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Jan Steer
29-06-2009, 13:07
After numerous requests, at last a place of our own. Gentlemen it would seem that in the modern navy our trades are no more. At least not in the form that we all knew anyway. So before we all disappear and our memories with us let's put down what we remember from our comms. days. C'mon get those brain cells working and tell us your stories albeit happy memories, sad ones, of ships, men and places long gone and the way we did our jobs.
Over to you chaps!


Best wishes
Jan

Derek Dicker
29-06-2009, 13:14
Hi Jan, great Idea for us comms rates, Im' off on hols to Malta for the next two weeks but Im' sure I can put something together about my time as a communicator when I return.

Derek (Bunts)

harry.gibbon
29-06-2009, 13:51
Hi Jan, great Idea for us comms rates, Im' off on hols to Malta for the next two weeks but Im' sure I can put something together about my time as a communicator when I return.

Derek (Bunts)
don't forget your duties now ... Sunrise and Sunset... have a good hols

harry.gibbon
29-06-2009, 14:59
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AYRqVix7uScC&pg=PA476&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=0_1

You may want tave a buthcer's hook at this link folks and in its midst is a wealth of detail about equipment of all sorts.

Little h

Bee
29-06-2009, 15:04
Hi Jan,
Couldn't help but notice your new thread...great idea. As you will see by the attachment...I've just enlisted my late Dad, Douglas (onto your thread). He, like you, was one of the earlier Naval Communicators (although he was quite a bit earlier than you.) I'll post a couple more photos of him in his radio cabin later.
For the uninitiated the photo is of:
S/M Douglas Barrow, D/JX 340355 TEL TO, MGB 357 Coastal Forces (WW2).
Cheers,
Bee

Dave Hutson
29-06-2009, 16:50
Here we go , sow a seed and big apples will follow. Good on yer Bee , another Scouser to join Harry. Have a good vacation Derek, have a Blue for me and give my regards to the Gypo Queen and Galvanised Donkey if the paintwork hasn't faded too far.

Dave H

harry.gibbon
29-06-2009, 18:03
and lets hope he doesn't fall out of the Garry or better still we could get Joseph to ride shotgun.

Dave Hutson
29-06-2009, 18:07
probably won't get down Crucifix Hill for dead Gharry Horses - but at least after a couple of bottles of Coleiro's finest he won't have to climb the Barracca Lift......oops tales out of skool ..... or swim Grand Harbour ..... Custom House Steps to the Barbary Coast ....... [stop giving him ideas;)

harry.gibbon
29-06-2009, 18:09
probably won't get down Crucifix Hill for dead Gharry Horses - but at least after a couple of bottles of Coleiro's finest he won't have to climb the Barracca Lift......oops tales out of skool ..... or swim Grand Harbour ..... Custom House Steps to the Barbary Coast ....... [stop giving him ideas;)
Crushers lament coming up "cant sleep here jack ...customs house steps"

harry.gibbon
29-06-2009, 18:11
Here we go , sow a seed and big apples will follow. Good on yer Bee , another Scouser to join Harry. Have a good vacation Derek, have a Blue for me and give my regards to the Gypo Queen and Galvanised Donkey if the paintwork hasn't faded too far.

Dave H
Tsk Tsk there Dave, how much better those fine folks from Birkenhead will tell you tiz the Wirral where they live not Scouseland!!!!

Jan Steer
29-06-2009, 18:24
Did I start a comms thread or was it a "Let's all remember Malta thread"?
You could have mentioned the commcen or the hand message runs at least!!!

Best wishes
Jan

Jan Steer
29-06-2009, 18:33
Good to hear from you as always Bee and a great pic of your dad. My own dad, who passed away a few years ago, was also a Tel TO and a Devonport rating too. He left when he married mum in '48 then got called back for the Korean war. He always said that it was never the same when he went back and that in a short space of time the navy had changed so much. He never stopped talking about his navy days until the time he left us. I was with him shortly before his end and he was recalling his good times so vividly that at times he just couldn't speak because he was laughing at the memories so much!
What a great way to go out!
I miss him


Best wishes
Jan

qprdave
29-06-2009, 19:02
Good little story about your Dad, Jan

What is it with Matelots that they never get tired of telling stories starting with "When I was in the Navy"

Whether at work. At home. Down the pub. We are always ready to bore people stiff with our stories


ooooppppssss Sorry Non-Comms Rate!!!!!!!

harry.gibbon
29-06-2009, 19:04
For anyone who missed the link that was one of the things that contributed to the idea of this Thread....

Yer Tiz agin me old janner:-

http://www.rnmuseumradarandcommunications2006.org.uk/RATT%20AT%20SEA%20IN%20THE%20ROYAL%20NAVY.htm

Noted that we didn't talk about the old 89Q when TBM/TBL's were being mentioned off an earlier link

Little h

Fairlead
29-06-2009, 22:26
Fourty years a communicator 54 - 94 then 6 years working for the defence industry on comms systems for Pay and Admin then High Speed multi-channel HF.
Here is a link some of you will find very interesting.. http://www.jproc.ca/crypto/menu.html

Fairlead

harry.gibbon
29-06-2009, 23:18
Good little story about your Dad, Jan

What is it with Matelots that they never get tired of telling stories starting with "When I was in the Navy"

Whether at work. At home. Down the pub. We are always ready to bore people stiff with our stories


ooooppppssss Sorry Non-Comms Rate!!!!!!!
Listen up ah here now... I thought yer actual SCR geezers provided the means for the 'Underwater Tellingbone' so whats that if not communications

qprdave
30-06-2009, 00:19
Your right Harry

I am glad that I can enter this prestidgeous hall of the Communicators even if I am a very small part timer

Mind you I have just remembered... When I was at Vernon I worked in the Ships Office Block. and spent a lot of time in the Comms Office which had an R/S and a Wren. After a while I got used to the routine and would sit there and receive the incoming signals on the Teleprinter and Logging the signals. When That was done I sent signals after they had typed them onto ticker tape. Nothing technical but I am sure that they appreciated it. There was also the signals for the minesweepers to be sorted and pigeon holed. Then getting the signals brought in by the R/O of the Minesweepers and sending them off. Because it wasn't my job, I enjoyed it. It was also good when and R/S and a Killick Wren made the coffee and served it to me at my position!!!

tim lewin
30-06-2009, 04:19
no time this morning, need to get an early train to Ldn for work but in the next Hermes 66/7 post i will put a set of pics from her Malta visit, with several unidentified lads in bars and street scenes, that'll get your memories going!
tim

PS can also help with lots of ships of the era you ask about, step by step.

Jan Steer
30-06-2009, 07:17
Somebody please check Tim's arms for puncture marks would you?!

best wishes
Jan

Jan Steer
30-06-2009, 07:29
Blimey Little H! What a great site the RATT one is and so far I've only scratched the surface. It's made me realise just how much we were all required to know and understand back then. The tone pictures reminded me of the CV89 very much and all the fun we had in the mid-sixties in the far east fleet trying to receive the RATTbroadcast trial. All the old salts stood around the office saying that it was Ok but it would never replace morse! What was the broadcast called now; was it FFR's or something like that? Much, much later as a grown up I was involved in a NATO exercise in the Med and the sparkers (all of PO) rate from a Turkish destroyer came around to say they didn't really understand their fit and were having trouble receiving various RATT signals. I went around to take a look and lo! And Behold! There sat a bank of ANSGCs. I barely remembered them but managed to get things sorted for them after a while. Their ships was an ex-US destroyer so most of her kit was from the Elmers. Great memories!

best wishes
Jan

harry.gibbon
30-06-2009, 09:09
glad you like it and the tests and links there-in, I sent that and some others (i have yet to trace) to an ex RS mate of mine who went thro Ganges in the same class and mess as me, who sent it on to his ex RAN mates so everybody was happy.

Dave Hutson
30-06-2009, 09:23
Yes the 89Q and not forgetting the 87 - we had two of them cluttering up to MWO and they took up more room than the rest of the oufit. Welcome Fairlead did't think it would take you too long to get in. Watch it lads, our Fairlead is a Boffin and may lose us all [Only joking Graham]. OK Derek the Commcen [Lascaris] was on the top floor below the exalted Flagdeck and the messengers used to dash around with the Hand Message run down to the Tunnel where the Unclean brigade lived - always thought "under the sea, under the ground - what is the matter with these people?". As a Ship/Shore
operator it was cool in winter with all the windows open but we could have used some aircon in the Summer. The flag tearers up top had it great, dive in the office when it got cold and bronzying all summer.
Belated welcome to our tame dabtoe ;):)

harry.gibbon
30-06-2009, 09:32
Listen up there folks ... 40 years is far too long for anybody to take to learn Morse Code (thats a lot of back-classing):D;) and then to finish off by being a boffin sayin the stuff is fully tested and ready for commish...Yeh Ok..;) wonder if they still finish off the bench test with a shove to the deck and see if it survives???

Fairlead, nuff of me takin peewee... that is some link you have given us... I was on it for hours and still plenty to view/learn.

Little h

Dave Hutson
30-06-2009, 09:50
Looks like we are back to Dog Watch Instruction Harry, the Technical stuff was always hard for me especially the Theory :confused: side but somehow it always used to drop into place when needed - mind you we had some good instructors around and I guess with us all it became second nature, some could operate and teach theory but most of us were operators - after all that's wot we ad Greenies for, know wot I mean Arry. ;)

Dave Hutson
30-06-2009, 09:51
Whoops, where did that come from - and no I'm not putting on a Barrel or should it be a jug of 'orses necks.

harry.gibbon
30-06-2009, 10:54
I downloaded this pic from on of the links I had been playing with, so when I find the link again, full credit will go to its source.

Little eh

Bee
30-06-2009, 12:08
Hello again all,
Yes (Dave and all) there certainly is something rather special about old ship mates - loving to tell their yarns to all and sundry...my Dad always liked to share his stories. I always used to think it went hand in hand with being good communicators...literally. (There were some stories that weren't happy - but like you and your Dad, Jan...my Dad often had his audience in fits of laughter - with the funny anecdotes.)
Anyway, here's a photo of my Dad on the Aldis lamp on MGB357. I'll have to scan the other (radio cabin) photos up again - but if anyone wants to see them now - they're on the "Aegean Memories" thread.
I guess the radio operator on a small boat had a quite a different experience to those on the larger vessels (as shown in your pics Little h).
Also, Jan, can you remember any of your Dad's stories...I'm sure we'd all love to hear what he got up to during his service years. Plus what about the "memoirs" of you and the other radio ops here - you all going to share?
Cheers,
Bee
50047

TrotOneLower
30-06-2009, 15:55
Theory, good cure for insomnia. Wonder how I passed sometimes? Or did I? Maybe it was just a dream, or another hangover.

TCS, now there was a transmitter for you! Lots of luvverly little sparks flying all over the place.
Favourite was the 623 (SM HF fit), but life on small ships changed for the better with the 643 replacing the 618/619.

Jan Steer
30-06-2009, 18:15
The 643 was good. When I went on my small ships course they taught me all about it; even passed my exam on it. Then when I joined my 'sweeper in Fort William with just thirty minutes to our sailing, I discovered that I had a 619/CAT and not a bloody clue how to tune it! So after throwing my kit down the mess I sat with the twicer (BR222) and the ship's greenie and tried to work my way through it. Unluckily the off-going sparker had never bothered with the crystals so there were hardly any in the crystal drawer. This caused a bit of a headache on my first trip to sea when our skipper needed to make a Radfone call and Oban couldn't work with me because my frequencies kept wandering. Happy days eh?!


best wishes
Jan

TrotOneLower
30-06-2009, 18:24
619 was a real beaut. Used to hope that the ship rolled far enough so that, I could convince myself I had got a "Max". That said, had a good box of crystals.

harry.gibbon
30-06-2009, 19:48
if you can cope with the gawdy colours have a shufti at this:-


http://www.godfreydykes.info/SUBMARINE%20RADIO%20TRAFFIC%20FROM%20THE%20RUGBY%2 0TRANSMITTER.htm

Little h

Fairlead
30-06-2009, 20:12
Quick thinking LRO(G)
Background: I was RS of WHIRLWIND 63 West Indies (drool you B......ds, drool!) and had a Ham Radio station onboard (VP2SZ) with some of my prized QSL cards under the perspex on my office desk. 1st Lt was a Long (C).
Capt and RS working ashore in Nassau so Jimmy did Saturday rounds and LRO stood in for me onboard.

