colly0410

200 volts DC leccy in the Meadows.

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When we moved to Glapton road in 1959 we were on 200 volts DC. Don't know if it came direct from a dynamo at Wilford power station, a mercury arc rectifier or a rotary converter, anyone Know? Think it was negative 200V-0-200V positive, 0 was earthed, factories could have 400V & houses & shops 200V. Also what other areas of Nottingham were on DC?

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No idea about the Meadows, as it was all 240 AC when I lived there from the early 60's.

St Anns was 250v DC when I was growing up though, all power was derived from motor generator sets, ie AC motors driving DC generators.

Again, all I recall about North Wilford was it had alternator sets installed.

Problems with DC is it has huge losses over distances, AC is transmitted at high voltage, so the losses aren't so apparent over large distances, 10% of 66Kv is negligable when it's transformed down to 440 volts 3Ph, but 10% of 240 volts is 24 volts, a huge loss in practical terms.

DC cannot be "transmitted" economically at high voltage, it would need motor generator sets to "step" it down, motor generator sets are inefficient.

There used to be a large building at the bottom of St Anns Well Road that furnished motor generator sets, not sure if they were for the NCT trollybuses or St Anns power during the DC days. Probably both, as Nottm Corporation used to be the suppliers of electricity pre EMEB days.

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There used to be a large building at the bottom of St Anns Well Road that furnished motor generator sets, not sure if they were for the NCT trollybuses or St Anns power during the DC days. Probably both, as Nottm Corporation used to be the suppliers of electricity pre EMEB days.

Correct on both points !

I well remember a lad off our street who got killed in there, "playing".

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They changed over to AC in 62/63, all the pavements were dug up to lay new cables, Mam made pots of tea for them. The telly used to lose frame hold all the time, Dad used to say "I'll be glad when we're on AC, we wont have this problem then." Why that would matter I don't know, as far as I know the sync pulses transmitted with the picture should lock the frame hold, unless the AC ripple current helped with frame lock?.

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From memory, UK locked there's at 50 frames a second, DC would need a crystal oscillator to lock at 50fps...Whereas AC sets used the mains frequency to sync the picture.

Over here it's 60 fps.

You may want to check that with a TV engineer, been years since I had anything to do with TV theory, bad enough keeping up on radio theory.

I'm still trying to get my head around liquid crystal operation......Gets worse as I get older....LOL

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We moved into the Meadows off Briar Street sometime around 1961'ish, I only had about a year left at school, so they let me finish at Huntingdon St instead of transferring me to Deering.

As far as I'm aware the area was total AC then, I don't recollect seeing any road works anywhere around Wilford Road or side streets.

I know we were living off Briar St when I signed on at Clifton Colliery in 1964, wasn't much after that that Mum and Dad moved us to Kirke-White Street East near London Road to a larger house as my Sister needed her own bedroom and Mum and Dad wanted their privacy......

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Remember the changeover, but not sure of the date. It would have been in the mid-late 1950's as I had left the Medders by September 1960 to join the RAF. Have memories of someone from the council?? coming around to check what electrical appliances we had, as they were going to 'upgrade' them. Also remember my Dad being dead chuffed because he was then able to fit an electric motor to the treadle Singer sewing machine for me Mum.

Mind you our house still had fittings on the wall for gaslights. I vaguely recollect my Dad feeding electrical wires down the gas tube and fitting bulb sockets to use the fittings for electric lights in the sitting room. Also remember the days when you only had one outlet in a room, normally the light bulb. We had double adapters that enabled you to plug in irons, electric kettles, etc. Appliances had long brown cotton covered cables, non of this white plastic stuff.

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Suppose it could have been a bit earlier, I was at Trent Bridge juniors at the time, I moved up to seniors in 63 I think. Funny but the telly did work better on AC. Just been looking up the 405 line TV system on pembers.freeserve.co.uk/405, it used positive modulation & the sync pulse tips = 0% carrier power & it was locked to 50 herz mains, so probably something to do with it. My Wife'.s got epilepsy & was affected by the 50 hertz TV flicker, she couldn't get to close to it, however when we were in America the 60 hertz TV flicker hardly bothered her at all, we've got a flat screen telly now & she's perfect with it

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Colly you were in the same year as me through TB.

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I had two aunts who lived on Birkland Avenue, off Sherwood Street. It must have been in the early fifties as I was around seven at the time. These aunts did not possess a radio. My father had a spare set and we went round to connect it all up for them. Father plugs the set in, throws the switch and the set explodes in a show of sparks and smoke! He'd forgotten that at home we were on AC whereas our aunt's house was on DC. This was my first introduction to the delights of electrikery.

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Father plugs the set in, throws the switch and the set explodes in a show of sparks and smoke!

My dad brought a very swishy radio back from Germany post WWII. Plugged it in and switched it on and fireworks. One can only assume that Germany was using AC power.

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Colly you were in the same year as me through TB.

