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 New member from the USA, radio collector
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 11:05:10 AM on 2 April 2010.
Wa2ise's avatar
 Location: Oradell, US
 Member since 2 April 2010
 Member #: 643
 Postcount: 774

Hi, Bob from New Jersey (in a suburb of New York City). Been collecting old radios for years. Mostly 5 tube AM radios, and many solid state ones. Mostly American ones, though I have a "Calstan" from Australia.



It works well, and is quite happy with 240V.60Hz here. (American homes are fed center-tapped 240V, small loads use 120V, big loads 240V).
Speaking of electricity, you may find it amusing that we used to use outlets that look like and will accept Australian plugs.



I have one of these connected to our 240V.60Hz feeding the above Calstan. However it doesn't receive any of the stations listed on its dial Smile

My web page of radios: http://www.wa2ise.com/.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 2:40:23 PM on 2 April 2010.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6585

G'day Bob,

Most don't know it but the Australian 3 pin plug was basically a hand-me-down from the American developer of the plug you show in your photo. The only difference is that the pins on the Australian plug are a few millimetres longer and Australian plug tops are generally a bit wider to help stop fingers coming into contact with the pins if the plug is only halfway into the socket.

I am halfway through a more detailed article on the various Australian plugs and pin patterns. It should be up in a week or two.

Calstan radios were very popular here. I once worked at a government-owned mental hospital here in Sydney (I did an electrical apprenticeship there) and there was a Calstan radio in quite a few places there. Mind you, we are talking about the early 1990s here so the humble Calstan has some staying power.

I believe there was a transistorised version, all the ones I'd come across at the time ran on valves. I took the liberty of turning your URL into a live link. Wink


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

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 4:00:48 PM on 2 April 2010.
Wa2ise's avatar
 Location: Oradell, US
 Member since 2 April 2010
 Member #: 643
 Postcount: 774

Hi Brad, I found an old American patent, number 1,179,728 issued in 1916, which shows an Australian style outlet and plug.



(If that doesn't work, go to the Electrical Contractors' Network web page. Figured that that would be interesting for your article on Australian plugs.

My Calstan radio is a transistorized set, using circuit boards. The circuits look to be a "borrowed" design from a portable radio, with a power transformer and supply added.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 6:54:20 PM on 2 April 2010.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6585

Figure 2 looks interesting. It appears to be a lamp base-three pin socket adaptor and it would have had the same problem as the Australian bayonet adaptor which was introduced for pretty much the same purpose - no earth connection.

Something that fascinated me when I was a kid was that in my great aunt's house (an 1870 Victorian-era mansion) there were lamp sockets next to the socket outlet bases in the kitchen and lounge room and I never got around to asking what they were used for. I later learned that these lamp sockets were actually fitted years before the three pin sockets to run things like toasters, irons and of course, the radio. Earthing wasn't compulsory at the time because appliances generally didn't support earthing principles.

Australian Bayonet Plug


This plug was still being fitted to Australian radios in the late 1940s though the three pin plug was also an option as it had already taken over as the standard way of connecting appliances to the mains by then. That said, radios were still unearthed here until the 1960s.


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

 
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