Last Updated: 5th of May 2016.
Introduction: Welcome to Mikey's old technology pages. On this site you will find pictures and information about some of the electronic, electrical and mechanical relics that the museum has accumulated over the years. I have tried not to go into too much detail on the inner workings of some of the items as there are plenty of other sites and cleverer people on the Internet that can explain that sort of thing much better than me. To go to a particular section, click on one of the icons on the left hand side of the screen. Please use the scroll bar on the left hand side to view the unseen icons.
SANITY WARNING: On this site, you won't find anything of real value in terms of money, just the sort of old, interesting and unusual bits-and-bobs that deranged enthusiasts like me love to play with. Feel free to E-Mail me regarding anything on this site. My E-Mail address is:email@example.com
30th June 2011: Hey everyone - It's Mike here again. I'm typing this sat in the lounge of The Green Man, a first class pub in Swindon (near Dudley). I'm typing on my decrepit Lenovo R60 Thinkpad, a beast of a laptop and quite bullet proof although the battery isn't really what it was. To my left is a pint of Ginger Beard, a medium-strength real-ale made with Ginger. The table has been cleared by Lynette the very nice landlady. I'm off on holiday to Devon for a few days tomorrow but en-route I'm visiting Mike Barker, an excellent chap, who's going to respray my Murphy Acoustic Deluxe which was damaged by a courier company as it was being returned to Devon following its loan to North One television. (North One make The Gadget Show and always look after my odds-and-ends whenever they borrow them, but this time the couriers managed to take a couple of big chunks of white "veneer" from the front of the set.) My mate Tone has just turned up so I'd better close for now. Back shortly...
17th July 2011: Crikey, well that was a long "shortly". Anyway, a couple of weeks have passed since the last entry and I dropped off my Murphy Acoustic Deluxe to Mike Barker in Devizes and had a look around Mike and Jim's planned Murphy museum - It's going to be huge and much bigger than my little museum down here. I think it will have some much more interesting relics than my museum too. Well done Mike and Jim - I hope I get invited to the opening ceremony. Anyway, I'm now back down in Devon again, having been down here and back in Solihull again once already since my last entry. On this trip I've been erecting tables for all the VTRs and VCRs, laying everything out and printing labels and putting them into some little plastic label-holders kindly donated from my mate Steve Farley's old shop "Jollys" in Kingstanding. The carpets are now down in the TV-section downstairs and the VTR section upstairs, courtesy of "S and G Carpets" in Torrington, and everywhere has now got the look of a proper museum, if still pretty small. There is still one last bit that I need carpeting and organising but I'll get that sorted out when I can afford it. All the aerial connections, mains sockets and CAT5e Ethernet sockets are now plumbed in and working, there is now wired and wireless Internet connectivity and 405 and 625 line video permanently available throughout both floors and the heating and shower / toilet facilities are also now live and working, so everything is well on its way for the grand opening sometime soon. Unfortunately the place isn't half big enough to display most of the interesting colour sets so there will have to be some kind of rotation system, but this will mean carting stuff up and down between Devon and Solihull and that's not going to be very good for the TVs. I might have to think of something else. (Does anyone have any dry storage in West / North Devon? A nice cheap barn I could buy perhaps?) In other news, a good pal of mine Rory Clark, with the help of another mate Dave Jeffries, have kindly made a second test card disc for the museum, chock full of interesting test cards, animations, idents and music - it's really excellent. Thank you a huge amount Rory and Dave. I have also put together another test card disc without any of the fancy stuff in Rory's disc, but it's small enough to download and has all the useful test cards and several test patterns too. It's freely downloadable from here:
You just need to use your favourite ISO burning software to write the image to a DVD. Anyway, the pint of Stella I just drank is making me very tired, so I think I'm going to go to bed now and listen to John Shuttleworth on BBC Radio 4 Extra. Oh, wait, my phone is ringing... (30 mins later) It was my old mate Tas phoning from St Albrans in Hertfordshire. He was also drinking Stella and waffled semi-incoherently about all sorts of nonsense. Of course I humoured Tas until his battery ran out and he went. :-) Actually, I made all that up - Tas and I actually waffled on about his nice new Sobell TV with its strange frame-linearity problem and various other TV-related odds and ends and it was a very good natter. Thanks Tas. :-) Anyway, the rain is making a nice noise on my Velux window and there is smoke wafting in from my parents' wood-burning stove and that is a nice soothing smell as well, so I think I'll quickly upload this and go off to bed. Goodnight everyone. From your old pal Mike.
