Wright's Aerials

Albert's Attic Gallery

Sadly, this is the best picture I can find of the aerial that was our biggest seller during the 1960s, but there's a much better one of the similar X17/9K in 'Antique Aerials. The 'X' was the patented 'Antex' band I array. The competing Telefusion 'X' aerial was merely a dipole and reflector, but the 'Antex' had the active element at the top rear, and was not a yagi derivative. The signal nulls were at right angles to the transmitter rather than to the rear. The '15' indicated a five-element band III section. The band I and band III sections were linked with a loose length of twin feeder. When assembling the aerial in the dark (a common occurrence in the lead-up to Christmas), it was all too easy to trap the twin feeder in the jaws of the mast clamp, resulting in a very snowy BBC picture. A swivel arrangement, allowing separate alignment and even different polarities, physically connected the two halves of the array. The band III section had no reflector, the active element being next to the band I section. The ends of the band III active element were bent at 45 degrees so that they didn't foul the 'X'. How on earth the boffins at Antiference ever got this design to work I don't know. Just as a camel is a horse designed by a committee, this thing looked like an aerial designed by a camel. But it did work, and it worked well. Anti-ghosting performance on both bands was far better than the 'single dipole plus five' array.

The '9' referred to the chimney lashing kit. The chimney bracket was an incredibly fiddly, intricate thing, but the design allowed it to hug the chimney, giving a secure fixing even on uneven masonry. The 'K' was the swan-neck mast, only 1 inch diameter but very strong. The whole thing stood up to gales remarkably well, considering how unwieldy it was. The only weak points were corrosion problems at the swivel joint and the mast clamp. I suppose we were more aware of this than most, since we operated in a coalfield area where it was considered everyone's bounden duty to burn as much fossil fuel as possible, and the corrosive smog at roof level was appalling. The X15/9K had a retail price of 116/-, or £5.80, in 1963. That was almost half a week's wages, as far as I can remember. A high price to pay for an aerial that received only two channels of black and white 405 line television!

Print this page © 2003-2012, Wrights Aerials Add to Favorites