Early ship radios

14th March 2007, 01:06
Discussion thread for Early ship radios (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/Early ship radios). If you would like to add a comment, click the New Reply button

14th March 2007, 01:09
I have created a stub entry on the Ships Nostalgia Guides section about early ships radios.

I hope that some of the many R/Os on the site will take a look at it and add some more detailed information. I have so far included a link to a site that has a lot of the history of the earliest radios - some photos would be great.

If anyone wants to give this a try and is struggling with the software please send me a PM and I will try to help.



K urgess
15th March 2007, 01:05
I've added a picture and some explanatory text as a start.
Not as hard as it looks at first sight.
Having got over the first hurdle I might try some more later.
Feel free to disagree with or add to it.

15th March 2007, 01:12
Good start Kris - thanks!

I like the oil lamp and what may be a gas fire to the left of the desk. A real period photo.

What would be useful if you can find it or write it is a simple description of the components of these early radios, their power and range etc. I presume that if one of those beasts were to be kicked off nowadays they would interfere with everything in the neighbourhood though at the time detecting the signal would be relatively difficult due to the insensitivity of the equipment.



15th March 2007, 10:22
having seen the photo of the early radio gear on the lightship, think I remember this photo from a very early Marconi Magazine entry. After getting
my Radio "Ticket" at Leith Nautical College Marconi sent me to AST Hamble to swat up on different Transmitters / Receivers etc., We had to sign avdavit we would not sue if hit by an low-flying aircraft as our accommodation was at the end of the runway and air service training was in the process of training future Commercial Pilots on DC3"s etc. Only once did I ever use one of those Marconi 381's 374,s Transmitters and onmy first "on my own " ship
had a Marconi Spark Tx and funny receiver with coils marked in Metres, you lifted up the box, took out the coils and replaced them with another two coils marked in metres to change freq. Anyone try calculating metres to Kilocycles in a QSW of a couple of seconds is a genius... I had a Table.. Thank goodness
Spark TX was great.. u never had a QRY. Went modern on my next ship with an Oceanspan 1.. Great ... as long as you remembered to pull out the Send/receive knob at the top of the TX.. Admiralty Patern Radar 248 A-Scan was a treat too... was it a reef... a bird... a tree... a cliff ...Guess !!!!
Wish I had photos of those days but I couldnt afford a camera on Marconi Wages.. Regards Ern Barrett

K urgess
16th March 2007, 00:34
Added a bit more re spark transmitters. Not that I really understand them myself. The link is a good interesting one and not "too" technical.
I'm waiting for the Marconi yearbook for 1913 to arrive at which time I may understand a bit more.:sweat:

10th September 2012, 20:17
Hi in 1962ish I was Electronics Engineer in London Docks I attended Survey of a ship from a remote South American Country when PO surveyor asked for the emergency transmitter a cupboard was opened and we both stared a a spark transmitter. We made signs to the RO to run it up but it did not work. Surveyor was leafing through his books and could not say that this country had signed up to anything, after a call to his office he said well its got to work.
The spark gap appeared to be made of sheets of mica separated by metal plates.
We had an old gent in our storeroom who we believed was the same vintage.
I had a contact who supplied me with mica and I rebuilt the gap. But it still didn't spark.
I called old Bob who said "You have age the mica screw the key down and go for tea." When I returned it was working; it must have been ripping across every thing from Long Wave to TV. I quicky stopped it then put in a call for the surveyor who reluctantly passed it.