26th of November 2012: Evening all. I hope everyone is fine and well. As ever, it's been a huge long time between entries and so much has happened that I won't even attempt to chronicle the majority of it - perhaps just a few interesting (or not) points. First of all, 5 months after my last entry (in November 2011) I contracted prostatitis - that's an inflammation of the prostate. I won't say too much more about it but it does make sitting down quite painful and causes some other unpleasant things too. This means that I can't always make the long journeys in the car to visit my pals or collect TVs that I used to. Unfortunately the problem can take years to go away and there's not much they can do about it. I have another hospital appointment in a few weeks to see Mr Syed, a urologist at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, so I hope he can help the problem out a bit. In TV news, my mate Tone came round at the weekend and helped me out fixing an old 1949 Bush TV12A TV for the museum in Beaford, Devon. To be honest it didn't really need an awful lot doing to it other than the usual blanket-change of the nasty wax capacitors and the replacement of one of the smoothing cans - the most difficult one to get to in fact. Unfortunately a lot of the rubber wiring has perished and if any of it is disturbed the rubber sheathing flakes off in a pile of hard rubber "bits" to reveal the bare wire beneath. As for other TV stuff, I've just finished off fixing up a Decca CTV25 for a very nice lady called Lucy from Ealing in London. Lucy is very big in the world of test-cards and test-card music and is always much in demand for talks, after-dinner speeches, international peace-treaty summits etc. She also hosts an excellent monthly radio show with lots of test-card music and other related stuff. Anyway, this Decca has been a year in the fixing and has had a huge number of faults rectified as well as a whole lot of work to make the set more reliable so it can be used as an everyday set - on both 405 lines and 625 lines. I really didn't like the set to start with - it always looked a bit "home made" and scrappy to my eyes but it has grown on me over the period and now I like it a lot. I have to deliver the TV down to Lucy in a few weeks but I think she is quite demanding and I'm quite worried that it's not going to be up to her expectations. :-( I'll put a picture of the set up on the Colour section sometime in the next few weeks. In other news, I've just finished a book (an audio book anyway) called "Cold Vengeance" - the latest in a series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child featuring an FBI agent called "Aloysius Pendergast" - It was fantastic and I can highly recommend the whole series, which starts off with a book called "Relic" and gets better and better as the series progresses. I've had a bit of a tidy up of the web site front page - it's still terrible, old-fashioned and badly coded but I'm really too lazy to do anything else with it to be honest. I will upload a few new pictures of TVs etc. over the next few weeks and put the details on the front page. The diary and California travel-blog are still available in the "diary" section (see link at the bottom of the page). As always, please accept my sincere apologies if I don't manage to answer your kind emails - I always feel very guilty. They are always much appreciated but I do get an awful lot of them and they do get overlooked sometimes. Anyway, I think that's it for this time and I'm hungry (although actually I'm always hungry). Thanks everyone. From your old mate in Solihull (and Devon sometimes), Mike.
