified by checking up the photographs with the wiring diagram. Looking at the photograph plan of the set, and working from left to right, the components are in the following order. On the back of the sub-panel on the left may be seen two power plugs. The method of connecting these is apparent from the circuit diagram, showing that they are in parallel. The idea of this is to simplify the connection for the B eliminator. By connecting one plug to the house power-point, the 240-volt A.C. supply is fed to the primary of the filament transformer for the valves, and by simply inserting the B eliminator plug in the second plug socket, which is connected in parallel, the high tension supply is taken from the receiver itself without the necessity for running a long flex lead from a separate power-point. Immediately in front of these twin plugs is placed the filament transformer. This transformer is specially manufactured by the Pilot Company for A.C. receivers, and has many advantages to recommend it. The type is No. 388 A.C. filament transformer. The secondary voltages obtainable are:— 1½ volts, 2½ volts, and 5 volts. It will be seen that these voltages are designed to operate 1 or 2 U.Y. 227 valves, 1 to 5 U.X. 226 valves, and 1 to 2 U.X. 171 valves. There is no need to use centre tap balancing resistances across the secondary outputs, as each secondary is provided with a centre tap which is electrically correct. This transformer is designed to operate any kind of A.C. receiver up to an 8-valve superheterodyne. In front of the filament transformer is the audio frequency choke, used in the output filter to the loudspeaker. Although in the original set this is a Pilot, any of the well-known chokes, such as Ferranti B.I., A.W.A., or Emmco, will serve equally well for the purpose.

The first of the Rediblox is on the right of the components described. This is the first one in the order of the circuit diagram, type No. 305, for the aerial coupling, and uses a U.X. 226 A.C. valve. The next one, on the right (in the plan photograph), is the second audio amplifier, or output stage. This is type No. 302, and takes a U.X. 171 valve. The third block from the left is the second R.F. stage, also a type 305, used with a U.X. 226 A.C. valve. Next comes the first audio stage, type 302, used with a U.X. 226 A.C. valve, and, lastly, is the detector block, which has a special 5-pin socket, to take the U.Y. 227 valve. This is the type 306. The U.Y. 227 valve is of the independently heated cathode type. This should be apparent from the circuit diagram, where the grid return is shown connected to the cathode (a separate element), and the filament doing duty as a heater alone. The bypass condensers used in the circuit are carried underneath the sub-panel, together with all the wiring. The sub-panel need not be 8 inches wide, but should allow a space between the panel and its front-edge. This will allow ample room for the "on-off" switch, the volume control, compensating condenser, and the jack for the gramophone pick-up. No switching system is provided for this application of the gramophone for electrical reproduction. All that is necessary is to plug in a gramophone pick-up, and your loudspeaker, provided it is a good one, will reproduce records far better electrically than is possible with the gramophone itself.

The back-of-panel wiring diagram shows the lay-out of the receiver, with positions of all terminals, etc. The output for the loudspeaker is taken from two terminals on the sub-panel, as shown. Looking at the circuit diagram, it will be noticed that no regeneration is provided. By the working out of each detail with infinite care, research engineers have been able to bring the Air Scout Five to a high degree of efficiency, without recourse to regeneration. The result is that the tuning is sharp, without any loss of quality, and is sensitive, without any difficulty of adjustment. It would have been easy for the engineers in designing this receiver to have allowed for regeneration in the R.F. circuits, but it was realised that in the hands of the average operator such circuits are liable to be critical and unsatisfactory. The Airscout Five is therefore a very desirable type of receiver for a number of reasons in its favour. It is operated entirely from the house power, it is easy to control, it gives a high degree of quality reproduction, and (very important) it does not cause interference with other listeners.

It becomes necessary from time to time to warn listeners about the excessive use of reaction. It often happens that many are not aware that their receivers are in an oscillating condition although the quality of their own reception is ruined in addition to their receivers being a source of annoyance to other listeners in the neighbourhood. The wiring up of the Airscout Five should be done with insulated flex wire such as Acme, and where leads go to valve sockets from the filament transformer they should consist of twisted flexible wire of the house lighting kind. By using twisted flex, for these circuits a little capacity is included in the wiring, and has the effect of tending to filter out any alternating current hum. The wiring will be better followed from the point-to-point diagram than from verbal instructions. The set when completed is sufficiently sensitive to be used on quite a small indoor aerial for local stations, but it is necessary to use a suitably designed outside aerial for other stations. You will find that the RediBlox forms one of the most convenient methods of assembling a receiver ever devised, and they are most convenient because of the elimination of so much wiring. The assembly kit for this receiver is supplied complete with instructions, and the panels are ready drilled and engraved, so that there is very little possibility of making a mistake. The best way to go about it is to mount the front panel components first and then deal with the sub-panel. For the usual outdoor aerial, this should have a length of no more than 70 feet over-all. Using this with a good earth connection local and inter-State stations will be well received, and with an indoor aerial about 40 feet long around the picture rail every local station will be at full volume. It is important to use a good loud speaker with this set, and the one used to carry out the tests was an Amplion AC9 Cone, which gave excellent reproduction free from any trace of hum. There is one point to remember with the AC valves used. After switching on the set it is necessary to wait about 20 seconds for the valves to come into operation. This is due mostly to the UY227 detector, which requires this approximate period before the heat from the filament is transferred sufficiently to the cathode. Tuning is easy, and there are no adjustments of filament current or grid biasing, as these features form part of the design of the receiver. Set the volume control at about the mid position, and turn the two drums together. Use the compensating condenser for best adjustment, preferably on a distant station, and make final tuning adjustments with the vernier controls. For those who may wish to consider other makes and types of AC valves with this receiver, the enterprising company of Philips Lamps, Ltd., have now placed on the market what is probably the largest range of AC valves manufactured by any company in the world. These include screen-grid AC valves, which open up very interesting possibilities in both broadcast and shortwave all-electric receivers.

(Start Graphic Caption) LEFT HAND MOUNTING (End Graphic Caption)

(Start Graphic Caption) RIGHT HAND MOUNTING (End Graphic Caption)

(Start Photo Caption) This angle view shows the completed receiver before being placed in cabinet. Note the position of the components. (End Photo Caption)

List of Parts for the Air Scout Five

  • 1 panel, 24 x 8 x 3-16in.
  • 1 sub-panel, 23 x 8 x 3-16 in.
  • 1 Pilot 1281 Double Drum.
  • 1 Pilot No. 388 A.C. Filament Transformer.
  • 3 Pilot .00035mfd. variable condensers.
  • 2 No. 305 Pilot R.F. Rediblox.
  • 1 No. 176 Set of 3 coils.
  • 1 No. 306 Pilot UY 227 Detector Rediblox.
  • 2 No. 302 Pilot A.C. Rediblox with Transformers.
  • 3 Pilot No. 1617 Var. Condensers .00035 M.F.
  • 1 Pilot No. J7 Midget Condenser, .00025 M.F.
  • 1 Pilot No. 350 Resistograd.
  • 1 Audio Choke Emmco or A.W.A.
  • 1 Imperia by-pass 2 M.F. Condenser.
  • 2 Imperia by-pass 1 M.F. Condenser.
  • 1 Pilot No. 959 A.C. Resistor C bias.
  • 1 Pilot No. 951 UX 171 Resistor C bias.
  • 4 Pilot UY valve sockets.
  • 1 Pilot UX valve socket.
  • 1 3-circuit Jack.
  • 1 Filament switch.[16]

2NO collaborates with 2AW to develop their common station

NEW WAVE BAND. Doings in Amateur World All Australian stations are now in full swing on the new 41-metre band, and great enthusiasm has been shown. Messrs. H. Cooper (5HG) and R. Anthony (5CM) have been the more successful of local amateurs. Some difficulty has been experienced by Mr. P. Nolan, of New South Wales (2YI), in communicating with 8GZ, of Ohio, America. Mr. Anthony, on the other hand, is maintaining a nightly schedule with the American station. At various times he has made unsuccessful attempts to effect a connection between 2YI and 8GZ. Mr. Anthony recently made extensive alterations to his aerial system, and it is now approximately vertical. Mr. D. R. Whitburn (5BY) has not had much success with distant stations on the new band, and he proposes to make extensive alterations to his aerial system. All New Zealand stations (under call sign ZL) appear to have secured a firm footing under the new conditions, and are connecting with distant stations without effort. Messrs. D. B. Knock (2NO) and Dye (2AW), of Sydney, have amalgamated their interests and propose to install apparatus embracing all the latest features. This should prove of advantage to Australian amateurs. Mr. Knock is editor of a well-known Australian journal.[17]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

My dear Fellow! YOU all know him . . he comes right in in the very instant your receiver refuses to "mote." He is full of sympathy, and not a little condescension. But why suffer his patronising air when you can so easily avoid your receiving difficulties by enlisting the assistance of the Wireless Weekly Engineers? At your service for the more efficient operation of the receiver is the experience and knowledge of Mr. Ray Allsop and Mr. Don B. Knock. Write to the Wireless Weekly Service Department, and have these experts solve your difficulties. WIRELESS WEEKLY On Sale Every Wednesday, THREEPENCE [18]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

RAP ON PARCHMENT IS REVOLVER SHOT. Resource of Radio Dramatist. When you hear realistic noises in a radio drama, do you wonder how they are produced? The hitting of a piece of parchment becomes a revolver shot. Water poured from a jug to a glass goes out as a waterfall; crackling dead leaves gives the noise of a fire; a tiger's roar is produced by blowing down a glass lamp chimney. Thus Mr. Scott Alexander, Australia's leading radio dramatist, who has produced 230 sketches and plays over the air, gives away the secrets, which are fully explained in an article by him in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly." Among other features in the same issue are an article on the possibility of radio waves as a cure for cancer, various technical features by Mr. Ray Allsop and Mr. Don B. Knock, and numerous interviews and news stories. The full week's programmes for local and inter-State broadcasting stations are also given. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all newsagents and bookstalls every Wednesday. Order your copy now to avoid disappointment.[19]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

YOUR SET. FACTS YOU WANT. Few classes seek information as does the radio enthusiast. Within the last three months thousands of queries have reached the offices of "Wireless Weekly," seeking advice and assistance from the Radio Information Service Department, which is under the direction of Mr. Ray Allsop and Mr. Don B. Knock. These queries have taken every possible form, and have come from places as far distant as Fiji, New Zealand and Papua. They deal with almost every conceivable phase of radio, and afford remarkable means of acquiring necessary knowledge about your set. Order your copy of "Wireless Weekly" immediately, and avoid disappointment. On sale at all newsagents and bookstalls.[20]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

ADVOCATES HIGH-POWER RADIO STATION. Invaluable for Experimental Work. That a 50 kilowatt broadcasting station be erected immediately to proceed with experimental high-power transmission is advocated by Mr. Ray Allsop, chief engineer of 2BL, in an article in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly." "A high-power transmitter could experiment on various wave lengths and provide invaluable data for the further development of our broadcasting schemes," states Mr. Allsop. "Experimental transmissions should be carried out on shorter wave bands with a view to providing dwellers in the Northern Territory and other remote places in Australia with a possible service." Mr. Allsop elaborates his reasons for suggesting this move, and deals authoritatively with broadcasting generally. Mr. Allsop is also Associate Technical Editor of "Wireless Weekly," and with Mr. Don B. Knock is responsible for a wide variety of interesting technical articles in this week's issue. Particularly interesting is an article on constructional hints for the home builder. Other features include an article on the possibility of ordinary radio waves as a cure for cancer, and Mr. Scott Alexander on the development of the radio drama. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all newsagents and bookstalls.[21]

1929 02[edit | edit source]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

THE VALUE OF CRYSTAL SETS. Admit possession of a crystal receiver and someone laughs at you as if you were wearing something as old-fashioned as a flowered waistcoat. But you may be assured that the scoffer is an ignorant person, for the crystal receiver is by no means out of date. In recent months hundreds of requests have been received from "Wireless Weekly" readers for the publication of a good crystal circuit, and one has been described in the current issue. It is selective, reliable, clear, amazingly cheap, and does not produce or pick up interference. In the current issue of "Wireless Weekly" Mr. Don B. Knock deals with the importance of tone in modern receivers. Mr. Ray Allsop discusses the question of battery upkeep, and a famous American engineer the commercial development of television. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday, price 3d.[22]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

SHORT-WAVE LISTENERS RECOGNISE FOREIGN ACCENTS. "This is Station WJZE-eee, Nooark, Noo Joisey." No need to doubt the origin of this radio announcement. Other announcers, too, in Russia, Italy, South Africa, England, Holland, or Java, all have their distinctive accents. It is part of the fascination of listening on the shortwaves to recognise the accents of strange people all over the world. The alluring shortwaves, however, require a fair amount of skill in the operator, yet not expert knowledge. Almost any listener can tune in RFN, KDKA, PCJ, 5SW, 5B, or LXAD by careful trying. Hints for the shortwave listener, new and old, are contained in a long article by Mr. Don. B. Knock in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly," on sale today. Mr. Knock deals extensively with shortwave circuits and tuning. Other features contained in the same issue include a humorous article by Mr. Ewart Chapple on "Soubrettes." Mr. Ray Allsop addresses beginners on constructing a simple receiver. In addition, there is a short, constructive article on charging your own wet "B" battery in half an hour, interviews, news from New Zealand, London, and New York, and the complete programmes for all stations a week in advance.[23]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

ADVICE PLENTY FOR RADIO FANS. Every radio beginner turns to his neighbours for advice, and every radio beginner receives more advice than he wants. But there is advice and advice. Only a radio man of considerable experience is qualified to advise the beginner. Ray Allsop, chief engineer of 2BL, gives the right kind of advice. In the current issue of "Wireless Weekly" he devotes an article to the points for the beginner. Other features in the same issue include a humorous article by Mr. Ewart Chapple on Soubrettes, Mr. Don B. Knock writes on shortwave hints. In addition, there is an interesting article on strange examples of radio freak phenomena, interviews, news from New Zealand, London, and New York, and the complete programmes for all stations a week in advance. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price, 3d.[24]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

RACE BROADCASTS. FORBIDDEN IN NEW ZEALAND. Racing descriptions are not permitted to be broadcast in New Zealand. As a result, listeners are indignant over the curtailment of a privilege which they regard as a right. But the authorities are adamant. Bookmaking is illegal, and racing descriptions, it is maintained, will assist the illegal bookmaker to the detriment of the totalisator. That New Zealand broadcasting is passing through a stage of development reached by New South Wales broadcasting is indicated by the New Zealand correspondent of "Wireless Weekly." Other features in the same issue include an article on the strange examples of radio freak phenomena, a humorous article by Mr. Ewart Chapple on Soubrettes; Mr. Ray Allsop addresses beginners on constructing a simple receiver; Mr. Don. B. Knock writes on shortwave hints. In addition, there is a short constructional article on charging your own wet "B" battery in half an hour, interviews; news from New Zealand, London, and New York; and the complete programmes for all stations a week in advance. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all newsagents and bookstalls every Wednesday, price 3d.[25]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

£1 A MINUTE FOR 'PHONE CONVERSATIONS. A trans-Atlantic telephone conversation costs £1 a minute. But British, American, and Continental business men think nothing of paying this fee for special and confidential work. The call also involves considerable work for the various postal authorities. No matter whether speaking from Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Baltimore, or Boston, a call put through finds the man it was intended for, even if he is in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Brussels, Antwerp, Geneva, or travelling between those capitals. The system has reached a fine state of perfection, as told by the London correspondent of "Wireless Weekly" in the current issue. Other radio developments are also dealt with. The proposed new home of the B.B.C. is described, and the Fultograph method of picture transmission, by means of which listeners receive broadcast pictures in their home, is outlined. Other features in the same issue include an article on the strange examples of radio freak phenomena, a humorous article by Mr. Ewart Chapple on Soubrettes, Mr. Ray Allsop addresses beginners on constructing a simple receiver, Mr. Don B. Knock writes on shortwave hints.[26]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

HEARING LIGHT. NEW RADIO DEVELOPMENT. Sound that is visible and audible light. The paradox is not so impossible as it may seem, for it has been achieved in the laboratory of Mr. John Bellamby Taylor, the famous electrical engineer. A beam of light travelling silently about a room suddenly breaks into music as it impinges upon a mirror target. Ordinary radio waves superimposed upon it, stimulate the sensitive controls of a radio receiver, which reacts accordingly. The difference between sending sound over a beam of light and by way of radio is simply one of degree. The advent of the photoelectric valve makes possible both developments, which are fully described in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly." Other features in the same issue include an article on practical constructional hints for the home builder by Don B. Knock, a description of the operation of the loud speaker, in addition to a number of humorous articles, interviews, news, notes on current events, and a full week's programmes of all stations in advance. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price 3d.[27]

1929 03[edit | edit source]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad

POWERFUL INFLUENCE OF RADIO ANNOUNCER. Who is it that enters your home every night, yet whose form you have never seen? IT sound like one of those provoking old-fashioned riddles we used to hear years ago. But this is fact. He does enter your home, and plays a large part in your domestic life, and yet you are personally unacquainted with him — that is, if you are a listener-in. This, of course, provides the necessary clue. We mean the radio announcer. He, in truth, plays an increasingly important part in your home life. His voice is heard perhaps more often than your own, and his recipes, advice, and information may even be acted upon more often than your own. Yet you know nothing of him. It is a development of the new age. The subject is made the most of in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly." Other features include an article on practical constructional hints for the home-builder by Don B. Knock, a description of the operation of the loudspeaker, in addition to a number of humorous articles, interviews, news and notes on current events, and a full week's programmes in advance. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price, 3d.[28]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

BETTER MUSIC. RAY ALLSOP'S NEW PICK-UP. Radio, the electrical gramophone, the talkie. Thus has the development of wireless affected other industries. Only after radio had perfected electrical reproduction did the electric gramophone appear, and only after the gramophone the talkies, which are merely the gramophone on a larger scale. Ray Allsop, chief engineer of 2BL and associate technical editor of "Wireless Weekly," is contributing an important series of articles on electrical amplification to "Wireless Weekly," the first of which appears in the current issue. Mr. Allsop supplies a circuit which he recommends for a gramophone pickup. Other features in the same issue include an article written by Mr. E. Gollan on his visit to the interior of Australia with the Australian Inland Mission; an Interference Eliminator by Don B. Knock, with alternative circuits; and a new inexpensive three-valve receiver. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price 3d.[29]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

ALL-WAVE SET TUNES IN "B" STATIONS. Although excellent service is given from the local "A" class broadcasting stations, every listener who desires variety, would like to tune in the numerous "B" class stations. However, owing to the wavelength difficulties, this is not always possible, and sometimes, even when possible, distortion is evident in the striving after range. The new "all-wave" receiver described by Don B. Knock in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly" will be welcomed, therefore, by many hundreds of listeners-in. A simple Reinartz circuit, with a high quality audio amplifier, and provision for the electrical reproduction of gramophone records is used, but with the addition of special plug-in coils. Among other features in the same issue are full details of a novel whistling competition, to be held at 2BL, an article on resistance coupler amplifiers, and the full week's programmes for all stations. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all newsagents and bookstalls every Wednesday. Price 3d.[30]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

WHISTLERS AT 2BL ON MONDAY. The Pied Piper of Hamelin drew whole populations away from home with his art. At 2BL next Monday a whole population will follow a sextette of whistlers, who will compete to see who is the most popular whistler according to popular vote. The novel competition is being conducted by "Wireless Weekly" in conjunction with 2BL. A number of well-known artists have entered. Full details of the competition, in addition to photographs of the competitors, are published in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly," which should be in the hands of all who listen. A prize of £2 2s is offered to the listener who numbers the competitors in the order of popular vote. Among other features appearing in the same issue are constructional details for a de luxe all-wave four-valve receiver, designed by Don B. Knock, for reception of the low-wave "B" stations, an article on resistance coupled amplifiers, and an article on television by the world-famous inventor — Mr. C. Francis Jenkins. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price 3d.[31]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

RADIO PROSPECTING. New Process Reduces Cost. Science in its application to almost every branch of human activity has now revolutionised old methods of prospecting. This development has uncovered hundreds of new lodes, and reduced the cost of prospecting by two-thirds. The process is a development of certain radio applications, and is fully described in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly." Among other features in the same issue are full details of a novel whistling competition to be held at 2BL, an article on resistance coupled amplifiers, and constructional details for a de luxe all-wave four-valve receiver, designed by Don B. Knock for reception of the low-wave "B" stations. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price 3d.[32]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

SILENT PIONEERS. Work of "Hams" in Radio Development. They call them "hams." The title is in no way derogatory, but carries a certain distinction. It is a colloquial abbreviation for "amateur" as applied to radio experimenters. The radio amateur is a silent pioneer in radio development, and the extent of the present day activities of "hams" is well illustrated in an article in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly" by Don B. Knock, the well-known amateur experimenter. In the same issue are useful constructional articles — "The Renown Special Three," "Workshop Hints," and "Copper Shielding" — in addition to interviews, news and notes, and general articles, and the full week's programme for all stations a week in advance. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price 3d.[33]

