Pembers’ Ponderings

By Alan Pemberton, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Dear Reader,
This web site will no longer be updated. In fact it might have already vanished next time you try to find it.

I started the site in 1997 in order to make use of the ‘free’ web space offered along with pay-as-you-go dial-in e-mail, Usenet and Internet accounts, firstly with Unet, and then Freeserve, Wanadoo, Orange and finally EE who have now withdrawn dial-in access as from 30 October 2014.

If you have found any of these pages useful, and think you may wish to refer to them again, please feel free to download all or any part of the site for your personal use (the total size is 15MB).

It is not clear whether EE will allow the extant websites to languish following the termination of dial-in access (at least for the six months stipulated in the original Freeserve terms and conditions), or whether they will delete them immediately. They were quick enough to switch off my T-mobile PAYG phone when they took over the contract.

Kind regards,
(and Pembers the Frog)

To see the site in its original layout see: Archive of Pembers’ Ponderings



  • Teletext – The Early Years
    NOS Teletekst
  • Test Cards, Tuning Signals, Idents and Clocks
    Non-UK Test Cards and Captions
    Not just a pretty face…
  • The 405-Line Television System
    BBC/ITV 405-lines Transmitter Lists
  • World TV Standards and Waveforms
    Line Standards
    Colour Standards
    CCIR Transmission Systems and Radio Channels
  • BBC Basic software
    A VTR Leader Clock programme for the BBC Micro/RISC OS
    A geostationary satellite finder programme for the BBC Micro/RISC OS
  • Shortwave listening
    A modification for the Sony 7600G radio backlight
    The Operating Manual for the Trio 9R-59 radio


Teletext – The Early Years

Personal reminiscences and photographs of the early years of CEEFAX and ORACLE from an enthusiast, viewer and constructor.

The 405-Line Television System
Some memorabilia concerning the British 405-line black-and-white television system that was in use between 1936 and 1985, including details of the Bands I and III transmitter networks and links to other 405-lines sites.

Test Cards, Tuning Signals, Idents and Clocks
An A to W of the television test card including photographs of cards old and new from the UK and abroad, featuring 405, 625, colour, widescreen – even some 30-line captions.

These days test cards are often used merely as a way of identifying a satellite link and long gone is the era when even outside programme hours television stations still had an appeal and a personality of their own.
Non-UK Test Cards and Captions
Focusing on cards and captions used outside the UK between 1967 and 1976, including some off-screen shots of long-distance reception.

Not just a pretty face…
Technical details of many of the test cards used in the UK over the years, together with specifications of international colour bar and PLUGE signals, and discussions of aspect ratio, resolution and gamma.

World TV Standards and Waveforms
Details and potted histories of television transmission standards used around the world through the ages including the obsolete 405- and 819-line standards, the current 525- and 625-line standards, NTSC, NIR, SECAM, PAL and MAC colour standards, all the CCIR transmission systems, and vhf, hyperband and uhf channel allocations in use in the major countries.


VTR Countdown Ident Clock

Download this handy VTR Countdown Ident Clock for the BBC Micro and Acorn RISC OS computers. Make your home videos look as if you mean it.


Geostationary satellite finder

This simple BBC Basic programme allows you to find the azimuth and elevation of any geostationary satellite (eg Astra) above the horizon at any latitude and longitude.


Sony ICF-SW7600G backlight modification

A simple modification that allows the popular pocket world band receiver to be backlit permanently when plugged into a mains power supply.


Trio 9R-59/Lafayette HE30 communications receiver

The complete Installation and Operating Manual including circuit diagram for this 1960s valved medium and short-wave general-coverage receiver.

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