World Naval Ships Forums  
VIEW ALL OF OUR CURRENT SPECIAL OFFERS HERE!

Go Back   World Naval Ships Forums > Naval History > Other Naval Topics
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Other Naval Topics Other general naval or navy-related topics.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 01-07-2009, 15:53
TrotOneLower's Avatar
TrotOneLower TrotOneLower is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portsmiff
Posts: 426
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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?
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 01-07-2009, 15:56
TrotOneLower's Avatar
TrotOneLower TrotOneLower is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portsmiff
Posts: 426
Default Re: Communications ratings only

I'll probably buy one for this.....WRNS at "work", Yeovilton some time in the dim and distant....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg A Watch at work..jpg (43.3 KB, 80 views)
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 01-07-2009, 22:12
Hixy's Avatar
Hixy Hixy is offline
Chief Petty Officer
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 71
Default Re: Communications ratings only

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrotOneLower View Post
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.
__________________
Hixy
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 02-07-2009, 15:20
TrotOneLower's Avatar
TrotOneLower TrotOneLower is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portsmiff
Posts: 426
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 028.jpg (65.2 KB, 18 views)
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 04-07-2009, 14:03
Jan Steer's Avatar
Jan Steer Jan Steer is offline
Rear-Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Posts: 1,253
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 04-07-2009, 17:53
Fairlead Fairlead is offline
Lieutenant-Commander
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Horndean, Hampshire UK
Posts: 395
Default Re: Communications ratings only

I managed to perloin one of those Jan, when we dismantled the classrooms and equipment in St Mary's Signal School at Chatham.

Fairlead
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 04-07-2009, 18:06
qprdave's Avatar
qprdave qprdave is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Snyder Texas USA
Posts: 4,663
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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!!!!!
__________________
Non illigitamus carborundum!
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 04-07-2009, 19:23
harry.gibbon's Avatar
harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Merseyside
Posts: 7,851
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
__________________

GFXU - HMS Falmouth in Falmouth Bay
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 05-07-2009, 07:56
TrotOneLower's Avatar
TrotOneLower TrotOneLower is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portsmiff
Posts: 426
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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...
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 05-07-2009, 19:49
harry.gibbon's Avatar
harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Merseyside
Posts: 7,851
Default Re: Communications ratings only

Just been moochin around web for summat else and happened upon this link:-


http://www.rnmuseumradarandcommunica...HPY%201908.htm

Little h
__________________

GFXU - HMS Falmouth in Falmouth Bay
Reply With Quote
  #61  
Old 05-07-2009, 22:16
harry.gibbon's Avatar
harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Merseyside
Posts: 7,851
Default Re: Communications ratings only

just another link to feast our old communicators eyes upon:-

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

Little h
__________________

GFXU - HMS Falmouth in Falmouth Bay
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 05-07-2009, 22:24
harry.gibbon's Avatar
harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Merseyside
Posts: 7,851
Default Re: Communications ratings only

and I'll finish with this one for tonight:-

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

Little h
__________________

GFXU - HMS Falmouth in Falmouth Bay
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 06-07-2009, 07:40
Jan Steer's Avatar
Jan Steer Jan Steer is offline
Rear-Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Posts: 1,253
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 06-07-2009, 14:47
Bee Bee is offline
Commodore
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Western Australia (Emigrated here, from England, in 1962 with my parents and 2 older brothers)
Posts: 869
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 06-07-2009, 15:48
TrotOneLower's Avatar
TrotOneLower TrotOneLower is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portsmiff
Posts: 426
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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..
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 06-07-2009, 15:53
Jan Steer's Avatar
Jan Steer Jan Steer is offline
Rear-Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Posts: 1,253
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 06-07-2009, 15:56
Dave Hutson Dave Hutson is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plymouth, Devon
Posts: 3,273
Default Re: Communications ratings only

Hi Bee,

Sensible answers - that's asking a lot from some

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
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 06-07-2009, 16:11
TrotOneLower's Avatar
TrotOneLower TrotOneLower is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portsmiff
Posts: 426
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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.
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 06-07-2009, 17:40
Bee Bee is offline
Commodore
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Western Australia (Emigrated here, from England, in 1962 with my parents and 2 older brothers)
Posts: 869
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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

Last edited by Bee : 06-07-2009 at 17:42. Reason: spelling
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 06-07-2009, 17:47
qprdave's Avatar
qprdave qprdave is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Snyder Texas USA
Posts: 4,663
Default Re: Communications ratings only

Is there any truth in that some R/Os could identify the sender by the way the signal was sent
__________________
Non illigitamus carborundum!
Reply With Quote
  #71  
Old 06-07-2009, 18:12
harry.gibbon's Avatar
harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Merseyside
Posts: 7,851
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
__________________

GFXU - HMS Falmouth in Falmouth Bay
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 06-07-2009, 18:56
Jan Steer's Avatar
Jan Steer Jan Steer is offline
Rear-Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Posts: 1,253
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 06-07-2009, 19:23
Fairlead Fairlead is offline
Lieutenant-Commander
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Horndean, Hampshire UK
Posts: 395
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 06-07-2009, 19:37
qprdave's Avatar
qprdave qprdave is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Snyder Texas USA
Posts: 4,663
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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??????
__________________
Non illigitamus carborundum!
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 06-07-2009, 19:57
TrotOneLower's Avatar
TrotOneLower TrotOneLower is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portsmiff
Posts: 426
Default Re: Communications ratings only

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.....
Reply With Quote
Reply



Ship Search by Name : Advanced Search
Random Timeline Entry : 19th January 1944 : HMS Felicity : Launched

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Royal Navy or Royal Air Force? Stan.J Other Naval Topics 18 23-02-2011 12:15
Before the Royal Australian Navy. Batstiger Australian Navy and Ships 5 12-01-2008 13:21


All times are GMT. The time now is 16:15.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.