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
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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.
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.
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
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,
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