radio maritime day

pat
7th April 2007, 09:48
for all you radio officers out there this may be of interest to you on the 14th and 15th april 2007 there is a radiomaritime day (ham radio) more details can be found on www.radiomaritimeday.org

regards

Pat

K urgess
7th April 2007, 11:39
I noticed that and being an old stick-in-the-mud all I thought of was -
"It's life Jim, but not as we knew it"[=P]

Definitely nostalgic though. I got reported for calling like that!
I shall now go and watch "QRT500" again to put myself in the mood.:sweat:

mikeg
8th April 2007, 22:30
I noticed that and being an old stick-in-the-mud all I thought of was -
"It's life Jim, but not as we knew it"[=P]

Definitely nostalgic though. I got reported for calling like that!
I shall now go and watch "QRT500" again to put myself in the mood.:sweat:

I know that feeling well :-( I've not got a decent short wave receiver at the moment anyway. The thought just crossed my mind, what is on 500kHz now? Just static or is it used?

Mike

K urgess
8th April 2007, 23:38
Mike
I've got nothing working at the moment to cover 500 but I think you're probably right. Nothing but static. Like a bad dream.
Just did a quick sweep of what my CRF-160 covers and only came up with one morse station on 4 & 6 Mhz transmitting code groups.
So depressing, so strange, so sad.
Miserably yours,
Kris

mikeg
9th April 2007, 00:17
Kris,
That is depressing, it confirms the adage 'you don't know what you've got till it's gone'. One truly wonders if safety of life at sea was compromised by getting rid of W/T safety watch. What happens when Satcom doesn't work I wonder, just another missing vessel?

Mike

K urgess
9th April 2007, 09:38
Don't know how many satellites there are but it seems a bit like only having one coast station to cover the whole of Europe, etc.
What happens when someone decides to upload a high power signal to swamp all the channels. Today's systems don't allow for long range (better than line of sight) intership communication like 500's 1500nm during silence periods.
I suppose they'll say the likelihood of the satellites going off line is infinitessimal until it happens.
Don't forget we used to be asked to look for lost ships quite often. I remember getting Lloyds messages quite often in the 60s and 70s.
Who sang that? Was it Jonie Mitchell?
Should be the anthem of today's age.:sweat:

Ron Stringer
10th April 2007, 00:10
Don't know how many satellites there are but it seems a bit like only having one coast station to cover the whole of Europe, etc.
What happens when someone decides to upload a high power signal to swamp all the channels. Today's systems don't allow for long range (better than line of sight) intership communication like 500's 1500nm during silence periods.
I:
There are at least two INMARSAT geo-stationary satellites over each Ocean so failure of one does not compromise the system. All ships going outside VHF coverage have to carry MF transmitting/receiving facilities (voice and DSC in the 1.6MHz to 3.8MHz band). All ships going outside MF range must carry either satellite voice & telex facilities or HF (4 - 16MHz) voice and DSC facilities. All ships going outside VHF range must carry COSPAS/SARSAT automatic satellite relay alerting and positioning beacons (121.5MHz and 406MHz). The latter can float-free in the event of a vessel sinking and automatically transmit alerting signals via a network of polar orbiting beacons to dedicated shore stations operated by SAR authorities world-wide.

Do remember that when we were at sea, only a small minority of vessels could actually send and receive the much-vaunted "SOS" alerting system on 500kHz. The great majority either carried no radio alerting systems at all or could only handle voice communications on MF telephony (2182kHz alerting). Now every vessel has the capability of distress alerting and communication with a shore station, regardless of size or distance from the shore.

Times change, technology moves on and although we might argue that vinyl quality sound is better than CD, people prefer to travel on the Tube/Subway with iPods handing around their necks and not radiograms in polished walnut cabinets. Better that the shipping industry adopted technology from the latter half of the 20th Century than it should cling onto something that was dodgy even when introduced at the end of the 19th Century (if you doubt that, ask those aboard the 'Titanic').

K urgess
10th April 2007, 00:55
Thankyou Ron.
Looks like they've got it covered.
Doesn't make me feel any less sad that I'm obsolete.
That my most treasured professional qualification should be donated to a museum.
I suppose by your 2nd paragraph you mean that SAR is now available to any person anywhere now which must be good thing.
Everything has or has had its place. Morse had its day, ipods have their place just as vinyl has its.
I'm sure the survivors of Titanic and the people in power who heaped awards and praise on Marconi didn't think it was that dodgy at the time.

