TW Electronics 1958 -
The first transmitter that I ever owned (when I was first licensed as G8CME in early 1969) was bought from N.W. Electrics, the emporium of Fred G3MAX in Great Ancoats Street, Manchester. That transmitter was a secondhand TW2, a crystal controlled valve AM transmitter made by a company which, at the time that it was built, was called T.Withers (Electronics) and which was located in Enfield , Middlesex. I also bought with it a brand new matching TW mains power supply that supplied the HT (around 250v DC) and the valve heaters.
In those days, nearly all the equipment used on the two metre band was AM, with some SSB (via transverters) and next to no FM. The Heathkit HW17, a two metre transceiver, was just starting to make an appearance on the scene. Transmitters like the TW2 were used mainly in conjunction with a separate receiver and VHF converter, in my case an Eddystone EB36 with a homebrew converter using an IF of 4-
The photos below were taken between 1970 and early 1972. I had stripped out the 'cardboard style' parcel shelf from under the steering column of my Morris 1000 van and replaced it with some 'conti' board with a dexion support on which I could put the radio equipment. (thinking back, a lethal modification which could have 'chopped me off by the stocking tops' in the event of a major collision). The 20ft telescopic pole (ex WD copper plated steel with locking rings bought for the princely sum of £1 from Superadio in Whitechapel, Liverpool) supported the beam, there was a 2m halo on the roof and a top band whip on the off side front wing. The TW2 was used at my (then) home location in Nelson, the photo on the right was taken at my (then) /A location in Skelmersdale where I had an Eddystone EB35 receiver, 2m converter (on top of the RX), a Pye F27AM transmitter, an R220 receiver for 4m and the obligatory class D wavemeter. The 2m beam was fastened to a short pole (attached to the bed out of sight to the left). The telephones were merely 'decorative'. Unfortunately, up to now I have been unable to find any photographs of my TW2 set up at my (then) home location.
The TW2 transmitter served me well, even with its Belling Lee aerial conectors as used on TV sets. I had five or six different crystals to plug into the crystal socket on the front, the appropriate one of which could be readily selected so that I would be the first signal the other station would find when tuning 'high to low' or ' low to high' (or in a contest where the other station had two receivers 'both ends to the middle'). I honestly do not remember exactly when I parted with the TW2 and PSU, but at some stage it was traded in for something else, I think it was for either the Sommerkamp FR100B amateur bands only receiver or the Liner 2 (2m SSB transceiver). Certainly the only things that I kept, and still have, were the crystals.
Anyway, forty years on, and here we are with a bit of 'nostalgia' setting in (as it does as you get older). I remember my days on two metre AM with fondness. It was a 'fun' time, I learned a lot and I made a lot of friends via two metres. For whatever reason, I started to think back to those times and some of the TW equipment that, when I was younger, I aspired to own, in particular the TW Communicator. So I tried the 'modern' approach of searching on the Internet for any details etc of TW gear, and what did I find.........zilch, absolutely nothing.
Now I know that by modern standards, TW gear is probably deaf, wide open etc etc, but in its time it was the 'bee's knees' and to me, it seems that it would be remiss if any trace of its history was allowed to disappear. So I decided I would try to find what I could in the way of equipment, photographs, articles, circuits, instruction sheets, company history etc, and it is to that end I have created this simple web-
There are many people who have helped (and are still helping) with material and you will find a list of them in the 'Credits' page, but one of the main sources of information has been Tom Withers himself and I thank him most profusely. I hope that those of you who remember TW equipment will find at least some of the information interesting.