I was taken out of TB a few times as we moved about a lot, I also went to schools in Langley Mill, Chester-le-Street & Skeggy about that time, always ended up back at TB though, Not sure if I went from TB Juniors to Seniors, or from Aldercar school or Ebaneza street school in Langley mill, I know I was scared when moved to TB Seniors as told I'd get the rack, I was always the smallest in the year . :(

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I had the rack, moved from miss Slacks class at juniors

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Ah yes Miss Slack, she taught me to read in one year, I couldn't read up till then because of my disrupted schooling with all the moving around I did. I got a prize for progress at the end of the year, it was a book of course..

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Miss Slack was a great teacher, who will always have my respect.

She freely used the strap.

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I remember my late Mum having to buy "universal" electrical appliances when I was growing up in St Anns...We had a radio, "glow in the dark" as we hams call them today, I didn't know it at the time, but it had a barreter valve in it in series with the valve heaters to drop the voltage for the valves heaters.

Although we didn't have a vacuum cleaner, they would have worked OK, as would an electric sewing machine as long as it had the "brush" type motors..

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Must admit she was a bit profligate with the strap. I got it for something or other & when I sat down & her back was turned I stuck my tongue out at her. All the class went "Miss he stuck his tongue out at you" & I got the strap again. Grassed up by my so called mates. Overall though I liked her & used to go & see her when I was in the seniors. I expect she's passed on now. RIP Miss Slack & thanks for teaching me to read. xx

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I got the strap for walking past her into school wth the toggles from my dufflecoat hood stuck in my ears!

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John, I had a Murphy U130 AC/DC radio (got it for 10 bob) it used to heat my bedroom up. I strung a random long wire aerial from the window to the line post at the end of the garden, worked very well, even got radio Australia on short waves a few times. Found some very faint fluttery English language stations on medium wave one night, turned out to be east coast USA & Canadian Maritimes. One day Mam put some washing on the line & the post snapped, there was lots of shouting & fuss & my aerial was blamed. I was banned from using the new post, sulk..

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You must have received the American AM stations before it got dark this side of the pond Steve!!

For many many years, AM stations here have had to operate at dual power to prevent interference to other stations at night. During daylight hours they operate at high power, at dusk they are required to operate at low power, the FCC does regular checks on AM stations at a designated place in the town where the station is located using special instruments, if the measure more than a few millivolts at the designated test point above the designated power, the station is shut down until repairs are carried out and meet the FCC's rules.

Some stations operating at 100Kw's daytime power have to go down to 10 watts output night time power, depends what other stations share the same frequency in other towns, alignment of antenna and other factors.

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you rattled a lot of grey cells with this forum. I remember doing DC/AC change overs in the Meders and St.Annes on t.v's that had never seen AC and big smoothing electrolytic capacitors blowing up in the sets!! Every body was there from the Lecy board changing over cookers toasters,kettles and water heaters and anything that used electric. Not many power points in them days, most things plugged into the light socket with a 2 way adaptor. We were never not busy what with all the thousands of t.v s that were changed over and having your normal breakdowns to deal with as well.

Hope you don't mind mick2me but I forwarded this topic to my dad in Vancouver, he was a television engineer working for Redifusion at the time this changeover was taking place and has one or two stories to tell

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Was it economical to modify a DC TV to AC???, time alone would have been expensive, this was pre semi conductor diodes, and those metal oxide rectifiers weren't the most dependable components either.

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Were good at rattling grey cells.

And catching what falls out of them :)

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Hi mick2me

I'll get my dad to reply to that one he should be getting up around now I think they are about 8 hrs behind us in Vancouver

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Greetings from Vancouver Island Canada, regarding conversion to A.C voltage in Nottinum in the late 50's. To work on D.C. 200v the t.v.'s of the day, monochrome (dark and light) 9" to 14" televisions had to have power supply selectors to choose DC or AC via little plugs and sockets. When AC was selected the rectifier and smoothing capacitors were bought into use. They were already in circuit but the filter caps were often 'leaky' and showed up as a load of 50 cycle hum in the sound and vision and had to be replaced. Working on a damp stone kitchen floor (good earth potential) in the kitchen where a lot of t.v.'s were viewed and a 'live chassis' operating on DC 200v mains meant that the first thing you did after taking the cardboard back off the set was to stand on it for 'insulation' from the floor. Regarding cost of labour etc for engineers time, remember these were the days when a high percentage of viewers rented their televisions because of the high call out rate for repairs. I often wonder how many t.v. technicians were electrocuted during that time period altho' I did not hear of any locally. Many of the old Victorian terraced houses were extremely damp and this caused a lot of arcing in the EHT (extra High Tension) several thousand volts, areas of the set, and the dag graphite coating on the back of the cathode ray tube used to peel off and cause a strong smell of ozone in the home. I remember the customer would open the front door to let you in and you could smell the reason for your visit before you stepped into the home!

As I go grocery shopping at the megastores and see people buy a t.v with their shopping to hang on the wall I smile and think what a lot of changes I have seen over the years. Believe it or not, I actually used to look forward to going to work, I enjoyed it so much. :biggrin:

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