Longest QSO?

Trevorw
22nd February 2008, 20:48
Mine was from just off Singapore to GKI at Portishead - got a QRK/QSA 4 on that particular transmission! Used a Globespan (Marconi) transmitter and an Atalanta reciever.

K urgess
22nd February 2008, 21:01
Bass Strait to Portishead using an Oceanspan VII and Atalanta. QRK3/4

sparkie2182
22nd February 2008, 21:11
n.z. coast to dan, marconi commander.

athinai
23rd February 2008, 14:28
Athinai Radio SVA Nightly on 4 and 6 mhz Panama to NSW about 1967 and GKI 22mhz daylight to the UK same trip, one call and UP WKG Freq with both stations. Transmitter looked pretty old and one had to tune the Crystal Oscillator first then the first intermediate Amp and so on until finally getting the Antenna setup via the DIP and MAX OUT. I cant remember the name of the TX but it must have came from the ''ARK''

K urgess
23rd February 2008, 14:47
Shouldn't this be categorised by output power?
Globespan? Commander? Modern trash with too much power.[=P]
Although the Globespan is a bit long in the tooth I suppose.

Gareth Jones
23rd February 2008, 15:03
Quite right Marconi Sahib - this should be confined to Oceanspan transmitters with their stunning 120 watts max.
I remember on a shore run in Singapore being scoffed at by an SSM sparks because of the troubles I had qso'ing europe with my Oceanspan. Turned out he had a 1.2kW Transmitter !

BA204259
23rd February 2008, 15:07
In the days of the Area system. Just about to enter Sydney. Had just sent my TR to Sydney/VIS on 500. As usual asked him to QSP it to VIS H/F. As usual, he refused. Too close to hear VIS on H/F, it was well dark and couldn't hear him anywhere. I did however hear GKG booming in (QSA5 QRK5) on 12 mc/s (or mHz). He answered first call and I had to tell him we were QTP VIS so he could send my TR all the way back. Amazing.

As to transmitter power, I never had more than 100W, never.

K urgess
23rd February 2008, 15:08
We know power wasn't everything but there's certainly a difference between an Oceanspan and the later all singing, all dancing models.
Even a difference between Oceanspans from 60 watts to 120 watts but at least a yardstick for measurement.[=P]

athinai
23rd February 2008, 16:19
Hi Marconi Sab,

I think the RF Out was only about 40 Watts, as in radiated power, A guy tried to explain it to me once, on and on about the Ear being subject to a Logritmig responce curve., and you having to increas power by a high proportion in order for the ear to notice., something like that., anyway we always got through to Europe. P.S. Just noticed that post/question may not have been for me,

73

K urgess
23rd February 2008, 16:49
S'OK Athinai.
I never could figure out what output power on CW HF was.
Not the sort of thing that concerned you after college.
Besides never had any sort of test equipment anyway.
From QSOing Portishead from Tasmania, which was a reason for celebration, to not being able to raise CWA (Montevideo) from anywhere, including on 500 when anchored in the River Plate, it was always a hit or miss game.

niggle
23rd February 2008, 18:36
Regularly used to send telex traffic to GKA from Aussie coast direct as long as I got short bounce route on 8Mhz in a morning if I remember back to the 80's correctly, abeit the Tx was a Redifon RMT1500 and Redifon receiver but can't remember type but it did have a large heavy silver tuning knob and was synth'd, linked to a Marconi sitor telex unit. I also remember being able to trigger GKA telex but if reception or transmission was long path the time between Tx and Rx was to long so it could not sync itself so would drop out. Those were the days when the owners would sent out messages last thing Friday knowing you could not reply until after the weekend.

Niggle

R651400
23rd February 2008, 19:26
S'OK Athinai.
I never could figure out what output power on CW HF was.


Managed Singapore to GKL, Electra receiver Oceanspan Mk 6 100w. I recollect at night on 8 mc/s.

