articles are scanned and OCRed from old editions of The Wireless
OK, I give up. What is a "pukka
?" According to an online dictionary:
adj (esp in India) 1. properly or perfectly done, constructed, etc.
a pukka road 2. genuine pukka sahib.
Next up: A
. That sounds an awful lot like Blattenberger, or maybe
more like Blattnerberger. Anyway, a Blattnerphone was an early attempt
at recording sound on a steel tape.
thought my native language was English, but evidently there are still
some good words to learn.
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The Wireless World
by "Free Grid"
RADIO Paris still seems to be as popular as ever as a
medium through which various commercial undertakings, not excluding
journals, can put across their welcome Sunday programmes. In these days
of "Buy British," however, it seems a pity that so much good money should
have to go out of the country for the hire of the station, and I hear
that, in spite of the B:B.C.'s monopoly, it is not unlikely that we
shall soon be hearing these programmes radiated from what is technically
If the sea were rough.
According to an acquaintance in shipping circles, a well-known
financial house contemplates the purchase of one of the many liners
which are at present laid up around our coasts, with the object of fitting
it up as a high-power broadcasting station. When one thinks of the relative
smallness of the wireless room on even the largest liner, it is at first
a little difficult to see how a station with reasonably high power could
be accommodated, until one remembers that there would be a very large
amount of space, usually devoted to goods or passengers, available for
the transmitting apparatus and studios.
The idea is that the
vessel shall pick up its artists or gramophone records at some convenient
spot and then go out beyond the three-mile limit and cruise about while
transmission is in progress. There is no information as to which part
of the coast the ship would use as its base, but I do not suppose the
inhabitants of the neighbouring coast towns would be too pleased about
it, unless they had Autotones, or at least superhets ; but still, there
are plenty of lonely stretches of coast, and in case of complaints the
ship could get several miles farther out.
I am told that if
the P.M.G. raised any objection, the vessel would use as its base a
nearby Continental port,· the artists being conveyed thither by aeroplane.
The question which at once springs to my mind is what would happen if
the day were rough and the artists were seasick.
a funny thing that all the greatest brains in radio, including my own,
have been unable to devise a better method of matching condensers than
by means of segmented end vanes. The method looks crude, but nevertheless
it works well - as the hangman said to his doubting client - and that's
all that matters. This principle of fine adjustment by vane-bending
is, of course, carried to its logical conclusions in the Autotone, where,
I suppose, more accurate ganging has been achieved than ever before.
I have, by the way, been finding the initial adjustment of this set
uncannily fascinating; the set is almost foolproof - no nasty remarks,
please - and yet it comes as a welcome relief amid the welter of "factoryhand"
designs which make no appeal to the
Anticipating a boo.
I HAVE so often. complained of the annoyance caused
by the sycophantic studio audience who give such roars of applause at
the conclusion of every item, whether good or bad, that I am only too
glad to admit that I have done them an injustice and to apologise accordingly.
I have had my suspicions for a long time, and so the other night, when
I happened to be a member of the audience in Studio
I took special notice of the fact that the red lamp I went out thus
indicating that the microphone was dead-immediately the various items
finished, and therefore our faint-hearted efforts at polite approval
were not broadcast.
The applause which is invariably broadcast
is usually so hearty that I concluded at once that my worst suspicions
were confirmed. My presumption, however, that the B.B.C. kept a couple
of dozen professional applauders in a spare studio, continuously clapping
and emitting other noises of approval, and that their efforts were duly
"mixed-in" in the control room, proved to be quite wrong. I am told
on reliable authority that the B.B.C. are far too economical in man
power to do this, and that although there is actually an applause studio,
it contains a number of Blattnerphones continuously operating records
of hand clapping, feet stamping, laughter and apprehensive gasps, each
of which is "faded-in" according to taste.
I wonder, however,
how it is that in the middle of an item we get the inane cackles of
laughter which so often mercifully prevent us from hearing some of the
chesnuts which are broadcast. I can only. think that the B.B.C. must
have an expert psychologist in an ante-room constantly watching the
faces of the audience through a peep-hole so that he can intelligently
anticipate a boo, and with a quick turn of the "mixer control" replace
it with laughter. When television is perfected, and we can see the audience,
I suppose that the B.B.C. will arrange at critical moments for a quick
fade in of a talkie' film of a Coliseum audience listening to George
Robey. Posted 4/9/2011