1929 04[edit | edit source]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

FLOUR DUSTER. MAKES RADIO SHIELD. A simple flour-duster. Object of the housewife's attention? Delight of domesticity? No! Fruit of a radio fan's search for a shield canister. Since when? Since it was discovered that a simple flour-duster as sold by all big retailers will make an excellent and inexpensive shield for a wave trap. One of the problems of broadcast reception is interference from extraneous noises, and the wave trap has been devised to eliminate or to reduce this trouble. However, all wave traps are not so efficient as they might be, and the addition of a special shield often helps considerably. In the current issue of "Wireless Weekly" is given full details of the cheapest possible shielded wave trap. One or two shillings and a few minutes are all that is needed when a simple flour-duster is used. Other features in the same issue include an article on Edison, an article on an extraordinary device appropriately called the "Electric Eye," Mr. Ray Allsop on the four functions of broadcasting, and Mr. Don B. Knock on how to build the "Air King." "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday, Price, 3d.[34]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

AN ELECTRIC EYE. Distinguishes Color and Sorts Cigars. Science has invented some extraordinary devices, but surely none so marvellous as the electric eye which sees and can distinguish color! Makes of paints and dyes and pigments and many diverse commercial products are finding the new invention invaluable in their factories. It is used for a hundred purposes, which it executes more reliably than the human eye, from mixing paint to sorting cigars. How this remarkable device works is told at length in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly." Other features in the same issue include an article on Edison; how to build and shield a wave trap by using a cheap domestic flour duster; Mr. Ray Allsop deals with four functions of broadcasting, and Mr. Don B. Knock describes how to build the "Air King." "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price 3d.[35]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

VMZAB. SOUTHERN CROSS'S RADIO. EQUIPPING CANBERRA. Working right round the clock, a party of four engineers equipped the Southern Cross with its radio apparatus in record time, the day before she left on her ill-fated flight, and each is certain that only a severe accident could place this apparatus out of commission. Mr. Ray Allsop tells in "Wireless Weekly," how the Southern Cross, the Canberra and the Widgeon were equipped with radio. His article is fully illustrated with photographs of the Southern Cross apparatus. Other features in the same issue include details of a unique competition to be held shortly at 2FC, in which a number of artists will compete to see whose interpretation of various chosen characters is the most popular. How programmes are built up is told also in a short article, and the technical department includes complete constructional details for the popular "Go Getter" shortwave receiver, designed by Don B. Knock. The "Go Getter" is a proved receiver, and those intending to build it will find it extremely simple. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all newsagents and bookstalls every Wednesday. Price 3d.[36]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

RIGHT TUNING. TOO BOLD OR TOO SHY? Mysterious dials on a small panel, a soft touch, a gentle twist, and the miracle of broadcasting takes place. The whole secret of successful radio reception lies in the correct method of tuning your receiver. Some listeners are not unaccountably awed by these dials; others are too bold — swing the dial round its axis, and miss all the stations they desire to tune in. But accurate tuning is not an art, according to Don. B. Knock, in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly." Rather it is an accomplishment which can be acquired by every listener-in. Those who have been troubled in this direction should not fail to read this article. It clears up many small difficult points. Additional features in the same issue include an article in which is described a device invented for the obtaining of correct altitude of aeroplanes, an article on "Engineering in Sound," by Ray Allsop, topical news, notes and interviews, and the full week's programmes for all stations a week in advance. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price 3d.[37]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

JOURNALISM ON HIGH SEAS. FIRST WIRELESS NEWSPAPER. Today complete radio newspapers fully set up in type and printed by machinery, are published on the large Atlantic liners. But long before these developments had taken place, two young Australian radio operators working on the freighter "Bulla," tramping between Australia and Mediterranean ports, published what was probably the first radio newspaper. This was in the immediate postwar days, when the wireless valve was almost unknown aboard ships. The story of how this newspaper was produced, is told with a great deal of humor and interest in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly." Other features appearing in the same issue, which is a special exhibition number containing 84 pages, include a complete and humorous experience of a first attempt to build a radio receiver, Eric Welch, 3LO's popular sporting commissioner describes the famous sporting service of this station, and an interesting pen-portrait of Mr. A. S. Cochrane — 2FC's "Hello Man." On the technical side Mr. Don B. Knock, associate technical editor of "Wireless Weekly," describes the 1929 Neutrodyne — one of the most popular and efficient circuits ever designed. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale every Wednesday, and is obtainable at all newsagents and bookstalls. Price 3d.[38]

1929 05[edit | edit source]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

COILS. IMPORTANCE IN RADIO. The most wonderful thing about a radio set is inductance. Strange work for a simple contrivance which involves a few turns of wire around what is known as a former, but in this simple device lies the whole secret of radio reception, and it was the discovery of the capacity effects of coils of wire which first led to the development of the radio receiver. In the current issue of "Wireless Weekly," Mr. Don B. Knock, associate technical editor, deals exhaustively with this important component of the radio receiver, and hundreds of radio fans who have made their own receivers will be interested in his instructions for home-made coils, both shielded and unshielded, for every type of set. Other features in the same issue of "Wireless Weekly" include details of the special attractions at the Radio Exhibition, three accounts of the landing at Anzac selected as the best of those entered in "2BL Wireless Weekly" competition, a humorous account of a visit to the Melbourne Radio Exhibition, and an article by Mr. Ray Allsop on high quality amplification. In addition to the complete broadcasting programmes for all stations, which are published a week in advance, and a large radio information service, which deals with answers, to readers' questions. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all newsagents and bookstalls every Wednesday. Price 3d.[39]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

PRIVATE HISTORIES OF ANZAC. The Three Best Stories. Every Anzac brought back his own individual account of the historic landing, and the thousands of stories are gradually fusing into one glorious legend and tradition. There have been a number of attempts to record in a manner distinct from the official history, personal incidents which make the private history of Anzac. One of these attempts was the recent solicitation by 2BL, in conjunction with "Wireless Weekly," for private stories of the landing. Hundreds of stories were received, and the three best are published in a current issue of "Wireless Weekly." Other features in the same issue of "Wireless Weekly" include details of the special attractions at the Radio Exhibition, a humorous account of a visit to the Melbourne Radio Exhibition, and an article by Mr. Don B. Knock, associate technical editor, on coils. Mr. Ray Allsop writes on high quality amplification, and, in addition, there are the complete programmes for all stations a week in advance, and a large radio information service for readers. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price, 3d.[40]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad

RADIO CIRCUIT. MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY. A straightforward modern radio circuit, easy to make, which gives volume, range, selectivity, and a maximum purity of reproduction. That is what hundreds of radio fans absorbed in the fascination of tinkering with wireless apparatus, are looking for. It is easy enough to find excellent circuits to give volume and selectivity, but very few of these are easy building for the beginner, and not all of them, despite remarkable performances in bringing in distant stations, give clarity. The Maxpure receiver, as fully described in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly," provides these features. Other features in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly" include a summary of the Government specifications for programme tenders, a comprehensive article on faults in radio, and audio frequency transformers, by Mr. Don B. Knock, and many other articles and illustrations. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents, every Wednesday. Price, 3d.[41]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad

ONLY 11 DAYS LEFT FOR RADIO TENDERS. Only 11 days are left in which responsible people may tender for pro-vision of broadcasting programmes, as outlined in the specifications recently issued by the Commonwealth Government. Not many listeners-in realise the purport of the Government's specifications, and the important conditions laid down. The special report on the specifications appearing in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly" will, therefore, be of considerable interest. Other features include a complete review of the Radio Exhibition, constructional details of a modern four-valve receiver; Mr. Don B. Knock, associate technical editor, on faults in radio and audio frequency transformers; and many other articles and illustrations. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price 3d.[42]

2NO featured in a Wireless Weekly ad (2NO appears to have parted ways with WW around this time)

PROHIBITED! GILBERT AND SULLIVAN. Have you ever heard a Gilbert and Sullivan song over the air? Have you heard the operas "Manon Lescaut," "Tosca," "Alda," or "Otello"? Did you know that Rudyard Kipling and Sir James Barrie will not allow their work to be broadcast? Many owners of copyright still have a peculiar prejudice against broadcasting, and exercise their power to prevent certain performances being broadcast. The reason why listeners are unable to hear certain items is the subject of an article in the current issue of "Wireless Weekly." A list of those performances prohibited is printed. Other features appearing in the same issue include an article by Mr. J. S. W. Stannage, radio operator on the Canberra during the flight in which the Southern Cross was found. Mr. Don B. Knock, technical editor, tells how to get the most out of a B eliminator, and Mr. J. E. Graham, London correspondent outlines the activities of the British Broadcasting Corporation. In addition the full week's programmes for all broadcasting stations in advance, is given. "Wireless Weekly" is on sale at all bookstalls and newsagents every Wednesday. Price 3d.[43]

1929 06[edit | edit source]
1929 07[edit | edit source]

2NO featured (incorrectly as it happens) in a Wireless Weekly ad with Ray Allsop

My dear Fellow! YOU all know him . . he comes right in in the very instant your receiver refuses to "mote." He is full of sympathy, and not a little condescension. But why suffer his patronising air when you can so easily avoid your receiving difficulties by enlisting the assistance of the Wireless Weekly Engineers? At your service for the more efficient operation of the receiver is the experience and knowledge of Mr. Ray Allsop and Mr. Don B. Knock. Write to the Wireless Weekly Service Department, and have these experts solve your difficulties. WIRELESS WEEKLY On Sale Every Wednesday, THREEPENCE [44]

The Sun publishes a retraction for associating 2NO with the Wireless Weekly

It was inadvertently, stated in an advertisement in "The Sun" on July 3 that Mr. Don B. Knock was connected with the staff of "Wireless Weekly." This is incorrect, Mr. Knock has been carrying on business on his own account as a radio engineer for some time past.[45]

1929 08[edit | edit source]

2NO reports hearing the Graff Zeppelin in Los Angeles

ACROSS OCEAN. GRAF ZEPPELIN'S LANDING HEARD IN SYDNEY. The enthusiasm of an immense crowd which watched the German Graf Zeppelin land at Los Angeles after its flight across the Pacific from Japan — described by an American announcer — was heard by Sydney wireless enthusiasts in the early hours this morning. Mr. H. W. Humphries, of Flemming-street, Wollstonecraft, was experimenting at 12.30 a.m., when he heard "The Graf Zeppelin is about to land." The announcer described the huge crowd that had gathered to welcome the crew. "Japanese girls mingle with the thousands of Americans, and their brilliant kiminos lend color to the spectacle," he said, and could be heard clearly. SIR H. WILKINS SPEAKS. Then each member of the Zeppelin's crew gave a short address at the microphone. The commander (Dr. Eckener) spoke in German. Two Japanese officials, one described as a direct representative of the Mikado, spoke in Japanese. Then came an Australian voice. It was Sir Hubert Wilkins, who gave a short address, appreciating the voyage. Lady Drummond Hay described the cooking arrangements on the Zeppelin. The announcer then said that the Zeppelin was leaving that night for New York on its trip around the world. Mr. Humphries was working on about a 22-metre wavelength, and listened to the description for 20 minutes. HEARD ON SUNDAY. Strong signals from the Zeppelin were received at Bronte, on Sunday by Mr. D. B. Knock, at his experimental station, VK2NO. Messages were being transmitted on a wavelength of 36 metres, the call sign being DENNE.[46]

1929 09[edit | edit source]
1929 10[edit | edit source]
1929 11[edit | edit source]
1929 12[edit | edit source]

1930s[edit | edit source]

1930[edit | edit source]

1930 01[edit | edit source]
1930 02[edit | edit source]

2NO passes through Adelaide on his way to Wyndham Meatworks

Wireless Telephony For W. A. Meatworks. Mr. D. B. Knock, formerly technical editor of Wireless Weekly, Sydney, is on his way to West Australia, to take charge of a wireless telephony system to be installed by the Wyndham Meat Works. Under the system a motor launch and a motor car will constitute mobile stations which will give the office information about herds in outlying parts.[47]

Report on project by 2NO to establish radio network around Wyndham Meatworks

UP-TO-DATE MEAT WORKS. Locates Cattle By Wireless. A novel and apparently practicable use for wireless has been invented through the enterprise of the Wyndham Meat Works, Western Australia. The firm is making arrangements to locate the cattle for the works by means of wireless outfits to be sent out through the 300 square miles of scrub country comprising the run. Mr. D. B. Knock, of Sydney, formerly technical editor of the "Wireless Weekly" and "Radio in Australia and New Zealand," who passed through Adelaide yesterday, on his way to take charge of the erection and arrangement of the plant, said two broadcasting plants would be installed, one in a launch and the other in a car. The launch would range along the creeks and estuaries, and the car would penetrate inland and communicate by wireless telephony with a receiving station at the head station. By this means it was believed that considerable time and expense in tracing the cattle would be saved.[48]

1930 03[edit | edit source]
1930 04[edit | edit source]

Brief summary of 2NO's activities at the Wyndham Meatworks

CATTLE ROUND-UPS BY USE OF WIRELESS. UNIQUE RADIO EXPERIMENT. KNOCK'S WORK. SYDNEY, Friday. Of a quiet and unassuming disposition, Mr. Don B. Knock, wireless operator at the Cygnas meatworks, Wyndham, W.A., is linked up with one of the most romantic stories associated with the development of wireless. This is apart from the arduous hours he has spent at the transmitting key giving news of Smith and Shiers to Australia. As radio operator at the W.A. Government's huge Cygnas meatworks, Mr. Knock is the central point of a unique scheme designed to facilitate the handling of cattle over the wide spaces of the North-west. The authorities some time ago installed modern wireless equipment with the idea of assisting the checking of cattle at "round ups." The plan was for small transmitting sets to be taken by car and launch by members of the staff engaged, on the work, and each day they were to advise the central office of the number and condition of the cattle they had passed. An expert was needed to control the central station and train operators to handle the smaller sets, and the W.A. authorities chose Mr. Knock. Formerly technical editor of a Sydney wireless publication, Mr. Knock owed much of his expert radio knowledge to the practical experience gained in the R.A.F. and Navy. At Randwick he had one of the most complete workshops in Australia, known to the G.P.O. and amateur broad-casters as VK2NO. Here, surrounded by a maze of wireless gear, he exchanged messages with friends in all parts of the world.[49]

1930 05[edit | edit source]

2NO provides a comparison of radio equipment of the City of Sydney and Southern Cross

Smith-Shiers Flight. How Radio Saved Men. Some details of the radio equipment of the Ryan monoplane City of Sydney on which Smith and Shiers unsuccessfully attempted to fly from Australia to England are given in "The Listener In" by Don B. Knock. It was Mr. Knock who picked up the radio distress signals at Wyndham after the plane had been forced down in the Kimberley ranges. Mr. Knock writes:— With the episode of the Smith-Shiers flight to England, and the near disaster which befel the Ryan monoplane as she roared over the Kimberley Ranges, Australian radio engineers — and particularly those interested in radio applied to aviation — realise fully that there are certain features of design which are imperative. First of all, let it be understood that the Smith-Shiers Ryan monoplane carried no high power transmitting equipment actuated by an air driven alternator or generator. When I mention "high power" this is but relatively speaking. The equipment carried on board the Southern Cross was of 50 watts input power — still low power as engineers know it — but considerably higher than that on board the "City of Sydney" — A puny 10 watts. Yet this 10 watt equipment was more effective and more suitable for an emergency than the 50 watt apparatus on the Southern Cross — and for these reasons. Once the Southern Cross was at rest the power supply of the transmitter was cut off, owing to the fact that both the filament supplies and high tension supplies were derived from the air-driven generator. TRAILING AERIAL. The aerial was of the trailing type, this being permanent only while the machine was in the air. An attempt at communication from the ground would have difficulties, as the aerial would have to be rigged out, and to turn the generator by artificial mechanical or hand means would require a superhuman effort. This, in brief, is the reason why the Southern Cross remained lost to human knowledge at the time she was marooned here in the vast Nor-west. In the case of the "City of Sydney," VMZAJ, the transmitter consisted of a simple but sturdy oscillator, with the valve filament lit from an accumulator and plate voltage from "B" batteries. The aerial was a fixture on the machine, being simplicity itself, and having a fundamental around the wave length used. STEADY SIGNALS. In the air the signals from VMZAJ were always steady — the aerial could not swing, being a taut fixture — whereas with the trailing aerial the constant swing in the air continually changes the balancing capacity, and hence the wave length. When the sudden crisis came, and the engine suffered internal breakage, Smith made sure of his landing and relied on his radio gear once he was safely down. This would not be possible with the equipment relying on air drive, and it would become of importance to get the position and S.O.S. out before actually reaching ground. Not very long after the City of Sydney and her crew were plunged into the forbidding and inhospitable appearing Kimberley Ranges the first distress call was heard in Wyndham, Darwin, Wave Hill, and even Broome. An interesting feature of the distress calls from VMZAJ was that Smith had lost his Morse chart en route, and had only been coached in Morse two days previous to leaving Sydney; which speaks volumes for brain concentration under great stress. Not far from the lost machine were Rosewood, Argyle, and lvanhoe cattle stations, which at once brings up the consideration of the installation of transmitting and receiving equipment for such inland positions. Had there been transmitters and receivers at such points no anxiety would have been caused from the first, but here it must be mentioned that no receiver was carried on VMZAJ. This was doubtful in Wyndham until information came to hand, but to be sure that there was no stone left unturned VMZAJ was called repeatedly by VIX, Wyndham meatworks short wave station on 54.95 metres telephony. Had a receiver been on board the plane the aviators could have at once set their minds at ease in the knowledge that search parties with food were getting near them as the 100 watt telephony transmission at 75 miles air line range could not have been missed. Where an aeroplane must limit carried weight, it now behoves radio engineers to get down to bedrock a compact little receiver — plain detector and penthode audio — as light as possible, and with low filament voltage and consumption valves from dry cells, so that if stranded answers to distress calls may be heard. Naturally the transmitter is of primary importance to inform the world of what has happened, but the receiver is also a very useful item.[50]

1930 06[edit | edit source]
1930 07[edit | edit source]
1930 08[edit | edit source]

2NO reports on the arrival and departure of lone Australia-England flier Andrew Cunningham

OFF TO BIMA. LONE FLIER'S CHEERY START ALOFT AT 5.45 A.M. "DO THE JOB; THEN BACK TO AUSSIE" (Exclusive to "The Sun") WYNDHAM, Tuesday. Andrew Cunningham climbed into the cockpit of his Genairco 'plane at 5.45 a.m. (Wyndham time), today, waved cheerily to Mr. Don B. Knock, radio operator of the Wyndham meat works and after warming up the engines, taxied into the wind and aloft on the first hop of his flight to London. "I don't want to waste any time," he said last night. "I want to get the job done — and then back to Aussie for me. His first-hop to Bima, is 800 miles. After a night of chill winds, Cunningham left the Wyndham Hotel, and was driven out to his 'plane on the aerodrome. Dawn broke in rosy splendor, as he made a final inspection of the machine, and warmed the engine up. Weather reports were favorable for the flight across the Timor Sea. "I don't want to waste any time," said Cunningham last night. "I want to get the job done — and then back to Aussie again for me. In fact, I believe I'm homesick already." "That's the stuff to give 'em," he said, as Mr. Knock handed him the weather reports. There was a final consultation of the map showing his route, and with a "cheerio" and a wave of the hand he taxied out, head into the wind, and, without any hesitation, was in the air and nosing down the Gulf, gaining height rapidly. He left at 6.45 (Wyndham time), and was soon a tiny speck in the distance — a tiny roaring speck of confidence and pluck, symbolic of Australian courage. He had over 80 miles to go down the Gulf before leaving the coast of Australia, and, with the favourable winds, he should sight the coast of Timor within four hours. Information reached Cunningham from the Civil Aviation Department last night that his passport must be vised by the Consul-General at Batavia. Cunningham was rather worried about this, and promptly got in touch by radio with Messrs. C. C. Wakefield and Co. They wired Batavia immediately, stating that Cunningham would hop off this morning at daybreak, and asking the Consul-General to extend courtesy and protection to the Australian flier. The distance from Wyndham to Bima is 800 miles, and to Sourabaya another 450. The 'plane has a cruising speed of 90 miles an hour, but if a southeast wind is blowing as anticipated this may add another 20 miles to his speed. C. C. Wakefield and Co. believe that he may reach Sourabaya tonight — possibly landing at Bima for refuelling. His First Request. When Captain Cunningham landed at 2.30 p.m. yesterday his first request after attending to his engine was for a glass of ginger ale, and then he asked if someone would go into town and buy him a hat. The Wyndham Cup race meeting was in progress when he landed here yesterday, and consequently few people were aware of Cunningham's arrival. Mr. Don Knock, the radio operator at the Wyndham meat works, went from the racecourse to the landing-ground, and 10 minutes later sighted the Genairco machine to the north. Cunningham made a perfect landing, Mr. Knock and Mr. Davidson, of Wyndham, welcoming him. Cunningham said that he was flying an Australian-built machine to England to boost the Australian air industry. The machine had behaved splendidly, was as solid as a rock, and could be landed anywhere. His flying time from Newcastle Waters was six hours. It took him an hour and a half to find Wyndham township, as he had no map of this district. Cunningham was not masked on arrival here. He was looking very fit, though oil-grimed. His machine was pegged down against the wind for the night, alongside the mail 'plane. Cunningham immediately started draining the oil from the engine and refuelling. (Start Graphic) The route which Cunningham proposes to follow lo London.(End Graphic)[51]

