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Old December 18th 17, 10:27 AM posted to
Brian Gaff
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Posts: 7,040
Default How things have changed

Yes there do seem to be ads all the time for sky when ever a sport event or
Christmas is coming or some new whizzbang box or service is being rolled
out. It seems to me though that these Satellite folk do their own
Now of course the companies are trying to wean people off of direct
broadcast stuff and are trying to get them to use so called smart tvs
connected to the internet or watch stuff on tablets and phones, which seems
a bit bonkers to me.

I can foresee a day not long away when paying for tv is the norm and so
called free tv is closed down. I will mourn its passing.

I love aerials, when I was young it was the one thing which one could make
ones self and have fun with.

People thought I was weird sticking band 3 home made beams on the front of
the house so my parents could watch alternative films from Southern, Anglia
and ATV on a Sunday evening in B/W on 405 lines.

The ex rental market died when tvs started to be very reliable indeed of
course, but I did work in Rediffusions regional repair department for a
time, and the pcbs that came back were often an inch deep in muck and dead
A pencil rubber was a very important bit of kit for the service engineer to
clean the many edge connectors which gave as many faults as the boards
Burned out turret tuners and exploding capacitors with interesting smells

I never did understand why designers of tvs made the cabinets so small then
put huge backs on them made from processed cardboard either.

I'm not sure if people have it better now or not. As you say, often the work
load around the times when a working tv was a must went crazy.

When colour first started the pictures tended to be pretty lacking in
dynamics and had all manner of irritating purity and convergence errors and
many sets, like Decca and the Bush/Baird ones needed almost live in
Engineers to keep them going!

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This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
The Sofa of Brian Gaff...

Blind user, so no pictures please!
"Bill Wright" wrote in message
My friends in the aerial rigging trade are remarking on how slow it is.
How things have changed! In the 70s everyone wanted to get a colour TV and
many of them decided that the lead-up to Christmas would be the time. The
rush started on October 22nd, which was the date when ITV used to crank up
their Christmas promotion, and also the approximate date when the winter
quarter started. So ITV would swamp their channel with promotions and the
sheeple would count their pennies and then the rush would start.

Things would get more and more frantic and for me, working for twenty
different TV shops, it was an exhausting gold mine. Through November and
December I would normally work from 8am until 10pm, seven days a week. The
first hour was awkward because the transmitters weren't turned on until
9am! The last four hours needed a caplamp and various torches. It was so
easy when carrying a ladder in the pitch dark to walk into a fish pond or
cold frame. I did it many times. Dog **** was a massive problem as well.
In those days there were a lot of uninsulated overhead electricity cables.
I hit one once. The 18ft roof ladder became a 16ft one because the power
lopped the top two foot off. I got a bad shock. And every third house
right up the street was plunged into darkness. Luckily the one I was
working at stayed on.

During the last few days before Christmas people would walk into every TV
shop in town and say they'd buy a telly as soon as the shop had organised
an aerial for them. The pressure I had from shop managers was enormous.

People would ring round every aerial firm and make increasing offers. "I'll
give you an extra fiver!" "I'll pay double!" "I'll give you a turkey!"

I'd be working right up to midnight on Christmas Eve, and I'd be welcomed
at each house with open arms. Every happy customer wanted to give me a
drink, and one occasion I got very ****ed but continued working, and

We had to make hay while the sun shined, because that Christmas money
would have to carry us through the summer. Once the spring gales were
over, work dropped to nothing. I remember one August getting a total of
three calls all month. Most riggers had summer jobs. I considered buying a
chip shop or an ice cream van. In the end I hit on the idea of doing up
ex-rental black and white sets, and selling them by means of a small ad in
the local paper. It was a good way to meet the dregs of society.