The John Welsh Collection


Picture of John WelshThis section of the website contains articles written by club member, John Welsh G0NVZ who passed away in November 2016.  The articles were written for VARC’s monthly newsletter over a period of three decades and numbered around 80.  Their purpose was to provide simple explanations for newcomers to the hobby of amateur radio, on how things work.

It was  therefore appropriate for them to have appeared under the heading of ‘Ab Initio’ which translates as ‘from first principles’ and be signed as written by ‘Preceptor’, which translates as teacher or educator.

This use of Latin seems appropriate, as St Albans was the Roman town Verulamium to which the name of the club relates.

In recent years, a number of the articles were published in the Radio Society of Great Britain’s (RSGB) monthly magazine, RadCom, under the title ‘Start Here’ and subsequently under the heading ’Moving On’.  In 2015 John eventually ran out of simple things to explain and the last article to appear in RadCom was in the December 2015 edition.

The articles have mainly dealt with “Classical radio”, i.e. analogue circuits, systems and components rather than digital.  On the practical side they have covered aerials to earths, transistors and the tiniest receivable signals to megawatt magnetrons.  On the theoretical side they have covered the theory of semi-conductors, waves and polarisation, to the emissions and workings of the sun.  On the historical side the articles have covered “electro-mechanical” (i.e. non electronic), systems of communication using Electro-Magnetic waves, ranging from spark and arc transmitters and coherer receivers to the travelling wave tubes as used in earth satellites, and the tracking super heterodyne receiver.

It is believed the subjects covered by these articles will continue to be of interest to those wanting to understand radio and related matters and John  agreed to these being made available through this website.  Our thanks go to the team at the RSGB and RadCom for agreeing to let us share some of the articles that appeared over the years.

John’s background was Imperial College (Physics), National Service (RAF Radar ), microwave engineer with GEC and head of GEC’s Radar Research Laboratory. He retired in 1995.

In recognition of John’s outstanding contribution to the Verulam Amateur Radio club over many years he was made an honorary member of the club in January 2016.

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