More detail on 2NO's Wyndham Meatworks project

RADIO AIDS CATTLE STATIONS. USING shortwave transmitters of low power, D. B. Knock, radio engineer, is linking up the inland cattle stations of the far northwest with a central station located at the Wyndham meatworks. One station is mounted in a motor truck. The call sign is 6JU, and many adventures have been met with by Knock in his long and lonely journeys across hundreds of miles of rough country. This mobile transmitter incorporates Osram D.E.T. 1 valves as oscillator and modulator. Interesting details of the service these valves are giving are obtained from a letter received from Knock recently. He says: "Last week I conducted tests from an inland point at Argyle Homestead, which is separated from the work's station at Wyndham by many metal-bearing mountain ranges. For the first time in the history of Kimberleys cattle breeders will be able to discuss direct with the Wyndham meatworks by radiophone details of how many head of cattle could be mustered and delivered at the works with a certain date, etc. This saves many weary days of waiting and uncertainty at the works as to cattle delivery. On receipt of a request over the air from the works, the manager of Argyle Station was able to get out at once with his men and start mustering. The roads the mobile unit 6JU has to travel over to reach these inland positions would put most radio engineers hearts in their mouths for the safety of the apparatus, but the D.E.T. 1 Valves are robust, and are ideal for just such work. The excellent performance of these Osrams, together with the Colville Moore transmitting apparatus, constitute the ideal mobile unit for any organisation or inland expedition. The range as a maximum under good atmospheric conditions is at least 2,000 miles for effective telephony." [52]

1930 09[edit | edit source]
1930 10[edit | edit source]

Knock appears in a list of WA Amateurs as 6NK (note 6NO held by Perth Radio Inspector)

AMATEUR TRANSMITTERS IN W.A. The following is an up-to-date list of active transmitters in this State:— 6AG, W. E. Coxon, Fifth-avenue, Inglewood; 6AK, University of W.A., Irwin-street; 6AW, A. K. Williams, Wittenoom-street, Collie; 6BB, J. Park, 29 Suburban-road, South Perth; 6BN, A. E. Stevens, 27 Strickland-street, South Perth; 6BO, A. E. Grey, Archdeacon-street, Nedlands Park; 6BY, W. R. Woodley, 93 Kimberley-street, West Leederville; 6CB, C. W. Brown, 11 May-avenue, Subiaco; 6CJ, C. J. Darley, Darley-street, South Perth; 6CX, C. Quin, 162 Subiaco-road, Subi-aco; 6DA, F. W. Saw, Earl-street, Albany; 6DW, D. W. Edgar, New Norcia; 6DX, A. L. O'Donnell, 35 Harold-street, Perth; 6FG, F. H. Goldsmith, 27 Cooper-street, Nedlands Park; 6FH, F. Hull, Pin-grup, via Katanning; 6FL, F. Lambert, 1 Brandon-street, South Perth; 6FM, F. May, P.O., Dwellingup; 6FT, F. Tredrea, 53 Fairfield-street, Mt. Hawthorn; 6GM, G. A. Moss, Willis-street, Cottesloe Beach; 6HD, H. Davies, 19 Harley-street, Perth; 6HK, H. Kinsella, 26 Merriwa-street, Hollywood; 6JJ, T. J. Jewell, telegraph office, Kalgoorlie; 6JR, F. G. Clinch, Greenough; 6JS, J. S. Squires, East Cannington; 6LA, J. Jamieson, Curedale-street, Beaconsfield; 6LG, L. G. Wilson, 19 Jubilee-street, South Perth; 6LS, L. Symonds, 111 Glyde-street, Cottesloe Beach; 6MN, S. Madden, box H526, Perth; 6MO, Magnetic Observatory, Watheroo; 6MU, M. S. Urquhart, Marmion-street, Cottesloe; 6MY, M. Murray, 1 Bennett-street, Perth; 6NJ, N. B. Johnston, 57 Solomon-street, South Fremantle; 6NK, D. B. Knock, Meatworks, Wyndham; 6NO, N. Turnbull, Radio Inspector's office, Perth; 6OW, H. G. Willis, 89 Jenkin-street, South Fremantle; 6PK, P. E. Kernick, 12 Fremantle-road, Victoria Park; 6RJ, R. J. Tapper, 24 Davies-road, Claremont; 6RH, R. A. Hull, Pingrup, via Katanning; 6SA, S. C. Austin, Forest-street, South Perth; 6SW, S. Worth, Orrong-road, Rivervale; 6WK, T. W. Ruse, 138 Bennett-street, Perth; 6WM, W. B. Morris, 5 Leura-street, Hollywood; 6WP, W. R. Phipps, 31 Fremantle-road, Victoria Park; 6WR, W. Rodda, 17 Bay-road, Claremont; 6WW, S. W. Watson, 27 Clive-street, W. Perth; 6WX, I. Waddell, Grey-street East, Albany; 6KZ, C. Vernon, R.A.A. Barracks, Albany; 6VK, J. Vincent, 124 Varden-street, Kalgoorlie; 6XA, School of Engineering, University, Crawley; 6XF, M. Chaffer, Storthes-street, Mt. Lawley; 6SR, Subiaco Radio Society, 75 Gloster-street, Subiaco; 6VP, Victoria Park Radio Club, 12 Fremantle-road, Victoria Park; 6WA, Amateur Radio Transmitters' League, Forrest-street, South Perth; 6WI, Wireless Institute of Australia, Institute Headquarters, Y.A.L. Buildings, Murray-street, Perth.[53]

1930 11[edit | edit source]
1930 12[edit | edit source]

2NO, early report of involvement with 2MO Gunnedah and Marcus Oliver

BROADCASTING. ONE of the best-known radio men in Australia, Don B. Knock, is starting a broadcasting station of his own at Gunnedah (N.S.W.). Don has done some tip-top work locating aviators, particularly in the case of Kingsford Smith during his flight from Sydney to New Zealand.— D.[54]

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2NO advertises for advertising representative for 2MO Gunnedah (Marnock Radio Service)

WE require the services of an Experienced ADVERTISING SALESMAN already covering North-west of New South Wales, to handle on commission basis Advertising Business for 2MO Broadcasting Service. Interviews only. Mr. DON B. KNOCK, Marnock Radio Service, Gunnedah.[55]

2MO Gunnedah ready to commence, equipment designed by 2NO and Marcus Oliver

2MO Ready. The Class "B" station at Gunnedah (2MO) is expected to commence a regular broadcasting service this week. The new station will serve the Tamworth district and other parts of the North Coast. The wavelength will be 225.56 metres (1330 kilocycles). The station has been testing for weeks, and listeners in Sydney report signal strength equal to Sydney "B" stations. The station is crystal-controlled, and has been wholly designed and built by Mr. Don B. Knock and Mr. Marcus J. Oliver. It was the intention of Mr. Oliver when he obtained the licence to link up with Sydney "B" stations. The station will operate from noon to 2 p.m., and from 7 to 10 p.m. daily.[56]

2MO Gunnedah now on regular schedule

2MO on the Air. To serve a large section of the North Coast, 2MO, Gunnedah, a B class station, has been established, and is now transmitting regular broadcasts. The station was designed and built by Messrs. Don B. Knock and Marcus J. Oliver. The wave-length is 225 metres.[57]

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Comprehensive but flowery description of 2NO's journey to transport wireless equipment to Ivanhoe station, 200 miles from Wyndham

THE TRUTH ABOUT MOTORS. AUTOS AID PROGRESS. Serving the Needs of City and Country Alike. LEYLAND'S INLAND TREK. TRAVERSING the cities of Australia, modern passenger-carrying automobiles are incessantly transporting, swiftly and silently, loads of human freight. AWAY back in the Never Never, heavy duty commercial vehicles are spurning the obstacles encountered in places where roads do not exist, while maintaining communication and efficient transportation of goods and stock. PARTICULARS of an inland trip from Wyndham, Northern Territory, in a Leyland "Terrier" six-wheeler, by Don. B. Knock, not only make good reading, but pay a grand tribute to the efficiency and reliability of modern British commercial vehicles. (Start Photo Caption) THE LEYLAND "TERRIER" SIX WHEELER demonstrating its capabilities in a convincing manner under particularly strenuous conditions. (End Photo Caption) Having a complete radio-telephony installation to take 200 miles bushwise from Wyndham, Mr. Knock, who is a radio engineer, added his apparatus to a considerable load about to leave, per Leyland, driven by Mr. Healy, for Argyle Station. The track covered en route was notorious, and the radio equipment necessarily of a delicate nature, but in Healy's capable hands the "Terrier" on its six ponderous pneumatics might have been a stately limousine, and one was able, with the realisation of comfort, to sit back with ease and forget about the fragile apparatus behind. Starting from Wyndham, the great machine nosed out at 25 m.p.h. across the sun-blistered marshland and headed toward the bend of the Ord River. Where the nine mile stretch of marsh ceases, the track becomes a veritable nightmare to the average truck pilot. The continual passage of cattle over the track during the wet season pits the road with countless hoof indentations, and many is the driver, new to this wild country, who unwittingly takes his car or truck headlong on to this very deceptive, surface, to the detriment of springs and tyres. Instead of a slackening of speed, the "Terrier" rolled unconcernedly over this dreadful track without the slightest discomfort, mechanically or physically, and rolled off the miles past the impressive panorama of the Ord River Bend with House Roof Hill for its mighty sentinel. Almost before one realised how the tentacle-like bush track was being whipped behind the wheels, the softly breathing leviathan slid past the Silent Stockman's grave at the entrance to the forbidding ground surface of Button's Gap. This stretch of typical Kimberley track lying between the Ord River and Ivanhoe Station is sufficient deterrent alone, once experienced, for an inland trip to Wyndham. It "snakes" over the sides of a vast ironstone range, while the track surface is a mass of loose and sharp-pointed stones. For the first time, the compound gearing of the "Terrier" snicked into mesh, and the Juggernaut wrestled the track from beneath her, with a kind of mighty sigh, while cockatoos from the tree tops screeched their angry protest at this contemptuous monster's invasion of their solitary haunts. Through the formidable "Gap," as if it simply did not exist, and a brief flat run through dust-clouding scrub, brought them to the clearing before Ivanhoe Station. Darkness descended on the three, Healey, Leyland, and passenger; accordingly a halt was called at the far end of the Ivanhoe clearing for the night. With the heralding of the magnificent Kimberley dawn, by the piercing screech of the eternal cockatoo, a hurried breakfast was snatched amid the solitude of the surrounding country, after which the faithful land-ship touched into life, made a brief run down to the crossing of the Ord River, where the "Terrier" had her first radiator drink before tackling the terrible stretch of silt known as Cockatoo Sands. For 20 sun-scorched miles this motorists' nightmare stretches, and is the frequent scene of "boggings" and weary back-breaking hours of "digging out." Here the Leyland began to feel that something had been deliberately placed before her as an obstacle. Roaring with perfect rhythm, the powerful engine worked in harmony with the compound gearing. A gradual slowing as the deep sand clung maddeningly around the wheels; a snick of the gear lever and a responsive increase in the note of the engine, but without any sign of vibration, and this heaving testimonial to British Motor Engineering wrested its way through the sand fiend that clutched to stay its progress. There seemed to be something akin to that product of war, the tank, as she scorned appalling obstacles and forged steadily ahead. No overheating, despite the blistering heat of the sun, and no complaints. Down into the deep sun-dried creeks and up the other side, almost like climbing the side of a house, yet the "Terrier" dragged herself out of the depths like a giant Saurian slowly but easily crawling up the steep muddy side of a river. Mile upon mile of dense scrub brilliantly splashed with the vivid yellow of the cottonwood flower; the fleeting grey shadow of a kangaroo; the complaining crows; the ever-present cockatoo, and the teeming bird and insect life of the mighty Kimberleys. Through all the majesty of wildest nature, this product of a little Lancashire village emerged supreme; nursed over hard going by capable understanding hands; week after week; month after month. Britain's direct answer to transportation problems! Inland destination reached, the radio apparatus up behind examined, no broken valves or connections. Just as if 10 miles of concrete had been covered instead of 200 of purgatory.[58]

2NO forecasts good propagation on medium wave in 1934 with falling sunspots

SHORT WAVE. DISTANCE RADIO. GOOD TIME COMING. (By D. B. Knock) Unless the laws of the Universe are proved in this instance to be fundamentally unsound, users of modern sensitive radio receiving apparatus are due for a period of startling long distance reception with a facility which has never been known before. To explain the phenomenon to which is accredited the responsibility for this trend of affairs, it is necessary to go back over the highways of radio broadcasting to the starting point, at the time when broadcasting was just making its bow; when a radio receiver of any description was looked upon by the man in the street as a contrivance of wizardry; and when those engineers who undertook to launch radio broadcasting stations, really did not know how the public would respond. America's Lead. America, whose radio interests were not so seriously affected by the world war, was able immediately after the armistice, to put into commercial operation one or two broadcasting stations which had been in course of development. England, on the other hand, did not seriously commence broadcasting until 1922. After the advent of 2LO and 2ZY, the London and Manchester stations, a few of the rapidly increasing group of enthusiasts would continue listening long after these two stations had closed down, as amateur transmitters provided interesting programmes, often into the early hours. A great stir was caused when simultaneously three listeners reported hearing a programme from a station which signed off as "WJZ, Newark, New Jersey." Editors of radio publications were a little hesitant about giving credence to the reports, but all doubts were dispelled as night after night letters poured in from all parts reporting continued reception of WJZ and also WEAF. Gradually other American stations made their appearance until matters reached a stage when with an old-fashioned single "tuned anode" stage of RF amplification it was a safe bet to guarantee good reception of American stations. "Sun-Spot" Influence." Here in Australia, over a distance of 8000 miles against the transatlantic 4000, similar conditions existed. There were many instances of clear reception of KGO, and KFI whilst using the simplest of receiving instruments. About the mid-year of 1925, both here and in Europe, these long distance stations entirely disappeared, despite the fact that great advancement had been made in valves and methods of using them. Often one would be asked, "How is it we cannot hear foreign stations any more, yet we have vastly improved receivers?" Nobody would venture an answer to that question for a long time, except to say that the only way of hearing such stations was by short waves. An announcement was made in 1927 by the American Bureau of Standards, that this tricky behaviour of radio reception on the waves used for broadcasting was due to the activity of tremendous electronic disturbances on the sun, usually described as "sunspots." Perfection in 1934? Briefly, this solar cycle takes 11¾ years, and, according to astronomy, the minimum of this disturbing activity will occur again during 1934. That there seems undoubted foundation for the theory lies in the proof during the past few weeks of occasional remarkable reception during Australian broadcasting hours of KFI, Los Angeles, whose strength at times has almost equalled an interstate station. It seems that we can look forward to increasingly improving long-distance conditions. A really reliable interchange of programmes may go a long way to stimulating that international friendship we hear so much about. A Wide Choice. Although the vagaries of short waves are many, and at times irritating, we have been able by the development of these high frequencies to enjoy very good reception of programmes from stations located in the most remote corners of the earth. Today, almost everyone interested in radio knows the possibilities of a good shortwave receiver. As I write, there are a great number of transmissions to choose from, notably those of G5SW, England; Radio Paris; Saigon; Khabarovsk (Siberia); Moscow; WGY, New York; WLW, Cincinnati; Radio Roma; HVJ (the Papal station) and others. Answers to Correspondents. R N E (Waverley) asks: "I hear a lot about harmonics in radio work. Please explain exactly what is meant by a harmonic." Answer: A harmonic is a frequency that is some multiple of the main frequency being considered. To get a ready idea of this consider the musical side of the question. Suppose you have a piano string vibrating at middle O. In terms of frequency that is at 256 cycles per second. Since parts of the string also vibrate, there are frequencies present that are multiples of 256. The second harmonic at 512, the third at 768. the fourth at 1024 cycles, and many still higher. A radio set should be able to amplify well the higher frequency harmonics of a given fundamental. E.H.W. (Ryde): "I am a newcomer to radio, but have learnt in quick time how to operate my receiver, which is a powerful multi RF type. As I have seen your name associated with the B class station 2MO, Gunnedah, I wonder if you can tell me just what causes that deep-toned whistle on the transmission." Answer: You are not the first to ask this question. The effect is known as heterodyning, and in the case of 2MO is rather unique. You will note that the frequency of 2MO is 1330 kilocycles, which is the second harmonic of 665KC, 665KC being the frequency used by 2FC. The resultant beat note between 2MO and the second harmonic of 2FC is very pronounced in the Sydney area, and will be particularly so in your location close to Pennant Hills. J.B. (Bondi): "I would like to find out how to improve the operation of my battery supplied shortwave receiver. The detector flops into oscillation with a click when the reaction condenser is increased. It is difficult to tune weak stations, and the speech and music sounds harsh." Answer: The harsh effect seems to indicate that your grid leak is either too high a resistance or open circuited, probably the latter. Test B and C batteries, as these will cause noisy operation when run down. Also try placing a 100,000 ohm resister across the secondary of the first audio transformer. A.W.W. (King's Cross): "I have a receiver with power pack supplying high voltage for plates by half-wave rectifier, and notice that the condenser next to the rectifier is 8 mfds. Would it not be better to use 4 mfds on each side of the choke?" Answer: It is necessary to use a high capacity condenser in that position, as the rectifier is of the half-wave type. The high capacity in that position fills in the inactive half periods, and makes smoothing more effective.[59]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper

PAVING WAY. TESTS ON SHORT WAVES. TELEVISION HOPES. CURRENT EVENTS IN RADIO. (By D. B. Knock) Following discussions concerning the "rejuvenating" effect on wave lengths used for broadcasting by solar activity, the writer has been asked in many eases if the wave lengths used for short wave international broadcasting and telephony services will be adversely affected in proportion. Many users of shortwave receivers have assumed that, possibly with the increased carrying properties of waves between 200 and 600 metres, the present useful shortwave channels will suffer a relapse, and that for a year or two such receivers will be of little use, except for normal broadcast reception. This is an entirely erroneous conception. Bright Outlook Investigations show that the ultra high frequency, or very short, wave lengths will tend to be dormant, but it must be borne in mind that this statement refers to frequencies of the order of 28 megacycles upward, or, in other words, from 10 metres down. Actually, although the newcomer to short wave reception does not realise it, he is not working at any thing like very high frequencies unless his apparatus is capable of tuning to 10 metres and below. Listeners to overseas transmissions may set their minds at rest with the knowledge that they may expect even better results on wave lengths be tween 40 and 200 metres during the minimum of the solar cycle, as these waves are actually regarded today as quite low frequencies. It would seem that the possessor of a sensitive receiver covering from 40 to 600 metres can expect a fund of fascinating entertainment for the next few years. Berlin Experiments As a contrast to this theory of low frequency predominance, we find in Europe an interesting confidence in ultrahigh frequencies. The German Post Office and the Telefunken Company have gone so far as to conduct actual broadcasting in a channel between 6.75 and 7.05 metres. A special transmitter was installed in Berlin, and with the aid of a simple home-constructed adaptor connected in front of the ordinary broadcast receiver, every radio amateur in Berlin has been in a position to hear these transmissions. Only those resident in or near the city have been able to avail themselves of the experiment, for these very short waves will not reach farther than about 30 miles from the broadcasting station, for the reason that these frequencies confine themselves to an optical path. Listen — and Look The sky or "space wave" of an ultrashort wave transmitter never returns to earth, so that to receive the transmissions it is necessary to be actually within vision range of the station. Many people would state that there is no value in such experiments, but the opposite is very much the case. It is found that these very short waves are subject to electrical disturbances to a degree ten to a hundred times loss than long waves, and can be modulated very broadly; which features are very important for television purposes. We may yet see in quicker time than we realise, television accomplished with full efficiency. It is not hard to imagine cities equipped with a central television broadcasting theatre, radiating their "look-in" programmes somewhere around five metres all over the suburbs. A 1950 Vision Recently the writer received a British amateur transmitter's journal, in which a humorous reference was made to radio transmissions in 1950. It seems that by then we shall have developed telepathy to such a degree that it will not be necessary for broadcasting artists to speak to the microphone. All one needs to do is to think instead of speaking. According to the writer of the glimpse ahead, there will be complications. In his own words, "One well-known transmitter consistently 'thought wobbles.' His callsign is usually practically obliterated by his subconscious radiation of the young red-haired female whose image always appears with his thoughts. There is also a distinct flavor of lipstick on his carrier." "A French station was receiving a highly technical extract from an Australian paper, when, without warning, a page from a White Sale catalogue flashed before the eyes. The page referred to intimate feminine garments. Needless to say, a lady operator in the station control room had 'thought wobbled' it across the frequency band," Answers to Correspondents L.E.V. (Vaucluse).— "as I understand that instability in the RF amplifier may be caused by a faulty or ineffective bypass condenser associated with the RF or detector plate voltages, I wish to test one that I suspect of being faulty. How shall I do this?" Answer: It is assumed that the condenser in question will have a capacity of at least .5mfd. Try connecting the suspected condenser in series with any tuned circuit of a receiver. If the inclusion of the condenser makes any obvious difference to signal strength, or if tuning is altered to any great extent, you may rest assured that the condenser is unsuitable. B.R. (Bondi).— "I have a battery receiver of the Reinartz type, and the second audio transformer does not seem to give enough amplification for my needs. Would I improve matters by getting another trans-former of the same kind and connecting each primary and secondary in series? It appears to me that the ratio would be doubled by this means. Answer: Yours is quite a natural mistake. By connecting two audio transformers in series you will not be doubling the ratio; in fact, you will be doing nothing but giving yourself unnecessary expense and trouble. The ratio will remain the same. Also, you would run into a lot of trouble with RF feedback in the audio portion of the receiver. There is no reason, however, why you should not try another audio transformer in place of the faulty or suspected one; and don't be foolish enough to buy a cheap, trashy one. J.H.S. (Gordon). — "Who are the two amateur transmitting stations I hear so loudly on the 80 metre coils of my SW receiver? They are often on telephony, and use the call signs VK2HC and VK2NS." Answer: As you seem to have got the call signs correctly, you should have looked up a list of Australian amateur stations. VK2HC is Mr. H. R. Carter, of Yarraman North, Quirindi, N.S.W., and VK2NS is Mr. Trevor Evans, Rocket-street, Bathurst. Both these stations are putting out splendid telephony nightly on the 80-metre baud. The former is Australian representative for the British Amateur Radio Union, and the latter is winner of the B.E.R.U. trophy for the amateur station who worked with most other amateur stations in the world for 1930.[60]

