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 RCS radio and the DW29 dual wave assembly
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 5:46:49 PM on 26 August 2020.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 882

I wrote out a little memory of RCS radio.
In the 1980's RCS was a supplier to me of PCB's run by a guy called (I hope) Bob Barnes.
My memory is getting a bit scetchy on names but if any body else used RCS in the 80's they can correct me.
Name of not if you met the guy you would never forget him!

Also after working out why JimB's coil assembly would not work I have put that down on paper for posterity.
Some one else may come across one and need a guide as to connection.


Cheers, Fred.

RCS Radio


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 5:57:00 PM on 26 August 2020.
Jimb's Gravatar
 Location: Kanahooka, NSW
 Member since 18 November 2016
 Member #: 2012
 Postcount: 660

Well Done Fred


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 6:45:38 PM on 26 August 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6013

run by a guy called (I hope) Bob Barnes.

Correct, and he could be cantankerous when the mood suited him. I dealt with him once or twice over the years. I think he'd memorised every PCB that every local magazine had ever produced -- and he had opinions of them, too.

When he died his son tried to find a buyer for RCS but none emerged.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 6:59:33 PM on 26 August 2020.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 882

Thanks GTC, yeah, a character was Bob.
I did not know what happened to RCS.
The buisness I was working in got shut down in record speed and I never had a chance to say goodbye to a lot of suppliers.
It was pack up and move on.
there were names some of you may have come across.
Crompton Parkinson.
A.F. Koshade.
Fenner.
McKay Rubber.
A.M.P.

Glass, wire, metal , paint, suppliers, casting, welding, accoustic, specialists................................
No good my memory is shot.
So many suppliers when you were a manufacture.

Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 7:38:01 PM on 26 August 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6013

Bob's been gone nigh on 10 years now. When I was told the business was up for grabs, I gave a minute's thought to checking it out with a view to possibly making an offer, but then figured that the way Bob seemed to operate, he probably took all of the key operational knowledge to the grave with him, so I dismissed the thought.

I probably should have at least gone and looked the place over, for the satisfaction of curiosity if nothing else.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 9:18:11 PM on 26 August 2020.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6352

Document uploaded.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 9:34:27 PM on 26 August 2020.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6352

I had to trawl back through some information on RCS Radio to find the attached photo. It was in a thread on the location of many of Sydney's radio and valve factories and what the surviving ones are used for now. There will be a Part B to that thread - one day, with lots more photos.

Here is the location of the original RCS factory, as modest as it was - 12 City Road, Darlington.

RCS Radio Factory


I think they finished up in a building on Canterbury Road?

Also, the bloke standing in front of the washing machines was the owner of the premises at the time the photo was taken. He was quite interested to find out that his humble washing machine dealership was once a radio parts factory.

The City Road premise does speak greatly of business rather than living quarters. The terraces to the left were most likely mixed use, with shops on the ground floor and flats on the first floor. No. 12 has two flag poles and a second floor and the pawn broker to the right also has flag poles. I wonder what was there originally.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 10:19:40 PM on 26 August 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6013

According to a post on the RM site:

QUOTE: R.C.S. Radio Pty. Ltd.

Marrickville Sydney (1929 – 1934)
21 Ivy Street, Darlington, Sydney (1934 – 1938)
50 Glebe Street, Glebe , Sydney (1938 – 1945)
174 Canterbury Road, Canterbury, NSW. (1945 -1951)
651 Forest Road, Bexley, NSW (1951- )
41 Arlewis Street, Chester Hill, NSW ( - 2016)

The company supplied radio parts to the trade and home constructors.

They supplied parts and kit sets for the radio equipment designed by Australasian Radio World and Radio & Hobbies and magazines.

In 1929 Ronald A Bell started manufacturing coils for TRF receivers in a small factory in Marrickville, Sydney. He expanded to new premises at Ivy Street Darlington, manufacturing transformers, resistors and wire wound parts for radio amateurs and other Australian manufacturers. In 1938 the Ivy Street factory was destroyed by fire and the company moved to 50 Glebe Street, Glebe. [cites: Australasian Radio World, Dec 1, 1939, Page 6.]


Fred's highly amusing description paints an interesting picture of Bob. Although I never met him face to face, he was fond of telling me (and others) how "bloody hopeless" some board designs were, and it was hard to end such lectures over the phone because they tended to go on and on.

