The Catacombs Catacombs Model Gallery
All That Glisters Radiation Instrument

All That Glisters

This small instrument is seen in use by Dave Reilly on the alien planet in All That Glisters. It also appears in Mark Of Archanon, The Taybor, in Weapons Center in The Beta Cloud and The Lambda Factor.

As in most Moonbase Alpha props and sets, it is generously decorated with Letraset rubdown lettering. On several, the "Letraset International Ltd" copyright notice is visible.

If milgonite or the associated minerals are radioactive, radiation meters would be useful to detect them. Geologists use portable Geiger counters and scintillation counters to detect naturally radioactive rocks.

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On the top is the radiation warning "trefoil" design. This indicates a device that contains a radioactive source. Perhaps the instrument subjects a geological sample to radiation, and measures the response. The handle has been lost.

The "Alpha Unit" label is made up of Letraset text and symbols, mainly for electronics diagrams (hence text like "symbol electronic"). The word "Spacematic" refers to Letraset's marking system on transfer sheets which allows letters to be positioned accurately. Didot is a 19th century serif typeface that was popular on Letraset. "12pt" and "14pt" are font sizes.

The text on the top part ("Electronic Bolt") is in the "Countdown" typeface, widely seen in Year 1 of the series. It was designed by Colin Brignall in 1965 and released by Letraset. The Letraset copyright notice is visible, but scratched out to obscure it.
The "Power" panel originally had a large dial, perhaps a temperature dial.

The panel meter dial on this face is marked "Röntgen", with the name "British Physical Laboratories". BPL is an Indian company that in the 1960s produced panel meters and other electronics for the military and medical industries. The Röntgen, also known as "roentgen", this is an obsolete unit of measuring ionizing radiation. It was widely used in the 1930s, and still appears on some consumer equipment. In the US, the rad, first advanced in the 1950s, is still the most widely used industry standard. In the rest of the world, the standard unit since the mid-1970s is the gray.
Translucent coloured circles are placed on the dial to add visual interest (the photograph makes them appear fainter). The colours are black, orange, blue, yellow and red.

The "Fuse" face. The lower metal bolt is missing.

Note the misspelling of "Procedure" as "Proceedure" (common in Space: 1999). Micro Extended is a Letraset typeface(also known as Microgramma Extended). It is a sans serif font very popular in technical illustrations and science fiction film. Exactly the same "Drain Point" text appears on the heavy rocket gun seen in The Beta Cloud, The Immunity Syndrome and The Dorcons.

"ST-214". The lower panel contains samples from many Letraset typefaces. The word "Data" refers to the Letraset typeface Data 70, designed by Bob Newman in 1970. Again, the Letreset copyright notice appears at the bottom.

Thanks to James Winch
Page copyright Martin Willey