2NO advertises in the classifieds to undertake radio repairs

Classified Advertisements. DON B. KNOCK, Nelson's Bay-rd, Bronte all classes Radio Repairs undertaken.[61]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper

OLD TIMERS. CAST THEM ASIDE. LATEST IN RADIO. (By D. B. Knock) It is surprising to discover how many users of radio for broadcast entertainment are still plodding along with ancient battery types of instruments. One can readily understand how easily an affection may be cherished for an old faithful servant in the form of a really sensitive battery set. As far as some country listeners are concerned, of course, there is no alternative but the battery-operated receiver; but it is certainly remarkable to note the great number one still finds in the metropolitan areas. The one good thing to be said in favour of the battery set is that it is not so prone to parasitic interference from the overhead power lines. When somebody switches on an iron or heater along the road, the A.C. set usually records the fact in the form of a loud click and crackle, whilst the battery set is unaware of the inductive interference. This slight tendency to pick up power line interference in the A.C. instrument is not the direct outcome of the fact alone that every voltage potential in the receiver is derived from the power line supply, but because the A.C. valves used in the R.F. amplifier are much more sensitive than their D.C. prototypes. The average modern four-valve A.C. receiver is considerably more sensitive and powerful than the most imposing of multi-valved battery receivers. In short, the A.C. set hits advantages which more than outweigh those of the battery set. Those listeners who are using the latter type in the cities where 240 volt A.C. is available are missing more than they realise, and would be well advised to take the plunge and have the set modernised or replaced. Reaching Out. The statements by research engineers and astronomers that we are approaching a period of super long-distance reception seems to be no idle suggestion, judging by the large number of reports already being received from many parts of Australia. With quite simple receivers, some listeners have been able to log complete programmes from KGO (Oakland) and KFI (Los Angeles), and such stations as JOAK in Japan or KZRM in the Philippines are regarded as almost local. Station 2UW (Sydney) has received a letter from Mr. F. Strom, 100 Fifth-street, Brooklyn, New York, expressing appreciation of the programme broadcast on Wednesday, April 29. His report checks with the transmission, and it would appear that the American listener thinks nothing of starting in to log distant stations from 2 a.m. onwards. In view of the fact that 2UW's aerial system is badly screened by buildings in the heart of the city, the report is a tribute to the radiating qualities of the station's equipment. No doubt, with the rapidly increasing DX qualities of the broadcast channels, many more reports will reach Australia. During the past two years the tendency for the "DX craze" has given way to concentration on local programmes, but now it seems as if all the old spirit of early broadcasting will return with renewed vigour. It will not be a matter of sitting breathlessly trying to intercept speech and music from a faintly distant carrier wave, but of sitting back in satisfaction and listening to foreign programmes, made possible by good ethereal conditions, and the super-sensitivity of modern receiving apparatus. Amateurs' Contest. Commencing on July 25, and continuing for nine days, the New South Wales division of the Wireless Institute of Australia has arranged a very interesting contest for amateur radio transmitters. The contest is in connection with the Maclurcan Cup, which is competed for biennially, and is open to all transmitters in New South Wales, whether members of the institute or not. Points will he given for speedy and efficient message handling between New South Wales stations and New Zealand amateurs, and either telegraphy or telephony may be used. The frequency to be used is the 3500 KC (8O metres) band, and users of shortwave receivers may find quite a lot to interest them in telephonic conversations between the competing stations. Answers to Correspondents. C.V.D. (Sydenham).— Q.: Why is it that iron cores are used in transformers and chokes, in the form of built-up sheets of iron, and not in one solid piece? A.: For the reason that these instruments depend upon their action by a varying or alternating current being passed through one of the windings. As the iron core forms a conductor, it will naturally pick up a current from the winding around it. If the core were solid there would be a complete ring of iron, around which a current could flow continuously, and this would introduce losses as the current would be absorbed from the initial source of supply. H.A. (Parramatta).— Q.: Would it be any use suggesting to manufacturers that audio transformers be supplied similarly to valves, mounted on a base with plugs to fit a standard valve holder. By this means experimenters would be able to try out various makes and ratios of transformers, without touching the wiring of a set. A.: Yours is a far-sighted suggestion, but I am afraid that you would have a hard time convincing any manufacturer that the idea is worth time and expense to him. If you are a home constructor, why not get busy on the idea and amuse yourself by an evening or two plugging in one transformer after another. J.D.L. (Kirribilli).— Q.: what do the letters "VK" mean in front of an amateur station's call sign? A.: The letters "VK" are an international prefix allocated to experimental stations in Australia. Actually the letters are part of the callsign. Australian 2NO is thus "VK2NO," New Zenland 4AA, "ZL4AA," or English 5LS. "G5LS."[62]

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2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 4 Aug 1931

LONG WAVES. SUPER-BROADCAST. RADIO NOTES. (By D. B. Knock) Five brief years ago the Australian radio manufacturer, such as he then was, had quite a big and annoying consideration to face in the form of alternative wavelength range to enable listeners to hear in their respective States the transmissions from 2FC, 3LO, and 6WF. These stations were then operating on wave lengths in the vicinity of 1200 metres, and the design of sets approaching anything like modern forms of tuning control was a perplexing difficulty. It was an easy enough matter where the old honey-comb type plug-in coils were to be considered, as all one had to do to reach 1200 metres was to plug in the appropriate coils. Where a receiver was designed with fixed inductances the function was not so simple, and involved a system of switches for each circuit involved. Eventually, in Australia, the high wave length range was dropped and 2FC, 3LO, and 6WF came down with the rest, to the great relief of the radio trade particularly. NOT VALUELESS. It must not be assumed, however, that these higher wave lengths now in discard in this country are valueless for broadcasting purposes, for in keeping with most developments, we must watch the trend of affairs overseas. In Europe, there has naturally been tremendous congestion in broadcasting traffic, and to use any sort of regenerative receiver anywhere in England is to tune in around the dials a closely-packed mass of carrier waves emanating from the huge number of British, French, Spanish, Belgian, German, Polish, Italian, Russian, Dutch, and many other countries. This state of affairs does not exist alone between 200 and 550 metres, but also between 1000 and 193 metres. In this latter range there are no fewer than 22 stations operating, and of these Russia has five and Great Britain one. It is established that these lower frequencies have decided advantages over the normal broadcast range between 200 and 550 metres, in that there is practically no evidence of fading over greater distances. NEW ERA OPEN. To produce this strong signal covering large areas at these wave lengths, it is necessary to use much higher power at the transmitting stations than normally used. How much of an advantage this is to the listener must be duly considered. So much is it being considered in America that already plans are mooted for making National Broadcast coverage direct by the use of four suitably located super-power stations. This would mean that the National Broadcasting concern in that country would at once be able to eliminate many intermediate repeater stations across the continent, and it is estimated that the humblest receiving set situated anywhere in the United States would be able to hear the national programme at any time — even if only a mere crystal set. There is no doubt but that the originator of the idea, Lieut. W. Wenstrom, is to be commended on his farsightedness, and probably in America, the necessary finance will be forthcoming to materialise the scheme, although it will be bound to meet with tremendous opposition. It is certain that in Australia, it would be seriously objected to, yet there is no doubt that were such an application possible here, it would open a new era in broadcasting. How many users of short wave apparatus realise that the moon, as well as the sun, exerts a curious influence on reception? Experienced users of short wave apparatus are well aware of the fact, and during the period of full moon it has been noticed that local communication on the amateur 7 m.c. (40 metre) band has been almost impossible at night time. By local is meant interstate communication and immediate local points outside about 15 miles radius. It would cause a lot of pondering in the engineering departments and need a lot of money. The A.B.C., however, would be able to reach every listener in the remotest part of Australia and country listeners everywhere could be sure of a fadeless mush-free national service any time they cared to switch their receivers on. 1931 RADIO EXHIBITION. The Wireless Institute of Australia is preparing the plans for the holding in Sydney next October of an exhibition which will be different from previous exhibitions in that it will be solely radio. The proposal deserves the heartiest support of the radio trade and of everyone concerned with radio. The institute contends that there is no such "bogey" as "Radio Season" or slack period and undertakes to prove this fallacy. A feature will be a demonstration of radio receivers in sound-proof booths; exhibits of receivers and associated apparatus in process of manufacture; working exhibits of experimental transmitting stations with competitions organised for best amateur announcers, a chess match with New Zealand amateurs, and experimental television. To encourage the development of short wave apparatus, a cash prize of £20 is being offered for the best short wave set. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. H.L. (Tamworth).— Q.: Since the earlier designs of sets using screen grid valves, I notice that a negative bias of 1½ volts is applied to the grid of the SG valves used for RF amplification. Naturally I understand that this will reduce plate current, but are there any other advantages? A.: Actually, the negative bias on the control grid of an SG RF amplifier is not put there to reduce plate current, but to allow that whatever the signal input, the tuned circuit between grid and cathode shall not make the grid more positive than the cathode, and thus show unwanted grid current. "All Empire" (Randwick).— Q.: Having used with good success a short-wave receiver designed by you and using one stage of SG RF amplification, I write to ask if it is possible to use two such stages before the detector? I ask this because a friend tells me that it would be inefficient. Diagrams would help. A.: It can be done, but, frankly, I would advise you not to worry. Unless every thing is perfectly stable, you will run into trouble. My suggestion is that you change the whole set over from DC to AC, and thereby get the benefit of the higher gain from SG valves of the UY224 type. You can at the same time provide for screen grid detection. Use a suitable pack, and provide for a UX 245 output. You will be surprised at the difference to your present DC results. You could then dub the set "AC All Empire." Sorry, cannot describe diagrammarie details here.[63]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 11 Aug 1931

OUR DEBT TO ELECTRICITY. RADIO HELP. (By Don Knock) There are many cases where people would prefer to use the electric mains for their radio reception, but are hesitant to do so for the misguided reason that the set might "blow up," "catch fire" or something equally disastrous. There is absolutely no danger from shocks if one takes a few simple precautions. There are three things to be avoided in using the mains. The first is the short-circuiting of the mains, the second a fire being caused by the overheating of a conductor, and the third, receiving a shock. The first is not serious and will only cause inconvenience. Every house wiring system is amply protected by fuses, and, if the mains are accidentally short-circuited, thus causing heavy current to flow, one of the fuses will "blow," cutting off the current until replaced. If, when connecting the mains to the set, the two loads are allowed to touch each other, this will cause a short circuit; but short circuits can be caused in other and obvious ways. In the case of most D.C. supplies, either the positive or negative is earthed, nearly always the latter. Connecting the other main will then cause a short circuit to earth. As a protection for sets running from a D.C. supply it is always wise to connect a large capacity fixed condenser in series with the earth. Many people will remember the type of "eliminator" which should be avoided, and, in fact, is illegal. Bell Transformer. I refer to the type where a bell transformer was used in such a manner as to provide a filament winding for rectification of the 240 AC mains direct, without any buffer transformer. Such a contraption was safe in the hands of an experienced user, but often a fault in the set resulted in a dead short, and the set being burnt out. There is no possibility of a direct earthing of the mains in the modern AC set, owing to the interposing high voltage transformer in the power pack, but a short across the secondary winding will cause a heavy current load and blow the fuses. There is no need for concern in the commercial power pack of today, as the current carrying reserve is ample, but the home constructor should be warned against using cheap, unreliable transformers, chokes and filter condensers, and where following a technical description, to use the components as specified by the writer of the constructional article. It is really gratifying after chasing evasive sources of hum in an AC short-wave receiver, to find that the trouble entirely disappears by a change of valves. Radio users will do well to remember, when contemplating the purchase of valves, particularly for short-wave reception, that there are many valves of dubious origin masquerading under fantastic names. Such valves may be cheap, but will cost you more in the end in replacements. The writer had the experience of hunting hum trouble which was caused only by doubtful "bootleg" valves. Remarkable. He plugged in a handy set of a well-known British 2.5 series in place of the offending "humming birds." This manufacturer says something about "replacing with so-and-so valves and noting the difference," and in this case at least the effect was remarkable. Every trace of oscillation-point hum vanished, and the difference in the signal strength of formerly weak stations was a gain of 50 per cent. A good test for well-designed valves is the elimination of microphonic noise. Faultless valves in this respect are constructed with mica bonding of the elements which renders the valve silent in operation and more effective. With a Western Australian police expedition, which has left Perth for a position some 300 miles south of Alice Springs, in investigation of the murder of two white men by blacks, is Mr. S. C. Austin (VK6SA), who is a well-known shortwave engineer and member of the Western Australian police wireless patrol. He carries a portable transmitter and receiver. Mr. Austin will probably use the callsign XVK6SA, or possibly VK8SA. The 7000KC and 14,000KC bands will be the ones to search, the latter in daylight. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. "Zepp" (Wyalong).— Q.: I was listening to an amateur transmitting station using telephony on the 80 metre band, and the operator told the New Zealand amateur he was in communication with that he was using a Zepp type aerial. What kind of aerial is this? A.: The "Zepp," or Zeppelin type aerial is the name which originated among American transmitters in the first place to describe a Hertzian radiator with oscillatory current fed to the radiating portion at a voltage node. To look at the aerial, it looks like any other, but has two leads at one end, with spacers about six inches apart. A Hertzian type aerial, such as the Zepp, is distinct from the aerial-earth system or "Marconi" type radiator, as no earth connection is used. The two feeders do not radiate, as their fields cancel each other, and the actual "flat-top," or aerial itself, is the actual radiator, with its frequency governed in harmonic relation by its actual length in feet or metres. A half-wave 80-metre Zepp may be used thus on 40 metres at "full-wave." C.S.J. (Rockdale).— Q.: I don't know much about radio, but am anxious to learn. What interests me is that with my broadcast receiver. I have to use an earth connection. Why is it that when radio is used in aeroplanes they are able to communicate at all? What do they do for an earth connection? A.: Quite a natural thing for anyone to ask and something akin to "flying with one leg on the ground." Your question is directly related to the one preceding. It is very simple. The aeroplane uses a Hertzian type radiator, which may take various forms. It may be a single trailing wire below the machine while in flight, in which case the various stay and flying wires are used as a counterpoise, or "balancing capacity." Alternatively it may be built in the form of a "loop," which is a "self-contained" radiator, or a T-shaped current-fed "doublet" aerial. With the exception of the loop, they all boil down to the same thing, a radiator with a balancing capacity in some form or other. Naturally the loop is not effective over long distances.[64]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 18 Aug 1931 (no byline but same format and type of content)

IT'S HERE! DERBY "TELEVISED." RADIO NOTES. It is surprising how, sometimes, a really important scientific achievement seems to escape public attention at the moment and at a later period the public is amazed at what appears to be a very sudden development, but which in reality is only the culmination of years of application. Possibly it is because far too much publicity was afforded the subject of television that a feeling of disappointment followed various American Press announcements two years ago to the effect that "television had arrived." It was shown, upon investigation, that the results then obtainable were far from approaching commercial utility, and all that could be seen on an alleged "screen" about the size of a postage stamp was a blurry, flickering image which, after intense scrutiny, might be seen to resemble a human being moving the arms or speaking. Now, in 1931, we are presented with a very different outlook, and there seems to be no shadow of doubt that the actual application of sending and receiving a replica of vision is definitely established. The Press is able to say with confidence, "Television has arrived." England to the Fore. Throughout the world there have been many workers in the cause of this most important development, and not the least in prominence is the Baird Company of England. So far has this company progressed that it has succeeded in fulfilling a promise made years ago that it would some day be possible to see the Derby run by television. That is actually what was accomplished in this year's Derby. In exactly the same way that your radio announcer describes a race meeting from Randwick, so were a number of people in London able not only to hear the microphonic comments from Epsom Racecourse, but to see clearly the masses of people moving about, horses being led in parade, and other interesting occurrences. This successful attempt to "televise" the Derby was a technical undertaking, and not intended to provide a general entertainment. A special van containing the television apparatus was taken to Epsom and placed in a position opposite the grandstand and finishing post. Post Office engineers laid telephone lines from the van, and they were linked up with the Baird television control room in Long Acre, London. An Intricate Set. From here the signals were passed through the broadcast lines and put on the air by the national transmitter. In the Baird offices, seven commercial "televisors" were arranged, and the day before the race a number of Press people visited the course and had the intricacies of the van explained to them. They then returned to Long Acre, and a picture was sent through, and the reporters renewed their acquaintance with those sections of the course within range of the transmitting apparatus, by watching the images on the small screens. They saw plainly, people walking about, the finish of a race, a car park, and expressed great satisfaction, particularly as the sounds associated with a racecourse were audible at the same time. Instead of moving the van around on a horizontal axis, a large mirror was hinged on the side of the van, and by setting it at various angles it reflected different portions of the course. This looking-glass image was "scanned" by a revolving mirror drum, which in turn caused a strip of the scene to pass through a lens to a photo-electric cell, and the electrical interpretations of the image were then sent along the line after amplification in the usual manner. Here the description of an eye witness of the Derby Day televising will be better told in his own words. He says:— "Punctually at 2.45 p.m. Derby day the scenes came filtering through on the 'screen' built up by its neon lamp and its associated spirally perforated disc. They were somewhat indistinct at times, but quite clarified at others. The interference that occurred and took the form of streaky light flashes was due to induction from the telegraph and telephone cables, but, in spite of this, the parade of the horses and jockeys was witnessed by all present, while now and again a man or a woman would walk across the foreground and present a transient close-up. Finish Recorded. "We heard the B.B.C. announcer say that the horses were rounding Tattenham Corner. Very soon after this, the first three horses flashed by the winning post, with the rest of the field following close on the leaders' heels. Horses and riders were there quite definitely defined, although the event portrayed before our critical eyes took place about 15 miles away. "The results proved conclusively that even within the present limitations of the apparatus, television can be taken out of the studio and applied to outdoor topical events, and that the need for artificial light can now be dispensed with. This event can justifiably be termed an historic achievement." We wonder thus. If in the near future we dare suggest something of the kind from Randwick? Possibly some of Australia's talkie engineers who may be looking for fresh fields to conquer might like to try their hand. Unusual Request. In these hard times we get many requests for cast-off clothing, etc., but It was unusual to have a request for a partially rundown B battery. Such a request came from a man who tramps Australia's mighty spaces for work, and carries with him a two-valve portable receiver for news. His little set is more important to him than tobacco. Mr. Wallman, managing director of Prima Donna Radio, came to his rescue with a new B battery. Pirates Beware! I have before me a copy of a Perth amateur transmitters' journal in which it mentions that the operator of an unlicenced transmitter was fined in the Perth Police Court £15 with £3 2s 6d costs, and the apparatus confiscated. Perhaps those people somewhere not far from Bondi who insist on illegally cluttering up the amateur 7000KC band with rubbishy telephony and pirate callsigns will sit up and take notice? While such excellent facilities are offered to AOPC candidates there is no excuse for this offence. Answers to Correspondents. A.W.W. (Darlinghurst).— Q.: "I have just completed the construction of an all electric five-valve receiver, which has the first stage of R.F. untuned, and plug-in coils for the second and det. circuits. The reason for this is because I want to use the set on short waves as well. In the latter capacity, the audio amplifier bursts out with a noise like a conch horn, but is all-right on ordinary broadcast. What can be the trouble?" A.: You are suffering from R.F. feedback into the detector circuit, which, I take it, is regenerative. Assuming that all circuits are adequately bypassed with R.F. choke filters, in B positive leads, the trouble may narrow down to the grid condenser in the detector circuit. For S.W. work this should be .0001 mfd. and not .00025 mfd. It will be equally efficient on normal B.C. wavelengths. B.R. (Elizabeth Bay).— Q.: The other day I bought on old audio transformer, which has the lettering on the terminals, IP, OP, &c. How does this connect up?" A.: If the secondary is wound over the primary connect the terminals thus:— IP to plate, OP to B positive, IS to C negative, OS to grid.[65]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 25 Aug 1931