15th March 2013: Evening everyone. It's Mike here again. I'm writing this sat in the freezing cold of the computer room at work here in the centre of Birmingham. The deafening roar of a hundred hard disks and cooling fans is actually quite soothing in a way and the cold is welcome after the boiling temperatures of the centrally-heated office. This evening I'm off to a restaurant called "Rodizio Rico" situated in a strange looking building called "The Cube". It's an "all you can eat" Brazillian restaurant which apparently serves 16 different kinds of meat and lots of different breads and cheeses etc. It is, however, extremely expensive so this had better be the best bloody meal I've ever had - or else. Anyway, on the fixing front - I have on my dining room table at home a colour set that I told a mate that I'd fix. "A colour fault?" I said, "That'll be easy". Two full days of hair-pulling later and it's still not fixed. The set is a KB CVC2, or rather it's a CVC1.5 - it's some kind of KB prototype or development set in a CVC1 CK400 cabinet but with the system switching and 405-line related components removed. In operation it is like a CVC2, in layout and circuit it is still like a CVC1. The problems centre around the hand-wired decoder but the biggest issue so far is that it has obviously been got-at. All the electrolytic capacitors have been replaced - and that's okay, but other components have been disturbed, disconnected or wired up to the wrong tags. Two of the coils have had split cores and these have had to be replaced and it looks like at least some of the pots have been twiddled too. The problem that remains is that the colour is very difficult to synchronise, and when it does lock it invariably settles on what I think is called a "side lock" so the colours are incorrectly phased. After replacing a little polystyrene capacitor in the burst gate circuit, the burst gating is now all set up and ostensibly working correctly but it looks to me like the burst itself is getting "mangled" somewhere along the line - To be honest I'm not even really sure what I mean by that; the burst just looks a bit poorly and not easily resolvable on my trusty Hameg compared with what I would expect. Anyway, I will carry on and report back next time. As always (and I'm beginning to sound luck a stuck-record) please do forgive me if I don't answer your email or am very slow to get to it. I seem to get rather a lot of emails these days and answering all of them is not easy to do with everything else going on. Thanks everyone for reading. Kind regards. From Mike.
23rd May 2013: Hi everyone again. Well, I'm back at home and sat on my lovely comfy chair in my workshop. At least it would be comfortable but the prostatitis that I managed to get a couple of years ago is still here and it makes sitting down quite uncomfortable after a while. Anyway, The KB CK400 with the CVC1.5 chassis is now working a treat - The main problem turned out to be a high resistance connection to the burst coil inside one of the myriad cans on the decoder. Luckily I just happened to have a spare one and, after setting up the rest of the decoder, and a few tweaks to the picture geometry etc. The set was displaying a fine picture. The chap came and collected it and was very happy. In other news, the restaurant I went to last month called "Rodizio Rico" in Birmingham was pretty good. Not really worth the astronomical cost in my opinion, but the food was certainly good and there was lots of it. On the fixing front, I've sent the monster Ekco CT100M colour set down south to Graham Gosling, a genius with a wobbulator, to have the IFs aligned properly - Black and white sets are one thing (and even then I usually leave them to my mate Tone) but ancient colour monsters - especially ones with simple-PAL decoders which need setting up absolutely correctly - are another thing. I shall report my findings when I get the set back again but I'm sure Graham will make a spectacularly good job as is his wont. Right, that's it. I'm off to bed now. Goodnight everyone. From Mike.
