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  #226  
Old 28-07-2009, 16:17
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TrotOneLower TrotOneLower is offline
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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??????????
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  #227  
Old 28-07-2009, 23:00
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
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  #228  
Old 29-07-2009, 06:16
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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.
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  #229  
Old 29-07-2009, 23:45
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

Well now ......

a link to be going on with:-

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/De...rainingKit.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
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  #230  
Old 30-07-2009, 05:26
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

A Combat Laptop, to go with the Combat Internet. Lt Uhura, make a signal please!
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  #231  
Old 30-07-2009, 06:55
Fairlead Fairlead is offline
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

Poor kids, they don't know what they missed!

Fairlead
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  #232  
Old 30-07-2009, 07:38
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
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  #233  
Old 30-07-2009, 10:55
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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?
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  #234  
Old 30-07-2009, 11:15
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
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  #235  
Old 30-07-2009, 11:17
Fairlead Fairlead is offline
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
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  #236  
Old 30-07-2009, 11:21
Fairlead Fairlead is offline
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
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  #237  
Old 30-07-2009, 11:30
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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.
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  #238  
Old 30-07-2009, 14:23
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Jan Steer Jan Steer is offline
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
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  #239  
Old 30-07-2009, 16:49
Dave Hutson Dave Hutson is offline
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
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  #240  
Old 30-07-2009, 17:10
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

This is the only 'evidence' I can submit....

Little h
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  #241  
Old 30-07-2009, 18:56
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
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  #242  
Old 30-07-2009, 19:17
Fairlead Fairlead is offline
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
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  #243  
Old 30-07-2009, 19:39
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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.....
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  #244  
Old 30-07-2009, 19:43
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairlead View Post
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.
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  #245  
Old 30-07-2009, 19:54
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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.
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  #246  
Old 30-07-2009, 20:01
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry.gibbon View Post
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!
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Last edited by harry.gibbon : 30-07-2009 at 20:29.
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  #247  
Old 30-07-2009, 20:37
Fairlead Fairlead is offline
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
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  #248  
Old 30-07-2009, 21:12
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

Question Harry.......did you become a (W) at any time, or did you go (S) to (S)?
If that makes any sense to you?
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  #249  
Old 30-07-2009, 22:08
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrotOneLower View Post
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
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  #250  
Old 31-07-2009, 07:28
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Default Re: Communications ratings only

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

Last edited by Jan Steer : 31-07-2009 at 07:29. Reason: forgot to sign
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