The Oceanspan with a HT of 600V at 100m/a supplying 3 807's in parallel ie 60w each or 180W DC input power should give 100w or more RF to an ideal load.
With the area system, 100w was adequate but there was also the Worldspan high power amplifier driven by the Oceanspan for liners and others who required high power. Saw one on a visit to RFA Fort Beauharnois/MAAR in '58.
Another Oceanspan version was the Trader which was MF only.

niggle
23rd February 2008, 21:59
Respect to the previous entry from "R651400" being able to recollect the HT voltage etc etc, crikey I only go back to the late 70's to mid eighties......... seems that maybe the old dits and dahs have been getting too the grey matter too much as I cannot recall such info as to voltage, currents etc but can remember that the Redifon RMT1500 Main Transmitter used 4 x CX250B ceramic output valves.............now that is sad but there again brings back my sea going days with nostalgia which is what this site is all about and long may it continue.

Niggle

Ron Stringer
24th February 2008, 00:19
The 'City of Lucknow' had an Oceanspan III transmitter (and a CR300/2 receiver) but on our 1962/63 trip round the world west-about from Glasgow. we were never out of contact with Portishead. All traffic to the UK was sent direct to Burnham, only the shore-ship traffic was routed via the Area Scheme's overseas transmitters. From some locations you had to be choosy about transmission times but it never proved necessary to hold traffic over to the following day - not even in the Pacific to the West Coast of Panama, which was often a problem area for propagation to the UK.

K urgess
24th February 2008, 00:39
Does anybody remember when Portishead stopped sending ship's traffic blind after the traffic lists?

Peter4447
24th February 2008, 00:50
Just been reading through this thead and at this late hour I rather wish I hadn't - definately too technical for my old grey cells.
I know this is a Nostalgia site but my word you Sparkie types know your onions and you don't appear to have forgotten much, you make it all sound like you could simply sit down and do it all again today(Jester)
Peter4447

K urgess
24th February 2008, 01:03
It's probably because it was drummed into us at college, Peter.
We were able to operate in our sleep and I suppose the deep dark recesses of our minds still contain the remnants of that training.
It sort of pops to the surface every so often like the bubbles in champagne.
Only the best of vintages you understand. [=P]

trotterdotpom
24th February 2008, 06:06
Does anybody remember when Portishead stopped sending ship's traffic blind after the traffic lists?

1972 when the Area Scheme folded and the station had to be contacted like any other station.

John T.

K urgess
24th February 2008, 12:52
Thanks JT.
I'd completely forgotten about GKL sending blind until I came across a message that I'd received from GKC5 that I'd QSL'd through ZSL.

Salaams
Kris

John Leary
24th February 2008, 14:55
Hi niggle
What a wonderful valve the 4cx250B was. I came across it after I left the sea as the final PA in a 100 Watt VHF transmitter operating in the lower VHF band.
So easy to neutralise and very low 3rd order intemodulation product levels. However the 1500 volt final PS supply used to give me the heebies.
Regards
John

R651400
24th February 2008, 15:57
I'd completely forgotten about GKL sending blind.
Kris
Sending the piles of telegrams at the end of the A/C traffic lists was done exclusively by a cadre of GKA's senior operators, using standard morse key. Bugs and electronic keys were frowned upon and only appeared on night-shift when supervision was a bit more relaxed.

G0SLP
24th February 2008, 16:52
I know it's not a 'commercial' QSO, but how about an SSB QSO from 250NM NW of Cape Town (LPG/C "Teviot", October 1994, on passage from Venezuela to Thailand) to Hawaii, with the Hawaii station beaming over the North Pole? I couldn't hear him when he tried pointing his beam anywhere other than over the Pole. I was running 200W from the ship's Skanti 7200 & Marconi vertical. It was as though the DX was in the same room. Excellent!

sparkie2182
24th February 2008, 21:23
sorry folks.......

i thought the thread referred to time on the key, rather than range/power output.

73's

sparkie 2182

Gareth Jones
25th February 2008, 03:00
I sent QTC 15 to Portishead from the South Pacific using the lifeboat transmitter with the mates clothes line as an aerial. Oh yes, and I wound the handle myself at the same time !!!!!

trotterdotpom
25th February 2008, 05:38
Gareth, that wasn't a lifeboat transmitter, it was one of those old washing machines like my mother used to have - my sister and I had to work the paddle with the handle on top. I wish we'd known you could send telegrams with it, You tell the kids today....

