Valve Workshop Weekend - Book Here

Click to visit

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

09:00

Registration and Coffee

09:15

Welcome, Timetable, Location of Facilities, Fire Precautions etc.

 

Valve History

 

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.

11:00

Coffee

11:15

Valve circuits in Audio (Charles Coultas)

 

Power Supplies

 

Audio amplifiers

11:45

Valve circuits in Radio (John Pether)

12:30

Lunch

13:00

Visits to EDSAC, WITCH and HEC-1 valve computers

13:45

Visit to Tunny and Colossus

14:30

Valve circuits in Colossus (Phil Hayes)

15:15

Tea

15:30

Valve circuits in EDSAC (Nigel Bennee)

16:15

Wind up and Questions

17:00

Close

 

TNMoC Valve Workshop - Day 2 - Fully Booked

09:00

Reminder on Health and Safety with additional information on soldering irons etc.

09:15

Description of project kits and decision on which project will be done by each participant:

 

'Valvesound' guitar pedal

 

Astable Multivibrator

 

Ring Modulator ('Dalek' voice changer)

 

Stereo headphone amplifier

09:45

Handing out of kits

10:00

Construction

12:30

Lunch

13:00

Construction

15:00

Testing, debugging, demonstrating

16:30

Wind up, questions

17:00

Finish

 

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 70s, then worked at several large companies and organisations until I moved into data communications in the early 90s. 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 80s. 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.