7th December 2013: Evening all. It's Mike here again again again. I'm sat here in my comfy chair in the workshop listening to a recording of my mate Lucy's "Trade Test Radio" show featuring all sorts of library music including lots of good test-card stuff. It was the Wesleyan Assurance Christmas party last night so I couldn't listen to the show as it was being transmitted but my pal Tone kindly said he'd record it for me. Looking out the window onto Packwood Close and the sun is shining and some horses with their owners are wandering down the road. All very peaceful. Oh, now they're doing their business in the road. (The horses that is.) Er, anyway, I've recently updated the site with a few more pictures of colour TVs on page 5 of the colour TV gallery and I've also added a Philips 1446U on the black-and-white TV gallery. In fixing news, my mate Tas came round a few weeks ago and helped me change the tube on my Philips G25K500 set. The original tube wasn't bad but the new tube was a new-old-stock one from a pal of mine called Steve who used to work at a Philips dealers called Carters in Budleigh Salterton. It turned out though that the new tube had a defect in it - a bunch of missing phosphors means that there is a small "black hole" in the picture but it's not all that noticeable and the picture is much better than it was before. The tube was one of the worst I've ever had to change on any set, and without Tas's help I would never have been able to change it on my own. It involved all sorts of fixings and washers and springs and other paraphernalia which had to be put into their exact places whilst trying to hold up the heavy tube to the mask and also try and find all the holes for the screws, all the time working half-blind because of the size and shape of the chassis and cabinet etc. The set is working really very well now although for some reason the tuning indicator still doesn't work correctly, but that's something for another rainy day I think... Well, that's it for now. Have a good Christmas everyone. From your old mate Mike in Solihull.
2nd January 2014: Evening everyone and a happy new year to all my pals. (And everyone else of course, but especially my pals.) I'm sat in my ancient, comfy but somewhat decrepit leather chair in my workshop; it's early evening and pitch black outside and very cold. The heating is going full blast and it's actually a bit too hot in here so I've opened the window a crack and closed the door just to get a bit of cool air in. There's a lovely coal-smell wafting in from somewhere and it smells very soothing. In website-news I've modified the mono TV gallery, which was very messy and didn't really make for very nice viewing. It's now the same as the colour TV gallery and split across two pages - also very messy and not pleasant viewing, but fractionally better laid out than before. There are a few new TVs on there too and I have a few more to add in the coming weeks as well. Not really much happening on the TV-fixing front apart from sorting out a little GEC BT2147 from 1949-ish and getting a pair of Ekco TMB272s fixed for me and my mate Tone (who actually did most of the work whilst I made the tea or feigned illness and had a lie-down). Christmas came and went in a blur - I was exceptionally tired and gloomy but had just about recovered by the time I had to go back to work. I had a very nice time down at my parents' house in Devon though. On the way down to Devon, I collected a Philips 6028T projection screen from a second-hand shop in Bristol. Alas it didn't come with its sister, the Philips 6027A 405-line projection TV but it's a start and I'll be able to use it with the White Ibbotson 4836F projection TV I have up here. One brilliant piece of news is that the BFI are bringing out one of my favourite ever films on DVD - The film is called "The Driving Force" and it's a British Transport Film from 1966 about the conversion from steam to diesel and electric locomotives in the UK. The film is full of spooky music and amazing British propaganda. I have a low-resolution copy which was transferred from a VHS cassette but a lovely new DVD copy will be fantastic. Anyway, enough of the boring waffle already, I'll perhaps post up a few more old TV pictures sometime soon. Thanks everyone. From your old mate in Solihull, Mike. PS. The latest version of the test card DVD (including, for a limited period, the 1980 BBC2 Christmas Test Card F and a small selection of Christmas 1980 Test Card tunes by the Robert Rheimes Choraliers) can be downloaded from here: (And remember, this offer isn't available in the shops.)
3rd January 2014: Evening all. Just a very quick one as I'm just off to bed. Spent the evening trying to convert al the disgustingly awful code on this main page to use a simple cascading style sheet. There might be some minor differences in the look of the page but hopefully they'll be put back to rights soon and things will be much easier to edit whenever I want to make changes or additions. Right - that's it. I'm off to bed. Goodnight all. From your mate Mike. Zzzzz.