John T.

exsailor
25th February 2008, 10:37
Late 70's, we had just cleared Gothenburg in the wee hours of the morning, and I asked Sparkie to jack up a phone call to Port Chalmers, NZ - my Mothers 50th birthday. He managed it - directly via ZLB (Awarua Radio, Bluff). Clear as a bell. After talking to home, had a chat to the operator at the station. In the mid 90's, after I had come ashore, I sat my Restricted Radio Operators Certificate, and somebody in class asked the lecturer about transmission and reception distances. He said the best he had experienced was working a phone call from a British vessel just off Gothenburg and that he had a copy of the log in his 'album of memories'. Got a surprise when I told him the vessels name and the telephone number of the recipient.

When I was of Secondary (High) School age I dabbled with DXing, using an old Phillips valve radio with a length of copper telephone wire as a aerial. Got a QSL from SIBS (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service, Honiara) - they were on Medium Wave using a temporary 5 watt rig after a cyclone had wrecked their facilities.

Dennis.

trotterdotpom
25th February 2008, 12:27
We were spoiled by the Area Scheme, once it finished it was just a matter of applying propagation knowledge, use of correct frequency and time of day. Sometimes it meant getting up in the middle of the night or working outside of watch times in order to get through but that was what it took. Nowadays folk probably wouldn't bother, they'd just use the local stations and hang the expense, but I got a lot of satisfaction out of doing it right. A quiet achiever, that was me and no doubt a lot of others too.

John T.

King Ratt
25th February 2008, 12:41
One of the staff at Portpatrick/GPK used to work ships off New Zealand on 1883 Khz R/T using the "Grey Line" for propagation. These were not "One Off" QSOs.

trotterdotpom
25th February 2008, 13:50
What is or was "the Grey Line" please?

John T.

Ron Stringer
25th February 2008, 14:04
One of the staff at Portpatrick/GPK used to work ships off New Zealand on 1883 Khz R/T using the "Grey Line" for propagation.

Not in the same league for distance, but GPK was easily contactable on 2182 kHz at night from the Gulf of Guinea and the South Atlantic between St Helena and Freetown. Link calls home were so much cheaper that way!

andysk
25th February 2008, 14:16
Does VHF count ?

Bank Holiday weekend, 20 something of August 1976

Clan Ramsay, anchored off Falmouth, to Agadir Port Control on VHF Ch 16, in the middle of the afternoon.

Couldn't raise GLD on VHF then though, either direct or via their remote site which was - forgotten quite where !

I think it was a bit of Redifon kit, fairly newly installed then, but don't remember the type number.

G0SLP
25th February 2008, 14:25
What is or was "the Grey Line" please?

John T.

Hi John

Try this

http://dx.qsl.net/propagation/greyline.html

and this one to see where it is at present

http://www.smeter.net/propagation/views/current-gray-line.php

Cheers
Mark

trotterdotpom
25th February 2008, 14:51
Thanks GOSLP, I often used the theory but didn't know it had a name - you live and learn.

Andysk, long ranges on VHF are either due to "ducting" or "Sporadic E" (lots of info on Google) - very common in the Persian Gulf and not funny if you're trying to call a pilot at the Shatt-al-Arab and listening to pop music from Bahrain on Channel 16! I remember giving an eta to Durban on Ch.16 about 7 days out in the Indian Ocean.

John T.

athinai
25th February 2008, 17:03
Thanks GOSLP, I often used the theory but didn't know it had a name - you live and learn.

Andysk, long ranges on VHF are either due to "ducting" or "Sporadic E" (lots of info on Google) - very common in the Persian Gulf and not funny if you're trying to call a pilot at the Shatt-al-Arab and listening to pop music from Bahrain on Channel 16! I remember giving an eta to Durban on Ch.16 about 7 days out in the Indian Ocean.

John T.

