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#219823 - 4th Apr 2008 2:55pm Power supplies
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
OK, here's a little puzzle for you; also a short science lesson!

When I was a kid, my Grandfather used to work for the local electricity board at the place in the picture. Later, When he became unwell, his bosses gave him the job of travelling round the sub-stations, looking after the gardens. I sometimes went with him. The inside of those sub-stations scared the s**t out of me. Here's a pic. of one in Noctorum, at the junction of Noctorum Rd. & West Rd.
Now for the science: in those days (1940's) the power supply to the houses was DC. You can only transmit DC just over a mile before losses in the cable make it useless, so power was generated in AC & sent at high voltage (so few losses) to the many sub-stations, where it was reduced in voltage with transformers & then fed into mercury vapour rectifiers to change it into DC to be supplied to houses. It was those rectifiers which scared me; about 4 Ft. tall, a huge glass bulb with mercury in & glowing a terrible purple with the mercury vapour & emitting a loud humming. There's still some of these sub-stations around. You can see the remains of one at the top of Singleton Ave. & the one in Noctorum looks the same as it ever did.
It was because our power supply was DC that I could never have a Hornby Dublo electric train set. I guess the power supply was about 200 Volts & you couldn't use a transformer to reduce it.
BTW, in those days, there was nothing like MANWEB; the National Grid was in its infancy & each town generated its own electricity supply. The power station pictured was owned by Birkenhead Council, which is why it has the town crest over it.
Does anyone know where it is?

Cheers, Chris.



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substation.jpg


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#219825 - 4th Apr 2008 2:58pm Re: Power supplies [Re: chriskay]
MattLFC Offline
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Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Some great info there; I think you have mentioned this once before, maybe at a meet.

I dunno where the power station is though, maybe down Woodside way, but deffo could'nt be sure or give an exact location.

smile

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#219827 - 4th Apr 2008 3:04pm Re: Power supplies [Re: MattLFC]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Yeah, Matt; I expect you've heard my ravings before (it's a function of age) grin If nobody can say where it is, I'll tell in a week or so.

Cheers, Chris.
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#219829 - 4th Apr 2008 3:06pm Re: Power supplies [Re: MattLFC]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
Birkenhead - just off Exmouth St smile
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#219830 - 4th Apr 2008 3:07pm Re: Power supplies [Re: chriskay]
BMW Joe Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
Oi! I was going to take a picture of this the other day.

I used to play in there as a kid, but the other bit of the building has been knocked down now.

It's in Bentick Street wink

The back of it is on Craven Street and the bit that has now been knocked down was on Fox Street.
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#219831 - 4th Apr 2008 3:10pm Re: Power supplies [Re: BMW Joe]
BMW Joe Offline
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Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead


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#219835 - 4th Apr 2008 3:13pm Re: Power supplies [Re: BMW Joe]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
...thats just off Exmouth St - do i get a prize party
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#219836 - 4th Apr 2008 3:15pm Re: Power supplies [Re: StuyMac]
BMW Joe Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
you get a super soaker and a chick in a white t-shirt of your choice wink
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#219837 - 4th Apr 2008 3:17pm Re: Power supplies [Re: BMW Joe]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
party
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#219842 - 4th Apr 2008 3:27pm Re: Power supplies [Re: StuyMac]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Yes, Joe, you're right, but your pointer is a bit off. NO prizes for Exmouth St.
Now try the sunblinds one!
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#219844 - 4th Apr 2008 3:33pm Re: Power supplies [Re: chriskay]
StuyMac Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
Some detective work says its in Westbourne Road, Birkenhead wink

Do I get a prize for that one?


Edited by StuyMac (4th Apr 2008 3:35pm)
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#219876 - 4th Apr 2008 5:42pm Re: Power supplies [Re: StuyMac]
BMW Joe Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
I've corrected the pointer Chris smile
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#219892 - 4th Apr 2008 6:44pm Re: Power supplies [Re: BMW Joe]
jonno40 Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 7th Jan 2008
Posts: 1234
Loc: wirral
lol i was there the other day at the computer supplies shop looking for a scanner and didnt even see it .good write up chris another of your little gems and well discovered joe thumbsup
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#247103 - 11th Aug 2008 3:19pm Re: Power supplies [Re: jonno40]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9871
Loc: Birkenhead
The sub-station at the top of Singleton Avenue was open today - they wouldn't let me inside but gave me the ok to take a picture from the doorway. When I was young there wasn't even a roof on this building. This is just one room in the middle of the building.


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Description: Inside Singleton Avenue Sub-Station


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#247111 - 11th Aug 2008 4:23pm Re: Power supplies [Re: diggingdeeper]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Great picture ! Thanks for that. Yes, it's changed a bit over the years !

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