2nd February 2014: Hello everyone. It's Mike here again with another brief entry. Nothing really doing in the TV-fixing department but a couple of TVs have managed to find their way into my already-overcrowded house. The first is a Baird T172 (also known as the Baird "Fifteen") which I drove up to Liverpool to collect with my mate Tone. The people in the shop were extremely nice and gave us a cup of tea and helped us lumber the huge monster into the back of my trusty Renault. I've put a picture of the set up on Page 2 of the black-and-white TV gallery. Unfortunately the back cover is missing and the knobs have started to degrade and "melt" so when you turn them they look like they've been put on out-of-true and wobble around in a crazy fashion. Also there are a couple of little plastic "ferules" (is that the right word?) missing from the front. These are little plastic things that look like hollow golf-tees which sit in between the knobs and guide the viewer's screwdriver when making adjustments to the "occasional" controls such as vertical and horizontal hold. I don't suppose anyone has any of these spare do they? :-) On the same day as the Liverpool visit, Tone and I went off to see an excellent chap called Julian and his very nice wife to collect some mechanical bits for my Philips G25K500 which were missing. After lumbering all the bits (and lots of extra TV panels) into the car we went off and had a nice meal of food in a pub in Stockport before clearing off down the M6 and M6-Toll back to Bentley Heath and home. Friday evening saw one of Lucy Woodward's brilliant "Trade Test Radio" shows - Lucy is the last-word when it comes to Library music, especially test-card music, and her Internet radio shows are always one of the highlights of the month for me. In other news, I went off to a Greek restaurant near Coalville with 4 of my aspie-pals - Dean, Judy, Andrew and Chris to celebrate 10 years of "Aspie Village". It was a special evening with deafeningly-loud live music playing so the restaurant were just serving a "Mezze" instead of the normal menu. I made a bit of a cock-up as I didn't realise that the huge piles of delicious food they kept topping our table up with (salad, olives, various fishy things, meat, humus, taramasalata, tzatziki, pitta bread, chilli-peppers etc.) were actually just the starter, so when the actual main course of meat (and loads of it) turned up I was way too full to eat any of it. The pudding was nice though - it was some kind of pastry-like thingamabob with a kind of hairy-pastry topping with lots of odd hairy-strands of something on top. Anyway, I think that's it for now. Bye everyone. From your mate Mike.
12th April 2014: Evening everyone. It's Mike here again with another minor update to the site front page. I'm writing this sat in my bijou workshop down at the little museum in Devon. The little Sony 9" colour monitor to my right (very kindly donated by an excellent chap in Farnborough called Tim) is displaying the modified version of the Philips PM5544 test pattern (also known as Test Card G) and, to complete the test card experience, my prehistoric IBM R52 laptop is playing a selection of uplifting tunes from the BBC2 tape known as "Super Racing" through my dad's old Philco-Ford amplifier and a set of slightly knackered B&W DM1 loudspeakers. I suspect Test Card G doesn't match up with the Super Racing tape but I'm not that much of a purist. Last Friday saw the 25th annual convention of the Test Card Circle and I took a trip down to the Talbot Hotel in Leominster and spent the evening listening to test card music, watching various trade test colour films and nattering to my pals; it was an excellent evening and I enjoyed it greatly. In other news, my planned relocation from Solihull back down to Devon has rather gone off the rails. The combined thoughts of leaving my job, leaving my pals in Solihull, selling my house, moving all my junk, finding a new job in North Devon and everything else combined to drive me over the edge and to an emergency appointment at the doctor's. I had to explain my woes to a student doctor along with my normal doctor which made it doubly difficult. Anyway, it all turned out fine in the end and I am now trying out some medicine called "Sertraline" which seems to be working very well apart from a few odd side-effects like teeth-grinding etc. I am now feeling better than I have done in many months (in fact perhaps years) and things don't look so bad, although my move to Devon is on hold for a little while longer. My pals (you know who you are) have been extremely kind (as they always are) and I am in their debt for all their kind help, especially my mate Tone who is always a huge help and cracks the whip (not literally) whenever I'm feeling stuck with anything. In fixing news, there have been a number of sets which Tone and I have resurrected - some which hardly needed anything doing to them at all apart from a few wax-capacitors replacing and some which have been complete swines. The sets include a pair of Ekco TMB272s, a Decca DM14C, a Philips 385U, a Regentone T15 (aka TV15) and a few other sets which I can't remember just now. I'm going to try and get them all wired up for the Solihull TV meetup on the 10th of May (http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?p=663759). My train-spotting-pal Carl came round the other night and we zoomed off down to Dorridge station in the freezing cold rain to watch all the thundering Class-66s, which were amazingly conspicuous by their absence this night, and the ancient Class-20s hauling their regular load of London Underground trains, which duly didn't turn up either. Still, we both got freezing cold and drenched through to the skin, which was the main thing. In web-site news, I've added a new download section with some scanned-in manuals and other odds-and-ends; the section can be found by clicking a link on the TV page. Well, I think that's it for the moment readers. It's 16:31, I don't have to go anywhere, and I feel a nice cold can of Stella Artois coming on. Thanks for reading everyone. From your old mate Mike.