Best Sporadic ' E ' I had at sea was trying to make a VHF call from a ship off the Kent Coast (Surronded by abundant Coast stations) But No Reply. - Next ZDK Gibraltar answers and says ur 5/5. In jumped a UK Coast Station with Sorry OM QSY etc., etc.,
Best HF QSO on an Indoor Dipole was with ''G5RV Himself '' from UK to InverCargill in ZL-land. 14 mhz. Good Fun.

athinai
25th February 2008, 17:13
Hi Goslp,
I had Moon Bounce equipment up to about 10 years ago and I had great fun with it, Point at the Moon, Bounce back to somewhere on the Globe and away you go.

andysk
25th February 2008, 20:43
...... Tong ranges on VHF are either due to "ducting" or "Sporadic E" (lots of info on Google) - very common in the Persian Gulf ...... John T.

Somewhere I have a slide of the radar showing this effect quite well up in the Gulf, it looked as if we were totally landlocked between 6 and 12 miles out from the ship. If I can find it I'll scan and post it.

tunatownshipwreck
25th February 2008, 21:22
When I was of Secondary (High) School age I dabbled with DXing, using an old Phillips valve radio with a length of copper telephone wire as a aerial. Got a QSL from SIBS (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service, Honiara) - they were on Medium Wave using a temporary 5 watt rig after a cyclone had wrecked their facilities.

Dennis.

That is quite a catch. I have QSL cards from them on SW (no struggle on the west coast of N America), and one for MW, but that is quite the catch for 5 watts.

K urgess
25th February 2008, 22:33
This is getting way too technical for me. (Whaaa)
Grey line? Sporadic E?
Good Heavens I haven't though of such things since I left college. (==D)
Never did get into radio outside the job.

tunatownshipwreck
25th February 2008, 22:40
This is getting way too technical for me. (Whaaa)
Grey line? Sporadic E?
Good Heavens I haven't though of such things since I left college. (==D)
Never did get into radio outside the job.

I don't suppose you keep up with the sunspot count, either?

K urgess
25th February 2008, 22:52
Nope, sorry Eric.
Unless you mean the sunspots from too much time in the sun as a youf. [=P]

freddythefrog
25th February 2008, 23:05
best qso i can remember was hongkong to gkl, itt st1400 tx, redifon r408 rx.
also tokyo bay to gkl with crusader tx (marconi).Atalanta rx
talking about "ducting" etc we had a chief mate while sailing in english channel decided to call---on vhf ch16--- Bombay radio, bombay radio with a Indian accent, you should have heard the comments on ch 16 from other ships in area, wow, great conditions tonite charlie, did you hear that, must be at least 7000miles away. we were hysterical listening!! ftf

Q29
26th February 2008, 00:05
Serious stuff Chaps!

1970 About to QTO Adelaide SA with GKB but QRY 23 and then faded out... in 20 minutes - TX Oceanspan VII /RX Atalanta (second-hand gear previously used by Marconi Sahib) - MSG ended up on telex via the ships agent....(Cloud) However, 1996 as G4SPS QRP - UK to Wellington NZ using MFJ Transceiver 4W on 14060 kHz(==D)

andy forbes
18th April 2008, 17:05
well lads nice to nostalge (new word?) about longest qso. mine was in 1960 from Panama to Hong Kong/GZO an area supp. receiving station using a Marconi "Electra" and MK1 Oceanspan (the tall cabinet with slug tuned VFO for MF), very handy set the ship was ss Telamon/GHGY one of the Silver Line
Bluey's.

