05 July 2012

England: The 5th July, 2012

Today brought more of Cornwall's "dreadful" weather. I swear every living soul, upon learning that I am a tourist, apologizes for the weather here. Thank you, but I'll take 60's and 70's with some clouds and an occasional shower (each and every day, it seems) over the truly dreadful weather in Virginia right now, coupled with the extensive power outages, and be perfectly happy to put on my waterproofs and just keep on trucking.

We drove down to The Lizard. The Lizard is England's southernmost point, and has more of its beautiful coastline easily available for a short walk.
This map isn't live, you can zoom around
by using the map here...
 The goal today was a bit further, probably a mile's walk from town center at the car park, down Lloyd's Lane to the Coastal Path, to Marconi's Lizard Wireless Station. It was here that Marconi first set the distance record of 186 miles to a station in France using wireless communications. The National Trust has recreated the station using time-correct pieces of equipment. The shed itself has been a number of things since Marconi left it in the late 1910's. Now it is a museum (all two rooms of it), and a separate building houses an Amateur Radio station that was unfortunately unavailable to operate due to mice having chewed through the underground coax out to the antenna. It is set to be sorted out next month, but that didn't help me.
The spark gap transmitter, the Leyden jars (early capacitors) on
the right allowed some tuning. The set operated in the 1MHz range.

The antenna "tuner". Moving the coil up and down in
relation to the coils under it allowed fine tuning the antenna,
which was connected to one of the thumbscrews on the front.

This was a later receiver, tunable, and driving a tape machine
that printed out the Morse code on the tape.

The receiver's convoluter. This was sort of the "crystal" that was
used in later crystal receivers. The tube in the middle of the U-shaped
brass support had metal shavings in it that would rectify the received signal.
A special relay would "convolute" the shavings by knocking them back
into randomness periodically.

A display of old Morse keys. As many of these
as I have seen, there were several that were
quite mysterious looking!

On our way out of town, we detoured to Keynance Cove, one of the most beautiful places I have seen in a long time. The cliffs here are about 200 feet tall! Note the tiny little fishing village in the pictures, if you want to walk a rather strenuous trail down, you can get ice cream at the shop there!
There's a sail boat in this picture1

My foot is hanging over the edge...it's sitting on very wet, slick grass
barely hanging to loose loam, sloped at about a 75 degree angle.

A panorama of the cove.

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