1st Lt to LRO on seeing the QSL cards - "Is the RS the only ham onboard?"
LRO - "Yes Sir, the rest of us are professionals"

True story
Fairlead

TrotOneLower
30-06-2009, 20:27
if you can cope with the gawdy colours have a shufti at this:-


http://www.godfreydykes.info/SUBMARINE%20RADIO%20TRAFFIC%20FROM%20THE%20RUGBY%2 0TRANSMITTER.htm

Little h

Used to get into a flap when I joined my first boat.....what if I didn't get the recording right, wrong speed, tape twist etc?. All worked well though, and tried to read it at a higher speed after the sked. Mind you, needed the typewriter for that...good old Imperial 66.

qprdave
30-06-2009, 20:45
Great Story Fairlead.

And yes I am one of those drooling Bstds

harry.gibbon
30-06-2009, 21:43
so I thought a while:cool: and these came back into the grey matter:-

3dits,4dits,2dits,dah; 2dits,dah dit,2dits dah = the sparkers demand that someone shuts up!!!

'beef essence' sent on a key = music in the headphones (rhythm method?)

asdf ;lkj (I know! but it has to be put that way) carriage return 2 line feeds

oh and those training sessions keyboard covered and to music = meekon with screwdriver!!!!!!!!!!!

dah dah dit dit dah dit dit dah dah dit (special for Trot) longest symbol I ever learnt ... can't remember how to write it!

Hixy
30-06-2009, 21:49
Great thread this is. Those links certainly bring back memories. Post some more if you have them lads.

Remember the phrases we used to send on a morse key to get our rhythm:

best bent wire / g

miss hessie bessie possess possessions

any more?

I used to have an Eddystone speed key. Looked like a black rat, Bakelite sort of covering and all brass weights, etc inside. Sold it when morse went out of service. Really wish I hadn't.

harry.gibbon
30-06-2009, 21:54
Frank,
hello agin my friend, not forgetting the typing exercises:-
quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog
now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party

Hixy
30-06-2009, 21:57
Frank,
hello agin my friend, not forgetting the typing exercises:-
quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog
now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party

or

shoot low hank, the sheriff rides a shetland pony

the quick brown fox.... was a good one because, as I am sure you remember h, used every letter of the alphabet.

keep em coming

Fairlead
30-06-2009, 21:58
[

I used to have an Eddystone speed key. Looked like a black rat, Bakelite sort of covering and all brass weights, etc inside. Sold it when morse went out of service. Really wish I hadn't.[/QUOTE]

I still have mine but cover is cast ally - next time I visit the loft I will take a pic and post it on here.

"Best Beef Essence" was another rhythm thing
and
"Paris" the speed test word

Fairlead

Hixy
30-06-2009, 22:00
[

I used to have an Eddystone speed key. Looked like a black rat, Bakelite sort of covering and all brass weights, etc inside. Sold it when morse went out of service. Really wish I hadn't.

I still have mine but cover is cast ally - next time I visit the loft I will take a pic and post it on here.

"Best Beef Essence" was another rhythm thing
and
"Paris" the speed test word

Fairlead[/QUOTE]

Thanks Fairlead, would appreciate a walk down memory lane.

Just noticed that I am now a 'hooky'. Fairly racing through the ranks. Wonder when my next D10 will be.

harry.gibbon
30-06-2009, 22:01
Re quick brown fox:- you see ... you weren't a WORS for nowt eh!!!;):D t'wouldnt be fair if I give all the clues!!!:D:)

I know; we have to keep Qprdave informed

PS 'twood appear we were on our qwerty keyboards at the same time and some duplication has taken place... we may have to stay for backward typing now!!!!

TrotOneLower
30-06-2009, 22:33
Possesses possesses more esses than possess possesses.....

harry.gibbon
30-06-2009, 22:53
Temporary lull to that whilst you get your RSI claims in...;) can you imagine the pusser falling for that?:D

If any of us have a (few) hours to spare have a shufti to this un:-

http://jproc.ca/rrp/

Best of viewing to you all I like this link!

Little h

harry.gibbon
30-06-2009, 23:28
An addendum to my previous post (ref the link) .. I suggest you take your time and click on as many equipment refs as possible .... also try the Oberon s/m item is most informative...
The link is one you might want to save as a short cut!!!

BUT where is the RN equivalent??????????????????????????????

Little h

berry
01-07-2009, 03:12
g'dayall,
what about -
Of all the fishes in the oggin the mermaid is the best for snoggin.
Sid

Jan Steer
01-07-2009, 08:55
I had forgotten Paris!
I remember doing technical stuff on my sub-spec course up in one of the huts in north camp, HMS Mercury. It was an afternoon and the RS was given us instruction in portable sets. When it came to the liferaft sets (and having tipped the wink to each other) the class pretended that we didn't understand what he was talking about when he told us that someone in the raft would have to turn the handles so that sparks could operate the set. No, we told him, frowning hard, we just didn't get it and could he please demonstrate? After much effing and blinding and calling us all sorts of names that our parents hadn't thought of, he proceeded to furiously turn the handles. This was our signal and as the poor bloke looked like an organ grinder we began throwing pennies at him. The whole class dissolved into uncontrollable laughter. The RS had the best laugh though as we spent our standeasy doubling around Mercs. Still, bloody funny though!!

best wishes
Jan

Dave Hutson
01-07-2009, 10:06
Hi all, This thread has the potential to overtake all others with the response so far.
Harry - that picture of the Victorious's BWO - the RS putting a stranglehold on the Operator on the left looks remarkably like you ???
Fairlead - You must have come across Ronnie Hill [Scouser] he operated Ham on every ship he could and when he was on Charybdis and me on Lynx he set up runs in every port we visited Guzz to the Phillipines.
One for the Buntings - MISSISSIPPI - when sent semaphore shoulder shrugging was the order.
Another for typists - Of all the fishes in the sea, the cleverest is the Bass,
he climbs up the Seaweed trees, and slides down on his ass.

Keep em coming ....... Dave H

Jan Steer
01-07-2009, 10:54
That poor RO2 on the nearest B40 looks chocka. Probably just been told to,"Stop chatting laddie. Face your model and swing!"

best wishes
Jan

Jan Steer
01-07-2009, 11:01
Great yarn Fairlead. You must have more to tell us I'm sure. Frank you've reminded me of a would-be whizz kid sparker we had onboard one time. He had a semi-automatic key. To make dots you pushed it to the left; the dashes you made manually by pushing the key to the right. This chap really thought he was the business but after receiving QSD (your keying is defective) from just about every wireless station on the planet, the key disappeared into a drawer never to be seen again!

Best wishes
Jan

Dave Hutson
01-07-2009, 11:17
That was the sideswiper or Bugkey which most US Sparkers used, I spent days trying to master it with a good teacher in a Chief Sparker Ron Hill who was a whizkid on it. He went on to do a six five then recruitment service and finally operating the Ham Station on HMS Plymouth and HMS Belfast. He always used a bugkey and so smoothly, enabled him to send a hi speeds but unfortuneately very few could read it and get it down for any length of time.
I Think the speed thing went back to when the Yanks were running FFE [28 wpm] from Guam after the war and on until the days when RATT took over the Broadcasts.

TrotOneLower
01-07-2009, 15:53
The Dinks (Ozzies to some) used Bug Keys in a lot of their shore stations. Working Darwin (VHM) was always a pleasure, particularly when you couldn't raise Hong Kong (GZO).
To make life a little easier for sending groupers and the like, more often than not, we would use MCW on the 696. We had an extended range fit for V/UHF.
Borrowed my first Bug Key from USS Hassayampa during a visit to Subic Bay. I wonder if they want it back yet?

TrotOneLower
01-07-2009, 15:56
I'll probably buy one for this.....WRNS at "work", Yeovilton some time in the dim and distant....

Hixy
01-07-2009, 22:12
The Dinks (Ozzies to some) used Bug Keys in a lot of their shore stations. Working Darwin (VHM) was always a pleasure, particularly when you couldn't raise Hong Kong (GZO).
To make life a little easier for sending groupers and the like, more often than not, we would use MCW on the 696. We had an extended range fit for V/UHF.
Borrowed my first Bug Key from USS Hassayampa during a visit to Subic Bay. I wonder if they want it back yet?

Never did like those bug keys TOL. One of the killicks had one on Yarra in '69 and he couldn't use it. It was one of those that could have the dah's on manual or automatic. Horrible little thing it was.

What was popular with a lot of our blokes was 'sidewankers'. Made using the base of an 'up and downer' but using a half hacksaw blade to generate the morse. In the right hands it was the best morse you could ever want to hear.

Yarra again - everyone was using speed keys or 'sidewankers'. Got a call one day, everyone was busy, and the Chief was about to give an AS AR but couldn't find a "Morse Key" to send it. Had to turn the 'sidewanker" on its side. All tiddly morse keys were banned on day watches after that.

Ahh, the memories.

TrotOneLower
02-07-2009, 15:20
I used a portion of "cut-off" thin metal ruler. Worked okay.
It got easier in the RN with the introduction of the MIMCCo keys. The first had a thin "slice" of metal at the end of the arm on which were the two contacts.
This was an excellent key and allowed for a good degree of "play". Later versions had a solid metal arm and were a bit clunky.

Jan Steer
04-07-2009, 14:03
These were generally good keys unless you found one that had been mistreated. I was most fond of the old brass post office keys, the ones with a long arm. The spring was just right for me.

best wishes
Jan

Fairlead
04-07-2009, 17:53
I managed to perloin one of those Jan, when we dismantled the classrooms and equipment in St Mary's Signal School at Chatham.

Fairlead

qprdave
04-07-2009, 18:06
With all these "Keys" being purloined, borrowed, liberated I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that nothing is safe with you Sparkers around. In future I will be going to sleep with my cans of beer under my pillow!!!!!

harry.gibbon
04-07-2009, 19:23
Yeah Dave whats even worse is that in the Stokers Thread I (we) had been slagging off our steamin boots oppos about their love of the w/spanner when all the time some sparkers have had a closet affair with there Morse Keys Hmmm

Little h

TrotOneLower
05-07-2009, 07:56
Apart from a couple of good morse keys, I also had a fairly decent collection of w/spanners. Very useful things, especially if you have problems with the "Design 80".
We wont even mention the collection of "Rigging Belts" and knives various...

harry.gibbon
05-07-2009, 19:49
Just been moochin around web for summat else and happened upon this link:-


http://www.rnmuseumradarandcommunications2006.org.uk/PRE%20WW1%20WIRELESS%20TELEGRAHPY%201908.htm

Little h

harry.gibbon
05-07-2009, 22:16
just another link to feast our old communicators eyes upon:-

http://middle-watch.com/communications.htm

Little h

harry.gibbon
05-07-2009, 22:24
and I'll finish with this one for tonight:-

http://middle-watch.com/ics.htm

Little h

Jan Steer
06-07-2009, 07:40
Great work Little H! Good websites. 692 - Now there was a beast. You needed fingers like spider's legs to set the frequencies and it took forever to programme all the freqs into all the channels on all the sets. Good gear though.
Good to see a picture of one of my old ships too. F28- Cleopatra.


best wishes
Jan

Bee
06-07-2009, 14:47
Hello all,
I have a question for all you morse key experts....Even though my Dad sent and received morse I never thought on to ask him whether he used both hands or not. I guess you'd send with one hand and write down incoming messages with the other.
Now my Dad was right handed - so would he have sent the morse with his left?
Also..did many radio operators suffer hearing problems...in later life...due to static and lightning strikes (on aerials) etc?
Hoping for some sensible answers,
Regards,
Bee:)

TrotOneLower
06-07-2009, 15:48
Unlikely, unless you were, or are, completely ambiguous (or is it ambidextrous?).

Normal practice for right or left handed people was to write and send with the same hand. Of course, if you were typing what your were taking, then drop your hand back to the key when necessary.

That said, I could trot out the odd little bit with the left, but not a lot. No rhythm on that side..