Looking at a satellite view of the Bexley address (now a smash repairs business) I can see how big his operation must have been at that site.

The Chester Hill location is now a medical centre.

The Canterbury Rd address has a rusty old antenna tower atop it.

Re Darlington, I think the City Rd address is more likely correct than Ivy St. The latter is all old original terraces.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 10:50:01 PM on 26 August 2020.
Brad's avatar
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 Location: Greenwich, NSW
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Yes, it was the Canterbury Road site that I remembered and mostly due to the antenna on the top of the parapet, which looks like a fairly basic imitation of AWA's transmission tower at 47 York Street.

I don't remember the source of my information about RCS being at that address ('ll try and track it down) though it would have made sense in those days as trams and horseback were the only mainstream transport options in the area, as AWA and a few other companies were also in the area. It's likely that RCS radio also operated, for a time at least, from more than one of the addresses listed to enable transition and expansion of their business.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 12:02:16 AM on 27 August 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6013

From The Australasian Radio World, December 1, 1939

QUOTE: The story of R.C.S. Radio opens ten years ago in a small factory in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville, where Mr, Ron Bell, founder of the company, began winding coils for t.r.f. receivers. Those who were radio experimenters in 1929 will remember the old familiar black bakelite former, wound with green silk covered wire.

The business made excellent progress, to such an extent that within three months larger premises had to be taken and more plant installed. The next three years saw two further shifts, each time to larger premises with additional plant to take care of increased orders on established lines, and to manufacture new ones.



For some years after 1934, the two-storied factory at 21 Ivy Street, Darlington, was well-known as the R.C.S. headquarters, until in June, 1938, when there occurred the disastrous fire that completely gutted the entire factory, total damage being estimated at ₤12,000.

In this fire, which seven brigades fought for six hours before it was subdued, Mr. Bell saw his life’s work go up in smoke. Machine shop, design and production laboratories, general store and all offices were completely wiped out, while fire and water so damaged the assembly factory that little of value could be salvaged.

However, undaunted by this severe setback, Mr. Bell leased a new factory the following day at the present R.C.S. address – 50 Glebe St, Glebe, and set about putting in fresh plant. Within seven days the entire staff was back on the job once more, and in another week production was in full swing.



The SMH coverage of the fire (Saturday 25 June 1938) reports that the building stood on the corner of Shepherd and Ivy streets, which makes sense because, today, there stands a modernish brick building, owned by City of Sydney, used as an activity centre. Across the road stands Gate 3 of Sydney Uni's School of Mechanical Engineering.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 1:05:31 AM on 27 August 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6013

The City Road premise does speak greatly of business rather than living quarters. The terraces to the left were most likely mixed use, with shops on the ground floor and flats on the first floor. No. 12 has two flag poles and a second floor and the pawn broker to the right also has flag poles. I wonder what was there originally.

The premises each side of No 12 also look very original. Note that No 14 (occupied by City Pawn Star) is dated 1903.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 6:01:58 AM on 27 August 2020.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6352

I suppose looking at a photo archive of the area will shed more light on the subject. Unfortunately satellite mapping didn't exist then so I will have to do things the old fashioned way.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 9:13:48 AM on 27 August 2020.
MonochromeTV's avatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 20 September 2011
 Member #: 1009
 Postcount: 1133

I spoke to Bob Barnes about twenty years ago on the phone to order a PCB for a project. When I received the board in the post included was a hand written scrawl from Bob saying RCS was for sale.

I’m guessing that Bob would mention this to anyone he encountered.

I may still have Bobs note somewhere.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 10:29:43 AM on 27 August 2020.
Jimb's Gravatar
 Location: Kanahooka, NSW
 Member since 18 November 2016
 Member #: 2012
 Postcount: 660

It would be great if someone took up the challenge and started a similar business. Unfortunately when our generation are gone there probably would be no one left to keep it viable. Come on Carl ! You have started the ball rolling again and are offering a lot of good stuff out there what do you think ?


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 11:45:04 AM on 27 August 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6013

There are local businesses making PCBs to order. A couple of them advertise in Silicon Chip. And there are lots of them in Asia offering fast turnaround.

Speaking of SC, it would be interesting to know who they/Jaycar/Altronics use these days.


 
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