RADIO ADVANCE. TRADE STILL GOOD. FINE INVESTMENT. (By D. B. Knock) Despite the bad economic conditions throughout the world, the popularity of radio broadcasting entertainment has increased. Whenever a type of new receiver is described in the pages of a technical radio journal the radio dealer finds that numbers of home constructors are still keen for the parts to build this or that set. Often I hear the remark passed that it is surprising that there should be so much interest in radio at a time when everyone has to think long before dipping into his pocket. In reality there is nothing surprising about it at all. It is the natural reaction of intelligence to an art which gives, in return for a small outlay, an enormous value. In other words, the acquisition of a radio receiver is a first-class investment compared with most other forms of entertainment. Once in possession of a receiver, it costs little or next to nothing to run, particularly with the modern power-operated models. Here are a few points which the people who may be hesitating about buying a radio receiver should remember. National Necessity. Broadcasting today has reached a point whore it is a national necessity. Not only does it serve to provide entertainment of every kind, but it is invaluable in times of emergency, as was evidenced during the great general strike In England in 1926, when the whole population of that country was dependent on the microphone for news. In entertainment broadcasting has reached now a technique where so many things are right and so few are wrong. Compared with the spadework days of radio engineering development, one hardly experiences a breakdown in a programme. The A.B.C. and more prominent B stations are most dependable and constant. The yearly licence fee enables one to get the very best the country can give in entertainment day and night. Musical minds can select from dance orchestras to opera. They can listen in comfort to the cream of the world's artists. It matters not if the songs of Sir Harry Lauder or Maurice Chevalier reach the listener through a recording. They would probably have to pay pounds to hear the originals themselves in a theatre. The variety of broadcast talks is vastly interesting, and there is hardly a subject in the world which some intelligent lecturer will not speak on from time to time. Education for Children. Children find radio broadcasting a valuable education, and to deny a child the benefit of radio is almost as bad as keeping him away from school. There are sermons and services for those who are religiously inclined; and in sport particularly one gets running commentaries on horse races, cricket, football, tennis, and the many other branches. Prominent politicians, too, speak on the vital subjects of the day. Last, and by no means least, is the splendid news service which frequently serves the people direct from the scene of action if necessary. These aspects of broadcasting have been glossed over during the past four years. There has been much praise and much criticism, but broadcasting is so firmly established now that criticism has always been outweighed. The programmes are improving, and listeners are growing in number. But the best in radio is yet to come. From these reasons alone it can be explained why, when things are bad with other trades, radio is still going ahead. When humanity is isolated the shortwave radio engineer is looked to for assistance. The latest instance of an Australian experimental transmitter doing good work is Mr. W. R. Felton, well-known as a member of the New South Wales Aero Club Radio Section and VK2RF. Taking with him portable equipment designed specially by Mr. S. V. Colville, Mr. Felton has left with the Central Australian Gold Exploration Company for the heart of the Continent. Power will be derived by a pedal-driven generator, and communication will be mostly with Wave Hill on 31.5 metres. Mr. Felton will be on the lookout for amateurs on 41 metres in the evenings, and will call on that wavelength. His call sign will be VK8AG. Also in the centre of Australia at the same time will be Mr. Austin, VK6SA, of Perth, with a police expedition, so these two shortwave men will no doubt be able to have many a yarn with each other from the desert country. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENCE. L.N. (Summer Hill).— Q.: I have recently built an A.C. short wave receiver with a tuned R.F. stage. It works very well, but I want to know if I can dispense with the R.F. tuning control and gang the two circuits. A.: You will be up against quite a problem if you attempt to do this without due regard to the layout of the receiver. It can be done, but is almost a laboratory job. R.F. grid and plate leads in both circuits need to be duplicates exactly in length and arrangement to eliminate stray capacity. Even then considerable fussing is needed with inductunce values, which are very critical above 3000 K.C. It is certainly worth while designing a receiver on these lines, and you can rest assured that single control on short waves will surely come. J.B. (Gunnedah). — Q.: Can I do anything to make my set more selective to avoid interference from the local station, 2MO, without a wavetrap? A.: As you give no details, can only suggest you try preselector tuning as described in "Wireless Weekly."[66]

Mrs 2NO is given a farewell tea at the Blue Tea Rooms in honour of 5 years work there

NEAR AND FAR. . . . At the Blue Tea Rooms, Rowe-street, yesterday afternoon, a farewell tea was given in honour of Mrs. Don. B. Knock, who, before her recent marriage, worked as a voluntary helper in the tea room. A large number of voluntary helpers, members of the tea room committee, and staff were present. In a short speech, Mrs. K. Mackenzie, chairman of the committee, wished Mrs. Knock happiness. Miss Avery made a presentation of silver entree dishes to Mrs. Knock, on behalf of the tea room workers. Miss Milner Stephen also spoke in appreciation of Mrs. Knock's five years of work at the tea room. The guest of honour, who wore an apple green georgette frock and a beige straw hat, carried a presentation posy of pink car-nations in the shape of a horseshoe. A musical programme was given by Miss Kathleen Robson and Miss Ruse.[67]

1931 09[edit | edit source]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 1 Sep 1931

RADIO RELAY TRIUMPHS. (By D. B. Knock) The technical authorities responsible for the maintenance of each country's services are always striving to make network systems more and more efficient. In this country much credit is due to the engineers of the Postmaster-General's Department for the way in which relays are now possible between any of the National stations, or between private stations. Very few listeners realise the intricate processes through which the originally weak impulse from the microphone passes when a relay takes place in the studio of 3LO and is passed on for retransmission by 2FC or 2BL. Carrier Waves. Owing to the carrier system used, several superimposed audio frequencies may be transmitted at the same time on one line alone without any interference between frequencies. This means that a series of telephone conversations may be conducted at the same time over the one line and the same advantage applies to broadcast relays. If it were required to put a programme from 3LO over to 2FC and at the same time, a programme from 2BL to 3AR, this would be possible on one metallic line. This is really a splendid technical achievement. Major-General Squier, of America, developed the early system of "wired wireless," and the modern application is finding more and more use. In 1924 I recall a most interesting "wired wireless" experiment conducted in England by the B.B.C. The night mail train from London to Aberdeen carried in the coach next to the locomotive a 50-watt telephony transmitter. On the roof of the coach was an aerial system parallel with the telephone lines along the railroad. All the transmitter had to do was to cover the short distance between tho coach and the telephone lines, and in London was a special receiver linked to the lines. Announcer on Engine. An announcer with a microphone accompanied driver and fireman on the footplate, and as the train roared through the night, not only could one hear from every station of the B.B.C. all over England, the words of the announcer and driver, but the clacking sound as the train rushed at 80 miles an hour over junction points, and the rapid overboard swish as a bridge was passed. When the train entered a tunnel a roar commenced, and gradually died away as the telephone lines rose mile by mile over the crest of the hill with return of signal strength as the tunnel was left behind. Now we find a most interesting suggestion by Capt. Eckersley, late chief engineer of the B.B.C. His idea is "rediffusion," which means that programmes would be "on tap" in every home just as easily as gas, water, or electricity. He suggests that programme currents are superimposed on the existing networks of electricity supply corporations, and that they may be sifted out at the electric light socket in each home. This would mean that on the "rediffusion" scheme for an annual fee everyone would be able to receive programmes without the need for ordinary receiving apparatus. If an elaborate receiving apparatus is needed, there is not much hope for rediffusion. Furthermore, it must be remembered that the percentage of total listeners on any electrical supply in England is still small. There seems to be no reason why this experiment should not be tried in Australia, and if the apparatus necessary for reception is of a simple nature it immediately opens up a big business field. The broadcasting companies would lose nothing by it; rather would they benefit. They would be sure that a great number of people would be listening to local programmes instead of chasing "DX." Use for Old Junk. It is interesting to note how some of the old-fashioned components in radio are coming back into use. One remembers the receiver of only five years ago, plastered with switch arms and contact studs. Today the switch arm is playing its part again in plug-less shortwave super-converters. Similarly, the variometer, which also is finding a use with experimenters who are tired of changing plug-in SW coils. One receiver which is due to come back to life in this country with a flourish is the superheterodyne, but in a modern dress. It will use tuned intermediates and cover all waves from 15 to 550 metres. A lot of old gear is going to be useful, and the moral for the experimenter is: "Never scrap your junk." Short Wave Notes. Listening on the amateur 7000KC SW band one night this week, I copied the following Russian telegraphy stations all at good strength — RAGE (I hope by the call the Soviet was not angry about something), RKN, RIK, RARY, RLT, and RFO. Much inter-communication was taking place between these stations, and the nature of the work indicated that observations on signals were being taken from various points in Russia. New amateur transmitters spring up in unexpected places. After a general call on the 7000KC band I found an Australian station signing VK8KM calling me. Contact elicited the information that he was a Mr. Kemgster, in Darwin, Northern Territory. It was a particularly cold night in Sydney, but our Darwin friend brought back memories of Wyndham with his references to heat, flies, and mosquitoes. Mr. Austin, of Perth, radioman with the Western Australia police expedition, is now on the air on 35 metres, with the call VK6PC. He keeps schedules with Perth, Geraldton, and Broome whenever he halts in the early evening. The party is at present 250 miles N.E. of Laverton, the rail-head for Kalgoorlie. Answers to Correspondent. E.V. (Neutral Bay).— Q.: I have an English output choke made for use with a pentode valve. If I ignore the centre connection, can I use it with a three electrode valve? A.: The choke should be quite suitable for use in the ordinary way. Modern pentodes have a high plate current, so it is not likely that the choke will have a high D.C. resistance. C.H.G. (Woollahra).— Q.: What is the difference between a short wave adapter and a converter? A.: The former is a waste of time, and was an early expedient. It is simply the plugging into the audio amplifier of a short wave oscillator. The latter is the connecting before the receiver an oscillator, modulator, and frequency changer, thereby making the receiver a powerful short wave superheterodyne. The latest converters are being designed to work with any broadcast receiver, excepting a crystal set.[68]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 8 Sep 1931

OYSTERS! CAUSE OF STATIC SCIENCE WINNING. (By D. B. Knock) One hears of many sources of radio-inductive interference, and they are not very hard to trace to their source in a general way. If you live in a block of flats which is stately enough to have its own lift the chances are that, just when you are engrossed in a programme from 3LO, 6WF, or even a Japanese medley from JOAK, someone will step into the lift. As it soars upward you are greeted with a spluttering roar, which starts and ends with a loud click. Similarly, if one lives right on the tram route, one is subject to a babel of unwanted sound arising from sparking slip-rings on motors and arcing of the trolly-pulley on the overhead cables. Many listeners can tell just where on the route the approaching tram happens to be by the intensity of the interference. The refrigerator in the near-by fruit shop will often make its presence felt in no uncertain manner, and often a flow of hard thoughts may prevail as the housewife next door gets busy with the vacuum cleaner. Not So "Tall." Actually these man-made static troubles may be suppressed to some extent by the use of line filters, or even by attacking the interference at the source by getting the owner of the electrical contrivance to agree to the installation on the motor of a simple condenser filter. That is just a case of commonsense and co-operation, but what would you think if you were troubled by a continuous clicking sound in your receiver, and you were told that the racket was caused by oysters on the seabed opening and shutting their shells? You would think the suggestion rather tall, and be more than incredulous, but the fact remains that this form of radio interference has actually been a source of annoyance off the Atlantic coast of America, although the interference relates to short wave reception. The Coast and Geodetic Survey of the United States Department of Commerce has, for a few years, been using a combination of sound and radio off the Pacific Coast for surveying off-shore waters during fog and poor visibility. This combination worked out excellently, but when they tried to use the same system off the Atlantic Coast they were greeted by strange clicking noises, which entirely spoiled reception by the extremely sensitive sound and radio instruments. This clicking was traced to the physical activities of oysters and other shellfish on the sea bed, and an assertion that this was the cause of the trouble was made bv the chief of the hydrographic division. Although the blame was attributed to the bivalves in a half serious manner, biologists accented the theory with a degree of seriousness. Surveying By Radio. The real source of the trouble may never be proved, but something had to be done to meet these peculiar conditions existing on the Atlantic Coast. This surveying work over the water uses a radio-acoustic method to utilise the difference between the speeds of radio and sound waves, and the surveying ship is equipped with radio and sound instruments, with similar installations at two other fixed shore stations. An explosive charge is fired on the surveying ship, and when the sound from this reaches the other stations it operates by a relay a radio key. The signal from the transmitter operated by this key is received back on the surveying ship immediately and thus are shown the time and arrival of the bomb exploded sound at the other stations. By this means the combination of sound and radio enables the charting of distances from the shore, even when the shore is not visible to the eye. Such intense interference was experienced in the receivers at the shore stations, attributable to oysters, that floating stations were taken prefixed distances out to sea and moored there. Television Experiments. Apparently the all-absorbing subject of television is not, after all, to go unheeded in Australia. To the knowledge of the writer, two licences have been granted in New South Wales by the P.M.G.'s Department for the transmission of television. The first is held by a leading member of the New South Wales division of the Wireless Institute of Australia, Mr. R. Chilton (VK2RC), and the other by Mr. Duffy, of VK2HR. Mr. Chilton's work is not just a matter of recent investigation, as he has been quietly working along the paths of television for some time. If his efforts are successful it will be a real feather in the cap of the Australian experimenter, and there is not the slightest doubt that there will be a rush among the active members of the transmitters' section of the institute to co-operate. Soon the scanning discs may be humming in the shack instead of power transformers alone. VK2HR is also very enthusiastic, as he signed off on the 7000 K.C. band the other night as "VK2HR, experimental radio and television station!" World Tour Improving. Touring round the shortwave channels in the evenings is getting more interesting. Conditions are improving, although the static has been prominent. The Siberian station at Khabarovsk on 71 metres reaches phenomenal strength about 10 p.m., and the Russian Balalaika music is really excellent at times. With a new five-valve A.C. receiver the signal strength is comparable to an Australian station at full speaker strength. Radio Saigon, in Indo-China, on 49 metres, also provides some splendid opera music. The French announcer there speaks excellent English, and uses our language for every announcement. The opera "Pagliacci" was well worth listening to the other night, also the news bulletin in French describing the new British Cabinet. Mr. Ramsay Macdonald was quaintly described as Meestair Ramsee Maacdoonald. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. A. G. Hawke (Wellington, N.S.W.):— Q.: I have a three-valve Reinartz receiver and B batteries for supply. My B batteries are about done and I will soon have to renew them. Would you advise me to renew with an accumulator B battery. My set draws 3½ milliamps. A.: If you were using a multi valve receiver with screen grid valves, &c., I would probably say that the accumulator B would be an advantage, but as you are using such an economical set you will be well advised to stick to a reliable make of dry B battery. Accumulator B supply can be a nuisance, particularly if neglected and that is easily likely to happen where a set is very light on "juice." If you ever install a bigger set, go in for the accumulators, but charge them every time you finish with the set.[69]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 15 Sep 1931

AMATEURS. RADIO PIONEERS. NOW DECRIED. (By D. B. Knock) It is remarkable that, except America, Australia and New Zealand, the great radio public seem ignorant of how much the experimenter has contributed to the perfection of modern radio communication. The word "experimenter" covers the more generally known term "amateur transmitter." In the ranks of the so-called amateurs there are many men who are really pioneers and professionals in the science of radio communication. Recently, in England, a storm was caused by a broadcast listener who wrote to a well-known radio journal and decried the activities of the experimental transmitter, and his claim that it was mainly through his efforts that worldwide shortwave communication was established. It may seem strange that such an attitude should be adopted by any individual possessing a knowledge of radio history in that country, as it was in England that much of the way was paved by early-day "amateurs." However, few people in England know anything of the activities of British experimental transmitters. Tolerant Only. I have had experience as an experimental transmitter in Great Britain, and I found Britain is inclined to be tolerant only to her experimenters, and very far from encouraging. Experimental trans-mission in that country is permitted only at times when broadcasting stations are silent, and the British amateur has always strictly observed the regulations in this respect; but when some disinterested broadcast listener complains that the hours of broadcasting should be extended, the amateur is quick to protest against a further curtailment of operating periods. The correspondent states that the transmitting work of the experimenter is of no value, and never has been of value, and that amateur research has had nothing to do with the present-day high technique of radio. Letters in protest poured in from such famous pioneers as Gerald Marcuse (G2NM), E. Simmonds (G2OD). and from Fred Schnell (W9UZ), of America, pointing out to the writer that not only did amateur research start the shortwave ball rolling, but that a great number of the so-called amateurs who participated in that pioneer work were today in prominent technical positions with big commercial radio companies. A Thrilling Story. To go into a long discourse on amateur radio history would take pages. The story of how the amateur turned the region "below 200 metres" to good account, is told in the introduction to the American Radio Relay League handbook. It is indeed a thrilling story. In Europe the experimental transmitter sinks into obscurity because he has very little chance of turning his equipment to good account. In America, the amateur gives his services free when areas are under flood or swept by hurricane, or when railroad communications break down. In New Zealand during the recent earthquake amateur radio was the only means of communication from the stricken area. In Australia there have been numerous instances where the amateur transmitter has been of value during emergencies. A returned soldier suffering from T.B. has appealed through the writer for a gift of an A.C. broadcast receiver. Before he enlisted he did not suffer a day's illness, he says, but was unable to convince the Repatriation Department that his suffering was due to war service. Now he has been ordered into hospital and to absolute silence, for the next twelve months at least. Royal Experimenter. The King of Siam, who is returning to his native country after four months in U.S.A., is a great radio enthusiast and has equipped himself with many receivers. "Judging from his numerous questions and remarks," said M. Robert Hertzberg, a member of a well-known radio firm, "His Majesty is a real experimenter. During the demonstration he dropped all formalities and examined and operated a set for half an hour." The King is taking back a special set for the reception of short wave programmes from America and Europe. It seems to be a case of like son like father, for when Prince Purachatra, of Siam, was in Sydney he purchased a complete 200 watt short wave station. This was in 1927. He returned to Siam and not very long after was in communication with a Sydney amateur station, using the call sign AEA. W.R.E. (Rose Bay).— Q.: My receiver has worked well for two years, and now I am troubled with a scratching noise which is so bad that I cannot hear a thing clearly. The noise is in the set because it continues when I remove the aerial and earth and the RF valves. What might be the cause? A.: Probably in the B supply. Look for a leaky bypass condenser, a "dry" soldered joint, or, if you are using audio transformers, a faulty winding. A process of elimination will locate the trouble. G.H. (Manly).— Q.: Is there any real reason to believe that a period of good long-distance reception is approaching, in view of the solar cycle theory? What do observations in other parts of the world show? A.: Yes! This summer in England broadcast listeners have experienced phenomenal reception of American stations with quite simple apparatus. There is every indication that we shall experience something similar in Australia this summer, static conditions permitting.[70]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 22 Sep 1931

OLD JUNK. RADIO WARNING. DUMPING EVIL. (By D. B. Knock) During a conversation with a well-established manufacturer of radio receivers with a name for quality and a reputation for keeping pace with modern development, I noticed in a corner of his workshop a pile of ancient radio apparatus. There were old neutrodynes with massive three-inch diameter coils and variable condensers of the noisy bearing variety; defunct crystal-valve reflex receivers, and a sprinkling of superheterodynes of the dim past. I asked the manufacturer what he intended to do with the lot, and he said that it was his intention to turn them into cash by rebuilding them into modern sets — a most astounding statement, coming from one whose business provides the public with the very best that can be obtained in these days of high quality radio. Insult to Injury. True, some of the minor components would be useful, such as grid leaks, bypass condensers, &c., but to include the more important items in sets for sale to the public would be adding insult to injury and most certainly would have the effect of undermining the well-established reputation of the manufacturer. Yet there is, and it seems there always will be, a ready market for the sale of obsolete "junk" to a gullible section of the radio community. Many a man anxious to secure a good receiver turns away from a quality product because of the high price. Many of the cheaper sets include obsolete foreign components which have been "dumped" in huge quantities in Australia. Warning to Pirates. It appears that the radio pirate snaps his finger at law and order. The body of unlicensed experimental transmitters around Sydney who wait until late hours to indulge in microphonic fraternisation on the 7000KC channel seem to have reached a stage of open defiance. The leader of this outlaw band said in great glee the other night: "They have to be very clever to catch pirates these days." The changing of illicit callsigns are of no avail when the locations of the offenders are actually known to certain people. A hint in time may save a fine, or something worse. In the case of the pirate who was fined £15 and costs in Perth (W.A.) recently, the offender was unable to pay the fine, and was sentenced to seven weeks in gaol. The P.M.G's. Department appeals to the offenders in the Sydney and New South Wales area to cease activity at once. Short Wave Notes. Whether it is that shortwave conditions are particularly good for the frequency, or that the Russian station at Khabarovsk on 70.1 metres has crowded on a lot more power, the fact remains that around 9.30 o'clock every night, the programme from this station is equal to that of a local national station for strength. There is a considerable amount of talking done by a feminine voice and the singing in some instances is indifferent, but the orchestral music is first-class. If you are a believer in physical jerks, try tuning into the morning exercises from WLW, Cincinatti, U.S.A., on 49 metres around 8 p.m. Sydney time. This station has been very strong lately. KFI is continuing to be easily heard on his normal broadcast transmission, but the earliest in Sydney it is possible to clear up his carrier wave is from 5.30 p.m. onwards. Any good set will locate him above 3AR. Answers to Correspondents. D.V. (Parramatta).— Q.: I notice that in one of your articles you referred to a "Universal" type of set. What does that imply? A.: The Universal set is the descriptive name given to one that has an all-wave coverage, including all shortwave frequencies, and the normal broadcast range. Many sets will do this by changinq coils of suitable design, but the term "Universal" only applies where the wave-changing feature is controlled in some form from the panel without having to change coils themselves. E.W. (Oakley).— Q.: I have a horn-type loudspeaker, and, although the reproduction is fairly good, I notice that on some musical passages the speaker seems to overload with an increase in volume. What causes this? A.: Resonant peaks. The speaker reproduces certain notes with more efficiency than is wanted. Your only cure is to change the speaker for a modern reproducer.[71]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 29 Sep 1931