Jan Steer
06-07-2009, 15:53
Bee, as sparkers often used the same frequency to transmit and receive morse it stands to reason that we couldn't receive at the same time as we were sending. Therefore most of us used the same hand to write down messages as we used to send them. On occasion we were required to send on one frequency whilst listening on another but the same applies. We could not 'talk' and 'listen' both at the same time. After all, as all you ladies know, we men can only do one thing at a time!
The constant noise from the headphones and receiver loudspeakers were certainly a contributing factor in the greatly diminished effectiveness of my own hearing. So much so that I am now required to use a hearing aid myself.
Mind you warships are incredibly noisy places to live and work anyway so I guess that it was always on the cards that I would be affected in later life. After twentyfive years in the Navy I was never going to leave unscathed!

best wishes
Jan
x

Dave Hutson
06-07-2009, 15:56
Hi Bee,

Sensible answers - that's asking a lot from some :rolleyes:;)

Some could use both hands but most couldn't [now watch all the clever clogs who could log on - soonarmy on the way].

I'm left handed which was always a slight inconvenience because standard operator positions always had the morse key on the right - so you wrote down and then reached across to send. After a while you got used to it and it was second nature, either that or you made up a wandering key which you then held down with the right and sent with the left - which rather brought you back to square one.

Deaf - did someone say something - I think most of the morse era guys suffered some degree of deafness - not through lightning strikes - mainly through having to listen through static and any other interference that happened to be on the particular frequency you were using. This was particularly bad when reading broadcast.

Aye ....... Dave H

TrotOneLower
06-07-2009, 16:11
Don't know if my hearing problems are to do with spending a lifetime with a headset wrapped around my bonce or not. More likely to be that time in the SETT if anything.

I always took my mobile key with me, so didn't have to suffer the fixed right handed bay. I remember in Artemis, the key was positioned in the middle, so you had to operate at an angle which would have been the same for left or right handed people.

On Jan's point; we did, if working International Ship/Shore have to shift to a working frequency (QSS, QSW, QSY), and this required, on single, or double operator ships, a quick leap across the office. That's when being able to tap our a series of Rs, or UP, with the left hand, came in useful.

Bee
06-07-2009, 17:40
Thankyou for your (very sensible) answers Jan, Trot and Dave H,
I must admit I was wondering...because Dad always felt that his speed wasn't quite as fast as some....but then I got to thinking about it and he, (since an accident as a teenager), had lost the end of his right index finger. Obviously he had become used to it...because he was okay writing with his right hand - I just thought it might have affected his morse sending somewhat.
Also with regard to the noise....my Dad's hearing was affected (but he'd also had a hand grenade go off near his head - the man who was holding the grenade lost his hand...but that's another story).

With regard to the morse, being on a small MGB and the only radio operator onboard (and on watch every 4 hours) he did at one time take down pages and pages of a message...only to later realise that his set was switched off! His Skipper got a couple of his shipmates to take him ashore and get him "blotto". Then they brought him back and let him sleep it off. (Dad always wished that he had kept it...to see what he had written.)

I hope none of you have the same problems sleeping as he did (he reckoned he couldn't turn his mind off.) In fact if any of you do have insomnia problems - the best thing that he found would work was a regular background noise, like a fan or something similar.

Regards,
Bee

qprdave
06-07-2009, 17:47
Is there any truth in that some R/Os could identify the sender by the way the signal was sent

harry.gibbon
06-07-2009, 18:12
See how I have kept quiet about this Q of Bee's....

I forgot to leave on the heating circuits and thus had drifted orf frequency by the time the triple superhet with its double triode diodes had reached operating temperature....
Remember the mandatory first line of the answer to every question in radio theory and practical..... "assume on and warm" aaah all these intermittent memories!!!

Well answered all of you sked specialists!!

Little h

Jan Steer
06-07-2009, 18:56
Bee, you are quite right. When I have been on cruise ships with my wife I have never slept better. Being in a single bed, gentle rocking of the ocean and the hum of the ship's machinery brings back long suppressed memories and tells my subconcious mind that all is well. Wonderful!
QPR Dave, you too have got that right. When working civilian shore stations you could almost always tell who was on watch by the style of their morse.
In the navy the use of personal operator signs and special ways of ending transmissions were always discouraged as this could lead to the identification of a vessel by enemy forces. In case you are wondering, let me say that in almost every circumstance a ship's callsign would be encrypted and regularly changed in order that the ship could not be identified by anyone other than friendly forces.

best wishes
Jan

Fairlead
06-07-2009, 19:23
In the navy the use of personal operator signs and special ways of ending transmissions were always discouraged as this could lead to the identification of a vessel by enemy forces. In case you are wondering, let me say that in almost every circumstance a ship's callsign would be encrypted and regularly changed in order that the ship could not be identified by anyone other than friendly forces.

Which leads us gently into the subject of TEMPEST Tests!

Fairlead

qprdave
06-07-2009, 19:37
Which leads us gently into the subject of TEMPEST Tests!

Are you going to leave all of us non Sparkers up in the air, Fairlead and not tell us what on earth that statement meant??????

TrotOneLower
06-07-2009, 19:57
QPR Dave, you too have got that right. When working civilian shore stations you could almost always tell who was on watch by the style of their morse.
In the navy the use of personal operator signs and special ways of ending transmissions were always discouraged as this could lead to the identification of a vessel by enemy forces. In case you are wondering, let me say that in almost every circumstance a ship's callsign would be encrypted and regularly changed in order that the ship could not be identified by anyone other than friendly forces.

best wishes
Jan[/QUOTE]

Became very good at sending "hyphens" (_...._) though. I was very relieved when the encrypted callsign thing got dropped. I really did not like the "Fruit Machine".

Despite it being frowned upon, there were ways in which we in SM1 would, and could identify each other.
But then. although not for us, along came machine (keyboard) morse, at it all sounded the same.

Happy days.....

TrotOneLower
06-07-2009, 20:03
In the navy the use of personal operator signs and special ways of ending transmissions were always discouraged as this could lead to the identification of a vessel by enemy forces. In case you are wondering, let me say that in almost every circumstance a ship's callsign would be encrypted and regularly changed in order that the ship could not be identified by anyone other than friendly forces.

Which leads us gently into the subject of TEMPEST Tests!

Fairlead


Always made sure I was not around for them. Not my fault Chief, honest, it woz 'im wot dun it.
Tempest tests were, and probably still are, when a little group of chappies from Mercury (no more) would come down with their truck, and see if they could pick up residual signals, then copy them. Not really relevant to morse though??
Simplified version..........

davep
06-07-2009, 20:25
i can confrim tempest test are still around even now in the days of computers, the experts say from the signals they receive they can get an idea of what is present on a computer screen.
when the comcens went computerised we had a lot of tempest visits to check trunking and conduits for any stray earths that could act as aerials.

Fairlead
06-07-2009, 22:35
Part of the test was (COMINT - I think) carried out by an RS at HMS FOREST MOOR to record the 'signature' of each transmitter (which was related to morse because of the method of keying (pre - 1KHz tone days) and relay 'bounce' etc) - if a TX was too different from its spec, then the cause had to be found and cured.

But going back to morse - does anyone remember the 'undulator' used for reading morse and detecting 'fist signatures'

Fairlead

qprdave
06-07-2009, 22:39
"Part of the test was to record the 'signature' of each transmitter (which was related to morse because of the method of keying (pre - 1KHz tone days) and relay 'bounce' etc) - if a TX was too different from its spec, then the cause had to be found and cured."

I didn't know that you could write in Serbo Croat, Fairlead. Could you translate it into English for this simple minded Dabtoe who failed his 11 plus!!!!!!

harry.gibbon
06-07-2009, 23:19
Ye gawds all these fancy modern names for what is/was simple stuff:- so after all these years lets try....

Everything electrical/electronic when switched on 'radiates' and has a fingerprint or signature (as well as doing what it is intended for) ...

every radiation/radiated emmision if and when interupted (lets say) has another measureable effect fingerprint or signature (lets say) so...

even inside a Sonar set or other piece of apparatus there are measureable emmisions and there are assigned geezers with equipment to measure and record same.

It ain't new it ain't magic and it has been known and measured/recorded for years and years!!!!!!!!

and:- sparkers should have been and were, aware of it (witness the stories thus far!!!)

There might be more fanciful equipment and terminology now BUT let me assure you it was well monitored and recorded (lets say) in my time.

More in vogue definitions might be forthcoming but I always find solace in the fact that what was "not to be spoken about" in my time and my trade has ended up in our living rooms today!!!

Little h

qprdave
06-07-2009, 23:32
Would I be right in saying that every ship has a different radiation/radiated emmision signature and, possibly be picked up by, lets say an AGI, recorded and thus identify a single ship by this signature?

harry.gibbon
06-07-2009, 23:41
Would I be right in saying that every ship has a different radiation/radiated emmision signature and, possibly be picked up by, lets say an AGI, recorded and thus identify a single ship by this signature?

t'was always the case, but which signature are you thinking about? sub surface, or surface especially?

Engines, props, screws, fans, etc etc they are and always have been there it may not always be electrical radiation but sound and that's your forte...

and don't forget the gash thrown overboard... loo rolls (manufacturers names) etc etc.

What you produced ... has a recipient or gatherer

qprdave
06-07-2009, 23:48
Yes, you are right Harry. I know that when I was there, they could actually name the submarine just by the propellor noise. We didn't have the capability on board but if the tape was sent away it could be done. I guess with modern computers, it is possible on ships now.

harry.gibbon
07-07-2009, 00:01
Yes, you are right Harry. I know that when I was there, they could actually name the submarine just by the propellor noise. We didn't have the capability on board but if the tape was sent away it could be done. I guess with modern computers, it is possible on ships now.

It was possible then mate! just no realtime data link or stream available!!
but;-
then again if you knew what the name was, then a library was in place, so why would you need to send a tape away "SO IT COULD BE DONE"???

More importantly A) lets get an Asdic/Sonar thread going and have the relevant posts moved over from here

and

why do you think the target you could name was there????????? with his library;) which might have had gaps in it!! boom boom

qprdave
07-07-2009, 00:12
"then again if you knew what the name was, then a library was in place, so why would you need to send a tape away "SO IT COULD BE DONE"???"


I guess you always want to know what you are up against. Know the Name, know the class, know the capability.

In the Army it is always good to know if the enemy in front of you have pea shooters or Tanks. I suppose it is all about "Knowing Your Enemy"

harry.gibbon
07-07-2009, 00:16
"then again if you knew what the name was, then a library was in place, so why would you need to send a tape away "SO IT COULD BE DONE"???"


I guess you always want to know what you are up against. Know the Name, know the class, know the capability.

In the Army it is always good to know if the enemy in front of you have pea shooters or Tanks. I suppose it is all about "Knowing Your Enemy"

Got that mate I is orf to ye pit but check yer e-mail

Gudonyah buckoo n all that Oh n Terry wantz yer foto on you kno where

Little h

TrotOneLower
07-07-2009, 05:35
Part of the test was (COMINT - I think) carried out by an RS at HMS FOREST MOOR to record the 'signature' of each transmitter (which was related to morse because of the method of keying (pre - 1KHz tone days) and relay 'bounce' etc) - if a TX was too different from its spec, then the cause had to be found and cured.

But going back to morse - does anyone remember the 'undulator' used for reading morse and detecting 'fist signatures'

Fairlead

Forgot all about Forest Moor...........

Fairlead
07-07-2009, 07:10
Duh!
Sorry Dave I had not cottoned on that you were a dabtoe - How about if I talk about splicing, and yes we sparkers did splice wire and had to be careful because if it was not done correctly the strand ends could emit harmonics of those electro magnetic waves in all sorts of nasty ways - called "Rusty bolt effect".

Remember the 'Post Office Splice' - replaced later by the 'Guy Grip Deadend'

P.S. I still splice, wire, stranded and braided ropes - hence the signature (get it?)

Fairlead

Jan Steer
07-07-2009, 08:03
Fairlead I do remember splicing wire aerial ends, post office whipping, before the advent of guy grip dead ends. I've mentioned elsewhere that to this day I carry lots of tiny white scars on the backs of both hands thanks to that task!
"Rusty Bolt Effect" - now there is a term from the past! If I remember correctly wasn't that first identified onboard "Eagle" and was something to do with the 691/CUH? Or is age beginning to take it's toll?!
QPR Dave you would never believe half of the things we R.O.s were involved in to ensure that we kept our secrets secret. And thanks to the Official Secrets Act you probably never will. ALL communicators learned right from the start that we never talked about our jobs to anyone and any of us with any sense at all will keep it that way.
Great thread this. I'm pleased that we got it started.

