Newsletter 2011

Marconi transmitter type Y

From Roman Buja, Poland, 20th October 2010

I am interested in radio stations used in my country in pre-war years. One of them was British Marconi 0,5 kW spark transmitter type Y (models Y/A, Y/B and Y/C). Do you have any information on that set in your collection? I need basic data, picture and schematic diagram.

MVA webmaster Chris Gardiner replied:

When you mention pre-war I presume you mean the first world war as spark transmitters were very much in decline by around 1910 with the advent of the valve and a more thorough understanding of tuned circuits, and they did not exist as operational units by 1920.

I have never heard of these transmitters but will circulate your email in the hope that someone may have heard of them. There will certainly not be anything in any company archive as these were rather incomplete for the period pre-1939 and although reasonable from then on much of the material was lost with the loss of the Marconi Company in 2002. What survived is mainly held in the Bodleian Library in Oxford and is inaccessible to us.

Some material and information still exists here in Chelmsford and is held in the Chelmsford Industrial Museum, but this is largely from ex-employees and is not organised and indexed, so any tracing of a particular item would be extremely difficult.

Roman then replied that the transmitter was used in the Polish Navy in the twenties as a reserve set, but he has no more details. I suggested that, as an overseas researcher, he may have more success with an approach to the Bodleian –

Can any Veteran assist further with his researches? You can contact him via email to r.buja@wp.plEd.