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News and Views

Regular readers of "Practical Electronics" will have seen articles by Anthony H.Smith. With an imminent move of house he decided that he could not possibly take with him the whole of his stock of electronic components accumulated over the years (that strikes a chord !). so he wrote to the editor of PE, John Becker, for a suggestion about how to dispose of them, and John suggested that he should pass them on to the B.A.E.C. After writing to me, Mr. Smith sent me a quantity of electronic gear, and I have done some sorting of it, with a good deal more to do. As with the material Cyril Bogod left, I am anxious to get it into the hands of members who can make use of it as soon as possible. I am therefore enclosing with this newsletter a list of what is available, and of course there is no charge to members except the cost of postage. Bear in mind that it takes time to collect components together and find suitable packing, and then parcel them up and post them, so your requests may take a little while to respond to.

E.A.Matthews thinks it may be unfair to offer components for constructing a project to the first applicant, as I did for the function generator described in the last Newsletter, because it gives an advantage to members who live locally and disadvantages those who live at a distance or overseas. This is a sensible point, but in the event the first of the two people who wrote to me lives in Northern Ireland and the second in Carmarthen - and I sent components and PCBs to both. In general, members have not exactly been falling over themselves to take advantage of free components; only two members asked for any of the packs listed on p.9 of the October Newsletter. I suppose I shouldn't complain, for a greater demand would mean more work for me, but I am reluctant to throw good useful material away.

Mark Boyle (Lisburn, N.Ireland) is building up a database of the project articles in electronic magazines, and will wherever possible include brief descriptions of the projects. If members who have built magazine projects will write to him and tell him their opinion of these projects, this information could also be entered. When the database is established, it will be possible for members to write to Mark and ask where they can find details of particular projects, such as a battery charger or a light dimmer, and he should be able to give them references to selected articles in specified magazines. This will complement the information available from J.S Hind. I expect to be able to give details of the operation of this scheme in the next Newsletter.

Earlier this year Mark applied for an apprenticeship with Shorts; at the time he was in his first year of an ONC course in mechanical and electrical engineering. At the beginning of September he was delighted to learn that he was one of 25 who got an apprenticeship out of some 2000 who applied, and I feel sure other members would like to join me in congratulating him. Since starting at Shorts he has written to say how much he enjoys the work - long may it continue !

In the July Newsletter Jim Alvey (Carmarthen, Dyfed) wrote about the Keely motor and asked any member who could supply information about it to get in touch with him. He rang me recently to say he had heard from one member but had not yet got the information he wanted. If any other member can help, please contact him direct.

"Do you want used scopes, DVM's, oscillators, attenuators, signal generators, power supplies, power meters, test equipment ?" so runs the advertisement of Cooke International, who recently sent me two of their price lists. The range of equipment offered is wide and prices seem reasonable. Their walk-round bargain store is open Monday to Friday 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Unit 4, Fordingbridge Site, Main Road, Barnham, Bognor Regis, West Sussex P022 OEB. Lists are free.

About this time last year Cricklewood Electronics offered copies of their 1989 catalogue free; until then it had cost 1. This year they have made a similar offer of the 1990 catalogue, originally costing 1.50. For a free catalogue, write to the firm at 40 Cricklewood Broadway, London NW2 3ET, or ring 081 450 0995 or 081 452 0161. Although my impression is that their prices are higher than some other suppliers their stock range is impressive, particularly of semiconductors, and that section of the catalogue I have found most useful for reference, especially in identifying ICs.