= Andy Forbes =

Roger Bentley
18th April 2008, 20:56
Can only remember one significant long distance QSO and that was on MF. I was 3rd R/O on the Cheshire, we had left Ciolombo about 1800 and I was on the 12-4 that night, I worked VIP on MF. We had a 386A 1500W MF tx, that had been installed by the Navy when she was an AMC during WW2, and that probably helped! I learnt from a friend of mine who was working on another Aiustralian coast station that they had seen us listed as within MF range and then wondered why it took us so long to actually reach Fremantle! As until we were within the normal range we were not heard again. Salaams. Roger

Mimcoman
25th May 2008, 05:20
Sent a QTC on 12 MHz with GKG, when that was the Pacific Watch callsign, just after leaving Fremantle, E Australia. On completion, I found the the Conqueror was only radiating on the copper feeder to the aerial switching unit, because I'd left the tx aerials isolated. I thought the tuning had changed due to rain...

charles henry
26th May 2008, 21:20
We know power wasn't everything but there's certainly a difference between an Oceanspan and the later all singing, all dancing models.
Even a difference between Oceanspans from 60 watts to 120 watts but at least a yardstick for measurement.[=P]


3db increase doesnt sound like much but double the signal equals half the calling time, or so they tell me de chas henry(Pint)

charles henry
26th May 2008, 21:24
Just been reading through this thead and at this late hour I rather wish I hadn't - definately too technical for my old grey cells.
I know this is a Nostalgia site but my word you Sparkie types know your onions and you don't appear to have forgotten much, you make it all sound like you could simply sit down and do it all again today(Jester)
Peter4447

Makes me want to blush but lets face it even as a child I was able to sit down and being a spark was just being professional about it de charles henry(Pint)

Ron Stringer
26th May 2008, 22:58
I found the the Conqueror was only radiating on the copper feeder to the aerial switching unit, because I'd left the tx aerials isolated.

On later ships' radio installations, with all-aft accommodation, the aerial rigs were so short that the length of the copper feeder inside the radio room and aerial trunking was often as long as the external length of the aerial. The capacitance across the switching unit was probably enough anyway to couple loads of power into the aerial.

When I moved to Marconi Marine's office at Chelmsford from South Shields, my section leader told me that he had joined a collier at Tyne Dock to sail some London power station. This was his first ship on his own, unsupervised and he was very proud that he sent all his TRs and cleared what traffic there was without difficulty. Congratulating himself on a job well done, on arrival at the destination he supervised the safe lowering of the transmitter aerials and went into the radio room to secure the station. This included earthing the transmitting aerials at the aerial switching unit. He was somewhat embarrassed to realise that they were already earthed - he had omitted to connect the transmitting aerials when he left the Tyne.

Tony Selman
29th May 2008, 15:41
Certainly not my longest QSO at sea but perhaps the one I remember most and perhaps the best on a mileage per watt basis. Whilst serving as 3R/O on Oronsay in 1971 we had BOT Sports a day or so out of Durban bound for Fremantle and 1R/O (Jack Gawley), who was an excellent man in every other respect, told me to go to one of the two radio lifeboats that had permanent small radio cabins and contact VIP on 8Mc/s. As it was daylight and we were some considerable distance from Perth I protested that this was a pretty tough task. It can be done and don't come back until you have done it and I will be listening. Muttering fiercely I set off thinking I had not got a hope in hell of raising someone 3000 miles away on 8Mc/s pumping a couple of watts into a wire aerial a few feet long. The crew who were tasked with cranking to give me power were not best pleased either. I found Perth on the rudimentary receiver at strength 2 and to my complete amazement after my third set of calls to him back came GCNB1 de VIP QSA2. Just goes to show 1st R/O's know a lot more than 3rd's!

King Ratt
29th May 2008, 18:35
One of my demos to new makee learnee R/Os was to call VHM or VHK (Canberra / Darwin Naval Radio) from the UK on CW with about 50 watts. Around 0730 UK local time the call on 12556.9 Khz was invariably answered on 12831 Khz with a QSA occasionally up to 5. Encouraged the new fellows and some not so new that 1500 watts was not compulsory and also kept them on a friendly level with others who were trying to watch UK TV without QRM.

athinai
4th June 2008, 12:51
I Tried a few home-brew antenna's on ships also, and cut a Quad for 16 mhz. Hardest bit was finding a SAFE point on the Tx Output without damaging myself or the Tx. Found that on Transmit there was little difference but when I switched the Quad for receiving purposes the improvement was Dramatic indeed., taking the sweat out of copying long distance QSO's etc.,