Best wishes
Jan

Dave Hutson
07-07-2009, 12:40
Bee is certainly getting a good education into Naval Comms.

On the subject of "did u know who was on the other end" - I worked in Plymouth and Malta with Wren Sparkers who had boyfriends on ships and between them they used to have ways of identifying the hand on the key. i.e. Plymouth Local callsign was MTN which when run together came out as figure 9 - Chevron callsign was MWSP - I used to run the SP together and my chum ran the MW together. There used to be many examples which operators used sometimes to try and fool the Shoresides operator.

Dave H

qprdave
07-07-2009, 14:35
QPR Dave you would never believe half of the things we R.O.s were involved in to ensure that we kept our secrets secret. And thanks to the Official Secrets Act you probably never will. ALL communicators learned right from the start that we never talked about our jobs to anyone and any of us with any sense at all will keep it that way.

Of course, I should have realised that you still come under the Official Secrets Act (Dumb huh?). I was at HMS Warrior at Northwood. And was told not to mention anything that was carried out "Underground". This I faithfully did. Then I found out what I and many others did via the B.B.C. and I.T.N. News During the Falkland War!!!!

Bee
07-07-2009, 16:20
[QUOTE=Dave Hutson;60302]Bee is certainly getting a good education into Naval Comms.
Yes, I am....it is very interesting.

You might find this snippet interesting :
My brother reminded me the other day about an aerial that our Dad strung up...which enabled communication with with Whitehall from his motor gun boat (when the flagship they were with couldn't get a signal). Apparently the Skippers of the 2 ships were talking with each other and the flagship Skipper mentioned that they couldn't get any signals through to Whitehall. Dad's Skipper said they could and so they asked Dad if they could use his set and cabin (which, of course he agreed to.)
The reason our Dad was able to get a signal was that when he set up his radio cabin... he was initially told that only one aerial should be strung - from mast to stern and that if it was shot down - he had to be prepared to replace it (prob. whilst under hostile fire.) Not relishing that thought, Dad asked his Skipper if he could string up a second aerial, just behind the bow gun emplacement (explaining to the Skipper it would provide a quicker solution.) However, Dad realised that this would still mean that he'd have to climb the mast to switch it over if one got shot down. Not one to relish unwarranted heroics, Dad then asked permission to test connecting both aerials together - and if the transmitter could handle it he would leave it set up that way - safety in redundancy being the argument. Permission was granted...the set up was tested and found to work well and so was left at that. Without knowing it, Dad had discovered (or at least implemented for himself) what is now known as "an inverted V" antenna - which was much better than a single wire.
(This would have been in the eary 40's.)

Regards,
Bee

Hope that makes sense to you....my older brother knows a lot more about radios and aerials etc than I do.

Dave Hutson
07-07-2009, 16:55
Hey lads ...... we are going to have to keep an eye on our Bee ...... very soon she will only be able to talk to Fairlead ....... joking aside, nice one Bee the old fella stumbled on that by accident but his skipper had the edge on the Flag that day.

qprdave
07-07-2009, 17:12
After reading that story, Bee. I am surprised that your dad remained on a pokey little boat and not whisked off to some Battleship to be the Admirals Communicator!!!!!

Fairlead
07-07-2009, 17:26
Way back in Post #39 I promised Frank a pic of my Eddystone Bug Key -
I managed to find it and just taken these photos.
The top knurled knob is missing but the rest is all in tact
On the bottom is 'MODEL S689' and Rd.No. 363967.
Now I want to play with it! Must find myself an oscillator.

Fairlead

harry.gibbon
07-07-2009, 18:26
[QUOTE=Dave Hutson;60302]Bee is certainly getting a good education into Naval Comms.
Yes, I am....it is very interesting.

You might find this snippet interesting :
My brother reminded me the other day about an aerial that our Dad strung up...which enabled communication with with Whitehall from his motor gun boat (when the flagship they were with couldn't get a signal). Apparently the Skippers of the 2 ships were talking with each other and the flagship Skipper mentioned that they couldn't get any signals through to Whitehall. Dad's Skipper said they could and so they asked Dad if they could use his set and cabin (which, of course he agreed to.)
The reason our Dad was able to get a signal was that when he set up his radio cabin... he was initially told that only one aerial should be strung - from mast to stern and that if it was shot down - he had to be prepared to replace it (prob. whilst under hostile fire.) Not relishing that thought, Dad asked his Skipper if he could string up a second aerial, just behind the bow gun emplacement (explaining to the Skipper it would provide a quicker solution.) However, Dad realised that this would still mean that he'd have to climb the mast to switch it over if one got shot down. Not one to relish unwarranted heroics, Dad then asked permission to test connecting both aerials together - and if the transmitter could handle it he would leave it set up that way - safety in redundancy being the argument. Permission was granted...the set up was tested and found to work well and so was left at that. Without knowing it, Dad had discovered (or at least implemented for himself) what is now known as "an inverted V" antenna - which was much better than a single wire.
(This would have been in the eary 40's.)

Regards,
Bee

Hope that makes sense to you....my older brother knows a lot more about radios and aerials etc than I do.

and of course............. the result becomes that he is 'radiating' EMW's with more than one polarity..... witness the shape of FH4/5 aerial.!!!

Fairlead
07-07-2009, 18:28
This might amuse some of you - musical morse

http://www.zerobeat.net/morse505.html?fix

and if you want some serious practice - play with this one

http://www.omnicron.com/~ford/java/NMorse.html

Fairlead

harry.gibbon
07-07-2009, 18:35
This might amuse some of you - musical morse

http://www.zerobeat.net/morse505.html?fix

and if you want some serious practice - play with this one

http://www.omnicron.com/~ford/java/NMorse.html

Fairlead

re the second link.... OK then who will be the first to admit to typing in PARIS and then timing it to check speed validity.....!!!!!!!!!!!

Hixy
07-07-2009, 19:27
Way back in Post #39 I promised Frank a pic of my Eddystone Bug Key -
I managed to find it and just taken these photos.
The top knurled knob is missing but the rest is all in tact
On the bottom is 'MODEL S689' and Rd.No. 363967.
Now I want to play with it! Must find myself an oscillator.

Fairlead

That's it Fairlead. How I miss my 'rat' (insert green with envy smiley).
Thanks for the photo.

qprdave
07-07-2009, 19:31
I don't know about you lot. It looks like a mouse to me!!!!!!!!!!!

astraltrader
07-07-2009, 21:57
Not knowing anything about Radio transmitters used in the present day RN is it all UHF/VHF or SW?

Do they use side-bands?

Do they still use morse code or is it now direct speech?

What sort of frequencies do warships use these days?

Just curious!

alanbenn
07-07-2009, 22:06
Terry, Long time since I served but I would imagine it's still UHF and VHF

Don't think morse code is used anymore.

Transmissions in my day were via Teleprinters, mechanical and electro-mechanical, no doubt these have been updated. Voice transmissions were sent via coders and de-coders at the other end.

Frequencies I'm afraid come under official secrets......although it's safe to say that certain frequencies were allocated to countries, hence the need for coders and de-coders to be used.

These had billions of combinations and changed at regular intervals depending on level of security so even if the combinations fell into enemy hands they wouldn't be able to follow any pattern as by the time they worked out one combination it would have already changed to another.

Regards
Alan

astraltrader
07-07-2009, 22:22
Thanks alan. That gives me a picture.

harry.gibbon
07-07-2009, 22:25
Alan/Terry,

In the stages of this thread I have included links about historical or antique pieces of equipment, but also included you will find a link that advises of the move to satellite and encrypted communications!!! and it ain't recent either.

Also it is after my time in the mob but followed on as the natural progression to what my function in the pusser was all about. Quite rewarding in a passive sort of way really

Little h

Bee
08-07-2009, 02:45
This might amuse some of you - musical morse

http://www.zerobeat.net/morse505.html?fix

and if you want some serious practice - play with this one

http://www.omnicron.com/~ford/java/NMorse.html

Fairlead

Excuse me for jumping back a bit but.... I loved the musical morse (thankyou Fairlead)....I just wished I had learned morse when I was younger. (Out of curiousity I learned sign language...mainly so we could "talk" behind our tch's backs without getting in trouble!)

With regard to the morse though (and please don't all think I'm barmy) -but when my Dad was lying comatose in his last few days - at night time I could hear streams of morse as I was trying to get to sleep.

Prior to that (when he was in hospital) my dear old Dad, bless him, had been trying to send morse via his remote control for his T.V. set. (verbalising the dits and dahs), got himself extremely distressed that he wasn't getting any response :(

Also, thanks Dave...and yes I'm sure he could have gone on to bigger ships and "better" things - but as you know from the Aegean thread...he LOVED being on MGB 357 - I don't recall him ever refering to it as a "pokey little boat" - more like a "lucky, *tiddly boat" - with a very close knit crew. They had quite an important job and I think his Skipper was happy to have Dad with them.
Regards,
Bee :)

p.s. That reminds me Terry, I couldn't find a better reference to *tiddly - than the one you had found.

qprdave
08-07-2009, 02:59
Bee

I had no intention of demeaning these little boats. They did a very important job during the war, much of it undercover and all the dangers that that entailed and did it very well. My one regret about my time in the RN was that I didn't get a chance to serve on the "Little boats" and I do suffer from a tinge of envy when I read in this forum, "When I was on the Flintham, Dittisham" etc.

Bee
08-07-2009, 04:13
Fair enough Dave,
I guess that sometimes I'm a bit defensive (sorry:o)...as there was so little mention and recognition for the smaller vessels.
I think it was in the 1980s when a couple of old WW2 Coastal Forces matelots got together and decided to rectify the situation and started up the Coastal Forces Assoc & newsletter...which was printed until 2007. Then it folded for a while - but is now up and running again - in electronic form (although I think hardcopies are once again available.)

Anyway, I can understand you having a tinge of envy - for there was probably a lot more leeway (with regards to following the letter of the law) on the smaller boats. Also everyone knew everyone else - so it was like a little family group. (Which was really good when everyone got on well...as they did on my Dad's boat.)

A lot of the missions my father went on would have been covert...so we never have been able to find out too much info. as to their activities - also they would have been under the official secrets act, (so Dad wouldn't have told us anything sensitive), but I have no idea how long that lasts. I should think that over 60 years should be long enough???:rolleyes:

Regards,
Bee:)

Fairlead
10-07-2009, 20:53
Been a bit QRT on here lately - Gulf HF syndrome?
Anyway here is one to get you all going again.....
I have just read and unpublished book on the subject of the Atlantic Convoys, written by an RN CO of two escorts during the Battle of (for) the Atlantic. When he took command of his second ship he was delighted to have an new radio set called a TBS (Talk Between Ships) .....his description, not mine.
Now many of us tweeked the knobs of that series of equipment, the most well known was of course the TCS (Talk to coastal shore stations?), then there was the TBM and TBL - anyone remember them in the battles?

Fairlead

harry.gibbon
10-07-2009, 21:29
Fairlead, somewhere earlier in this thread one of my links included them and I think Trot was first to make ref to using them.

I'll see if I can trawl thru and drag them to the fore again

Little h

astraltrader
10-07-2009, 23:45
Thanks Bee! As many on the forum will no doubt testify - I am nothing but trying!!

TrotOneLower
11-07-2009, 11:16
Most long range communications is now done through satellite. Basically, maritime internet.
Yes, HF is still in use, but mainly for back-up.
No, morse with the exception of flashing light, is now dead.
V/UHF are still in use, and I suppose that is about all "we" have in common with modern communicators, unless of course you are an internet "buff".

The MCO/MWO/BWO/WT Office in the type 45 consists of three computer monitors in the Ops Room.

harry.gibbon
11-07-2009, 12:51
have a shufti at this link for auld lang syne:-

http://www.godfreydykes.info/A%20NAVAL%20TRANSMITTER%20OF%20THE%201940%20AND%20 1950%20PERIOD.htm

and this one:-

http://www.eddystoneusergroup.org.uk/People%20and%20Personalities/The%20Cooke%20Report.pdf

Little h

TrotOneLower
11-07-2009, 15:08
Ah, the Twicer, now that was a heavy book, wonnit?

