Variable inductance coil for tuning the aerial of the very-low-frequency (16 kHz) transmitter (callsign GBR) installed at Rugby Radio Station, unknown maker, British, 1943-1966. Constructed in 1943 to the original 1926 design, and as modified in 1966, together with separate transformer and variometer with supporting framework.
Aerial tuning inductor from the very-low-frequency (16 kHz) transmitter (callsign GBR) installed at Rugby Radio Station, unknown maker, British, 1943-1966. Constructed in 1943 to the original 1926 design, and as modified in 1966, together with separate transformer and variometer with supporting framework.
The Rugby Tuning Coil was used to tune antenna to the right frequency at the Rugby Radio Station. When it began service on 1 January 1926 the Rugby station was the most powerful in the world. In 1926, the Rugby tuning coil transmitted the "British Official Wireless News Messages" to the Empire and to ships on all the seas. This was the first time this have been possible. In 1928, it was used to send a message to Mars at the request of Dr Mansfield Robinson, a London lawyer, who believed that he had been in contact with Mars. The Post Office accepted it as a commercial transaction – Dr Robinson was charged 1s 6p per word, the same as a standard message. The coil was also used to transmit secret information to ships and submarines during the Cold War. The coil was decommissioned in 2003.
- Radio Communication
- Object Number:
- radio transmitter
- Donated by BT Heritage and Archives
- Permanent collection
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