27th of June 2014: Evening everyone. I'm writing this sat at the open window of my Ibis hotel room in Tilburg, Nederlands, overlooking a lovely abandoned demolition site just across the other side of the car park. I'm on a visit here (with my pal Tone) to collect a 1963 Philips 21KX100A colour TV from a closing-down TV shop in Breda (Dutch town). I've just come back from a Chinese restaurant in Tilburg town called "Neuw China" where the food was absolutely delicious. I had Singapore Chow Mein and chips(!) and Tone had some kind of beef dish, which also looked delicious. The restaurant was next to a shop called "Netto-rama" which looked like a slightly run-down supermarket of some description and a few doors down from that was a porn-cinema (which I discovered was shut when I went to have a look - a shame really because the main feature sounded quite engaging. The picture of the young lady on the poster was very entertaining though). On the way back, we passed another establishment called "Rogerama" which sounded like it could perhaps cater to a similar audience, but on second glance it appeared to make guttering and drainpipes. Previous to that we went to visit Marcel (from www.marcelstvmuseum.com) in Rosmalen; Marcel is an excellent host and his very good English put my Dutch to shame. His amazing collection of TVs also put mine to shame - every set was plugged in and working from the moment it was switched on. Every set of mine has usually gone wrong since the last time it was switched off and the sets that don't cause the house ring main to fuse violently when they're turned on from cold, usually cause a smoke detector to go off somewhere in the house from the fumes and smoke billowing out of the back. The drive up here yesterday was relatively uneventful - an easy run up from Dunkirk in France, through Belgium and into Nederlands. This morning we met up with Marcel in the new Philips museum in Eindhoven; the new museum was a bit of a disappointment from a nerd-perspective though - although it was lovely and shiny and new, it didn't have anywhere near the amount of exhibits of the old one and the TVs which were on display were just hollowed-out shells with LCD screens put inside. One highlight of the day though was visiting the Evoluon building, a flying-saucer shaped concrete doughnut which is now an exhibition centre but was previously Philips' science museum. Something else which I enjoyed greatly was visiting Tilburg's railway station and all the nice double-decker trains. I didn't actually go on one of them, but it looked like you enter the carriage on a kind of "mezzanine" level and then either step down some stairs so you're below the level of the platform, or up some stairs so you're sitting quite high up. Perhaps I will come and visit Nederlands again one day, just to have a go on the trains. Tomorrow we are off to Breda to collect the Philips 21KX100A TV and try and man-handle it into the back of my trusty Renault Safrane. These sets are huge monsters and enormously heavy so it should be a bit of fun lumbering the set into the back of the car. I have measured my 21KX102A and the set should fit with a couple of millimetres to spare. Also as part of the deal comes a little 12-inch Philips TX500U TV, which I am also looking forward to playing with. In other news, my mate Tas recently came back from somewhere exotic with his missus and kindly brought me back a bar of "Plopp" chocolate, which was delicious as it turned out, despite sounding a bit dodgy. Thanks Tas old mate. Nothing much in the fixing department apart from getting the aforementioned Philips 21KX102A going (with Tone's kind assistance as usual) but alas the line-output transformer, that was so expertly rewound by my pal Mike Barker, blew up again after an hour of the TV working. (It was the EHT overwind which blew up this time, not the primary which Mike rewound.) The transformer has been sent back down to Mike for his expert attention again. As usual, apologies to all those people's emails that I haven't replied to - please forgive my rudeness - I do get a huge amount of email and it is very difficult to reply to all of it. Well, I think that's it for now. I suspect there might be a discrepancy in date-order with these entries soon because I started to write another entry a couple of weeks ago and never finished it. I shall upload that one soon as well. Thanks everyone. From your old pal Mike.
