YEAR OF 1959
In 1959 I was in my fourth year of the Trainee
Technician course, stationed at the Deepdene Telephone Exchange, a typical suburban
2000-type exchange, parented on Hawthorn exchange.
I turned 18 in September of 1957, and quickly
obtained my car driving licence and bought a small second-hand car in October 1958. This was a 1948 Ford Anglia
In 1959, I disposed of the Anglia
and bought a secondhand Austin A40 sedan. I had the A40 until 1961, when I bought my final second hand
sedan, an Austin Cambridge A55, which lasted until 1969!.
MOVING TO MONT ALBERT
November of 1959 we moved house from the shop in Auburn to the "country" in the beautiful tree-lined street of Mont Albert
Rd, Mont Albert, 15 km east of the Melbourne CBD.
Oh yes, our hound "Terry" came with us!
Our house was a 1924 Californian bungalow, of which
thousands were built in the 1920s across Australia, mostly conforming to a standard design, with a front verand, a centre
passageway, external weatherboardxss, tiled roof, a garage, and on a large piece of land 110 ft by 35 ft, huge!
It had a lawn at the front, and a big garden at the
back, with many fruit trees, and a Hills rotary clothes' line!.
Immediately to the rear were public tennis courts! There was a driveway and garden, and an outdoor laundry and toilet.
The house has remained in the family ever since, and
it's my place of residence.
It has been extensively modernised, and has had several
facelifts, but its still the same house!
RADIO HOBBY AND THE AR8 RECEIVER
In May of that year I purchased
my first general coverage communications
receiver to support
my passion for shortwave radio monitring and high freqeuency propagation research.
I bought this
from A,C.E Radio in Sydney fior 34 pounds, 17 shillings and sixpence, which was a lot of money in those days.
receiver was a communications receiver made by AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australia) during World War 2 for use in aircraft.
They ere used in locally made aircraft like the Wirraway and imported aircraft like the Hudson. The AR8 is part of a set that
consists of the AR8 receiver, the AT5 transmitter, and an Aerial Coupling Unit.
All units are
in the shape of a cube and can sit on top of each other. These are connected to a Junction Box and a power supply. There are
two power supplies for this radio set. A dynamotor set for 12 or 28 volt DC use, and a mains powered unit for 240 volt use.
is a unique design as it has 2 RF front ends, and a common IF and Audio section, similar to the English R1116 receiver. The
RF sections are an LF unit and a HF unit and have independent controls, making it easy to switch between 2 stations.
There is a red
pilot lamp on the top right hand front panel, to indicate the receiver is on, and a dial light behind each scale, which is
turned on for the appropriate RF section, indicating which section is in use.
The valve heaters
and pilot lamps are arranged in a series/parallel fashion to enable either 12 volt or 24 volt operation. The receiver weighs
31 pounds. It has a sensitivity of better than 3 microvolts below 9.5 MHz and better than 10 microvolts above 9.5 MHz. The
frequency coverage is 140-740 MHz and 0.765-20 MHz.
I erected a 60 metre half-wave centre fed
dipole antenna in the back yard - this is the same antenna I use today, which is connected to the receiver via a Pi-section
antenna tuning unit/coupler!