Dave Hutson
13-07-2009, 16:10
Hi Fairlead,

Remember the T Series well, as stated before we had them on the CH Destroyers - 2 TCS's, 1 TBL, 1 TBS - it was said that the TCS was found later in the war to have been responsible for the sinking or damage of RN/RCN/US naval units because when in it's standby state it actually reradiated and the U Boats were able to home in on it - being our resident "T" boffin - was there any truth in that one??

Of course the period we are on was early 50's and we were blessed with that monster the 87M for aircraft working - damned great cabinets with nothing inside.

Dave H

Derek Dicker
14-07-2009, 11:14
Hi All,
Unable to QSL from Malta due to dodgy communications. Back in the messdeck so will post a few photographs when sorted out the camera/computer. The daily temp was in the mid 30s but the hopeleaf was ice cold.

Derek ( Bunts )

Dave Hutson
14-07-2009, 11:24
Hey Guys - surf across to HMS Raleigh Open Day thread - BuntingBob has made a wartalk slur on Ganges [B]KIDS[B].:(

He has been warned to expect "incoming salvos"

Dave H

harry.gibbon
14-07-2009, 12:52
Hey Guys - surf across to HMS Raleigh Open Day thread - BuntingBob has made a wartalk slur on Ganges [B]KIDS[B].:(

He has been warned to expect "incoming salvos"

Dave H

First 'lot' delivered!!!! with affection from one ov yer Ganges ladz!!!

Dave Hutson
14-07-2009, 14:13
Hi Derek - Welcome home, glad you had a gud'un. Didn't encounter many ded gharri 'orses on Crucifix Hill then??.;)

Malta - I luv's er, but 'er indoors can't unnerstand the reason - but then she was never there with the fleet, and of course we was 50 plus younger and the memories linger on.:)

Did you manage to stand to overlooking Grand Harbour from the Lascaris Signal Tower [and think "Where's the Ships"?]:confused:

Dave H

Dave Hutson
14-07-2009, 14:16
Come on lads - all the fun of the fair - load up and fire - Aunt BuntingBob asked for it.

qprdave
14-07-2009, 14:44
Another Ganges boy sent stuff over to the 12 week wonder!!!!!!

(I think that I got a hit)

Jan Steer
14-07-2009, 14:49
Frankly I'm gutted! I was at sea with Bunting Bob and he always seemed like a good hand to me. Had I realised he had been dragged up at Raleigh I would have treated him with distain back then. I feel I should point out to him that Exmouth 273 class (the opposite class to me in my mess) successfully outrowed the Raleigh boys in a cutter and won the cup for Ganges. That would have been in 65 I think. Not bad for the non-rowers of Ganges eh? But Bob can be forgiven for not possessing this knowledge.
Fairlead I became an RO (useless) in 64. Funnily we never thought of ourselves as useless because as ex-Ganges boys we could do anything and so much better than those others!!!


best wishes
Jan

TrotOneLower
14-07-2009, 18:46
RO(U). Wonderful scheme? Really didn't like my "Bunting" time. Particularly on and open bridge ship, and never really understood those "Screen" things.
Some idiot thought, because I could operate an "FH4" and the earlier "UA" series that I would like to be a Golly, so, apparently I volunteered to "Subspec" in that direction. Fairly soon got out of that, and became a "G".

As for six week wonders? Can't march, can't look after their kit, and if memory serves, were always being looked after by Ganges boys at Mercury.

qprdave
14-07-2009, 19:02
"As for six week wonders? Can't march, can't look after their kit, and if memory serves, were always being looked after by Ganges boys at Mercury"

I think that the evindence is damning and the charge is proven

Fairlead
14-07-2009, 20:31
Jan,
64 I was a New Entry Instructor at Mercury but my class (ex GANGES) were all sparkers - I just had to decide their fate! G SM or W. Much of my time as an instructor at STC Kranji 66 - 68 was sub-spec courses (Technical and AT) and of course Provisonals.

Fairlead

TrotOneLower
14-07-2009, 22:18
Did my "Twos" at Kranji in '67 whilst Daring was doing DED.

Jan Steer
15-07-2009, 07:02
Me too. I've mentioned her on another thread but Fairlead, Trot do either of you remember Mimi the little black and white gibbon that lived at Kranji W/T at that time?

Best wishes
Jan

Fairlead
15-07-2009, 09:02
Can't say I do Jan, I had a little monkey of my own to look after (he is a tree surgeon now!).
So I probably had the pleasure of teaching you both AT and Technical then.

Fairlead

TrotOneLower
15-07-2009, 15:29
No, can't say I do. Interesting place though. Lying in your rack with an elastic band, and folded pieces of paper trying to knock "Chit Chats" off the ceiling.
And, Mary Sew Sew being on your draft routine!

Dave Hutson
15-07-2009, 18:40
Knocking ChitChats of the ceiling. They must have replaced the Atap Roofing of the earlier era [1962] cos then you lay listening to the Cobra's in the roof and welcoming the daily visit of "Snakey" who gathered them up an disappeared into the jungle.

Anyone remember early morning visit to Showerroom accompanied by a King Cobra escort. :eek:

TrotOneLower
15-07-2009, 19:13
Wasn't Cobras that worried me, it was falling into a Monsoon Ditch and being attacked by a Bootlace.
Sober, it was always amusing to read the signs posted around the grass square; Danger, Snakes, do not cross. Then notice the well trodden paths leading to the Mess' on the far side.

Happy days, what?

Hixy
15-07-2009, 19:33
Anyone got any photos of Kranji? Grateful if you could post some up.

Thanks

Dave Hutson
15-07-2009, 19:41
Sorry Hixy - all my photos got lost in several house moves, but I remember us talking about the RAN W/T Station on the Yew Yi Kang road just before the turnoff to Jalan Kayu. Would be nice to see some shots of Serangoon.
I can't remember ever taking shots of Kranji W/T - it just seemed somewhere we worked and went home.

alanbenn
15-07-2009, 21:06
Hixy, not the best of photo's but the only one I have of Kranji.

Hope it's of some use to you.

Regards
Alan

harry.gibbon
15-07-2009, 21:38
Dave H, ref post #132; Hixy you and I have already discussed this site previously, but feast yer goggle gear on this link mate:-

http://www.freewebs.com/roverjag/

Little h

harry.gibbon
15-07-2009, 21:42
Oh and try this one for Serangoon; I shall keep searching for sommat bettah for yez:-

http://jalankayutrail.blogspot.com/2007/04/serangoon-gardens-1960s.html

Little h

PS; Just got the link pasted quickish like and then went back in and clicked on a few possibilities, low and behold a treasure trove of memories contained there-in so take your time browsing through it !!! all the best h

harry.gibbon
15-07-2009, 22:25
For all Serangoon-ers try this:-

http://serangoongardens.com/

and then google Serangoon Village or Gardens and your yearning for memories will be fulfilled surely!!!!

Little h

Dave Hutson
16-07-2009, 09:25
Hi Harry,

Thanks for that trip down memory lane. Have spent hours going thru all your finds and looking deeper.

We lived right in front of the Leisure Center in Serangoon in 1962 but it was a dirt road leading to a wooden building with corrugated iron roof.. changed a bit now.

Had trouble with the Kranji W/T photo - everything was surrounded by jungle then which encroached if not hacked back. The two storey building on the left was I think the STC and the long one storey was the Commcen ... Fairlead will know better the rest ....... Rose Cottage is still there in the pic.

The Jalan Kayu section was great.

Didn't remember the RAF/GCHQ Station being that big but then it was pretty hushhush.

Great job mate .... thanks

Dave H

Hixy
16-07-2009, 19:54
Thanks alan for the photo and harry for the links. Brings back memories.

harry.gibbon
16-07-2009, 23:23
'old ships' (tappin nose) know what I mean!!!

Long way up and long way down every day (on days); better doing a double watch o/nite!!!

Weather station doppler!!!??? Nope

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_Mo_Shan_Road

Try it in Google Earth and click on the old block

Little h

TrotOneLower
17-07-2009, 05:23
'old ships' (tappin nose) know what I mean!!!

Long way up and long way down every day (on days); better doing a double watch o/nite!!!

Weather station doppler!!!??? Nope

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_Mo_Shan_Road

Try it in Google Earth and click on the old block

Little h

Nope, really have no idea what you mean?

Dave Hutson
17-07-2009, 19:49
Hey Derek,

Flip across the Implacable 1952.

I have looked at my Seamanship Manual but can't answer the question. I think the hoist is MR86 but why the Blue or Red Ensign at the Masthead. Must defer to your Bunting knowledge on this one.

Sparks out .... Dave H

Derek Dicker
17-07-2009, 20:23
Hi Dave, been bashing my brain on this one, according to her history she was a training ship in 1952 perhaps not under the white ensign, looking at photograph not so sure its a blue ensign maybe red under civvy command.
The signal MR86 could be a berth number, but that would have been preceeded by the desig pnt in my time (57-69). Best I can do for now

Derek (Bunts)

harry.gibbon
17-07-2009, 22:11
She is deffo flying a white ensign astern on the two extra pics tho.

http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/ships/IMPLACABLE.html




Little h

harry.gibbon
17-07-2009, 22:35
Nope, really have no idea what you mean?
Some more info; Chapter on The Chinese Target pages 340 & 341:-
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=HohPaIyc5G0C&pg=PA340&lpg=PA340&dq=GCHQ+intercepts+tai+mo+shan&source=bl&ots=5f9RX5HstD&sig=o7m82TsjtOy89HbQWvO2amiwvR8&hl=en&ei=28hgStzbCt_MjAeE-InCDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2

TrotOneLower
18-07-2009, 00:22
Some more info; Chapter on The Chinese Target pages 340 & 341:-
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=HohPaIyc5G0C&pg=PA340&lpg=PA340&dq=GCHQ+intercepts+tai+mo+shan&source=bl&ots=5f9RX5HstD&sig=o7m82TsjtOy89HbQWvO2amiwvR8&hl=en&ei=28hgStzbCt_MjAeE-InCDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2

Geez, I must have been asleep for along time; this is all newz to me.....

harry.gibbon
18-07-2009, 17:19
Geez, I must have been asleep for along time; this is all newz to me.....
up to site at top of Tai Mo Shan:-

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/R38943437917_Upper_section_of_Tai_Mo_Shan_Road_mea ndering_up_the_mountain.JPG

and down...

at sea level the site at Little Sai Wan:-

Jan Steer
19-07-2009, 08:24
Being as my first ship was "Bulwark" as part of the Far East Fleet and a commando carrier, my earliest experience of comms, outside of training of course was as a "sparker" for joint operations. This meant that I spent onboard time manning circuits with the army, marines, ghurkas and anybody else who wanted to play with us. If not onboard I was generally in the back of a landrover operating or up at some forward air base in a jungle clearing. This got me thinking about portable radios. Anyone else remember the A43R Mk2 called the 634 in the navy? Good little set which we could use to talk to the choppers. The batteries were the size of a house brick! I also remember the Type 62, the naval 622. This HF set was classified as a "two man portable" and the handbook said that we could commandeer local mules to help transport it and its associated gear! Who wrote this rubbish?! When was the last time you saw a mule? Happy days though and jungle green seemed to suit me back then.


best wishes
Jan

Derek Dicker
19-07-2009, 08:31
Hi Jan, yes I remember the 634, used it many times for boarding parties.
What about the old 615 ex army kit I think, tranceiver and battery in separate pack army style webbing, used these dam thing during boarding ops doing Cyprus patrol in late 50s. Now what have we got small icoms that fit in the palm of the hand.

Derek (Bunts)

TrotOneLower
19-07-2009, 17:55
Remember using the 615 at Ganges, and when manning the Sea Boat.
Spent a bit of time lugging a 634 around Portland and other places, and had a 622 as my emergency kit on both Flintham and Wolverton.