Ron Stringer
10th April 2007, 08:24
Thankyou Ron.
I'm sure the survivors of Titanic and the people in power who heaped awards and praise on Marconi didn't think it was that dodgy at the time.

You are right Kris to say that the Morse arrangements were not considered dodgy by the survivors of the Titanic "at the time". But almost a century later it made no sense to retain that system, ignoring the many improvements and advances that had been developed by the rest of the communications industry during the decades that had passed since then. "People in power" recognised that a system that was fitted on only a small percentage of ships at sea (albeit they were the biggest ships) and that could be operated by only one (suitably trained and skilled) person aboard each of those ships, could never be described as the optimum solution to emergency alerting and communications.

Hence the GMDSS was developed and pressed through against the opposition of our radio officer colleagues and their paid representatives, strongly supported by shipowners from Greece, the developing countries and the FOC operators. The GMDSS was designed to use the area of operations principle - regardless of the size of the vessel you carry kit that can communicate to the shore from whatever area of sea in which the ship is operating. If QM2 only to be operated across the Dover Straits she need only carry comms for that distance. Should she then move to trans-Atlantic operation then long-range comms would have to be fitted prior to sailing. Logical, practical, pragmatic. Seems to tick all the boxes.

In spite of that it took over a decade to overcome the well-organised and well-funded opposition and obtain acceptance at IMO, and took almost 20 years from commencement of planning to final complete implementation.

K urgess
10th April 2007, 10:01
It's a comfort thing, Ron.
In my dotage I would love to be able to fire up the old Atalanta and sit and listen to the "chatter" in morse. Unfortunately I've left it too late to even sit down and record some for my entertainment. It will soon be pointless even firing up the Atalanta at all as analogue disappears altogether.
I believe 500 is being considered for use as an amateur radio frequency. Maybe we'll see some morse on there after all.
I completely agree that things had to change. The writing was on the wall when I quit in '77. You don't need an electronics officer to operate a fax or a teletype. There was no romance left.
By the time GMDSS came around I was a computer engineer and fully in favour of "the March of Progress". It must have been very frustrating to see the kit available and have to fight "vested interests" to get it implemented.

Ron Stringer
10th April 2007, 16:48
It's a comfort thing, Ron.

Agree with you completely Kris. There was an immense personal satisfaction in clearing traffic to a 3rd World HF station, half way around the world (and keeping only occasional watches) with only 80 watts or so. Similarly when you sorted a particularly obscure intermittent equipment fault that had been reported by any number of previous R/Os and shore technicians. However only you got any benefit from the resultant warm glow; the rest of the people aboard were totally oblivious to your "achievement".

The reluctance to adopt new and safer techniques wasn't confined to GMDSS but continues in other areas of shipboard safety; just look at the resistance to the introduction of Voyage Data Recorders (similar to aircraft "black boxes") on ships. You would think that Big Brother was trying to take over the personal sex lives of the shipowners.

ernhelenbarrett
12th April 2007, 11:36
To Marconi Sahib from another exBI Marconi Sahip
Try and log on to www.coastalradio.org.uk, there are 5-1/2 pages of World Wide Coastal Radio Stations using M/F Morse Frequencies including
Colombo/4PB transmitting on 482 and Receiving on 500 khz, Shanghai on 522.5/515, Basra on 442/ship working freq, Muscat on442.5/454, yosu on447/500, Cochin on460/500. chittagong on466/500.Port Sudan/STP on 500/500 Khz . just to name a few. Apparently its only the "civilised" Western Countries who did away with morse. Lets face it ... If there is another "Great War" just knock out the Satellites with a couple of Star War type rockets and every Western Country is out of touch with each other but those countries
still using morse WILL be able to communicate.. Something the "Powers that be" should consider
Salaams Ern Barrett

K urgess
12th April 2007, 12:11
Great stuff, Ern.
Here's another one -
http://www.seefunker.de/homepage/seefunk.htm
Just click on the coast stations tab top right.
It's good to practice even if it is a dead language[=P]
Cheers
Kris