BLIND RADIO "SPOTS." AN EXPLANATION. (By D. B. Knock) There are many users of radio receivers living in various parts of the country or even in certain suburbs of the city who become aware after a little experience in tuning that they are unfortunately situated in what is known as a "blind spot." The reflection of electromagnetic or radio waves is not only a matter of the angle of reflection from the accepted theoretical Heaviside gas layer surrounding the earth's atmospheric belt, but is subject to all kinds of twists and refractions caused by the earth's contour. A blind spot is nothing more or less than a position which is screened by some object, such as a hill or even a metallic structure, and, even though the screening object may be some distance away from the actual locality, it has the effect of diverting and diffusing etherical impulses from a certain direction. A Carpet Test. To get an idea of the effect of screening, let us suppose you place your reading lamp on the surface of a rough carpet. There is quite a fair general illumination all around, but a very close examination will reveal that there are all kinds of almost black shadows. Behind a matchbox which has fallen on the carpet there is black darkness. By imagining that the lamp on the carpet is the aerial of a broadcasting station and that the carpet is the surface of the earth, you have a good illustration of what happens to electromagnetic waves passing over the ground. Further on, past the edge of the carpet, is a smooth polished linoleum surface, across which the light from the lamp streams quite evenly. We can compare the floor of the room to the surface of the earth, which is by no means evenly covered. Here we have cities sprawling in the folds of hills, forests on the mountain sides, flat marshy plains and vast tracts of water. That light on the floor travels quite easily over the flat polished surfaces, but the rough pile of carpet shows a quick decrease in light strength and a sudden loss altogether when a projecting solid object is en countered. Best Positions. As the radio waves from the broadcasting station's transmitter travel over plain and sea they find nothing to impede progress, but the hills throw deep shadows and the high mountains may entirely screen those in the valleys. The best positions for good radio reception are therefore out at sea, or in the middle of flat plain country; but, on the other hand, the top of a hill or mountain usually leaves nothing to be desired. To live in the depths of the mountain valleys usually means the poorest of radio locations. Strong or weak field strength depends upon distance from the transmitting station and the type of ground between, and also the particular local screening effect in the receiver location. It must be realised that even by being near to a station very poor results may still be obtained if we are locally shielded. Short Wave Reception. With the advent of summer and the promise of increasingly good signals from overseas international broadcasting stations, a few words on a sadly neglected feature of most home-constructed shortwave receivers will be useful. To receive a shortwave telephony transmission well and reliably you must have a receiver that goes in and out of oscillation without a loud explosion. The receiver which has a reaction control that puts the detector in and out of oscillation with a loud "plop" is of no use for the reception of weak telephony. With this condition existing, it means that once the receiver has stopped oscillating it is a long way out of oscillation, and therefore not in a sensitive state at the very point where it is needed. There are a few causes of this trouble, but the chief ones are:— Incorrect gridleak resistance or grid condenser, and too high a plate voltage on the detector. It should be hardly necessary to mention that a screen grid RF stage is always well worth while for telephony reception. You may not notice any difference in the strength of the carrier wave when the set is oscillating, but the sensitivity is much higher with the set in a non-oscillating condition than is possible without the stage of RF amplification. Answers to Correspondents. W.J.H. (Marconi School).— I note with interest your letter asking how I was able to copy Russian telegraphy stations, as they employ two distinct codes. The stations logged were using callsigns covered by International Morse, but the following procedure was in the domestic code. Having once lived in Russia and a few years ago being able to speak the language, I was able to follow much of the communication. O.B. (Greenwich).— Q.: Is there any necessity for me to install a lightning arrester with the indoor aerial I am using? It is 30ft. long and on the ground floor. A.: Nothing to worry about in your case. The lightning would pay more attention to your overhead power lines and tele-phone wires if it decided to pay you a visit.[72]

1931 10[edit | edit source]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 6 Oct 1931

RAISE IT. HIGH AERIAL BEST. MAKE IT EFFECTIVE. As the radio receiver of today bristles with improvements which enable it to work reasonably well on practically no aerial at all, there is a growing tendency among the users of radio to pay very little attention to what is actually one of the most vital essentials to the best of reception. A really efficient aerial is half the battle. In the earlier days of radio, receiving instruments were so insensitive compared to modern sets that it was necessary to pay primary attention to the aerial system. Because an aerial is erected outside does not imply that it may be much better than an indoor arrangement strung round the picture rail, unless due consideration is given to the "effective height." There is a vast difference between the physical and effective height of an aerial. You may have an aerial that at no point in its horizontal length is nearer than 40 feet from the ground that has an effective height of only a few inches! This is for the reason that such an aerial may run just above a roof for its entire length. "Effective height" means the average distance between the aerial wire and all earthed objects such as roofs, trees, and walls. Any aerial that is near to such objects will have a higher resistance than it should and will not be in effect a good collector of signals. In one Sydney suburb I know of a listener with a very high aerial. On the roof of the house is a fairly tall mast and in the garden a very high one. This arrangement can be seen from a distance, towering above all objects. Connected with the aerial is a simple little two-valve set made in the earlier days of broadcasting, but on this ancient outfit, the listener can tune in with ease, quite a number of distant stations at fair loud speaker strength. Just along the road is a radio enthusiast who builds himself all the latest sets and yet complains about poor local conditions. Naturally he does not get the results he should for the reason that his aerial is buried below roofs and a maze of trees. Wrongly Blamed It is rather a lack of facts than an exhibition of malice when a listener complains that his reception is continually interfered with by amateur transmitters and asks why experimenters are allowed to transmit violent Morse signals right on the broadcasting wavelengths. Such a question is absurd, as the wavelengths used by experimenters the world over are considerably lower than those used for broadcasting. In nine cases out of ten, where a listener is interfered with by amateur transmitters, the fault lies in the broadcast receiver, and this is usually easily rectified. For the information of listeners who experience interference by Morse transmissions, this source of interference is not amateur but professional, the culprit being an Australian Navy station, not far from Sydney Harbor. The interference is in the form of powerful harmonics which beat with an intense musical tone with the carrier waves of certain broadcasting stations. Gold-Seekers' Radio Mr. Wal Salmon (VK2SA), a member of the Sydney police wireless patrol, one night this week heard a strong signal calling him on the 40-metre band. This turned out to be VK8AG, of the Central Australian Gold Exploration Co., operated by Mr. W. R. Felton. They were just started on the long 300-mile trek from Hermansburg and were camped with their camel team along the route. Mr. Felton was using 400 volts of dry B battery for his power supply, and the strength of the signal indicated that the little transmitter was well justifying itself. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. "Beginner?" (Moss Vale).— I have often come across references to a double detection receiver but so far have not been able to find a definition for it. What receiver is this?— A.: A double detection receiver is the superheterodyne receiver. It is so called because there are two detectors in the circuit.[73]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 13 Oct 1931

BUSH THRILL. PORTABLE RADIO. FROM NEW ANGLE. (By D. B. Knock) It seems strange that in Australia, a country blessed with a long summer, very few regular radio listeners take advantage of the portable receiver to enhance the enjoyment of the day's outing. Since radio reached popularity, very little attention seems to have been given to the advantages and pleasures of a good portable receiver. Why this should be so, is difficult to explain, but it is a distinct contrast to the everyday summer scene on an English beach or the Continental country picnic party. NEWER INTEREST. Having been so used to the regular reception of various stations at home, the listener is inclined to be blase about taking a set out with him for the day, but a little forethought will show that there are a few interesting aspects of reception out in the open. There is something thrilling in taking a portable set deep into a forest, and amid the wildness of Australian nature engaging in a hunt around the dials. Probably you will notice that comparatively low-powered B class stations, far distant, which on your own set at home are quite an effort to clear up, are easily received, while your all-powerful local station, which will insist on permeating everything in the city, is quite difficult to receive. It is intriguing to wander down into the deepest gully, hedged in by trees, and to note the results, and then scramble up to the summit of the nearest peak and to observe the entirely different behaviour of the set. INCREASED EFFICIENCY. Portable radio sets have not enjoyed much popularity in Australia for the reason that too little has been said about them in the past. For a few years, valves have been obtainable, which were designed primarily with the portable set in view, but instead of being put to good use, they have ignominiously graced the stock shelves. Today, with the extremely economical battery valves available, the portable set should hold a prominent place, and, in view of the vastly increased efficiency of the valves, as a radio receiver, its performance should rival that of the average power-operated home receiver. First of all, the portable set must be entirely self-contained. This means that it must have its own aerial, its own power supply with lightweight A, B, and C batteries, and a built-in loudspeaker. Secondly, it must be reasonably compact and really portable. Some of the attempts at portable receivers in Australia in the past called for a strenuous effort on the part of a grown man to lift them from the ground, and few people would have cared to carry them half a mile. COST OF UPKEEP. Thirdly, the cost of upkeep must be within reasonable limits. This includes replacements of B batteries, accumulator charging and valve replacements. The latter question is not a serious one in these days of robust valves, which can be dropped from aeroplanes in the cartons and still be in one piece after the shock. The fourth point is that the quality of reproduction must be up to the standard of today. The fifth point is that the set must be easy to operate. An expert can get marvellous results with a portable if it is provided with a lot of controls, but the average user wants a set which he can get as much out of as the expert. The last and very important point is that the set must be safe. This means that if the valve filaments are lit by an accumulator the accumulator must be of the non-spillable type. CARE IN HANDLING. People are apt to stand portable sets on easy chairs at times, and if the set is allowed to rest on its side and the accumulator spreads a miniature lake of acid around domestic trouble is sure to follow. If the radio user is also a motorist, his best way to have radio wherever he goes is to fit his car accordingly. There are today special valves designed to run from the six volt accumulator on the car. These valves are specially non-microphonic, which feature enables the full use of the radio while in motion. NUDIST AUDIENCE. While the writer's station, VK2NO was in communication on Sunday night, with Mr. Felton, operating VK8AG away in the heart of Australia, Mr. Felton remarked that a crowd of about 40 nude gins were standing around watching him operate the little transmitter. FEDERAL CONVENTION. The annual convention of the moving spirits of the Wireless Institute of Australia is being held this week in Sydney. Many interesting events have been scheduled, including radio picnics. The delegates from the other States will be entertained by the Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club on Thursday, and two of the launches are being fitted with complete transmitting and receiving equipment for telephony. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. D.L.W. (Neutral Bay).— Q.: I have been told that a howl in a radio receiver can be caused by the vibration of plates in tuning condensers. How is this so when the condensers are in the radio frequency portion of the circuit? A.: You were told correctly. If the plates vibrate, this meant that the capacity of the condenser changes at a rate equal to the vibration. This tunes and detunes the receiver at a rapid rate, and the output will vary at the same rate. Thus the vibration modulates the output, which appears in the form of a howl in the detector output. The moral is to use solidly-built condensers, and to avoid those cheap products made with thin plates, particularly thin aluminium.[74]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 20 Oct 1931

WHAT WATT? RADIO POWER PROBLEM. ENERGY WASTE. Did you know that our main broadcasting stations operate on no more power than is used in a baby car? (By D. B. Knock) When the average person is told that a broadcasting station is rated at a power of 5000 watts, he usually wants to know just what that power rating means, and whether it represents the input to the apparatus used in the station, or whether it indicates the energy in electromagnetic force actually circulating or oscillating in the aerial system. It is interesting to delve into the explanation of the matter, because many people even today have an erroneous idea that the atmosphere is literally vibrating with large doses of high power which often is accused of such fantastic things as killing birds in flight, promoting heavy rainstorms, or prolong droughts. Power Comparison. It seems to the uninitiated quite a feasible suggestion, that, because a large number of radio stations scattered throughout the world, are in operation simultaneously, there must be a large accumulating amount of energy spent in the ether. Let us take as an example Station 2FC, rated at a power or five kilowatts (5000 watts). To get an idea of what this power rating actually means, apply it to the motor car. One horse power as a determined standard, represents in watts 746. There follows the interesting fact that the popular 7 h.p. type of small cars is equal in electrical power to 5222 watts, or 5¼ kilowatts. A baby car ambling along the road actually is putting to use more horse power than one of our main broadcasting stations! Then to go to the extreme, we find that the power allowed by the Postmaster-General's Department to the amateur transmitter does not exceed 10 watts — approximately one-hundredth of a horsepower — which would hardly drive the home refrigerator efficiently. The radio transmitter is about the worst example of inevitable loss between the input and output of power of any electrical or mechanical appliance, so it is staggering to realise how diminutive is the power energising the amateur transmitter's aerial. Yet the signals resulting from such small power are easily heard and intelligently understood over the largest distances of the earth. Power Wastage. What must be borne securely in mind is the difference between radiated power and total power expended in the station. The latter is an entirely different matter because, like the engineering machinery of a ship which combines to drive it through the water, the modern radio transmitting station of a commercial nature needs so much auxiliary equipment to enable it to make only a comparatively tiny disturbance in the ether. The trouble is wastage. The power wasted on these auxiliaries does not help matters at all regarding the direct power radiated from the aerial. These auxiliaries, such as motors, generators, transformers, and batteries, are actually an enormous waste of power which our still very imperfect knowledge of radio mechanics makes unavoidable. So next time you hear a reference to a station making use of so many kilowatts for transmission remember that although this is the rated power of the station, the wasted power is not taken into account. Until the actual transmission of power by a radio medium is accomplished the total amount of power present in energy in the ether is infinitesimal and the question of transmitting power through space is even a long way further from solution than the commercial practical application of television. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. J W. E. (Cronulla): A few years ago there was quite a preponderance of loudspeakers with large cones and large baffle boards. No speaker that did not have these large radiating surfaces was considered capable of good quality reproduction. Now we see small speakers in small cabinets and the reproduction is still good. What is the explanation? Answer:— Try a test yourself and find out. Cut a hole in a large sheet of cardboard, a bit smaller than the cone diameter. Hold this baffle in front of the speaker tightly and note the reproduction. Then lift the baffle away. If you like to hear the low notes reproduced you will vote in favour of the baffle. The reproduction from a midget cabinet as a baffle is very misleading. Drumminess deceives the ear.[75]

2NO's column in the radio section of "The Sun" newspaper - 27 Oct 1931

"WOOLLY" AIR. INTERFERENCE IN RADIO. REASONS — CURE. (By D. B. Knock) Normally there is not much one can find to grumble about in the world of broadcasting from the technical viewpoint, although from the programme side of things there is always present a lot of healthy criticism. If the listener is content to concentrate on local programmes, his criticism can revolve only around the administration of the transmitted programmes themselves, and from the technical aspect he finds little or nothing at fault. The experienced listener, however, with a powerful receiver, capable of reproducing, under all but the worst the weather conditions, the transmissions from stations located some few hundred miles distant, notices that from time to time, a station will show a definite tendency to "wander" in wave length, or to be strictly correct, frequency. "Woolly" Reception. It happens often that the whole of the, evening's programme appear to be "woolly," and with a peculiar echo accompanying speech. The effect is due to some other station suffering from "frequency wobble," and encroaching on the wave length of the station being listened to. Even drastic changes in temperature are likely to cause a move in frequency, and this is very likely in winter, in the case of some country station where sharp frost is experienced. Frost alone is liable to cause interference between stations unless due caution is taken against it. Once the frequency is adjusted in a broadcasting transmitting station, the engineers pay particular attention against slight changes in filament and plate voltages. Should these potentials be changed much in a transmitter of the ordinary type, the result is at once that the station is off the previous frequency, however small the apparent deviation. Those who read radio journals will be familiar with reference to "crystal control," and how in the more modern transmitter the oscillatory quartz crystal is used to keep the transmitter definitely on the one frequency. The more recent stations erected in Australia are of the crystal control kind, and many of the older ones have been modernised to include this feature. Stations of the crystal kind are easily identifiable by their clear-cut, rock steady carrier waves, but there are still many others operating, whose transmissions suffer appallingly from "frequency wobbulatlon." This imperfection shows up considerably as the distance increases, and as an example may be cited the reception in Sydney of 6WF, Perth, which station may be heard with an average sensitive receiver after 11 p.m. Crystal Control. The quartz crystal method of frequency control is not the only method of definite stabilisation in use in the world today; it is only one of three. In England we find that the B.B.C. favours the tuning fork system of control, and also the more well-known "valve master oscillator," known to the experimental transmitter as the MOPA. Since the inception of quartz control, the most recent stations erected and using this system employ a further safeguard in the form of a temperature control to keep the crystal constantly at the same degree of heat. Although this is a refinement in the case of quartz, it is much more essential with the tuning fork method, and with the latter the temperature must constantly be accurate within .1 degree Fahrenheit. This is done by automatic means, and how well the tuning fork system works out in England may be shown by the fact that seven stations in Hull, Liverpool, Newcastle, Plymouth, Sheffield, Stoke, and Swansea, respectively, share a common wavelength of 288.5 metres. This in a country with only short distances between stations. No interference exists between carrier waves, the seven appearing as one, and in one year's service the constancy has been plus or minus 1½ in 100,000. It must be understood, of course, that these stations are all radiating the same programme simultaneously. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENT. R.E.W. (Bondi).— Q.: Can you tell me a good method of removing the insulation from the ends of very fine silk-covered wire? I find that the wire breaks if scraped with a knife in the usual manner. A.: Fold a small piece of sandpaper into a spill and use it as a brush. Lay the end of the wire on a smooth flat surface, and gently stroke it with the sandpaper until the insulation is removed.[76]

1931 11[edit | edit source]
1931 12[edit | edit source]

Earliest reference to 2NO's "Radio Monthly"

TELEVISION AS AN ACCEPTED FACT. Opinions differ as to when the much-discussed television will be a commercially practicable, proposition. In the current edition of "Radio Monthly" is published an article from no less an authority than Mr. E. T. Fisk, who gives his opinion as to when we in Australia will see in our own homes moving pictures transmitted from the other side of the world. The copy of "Radio Monthly," sent by Federal Publications, evidences a high standard of radio journalism, besides containing a vast amount of material of value to the home constructor. Mr. Don B. Knock, well-known radio man, contributes interesting matter, such as an A.C. All Empire, a modern superhet and a four-valve battery receiver. Other articles include a marine radio story and an account of a radio engineer's experience with shortwave radio in the Kimberleys. Altogether a well-produced and interesting shilling's worth.[77]

2NO having severed connection with "Sun" newspaper, launches new magazine "Radio Monthly"

BATTERY OPERATED RADIO. Considering the fact that, due to the preponderance of electric radio receivers battery receivers appear to to have been relegated to the back ground, we note with interest that the current issue of "Radio Monthly" carries full constructional details of a 4-valve battery set for the country-man, written by D. B. Knock, the well-known radio designer. The much discussed question of television is covered fully in an article from no less an authority than Mr. E. T. Fisk, Managing Director Amalgamated Wireless, Ltd. Another article covers a radio man's exciting experiences in the North West of Australia. "Radio Monthly" sets a high standard and its 68 pages are crammed full of interesting matter for the broadcast listener. Our copy from the publishers, Federal Publications, 179 Elizabeth Street, Sydney.[78]

1932[edit | edit source]

1932 01[edit | edit source]

As previous

FOR RADIO "FANS". New Magazine Should Prove Popular. DEVOTED to the advancement of wireless telephony, the "Radio Monthly," the first issue of which has just made an appearance, is a magazine that will interest every person with a radio set, and many others who are not so fortunately placed. Unlike most other similar publications, it is not altogether a technical journal, but the section that is devoted to the technical side of radio is written in a simple and interesting style, easily understood by the reader, who may or may not be acquainted with the mechanical intricacies of a radio receiver. In this section, full constructional details of a four-valve battery set for the countryman are given by Mr. D. B. Knock, the well-known radio designer. The much-discussed subject of television is covered in an article by Mr. E. T. Fisk, managing director of Amalgamated Wireless. Besides a number of other interesting articles and stories there are contributions from Auntie "Goodie," Uncle George, and a number of other announcers and artists. Radio "fans" will find much to interest them in this new monthly. Our copy from the publishers, Federal Publications, 170 Elizabeth-street, Sydney. Price 1/.[79]

As previous

"RADIO MONTHLY." New Magazine. SPLENDID ISSUE. Considering the fact that, due to the preponderance of electric radio receivers battery receivers appear to have been relegated to the background, we note with interest that the current issue of "Radio Monthly" carries full constructional details of a 4 valve battery set for the country-man, written by D. B. Knock, the well known radio designer. Other articles are a Dual Control Superheterodyne and an AC Receiver tuning from 15 to 550 metres without changing coils. The much discussed question of Television is covered fully in an article from no loss an authority than Mr. E. T. Fisk, Managing Director, Amalgamated Wireless, Ltd., who predicts when it will be possible to see radio moving pictures in our own homes. Another article covers a radio man's exciting experiences in the North West of Australia, where he was engaged linking the distant cattle stations of the Kimberleys with Wyndham meat works by radio. In between times he located missing aeroplanes. A marine wireless operator tells of his experiences at sea in the submarine zone during the great war. "Radio Monthly" sets a high standard and its 68 pages are crammed full of interesting matter for the broadcast listener. Our copy from the publishers, Federal Publications, 179 Elizabeth-street, Sydney.[80]

1932 02[edit | edit source]
1932 03[edit | edit source]

Photo of 2NO with portable equipment to transmit the Sydney Harbour Bridge opening

PORTABLE STATION. MR. DON B. KNOCK (left), and Mr. F. E. Buckell (right) will carry this portable wireless transmitting set through Manly to-morrow, in connection with 2UW's broadcast of the Bridge celebrations.[81]