Jan Steer
19-07-2009, 18:55
Yes I remember the sea boat set. I also remember that when in the jungle I had an SMG. We quickly learnt that the enemy knew that the radio op always carried an SMG and to take him out. Therefore I always tried to swap mine for an SLR just in case!!

best wishes
Jan

harry.gibbon
19-07-2009, 23:35
Communicators; its a long read/browse/study etc etc but reet gud:-

http://jproc.ca/rrp/index.html


something for everyone me thinks

Little h

harry.gibbon
20-07-2009, 00:03
Have a look see at yer modern Aus Navy opportunities; if yer over 60 then just remember we found out all we could to provided the database from whence to build (we wish) and the equipment is a product of our endeavours.

Well what is being a veteran all about anyway, if not to give hope to those who follow:-


http://www.defencejobs.gov.au/navy/itAndEducation/


Little h

Derek Dicker
20-07-2009, 12:28
Oh if I were 40 younger,

Derek (Bunts)

TrotOneLower
20-07-2009, 15:36
Being as my first ship was "Bulwark" as part of the Far East Fleet and a commando carrier, my earliest experience of comms, outside of training of course was as a "sparker" for joint operations. This meant that I spent onboard time manning circuits with the army, marines, ghurkas and anybody else who wanted to play with us. If not onboard I was generally in the back of a landrover operating or up at some forward air base in a jungle clearing. This got me thinking about portable radios. Anyone else remember the A43R Mk2 called the 634 in the navy? Good little set which we could use to talk to the choppers. The batteries were the size of a house brick! I also remember the Type 62, the naval 622. This HF set was classified as a "two man portable" and the handbook said that we could commandeer local mules to help transport it and its associated gear! Who wrote this rubbish?! When was the last time you saw a mule? Happy days though and jungle green seemed to suit me back then.


best wishes
Jan


They told me I had an SMG because I was second only to useless with a rifle thingy. Should have known it was because I was being set up as a target...

Fairlead
20-07-2009, 16:24
Portables in my time (54 - 94):
46 Set - 4 channel VHF
612ET - Transportable HF (some fitted in ships)
615 or 88A - VHF manpack
620 -VHF
622 - MF/HF + Its Army brother the 19 Set (with and without VHF attachement)
625 or A40 VHF
629 - First Liferaft set 5 ton and 8364 KHz - Replaced by 638
631 - HF Voice - Transportable (some fitted in ships)
634 UHF
635 HF
350 VHF
351 VHF
Stornaphone - VHF (IMM Band) hand held (Initially issued for Damage Control - but was so good it was used for just about everything!
All or most of which has been replaced by the BOWMAN family of radios

Fairlead

TrotOneLower
20-07-2009, 16:28
Stornophone was the only Portable we used in the HKS. The 622 was for putting my feet on, to save sliding around the office in a Tai Fung.

Fairlead
20-07-2009, 16:33
Back to Kranji W/T - I have annotated the photograph naming the buildings I remember

Fairlead

Dave Hutson
20-07-2009, 18:12
Now I see said the blind Yeoman.

I could pick out most of the buildings but in '62 the Junior Rates messes were down in the jungle single storey with a bamboo roof complete with snakes and luckily a few mongeese supplemented by the daily visit of the snake catcher.

Thanks for that one Graham.

Dave H

Derek Dicker
20-07-2009, 18:39
Did my killicks course at Kranji 1963 I think, our mess was at the bottom of the hill, had to climb up steps into the mess, always worried about snakes.
Use to have to walk up the hill to do the morning watch with the policeman. Was the hanging tree still there or was that just a myth.

Derek (Bunts)

harry.gibbon
20-07-2009, 18:59
When was the last time you saw a mule?
... never!!! but I believe quite a lot of them end up in prisons in various parts of Asia

Fairlead
20-07-2009, 22:38
Agree, the JR sleeping huts were at the bottom of the hill just across from the STC, neither of which are in the photograph - what I have marked is the JRs mess (dining hall, galley, NAAFI and I believe the ship's company JRs also slept in this block on the top floor.

Fairlead

qprdave
20-07-2009, 22:41
STC?????

You are not telling me that the Comms had their own Special Treatment Centre. Mind you it was The Far East!!!!!!!!!

TrotOneLower
20-07-2009, 22:44
Yep, operated by Mary Sew Sew for "Blank Week" relief.

Hixy
21-07-2009, 01:50
Back to Kranji W/T - I have annotated the photograph naming the buildings I remember

Fairlead

I am a little confused after looking at the photo. The kranji I remember does not resemble the photo.

I recall getting off the bus and being confronted by two rectangular whitewashed buildings. On the right was the RO(S) area and on the left was the RO General service, receive building (which is where I worked). Spent my time on watch reading ship/shore from Commonwealth units. There was also a Malay desk with a couple of Malay operators.

Back outside. Immediately behind these two buildings which would have been 30 or more yards long, was another smaller building which I believe was the dining hall.

There might have been other buildings behind these two receive halls but I don't recall them.

Can someone put my mind to rest.

harry.gibbon
21-07-2009, 13:32
'ello again communicators... just including a link about comms in the US Coast Guard... might even get a visit from CGRET;)

http://www.rogerwendell.com/coastguard.html

found it whilst having mooch and see what another type of 'navy' does!!

Little h

billbuntintosser
22-07-2009, 10:36
Found this link whilst "surfing". Think it would interest anyone that was at Mercury. If you thought you knew about the history of Mercs - think again.....

http://www.rncca.com/PDF%20Docs/MercHist1.pdf

Jan Steer
22-07-2009, 12:28
Thanks Billbuntintosser. An excellent read Sir and memories suitably stirred.

best wishes
Jan

harry.gibbon
23-07-2009, 13:27
Singapore Yu Chu Kang road cont'd;

further to post #132 & #134 here is another link expanding some activities of the period (pages 56;57;58 refer):-

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=TvpdLDMcaJ4C&pg=PA57&lpg=PA57&dq=kranji+wireless+station&source=bl&ots=TYBCXXBoYN&sig=mLXfIcVnCs4x3BPlS1ZyaDr87YE&hl=en&ei=NaBnSo90qo2MB5La1KQB&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6


Little h

harry.gibbon
24-07-2009, 10:17
One for the S/m sparkers:-

http://jproc.ca/rrp/rrp2/oberon.html

Little h

billbuntintosser
24-07-2009, 11:44
Found this website with photos of Comms ratings of various years on the wonderful Island of Malta. Thought it may interest some of you.

Bill

http://www.rnmuseumradarandcommunications2006.org.uk/MALTA%20ALL%20COMMUNICATORS%20TOGETHER.html

billbuntintosser
24-07-2009, 11:49
Found this website with photos of Comms ratings of various years on the wonderful Island of Malta. Thought it may interest some of you.

Bill

http://www.rnmuseumradarandcommunications2006.org.uk/MALTA%20ALL%20COMMUNICATORS%20TOGETHER.html



If I had taken time to look first before engaging gob - would have found loads and loads of REM's, MEM's and very few Comms ratings.

TrotOneLower
24-07-2009, 17:15
A "Green" Empire even??

TrotOneLower
24-07-2009, 17:26
One for the S/m sparkers:-

http://jproc.ca/rrp/rrp2/oberon.html

Little h

Ahh, the UA4, what a magnificent piece of kit. Well, at least it rhymes with kit?? But it was, in my opinion, better than the UA2 and 3.
In 'A' boats, the UA4 was situated inside the W/T office on the right, next to the 623. When "Warner" was closed up, that meant two people being in the office, which was, to say the least, a little cramped. Also a little annoying to the on watch Sparker when the Warner Operator would blow loudly on his whistle, and start shouting Danger.
In Ps and Os, it was down the AMS where one section of the "Trials" team would also be dumped. Not a nice place to share with someone who likes to eat the odd "Spithead Pheasant" or six.

harry.gibbon
24-07-2009, 19:27
I went on three different A boats and the Oberon out of Singapore and never came across the UA4 on any! We had our 'trials fit' put in the radar office replacing the boats' radar that would have been there normally.. so with two scopes as the eyes, we became the ears 'up top' for the boat, as well as the normal 'trials' duties.

The remainder of the 'trials' team would be in the W/T office and as you say could get a bit cramped when normal W/T skeds etc needed to be done.

Still it was Sarongs and flip-flops as rig of the day.

Little h

TrotOneLower
24-07-2009, 19:39
I went on three different A boats and the Oberon out of Singapore and never came across the UA4 on any! We had our 'trials fit' put in the radar office replacing the boats' radar that would have been there normally.. so with two scopes as the eyes, we became the ears 'up top' for the boat, as well as the normal 'trials' duties.

The remainder of the 'trials' team would be in the W/T office and as you say could get a bit cramped when normal W/T skeds etc needed to be done.

Still it was Sarongs and flip-flops as rig of the day.

Little h

My "steaming" Moccies finally gave up when I joined Boxer. Apparently they are not recognised "Pusser's" rig. Nobody told me that.
When I was "riding" Oberon, the "Warner" was down in the AMS along with the "E" fit. But this was of course after a pretty major refit, and alteration programme carried out after her return from the FES.

harry.gibbon
24-07-2009, 19:46
My "steaming" Moccies finally gave up when I joined Boxer. Apparently they are not recognised "Pusser's" rig. Nobody told me that.
When I was "riding" Oberon, the "Warner" was down in the AMS along with the "E" fit. But this was of course after a pretty major refit, and alteration programme carried out after her return from the FES.
glad to have helped pave the way for what was obviously given 'some thought' for subsequent trials.. no warners for us ...just us!! mind you the relative luxury going from A to O must have blinded us to the working conditions I suppose. and...all that space in the fore-ends sorry 'cathedral' for our camp-beds!

TrotOneLower
24-07-2009, 20:14
glad to have helped pave the way for what was obviously given 'some thought' for subsequent trials.. no warners for us ...just us!! mind you the relative luxury going from A to O must have blinded us to the working conditions I suppose. and...all that space in the fore-ends sorry 'cathedral' for our camp-beds!


From the permanent crew point of view, and no longer being a part three, always thought the accommodation on an A boat to be slightly better than Ps and Os.
During my riding days on Os, my rack was a wooden box type thing mounted on top of a Mk 8 in the forends.

harry.gibbon
24-07-2009, 21:37
From the permanent crew point of view, and no longer being a part three, always thought the accommodation on an A boat to be slightly better than Ps and Os.
During my riding days on Os, my rack was a wooden box type thing mounted on top of a Mk 8 in the forends.
We had to wait for the big V before getting 'racks' in fore-end torpedo handling space, over a dozen of us. The 'fit' installation used up an emptied store room. Victualled in Snr Rates mess.

In one A boat after ends was a killicks mess so had a camp bed in there, and was chief fresh spud turner... keeping them in best condition for longest time.
In another, I was in fore-ends handling/accom space on camp bed, whilst on other I had a bunk in one of the messes.

Oh yeh and in every instance walked for weeks on a false deck of tinned nosh

I hope the General service sparkers & buntins have been paying attention because questions may be asked:D:D:D

qprdave
24-07-2009, 23:03
"chief fresh spud turner"

It must be noted by ALL of the members of this forum just how multi skilled and talented Gollies are.

harry.gibbon
24-07-2009, 23:19
"chief fresh spud turner"

It must be noted by ALL of the members of this forum just how multi skilled and talented Gollies are.
hey up there Dave, re "chief fresh spud turner" you quickly learnt that preservation of yer aktual tattie:D:D was like collecting gold dust... the better they were kept the better the nosh...the deisel donks murdered them with the vibration when snortin ... then it was tinned spuds for the next 8-10weeks:( no RAS's on these platforms in those circumstances:eek:

Re Gollies... first I wasn't one, then I was a killick as one, for a few months, then I wasn't one having gone back to Tel or LRO(S) ... so versatile ain't innnit:D

Plus we woz basic sparkers as well ... tiffs n mechanicians eat yer hearts out:rolleyes:

Still our successors, the CT's have it sorted now;) would like their pension

Jan Steer
25-07-2009, 08:42
An old oppo has recently sent me this snap so I thought that I should share it with you. It was taken outside the commcen at Yeovilton in '72. I am the killick sparker in the middle.
Best wishes
Jan

Bee
25-07-2009, 10:06
Great picture of the three of you Jan,
Regards,
Bee

Jan Steer
25-07-2009, 16:09
Thanks Bee. Oh! To be that young and good looking again! Sadly the chap leaning on the broom handle passed away a couple of years back from a heart attack. Proof, if proof were ever needed, that none of us are here for all time.

best wishes
Jan
x

TrotOneLower
25-07-2009, 17:28
I haven't seen the chap on left since his Mother's funeral.........

