In the beginning . . . . .

I was a little child ( of about 4 ) who loved all those pretty lights on the Christmas tree,  twinkling.  I was fascinated by them.  Under the Christmas tree was the TV, and under the TV on the floor was . . . . .

A box.    A cardboard box.    Out of it came two wires,  one was the mains lead,  and the other,  well,  it wasn't a lead,  more lots of leads all going up to the lights on the tree, connected to the box by valve base connector.  (Valve base ?  -  Valves were the devices used before transistors and glowed in the dark.)

So . . . .   What was in the box?

It whirs . . . . .     and whirs . . . . .     and whirs.

Well, it was a synchronous motor from a turntable,  yes a turntable - a device for playing records on, - the things that preceded Compact Disks and cassette tapes.  The motor was virtually silent, it had to be because Mum didn't like any inappropriate noise.

The motor drove a shaft with six cams on it, and each of the cams operated a contact switch made from an ex GPO (now BT) relay.  As the shaft rotated, one set of contacts would be broken, thus turning off a set of lights.

The lights themselves were small LES bulbs, probably 6 or 12volt, clear glass, we didn't have coloured bulbs then.  (Oh sorry, there was a transformer in the box as well - for the lamps.)

Well, that set-up continued until 1973 ish when . . . . .    silicon chips arrived,  the 7400 series.

History Index

Messages from
     The Grinch (2011)
No Change
     (Dec. 2010)
Trees Grow !
     (Dec. 2009)
2008 Display
     (Dec. 2008)
Planning for 2008 !
     (Early 2008)
Here we go !
     (Nov. 2007)
The Big Change !!!
     (2007)
The Night Before
     Light-up (Dec. 2006)
The Tungsten Tree
     (Feb - Nov. 2006)
The Second move
     (Dec. 2005)
Who put that there ?
     (Aug. 2005)
Back in business
     (Dec. 2004)
Click Click Click
     (Dec. 2003)
Rope Lights
     (Dec. 2002)
The Move
     (Dec. 2001)
More Silicon Chips
     (Dec. 2000)
The Next Few Years
     & Chips
The Bug was biting
     (1993 on)
Early Married Life
     (1981 on)
A logical development
     (Dec. 1973 ish)
In the Beginning
     (Dec. 1962)