News from the STAA Editor

from the November 2017 Newsletter

It was saddening to receive the resignation of Jack O'Brien (aka Dr Jack Ryan) as a committee member of the Sound and Telecommunications Association Australasia and as editor of "the Exchange".

Jack has done a great deal of work on the constitution of the STAA and as editor was forced to write most of the articles in "The Exchange" because of lack of contributions from members. Writing articles involved a fair amount of time consuming research and as Jack was still working full time his time was extremely precious balancing his business activities, personal family life, phone club activities on both a state and national level and also on an international level.

He was blamed for being late with newsletters and even though it was not always his fault he finally had enough and resigned.

At present we are looking for an editor. Whilst I've acted as an editor over the years most of my skills in graphic design were developed when we sent articles to be typeset in a particular font etc and ordered screen bromides of photos and illustrations to be pasted up so that printing plates could be made. Although I did some graphic design courses in the late 80's things have moved on from then and some of the programs I mastered no longer exist. I did struggle to get the newsletter out on time and I thank Jack for sending me a template to work from. I apologise if the layout is a bit patchy and I thank John Paskulich from the, Western Australia Historic Telephone Society Inc. for coming to the rescue with 2 articles.

I must stress that it is important that members contribute to the newsletter with articles about the facets of collecting that interest them. Even travels visiting antique shops fi nding that rare phone or cheap phones could be the basis of an article.

It is also important that the state reports are with the editor as soon as possible after the local meeting and preferably by the third week prior to the month of publication. (the odd months).

Looking back in the past I see that Bob Mills was responsible for most of the articles in the ATCS newsletters for the past 20 years and likewise in the AHTS Marco Laudani and the late Linley Wilson wrote most of the articles. I appeal to all members to try and submit something for publication. Please do not feel embarrassed to do so. I take this opportunity to formally thank Jack O'Brien for his valued contribution as a committee member of the STAA and editor of "The Exchange".

As we are approaching the festive season I would like to wish all members of the member clubs of the STAA a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

George Psorakis
Acting STAA Editor

from the September 2017 Newsletter


I'm sure you are expecting to hear about the happy conclusion to the saga of my NBN connection allowing me to take advantage of this wonderful catalyst of productivity. Sadly, there is no happy conclusion. An order was placed and a time for the NBN to do their stuff was arranged. They were too busy on the day so the appointment was re-scheduled to a week later. They had a network configuration problem so the second appointment was re-scheduled to another week later. Finally the NBN guy turned up and within 30 seconds had gone again. Apparently, as I already have a domestic service, my business service of 20 years standing can't be provided.

Eventually, my (alleged) provider contacted me and said I had two options. I could split the block title (at my cost) to provide a new address which would qualify for a new NBN connection or I could provide a cable from the domestic service point to my detached office on the opposite side of the block (again, at my expense) so I could share the domestic drop. The provider would not, however, guarantee the operation of the service over an extended cable and stated that the bandwidth would be restricted to that of a single service.

Once upon a time I had a landline and an ADSL service - then the NBN came and there was nothing. I've not been forgotten though, I'm being charged for the NBN!

How are those articles coming along? I have more to write but after almost 25 articles I need time to research new material. I would like to do some hardware projects as well but at the moment I just don't have time - I work full time, have a family and I have other interests.

We have a national journal now and it is up to the national group, the STAA, to produce, print and distribute it. It is up to the clubs and ultimately you to provide articles to publish. Part of the job of the STAA is to promote interaction between the clubs - the sharing of experience and knowledge. The journal is one vehicle for that interaction.

Have you seen the August 2017 edition of Silicon Chip? One of the projects is a mains power supply for a battery operated valve radio. Not much good for portable operation but fine for display radios and in the long run, cheaper than batteries - if you can find the batteries. Here is what they say:

Over the years our Vintage Radio columns have featured many battery-operated valve radios with 1.5V or 2V heaters. The most recent examples were featured in July & August 2016. But batteries for these radios can be hard to get and expensive. This power supply is a neat solution.

Just a thought.

Jack O'Brien,
STAA Editor.