Jan Steer
25-07-2009, 18:46
That is Stan Barlow. I have never seen or heard of him since then.

best wishes
Jan

TrotOneLower
25-07-2009, 19:07
AKA, Richard John Barlow..................my younger brother.

harry.gibbon
25-07-2009, 20:08
Most interesting... phew.. what were the chances of that disclosure and all in the space of a few posts!!!

I guess there are a few PM's or e-mails on the go lads.

Sorry to read the news of your mothor though trot

Little h

harry.gibbon
25-07-2009, 20:10
another bit of reading & viewing for you:-

http://www.harry-tates.org.uk/veteranstales26.htm

http://www.harry-tates.org.uk/veteranstales26a.htm


Little h

harry.gibbon
25-07-2009, 20:49
another set of references to look at for the pre sat comms guys:-

http://www.rnmuseumradarandcommunications2006.org.uk/PAGE%2032.htm

Little h

TrotOneLower
25-07-2009, 21:48
Most interesting... phew.. what were the chances of that disclosure and all in the space of a few posts!!!

I guess there are a few PM's or e-mails on the go lads.

Sorry to read the news of your mothor though trot

Little h

That picture, I believe, also appeared in the communicator some time in the early seventies.
No secrets here Harry, and thanks, but it was eighteen years ago that me dear old Mum died.

harry.gibbon
25-07-2009, 21:57
That picture, I believe, also appeared in the communicator some time in the early seventies.
No secrets here Harry, and thanks, but it was eighteen years ago that me dear old Mum died.
none-the-less P the loss of one's mum is a big event to all of us, mine went in 1979 59 yeo and I was at a convention in yorkshire.

Had to get plod out to knock up a garage owner to fill up my mate's Anglia plus cans... there was petrol rationing!!!! it took us over 12hrs to do the journey and when we arrived she had 'gone' before we had left!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Little h

TrotOneLower
25-07-2009, 22:02
none-the-less P the loss of one's mum is a big event to all of us, mine went in 1979 59 yeo and I was at a convention in yorkshire.

Had to get plod out to knock up a garage owner to fill up my mate's Anglia plus cans... there was petrol rationing!!!! it took us over 12hrs to do the journey and when we arrived she had 'gone' before we had left!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Little h

You're right of course, and for reasons not to be explained, I would very much like that she was still around.

harry.gibbon
25-07-2009, 22:39
Fairlead it was if I recollect propah like;) was referring to TBL etc, I think I have got a link for 'im and for us all... it includes other equipment with which some of us will be aquainted or accustomed....

http://jproc.ca/rrp/sradequ.html

Little h

PS Apologies to anyone who got there from my earlier link of the 'parent/home' site, to t'others I have just shortened your search

harry.gibbon
25-07-2009, 23:48
and... should just share this piece of history with the comms dept...

http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Tech-HFDF.htm

Little h

Jan Steer
26-07-2009, 08:50
Trot thanks for your revelation. When next you speak to your brother do, please, remember me to him. They were great days and the three of us were a brilliant watch. We worked like Trojans but being young we laughed our way through the hectic times.

best wishes
Jan

TrotOneLower
26-07-2009, 10:06
Only had WRENS in my watch during my short time there.......the hot summer of '76. It was hell!
Took the watch on exped(?) to the New Forest for a goodly weekend......now that was fun watching a group of WRENS trying to pitch a tent. Went for a couple of wets, then came back to help.

Jan Steer
26-07-2009, 10:13
Some interesting reading there Little H. It was nice to see the FM12 again. In my early days it sat in the office, tuned to 5 ton (500 kcs), loudspeaker on and one Junior sparker Steer covering the silent periods ---and God help me if I missed one, even if I was away making kai!!

best wishes
Jan

TrotOneLower
26-07-2009, 10:16
and... should just share this piece of history with the comms dept...

http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Tech-HFDF.htm

Little h

Ahh, the FH4, now wasn't that a fun toy? It won the "Battle of the Atlantic" doncha know? Well, that was what we were told some years after the event when it was still going strong.
The Bellini Tosi S1516 aerial array. At least we didn't have to polish that way up top on the fore mast.

TrotOneLower
26-07-2009, 10:18
Some interesting reading there Little H. It was nice to see the FM12 again. In my early days it sat in the office, tuned to 5 ton (500 kcs), loudspeaker on and one Junior sparker Steer covering the silent periods ---and God help me if I missed one, even if I was away making kai!!

best wishes
Jan

The FM12 was an important part of the Kai making process.....used it for melting the blocks. Lovely loops though, grab the "Bluebell" boy, don't care that there is a Tai Fung blowing out there...

Jan Steer
26-07-2009, 10:20
Trot we had a couple of girls in the watch too. My goodness me! Could they work! I remember them coming off the night watch, hands and blouses coloured purple from doing the dist with the Banda machine.
In my latter days in the fleet I used to listen to some of the youngsters moaning about work and often thought to myself that they didn't know what REAL hardwork was! But I guess that is an age thing. I remember being told myself that my generation didn't know anything of hard work!

best wishes
Jan

TrotOneLower
26-07-2009, 10:46
Always thought it a little unfair. I was only loan drafted, and put in charge of a watch of six Wren Ros and two telephonists. As a Submariner, and just returned from eighteen months in a Hong Kong Sweeper, I really was a fish out of water, didn't have a clue what I was doing. Luckily my Killick Wren didn't seem to mind, so she showed me the ropes and I gave her lots of "Stand-Offs".
But, what a social life????
Jan, do you remember Dermot Flynn?

qprdave
26-07-2009, 12:29
"I gave her lots of "Stand-Offs"."

Is that what they called IT then?????????????????????????/

Jan Steer
26-07-2009, 14:00
Not ringing any bells trot but not always good with names.

Jan

Derek Dicker
26-07-2009, 14:03
Hi Jan, remember those dam banda machines, espec having to go down the boiler room in ovies to burn the confid waste, came out looking like a smurf.

Derek (Bunts)

harry.gibbon
26-07-2009, 14:52
Hi Jan, remember those dam banda machines, espec having to go down the boiler room in ovies to burn the confid waste, came out looking like a smurf.

Derek (Bunts)
yeh Derek:) ormig juice and orange not withstanding I suppose!!:D:D

Jan Steer
26-07-2009, 15:03
I well remember a CY (Communications Yeoman) who spent much time in BMH Singapore due to his love of the afore mentioned tipple. I hope he made it into old age!!

best wishes
Jan

harry.gibbon
26-07-2009, 15:10
Jan I suppose it would produce the same effect as taking on copius quantities of 'screech' or pints of 'special' cider in Malta and Guzz

Derek Dicker
26-07-2009, 15:55
Hi Jan, hope the CY managed to live to a copius age, and duplicated his genes

Derek (bunts)

TrotOneLower
26-07-2009, 17:08
I well remember a CY (Communications Yeoman) who spent much time in BMH Singapore due to his love of the afore mentioned tipple. I hope he made it into old age!!

best wishes
Jan

Would that have been early '68 Jan? Our Yeoman was taken off in Sydney and returned to Singapore in Triumph because of afore mentioned bevvy.
Saw out his time, but don't know what happened to him after that.

Just in case Harry, that is HMS Triumph, not triumph as such.

harry.gibbon
26-07-2009, 22:42
Hey up there fellow communicators... that's a clue ... plus Trot already made mention of this document a few posts back ... have a shufti:-

http://www.godfreydykes.info/VOL%2018%20NO%205%20SUMMER%201967.pdf

aaaah twas ever thus for us

Litttle h

Jan Steer
27-07-2009, 06:57
Can't be sure Trot. I was out in the far flung 66/67 then UK for six months and back out there in 68/69. But I can't remember which of the ships he was on.
I'm sure you're right Little H. I remember in the old days some of the old salts could extract alcohol from anything. I was often told of those who would strain the contents of fire extinguishers through pusser's handkerchiefs containing aspirin and drink the results. Don't know if it was true of whether they were just pulling my leg.
Do you remember the couple at Kranji W/T who were an item? I do remember the old salts in the office laughing about a time when all the ships logged on to CCN for the 2000 sched and before the traffic list the operator sent, "Hold on boys just putting on a new face!"


Best wishes
Jan

Mr Woo
27-07-2009, 14:42
Bletchley Park – Home of the Codebreakers

Bletchley Park, once Britain’s best kept secret, is now a heritage site and museum. More incredible than fiction, the story of Bletchley Park was a desperate race against time. The mission of the codebreakers such as Alan Turing, was to crack Germany’s coded communications.

The ornate Victorian Mansion was headquarters to intelligence staff during the War and well worth a visit and of special interest to ex sparkers.

The house can now be hired for conferences and weddings and in the grounds housed in the original huts can be found replicas of the first computers, Colossus Mk’s 1 & 2, and the Bombe that was a machine that was used for the automatic recovery of Enigma message keys. These can be seen working as they would have during WWII. Also on display is the German Enigma cipher machine.

Whilst in the area we also paid a visit to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford Aerodrome, again both my wife and myself found this very interesting.

George.

TrotOneLower
27-07-2009, 16:07
Can't be sure Trot. I was out in the far flung 66/67 then UK for six months and back out there in 68/69. But I can't remember which of the ships he was on.
I'm sure you're right Little H. I remember in the old days some of the old salts could extract alcohol from anything. I was often told of those who would strain the contents of fire extinguishers through pusser's handkerchiefs containing aspirin and drink the results. Don't know if it was true of whether they were just pulling my leg.
Do you remember the couple at Kranji W/T who were an item? I do remember the old salts in the office laughing about a time when all the ships logged on to CCN for the 2000 sched and before the traffic list the operator sent, "Hold on boys just putting on a new face!"


Best wishes
Jan

Remember hearing that they had put something in "Ormig Juice" to provoke and instant "Technicolour Yawn", and bring about a prolonged period of calling for "New York". Had evidence of this at Yeovilton when a certain Irish Sparker decided to take a swig, and spent half an hour outside trying to cough his stomach through the mouth.

TrotOneLower
27-07-2009, 16:09
Bletchley Park – Home of the Codebreakers

Bletchley Park, once Britain’s best kept secret, is now a heritage site and museum. More incredible than fiction, the story of Bletchley Park was a desperate race against time. The mission of the codebreakers such as Alan Turing, was to crack Germany’s coded communications.

The ornate Victorian Mansion was headquarters to intelligence staff during the War and well worth a visit and of special interest to ex sparkers.

The house can now be hired for conferences and weddings and in the grounds housed in the original huts can be found replicas of the first computers, Colossus Mk’s 1 & 2, and the Bombe that was a machine that was used for the automatic recovery of Enigma message keys. These can be seen working as they would have during WWII. Also on display is the German Enigma cipher machine.

Whilst in the area we also paid a visit to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford Aerodrome, again both my wife and myself found this very interesting.

George.

Bletchley. Remember it well, I think. Good bar!

harry.gibbon
27-07-2009, 16:47
Bletchley. Remember it well, I think. Good bar!

yep for 6 months (interesting observing the ex-sparkers trying to become civvies) but we went to and fro home every weekend in conjunction with a stretch on courses at the old Benhall, this time B & B weekdays then same routine etc etc.

TrotOneLower
27-07-2009, 21:20
Had meself a nice little basement flat for the Benhall segment. Wrong end of town of course, but a good time was had by all. Well, me anyway, if you know what I mean 'arry?

harry.gibbon
27-07-2009, 22:21
Had meself a nice little basement flat for the Benhall segment. Wrong end of town of course, but a good time was had by all. Well, me anyway, if you know what I mean 'arry?
Yeh kno wot ya meanz mate!!!

http://www.cheltenham4u.co.uk/benhall_gchq.asp?area=Benhall%2C+The+Reddings

no doughnut in my day...

harry.gibbon
27-07-2009, 22:34
The house can now be hired for conferences and weddings and in the grounds housed in the original huts can be found replicas of the first computers, Colossus Mk’s 1 & 2, and the Bombe that was a machine that was used for the automatic recovery of Enigma message keys. These can be seen working as they would have during WWII. Also on display is the German Enigma cipher machine.

might I suggest that if you use this link and scroll down to the aerial view, then follow instructions to click on various buildings ... it provides an at home tour to whet your appetite:-

http://www.colindaylinks.com/bletchley/index.html

Trot can you pick out the accommodation hut now?:)

qprdave
27-07-2009, 22:38
Harry


I didn't know that you worked at Hush hush, nod, nod, win, wink, look around to see if anyone was listening land at Cheltenham!!!!!!