5th of May 2016: Wow. What a big gap between updates. Actually, I have been updating the site from time to time – the car section and the service manuals section have had a bit of love, it’s just the front page which has been neglected in a big way. My old pal Tas came round the other day and was bemoaning the fact that I never seemed to update the page, so here it is – a brief update. But how to compress nearly two years of goings-on into a few paragraphs. Hmm – How indeed. Perhaps I’ll just skim over a few of the less dull bits and leave it at that. What’s been going on in the world of TV fixing? Well, my mate Tone, who I’ve known for more years than I can remember, has been shuffling over with monotonous regularity on a weekend and assisting me with some of the more awkward TV faults and restorations – although Tone always manages to find any faults before my banana brain has had a chance to survey the situation. Anyway, I have fixed one or two sets on my own – even if it takes me twice as long to work out the problem as it would take my pal Tone (or indeed Tas). Quite a few early 1950s sets have found their way to Bennett Towers over the last year or so and one of these days I might update the TV gallery to include some of them. One of my favourite sets that has recently had a bit of a seeing-to is my old White Ibbotson 4836F projection set. The only problems with this set were the usual White-Ibbotson issues with open circuit wire-wound resistors. W.I. use a certain kind of green shiny porcelain resistor in any high power stages and they’re always open circuit. Luckily some of the values are available on eBay and they look almost identical too. After a good going-over (including replacing the little MW6-2 projection tube) the set now produces a lovely picture and gets rolled out to watch the occasional film on a Philips fold-up projection screen. In other news, I finally gave up my love affair with my beloved Nokia mobile phones and bought a Microsoft Lumia 950XL on a contract instead (although it’s basically still a Nokia in my eyes). A fantastic phone but it (or indeed Windows Mobile 10) doesn’t seem to be getting much love from anyone just now, seemingly least of all from Microsoft. The old Austin 3-Litre is going great-guns at the moment, although the levelling pump is away being sorted out and without it the headlamps end up pointing skyward whenever I put too much rubbish in the boot (or when people travel in the back). The stainless-steel exhaust which I bought from Neil Kidby of the Three Litre Owners Club was fitted a few weeks back too and sounds absolutely glorious. It’s made of immensely thick stainless steel and doesn’t sound tinny like the normal thin stainless exhausts. Next Saturday (the 14th of May) is the usual Solihull TV Junk-Swap so today I ordered from the butcher a huge slab of 150 rashers of bacon for the traditional early-morning bacon-sandwich people. If anyone would like to come to the event, then please see the thread http://vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=123158. Anyway, to finish this long-overdue entry – As is my wont, please forgive my lack of response to emails sometimes – I’m usually hugely busy at work and when I get back home in the evening I end up not wanting to reply to people’s very kind ramblings (or talking to anyone on the phone - or in person if it comes to that) until I’m fully recharged with a good night’s sleep. It’s not that emails and phone calls are not appreciated – they are very much appreciated – even insults – it’s just my normal everyday rudeness and grumpiness. Thanks everyone. Until my next uninteresting roundup of odds-and-ends (probably in another two years from now) this is your old mate Mike in Solihull saying bye for now. :-)