April 2020


Camara Education

Pimoroni Shop

Railway Preservation Society of Ireland
Free counters!
  • Science Hack Day Dublin Round-Up 29/03/2020
    A few weeks ago our space as packed for the annual Science Hack Day Dublin. A load of great projects were built over the weekend. Check out the video of the presentations. Our own Jeffrey Roe was interviewed about Science Hack Day on https://soundcloud.com/dcfm-1032/community-chats-14th-march-2020us Jump over to our gallery to see some photos from that […]
SpinDizzy Records Freebird Records
    The Electronics Club    

Dublin, Ireland

Baile Átha Cliath

Irish COVID-19 Wartime Posters

This is my tongue in cheek response to the threatening posters that appeared in County Clare yesterday. Check out the The Irish Times for more details.

Comments are unreadable!

Thank you for the heads up on the comment mess-up. Hoprfully it is just a matter of changing the font in the style sheet. If not I will change the theme until I can get on top of the situation.

Vintage Antex Soldering Iron Stand- beautiful model!

The fun never ends! Antex model poses for her fans.

Another 13 emails arrived from cowardly fans of my Vintage Antex Soldering Iron Stand. . Please comment!! 7 commenters have asked to see the back and base of the “beautiful model” so  here are a few images taken in my lovely sunny 17 degrees back garden in Dublin.

I have to say I thought it was all a set-up by my maker friends until I googled “Antex soldering iron stands” and lo and behold the above model does not exist online.

Vintage Antex Soldering Iron Stand

I purchased my first Antex Precision Soldering Iron in 1966. It was marketed as a pencil sized miniature iron suitable for precision work. Check out the close-up of the actual label transfer on the stand – it does what is says on the tin. I have continued to use Antex products of various wattage ratings including two temperature controlled soldering stations to the present day.

Needless to say, money was hard to come by as a thirteen year old and several months passed before I saved enough to purchase the stand in the above picture.  In the meantime, I had to get by with a cut away bean can which I fashioned into a stand and bit cleaner.

Life was simple in those days. Furthermore, prices didn’t change from year to year. I could mow the neighbour’s lawn and put the money aside in the sure knowledge that the price would remain the same. Inflation hadn’t been invented yet! I clearly remember heading into town on the bus and walking directly to Peats for Parts in Parnell Street. The shop was always crowded on a Saturday morning. Customers used to queue to have valves tested and once a month unsuspecting customers could stumble over others rummaging through boxes of surplus electronic parts on the floor along the side windows. Finally there were people like myself in the corner shop who actually to wanted buy something. 

Disappointment met me when I arrived. The metallic blue Antex stand which had been on display for months was nowhere to be seen. Eagle test equipment has replaced it on the back shelf behind the counter.  Luckily my Uncle Tony had introduced me to Geoff Peat a few months earlier. He assured me that he had seen one in the back of the shop somewhere and that I should return an hour later. The “back of the shop” later became Peats Wholesale Ltd. I did as Geoff suggested and when I returned he took out a flatted box which I opened and inspected and then bought it at the knocked down price of 10/6 (ten shillings and six pence). It may have been old stock as I never seen one on sale again. 

The stand was shipped in a greaseproof paper bag containing three separate metal parts and a bag of nuts and bolts. The battered box had a yellow gummed Antex label displaying two alternative configurations. I recently discovered a few black and white photographs with the stand in the background. I had forgotten the stand had a spindle at the rear for a spool of solder. The chrome platting blistered and I got rid of it later on. On second thoughts I may have added that feature after I got married. Otherwise it would have come with four main parts. 

Well that’s it! I have never been asked to write about a “rare” piece of mid-twentieth century kit before now. It has always been there. I had no idea it was rare.