Did you meet James Bond on one of his visits to "Q" to get his secret weapons?

qprdave
27-07-2009, 22:44
Looking at the site and new building. I believe the Architect based it on the Pentagon over here in Washington. But didn't tell the builder how many sides there were to a pentagon. Is this true or is it Hush Hush as well?

harry.gibbon
27-07-2009, 22:48
Harry


I didn't know that you worked at Hush hush, nod, nod, win, wink, look around to see if anyone was listening land at Cheltenham!!!!!!

Did you meet James Bond on one of his visits to "Q" to get his secret weapons?

Dave that is what my posts about Singapore and HK sites are all about!!! as well as the exchanges about caring for fresh tatties in s/m's - kno wot i meanz, n ovva places and situations as well mate!

we woz the pathfinders for JB so t'was safe for im to go;);) ;) n Q made his gizmo's n responz to us findins... kno wot i meanz sum more:D:D:D

Little h (bin nowhere dun nuffink)

qprdave
27-07-2009, 22:53
Little h (bin nowhere dun nuffink)

Shows what I know about it. I thought that they were general communications centres and relay sites!!!!

harry.gibbon
27-07-2009, 23:03
cop yer peepers on this site (5 parts) over next few weeks ... plenty to get yer teef inta:-

http://www.secret-bases.co.uk/secret.htm

enjoy... at some stages you might want to give up - the pics is good as well

Little h

harry.gibbon
27-07-2009, 23:33
Looking at the site and new building. I believe the Architect based it on the Pentagon over here in Washington. But didn't tell the builder how many sides there were to a pentagon. Is this true or is it Hush Hush as well?

Don't get hung up on us always following our cousins across the pond.. we is Brits and:-
tis the old addage.. wot comes round goes round... so that way nuffink ever gets out and into the wrong hands :D:D:D;););):eek:

qprdave
28-07-2009, 15:06
Harry

I am sure that you were P.V.d to get these hush hush wink wink jobs. I was P.V.d to go to Warrior. I had a retired Commander from D.N.S.Y. come to my house to interview me. I thought that it would be routine. I had to give my Parents place of birth. My Dad made a mistake with the number of the house that he was born in. When the Commander came in, my questionnaire was changed and the correct number of the house was inserted in red ink. He actually asked me why I put the wrong number in.

TrotOneLower
28-07-2009, 16:17
Yep, but ours was a bit different, more intense, called an EPV. Obviously not for discussion on 'ere.
Doughnut wasn't there when I left either 'arry.
Didn't mind Benhall too much, but regularly used to get lost in Oakley. Probably why I kept away from the place as much as possible.

Good night out this??????????

harry.gibbon
28-07-2009, 23:00
yep I agree nowt said ;)

Re Old Benhall great atmosphere and good learning centre.

Did best part of 2 years between both sites after HK and left mob from Chelts, well Nelson actually but that was a 3 day farce.

At Bletchers I went regular for a great curry to a Chinese Rest' not far on down the main road under the railway bridge on the left.

Little h

TrotOneLower
29-07-2009, 06:16
Did my initial interview in HK with DP. On return, did first big interview in Mercury, then to Tangmere for the Board. All during my FSL.
Decided not to return to Boats straightaway, so had a couple of loans before joining the "Unit".
Our course was reversed, and we did the academic bits first, then went to Bletchley. All that, and more, followed by the "boozy" stint at 26.

harry.gibbon
29-07-2009, 23:45
Well now ......

a link to be going on with:-

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/EquipmentAndLogistics/NavyRadioOperatorsGetHandsOnTrainingKit.htm

just looks like a wireless dunnit? where is the Headset, the Morse Key, the Typewriter, the Transmitter or Receiver ... there is no paper or carbon... no cuppa kye or bucket under the desk... nah mustn't be a sparker or indeed an operator of a radio at all..............

Little h

TrotOneLower
30-07-2009, 05:26
A Combat Laptop, to go with the Combat Internet. Lt Uhura, make a signal please!

Fairlead
30-07-2009, 06:55
Poor kids, they don't know what they missed!

Fairlead

Jan Steer
30-07-2009, 07:38
Things have changed beyond recognition certainly. I recall working Suez radio, on my last ship, by morse at about 25/26 wpm I suppose. The youngsters in the office sat around watching me, open mouthed, not really believing what they were seeing! Talk about feeling like a dinosaur!!!

best wishes
Jan

TrotOneLower
30-07-2009, 10:55
Face that set and swing boy! An ex-killick of mine used to whack me around the 'ed if I were to add a couple of dits after the .-.-. Full stop.
Told when I was good enough, I could be as tiddly as I wanted. So, I learned, as I am not that keen on pain.

Someone close once told me that; if he had had to learn morse, he would not have become a communicator.

In HK I had two baby ROs returned as they had only been taught 18s. At the time, in the Squadron, we had an agreed speed of 22. A bit slow, but never mind.
Speed for Submarines and RO(S) used to be 25.......then up.

Just hope they have a good back-up for the day the satellites fall from the sky, and the radio spectrum becomes severely congested. Like wot it used to be, know what I mean 'arry?

And, yes, I know it is supposedly progress, but they didn't have to take all the fun out of it, did they?

harry.gibbon
30-07-2009, 11:15
Its when I see the job spec for the current encumbents of what was RO(G) work I wonder what it has to do with comms at all... from what I can deduce it is just information handling.. but I may be doing them an injustice.

I am with you, in that we had a really interesting job spec in whatever section of the Comms Branch we operated.

And how can you ever forget those EARPHONES!!!!before the intro of the plastic ones (yes black or a kind of cream/white)

Little h

Fairlead
30-07-2009, 11:17
You would not be referring to the 'Woodpecker' or even 'Chirpsounder' to 'arry would you! They must have been a nightmare for you lot

Fairlead

Fairlead
30-07-2009, 11:21
I left the RN with a pretty good high speed, multi-channel HF system for use when the satcoms go down, when I left BAE 7 years ago.

Fairlead

TrotOneLower
30-07-2009, 11:30
Something that wouldn't happen now, and a reason for being grateful that the creamy plastic headsets came into service; I used to get bits of me 'ed tangled in the metal doin's, and it din't 'alf 'urt.

Jan Steer
30-07-2009, 14:23
If you remember Trot our generation of sparkers were required to read MMX at 22wpm to get out of training. I think MKX, morse reception copied on a typewriter, was slightly higher but I can't remember what the speed was. Well, it was some time ago now you know! This September 22nd marks 45 years since Mr and Mrs Steer's little lad, aged 15 years, one month and two days, arrived at Ganges wondering what on earth he had let himself in for!

best wishes
Jan

Dave Hutson
30-07-2009, 16:49
Hi Jan and Trot.

MKX was 25 wpm - which was no bl.... good if you went straight to the FES and had to read FFE run by Cousin Elmer out of Guam.:(:(

Dave H

harry.gibbon
30-07-2009, 17:10
This is the only 'evidence' I can submit....

Little h

Jan Steer
30-07-2009, 18:56
FFEs ! Thanks Dave I had forgotten them. I remember having to double bank one of the senior hands on the watch to learn "MY TRADE". Only he had a typewriter and I had a pencil!!!

best wishes
Jan

Fairlead
30-07-2009, 19:17
TTX when I did my RS course was 40WPM for LROs and 30WPM for POs - So we all duly passed our RS exam at 30 or just over then BANG - the following week we all found ourselves on Backward TTXs!
Talking of keyboards - I totted up that at one time we were using 7 different types Typewriter, Type28, Type12 and Telex teleprinters, morse tape, murray tape and KL7. I am sure there were others (Typex had gone before type 12 teleprinters)

Fairlead

TrotOneLower
30-07-2009, 19:39
Used to use the good old Imperial 66 for MKX, and when on boats. At Bletchley we used some version of an Olympia, manual that is! They fitted the batch II 22s with these wonderful electric jobbies, but were useless for taking morse.

Nice one 'arry. RRXs eh? During my short sojourn as a Golly, never liked them. Until I noticed that on every desk in North Camp was written the complete idiots guide to successful RRX-ing.

Did the competition in '72, now that was tanking it.....

TrotOneLower
30-07-2009, 19:43
TTX when I did my RS course was 40WPM for LROs and 30WPM for POs - So we all duly passed our RS exam at 30 or just over then BANG - the following week we all found ourselves on Backward TTXs!
Talking of keyboards - I totted up that at one time we were using 7 different types Typewriter, Type28, Type12 and Telex teleprinters, morse tape, murray tape and KL7. I am sure there were others (Typex had gone before type 12 teleprinters)

Fairlead

When did the Typex actually go? I remember doing them at Ganges, and Mercury over the period 65-66, but I suppose that was more of a New Entry thing. Didn't do them on my Killicks nor RSs, both of which were a struggle as it was TPX, and I hadn't been within spitting distance of a teleprinter for some time.

Hixy
30-07-2009, 19:54
Great reading boys. We (the RAN) used a Hermes (3 rows) typewriter for MKX. No upper or lower case and numbers were on the top bank using the upper case key.

At sea we had to have a line of rubber bands tied to the carriage return and hooked around one of the plugs of the CCX lower to stop the carriage return staying in the one place when the ship rolled.

Read morse at 25wpm but our final test was at 22wmp.

Happy days.

harry.gibbon
30-07-2009, 20:01
This is the only 'evidence' I can submit....

Little h

PS Thought I'd add the first half of the page...

Nice one 'arry. RRXs eh? During my short sojourn as a Golly, never liked them. Until I noticed that on every desk in North Camp was written the complete idiots guide to successful RRX-ing.

Also Trot, re my earlier posting:- the MSX's to be taken by hand not typewriter, at Mercury as a JRO(S) 22WPM at 98% accuracy, only six weeks after leaving Ganges and cranked up to 25WPM by the RO(S)2 exam.. one forgets so easily now just what was asked of us!

Fairlead
30-07-2009, 20:37
The last time I used a Typex (with CCM adaptor [NATO]) at sea was in 1956.
We had to reduce the diameter of the Typex paper rolls to fit in the KL7.
I do believe they were still used ashore for a short while after that to communicate with some nations not allowed the KL7

Fairlead

TrotOneLower
30-07-2009, 21:12
Question Harry.......did you become a (W) at any time, or did you go (S) to (S)?
If that makes any sense to you?

harry.gibbon
30-07-2009, 22:08
Question Harry.......did you become a (W) at any time, or did you go (S) to (S)?
If that makes any sense to you?
Yep makes perfect sense... Ganges direct to Merc's (S) course.. stayed (S) thru RO(S)2's ... to Merc's for LRO(S) course and o/c joined ship as RO(S)1 then LRO(S) ..BUT THEN LRO(W) for some months and off to Board and back to (S) Indon' then Mandarin etc

Jan Steer
31-07-2009, 07:28
Just been reading back through the posts and remembering that initially I was taught that it would take five years to make a good sparker. Today it is probably more like five minutes! Or am I being cynical? It must be said though that in my early days we seemed to take a real pride in our work. If you remember off-line crypto was a very exact science and there was an awful lot of skill involved in sending and receiving morse. Making a radio telephone call was a labour of love usually acknowledged by the troops with a sureptitious gift of a can or two and we certainly felt a little special when delivering good news via telegram. Towards the end it seemed that no special skills were needed. On my last ship I could read a lamp better than any bunting onboard (OK well maybe not the CY!) and it was hard at times to find any enthusiasm in the wireless office. Oooops! Sorry, I meant of course the MCO. The priorities seemed to have changed. In the gulf war we went to action stations at about 0200 one morn. To say that we were busy is an understatement! I was trying to clear flash traffic and satnav was down. Suddenly an officer, faceless in anti-flash hood, overalls, gloves, life jacket, gas mask etc etc, ran through the door and grabbed my arm. "There's no toilet paper in the officer's heads!" he shouted. Now I could see how it might be needed at a time like that but do you see what I mean? Can you guess what I was thinking at that time?

best wishes
Jan