2NO designs unique portable transmitter

RADIO SET ON BODY. UNIQUE TRANSMISSION TOMORROW. A unique portable transmitting wireless set has been designed and built by Mr. Don B. Knock, to be used in connection with Station 2UW's Australian-wide broadcast of the Harbor Bridge opening. Mr. Knock will carry the set and aerial on his chest, and Mr. F. E. Buckell, manager of the "Osram" valves department of the British General Electric Co., will carry the batteries and microphone on his back. They will take the set through the streets of Manly, and Bridge visitors will be asked to speak through the microphone. In the afternoon "Boy" Charlton and Noel Ryan will speak through the "mike" from the Manly Baths. This is the first time such a set has been used in Australia.[82]

1932 04[edit | edit source]
1932 05[edit | edit source]

Report bemoaning the disappearance of the early radio pioneers, but reference the copying of a 2NO receiver by USA manufacturers

WHERE AUSTRALIA LEADS THE WORLD. Australians Have Now Conquered the Air — Two Ways. Meet the Well-known Australian Radio Experimenter, Mr. Ham. WHERE ARE THE "HAMS" OF YESTERYEAR? How They Paved the Way for Radio. ISOLATED from the world's technical libraries, and cut off from the continuing intense practical experiments in the laboratories of Europe, Britain, and U.S.A., Australian wireless pioneers have, nevertheless, more than held themselves abreast of the latest developments in radio. Every difficulty encountered has simply been another challenge to ingenuity, and every challenge thus accepted has led to a further victory. At least one Australian-designed set — the make of Don B. Knock — was copied by a leading American radio corporation and made its standard. There was no acknowledgment; but that does not worry Don B., no more than other similar infringements have worried other Australian experimenters. The performances of these men in wireless development are quite comparable with those of the other Australian conquerors of the air — the flying men. Those Early Birds. WHEN CHARLES MACLURCAN opened up 2CM with a regular Sunday night's session in 1921 — it was the first broadcasting station in Australia — he started something the repercussions of which would be impossible to estimate today. If you were one of those early pioneers who struggled with the mysteries of a slider-tuner crystal set and to whom a piece of galena was more valuable than gold, you will remember what a wave of excitement went over the country when it was realised that wireless was a demonstrable fact, and not a madman's dream. And when, in 1922, Charlie Mac. got through to New Zealand and a little later actually communicated with England, enthusiasm knew no bounds. There had always been a group of serious-minded experimenters before then, but it was this great wave of excitement which sent hundreds of young men into radio. They called themselves "hams," but that was no reflection on their appearance or ability. "Ham" is merely an abbreviation for amateur, and is one of a whole glossary of terms common to a fellowship of radio experimenters in every country in the world. Australia, because of her long distance from other countries, became the focus of them all. It was suddenly a feat to get in touch with an Australian; and English-men, Finns, Germans, Frenchmen, Belgians, and Russians were out after the cherished QSL card from Australia, which certified that the signals had travelled 12,000 miles around the earth, often on less power than it takes to light an ordinary electric globe. The QSL card was generally a postcard with the letters of the sta-tion printed largely in red. Cards bearing the signs G2NM, OA2CM, 3BQ, and a few others were at a premium. Written over the red were usually some indecipherable formulae such as "Yr sigs O.K., etc., etc.," QRN meant static or interference; QSO, a contact; X-mitter, a transmitter; OM was a term of the highest regard; and 73s best wishes and cheerio. There were a load of similar signs and they crept into the experimenter's speech until conversation with him was like talking to a Martian.[83]

1932 06[edit | edit source]
1932 07[edit | edit source]
1932 08[edit | edit source]
1932 09[edit | edit source]

2NO advertises to sell an Arion Superhet

BARGAIN for cash. an Arion Superheterodyne, in attractive Cabinet, possesses features not found in average Super. You cannot afford to miss this. DON B. KNOCK, 102 Nelson Bay-road, Bronte, Sydney.[84]

As previous, further detail

A BARGAIN. Incomparable, selling normally at £37/10/; offered at £23 cash. An ARION 6-valve Superheterodyne, in modern console. Genuinely the finest broadcast receiver money can buy. Complete absence noise; level. Not a dealer's stunt advertisement but a straight offer from a reputable and qualified engineer. Obtain proof by demonstration. DON B. KNOCK, 102 Nelson Bay-road, Bronte. FW3574, weekend, nights.[85]

1932 10[edit | edit source]

2NO again advertising superhet receivers for sale

AN OFFER never equalled before. Manufacturer's representative selling off complete stock well-known Superheterodyne Four and Five Chassis to public at trade price of £11 and £12. These superb Receivers retail complete at £35/10/ and £37/10/ with performance of 60 stations and full entertainment value. Full vision dial. Single control. Seeing and hearing is believing. Reason offer, stock must be cleared, regardless loss. Cash only, otherwise don't waste my time. Call or write. DON. B. KNOCK, 102 Nelson Bay-road, Bronte.[86]

1932 11[edit | edit source]
1932 12[edit | edit source]

2NO advertises to design and build shortwave sets

SHORT WAVES. The thrill of overseas reception direct. Get your set designed and built by the man who knows how. DON. B. KNOCK (VK2NO) Short Wave Engineer, 102 Nelson Bay-rd, Bronte, Sydney.[87]

1933[edit | edit source]

1933 01[edit | edit source]
1933 02[edit | edit source]
1933 03[edit | edit source]

2NO reports on China-Japan signal jamming

RADIO WARFARE. Blocking of Chinese News Messages. In a letter to the Editor, Mr. Don B. Knock directs attention to an interesting sidelight on the Sino-Japanese trouble. Every night, at 9.30 (Sydney time), a radiotelephony station in China transmits on a wavelength of approximately 38 metres what are apparently broadcasts of a military nature from the Chinese headquarters to the forces in the field. As soon as this station commences, says Mr. Knock there appeals on the same wave-length a carrier wave which sets up heterodyne interference which in Sydney, is equal to the signal, and which makes it unintelligible. Evidently, he says, the Japanese are doing what the German battle-cruiser Goeben did in the Mediterranean when by "sitting on her key" she played havoc with the wireless traffic of the British Navy.[88]

1933 04[edit | edit source]
1933 05[edit | edit source]

2NO gives a talk on Radio on Station 2SM

STATION 2SM. WAVE LENGTH. 236 METRES. 7.0 a.m.— Breakfast session, studio music, news. 1.0 p.m.— Luncheon recital. 1.30.— Weather, studio music. 3.45.— Afternoon tea session. 5.0.— Children's session. 6.45.— Studio music. 7.0.— Turf topics. 7.15.— After-dinner entertainment. 7.45.— "Our Doctor" talks. 8.0.— Evening session. 8.30.— Talk on radio. Mr. Don B. Knock. 9.0.— Studio music.[89]

1933 06[edit | edit source]

2NO provides a talk on Radio on Station 2SM

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, June 20: 7 p.m.: Turf Topics, Eric Gordon. 7.45 p.m.: "Our Doctor" Talks. 8.30 p.m.: Talk on Radio — Don B. Knock. 9 p.m.: Half an hour of musical comedy.[90]

1933 07[edit | edit source]

2NO gives a talk on Radio on Station 2SM

SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, July 11: 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S. Sport, by an old boy. 7 p.m.: Turf Topics, Eric Gordon. 7 45 p.m.: "Our Doctor" Talks. 8.45 p.m.: Talk on Radio — Don B. Knock.[91]

1933 08[edit | edit source]

2NO gives a talk about Radio on station 2SM

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. SATURDAY, AUGUST 19. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, August 22: 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a review. 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S. Sport, by an old boy. 7 p.m.: Turf Topics, Eric Gordon. 7.45 p.m.: "Our Doctor" Talks. 8.45 p.m.: Talk on Radio — Don B. Knock. 9 p.m.: Half an hour of musical comedy.[92]

1933 09[edit | edit source]

2NO gives a talk about Radio over station 2SM

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, September 19: 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a review. 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S. Sport, by an old boy. 7 p.m.: Turf Topics.— Eric Gordon. 7.45 p.m.: "Our Doctor" Talks. 8.45 p.m.: Chats on Technical side of Radio — Don B. Knock.[93]

2NO demonstrates 5 metre equipment and explains its application

RADIO TELEPHONE. ULTRA-SHORT WAVES. SYDNEY EXPERIMENTERS' APPARATUS. A new application of ultrashort wave telephony was demonstrated yesterday by Mr. Don B. Knock at the offices of the "Australian Radio News." Mr. Knock and several amateur radio experimenters have been working with an apparatus which, it is claimed, may replace the usual telephones for inter-office communication. The principle has been applied to other purposes in oversea countries. Since the range can be limited to various distances up to 200 miles, the principle could be of particular utility for such purposes as private communication between an aeroplane and the ground, between the leader and other pilots of a squadron, or between the flagship and other vessels of a fleet. In warlike operations secrecy could be maintained by the use of suitable wavelengths and by limiting power, for example, in a fleet at sea, so as to allow "horizon range" only. "The Police Department," said Mr. Knock, "is co-operating in our experiments with the object of devising suitable equipment for patrol-car work. By such means police headquarters could maintain direct voice communication with police cars." Mr. Knock has conducted experiments in particular with the officer-in-charge of the police wireless patrols (Mr. W. Salmon) and with Mr. S. McGuire. The whole of the equipment can be mounted on a camera tripod, requiring a power of not more than three watts (less than that of the average house light). An earlier radio device, the "super-regenerative receiver" has been revived and applied to ultra-short waves (of 5-metre length). A duplex telephone circuit is produced, which obviates the necessity of switching off the transmitter while receiving a reply. At yesterday's demonstration Mr. Salmon, speaking at police headquarters, could be heard very distinctly from a George-street office, and Mr. McGuire's voice, from Rose Bay, was clearly audible.[94]

2NO's regular weekly Tuesday programme on station 2SM "Chats on the Technical Side of Radio"

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, September 26: 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a review. 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S. Sports by an old boy. 7 p.m.: Turf Topics. — Eric Gordon. 7.45 p.m. : "Our Doctor" Talks. 8.45 p.m.: Chats on Technical side of Radio — Don B. Knock. 9.5: Half an hour of musical comedy.[95]

2NO's regular weekly Tuesday programme on station 2SM "Chats on the Technical Side of Radio"

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH— 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, October 26 (sic, 3): 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a review. 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S. Sports by an old boy. 7 p.m.: Turf Topics. — Eric Gordon. 7.45 p.m.: "Our Doctor" Talks. 8.45 p.m.: Chats on Technical side of Radio — Don B. Knock. 9: Half an hour of musical comedy.[96]

1933 10[edit | edit source]

2NO's regular weekly Tuesday programme on station 2SM "Chats on the Technical Side of Radio"

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, October 24: 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a review. 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S. Sports by "Old Boy." 7 p.m.: Turf Topics.— Eric Gordon 7.45 p.m.: "Our Doctor" Talks. 8.45 p.m.: Chats on Technical side of Radio Don B. Knock.[97]

1933 11[edit | edit source]

2NO's regular weekly Tuesday programme on station 2SM "Chats on the Technical Side of Radio"

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, November 7: 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a review. 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S. Sports by "Old Boy." 7 p.m.: Turf Topics. 7.45 p.m.: "Our Doctor" Talks. 8.45 p.m.: Chats on Technical side of Radio — Don B. Knock. 9.15 p.m.: One Act drama, "What Would You Do?"[98]

2NO's regular weekly Tuesday programme on station 2SM "Chats on the Technical Side of Radio"

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, November 14: 1 p.m.: Racing Topics. 2 p.m.: Menangle Races. 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a review. 6.15 p.m.: Health advice. 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S. Sports by "Old Boy." 7 p.m.: Turf Topics. 7.45 p.m.: "Our Doctor" Talks. 8.45 p.m.: Chats on Technical side of Radio — Don B. Knock. 9.15 p.m.: One Act drama, 'What Would You Do?'[99]

1933 12[edit | edit source]

2NO's regular weekly Tuesday programme on station 2SM "Chats on the Technical Side of Radio"

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, December 19: 1 p.m.: Kembla Grange racing results, as received. 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a review. 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S Sports by "Old Boy." 7.15 p.m.: Wally Clarke (pianist) entertains. 7.45 p.m.: "Our Doctor" Talks. 8.45 p.m.: Chats on Technical side of Radio — Don B. Knock.[100]

1934[edit | edit source]

1934 01[edit | edit source]

2NO's regular weekly Tuesday programme on station 2SM "Chats on the Technical Side of Radio"

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, January 16: 1 p.m.: Racing results during the afternoon. 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a review. 6.15 p.m.: Health advice. 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S. Sports by "Old Boy." 7.15 p.m.: Wally Clarke (pianist) entertains. 7.45 p.m.: "Our Doctor" Talks. 8.45 p.m.: Chats on Technical side of Radio — Don B. Knock.[101]

1934 02[edit | edit source]

2NO's regular weekly Tuesday programme on station 2SM "Chats on the Technical Side of Radio"

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, February 20: 12 noon: Racing results during the afternoon. 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a review. 4.15 p.m.: Radio matinee, 'What Would You Do?' produced by John Pickard. 6.15 p.m.: Health advice. 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S. Sport, by "Old Boy." 7 p.m.: Racing review by Mr. H. A. Milliard. 8.30 p.m. Singing Grocer 8.45 p.m.: Chats on Technical Side of Radio — Don B. Knock. 9.15 p.m.: "What Would You Do?" produced by John Pickard.[102]

2NO designs and mans the Australian Radio News stand at the 1934 radio exhibition in Sydney

MEETING PLACE FOR AMATEURS. A.R.N.'s Five Metre Radio Phone Station. GOOD DISPLAY. THE Australian Radio News stand is No. 35 in the lower hall, and, in addition to the display of radio receivers, as described in the current and passed (sic, past) issues, the stand is the official meeting-place and exhibiting location for the leading transmitting amateur organisations. At a special meeting at the club-rooms of the Zero Beat Radio Club, of which the A.R.N. is the official organ, on February 6, delegates from the Z.B.R.C., Amateur Radio Association (N.S.W.), Manly district, and other radio clubs formed an emergency amateur committee. For Amateurs The sum of £20 and a valuable silver cup was donated by Australian Radio News for the amateur emergency committee, to organise competitions open to any amateur. The entries for these competitions will be on view on Stand 35, and they will include shortwave transmitters, shortwave receivers, ultrahigh frequency transmitters, and receivers, and novelties. A feature will be a complete 5-metre radio-telephone station designed by Mr. Don. B. Knock, the Technical Editor, and this station will be in almost continual communication with a similar station on the Ever Ready Company's stand in the upper hall. Visitors to the exhibition will be enabled to talk over the system. The similar station on the Ever Ready stand is designed by Mr. S. V. Colville, M.I.R.E. (Aust.). The Australian Radio News Receivers on view include the all-wave superhet, the battery all-wave receiver, the midget shortwave converter, and the Wide World shortwave Two.[103]

1934 03[edit | edit source]

2NO's regular weekly Tuesday programme on station 2SM "Chats on the Technical Side of Radio"

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, March 20: 12 noon: Midday Session. During afternoon racing results will be given. 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a review. 4.15 p.m.: Radio matinee, "What Would You Do?" produced by John Pickard. 6.15 p.m.: Health advice. 6.30 p.m.: G.P.S. Sport, by "Old Boy." 7 p.m.: Racing Talk. 8.30 p.m.. Singing Grocer. 8.45 p.m.: Chats on Technical Side of Radio — Don B. Knock 9.15 p.m.: "What Would You Do!" produced by John Pickard.[104]

1934 04[edit | edit source]

2NO's regular weekly Tuesday programme on station 2SM "Chats on the Technical Side of Radio"

2SM — 236 METRES. 12 noon.— Midday session. Race results during the evening. 2 p.m.— Afternoon session: Women's Interests. 4.— Records of the week: A review. "What Would You Do?" by John Pickard. 5.— Uncle Tom and his Gang. Angelus. Dinner session conducted by John Tuttell. 6.30.— G.P.S. Sports, by Mr. Jack Beaton. Racing talk. 7.45.— The Two Globe-trotters. "The Singing Grocer." Chats on the Technical Side of Radio, Don B. Knock. 9.15.— "What Would You Do?" written and produced by John PIckard. Music.[105]

1934 05[edit | edit source]

Knock and Herring touring Northern NSW

STRONG CURRENT. Messrs. D. B. Knock (technical editor of the "Australian Radio News") and G. K. Herring (sales manager of the Ever Ready Battery Company) are staying at the Freemasons' Hotel, Lismore. They are almost at the end of a month's tour of N.S.W. by car and, without any knowledge of North Coast roads, were the last people to get to Lismore from Casino on Tuesday night. Pelican Creek had overflowed the road and the tourists drove into the water in the dark without knowing how deep it was. At one point the car, a big Buick, was almost swept off the road by the current, but managed to struggle through.[106]

2NO's regular weekly Tuesday programme on station 2SM "Chats on the Technical Side of Radio"

Station 2SM. WAVE LENGTH — 236 METRES. . . . SPECIAL FEATURES. . . . Tuesday, May 22: 1 p.m. : Luncheon Session. During the afternoon racing results will be given. 4 p.m.: The records of the week — a re-view. 4.15 p.m.: Radio matinee, "What Would You Do?" written for radio by John Pickard. 6.15 p.m.: Health advice. 7 p.m.: Racing Talk, by H. A. Millard. 7.45 p.m.: The Globe Trotters. 8.30 p.m.: The Singing Grocer. 8.45 p.m.: Chats on the technical side of radio, by Don B. Knock. 9.15 p.m.: "What Would You Do?" a drama written and produced for radio by John Pickard.[107]

1934 06[edit | edit source]
1934 07[edit | edit source]

2NO reported having completed his tour of NSW

SHORT WAVE DOINGS. "Enthusiast" (Nambour) states that reception with his three-valve battery set is not nearly so good in Nambour as in Brisbane. Whilst he was residing in Brisbane shortwave stations in any part of the world could be tuned in with ease, but now what few stations are heard are marred by severe fading effects. When the set was tested alongside another two-valver the same fading effects were experienced. P. Cossy (Clayfield) finds very little activity on the usual shortwave channels during evening hours. According to this correspondent the only evening station worth listening to at present is the Javanese station on 49 metres. The log of American amateur 'phone stations, heard on the 20 and 80 metres bands, submitted by this correspondent would put to shame the reception results of many VK (Australian) amateurs who pride themselves on possessing sensitive shortwave receivers. T. R. (Silkstone) would like to know the location of VK2NO, which was received on Sunday morning, July 1. VK2NO is the amateur transmitting station owned and operated by D. B. Knock, 102 Nelson Bay Road, Bronte, Sydney. Incidentally, the owner of this station has just completed a tour of New South Wales on matters pertaining to radio. He is one of Australia's foremost authorities on shortwave reception and can often be heard, usually on the 40 metres band, discussing shortwave problems with other Australian amateur transmitting stations.[108]

1934 08[edit | edit source]
1934 09[edit | edit source]
1934 10[edit | edit source]
1934 11[edit | edit source]
1934 12[edit | edit source]

1935[edit | edit source]

1935 01[edit | edit source]
1935 02[edit | edit source]

2NO leads 5 metre tests between Sydney and Blue Mountains

FIVE METRE EXPERIMENTS. Last Saturday a five metre telephony test was carried out by Messrs. Knock (VK2NO), Chinner (VK2CG), Manley (VK2MW) and Dukes (VK2WD). A receiver was taken in a car to the Blue Mountains and signals from a beam aerial at Waverley facing due west were observed with the car in motion at 35 miles per hour, strong telephony was received over practically the whole route. From Lapstone Hill and onward the signal increased in strength enormously and at Hazelbrook, the occupants of the car were able to leave the headphones on the seat, walk well away and hear every word distinctly. This, it is claimed, is a record for a strong telephony signal on 5 metres in Australia. It is proposed to repeat the test next Saturday. The ultimate object of these tests is to run an amateur 5 metre duplex channel with beam aerials between Sydney and Newcastle.[109]

1935 03[edit | edit source]
1935 04[edit | edit source]
1935 05[edit | edit source]
1935 06[edit | edit source]
1935 07[edit | edit source]
1935 08[edit | edit source]
1935 09[edit | edit source]
1935 10[edit | edit source]
1935 11[edit | edit source]
1935 12[edit | edit source]

2NO provisionally promoted to Lieutenant, Corps of Signals

MILITARY NOTES. Conducted by J. D. THOMPSON . . . PROMOTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS. . . . Corps of Signals: To be lieutenant provisionally, D. B. Knock.[110]

1936[edit | edit source]

1936 01[edit | edit source]
1936 02[edit | edit source]
1936 03[edit | edit source]
1936 04[edit | edit source]
1936 05[edit | edit source]
1936 06[edit | edit source]

2NO gives a 10 minute talk about the 1936 Exhibition on 2BL

NATIONAL STATION 2BL. . . . 8.0: "The Amateur and Shortwave Radio Exhibition," talk by Mr. D. B. Knock.[111]

