March 9th, 1932 The Wireless World Article
As radio equipment builders and operators, we still battle two fundamental issues that have been around since the
beginning of time (well, from Marconi's time, anyway) - grounding and power supply fluxuations. Both topics are
addressed briefly here in this editorial column from a 1932 The Wireless World magazine.
articles are scanned and OCRed from old editions of The Wireless World magazine.
The Wireless World articles.
THE water pipe has been the wireless user's best friend for many
a long year, and, despite many attempts to persuade the public to adopt the ideal of efficiency in the shape of a
specially constructed earth buried in the garden, the vast majority of listeners still adhere to the original
expedient of making the earth connection to the water pipe. No book of instructions on the installation of a set
has been complete without the advice that, if a buried earth is impracticable, then a clean . connection to the
water pipe should be as a very satisfactory alternative.
After all these years of quiet enjoyment of the
facilities which the water pipe offers it will come as a shock to learn that an attempt is being made to divorce
wireless sets from water pipes on the grounds that the practice "is likely, in course of time, to cause serious
deterioration of the water pipes and mains, leading to subsequent leakage of water.
The first instance of
objection to come to our notice originates with the Portsmouth Water Company, and it seems likely that, if their
view is accepted, other water-supply authorities will also take steps to prevent the use of their water pipes for
wireless earthing purposes. It is difficult to estimate the inconvenience to wireless users which would be caused
if they were deprived of this means of earthing, and we therefore feel that a scare in regard to the damage which
might be caused to the water pipes ought not to be started unless there is ample and unchallengeable evidence that
damage does actually result. Up to the present we cannot recollect having seen any evidence published of damage
resulting from, this practice, and we would like to be referred to any reliable source of information on this
subject or records .of experiments which have been carried out. Surely this subject must have been fully
investigated long ago, and the reason that no action has been taken is that there is no justification for it.
Whilst recognising that if damage to water pipes does occur, then water-supply companies have every right to
protect their property, yet we feel very strongly that when the use of the water pipe for this purpose has been so
universally adopted over many years no restrictions ought to be imposed on frivolous or ill-founded evidence.
IT is interesting that, just after we have been discussing in our columns
the question of fluctuation in the voltage at consumers' mains, a case should have been brought up at the Exmouth
Petty Sessions, where a local Electric Light and Power Company has been fined for selling electricity at a voltage
lower than that declared by the company and required by the regulations.
It appears that many complaints
were received in this case in regard to the variation in supply; the voltage at consumers' terminals should have
been 220, subject to a possible variation not exceeding 4 per cent. above or below. Voltages as low as 196 were
recorded by an inspector, and proceedings were taken against the supply company after a number of investigations
had been made,
In imposing the fine of £10, the Chairman of the Bench remarked that the actual liability
of the company was some £95. It is to be hoped that the wide publicity which this case appears to have received
may have the effect of reminding other supply authorities of their responsibilities, so that they take greater
precautions to maintain voltages within the prescribed limits.