End of GBR VLF masts

R651400
19th August 2007, 07:12
Lawrence Bennet who runs the GKA newsletter posted the following youtube snip showing the demolition of Rugby/GBR's VLF masts where the famous GBR time signal was transmitted from.
My memory says 18 kcs and 23 kcs, station RX on the main aerial, remember picking up the time sig well into the Red Sea even thru much QRN (static).
Demolition cost? The scrap value of the masts which were considered a hazard to aviation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx2lhSUuGqU

BA204259
19th August 2007, 08:49
I seem to remember the time sig was on 16kc/s...but I've been wrong before.

Ron Stringer
19th August 2007, 09:08
I seem to remember the time sig was on 16kc/s...but I've been wrong before.

This time you are right. That's where they were in the 1950s and 60s. Some time later they were moved to 19kHz and as far as I know, they stayed there for many years. There were also other broadcasts at higher frequencies (e.g. 60kHz) from Rugby with the callsign MSF.

All the best

BA204259
19th August 2007, 09:56
Thanks Ron. I believe that the MSF 60kHz time signal is now being transmitted from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) VLF site near Anthorn in Cumbria. Not sure when the service moved there, but it certainly keeps the radio room clock on my wall accurate.... 'tho of course R651400 won't be able to get that!!

R651400
19th August 2007, 13:26
Now there's a thing!
Thinking back, how did we get the time signal to the bridge to correct the chronomoters?
Blue Funnel in their infinite wisdom/stupidity kept their radio rooms as far from the bridge as possible.
Remember holding the bridge phone against the receiver loudspeaker or synchronising with the radio room clock and pressing bridge telephone buzzer exactly on the 60th second dash, another.
Similarly "World Peace" and liberty ships had voice tubes requiring a sharp puff down the tube to blow the bridge whistle exactly on same.
At least with GBR it was easy with the dots and one dash but WWV JJY and other stations a lot more tricky...
Any other methods?

p.s. Pse no ribald remarks about Greek or foc flag shipping running astray because of badly adjusted chronometers..

K urgess
19th August 2007, 13:32
I found that there was nearly always a headphone jack socket in the chronometer box that had to be plugged into the main receiver in the radio room.
Handy when you wanted to keep a boring 500 watch and chat to one of the mates at the same time.
Some had a small hatch between the radio room and the chartroom.
I could've sworn GBR was on 16kc/s as well. Must stir the grey cells more often.
Legend has it enough power for a local farmer to charge his car batteries from a metal wire fence until they wondered why reception was down in that direction.
I cheat with my radio room clock and set it from the PC after using Atomic clock sync. Which reminds me. Sunday. Time to wind the clocks.

R651400
19th August 2007, 13:57
I found that there was nearly always a headphone jack socket in the chronometer box that had to be plugged into the main receiver in the radio room.


Never came across such advanced technology on any Bluey (GTZB), Kris, but rattling the RAM a bit, I do believe there was such on "World Banner," actually a loudspeaker at the bridge end, though I wouldn't admit to providing the eight to twelve with some "bouzouki" picked up direct from Greece whilst in the PG.

On the question of modern day accuracy, my thirty-quid Casio Wave Ceptor watch gives me world wide to the umpteenth thousandth of a second, a lot more than this old R/O will ever need....

Degema
19th August 2007, 15:07
When I was in SS Malmo back in the 60s the Radio Room opened directly into the Chart Room so I use to take the time signal for them when they were busy. One day I was resting my elbow on the protective glass screen above the chronometer when the ship rolled and my elbow went straight through the glass. No injuries but the old man came running in from the bridge thinking one of his plants had fallen over.

mikeg
19th August 2007, 18:40
I found that there was nearly always a headphone jack socket in the chronometer box that had to be plugged into the main receiver in the radio room.


Most of the Shell ships I was on had a speaker in the chart room for the time signal. The speaker had its own volume control and I sometimes used to leave it tuned to the world service between watches so the watchkeepers could catch up with the news.. (quickly turned down if the old man was due on the bridge).

Mike

K urgess
19th August 2007, 18:47
I seem to remember always being the one to take the time signal and fill in the chronometer book.
Maybe I was just always suckered into it.[=P]

It was always a bit hit and miss in certain areas to find a reliable time signal at a convenient time. World service was always good when you could get it.

On one memorable occasion the chronometer decided to go nuts and we had to have time signals every hour. Not easy to do in the middle of the Pacific.(EEK)

Trevorw
20th August 2007, 00:06
GBR was on 15 Kc/s. One day without QRN and with the main aerial connected, I got the time signal at 10.00am GMT in the Malacca Straits!

Incidentally, we in Blue Flu' were'nt all that naive, we had a link from the time signal to the chronometer which logged the correction factor, and that was in the sixties!

trotterdotpom
20th August 2007, 02:27
I always remember GBR being on 16 kc/s, right up until they turned into kHz.

The low frequency ground wave could be picked up thousands of miles away, even by submarines under water I believe. I think the transmitter was used a lot for submarine communications.

One morning, on Regina Oldendorff,at anchor in the Mississipi during a New Orleans dock strike, I was sprung watching cartoons by the Old Man. Livid at finding someone not gainfully employed, he exploded: "Have you got a time signal yet?" "Why, are you going to take a sight?" I replied with aplomb. Off he stomped with smoke coming out of his ears. Funker 1 - Kapitaen 0.

John T.

King Ratt
20th August 2007, 12:28
GBR was on 16 Khz and latterly sent time sigs at 0255-0300, 0855-0900, 1455-1500, 2055-2100 (all times Zulu).
Source of info 1993 edition Handbook for Marine Radio Communications.
GLO (Ongar) was the 19 Khz back-up transmitter.

R651400
20th August 2007, 13:19
Incidentally, we in Blue Flu' were'nt all that naive, we had a link from the time signal to the chronometer which logged the correction factor, and that was in the sixties!

Don't want to make an issue of this as you haven't exactly said what this link was and how it logged the correction factor?
Perhaps by the time you joined, BF had moved into a higher technological strata from my own experience on some of their golden oldies..
Melampus/GMBZ (no radar right up to scrapping in 1957), Ajax/GJXM, Orestes/GFPQ all company senior citizens in the mid fifties with only a basic telephone between radio room and bridge.

Ron Stringer
20th August 2007, 15:17
GBR was on 16 Khz. GLO (Ongar) was the 19 Khz back-up transmitter.

Ah that explains it. Remember reading in an ALRS correction in Notrices to Mariners that transmissions were being suspended on 16 kc/s and would be replaced by time signal transmissions on 19 kc/s. All transmission times to be unchanged. Perhaps there was some refit or refurbishment to be done on the 16 kc/s transmitter or antenna configuration.

I just assumed that it had been a permanent transfer of frequency, rather than just a temporary arrangement.

athinai
23rd August 2007, 10:30
Dont forget the good old BEEB., - BBC LONG Wave 200 Kc/s, With GBR 16 Kc/s, And WWV SW. R/O's Usually Kept The Book Updated or was it flogged. ? (as I noticed some enormous errors over the years) - Sweet Memories.

Klm Gm

BA204259
24th August 2007, 10:42
or was it flogged. ?



klm/gm

Shame on you....perish the thought... as if... who would ever have done anything like that?(Jester)