2NO gives a speech at the opening of the WIA Exhibition in Sydney

RADIO WONDERS DISPLAYED. Reducing the apparently miraculous to the commonplace by the aid of wireless, an official listening in U.S.A. to messages flashed over the air from the Assembly Hall, Sydney, last night at 9 o'clock, performed the opening ceremony of an amateur and short wave radio exhibition sponsored by the Wireless Institute of Australia. The exhibition is the first of the kind to be held to any large degree in this State, and is designed to show the activities of amateur and experimental radio enthusiasts. A wide range of curious and wonderful exhibits are displayed. Mr. E. T. Fisk, chairman of Amalgamated Wireless, Ltd., introduced to a big audience Mr. F. Handy, communication manager of the American Radio Relay League, who, speaking from New York, opened the exhibition. There was, said Mr. Fisk, a great deal in common between the work of the two leagues, who represented a very enthusiastic, and valuable body of citizens of all ages and walks of life who devoted their time to a wonderful hobby. The exhibits covered all the possible amateur bands for radio communication, they were all home-built and were of the most up-to-date kind of equipment. It was a great achievement to communicate across the world on wave lengths of 10 metres. Among the exhibits is an amateur television transmitter of low definition, which Mr. Fisk said was showing satisfactory results. Numerous competitions are being held throughout the exhibition, which will be continued daily until June 20. Mr. Handy, whose voice came through clearly, extended his congratulations to the Wireless Institute. Others who spoke were Mr. H. F. Peterson, Mr. W. T. S. Crawford, Chief Radio Inspector, and Mr. D. B. Knock, of "The Bulletin."[112]

1936 07[edit | edit source]
1936 08[edit | edit source]

2NO, as president WIA NSW, offers to provide radiocommunication to round-Australia motor contest (accepted)

TRUCKS IN MOTOR CONTEST ROUND AUSTRALIA. SPECIAL CLASS? (By the Motoring Correspondent) PARTICIPATION by trucks in the round-Australia motor contest was considered by the executive council of the contest last night. The question of creating a special class for these was referred to the technical and entries subcommittee. The recommendation of the subcommittee, which was adopted, that any mechanically propelled vehicle, excepting motor cycles and motor cycle outfits, be eligible to compete in either section, leaves the way open for participation by trucks, but the question was raised whether these should enter into direct competition with cars. It was agreed that the contest should be run in two sections, one a sports section, in which high average speeds would be set, calling for high performance capabilities and expert handling, and the other a touring section of a less strenuous character. Recommendations that competitors be allowed to start from any mainland capital city, and that a relief driver be allowed in each car, were also adopted. Radio Communication. The finance subcommittee's recommendation that a total of £10,000 be aimed at for distribution as prize money, and that consideration be given to presenting a medallion to each competitor who completes the course, was approved. An offer by the N.S.W. president of the Wireless Institute of Australia (Mr. Don B. Knock), of assistance by that body in organising radio communication along the route, for the purposes of the contest was accepted.[113]

1936 09[edit | edit source]
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1936 12[edit | edit source]

1937[edit | edit source]

1937 01[edit | edit source]
1937 02[edit | edit source]
1937 03[edit | edit source]
1937 04[edit | edit source]

2NO resigns his provisional appointment as Lieutenant in Signals

Signals. Australian Corps of Signals.—To he Lieutenants (on probation)—Ronald Timothy Wellesley Pain, with regiments 1 seniority next after Lieutenant (on probation) R. J. I. De Groote, 11th March. 1937. and Murray Robert Strang, 12th March. 1937. The resignation of Lieutenant (provisionally) D. B. Knock of his commission is accepted.[114]

1937 05[edit | edit source]
1937 06[edit | edit source]
1937 07[edit | edit source]

2NO reports no success in hearing Amelia Earhart's radio signals

PLANE DOWN NEAR HOWLAND IS. CALCULATIONS MADE FROM FAINT SIGNALS. Great Fleet Of Planes And Ships To Search. MRS. AMELIA EARHART PUTNAM and Captain Noonan, it is believed, were forced down 125 miles west of Howland Island. The position has been worked out by San Francisco radio amateurs from signals believed to have come from the plane. Mr. Paul Mantz, technical adviser to Mrs. Putnam, accepts this radio calculation as correct, says a message from San Francisco. Honolulu officials of Pan-American Airways, hearing the signals from the plane, believe that Mrs. Putnam and Noonan are on a coral reef. The world's biggest rescue fleet of six warships and. more than 60 aeroplanes, are converging on Howland Island, with the intention of "combing every square yard of the vicinity." The search will be intensified day by day until the aircraft-carrier Lexington, with 63 planes and four destroyers, augments the searchers later in the week. Mysterious radio signals were heard at Honolulu after the local broadcasting station had broadcast instructions to the lost fliers. The announcer asked that the plane transmit two long dashes, in series of two, if on water, and series of three if on land. The radio signals received after the announcement were indistinct, but revived hope for the safety of the fliers. No Reply To Mystery Signals. It was announced in Honolulu yesterday morning that Howland Island and Baker Island radios picked up the signals: "NRUI — KHAQQ" repeated on every wavelength assigned to Mrs. Putnam's plane. NRUI is the callsign of the coast guard cutter Itasca, and KHAQQ that of the plane. The Itasca immediately began calling the plane, but received no reply. Amalgamated Wireless officials in Sydney last night said it seemed unlikely that the plane would send out readable signals which did not include her position. No Messages Heard In Sydney. A radio experimenter in Wyoming says that he received a message stating the machine was down on a reef south of the Equator. Pan-American Airways radio station at Mokopu Point, near Honolulu, reports the reception of messages on Mrs. Putnam's frequency (48-metre band) throughout the day. They were unintelligible and steadily weakening. An hourly request has been made to Mrs. Putnam io state whether her position is north or south of Howland Island. Amateurs in Sydney with shortwave sets had not picked up any radio message from the missing plane, Mr. D. B. Knock, member of the council of the Wireless Institute, said yesterday. When the plane was forced down in the ocean, he said, the static was very bad around 48 metres. Usually messages around 48 metres have good reception at night on the eastern side of Australia at this time of the year. They should also be heard well at Wyoming, in the United States, where an amateur is reported to have picked up a message saying the plane was down on a reef south of the equator. Woman Flier's Husband Hopeful. George Palmer Putnam, millionaire publisher husband of Mrs. Putnam, stated yesterday that he considered the radio reports encouraging. He was hopeful that his wife and Captain Noonan would be found alive. "The radio reports seem to tie together," said the spokesman for Mr. Putnam. He was impressed with the Wyoming report. Mrs. Putnam, who was flying round the world in her Lockheed Electra, "Lady Lindy," was due at Howland Island on Saturday morning. After radioing that petrol was insufficient to make a landfall, her signals became weak and unintelligible. The United States cutter Itasca, after cruising all day, reported that she had seen no sign of the missing machine. The aircraft carrier Lexington, with 63 planes on board, has left California for the scene, accompanied by four destroyers. With over 4000 miles to travel, and a maximum speed of 30.7 knots, it is impossible for the carrier to reach the vicinity of Howland Island in less than six days, though search by air could begin on the fifth day. Aeroplanes catapulted from the battleship Colorado were forced back to Honolulu by the weather. Fuel Inadequate For Long Flight. (By Our Aviation Correspondent.) When the Lockheed Electra left Lae, it carried 950 gallons of petrol — sufficient to give a still-air cruising range of 2750 miles. The distance from Lae to Howland Island is 2500 miles. According to the navigator, Captain Noonan, the Lady Lindy was overloaded to the extent of two tons when she left Lae on the longest hop of the whole flight Rations-put on board in New Guinea included iced water, hot coffee, hot tomato soup, sandwiches, four hard-boiled eggs, and three cakes of plain chocolate. It is believed that additional emergency rations were also carried. It seems obvious that the fuel carried, although adequate for a still air flight, did not allow a sufficient margin. The position of 125 miles west of Howland Island, and the report of the machine being on a reef, cannot be reconciled. Baker Island, 40 miles south-east of Howland Island, is the only land or reef charted within a 125-mile radius. HUSBAND'S FAREWELL. LAST-MINUTE FAREWELL between Amelia Earhart Putnam, missing aviatrix, and her husband, George Palmer Putnam, the American publisher. The photo-graph was taken just before she took off for Puerto Rico on the first stage of her round-the-world flight.[115]

2NO (Bronte) establishes a record on 5 metres by contacting 2DN (Deniliquin)

FIVE-METRE RECORD. Five metre signals from Bronte were picked up at Deniliquin, 360 miles distant by airline, during a recent series of tests arranged by the Wireless Institute of Australia (New South Wales division). This is the first time that distances of this order have been covered in Australia. The stations concerned were VK2NO (D. B. Knock) at Bronte and VK2DN at Deniliquin. The occasion was a special five metre field day, arranged by the institute, with mobile stations out at various places to attempt long distance communication. VK2NO (Bronte) and VK2ZC (Newcastle), both in ordinary suburban locations, 70 miles apart, successfully established two-way communication in the forenoon, afternoon, and evening of June 27. The Bronte signals were picked up at Deniliquin during the morning test, the station using a bi-directional aerial array pointing northeast and southwest. A remarkable feature of Sydney-Newcastle transmissions during the afternoon and night periods was a peculiar form of fading, which occurred at the rate of five to ten times during the space of a single dash. Mr. Knock says that there was no question of visible range, as mountains intervene, and that the signal was a partially reflected wave. He also expresses the opinion that the cyclonic conditions prevailing at the time the tests were carried out brought about the formation of a reflecting layer at a low altitude, similar weather conditions having existed on the east coast of the United States when 400 miles were covered. Experimenters in Sydney and Newcastle have long had the ambition to establish direct ultrashort wave communication, and, encouraged by the report from Deniliquin, they intend to carry out a further series of tests to inland districts, and later to other States.[116]

2NO in contact with the Donald Mackay expedition to Central Australia

AERIAL SURVEY. MACKAY EXPEDITION. DEPARTURE FROM MASCOT. The Mackay Aerial Expedition which, under the leadership of Mr. Donald Mackay, of Port Hacking, proposes to carry out an aerial survey of a large area of Central Australia, left Kingsford Smith aerodrome, Mascot, in two 'planes shortly before noon yesterday. They arrived at Broken Hill about 5.30 p.m. Shortly before the 'planes took off officers of the Civil Aviation Department found that the larger machine, a twin-engined Dragonfly, which is piloted by Captain Frank Neale, was slightly overloaded. Several small parachutes for dropping food and water supplies if one of the 'planes made a forced landing were left behind in preference to discarding any of the 'plane's special wireless equipment, which will keep the 'planes in touch with their headquarters in Central Australia. The other 'plane, a Puss Moth, which is piloted by Mr. J. Pollock, carries most of the stores, books, charts, and other geographical equipment, and, after these are unloaded at the expedition's base, will be kept in readiness in case the Dragonfly, in which the survey work will be carried out, is forced down. Mr. D. B. Knock, designer of the radio equipment carried by the expedition, operates an experimental wireless station at Waverley, and throughout the journey to Broken Hill yesterday he was in constant communication with the operator on the Dragonfly, Mr. E. B. Ferguson.[117]

As previous

CENTRAL AUSTRALIA. MACKAY AERIAL SURVEY. Planes Reach Broken Hill. SYDNEY, July 19.— The Mackay aerial expedition which, under the leadership of Donald Mackay, of Port Hacking, proposes to carry out an aerial survey of an extensive area of Central Australia, left Mascot aerodrome in two planes shortly before noon today and arrived at Broken Hill about 5.30 p.m. Shortly before the planes took off officers of the Civil Aviation Department checked the loads to be carried by the planes and found that the larger machine, a twin-engined Dragonfly, was slightly overloaded. A number of small parachutes, which it was proposed to use for dropping food and water supplies in the event of one of the planes being forced to make an emergency landing, had to be left behind. The Dragonfly, which is piloted by Captain Frank Neale. carries the special wireless equipment which will keep the planes in touch with their headquarters in Central Australia and, rather than discard any of the special apparatus Mr. Mackay decided to do without the parachutes which are valuable only in the event of an emergency. The second plane, a Puss Moth, which is piloted by Mr. J. Pollock, carries most of the stores, books, charts and other geographical equipment, and after these are unloaded at the expedition's base will be kept in readiness in case the Dragonfly, in which the survey work will be carried out, is forced down in some remote part by lack of petrol. It has not yet been definitely decided whether the headquarters of the expedition will be established at Tanami or The Granites, and although Mr. Mackay favours the former centre a decision will not be made until information regarding the state of the water supply at each town has been received. Mr. D. B. Knock, designer of the radio equipment carried by the expedition, operates an experimental wireless station at Waverley and throughout the journey to Broken Hill today he was in constant communication with the operator on the Dragonfly (Mr. E. B. Ferguson). "Mr. Ferguson reported that the radio was functioning perfectly," said Mr. Knock tonight, "and the tests proved that the plane will have a 500 miles' range."[118]

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2NO defends his radio equipment for the Mackay Expedition after a breakdown

MACKAY AERIAL EXPEDITION. Mr. D. B. Knock, who designed the radio equipment for both the 'plane and ground stations of the Mackay Aerial Expedition, which is operating in Central Australia, stated yesterday that the message from the expedition, published yesterday, that there had been a "wireless breakdown" might create a wrong impression. It had been stated that there had been a breakdown in the transformer. This was not the case, as no transformer was used in the 'plane installation. What apparently had occurred was that the 12-volt 35 ampere accumulator, which, besides being used for wireless purposes, supplied instrument lighting, landing lights, and was also used as a starter battery for the two engines of the 'plane, had been subjected to too great a strain. Mr. Ferguson, of Tanami, had expressed the opinion to him that the transmitter valve filaments must have been left switched on accidentally for some time. If this was the case, it was quite obvious that the light duty accumulator could not be expected to stand up for long. Mr. Knock said he was satisfied that no trouble would normally develop with the dynamotor. He felt that an extra 6-volt accumulator should have been carried, as he had advised before the expedition left Sydney.[119]

2NO's signals on 5 metres heard in North Wales

LONG DISTANCE ULTRA SHORT WAVES. Information has been received by Mr. D. B. Knock, owner of experimental station VK2NO at Waverley, which indicates that five-metre telephony signals from his station have been picked up in North Wales by Mr. C. Mellanby, a listener whose previous work does not allow this report to be treated lightly. The report, although unconfirmed because the last letter of VK2NO's call sign was missed, is interesting because signals of this type have always been held to have a very limited range. Original estimates have now been greatly exceeded because of the greater numbers of experimenters now working on these wave lengths all over the world. It is predicted by Mr. Knock that during the coming summer there will be many unexpected results with five-metre signals.[120]

Confirming previous

ULTRA SHORT WAVE RECORDS. It is now certain that signals from VK2NO (Mr. D. B. Knock) on five metres have been heard in North Wales. This is a world's record for signals of this type. Between now and the end of the year it is expected that communication over a like distance will be again established and to this end 2NO is transmitting with automatic equipment in various directions at different times and a Belgian station is co-operating in order to try and establish two way communication.[121]

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Mr and Mrs 2NO attend the Philips Lamps Annual Ball

Many Novelties At Philips Lamps Annual Ball. Bull Fight Staged At Midnight. Exhibition Of Tap Dancing. A BULL-FIGHT staged at midnight was an hilarious interlude at the Philips Lamps (A'sia) Ltd. annual ball, held last night at Farmer's Blaxland Galleries. Miniature cannon balls fired by the "toreador" from a huge catapult bombarded the hundreds of dancers gathered to witness the spectacle, and burst into cascades of red and gold streamers. Other novelties included an exhibition by Norman Currie, Australian amateur tap dancing champion; a presentation of national dances by the pupils of Miss Sheila Whytock, and a shower of balloons released just before midnight. Beautiful Lighting The many beautiful floral decorations were illuminated by phillines lighting, and at the official table, where the director, Mr. J. A. Overdiep, entertained a large party, were tall standards of scarlet carnations and trails of spring flowers. Among the official guests were Miss Antill, who wore a striking frock of black velvet appliqued with large spots of multicolored velvet; Mr. George Hunt and Mrs. Hunt, who chose a redingote frock of black silk lace and emerald green taffeta; Mr. and Mrs. D. Wyles, the latter in Coronation blue mariette; Mr. O. Mingay and Mrs. Mingay, who came in blue floral flat crepe; Miss L. Mitchell, in black net; Miss Sheila Warburton, who chose red spotted net; Mr. Van Gessel and Mrs. Gessel, whose frock of floral chiffon was relieved with a posy of black flowers; Mr. L. P. R. Bean and Mrs. Bean, who chose a frock of black silk velvet made with a diamonte yoke; and Mr. and Mrs. D. J. Nolan, who covered her gown of black taffeta with a short matching jacket. Others in the official party were Mr. S. A. Geddes, Mr. and Mrs. G. Blunden, Mr. and Mrs. F. Vigeveno, Mr. and Mrs. H. Olst, Mr. and Mrs. C. Hanson, Mr. and Mrs L. W. Marks, Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Hooke, and Mr. and Mrs. J. Briton. Large Party Mr. Hubert O. Mills was assisted by Miss Beryl McClure in entertaining a large party. Miss McClure looked charming in a moulded frock of cloth of gold, and she wore a halo of gold metal flowers in her hair. Among the guests were Miss E. Newberry, in pale pink satin; Miss Joan Hunt, who chose black lace; Miss J. Plunkett, whose frock of black, velvet featured a silver sequinned yoke; Mr. C. Bond and Mrs. Bond, who wore gold satin; Miss D. Strange, who danced in mauve chiffon, and Mr. Moller, of Holland. Mr. J. Magill, who was accompanied by Mrs. Maglll, wearing a frock of burgundy crepe romaine, was host to a number of friends, including Mr. W. Hall and Mrs. Hall, who covered her frock of black taffeta with a short white jacket; Miss Evelyn Hatfield, in emerald satin; Miss Dorothy Hill, who chose apple green satin; and Mrs. A. Gillard, who came in magnolia satin. Mr. Basil Henry, organising secretary, included among his guests Mr. and Mrs. Haswell Turner, the latter wearing floral chiffon; Miss M. Smith, in blue figured satin; Mr. Don B. Knock and Mrs. Knock, who wore floral flat crepe; Miss P. Falls, who covered her gown of apple green cloque with a matching coat; Mr. G. R. Davidson and Mrs. Davidson, in floral mariette. Others Present Other dancers present included Mr. L. Hopkins, Mr. A. Fox, Miss V. Wright, who chose gold lace; Mr. C. Mark, Mr. L. Wright, who wore green velvet; Mr. and Mrs. Thew, the latter wearing apple green flat crepe; Miss Joyce Pike, who came in mauve chiffon, and Mr. Frank Rankin. Also among those present were Mr. Bob McFarlane, Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Hume, Miss Nada Griffin, Mr. Reg. Williams, Mr. Stuart Hume, Miss Joan Hardyman, Miss Peg Hearney, Mr. G. Ormsby, Miss Molly McNevin, Miss Jean Snowdon, Mr. and Mrs. N. Woollett, and Mr. A. W. Caldwell.[122]

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New UHF section of WIA NSW formed, 2NO elected president

RADIO. TAREE AMATEURS CO-OPERATE IN FIVE METRE ACTIVITIES. First meeting of the newly formed U.H.F. section of the W.I.A. (Wireless Institute of Australia) N.S.W. division, was held at the Y.M.C.A., Pitt Street, Sydney, on the evening of June 1st. Twenty-two were present including many Sydney amateurs. Don B. Knock (VK2NO), who was asked to accept the presidency, took the chair during the meeting. From Taree, N.S.W., came Messrs. B. Eagling (VK2AEY), E. Fallowfield (VK2AKI) and P. Potts. Tests are to be carried out between an aeroplane and a land station. Aircraft co-operation was offered by Mr. Potts, of Taree, whose flying activities are performed in the Newcastle district. Many active ex-perimenters expressed their regret at not being able to attend this inaugural meeting. For the interest of ultra short wave listeners we have printed the following schedules for the ensuing month. Mondays: VK2HZ, 56,000 kc. c.w., only from 8 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays: VK2VN, 56,080 kc. c.w. only from 8 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays: VK2NO, 56,040 kc., 30 minutes phone and 30 minutes c.w. Thursdays: VK2AJH, 58,320 kc., phone and c.w. 8 to 9 p.m. Fridays: VK2MQ, 56,240 kc., phone and c.w. only 8 to 9 p.m. Saturdays: VK2IQ, 56,190 kc., phone and c.w. 8 to 9 p.m. Sunday nights: Open for general con-tacts and discussions. As a result of these tests we hope for some more five meter records. (R. Clinch VK2AGR, 2nd operator).[123]

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2NO returns to Australian Corps of Signals

Australian Corps of Signals. The probationary appointment of Lieutenant E. J. Torr is confirmed. The provisional appointment of Lieutenant D. B. Knock is confirmed.[124]

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2NO is promoted (temporarily) to Captain

AUSTRALIAN CORPS OF SIGNALS. Northern Command. 1st Military District. To be Captain (temporarily).— Lieutenant Q191414 J. J. Kelly, M.M., 30th January, 1942. To be Lieutenants (on probation).— Q90678 Henry Richard Tanzer, Q191457 Douglas Gordon William Dall and Q191399 Allan MacDougall Evans, 6th February, 1942. Eastern Command. 2nd Military District. Lieutenant N14538 D. B. Knock ceases to be seconded, 14th January, 1942. Lieutenant W. G. Sherington is appointed from the Reserve of Officers (Sigs.), 12th December, 1941. To be Captains (temporarily).— Lieutenants N14538 D. B. Knock and N91515 A. S. Barber, 29th January, 1942. To be Lieutenants (on probation).— N81080 Weyland Ormonde Commander, 3rd February, 1942; and N80520 Ross Archibald Wagstaff, 5th February, 1942. Southern Command. 3rd Military District. Lieutenant V1695 C. C. H. Ellis is retired, 15th January, 1942. To be Lieutenants (on probation).— V35026 John William Given, V47222 Gordon James Lewis Preston and V35254 Hubert Laurence Richards, 5th February, 1942; and V53746 Arthur Noel Cocks. 6th February, 1942.[125]

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