The National Museum of Computing
The museum at Bletchley Park is holding a special Valve Weekend on Saturday October 14 and Sunday October 15. Numbers are strictly limited.
TNMoC Valve Workshop - Day 1
Registration and Coffee
Welcome, Timetable, Location of Facilities, Fire Precautions etc.
Basic Valve theory, types of valves
Valve coding systems
Health and Safety – Radioactive valves, poisonous materials, high voltages
Simple multimeter valve tests
Introduction to valve testing and matching
Other technologies contemporary with valves: relays, CRTs, Dekatrons etc.
Valve circuits in Audio (Charles Coultas)
Valve circuits in Radio (John Pether)
Visits to EDSAC, WITCH and HEC-1 valve computers
Visit to Tunny and Colossus
Valve circuits in Colossus (Phil Hayes)
Valve circuits in EDSAC (Nigel Bennee)
Wind up and Questions
TNMoC Valve Workshop - Day 2 - Fully Booked
Reminder on Health and Safety with additional information on soldering irons etc.
Description of project kits and decision on which project will be done by each participant:
'Valvesound' guitar pedal
Ring Modulator ('Dalek' voice changer)
Stereo headphone amplifier
Handing out of kits
Testing, debugging, demonstrating
Wind up, questions
About the Presenters
Steve Kay BA, PGDCCI, MIEEE: worked for OSRAM making electric lamps in the 1970s, but then moved into Computing, specializing in Data Communications and eventually Network Security products as a Principal Test Engineer with HP. My early interest in valves mainly stems from playing bass guitar in pop groups in the 1960s and Country and Western groups in the 1970s. I have a 50W valve amplifier at home which I dust off from time to time. I am currently the Vice-Chairman of the Volunteer Supporters' Association at TNMoC.
Charles Coultas: Played in a school band (lead guitar), Cliff and the Shadows were our inspiration. Used valve amps - EL34 GZ34 ECC83. Learned all about valves at college, there wasn't really anything else in those days. Rediscovered valves when I met Tony Sale at Colossus rebuild. A member of the Heath Robinson rebuild team.
John Pether: joined the then GPO in 1969 as an apprentice. Served 36 years before taking early retirement. During that time I was on internal construction - installing telephone exchange and repeater equipment. Circuit provision which involved providing trunks and junctions between exchanges and the provision of private data circuits. Main interests are: Amateur radio - licensed since 1969 - and model engineering - built and run a 5 inch gauge livesteam locomotive. Member of theColossus rebuild team right from the start and currently working on Heath Robinson.
Phil Hayes: Studied electronics at Brighton in the early 70’s, then worked at several large companies and organisations until I moved into data communications in the early 90’s. I finished my working career as a Network Security Architect for one of the major clearing banks in the city. My interest in thermionic valves came about when I was involved on the construction of a 1 Megawatt Medium Wave transmitter for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the mid 80’s. As a volunteer I joined the Colossus Rebuild Project in 2000, and then in 2011, I was approached by the National Museum of Computing, to take on the full time role of Chief Colossus Engineer.
Nigel Bennée: PhD FBCS MInstP Teenage years spent playing with valves. After gaining a PhD in Nuclear Physics had a brief spell working for Ferranti at Bracknell then 11 years for SHAPE Technical Centre in The Hague. On return to England together with his wife ran Lucidata Data Communications Consultancy until a few years ago when retirement and the lure of the EDSAC Replica project has kept him busy exercising old and almost forgotten skills.