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Metropolitan Vickers

Page history last edited by Alan Hartley-Smith 4 years, 8 months ago




In Jim Brown's book "RADAR How it all Began" (see listing in References) he first describes in incredible detail how he worked with Dr.Dodds at Metrovick in Manchester to design and manufacture the first CH transmitters (he says their designation was T3026) together with his on-site visits for installation and modifications.


It was in 1937 that Metrovick was chosen to develop and manufacture the transmitters for the proposed CH radar stations. A key factor was their work on continuously evacuated demountable valves to achieve high power output for communications transmitters which they were able to transfer to the new requirement for pulse operation. This was done by two members of Dr. Dodds' Radio Section, F.P.Burch and C.R.Burch. Probably the best description of these events is in Chapter 5 - "The British Story" - of "Technical history of the beginnings of RADAR" (see listing in References).




There followed a series of continuous developments throughout the war covering Chain Home Low, Coastal Defence and Naval transmitters, leading to what Jim refers to as "Friend-Foe Indicators", plus Air Intercept Transmitters and Panoramic Transmitter/Receivers, otherwise known as H2S, together with numerous other items. All-in-all the company was involved in the majority of technical wartime innovations. 


These activities are all described in Jim's book so it is probably the most personal and fascinating overall technical coverage of the early days.


As they became part of the family Metrovick deserves full coverage in this History, and remembering that our longest-serving man-in-charge John Sutherland served his engineering apprenticeship there before joining Marconi as a radar research engineer in 1954.


Wikipedia entry  - no details of their radar work.


Online version of "Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co. Ltd. 1899 - 1949" - John Dummelow


Manchester works




Comments (1)

Ian Gillis said

at 3:35 pm on Feb 12, 2016

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